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Mediterranean Hegemon of Ancient Greece – Chapter 497: Seclians Voyage (II) Bahasa Indonesia

Davos sighed, placed his hands on Philesius’ shoulder and sincerely said, “When faced with Syracuse’s superior strength and the sea becoming their navy’s backyard, Even I would have lost. There is also their supreme commander, Dionysius, a terrifying opponent! Yet you managed to keep most of the soldiers of the two legions intact while cooperating with Crotone to hold on until the reinforcements arrived, allowing us to have the hope to turn defeat into victory. Not only should I thank you, but all the people of Theonia should thank you!”

These words caused Philesius to tear up, which were tears of relief.

“And Drakos’ death is not your fault! I know him well; he is a man that never gave in to defeat, so whether it was him volunteering to remain in the back, getting captured or smashing his head to the ground and dying, he made what he thought was the right choice! Thus the only thing we all can do is capture Dionysius and use his head to pay tribute to Drakos’ soul!”

“Yes!…Yes!!” Philesius nodded again and again.

“How are the soldiers of the fifth legion feeling?” Davos asked with concern again. The fifth legion, a legion composed of Bruttians, had witnessed the death of the legatus that established the fifth legion. And during this period of turmoil in the Brutian region, Davos certainly worried about their state.

“They all can’t wait to fight the Syracusans and avenge Drakos!” Replied Philesius at once.

“That’s good.” Davos then encouraged him by saying, “I ran into your wife, Delia, while leading the army out of Thurii. She asked me to tell you that she and the children are doing well now, and she hopes that you will lead the soldiers to expel the enemy out of Magna Graecia quickly!”

Philesius arrived here depressed with his head bowed and shrunken figure but left feeling relieved and taking big strides.

Davos looked at Philesius’ departing back while thinking in his heart, ‘Philesius is too gentle and not strong-willed enough, a quality that a supreme commander shouldn’t possess. Rather, it is better for him to do paperwork in the Ministry of Military in the future.’

Davos actually had one more reason to thank Philesius that he did not say, ‘The defeat at the Battle of Allaro River resulted in the great weakening of the Greek forces in southern Magna Graecia that they could no longer resist Syracuse. However, isn’t this also true for Theonia?’

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Theonian fleet continued to sail southward and approach the sea near Locri.

Of all the port cities on the east coast, only Locri’s port remained busy with merchant ships, even more so than before the war. Furthermore, the blockade and suppression of the ports of the South Italian Alliance by the Syracusan navy meant that the merchant ships travelling on the eastern and western Mediterranean routes had to transit or trade in the port of Locri.

“Lower the sails!” Seclian looked at the distant patch of sail with a cold gleam in his eyes, “Attack!”

As the salpinxes’ blew, the fleet’s ship gradually spread out, and the sailors excitedly sped up their rowings. And because the merchant ships did not pose any threat to them, it gave them the thrill of abusing the weak and the opportunity to hone their practical experience.

Driven by the high-speed rowing, the ship’s speed reached 13 knots, resulting in the other merchant ships not escaping without the strong wind’s help. And compared with the size of the trireme, the merchant ships were like children facing adults and soon capsized under their impact.

Soon, broken ships, people shouting for help, and lots of large and small supplies filled the sea… And once the ships in the distance saw this tragic sight, they became scared that they fled everywhere. Shortly after, there were no other ships except the Theonian fleet on the sea outside Locri’s port.

Before leaving, Seclian led the fleet back and forth several times outside Locri’s port.

Although the Locrians were furious about this, they could do nothing about it because the Syracusans had taken away their 30 triremes two days ago on the pretext of fighting the Theonian fleet. And now that they see enemy ships strutting outside their port, a bad feeling arose in their hearts.

“It seems they have defeated the Syracusan navy again!” Demodokas said with gloom.

“Yes!” Phantepes said worriedly, “From now on, the Theonian ships will control the east coast, which would cause a great blow to our maritime trade! But, I am more worried about Syracuse losing to Theonia on land as well. After all, the young archon of Theonia has returned to Thurii.”

“It is impossible for Syracuse to lose on land!” Demodokas retorted without hesitation, “You and I have seen with our own eyes the 80,000 armies of Syracuse, which any Greek city-state including Sparta couldn’t resist!”

