A huge table was set in the middle of the room, where a crafted and somewhat detailed miniature landscape of the Logress Kingdom could be seen. Beside it, there were numerous marking stones prepared, ready to be placed to determine the number of troops deployed.
One stone represented a unit, which consisted of around three hundred to five hundred men. And currently, the Logress Kingdom had thirty of such stones.
Three green-colored stones with bow markings on them, representing the Demeate Archer unit. Five blue stones represented the unit of combined archers, while the five brown stones beside them constituted the unit of combined cavalry. The rest of the stone, which amounted to seventeen, were the infantry or mixed units. They were each led by a nobleman, in groups of five hundred men.
On special note, there were also two stones of the Lioness Kingdom's men, a stone representing the Iceni Kingdom's troops led by Percival, and a special stone signifying the Fey warrior who decided to join the fray.
"We have a total of just a little over eleven thousand." said one of the knights who were tasked with military intelligence, in resignation.
Indeed, this number of troops was a large army capable of easily resisting the invasion from the northern tribes or the Danes lurking across the sea. The problem was the Logress Kingdom would be fighting both parties at the same time.
"According to our scouts, ten thousand northern tribes' men and thirty five hundred Norgales' men will enter and invade our territory from the north." said the knight while moving a total of thirty five stones to the miniature landscape.
A little while later, the plains situated north of the Logress Kingdom were covered by various stones representing the northern tribe's force, which were placed according to their last known location.
The sight of the northern region of the Logress Kingdom being encroached upon by the northern tribes made the faces of everyone in the room turn grim. Unfortunately, there was still more.
"Meanwhile, it was reported that ten thousand Danes' warriors will come from the east, accompanied by two thousand Iceni Kingdom's men."
The officer then added around thirty at the east forest region of the Logress Kingdom, the location where they were last spotted.
The dozens of knights and nobles who gathered in the war room already had some idea of the number difference before they joined this meeting. They even had steadied their mentality and expected the worst. Still, they couldn't help but become anxious once more when they saw the 65 stones that represented the enemy.
Subconsciously, they turned their heads towards the person who presided over this meeting.
"What is the plan, Your Majesty King Arthur? Should we stay put and focus on defending the city?"
Fighting behind the protection of the wall was always a good strategy to be adopted when one was outnumbered. But unfortunately, Arthur disagreed with the idea.
Shaking his head at the notion, Arthur said, "There are too many refugees in the city right now. Moreover, the castle is also not big enough to accommodate ten thousand of us." He shifted his eyes to the miniature. "So no. Defending is not an option. We must face them… in these locations."
Arthur put a marking of two spots as he spoke. One on the north and one on the east, both were in good high ground positions - ideal for their side.
"We are going to split our force into two?" commented one of the nobles in a surprised tone. The others were also confused by Arthur's idea to split the force into two. After all, they already lost in raw numbers even before the split.
"That's the safest plan," said Arthur as he moved the stones representing the allied force according to his thought.
The situation in the two battlefields would be around five thousand people against twelve to thirteen thousand people. As Arthur moved the stones to their positions, everyone could clearly see that splitting the force had made the enemy look even more threatening than before.
However, the knights in the room seemed to agree with the idea, as there was no better solution than this to deal with their current opponents, who were attacking from two different directions. In fact, no one in the room could voice their disagreement with Arthur's idea after they saw how the latter positioned the allied force.
The arranged location was perfect, while the composition and balance of the separated force was efficient. It was evident that Arthur did have a profound understanding of the strength of his force, as well as the upcoming battle.
However, it seemed the young king was not satisfied with this. He turned to the person beside him and asked, "Do you have any idea, Merlin?"
The one who Arthur called Merlin, Emery, was quiet for a second. He was no Julian or Thrax, but he did have basic strategy training back in Magus Academy. Hence, he naturally had a bit of insight regarding the situation.
The truth was, he didn't think Arthur's plan could work.
