302-First Fortress

Patrick riding on the head of Pichan and Picrostier.

He is moving at great speed at the front.
The Snakes Kingdom's horse troops, who are following behind, are struggling to make their horses run.
The wagons and infantry have long since been left behind.
Seeing this,

'Pichan, take your time, save your strength.
Patrick said, making Pichan slow down.

Patrick and the others enter the former West Fort of the Mental Kingdom, now the First Fort of the Snakes Kingdom.
Those who were not used to Pichan ran for cover, but it was a small matter.

'What's the situation?'
Patrick said,

'We received a report from Plum's bird tribe that the enemy Xavian Empire soldiers are gathering in the grasslands west of the border, as if they are suspicious of our movements.
Lieutenant General Wylie, who had arrived earlier, reported.

'Have they figured it out? If more gather, we're in trouble. We'll set it up in the morning!
Patrick, his brow wrinkled slightly, instructed.

'Ha! I'll make sure the men are well fed and rested.
Wylie replied with a salute.

'Aye, have them assembled before dawn.

'Yes, sir!
And so, the night before the battle, Fort One finished its final preparations and went to sleep.

While it was still dark, the forces of Fort 1 of the Snakes Kingdom and the Viper Squad gathered in the courtyard of the fort.
The Viper Squad is an elite unit, with former soldiers from the 8th and 2nd Armies also enlisted.

Why are they gathering here, anyway?
Why not attack from the north?

The north is a mountainous region and not suitable for a large force invasion. Besides, it will be snowing soon.
So, Patrick decided that a small force might attack, but the main force would invade from here.

A large force of about 10,000 men is gathering.
As you may have noticed from Lieutenant General Wylie's line, the Plum Beastman Army is among them. They numbered three thousand.

'The Snakes Kingdom Army, the Plum Beastmen have come to support us. We will now attack the Zabeen Empire. Instead of spending our days wondering when they'll come, we'll attack first and strike first! I'm sorry, but you'll be putting your lives in danger. Some of us will die. But if we don't strike the Xavian Empire before it comes with all the preparations, the damage to us will be unimaginable. This is a battle that will not be fought in hindsight. I will fight with you. The Plum-beast army can assist me. Thank you for coming for our country! Erio! You're on the front line! Let's go! Let's move out!

Patrick is on top of Pichan's head as he begins to move.

One after another, the soldiers start walking.
Erio's screams echoed from the first fort, dragging a jittery Erio along with them.