Part 2: A Certain Princess’ Confusion.
662nd YEHS, Dark-Half 5th Month, 13th day, evening
Royal Capital of Perdient, Kingdom of Dinember, members of Seven Kingdom Alliance.
The castle is in uproar since morning. Numerous officials can be seen moving haphazardly between it floors and stairs. Some attending emergency meeting, another relaying message between ministry, or executing orders from his superiors. Some even surprised the maids working in the rather small corridor.
Princess Prisistka tih Hanarren pe Dinember, the 14 years old First Princess of 『Dinember』 Royal Family steals a glance on the chaotic corridors from her study room. Her teacher, the Royal Head Scholar Sauzis soi Jikusda is called to His Majesty presence some time ago. The left behind to study the Book of Royal Morals, Prisistka, become bored before long and become curious with the hectic officials.
Oh… she saw a familiar figure, it was her other teacher, the Royal Magician Ranstia tih Seliosa, the Nature Archmage. Different from old and stuffy Sauzis, Ranstia is much younger and more lenient in her teaching to princess.
Prisistka called with her most graceful yell (if any).
“Oh… Isn’t it the Princess? You sure are lively today.”
Ranstia replied with her usual plastered smile on her face.
“What is going on Teacher? The whole castle seems to in a state of commotion. Did something inauspicious or a disaster crisis happen?”
Prisistka starts her inquiring session.
“Hmm… well, would you kindly invite me to your room? Let’s start our talk inside, Princess. Conversing while standing in the corridor is considered a big no-no for a royalty like you, you know.”
Ranstia casually reply while moving her body back and fro, evading the ways of the darting officials, like dancing a sad solo waltz.
Prisistka let Ranstia into her Study Room.
“Now Princess, do you know the 『Nameless State』 near our kingdom border?”
Ask Ranstia after she entrust her whole body to the comfy royal sofa.
“Yes, I do. I presumed all our citizen knew about it, even if they are uneducated. What about it?”
The 『Nameless State』 is a famous topic for mainstream Midzu Continent’s cultures, especially for the 『Dinember Kingdom』, since the 『Nameless State』 can be said is on their house front yard in plain sight.
“This morning, our spy report that the Gems Door in Southern Golden Wall of 『Nameless State』 is opened. As such, a state of national emergency and general army mobilization is proclaimed in our Kingdom… no… In all 『Seven Kingdom Alliance』. I imagine even the other nations is also in a similar state of national alert.”
Ranstia said it with grumbling tone. Because of this they suspend her long awaited month-long days off. For Forest Spirits sake…
“Huh? Is this is something dangerous? Didn’t they only open up their gate?”
Prisistka didn’t think that some State opening the gate is something that would cause this huge disturbance or classified as something like an important occasion. Isn’t the City Gate closed and opened every dusk and dawn, but nobody make a big deal from it?
“Princess, do you seriously take your History Lesson from Royal Scholar Sauzis?”
Ranstia had a shocked experience in her face; she is very surprised by the Princess ignorance of the urgency and importance of this event.
“I don’t think so. The Beardy Teacher lectures make me sleepy.”
By Beardy, Prisistka refers to Sauzis and his incredibly long brown and white streaked beard.
“Maybe you need a quick history lesson, Princess, so strain your ears open. Does Princess know the other name for the 『Nameless State』?”
Ranstia ask the Princess. Even if the princess is so sheltered or didn’t have any interest in major learning she should still know one or two things. She is a Princess for Forest Spirit’s sake. While Prisistka think that reciting date and names is boring, so history is boring.
“『The Unconquerable Land Land』?”
Prisiska answer hesitantly, using her rather sketchy memory of history lessons. The 『Nameless State』 also had other name but Prisistka didn’t really care about them.
“You’re correct. Do Princess know why it was called with that flashy name?”
-Isn’t me that should asked question- Retort Prisistka in her heart.
“They… Never lost in war?”
-Is it not obvious?- Think Prisistka.
“Almost correct. They mainly called it because no known Nations or Powers or Conqueror ever conduct a successful INVASION and step on their soil. They all are BEATEN black and blue like a berry in Bear’s paw.”