"I think we should consider the plan more. How about focusing the strength on one side first? Put all the best people and most number to overwhelmed one side... It's risky but-"
Emery hadn't even finished his words when another knight interrupted him. "Yes! That's right! We can quickly overpower one side, and then fight the other side." The knight said excitedly. "Actually, this is a really good strategy for our current condition!"
Everyone in the room started whispering to each other, and from the things he could pick up, it seemed the majority agreed with the idea.
But to everyone's surprise, the new queen of the Logress Kingdom was the one who responded to the idea.
"The smaller group will be at enormous risk. Moreover, if we're not careful, the enemy might even have broken into Camelot before the main group won their battle." Gwen said while taking a glance toward Emery, as if she knew he was planning something....
Emery responded to her glance with a faint smile before he spoke. "What the Queen was concerned about was true. Therefore, the small group should focus on deceiving the enemy and delaying their battle as long as possible… The objective is not to win, but to not lose."
"Hmm, I agree that this is a very good plan. But.." Arthur dragged his words. "..It's too risky. I don't think.."
The Logress King was hesitating. His dilemma was because he didn't seem to have the heart to assign people to the smaller group. After all, both he and everyone knew this was a very dangerous task.
As if Emery could read Arthur's hesitation, he said, "I will lead the smaller group and choose who I bring."
He then approached the battle and started to pick the units he wanted.
First of all, he picked up the stone that represented the Fey Warrior as it was obvious he had to bring them. Next, he took the three stones of the Demeate Archer units. He then shifted every stone placed on the eastern battlefield, and put down his choice. He's done.
In all, the group that Emery would lead didn't even reach two thousand people.
"That's it." He said as he returned to his spot.
Arthur rubbed his eyes to make sure what he saw was true because he couldn't believe what he was seeing right now. A moment later, he immediately turned to Emery with a look of disbelief on his face.
"Merlin, are you crazy?! That's too few!"
Gwen quickly said, "One thousand Logress knights will be added to the smaller group." This offer of hers came too quickly, as if she had known his plan from the start.
However, Emery shook his head and firmly refused.
"No, you will need every man possible to fight against the thirteen thousand strong northern army." He said. "Besides, we are only going to deceive the enemy, so we probably have the easiest work here."
Emery then looked at Sir Galahad of the Demeate Kingdom, whose face was dark at the moment, and said, "Don't worry, your archers are only needed to scare the enemy. In fact, I'll order them to immediately retreat to the castle if the enemy manages to advance to their line."
With Emery's words, Galahad finally calmed down and nodded his head, accepting the role.
However, the Logress King and especially the Queen were not comfortable with the arrangement. Emery clearly noticed their concerns and so he reassured them.
"Don't you two worry. Remember that I can use magic." He said. "Just make sure you concentrate and win your battle, so that you can help us faster."
As Arthur had no other better plan, he eventually decided to put his trust in Emery. Gwen, however, still seemed annoyed that Emery didn't accept her offer to let the Lioness knights join him. Looking at her slightly hidden sullen look, Emery could only give her one more reassurance that he would be alright.
Now that the plan had been determined and the troops had been set, Arthur began to explain the formation that would be used by the nine thousand men on the northern battlefield while Emery briefed his plan with Sir Galahad as well as Luna and Cavvi of the Akavi warriors.
Afterward, Emery took time to prepare the Fey sisters for tomorrow's battle.
The next morning, before the allied force left Camelot, Arthur could be seen standing in front of the ten thousand men. Regal authority diffused out of his body as he looked upon the men who would put their lives on the line for the kingdom.
Silence ensued as everyone waited for his words.
Moments later, Arthur who was in his war armor finally spoke as the ruler of the Logress Kingdom.
"Knight of Brittania!! Raise up your sword and protect our land! our people! For Justice! Honor! And Victory!"
Such simple words, but able to inflame everyone's spirit and morale.
They cheered loudly, ready for war, as they marched on.
Finally, the advent of battle that would be recorded in the history of the 7 kingdoms.