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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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That's awfully ambitious of Trebizond. I'm certain they'll regret that decision. :D
I'm sure they just want to be part of the Spanish empire. :D

Carlos II

Chapter 260

The Serbian army was lured into a trap as thirty thousand Spanish soldiers descended upon their thirteen thousand soldiers in Macedonia. The numbers advantage for Spain already saw a very one-sided battle but the quality of the Spanish soldiers saw the battle last only three days with the Serbian army in full retreat. General Leopoldo gave chase to eliminate whatever resistance the Serbians could offer.

While the Spanish armies were giving chase, Byzantium soldiers were marching into Macedonia where they were seen as liberators by the locals who had been under Serbian oppression for far too long. There was hardly any resistance as the local garrisons grew tired of their former rulers. The gates were opened and the province, along with Edessa, were both occupied peacefully with minimal bloodshed.

 

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Carlos II

Chapter 261

There were no notable battles to mention in the war between Spain and Trebizond which lasted only a few months at most depending on the source. The heathen nation did have an army but it was so insignificant that the Trebizond army was crushed in a few hours moments after it stepped outside the Trebizond capital. The sieges were equally uneventful since the garrison had more or less accepted their defeat in the face of such a powerful enemy.

The Trebizond capital held out the attackers for a few months before supply shortages and manpower shortages saw the defenders finally capitulate. For being the aggressor, Trebizond was made an example by being annexed into the Spanish empire, not that this wasn't what the heathens desired. Only a detachment had to be sent to deal with the heathen nation so the war against Serbia still went smoothly for the Spanish empire.

 

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Carlos II

Chapter 262

With the relatively high numbers of heathens and heretics still living in Spain yet to be converted to the one true faith, Carlos II wanted to do something to speed up the conversion process. He met with the religious community which was certainly a rare occasion considering how much he despised them. They did have a great suggestion which the Spanish king would be a fool to not utilize for his growing empire.

By adopting a mandatory church attendance policy, Carlos II looked to instill religious values and beliefs into those following the wrong faith. Those who refused would be imprisoned or executed which didn't bother the Spanish monarch one bit. The policy would also improve the relations with the Pope and everyone at the time knew the relations between Spain and the Papal State hadn't been good to say the least.

 

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Didn't take long to be proven right about Trebizond. :p

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition.
Well, we all knew they want to be part of the greater Spanish Empire. :p

Carlos II

Chapter 263

Unexpectedly, the Mamluks declared a conquest war on Spain. If the ruler of the Mamluks had any plans of taking land, he had made a grave mistake given that a Spanish army, nearly four times the size of the entire Mamluks army, was stationed nearby. Carlos II had foreseen something like this happening following the war declared by Trebizond and the extra preparation had paid off.

This war was also very one-sided with the Mamluks losing prestige along with their existing alliances, not that these alliances mattered much for Spain. Carlos II was confident that, given enough time, all of the Middle East would belong to the Spanish Empire. The question was not if but, rather, when. The more serious threats were still closer to home like the nations in the French region.

 

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Carlos II

Chapter 264

Denouncing the heretics was one thing. Taking action to fight the spread of Protestantism and Reformed faiths was a whole different matter. The Spain under Carlos II took the steps to begin what was known as The Counter-Reformation. The relations between Spain and the Papal State had been mending over the decades to the point where the Papal State was willing to trust the decisions of those part of The Council of Córdoba.

Missionaries were given more authorities to change those who were seduced by the heresy. Some of the complaints made by the heretics were addressed but the main focus was still attacking the heretical beliefs as they ventured away from the teachings of the Almighty. Carlos II was also going to utilize this decision for the missionaries who were converting heathens who had just recently joined his empire.

 

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Carlos II

Chapter 265

As though the lessons of Trebizond and The Mamluks weren't learned, the heathen nation of Saruhan also declared a jihad on Spain. No one could make sense of what made a nation with a pitiful army of four thousand attack a mighty empire like Spain but Spanish troops, being in the vicinity, just had to be redeployed to deal with this minor inconvenience to add a new province to Spain.

