Someone spread the word about allowing them to return to their country, and everyone in the camp was talking about it now.
"Is it true, Lord Baron?" Mond, Yoshk and the other platoon jarls went to Cardoj for confirmation.
When the baron nodded slightly, the faces of the platoon jarls lit up. They had been in the army since the beginning of the war and away from home for six years. No matter how tough they looked on the outside, they would still feel homesick. Being allowed to return home was an exceptional benefit.
Although the war had ended, many uprisings broke out in Shalor. Even though the main force of the Faustian army was still in Audis, there were a lot of Faustian soldiers who were active throughout the whole of Shalor's territory.
The suppression of rebels and the annihilation of bandits were carried out in an orderly manner in the occupied areas. Locke was also very surprised when he received the news.
Originally, he thought that his unit would be deployed by the ministry of war to guard a city in Shalor as many troops had already been sent out in the past two days.
Of course, it was a good thing to be able to return home. Locke stopped thinking about the reasons as the decision of the elites wasn't something a platoon jarl like him could appraise.
Audis' palace was originally a gathering place for the Shalorian king and nobles, but it was now for Kenzir and the Faustian elites'.
"Have you decided on sending which troops back?" Kenzir sat in the hall. A long table was placed horizontally in the centre of the hall, and the nobles and commanders stood on the sides of it.
Marmen and De Sandro sat on the right side near the front, while Shia sat on the left.
"Yes." Marmen stood up and passed a list to an attendant, who then handed it to Kenzir.
Kenzir took the list and read through it carefully. After a while, he made a decision. "Alright, let these troops return first!"
After that, he turned to look at Shia and said, "Shia, I'll appreciate it if you could help my father to stabilise the situation when you return home."
"Yes, Your Highness!" Shia accepted his order.
Shalor's end was announced after the destruction of Audis. As the victorious party, Faustian hadn't faced the joy of their victory but the pressure from all parties instead.
Aomar hadn't received the declaration yet due to the long distance. Meanwhile, the neighbouring nations were eager to grab a piece of flesh from Faustian.
Karaman, which was located in the northeast, sent their Jungle Trekker division and Barbarian division out to be stationed in Morphey Forest.
Gondor, which was located in the west, dispatched their armoured division to be stationed at Citadel Alweiho next to Faustian.
Even Hozey, a small kingdom in the southeast, sent two of their royal cavalry companies out.
A storm was coming!
The most surprising thing was that Ligia Union, who always had an ambivalent stance towards Faustian, had also reduced the number of their food exports to Faustian. The nobles of Ligia also dispatched a division of their most elite knights to Faustian's borders.
Fortunately, ever since Bideslane had been occupied by the Faustians, it had become devoted to agricultural development. Although Ligia had restricted their food exports, the food produced by Bideslane was temporarily enough to sustain them.
Although the attitudes of Faustian's neighbouring nations were still unclear, their intentions were obvious; they all wanted to take advantage of the situation.
Back in Felor, the Faustian king announced firmly to the group of clamouring nobles in front of him, "We're not going to fight in another battle again, but if we do, we're not afraid of them!" The king had just won the war against Shalor and felt on the top of the world.
The nobles in front of him were all members of the noble council and the House of Lords. These men were the ones who chickened out during the war but also asked for spoils the moment the war ended.
When the neighbouring nations showed their hostility towards Faustian, these cowards started talking nonsense. A brainless man even proposed to cede a part of Shalor's land in exchange for peace. The king really wanted to break open the head of this brainless man to see what was inside. Who would've thought that it was just yesterday that the very same nobles were discussing how to distribute Shalor amongst themselves?
The king's confidence stopped the uproar. Being the subordinates of an iron-blooded king boosted their sense of security. Not all the nobles were short-sighted. "We should talk it out with them," someone suggested.
"Yes, of course!" The king gave the noble his approval. "But now isn't the time yet, we shall wait till the day our troops return!"
The king's words stirred up a commotion.
"The troops are withdrawing?"
"What about the occupied Shalorian land?"
"The Shalorians will rise in rebellion!"
The nobles were obviously shocked by the king's words.
"Of course, not all of them are withdrawing. Only some of the Lion and Falcon corps are returning, and Margrave Shia will be back too."
The nobles finally calmed down.