Ranstia stressed on the word ‘invasion’ and ‘beaten’.
“The 『Nameless State』 is that strong?”
-Why did it matter?- Think Prisistka, that already become tired by Ranstia wordy lesson.
“No strong is a bad choice of word. I prefer to call them ridiculous strong.”
Ranstia expression and tone of voice change from her usual sunny disposition into a very cloudy one. This intrigued Prisistka interest.
“Well, Princess must know about the 『Silver Brigade』 right?”
Ranstia ask Prisistka in a serious tone.
“Oh… The Mysterious Knight Corps that manned the 『Golden Wall』! They are said to clad in magic Silver Armor and expert in both martial and magic arts.”
Prisistka know this because this brigade is very famous and appeared in many popular songs, prose, and plays. They said that 『Silver Brigade』 only appear if the 『Gems Gate』 is attacked so they are rarely seen by common people and only heard them from war survivors. It’s no wonder they become the target of romantic imagination of bards and poets.
“Yeah. One 『Silver Brigade』Knight is a least 10 times stronger and more skilled than a regular 『Dinember Kingdom』 Knight. We guessed that their number is about 2000 strong. But that doesn’t mean that they only equal to 20.000 knights. With their superb magical equipment that we can’t imitate with our magic or technology and their inhuman combat and magic technique; it can be said that with the entire 2000 『Silver Brigade』 Knights is equal to 100.000 of our knights or even more. Hence their name 『Brigade』, a corps that equal a whole army.”
Ranstia make a comparison that even the Princess can easily imagine. The 『Nameless State』’s 『Silver Brigade』 Knights prowess is no joke, with only 2000 members, it equals to a large nation’s army strength.
Hearing this makes the Princess shudder… even the 『Dinember Kingdom』 only had 5.000 or so knights, the rest of the army is conscripted or common foot soldiers that lack the skill and training that the elite knights had. They said that 1 knight equals to several untrained soldiers, and the 『Nameless State』 had 200 times more powerful than Dinember corps of Knights? If that so, then they are a really powerful Nation, although its size is very small. Even Prisistka understand this point well.
“In the entire 600 years of Recorded History. The 『Nameless State』 had been under siege for 7 times. The first Army that tries to conquer the 『Nameless State』 is the Great Conqueror, the First Holy Emperor Axelrad that conquers and almost unites the entire Midzu Continent 600 years ago. After subduing the Eastern Barbarians (the common ancestor of Zekirian peasantry), he turn his attention to the riches of the 『Nameless State』. With his 250.000 strong Victorious Army he tried to break through the 『Gems Gate』. His army was massacred; 200.000 soldiers perished in a span of less than an hour. Even though the Holy Emperor survived and later found the Holy Empire he never again disturbs or tries to invade the 『Nameless State』.”
Prisistka of course know about First Holy Emperor Axelrad. The story of him that conquers lands from sunset to sunrise can be found in first chapters of commonly used standard History textbook. His Realm where Sun Never Sets later known as 『Holy Empire』, a name that later inherited to become the continent name. The 『Common Language』 and 『Common Letter』 that was used by many nations in Midzu continent come from this Unification period.
Prisistka is surprised, after all the Victorious Army are said to be the best of their Time and to be slaughtered under one hour, are you sure the 『Nameless State』’s Silver Brigade is composed by humans and not some kind of Magic Beasts? Wait... Has she learned about this in her history lesson? Why can’t she remember? (The answer: She falls asleep when Sauzis give lectures about the background event related to Holy Empire founding.)
“It’s only an opening act Princess, no need to that surprised. After the Holy Empire fell 500 years ago due to 『Demonic Race』 invasion from the 『Northern Continent』 the so called 『Crimson Disaster』. The entire 600.000 soldiers and Magic Beasts of Demonic RaceArmy try to invade 『Nameless State』 by ground and by air. But they also massacred. 400.000 thousands perished less than a day. The United Army of Human Nations then defeated the remnant of Demonic Race back to the north. By the way for some reason this United Army also tries to invade the 『Nameless State』 and get massacred. Although the casualty is erased from the record, it seems very high since the Human Nations soon pursue ceasefire with the Demonic Race.”