The victory was swift and Saruhan was annexed within a month of her declaring war. On the bright side, this gave Spain more territory in Anatolia where Hungary was still an annoyance. Each province taken for Spain meant one less province available to the other Catholic nation. Carlos II was still finding an excuse to attack Hungary as he didn't like the presence of another Catholic nation in the region.

 

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Carlos II

Chapter 266

The Serbian garrisons had been more stubborn than the Spanish generals first expected. The sieges dragged out longer than they had to and the peace finally took place years after the war took place. Ironically enough, this war began with Armenia and somehow Serbia was brought into the mix. While the war didn't benefit Spain directly, Byzantium was the biggest winner once the peace deal was signed.

Two provinces, Edessa and Macedonia, were ceded from Serbia to Byzantium. The two provinces were once valuable territory for the Greek state before her decline to almost oblivion. The fact that Spain was gifting these provinces to Byzantium saw better relations between overlord and vassal. Byzantium was growing stronger to the point where many in Spain expected her to actively participate in future Spanish wars.

 

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Carlos II

Chapter 267

Carlos II took some time to admire the new map of Anatolia. The region was growing increasingly Spanish with only a few wars needed to resolve the issue. The Hungarian provinces definitely ruined the borders which was why he searched for reasons to attack the Catholic nation. The region wasn't big enough to be split between two Catholic nation and Spain would be victorious at the end.

Serbia would also be finally converted to the true faith following the last war. Orthodoxy was merely another heresy that needed to be eliminated like Protestantism and Reformed faiths so this was a major blow to the Orthodox church. Conversions in Anatolia had been going smoothly for Spain, especially once The Counter-Reformation was enacted. Anatolia would be all Catholic in the foreseeable future.

 

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Carlos II

Chapter 268

Carlos II had suddenly became a fanatic when it came to missionaries. He even went as far as supporting the new missionary order called the Society of Jesus approved by the Papal State. This action had small impact on Spain herself since only a thousand men were needed to make this missionary order possible. The benefits from supporting the Jesuits far exceeded the initial costs of investment.

In addition to being more persuasive to those following the wrong faith, the Jesuits were far more educated which benefited Spain as a whole. Jesuits could educate the poor which meant the government could continue spending her resources in the crusades against the heathens. Yet, some were wondering about Carlos II's true intentions since he seemed to be siding with the religious community which he emphasized he despised in the past.

 

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Carlos II

Chapter 269

One thing Carlos II was reminded from the conquest war declared by The Mamluks was the pitiful existence of the heathen nation. That war was more of an annoyance than everything but Carlos II preferred Spain to have the initiative. He would rather not have these wars opening another front for Spain stretching his soldiers even thinner. The Spanish monarch felt the time had arrived for the end of this nation.

The Mamluks wasn't a problem one bit as the heathen nation was annexed a month into the conflict. Syria put up more resistance but she lacked the armies to be a serious threat. Carlos II had no interests in Syrian land since the more valuable provinces were already taken. He merely had the Syrian sultan denounce his claim to Damascus and ended the conflict on a relatively happy note before a serious campaign.

 

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Carlos II

Chapter 270

The Spanish monarch wished to make a bigger name of himself. This meant he needed to accomplish something unheard of in Europe in the last few decades, if not centuries. The Middle East had largely remained in the hands of the heathens and Carlos II looked to change all of that. With Spanish armies readied up in Anatolia, Carlos II declared war on Persia, one of the stronger nations in Middle East.

Since the war against the Ottomans, no other heathen nation would pose as big of a challenge as Persia. Persia had decades to solidify her control in the region but her only mistake was sharing a border with Spain. Carlos II wasn't going to rest until he defeated these heathens. Persia was going through some instability so this was as best an opportunity to strike as ever.

 

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There seems to be an awful lot of Muslim nations with suicidal tendencies. Saruhan went the way of Trebizond fairly quickly. :p
When you have AIs as rulers, they never pick the smartest path. :p

Carlos II

Chapter 271

Having never fought the Persians in the past, the Spanish generals chose to be more cautious when they engaged their enemies. Much of Persia was still shrouded in mystery so there was a high possibility the Persians might have left some surprises once the Spanish troops ventured too deep. Carlos II made it clear to the generals that they should remain on the defensive until they had sufficient intelligence to go in within enemy territory.

