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“Wait, what?” Braydon was suddenly much more awake than he had been just moments ago. He had gone to sleep the night before after a round of making sure that the troops were doing what Rhydian had commanded, accompanied by the man himself. And it had been a sound night’s sleep. Sounder than his sleep had been in a while at least. Now that they had met up with Duke Tetland and had gained more men, all thanks to the generous donation of Duke Rotleach in the form of his life, they were in the best position they had been in since the start of the war. But that did not mean that the other sides had no agency.
“You are telling me that he forced his men to march through the night?” Braydon asked to make sure that he had heard correctly. He had gone to find Rhydian once again to ask what his plans were in more detail now that they had an extra half of an army, having woken up earlier than usual. Instead he was greeted with the news that Duke Ryder had decided that sticking around longer than necessary was not in his best interests.
“Indeed he has. Honestly it is a testament to his ability that they even managed to get anywhere with their numbers through the night. It means that he has made his decision though.” Rhydian confirmed. He had been woken up much earlier than Braydon and not by choice. The scout captain had received word from the scouts following Duke Ryder’s army that he had not stopped at all during the night. It was clear that if he was going to win it would not be from battling both the Royal faction and their new found ally as well as Duke Burn all at once.
“And we now have a few too many men to catch up to him so easily.” Braydon sighed, once they had the power to face Duke Ryder head on, the man decided to make use of the very same tactics that they had been using to avoid a fight with him. Only this time, the roles were reversed.
“I’d rather be in our current position than the one we were in a few days ago.” Rhydian did have a point. Even if they didn’t manage to face down Duke Ryder in what was effectively a three on one scenario, they would still face him in a two on one. It was not the perfect outcome, but when was war ever such a clean affair?
“Do we know how Duke Burn is reacting?” Braydon asked. It would be good to know what the most notorious schemer in Fiveria was doing now that it was his back that was up against the wall. Any last minute grand plans would not be something that was appreciated. Getting Duke Rotleach involved was already good enough.
“Not yet but my hope is in terror and anguish.” Rhydian made a small chuckle, terror and anguish were not things that were commonly associated with Duke Burn. Braydon could hardly imagine what a terrified Duke Burn would look like. Though he had heard stories of what Duke Burn’s ‘anguish’ was like. It usually ended up in somebody else in a lot more anguish than the Duke himself. Of course none of these stories were ever verifiable, Duke Burn made sure of that.
“Then are we moving up our schedule?” Braydon asked. Since Duke Ryder had made sure to put a lot of distance between them, it was something to consider.
“No. Even if we rush, we could not leave earlier than tomorrow regardless of what we do. It takes time to integrate so many men into an army. At least one that can function properly.” Rhydian did not want a replay of the battle that had started the civil war. The Fiverian army when facing down the army of Casburland was anything but functional. Duke Oakley of all people would know.
“So this forced march of his was without downsides for him?” Braydon asked but he already knew the answer. Duke Burn was not going to willingly face Duke Ryder on the field of battle in the current state of things. Not without help. And now they were tied down for at least a day, Duke Ryder had taken full advantage of that. There was nobody there to punish him for exhausting his army. Nobody could take advantage of the opportunity.
“Exactly.” Rhydian nodded. He too had been about as shocked as Braydon when he was first told about what Duke Ryder had done but after thinking it through it made almost complete sense. He could simultaneously get further away from the more dangerous enemy whilst making ground on the less dangerous one. All without any major downsides. And if he was going to win given the change in circumstances, he would need all the advantages that he could get.
“So you got woken up early for nothing?” Braydon prodded with a smirk. Rhydian was not averse to mornings in the same way that Braydon was but that did not mean that he did not need his sleep. And Braydon could tell that he had been awake for a while already even though it was still fairly early in the morning.
“Is there anything else that you wanted to talk about, Sire? Or do you want to help me with my tasks?” Rhydian let out an exasperated sigh before ignoring Braydon’s question and replying with his own. He may have been tired but he had not forgotten how to deal with Braydon after so many years.
“I will see you later then. I have things to do myself this morning and I would not want to impose for too long.” Braydon quickly turned around and headed the way from which he came. Rhydian might have said it in response to his jest but Braydon knew that Rhydian was not joking. He never did when it came to work.
Synopsis: The online game <