"They probably wouldn't dare to make a move if Lion and Falcon are present."
"There's nothing to worry about if Margrave Shia is coming back."
This was the decision that they settled on after a whole night's discussion between the king, Kenzir and four margraves through flame transmission.
A quarter of Lion and Falcon would be led by Shia to return to defend the country. The rest of the two corps and the reorganised Gale would stay there and continue to occupy Shalor.
With the support of an experienced army, coupled with Shia's commands and Faustian garrisons, the neighbouring nations would have to think twice if they wanted to make a move.
Locke, who'd just finished training, exhaled gently and wiped the sweat off his body. He then picked up his longsword and walked towards his tent.
He was going to leave the joint camp in the afternoon and embark on his journey home. He held his excitement in and insisted on completing his daily training plan.
This training plan was suggested by Wyr and Locke accepted his suggestion humbly. The personal experience of a high-rank Knecht had to be useful.
When he returned to his tent, Suzanne had already packed her clothes and sundries. Everything was in order.
Locke was going to bring Suzanne and the others back to his country. He'd already asked a favour from Henry.
"Let's head to the transport team now." Locke grabbed Suzanne, who was still busy doing her stuff. "I'll handle the rest."
"Okay." Locke, who'd just finished practising, gave off a manly aura that made her blush.
"Where are Glace and the others?" asked Locke.
"They went to get food." Locke had his meals in the baron's tent, but it was different for them. They had to go to the kitchen to get their food by themselves.
Corey had always prepared enough food for these non-staff. Besides Locke, other platoon jarls also had women under their care.
After the war ended, Cardoj was very generous in this aspect and didn't set any rules for the platoon jarls.
"You all can go directly after you all are done eating. Don't wait for me," said Locke as he kissed Suzanne on her forehead.
"Okay." Suzanne closed her eyes. She really enjoyed his gentle gestures of affection.
After changing into a clean set of clothes, Locke walked towards the baron's tent. Apart from having lunch there, Cardoj would definitely issue some orders today.
As the vanguard of the entire unit, the cavalry platoon had to be separated from the battalion and report themselves in Bideslane. The baron also had to deal with his personal matters there in the meantime. This was the order given by Cardoj during lunch.
They had to be separated from the battalion because they had to follow De Sandro's cavalry division in this operation.
As for the baron's personal matters, it was about their spoils. Nearly half of their unit's spoils and supplies were currently being pulled by the cavalry platoon's horses.
What surprised Locke was that Cardoj was leading his troops personally and travelled together with his cavalry platoon.
When Locke saw the spoils that piled up like mountains in the cavalry camp, he could understand how Cardoj felt. He probably couldn't feel at ease without presiding over all these fortunes himself. Speaking of fortune, Locke could definitely be considered rich.
Currently, he had 40,000 silver thalers after selling his share of the spoils to the baron's caravan. Plus, he had the sum that Suzanne had earned for him. He already had approximately 60,000 silver thalers in personal assets.
This amount of money was enough to buy a manor in the baron's domain, and he could spend the rest of his life comfortably there.
Locke didn't have any big ambitions. After surviving in the army for so long, he cherished everything that was in the moment even more. He just wanted to live a peaceful and happy life with his family.
In the afternoon, Cardoj's unit embarked on their journey home as countless soldiers in the joint camp looked at them with envy.
Before leaving, Angelina finally met up with Locke after so long.
"You go first, I'll be there at Bideslane soon." Angelina didn't have any sense of confidentiality and just revealed her itinerary casually.
"Okay," replied Locke as he was about to take something out from his chest.
Angelina knew what he wanted to do. "You can keep that moon bracelet with you for now."
The moon bracelet was the protective item that Angelina had given him before the siege of Audis, and he hadn't used it yet up until now.
"It's just a magic item. I can decide who gets to use it," said Angelina. It was a precious item that could withstand an all-out attack from a peak-level Knecht, so it wasn't as simple as she'd made it sound.
It would be better for Angelina to use it for herself, as its nature would be different if it was used by Locke. It was also a rare item in Faustian's treasury.
"You have to take care of yourself too. Stay safe," Locke said. There were way too many people around him and he couldn't do anything that was too eye-grabbing, so he could only express his concern through his gaze.
"Alright." Angelina nodded as she watched him leave.