That said, Demodokas was still a bit upset as he knew that it was all thanks to Dionysius’ support that he held the supreme power in Locri and became the de facto “tyrant”. For this reason, he fiercely suppressed his political opponents and those who opposed him, which naturally caused dissatisfaction among the people. And this discontent was further exacerbated by the fact that to secure supplies for their combat strength and some Syracusan troops, Demodokas levied high “special war taxes” among the city-states’ citizens to increase the city treasury’s revenue to buy war supplies. So if the Syracusan army were to be defeated, he could hardly imagine what the seemingly docile and calm population would do if provoked by his political enemies.

“With our empty city, it would be dangerous if the Theonian army lands here!” Demodokas suddenly said, “So we must immediately call back our troops stationed in Medma.”

Phantepes was taken aback and asked, “Then what about Medma?”

“Rhegium’s army suffered heavy losses, so even if they want to attack Medma, they wouldn’t capture it fast and would allow us to send reinforcements at any time.” Replied Demodokas.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Theonian fleet continued to sail south and soon reached the southernmost tip of Magna Graecia.

Seclian’s ship was at the forefront as they carefully led the fleet around the peninsula’s tip, turned north, and entered the Strait of Messina.

And after sailing for a while, they approached Rhegium.

Although it was currently dusk, Seclian was a little more curious about the city of Messina. After all, the port of Messina is at the narrowest part of the strait, just a dozen kilometres away.

Back when the Syracusans rebuilt the city of Messina after getting destroyed by the Carthaginians, they moved the place and abandoned the port. However, it was soon occupied and vigorously developed by immigrants dominated by Syracusans, Locrians and their allies. Before the outbreak of the war with Magna Graecia, Syracuse also sent a fleet to maintain the port’s security, controlling the ships going in and out of the strait and blocking Rhegium’s port. And although all the triremes of the Messinian fleet were moved to Scylletium and Theonia won the naval battle a few days ago, leaving only about 30 small and medium-sized ships in the port, the Rhegians were still no match against them.

Thanks to the Syracusan scouting ships spotting the Theonian fleet from a distance, they quickly withdrew the ships left to the port, resulting in Seclian’s fleet not seeing the cruising Syracusan ships when they arrived at Rhegium’s port. Otherwise, a battle would have ensued.

But after considering the lateness of the day and the orders of King Davos, Seclian had to temporarily restrain his impulse and ordered the fleet to continue head north and sail into Rhegium’s port.

The Rhegians had not seen any ships enter their port for two months, so when they heard Theonia’s fleet was coming, they all rushed out of the city and ran to the port.

Under the guidance of the Rhegian patrol ship, Seclian’s fleet entered the military port. But while the Theonian sailors were disembarking, the Rhegians crowded around them and asked loudly about the war situation.

It’s not a wonder they were so anxious. After all, they knew nothing of the outside world as the Syracusan fleet tightly blockaded Rhegium’s port for over a month. Normally speaking, it would be difficult to completely block a coastal city because ships couldn’t stay on the sea for a long time; they needed to be regularly maintained, towed to the shore to bask in the sun, remove the maggots, and the sailors need to come ashore to rest, eat and drink water. But with the close proximity of the city of Messina to Rhegium that they were only a dozen of kilometres apart across the strait, the Syracusans were so determined to completely blind the Rhegians and cause them to panic that they divided their fleet stationed in Messina into several groups and blockaded Rhegium in turn without interruption. Besides that, Rhegium’s land access to the outside was blocked on the east by the city of Locri and the Large Locrian army stationed in the city of Medma on the west. Since their defeat in the last battle, the Rhegium-Taurania joint army has fully withdrawn to the south of the Marro River.

Thus the arrival of the Theonian fleet was a great surprise for the Rhegians, especially when they learned that the Theonian fleet had utterly defeated the Syracusan navy and had become the new ruler of the coast around Magna Graecia, which resulted in great cheers erupting in the military port. Thus, the Rhegians welcomed the Theonians into Rhegium with a celebratory parade surrounding the Theonian sailors while they sang and danced.

That night, the polemarchos of Rhegium – Athelycus entertained Seclian.

At the banquet, Seclian told them the story of the great naval battle on the Gulf of Taranto, which attracted bursts of cheering and admiration…

At this moment, Athelycus coughed a few times and asked loudly, “Navarch Seclian, Rhegium has generously lent all of our triremes out of friendship to Theonia that we were even subjected to a long blockade by the Syracusans for not having a fleet. Now that Theonia has managed to defeat the Syracusan navy with our help, isn’t it time for you to return our ships?”


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