Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly
The earth-shattering, thunder-like hoofbeats gradually filled everybody’s ear, beating more dust that even overshadowed the sun.
Anxiety has been tearing my heart so I kept urging my troops to go faster, much faster.
The second day into the borders of Swabia had seen the first group of the rebels. Though a group of small hostilities who had initiated the rebellion beforehand was like an ant to my legions of 70, 000, during the following days, the constant encounter with more rebelling armed forces had hindered our marching speed substantially.
I was furious because if I kept on traveling like this, it’ll be too late even I was able to fight all the way down to the walls of Divine City.
At this very moment, an incident had inspired me: one scout squadron of the 2nd IGT regiment had encountered an enemy army as large as a full regiment during a preluding reconnaissance mission; however, this army which consisted of former PUF soldiers did nothing but turned tails because my men were still kitted with captured AUF armors!
On receiving this news, I weighed the pros and cons, then eventually ordered to put away my Dark Army flags and disguise as an AUF troop who was advancing to DC at full speed.
All captured AUF kits were centralized and allocated to my vanguarding and rear units. AUF army flags, large or small, were ripped out from desolated corners by logistics officers. Moreover, due to the fact that every single personnel in my troops was kitted with a horse, we were actually like the ‘lightning fast’ AUFs.
Currently, a considerable chunk of the weapons and armors my soldiers held and wore had formerly belonged to AUF soldiers. A huge amount of AUF army flags were also carried during the Clay City battle. Even, all of the horses were from AUF. At this moment, we were the Asmodian forces. Whenever I traveled close to a friendly province, my intelligence system will notify them ahead of time; whenever I encounter rebels, we march and slaughter.
As for the rebels, for one thing, AUF had been already scared the crap out of them; for another, they were much stunned by us, the ‘AUF troop’ who broke the treaty and traveled across the Line; for a third, Swabia was not their empire that worth their lives to fight. Thus for most of the times, they chose to abandon to fight back or do minor resistance.
The new method worked better than anticipated.
The fact that we were Swabians in the first place had enabled us to be extremely familiar with the domestic geography. Where the supply warehouses or meadows located, we rest there. All of my troops traveled days and nights, then finally, my striker forces had made their progress at 400 miles to Divine City by the 6th day’s afternoon.
The astonishing speed had enabled us to travel 1,200 miles from Swabian border to inner land within 6 days.
On the 6th night, the first piece of intelligence regarding the DC rebellion reached my hand.
Seeing Marfa with welled eyes, I nearly fell off my horseback.
“Boss, DC… DC has fallen.” Marfa said with his rare sorrow tone, “King Climos Summers and Queen Nashor Schaffner had committed suicide for Swabia the morning the day before yesterday!”
“Are you absolutely sure about that?” Having heard that, I was too shocked to react, “Fischer?”
“Confirmation on the emperor couple, but the Royal Highness had lost without a trace. Words had him had left DC before the rebellion.”
I tried my best to keep calm, then took a deep breathe, both hands gradually loosened. I asked Marfa, “Who held the conspiracy?”
“The Prime Minister! He and his armies had marched into the palace. Source of the armies is unknown, but they were extra-tough to deal with. Troops from other empires were also spotted within DC area.
“What else did Luhrmann do?”
“He had deployed several forces heading out of DC to the same direction after the second day when DC cooled.”
“He sent troops during a time like this?” I bumped my head hard, “They were coming for Fischer?”
“Indeed, I thought so.” Marfa answered, “Boss, are we altering the head direction? How would Fischer react when he had learned about the rebellion? I fear he’s going tooth and nail for Luhrmann.”
“We ought to believe in Fischer. He’s not an impulsive man. Besides, the men Webster and Tennessee are with him. They would not allow Fischer to act on impulse.” I tightened my grip on the hilt, then said with consideration, “Our route to DC has gone meaningless. We must turn back immediately. I’ll detour DC with the 1st Legion and march along towards Darkmoon. Marfa, alert Wilder to spy on Fischer’s whereabouts out of DC and give rebels some trouble. Tell him he must contain the local rebels. They do not come in or out. Everything is for Fischer!”