The lost part of history from 『The Dark Age』 where many historical records had been lost or purged and leave a very deep pool of unanswered mysteries. By the way the Demonic Race Invasion also causes technological and cultural diffusion between Demonic Race and humans. (The Demonic Race later found trading City States in the tropical Far North Coast and still lives there to this day).
“That seems stupid…”
Prisistka didn’t understand the reason the United Army tried to invade 『Nameless State』 rather than pursue and annihilate the Demonic Race completely from the continent. The answer to this is now long forgotten since all document related to this affair is completely erased by the successor countries.
“You tell me. The fourth time the 『Nameless State』 invaded is 300 years ago. When the 『Dostro Empire』 of the North Coast subdues the Continent by their 100.000 IronTail Wyvern Corps, they feel confident can force 『Nameless State』 capitulate since fighting airborne enemies is very difficult. But this Corps also easily annihilated. The 『Dostro Empire』 then collapse when their enemies retaliate.”
I know this, think Prisistka, this is the cause why IronTail Wyvern are now considered a rare species. The IronTail Wyvern population is so depleted that even after 300 years it still haven’t recovered, so the currently common used species tamed for wyvern corps is their smaller cousin the SplitTail Wyvern. Since 『Dinember Kingdoms』use gryphons aerial corps it doesn’t really matter.
“The Fifth time is 250 years ago when the 『White Horse Tribe Horde』 overwhelmed the whole continent using their heavy cavalry and mobile infantry with unprecedented mobility. But even the 500.000 heavy cavalry is wiped out like falling leaves in the autumn.”
By this time, Prisitka didn’t show any surprise expression and rather tired listening to high-number of war casualties in history. Is it really important?
“The Sixth time is 150 years ago, the Sage King Caihorst the Wise deemed that frontal invasion is useless and it’s better to try and starve them out. So using multinational 750.000 strong coalition army that was sent from every nations and races across the Continent, he completely encircled the four gates of the 『Nameless State』 and build walls to enclose and isolate the 『Nameless State』 completely, the so called 『Grand Siege』. He maintains this siege for 40 years, but the 『Nameless State』 didn’t give any response. So, the Sage King finally gives up and relieves the siege.”
This time nobody died so this can be considered a breather episode. Ranstia fill a glass with water and drink several glass worth of them. All this talking of dead people make her throat parched and Prisistka head dizzy.
“Even if he called the Sage King, why he choose to keep the siege for that long?”
Waiting in the same place for 40 years seems like a stupid plan for Prisistka. This triggers Ranstia rather famous ‘Exposition Mode’ function. Prisistka regret this too late.
“Well... It’s a very long and bothersome story... But many scholars think that the Sage King true motive is not lies in conquering the 『Nameless State』. But, by keeping the various nations Army in long term obligation of besieging the Golden Wall, he checked the war potential in the continent by several levels.
The needs for supplying the Coalition Army for the Grand Siege also help to stimulate extensive road network construction that spans the entire length of continent, encourage large scale goods movement and encourage economy development and foster cooperation between different countries that resulting in the acceptation of 『One Continental Currency and Banking Systems』 that’s independent from any major powers, and also most of the soldiers and camp followers eventually settled on the surrounding country that in essence, a transmigration from the densely populated West Coast Nations to the still sparse populated East Coast Nations.
These help to reduce the chronic famine and land dispute problem in West Coast and shortage of manpower to work the land in East Coast.”
There also numerous political, economical and demographical background tidbits in the Grand Siege, but better leave it for another time, the Princess won’t interested in it anyway, think Ranstia.
“I think Sage King is unquestionably is a Wise King.”
Prisistka giving her acknowledge to the past genius king, although she didn’t understand many parts of Ranstia previous explanation.
“Well, we had been sidestepped quite a bit. Let’s continue our story. The Seventh 『Nameless State』 Invasion happens 45 years ago. It was the greatest war disasters of Midzu Continent History, the so called 『The Grand Failure』. The 『Great Rajul Empire』 under the Fanist Dynasty unites the whole Central Lands and dreamed to incorporate the largely undeveloped the North-East Regions to accommodate their large population and economic interests. But even with their renowned Million Army they still lack resources to subdue the region’s naïve populace. So they turn their eyes to plundering the riches of 『Nameless State』 to improve their economic situation.
