223 War brewing

15th July 1574


Seeing the state of the man, Kristina didn't even bother trying to ask him any questions, instantly gesturing at her men. In a flash, several servants came up with a makeshift stretcher before placing the deadly exhausted man on them and carrying him closer to their lady.

"My lady, your father is requesting royal reinforcements. Only the combined power of the entire country…"

"Do not speak. Rest now, and you will tell us everything later. Oh, do you have any letters on you?"

While I didn't want to take this man's words on the face value, either someone was playing a game of shadows with me, or my actions really brought upon the so-called butterfly effect. After all, in my original timeline, with how Russian's wanted to place their own ruler on the Commonwealth throne, they didn't dare to spark any flames of war before the king was finally decided!

"Yes… In my horse…"

Those were the last word that we heard from the messenger before he was taken away somewhere deeper into the mansion. Yet it didn't mean that it was the end for the troubles for me now!

"Sir Mike… If this man's words come true, will you be willing to do me the favour of informing the capital of the situation? If the forces of the enemy are truly as great as this man mentioned them to be, then without noble assembly, we won't have any chance at defending our lands!"

Noble assembly, one of the traditions that allowed Commonwealth to wield a surprisingly huge military force despite how undisciplined and most often than not, weak it was in its core. Due to the immense population of the nobility when compared to the other European nations, when the Senate called for the noble assembly, every able man of the noble lineage was bound by the law to appear at the gathering place, along with the force befitting his economical status. 

Yet while by itself it could buy us some time to stall the invasion, without a clear leading role for the entire country, even said the noble assembly would be powerless to stop the war from destroying the country!

"My lady, I would do so even without you asking. As such, could I ask for the favour of being present while you will read the content of the message from your father?"

While the words of the messenger held some value, I would never trust them as much as to move all my resources and focus towards war. In fact, I never intended to rely on the noble assembly to turn this war around, as if the Muscovites were following the future Zhukov, then unless I could somehow break the morale of the entire army in a single, decisive victory, then the war would turn into a prolonged period of madness that would bring ruin to both sides!

"I will allow that. Men, fetch the letter and bring it to me."

Instantly jumping to fulfil the order of their lady, various servants and even nobles ran towards the doors, only to come back a moment later, holding a tattered piece of paper on their hands as if it was some kind of sacred child that could not be harmed by any means.

Yet even after Kristina got it in her hands, rather than reading it out loud, she skimmed through the content with her own eyes before passing this piece of paper to me with her normally smooth forehead now scarred by a long wrinkle.

Taking the paper to my hands, I quickly scanned it.

"... overwhelming advantage in terms of numbers…"

"... estimated to bring nearly two hundreds of thousands of people…"

"... like locusts, eating anything and everything on their path…"

Seeing that this messenger was not exaggerating at all, I realised that this event was kind of too big to be caused by my own actions alone. There was no way that such a huge army would be assembled in just those few months that I lived in this timeline if there wasn't someone pulling the strings from behind!

Did that mean that I wasn't the only one who was transported through the time? Was this entire life of mine nothing else but ultra-detailed and realistic experience of the world Universalis five, game?!

"Fuck… That's not good… No, we don't have time to waste. Given the circumstances, I hope you can help me get as much gunpowder as you can, as I will be recreating the weapons that I deemed to be too brutal and lethal to be used in any real scale wars. By the time I will get back from the capital, I hope to see a huge pile of fine gunpowder in my storage back in the mining town, west of the Sandomir. In exchange, I will supply as many rifles as my workers will be capable of producing, along with the infamous reaper guns!"

Given the nature of the war that apparently already started and was ongoing for as long as it took this messenger to reach the hinterlands of the country all the way from Commonwealth eastern borders, only by creating a new and more efficient model of machine guns could I hope to make any real impact on its outcome.

After all, nothing was more discouraging for the simple folks to charge ahead, that the sights of entire swaths full of their comrades falling apart after the wave upon wave of bullets would shred them to pieces!

"Elia, you will be returning back to Tarnów. Take all the profits front he marketplace and send recruit as many able-bodied men as the money would allow in the long term. El, you take the fastest horse of ours and travel to the mining town. Pass them the news to focus all their efforts on multiplying the production of the guns and their parts. Ask some of the craftsmen to open my drawer and pull the blueprint for the reaper guns from it. If they can improve it then great, if not, ask them to just produce what they can. Both of you, take five men with you each, I don't want to risk anyone harming you on the way. I myself will be going to the capital!"

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