“Let him know that DC is no longer our capital city once the rebel took it. He’s free to do whatever he wants!” I added, “There’s only one thing, once he receives my order, he must withdraw immediately!”
“Roger, I’m on it!”
Therefore, the 1st Legion turned the opposite direction and marched fiercely for the first key junction from DC to Darkmoon.
After days of marching and annihilating 2 of the minister’s kill squads who intended to track down Fischer along the way, I have arrived. Currently, I was after the 3rd. According to the men I’ve captured’s confession, the minister has yet to get hold of Fischer. He had sent a total of 4 troops as well as a bounty of 500, 000.
We were currently 7~8 days’ ride to Darkmoon and my heart has been grown heavier. I can’t imagine it if I cannot extract Fischer out of the hostile situation sooner.
“Sir,” A horse whinnied and stopped by my ride. The messenger was covered in dust, “we found a troop of 20, 000 down the castle ahead. We believe their intention to be hostile!”
“Can you identify the men in the castle?”
“No, sir!” The orderly replied loudly, “But we have info the troops circulating the castle are the rebels!”
“Slaughter’em!” I gave my order coldly, “Dispatch the wingmen and make contact with the ones in the castle!”
My hand rose and slashed down so my army went from marching to battle station.
First, a dozen orderlies scattered about with fire-red flags. The color represented combat begin. Then 10 light carriages formulated behind in the shape of a line. On each of them placed a war drum and 2 horns.
With another slash of my hand, the surfaces of the 10 drums started vibrating. Chapter ‘Hunt’ from the 36 Tribes’ rhythms resounded on the field. After I had amended the notes, the music turned out to be more magnificent. The neat, mighty strikes of drums were like they were beating on everybody’s heart.
Led by the drums, 2 regiments thrust onward from both sides of the battlefield. Two more regiments outflanked the enemy’s leeways directed by the music. The center units where I was at stayed behind.
The whole formation now resembled a titan that held his hands and the rebels were locked tightly at the center. Such a pattern was utilized and practiced multiple times during the marching. Therefore, all troops were utterly practiced. Under such a setting, undoubtedly the rebels will die.
All troops operated by units. They were not in a hurry to attack. Instead, they finalized the encirclement of the rebels led by the drum, horns, and hoofbeats.
As for myself, I halted my ride on a hillside nearby. The army flag of the AUF’s 2nd warzone stood right behind. Three, four miles apart stood a lonely castle, which was supposed to be built for recreation by a nobleman according to the size of it.
“Sir,” My staff officer told me, “all units in position!”
“Commence operation.” I nodded.
A collective of close to 100 calvary squads stepped onto the stage from all possible directions cruising about.
Since the rebels were running for their lives in the first place, the thought of resistance was never born. My encirclement was roomy to begin with, therefore my rangers targeted the ones who were left alone. A while later when the loners were all put down, the leftovers found themselves safer to stay and run together.
My ranger all came out from regular Darkmoon calvary units. They were experienced, 10 men per team, lances and crossbows in hand, chasing rebels like hunting games.
How could men on their feet outrun horses? Among whinnings, most opposing soldiers fell due to arrows that penetrated their bodies. As for those who were not shot, they were even more miserable because lances pierced them.
Three collections were formed spontaneously among the rebel side. The crowds were simply together without any effective defense.
Soon after that, the rangers have finished their jobs and retreated from the battlefield. The combat was taken over by the big forces in the rear. Thereafter, my drummers altered the rhythm so the first units converged and initiated a new round of assault to the rebels.
Hence the real battle began.
Bows were the primary weapons held by the front units. The first wave of arrows fired to the scattered rebel soldiers. Firing timing was just right so that fewer arrows were gone missing the targets or wasted on a single enemies.
