The second regular chapter of the week is here. Enjoy!

After the convoy forces led by Lorist that had crossed Metropoulos River towards the duke's dominion to pillage it and subsequently defeated the allied noble army, when they were moving all the wealth and people of the duke's dominion towards the Norton Family dominion in the Northlands, various new developments occurred in the Andinaq Kingdom.

On the 25th day of the 4th month of Year 1768 of the Grindian Calendar, the king of the Redlis Kingdom, the First Prince of the former Krissen Empire, Krissen Redlis, announced that the Crown Prince of the Andinaq Kingdom, Second Highness Auguslo, was a vile person who had went against his own brother and made his father a puppet leader and said that he would punish the Second Highness on the grounds of tarnishing the name of the Krissen Imperial Family.

After the First Prince's declaration, many people laughed cynically at it and felt that it somehow sounded familiar. After someone did some research and checking, they found that that the Third Prince of the Krissen Empire, then the regent ruler of the empire, had used the exact same reasoning as justification to act against the First Prince at that time. This time around, the First Prince merely changed a few words before throwing it back it to the Andinaq Kingdom.

Even though that declaration was treated as something of a joke, the First Prince's 70000 soldiers were not fooling around. Within but ten days, the Andinaq Kingdom lost up to 7 citadels situated near the border of the Andinaq Kingdom and the Redlis Kingdom and the Fiercegale Legion could only retreat one defeat after another from their heavy casualties and rely on the bastides owned by the landed nobles to resist the First Prince's army.

On the 32nd day of the 4th month that year, the Madras Duchy's Seamountain Legion incurred more than 5000 casualties to take over the Xith Castle that was defended by two regiments of the Royal Defense Guard of the Andinaq Kingdom, thus opening up the route from Sidgler Province towards the outside world once again. The duke eventually received help from the Second Prince, the ruler of the Iblia Kingdom, and managed to retake Vanades City.

At that time, the Royal Defense Guard that had roughly 5000 men retreated from the Xith Castle back to Vanades City right away after losing around 1000 men during the siege. With the soldiers stationed within Vanades City numbering more than 5000 men and the enhanced fortifications of the city, the Second Highness believed that he would be able to resist the joint attack of the Seamountain Legion of Duke Madras and the Second Prince's forces.

However, nobody would've been able to predict that just before the soldiers of the Second Prince and Duke Madras finished constructing their siege engines, the soldiers of the Andinaq Kingdom abandoned the moat of the city and headed for the highway towards the newly-built citadel in the mountains.

When Duke Madras and the Second Prince realized that Vanades City was undefended, tension built up between the two forces as they scrambled to occupy the city. In the end, the Seamountain Legion took two-thirds of the city with the remaining parts of it going to the Iblia Kingdom's troops.

After that, the Madras Duchy and the Iblia Kingdom entered a period of dispute, completely ignoring the forces of the Andinaq Kingdom which were at the citadel not far from Vanades City as they fought over control of the city.

In the end, after some mediation between the two parties, Duke Madras and the Second Prince came to an agreement. After being paid a huge sum as compensation, the Iblia Kingdom's forces left the city, leaving behind the remaining ravaged territory that they occupied for Duke Madras's forces to take over.

Immediately following that, Duke Madras and the Second Prince both led their forces towards the new citadel built by the Second Highness and were prepared to press on until they conquer the whole of the Yungechandler Province. Under the leadership of Duke Madras, the soldiers launched two attacks against the citadel, after which the Second Highness wrote a personal letter to Duke Madras himself.

In the letter, the Second Highness to reminded the duke that the Second Prince is constantly on the watch for an opportunity like a hungry wolf. The Second Highness said that if the duke was hell bent on resisting him, he would withdraw the forces of the Andinaq Kingdom and even give up Lichtana Citadel. If that were to happen, by the time Duke Madras decides to bring the Seamountain Legion into the Yungechandler Province, the Second Prince might just conquer the citadel on the mountain path which he will use to seal off the duke and his forces within Yungechandler Province.

After reading the letter, Duke Madras began to worry and understood why the Second Highness had constructed a new citadel merely a few kilometers away from Vanades City. The Second Highness had intended to swallow up Yungechandler Province and establish the new citadel and Vanades City as the new border between the Andinaq Kingdom and the Madras Duchy.

It was then when the duke began to hesitate. Of the three provinces within the duchy, the Yungechandler Province was easily the most impoverished and undeveloped one with not much farmland available as most of the province was covered by mountainous terrain and swampy forests. If he gave the whole province to the Andinaq Kingdom as remuneration, he believed that he would have given the Second Highness face and cause him to cease the hostilities happily. To Duke Madras, he could even shed a burden that did not benefit him much. The cost of stationing his soldiers to defend both borders of that province was also tremendously high given that he would require the logistic and resource support from the other two provinces within the duchy. That was no small spending to the duke.