The province of Giresun was the first location of a major battle between the two sides. The Persian troops of about fifteen thousand strong marched into Giresun where they thought they had the numbers advantage. What they learned soon after was this was a trap set by the Spanish to get them engaged with the Spanish army already there. Once encircled, the defeat of the Persians was inevitable.

 

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Carlos II

Chapter 272

There were numerous other battles where the victor wasn't decided until the very end but the Battle of Al Karak, while not at a scale of a size like many other battles, signified the turning point of the war. The Persians had, by this point, lost much of her trained soldiers with new recruits rushing to stem the flow of the Spanish advances. The Spanish armies, with plenty of men backing them up, marched forward with practically no opposition.

The Persians had practically completely collapsed at this point with many of their officers dead. Rebels were also rising which only complicated the situation for both the Persians and Spanish. For the Persians, they lacking the soldiers to deal with these uprisings putting them at the mercy. For the Spanish, the rise of rebels meant their men had to focus some of their time and energy on the enemies who looked to occupy Persian provinces themselves.

 

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Carlos II

Chapter 273

The untimely losses for the Persians meant they had nothing standing between the Spanish armies and their provinces. Persia might be enormous in terms of land sizes but many of their rich provinces were being occupied due to their close proximity to Spanish provinces. If the war was extended any longer, it would hurt Persia more than anything and the Persian sultan was wise to agree to a conclusion.

Carlos II was unable to take more than four provinces. He learned that the Persian sultan drove a hard deal and he wasn't too pleased about extending the war indefinitely either. He was already investing a lot of resources and manpower in the Middle East so, if there were any nasty surprises in other parts of the empire, he would be struggling to deal with them. A peace might benefit both nations more than what he thought at first.

 

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Carlos II

Chapter 274

One of the things Carlos II wanted to avoid was the Ottomans having the initiative. With his men busy fighting Persia and deep in enemy territory, the Ottomans might get some ideas and attack before Spanish soldiers were ready at their border. Carlos II might not admit it openly but the Ottomans were certainly one of the bigger threats in the area until Spain won another war to permanently cripple the heathen nation.

Preparations were quickly done and war was declared. The Ottomans did resist but their numbers were far fewer and their allies couldn't assist them in a meaningful way. A crushing defeat of the lone Ottoman army resulted in the eventual full occupation of Ottoman territory. Four more Turkish provinces were transferred over in the peace deal which saw the Ottoman power in Anatolia taking a another significant hit.

 

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Carlos II

Chapter 275

The Hungarian monarch no doubt got a nasty surprise one day when he learned about his excommunication. Carlos II had been in search of an excuse to attack Hungary for so long but he had no luck for a fairly long time. It was an ordinary day when his discussion with his advisers led to the idea of excommunication. Finding a reason to excommunicate the Hungarian monarch wasn't exactly the most difficult task in the world.

The great relations between Spain and the Papal State only made the excommunication that much easier. Suddenly, Hungary found herself the enemy of all Catholic nations which didn't bode well with her. Of course, there was also the matter of Hungary siding with nations of heretical nations which only made the excommunication that much easier. Carlos II knew time was ripe to attack Hungary.

 

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Carlos II

Chapter 276

War was declared and the Spanish troops did have some problems. First, Bulgaria participated alongside Hungary so making progress in the Balkans would be fairly difficult. Defeating them would require a concentrated attack against both the Hungarian and Bulgarian troops. Secondly, the entry of Prussia meant there would be some unpredictable factors in the war.

Prussia didn't have a direct land connection to Hungary so her navy would no doubt be active and attacking other parts of Spain if given a chance. Their troops might be more dangerous because Spanish soldiers were concentrated in Anatolia. If a large Prussian army was able to land, for example, in Iberia, then Spain wouldn't be in the great position to deal with the threat. Carlos II ordered his fleet to remain vigilant as a result.