They even asked the various nations including our 『Seven Kingdom Alliance』, the 『Four Magic Academies』, and Nomad hordes even various mercenaries and adventures groups for help with the promise of lucrative loot distribution. So, then a gigantic Seventh Invasion Army composed from 1.500.000 of armed men, soldiers, horsemen, knights, wyvern rider and never seen before 5.000 archmages and other mages try to storms and burst the South Gem Gate. Your grandfather also participated in this battle; well I think you know how the story ends…”
When she heard Ranstia words, Prisistka remembered her now passed-away grandfather’s tales. One of his tales is when he stills a hot blooded young man that had just inherited the throne. Seeking glory, he personally leads a battalion of elite knights to join the Seventh Invasion Army. But they meet their untimely ends on a single golden armored knight’s blade. Her grandfather is lucky because his subordinate sacrificed their lives to protect him and secure his escape. This tragic event and loss of his loyal men pushes her grandfather to held a pacifist view in his later life and educate her father to become a peace embracing ruler to avoid repeating the horror of war on the future generations.
“Why they are so stubborn to invade the 『Nameless State』? It never does anything hateful right?”
Prisistka doesn’t understand, why all this many men loss their lives trying to attack a peaceful nation that doesn’t do anything.
“For Glory… For Pride… For Wealth… There are many motivations Princess. Because the 『Nameless State』 is in isolation for a long time, it doesn’t have any allies. No one would concern to send help for it, if it was invaded by a foreign power, so no need to fear for international intervention or reprisals. Also, Princess, if you think about it, the manpower and wealth to build the 『Golden Walls』 and 『Gem Gates』 is frighteningly sky high, also the material composing it is in many ways is similar to many 『Wonders』. It wouldn’t e strange that there are many think that beyond those Golden Walls lays mythical treasures and unbelievable riches. Those who can control it will control the whole continent. If only you can just beat those ludicrous 『Guardian』, of course.”
Ranstia turn her body to the direction of the walls of 『Nameless State』 on the horizon and make a grasping gesture on the air.
“But no one ever succeed…”
Prisistka gives a rather mean smirk, because she feel it was stupid.
“But it was the dreams and ambitions of many adventures, heroes, kings and conqueror in this continent. To become He Who Overcome the Unconquerable 『Nameless State』. The so called ultimate existence.”
Ranstia think that most of her friends back at the academy times hold a dream to unravel the mystery surrounding 『Nameless State』. So is she, but in a more peaceful way.
“I see… But you haven’t answered my question... and just give history lesson… although it’s very informative.”
Prisistka think that half an hour is already passed by looking at the water clock. This takes too much time, so next time she just grab random officials and threate- ask him nicely for answers. Yes, this is what she should do in the future. Prisistka think.
“Princess… Do you still not understand? *sigh* If you learn the history carefully, Your Highness can see that although the 『Nameless State』 repeatedly get invaded by various nations, they never retaliate by counter invading the invader’s homeland or demand a winner treaty or compensation. They just keep silent for more than 600 years. The 『Gems Gate』 is always closed, no one ever go in or out.
But now the gate suddenly opened without any kind of clear indication about the purpose or intention from the 『Nameless State』 side. The Nation, that had a small Knight Corps equal to a whole army and can take over a country in just a day. This can be an opportunity for first step of successful diplomatic contact or the first footnote of history about the birth of a new Conquering Army. We now stand at the important Crossroad of Time. What the 『Nameless State』 do can influence the entire continent.”
Ranstia gives a rather grand speech and looks at the confused Princess face. She again sighed, thinking about this sheltered spoiled girl that will bear a burden of the New Age in which the unpredictable way of future is still vague. If there was a future…
Little did they know, both of them will be on the middle of that Crossroad, but that is the story for the next opportunity...
Unknown to Mizdu Continent citizens… 『Nameless State』 had its own rather unexpected circumstance…
So, let’s turn the narration clock back to just 45 years ago… Just several hours after the Seventh Invasion Army had been beaten… In the 『Nameless State』…