While the duke would lose some face and pride by presenting the Andinaq Kingdom with the Yungechandler Province, he would gain peace. To the duchy, the most important thing was the production of food within Delamock Province as well as Vanades City, which was the commercial center of the duchy. Even though he had completely recovered Vanades City, a large part of the Delamock Province was still under the control of the Second Prince. While there was little possibility that the Second Prince would actually forcefully take over the whole of Delamock Province, Duke Madras didn't really trust the Second Prince given his understanding of the latter's personality. Additionally, every day some landed noble within the province would send messengers to the duke to complain about the troublesome actions of the soldiers of the Second Prince. Given that the Second Prince didn't make any indication to stop despite the complaints, it was obvious that he didn't consider the duke in any serious light.

Duke Madras pondered on his decision while holding the letter of the Second Highness in his hand. If he were to rely on himself to take back the Yungechandler Province, then the Second Highness would retreat from the new citadel on the mountain path to the Lichtana Citadel. If that were to happen, then the Second Prince's forces would be able to conquer the citadel on the mountain path when the duke's men besiege the Lichtana Citadel, the result of which would spell the end of the Madras Duchy.

That's why on the next day, Duke Madras requested an audience with the Second Prince, during which he requested the prince to help him recover Yungechandler Province with the reason that even though the Second Prince claimed to send his troops over to aid the Madras Duchy, they have never once actually went into combat with the forces of the Andinaq Kingdom and were merely following behind and providing superficial support.

The Second Prince was not an idiot either as he had come to 'help' the duke out because he merely wanted to glean as many benefits as he could. By helping out, he would no longer have to pay the debt he owed the duchy for the food he bought. He might also attend to gain the gratitude of the duke along with some other rewards. Also, there was a chance that he would be able to take control of Delamock Province in the midst all the chaos. However, he was quite unhappy with how the Second Highness didn't defend Xith Castle properly and allowed the duke's forces to leave Sidgler Province, causing the Second Prince to only be able to conquer half the area of province as a result of the duke's timely intervention.

If both the Delamock Province and Vanades City fell into the Second Prince's control, Duke Madras would have lost his standing as there was no way that he would be able to pay the appropriate ransom to regain control of the conquered areas, thus allowing the income generated from those areas to fill the Second Prince's pockets.

That was also why the Second Prince was pissed to hear Duke Madras's request for him to attack the mountain citadel to retake the Yungechandler Province. He instantly refused the duke's request and pointed out that he merely brought over a support army and not a vanguard force. He mentioned that his turn would only come if the forces of Duke Madras were completely defeated.

After hearing that, Duke Madras felt an immense urge to cull the shameless and thick-skinned Second Prince with a stroke of his sword. Even though the Second Prince was obviously trying to take advantage of his predicament, he worded it in a way that it made it seem legitimate. However, after remembering the fact that he was currently within the army camp of the Second Prince's forces, he resisted that urge and took his leave. "Haha, there's no way that I would fall for that guy's sly trap," said the Second Prince to his general audibly for the duke to hear.

After that, the Second Prince truly got the full brunt of the duke's rage. Nobody would've expected that Duke Madras would lead his soldiers on an assault against the army camp of the Second Prince, completely crushing the 30000-strong force of the prince in the process. Apart from a few nobles and the Second Prince as well as some knights who managed to escape, the rest of the forces of the Iblia Kingdom was wiped out completely.

That event was known as the 'Daybreak Assault'. On the 7th day of the 5th month during seven in the morning, Duke Madras annihilated all 30000 troops of the Second Prince that had been sent to reinforce his own. Fortunately, the Second Prince managed to escape under the protection of a few of his personal guards.

This sudden incident flabbergasted everyone who was paying attention to the ongoing developments as they didn't understand why the duke had suddenly turned against the Second Prince. However, Duke Madras later claimed at a later date that the Second Prince had conspired to entrap him and swallow up the duchy for himself as a justification for his turning against the Second Prince.

The Second Prince who had escaped to the Delamock Province fumed with rage. He had never suffered such heavy losses and humiliation before. Apart from the complete defeat his own 20000 soldiers that he gathered from his various vassal noble families, a division of the Frontier Legion that his father-in-law Duke Fisablen had lent him was wiped out as well. And before he could even say anything, Duke Madras had painted the Second Prince in a wrongful light and accused him of many other transgressions as well.

In the end, it could only be blamed on the Second Prince's personality that didn't inspire any others to trust him. On one hand, he appeared to be helping out Duke Madras while in actuality, he was always ready to take advantage of the duke should an opportunity have presented itself.

Enraged that the duke had shaken him off so blatantly, the Second Prince announced that he would not let Duke Madras off scot-free and said that he would summon more soldiers from his kingdom and allow the men he had left stationed within Delamock Province to start pillaging and destroying the surrounding settlements.

