The majority of the Enbala kingdom was built on the first or second largest oasis in the whole Rubul desert.
And sitting in the throne within that kingdom’s royal palace and being served by beautiful women was a young man.
He had tattoos all over his body, and also had many ear and mouth piercings.
His name was Kasim.
He had lived his life as this kingdom’s prince before, but due to his wrongdoings, he was banished from the palace.
Since then, he has been dominating sand raiders from all over one group after the other until, before anyone knew it, he was commanding a great force.
And then, just a few days prior, he came back to this oasis to conquer it with his impressive military. Before long, he was sitting in the throne that was denied of him.
“So, is it true that you found where the remnants are hiding?”
“Sure did, boss! No two ways about it!”
A certain report had been delivered to him.
That report stated that the queen and the group that escaped with her have gathered in a small oasis and were staying there to prepare to take back the kingdom.
“So, the desert has chosen to spare her. What a lucky girl. But her soldiers might not be so lucky. What can she do with the few that has somehow survived?”
Kasim sneered ‘kukuku’, but the one doing the report continued.
“About that, it looked like about 200 of them have survived…”
Upon hearing a higher-than-expected number, Kasim frowned.
If there were 200 of them, that would mean most of the Enbala kingdom’s elites have managed to survive.
Without any preparation, even a well-trained soldier wouldn’t find it easy to survive in the harsh desert.
Due to that, Kasim had estimated that a mere 50 or so of the queen’s forces would survive at the most.
“Tch, what a pain they are. No other choice then. Oi, Zel, take a group and hunt those remnants down.”
“Understood. How many people should I bring?”
The person named Zel was one of Kasim’s most trusted retainers.
He was once the leader of a gang of sand raiders, but after suffering defeat against Kasim’s gang, he has since served under him.
“Right, even demoralized, they are still elite soldiers. And if Maribel is alive—making their morale higher—they’re more a pain in the neck. Hmm, how about you bring 500 soldiers?”
“500? Yeah, that should do. Actually, you sure you can spare that many?”
His large gang of sand raiders consisted of at most 1500 people.
Ruling this kingdom—whose population was several times their numbers—required a proportionately large military force. Even as they were now, uprisings were happening here and there.
“’Course. Who do you think I am? I’m more than enough by myself, you know.”
Like that, Zel took 500 sand raiders and left to hunt the remnants.
While watching that group depart, the man who reported the whereabouts of the queen and the other remnants to Kasim secretly grinned.
<<Satin-sama, please pass this along to Luke-sama: we have succeeded in making 500 sand raiders split from the main force. There should be only 1000 remaining in the capital. 900 of those should be patrolling the capital. In other words, only a hundred or so should be guarding the palace.>>
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“Chief Luke, I just received a report from the sand raider we asked to infiltrate. He says 500 of the enemy force have departed from the oasis to hunt the queen and the other remnants.”
“Understood. Thanks, Satin.”
After the captured sand raiders were fully rehabilitated and had a change of heart, we had sent them back. Our plan was to get them to reduce the enemy force. It would seem they succeeded.
If we didn’t count the troops patrolling the city, there should be only a hundred or so left to defend the palace.
“The ground above should already be the oasis of the city. I’ve connected this path to somewhere inside the palace, so let’s continue down this way.”
We were currently headed to the enemy base through an underground tunnel beneath the desert.
Traveling in the sky would obviously alert the enemy on our approach, after all.
Thanks to 2 weeks of intense training, the queen’s group had gotten a whole lot stronger.
So much so that they should be able to take their country back now.
But then, I noticed something.
“…huh? We’re going to be fighting soon, so why aren’t you, I don’t know, more alive?”
Before we departed, they were saying stuff like ‘even if it costs me my life, we’re going to take our kingdom back!’
In response to my confused look, the queen’s group shouted something.
“““It’s because this isn’t what we expected at all!”””