Wuxiaworld > Release that Witch > Chapter 962: The Invisible Supply Line

Chapter 962: The Invisible Supply Line

Chapter 962: The Invisible Supply Line

Translator: TransN Editor: TransN
"Oh?" Roland asked, raising his eyebrows. "Go ahead."

"Since the Taquila devouring worm can tunnel through the mountains of the Impassable Mountain Range, they can also be used to open up a passage under the Barbarian Lands," Edith said, as she held up two fingers. "Two worms working in parallel will be able to create a passage wide enough to allow a wagon to pass through it. I've already asked Minister Karl about it. The result he arrived at is that the unstable structure of the mud lands may make it impossible for us to open up a space that can accommodate an underground palace, like the one in the Third Border Town, but if we go deep enough, we should be able to open up a passable tunnel."

"How do we go about it?"

"The construction work should start within the main camp of the First Army. The entrance to the passage can be a shaft heading underground from the center of the camp, covered by a tent and disguised as an ordinary structure."

"What are we going to do with the passage after we retreat?"

"We seal the shaft and cover it with soil, leaving behind only a vent to maintain air circulation."

"How long the construction will take us?"

"It's expected to take two weeks more than the time needed to march the army to the combat zone. In fact, considering possible harassment from the demons, it's reasonable to assume we'll march slower. In this way, the greatest disadvantage of the First Army can be bypassed as well, as the army will appear in the shape of a fist, while the logistics tail behind it will be hidden. This 'fist' would instantly attract all their attention."

Roland could not help curling his mouth into a smile. It seemed that after a long night of consideration, this plan had already matured quite well.

"Were you the one who proposed this idea?"

"Kind of," Edith admitted honestly. "But it was a result of the cooperation between many departments. In addition to the Ministry of Construction, the Arithmetic Academy also joined in, though they weren't aware of the details of the second plan."

Roland wanted to praise Edith as being well-deserved of her reputation as the Pearl of the Northern Region. The most valuable point of this plan was not thinking the novelty of the idea itself but how she had exploited all the resources and tools available to refine the idea.

Ordinary people would never have taken the monster-like worm into account.

Also, the Arithmetic Academy had just been established for less than a year and, apart from the star observation, it had only been working on the tasks given by Roland. But she had already been trying to use the more professional personnel from this new department to perform the calculations and statistics for the underground passage.

It was gratifying to find someone had such accommodating views and extraordinary foresight.

In addition, somehow he had a faint illusion that the Edith in front of him seemed more remarkable than before, as if he had uncovered a deeper layer of her talents.

"Nice work," Roland encouraged. "Just follow this plan."

"Yes," Edith paused. "But there's one more thing I need to point out. Even if we adopt the second plan, casualties will still be unavoidable. Moreover, it won't be an easier battle than the one against the church at Coldwind Ridge. After all, the demons have the initiative this time, so before the First Army reaches the destination, they won't be able to set up stations and blockhouses to defend themselves as they did before."

"So, are you inclined to halt the troops and bide our time?"

"No, I intend to crack this nut, no matter how hard it is," she said slowly. "If the Battle of Divine Will is as cruel as the Taquila witches have said, it's absolutely necessary for the First Army to experience a trial of blood and fire before that war. It's only you who, I always think, cares so much about the soldiers' lives that you have to think twice before taking every step. Now that our new enemies, the demons, are unknown to all of us, and also possess inhuman abilities, so please be prepared for some casualties."

"This feels a little weird..." Roland thought. In the past, Edith was unlikely to say such words to her superiors, for her words would definitely have been viewed as an insult. Edith was too clever to make such a simple mistake at this level.

"Is it a backlash triggered by my reprimanding her last time?"

"But who cares?"

"As long as she serves me well, the rest is irrelevant."

"I see. You may take your leave," Roland said.

"Yes, Your Majesty."

When Edith withdrew, Nightingale showed up looking discontent. "How could a lord be wrong to care about his men? She obviously crossed the line!"

"I don't think she's wrong." Roland smiled. "Everyone has the right to their own beliefs. A wise leader must listen to all the different points of view in order to make a right decision." However, Roland disagreed in his heart. He had to think twice and take all aspects into consideration because he could not bear any losses at present. His soldiers were not a rabble of mercenaries and serfs. Almost all of them were literate. Some officers even understood charts and were able to make reports. He would take any action to reduce casualties.

Just as Nightingale was about to say more, the Sigil of Listening hanging across her chest suddenly glowed.

Roland's heart skipped a beat. He asked, "Is there some new movement from the demons?"

The communication was short. Almost right after Roland asked out loud, Nightingale gave her answer, her hand still pressed onto the sigil on her chest, "No, it's good news. The third batch of the witches from Sleeping Island, led by Lady Camilla Dary, will arrive at Neverwinter tomorrow evening."

"It was Tilly who sent the news..." Roland felt relieved. "Go and tell Wendy to welcome them in the same way did the last two batches."

These witches would be the last batch to move in, which accounted for almost half of the total witches of Sleeping Island. Now that Neverwinter had built the framework of Sleeping Spell, Roland could rest assured that Wendy would be able to take care of everything, including counting all the witches' abilities and recruiting them. For the rest of the witches, he believed that they would sooner or later accept the fact that the Kingdom of Graycastle was different from the one they remembered.

"No problem." Nightingale seemed to have already forgotten Edith's words. As she was about to enter the misty world, Roland suddenly stopped her.

"Hang on... Did you say that it was Camilla Dary leading the witches? The one who is preparing to go to the Sealine with Joan?"

"Yes, what's wrong?"

"Let me see..." Roland pondered for a moment. "The scenario Edith presented assumed that the demons always had the initiative. But maybe I can reduce their range of vision."

"Ugh, are these two things correlated?" Nightingale asked in a state of confusion.

"I'm not sure, but I have to try," Roland said with great interest. "I need to talk to Camilla personally when she arrives."

***************

As the boat sailed along the Redwater River into the Western Region, the fields on both sides of the river turned yellowish-brown, a color of harvested straw mixed with soil.

Judging from the high piles of straw, this year must have been another bumper year.

Standing at the bow of the ship, Andrea gulped the refreshing air of autumn. It mingled with a unique smell of the sun-baked farmland, giving her an inexplicable feeling of relaxation and contentment.

She did not know whether it was the lingering charm of the harvest or her anticipation of finally coming home.

Maybe both.

"Don't... they collect the straw?" A curious voice suddenly came from behind. "They make good kindling."

Andrea turned around and saw that it was a God's Punishment Witch who was speaking. Her name was Carol, if she remembered correctly.

"You know about it?" Andrea had asked her father about the straw when she had been a little girl. She had wondered why the farmers collected, baled, and piled the straw up after cropping the wheat. Her father told her that they had done it for the sake of living.

He had said, "They don't have enough money to buy firewood, so they have to collect anything that can make be burnt to keep them warm against the cold winter winds. The straw is a very good fuel, flammable and accessible, which is also preferred by many nobles who often use it to start a fire. When the people are short of clothes, they often use the straw as quilts. Although it produces thick smoke when it burns and pricks your skin when you sleep on it, it keeps the people from freezing to death. You may think the straw is useless, but for those who need it, it's as integral to their lives as the ear of wheat."