At the same time, Duke Madras strengthened the defenses of Vanades City and Xith Castle while also rallying the other nobles within his duchy together to form an alliance whose purpose is to chase the ravenous Second Prince and his bandit-soldiers out of the duchy as soon as possible. It didn't take long for those two sides to completely neglect the forces of the Andinaq Kingdom that were stationed at the citadel of the mountain route during all the conflict that ensued.

At the same time when Duke Madras was about to turn the tables to his advantage, however, the Andinaq Kingdom's Bolimo Citadel which was at the border near the borders got conquered by the troops of the Redlis Kingdom led by the First Prince. The Fiercegale Legion's Gold ranked knight commander, Knight Nedram, and 5000 other Fiercegale Legion soldiers died heroically on the battlefield, taking almost 20000 casualties among the First Prince's forces with them before their deaths.

Nevertheless, upon conquering the citadel, the rest of the expedition of the First Prince would sail smoothly without obstruction. The First Prince led his 30000 soldiers gleefully towards the imperial capital.

Little did he know that just when his forces were around 50 kilometers away from the imperial capital at Flowater Creek, the First Prince and his 30000 troops fell into the trap set by the Second Highness who had long been anticipating their movements. Near 70000 warriors of the Royal Defense Guard circled the soldiers of the First Prince. While they managed to surround and entrap the First Prince and his forces, they didn't launch any attacks and merely took a defensive approach using the terrain to their advantage with the aim of waiting for the supplies and resources of the First Prince's men to run out which would no doubt lead to the eventual starvation of all 30000 men.

In ended with the Second Highness's complete victory at Flowater Creek after he commanded his recently-expanded 70000-strong Royal Defense Guard using a passive-aggressive approach by exploiting the terrain to defeat the 30000 soldiers of the First Prince within a month with only a casualty count of roughly 20000 men. The First Prince on the other hand managed to escape by casting away his armor and helmet and donning an old, torn farmer outfit as a disguise to sneak away through the mountain paths with his two attendants.

On the 3rd day of the 7th month, the Redlis Kingdom's 70000 soldiers had been completely decimated, followed immediately by the Second Highness leading 40000 Royal Defense Guard soldiers straight to the Redlis Kingdom to fight against the landed nobles there. Under the leadership of the Second Highness, the Andinaq Kingdom's forces managed to rush unabated all the way to the capital of the Redlis Kingdom, the Royal Capital of Frederika.

On the 15th day of the 8th month at the Royal Capital of Frederika, the Redlis Kingdom and the Andinaq Kingdom signed a peace treaty with the First Prince handing the two southwestern provinces of his kingdom to the Andinaq Kingdom as compensation for being the side to take up arms first. With hostilities ceased on both sides, the Second Highness brought his soldiers back to his kingdom.

On the 21st day of the 8th month, the Battle of Kobo saw its end. That battle had occurred within the Delamock Province at Kobo City, involving the 50000 allied noble army led by Duke Madras and the Second Prince's 40000 soldiers that had invaded the duchy. The Second Prince was forced to retreat from the duchy with his forces in utter shambles.

Against the wishes and objections of his vassal nobles, however, Duke Madras signed a peace treaty with the Andinaq Kingdom after recovering Delamock Province and allowed the Yungechandler Province to become under the jurisdiction of the Andinaq Kingdom in exchange for the tolerance of the Andinaq Kingdom and 5 years of peace.

Immediately following that, Duke Madras began to construct defensive fortifications within his two provinces on a large scale. Not only did he construct multiple citadels at the border of the duchy and the Iblia Kingdom, he even erected a long barricade roughly 50 kilometers away from the deceased Baron Silas's ferry port near Metropoulos River, thus sealing off the Northlands from the Madras Duchy completely.

In the historical records of the Grindia Continent, the conflict that had began with the assault of the Andinaq Kingdom's Royal Defense Guard and the Whitelion Legion (which were in fact the forces of Lorist's convoy unbeknownst to many on the continent) during the 10th month of Year 1767 lasted up to the 8th month of Year 1768 which was the month when the peace treaty between the Madras Duchy and the Andinaq Kingdom was signed. The events that spanned that year would be henceforth known as 'Auguslo's Counterattack'.

The series of battles have shown the military and strategizing prowess of the Second Highness Auguslo. Not only did he manage to stabilize the Andinaq Kingdom from within, he also managed to cause strife between Duke Madras and the Second Prince and force the Redlis Kingdom and the Madras Duchy to cede some land to the Andinaq Kingdom for reconciliation, effectively doubling the territory of the Andinaq Kingdom and allowing it to become a local superpower.

The reputation of the Second Highness instantly skyrocketed, causing him to be known throughout the continent as one of the most brilliant military minds of the new generation.