Speaking of the advantage of arrows, as long as they were kept densely, they’ll come out with dreadful lethality. A well-trained battalion will be able to terminate the same amount of enemies with 5 volleys. During the past 10 days, the marching and assaulting along the route had greatly improved my army’s combat attainment. Though they were still unused of regular rider methods, their horsemanship and archery were utterly sufficient to deal an insignificant situation like the one in hand.
As a team of wingmen rose up into the sky and neared the castle to make contact, the battlefield under them was already devilish.
Countless rebels caught bolts with their bodies, striking blood splattered like the most unnatural roses that painted red the earth, the field, and my eyes.
Indeed, they saw that coming. All who had violated the Summers couple will ultimately fall in my hands. The emperor couple was not only my king, but also two elders and dear ones for me.
A short while later, the rioters’ formerly close stand has become scattered due to the arrow onslaught. They have lost the last will to fight and they were not much different than unarmed formers.
But the fury within me was on the edge of eruption, so I urged my horse and joined the assaulting units who were ready to strike.
“Soldiers, you have been trained for 10 days, fought for 10 days. Now you can boastfully call yourselves a veteran.” I said composedly as the morning sunrays brushed my armor and were reversed back to where they came from, “The men at hand, they are the murders who slaughtered our civilians and they are my, Cohen Kheda’s archenemies! Now, I’m commanding you to hold tight your weapons! Kill those rats with your most dreadful ways!”
“Yes, sir!” The neat reply converged and immersed my ears.
“SLANG!” I drawn my black-steel sword then cried, “ASSAULT! GO!”
I have deployed all 4 IGT regiments under my command. They spread out into a charge wave ranging about half a mile wide. Concentrated hoofbeats, earth-shattering noises of war rose to the skies.
Swabian soldiers, one hand reined, the other hand held either spears or war sabers, steadily kicked their horses with the spurs on their heels in order to raise up in speed. Their weapons leveled, blades’ sharp edges roared with dreadful killing wills. Puffs of dust lagged behind them, signaling my unstoppable iron soldiers marching into the rebels.
Howling, desperation overwhelmed the rebels, they who wish they had more than 2 legs were soon caught upon, stirred into the air or knocked over.
Every slash of blade saw a rebel soldier’s fall. Each thrust was accompanied by a scream. They held no defense. They were mere gravels in my eyes. So moments later, every last rebel swine of them were swallowed, cleansed, throat cut, body grinded.
Your blood and lives will be my tribute to the emperor couple!
My black-steel wielded so wildly that my armor, helmet, and even my face found traces of blood spots. If I weren’t restrained by the commander duty, I would have devoted wholeheartedly into this slaughter against the rebels. Eventually, Malphite had a team of IGTs surrounded me for safety.
The earth shivered due to the hoofbeats; death lingered; where my army went, rebels died in all possible ways.
Since the enemies have lost the will to fight, soon after, the battle was close to an end with scattered chase and kill left.
“Sir,” A wingman officer flew by my side and he yelled, “we found His Royal Highness!”
“Fischer?” I reached out my upper body and dragged that wingman over, “Where is him!?”
The wingman was caught off guard, he shrieked, a finger of his remained pointing at the castle at a distance.
Rapture overwhelmed me as I directed my eyes to the castle only to find one of my staff officers had led a group of soldiers down at the gate of the castle as one more staff officer was riding rapidly towards me.
“S… sir!” He halted only inches from me and the excite openly revealed, “His Highness, the prince, Prince Fischer was found unharmed!”
On hearing Fischer was intact, my larynx choked and liquid in my eyes went wild.
I stood there for a short moment then kicked my horse belly for the castle gate as the rest IGTs followed.
Soldiers at the gate dismounted. They did a quick sort-out of the bodies at the entrance. The door was cleared. Some man figures went at the door and stood still. Among them were Tennessee, Webster and the one in between was none other than Fischer!
Fifty steps away from the castle gate, I flipped off the horseback, tossed aside my helmet and strode to the Swabian prince who was standing with a gentle smile.
At this moment, I have lost words at the scene of the unharmed Fischer. The unspeakable feel was beyond any language to describe. The wild joy of reunion, the pleasure of safety, the bitterness over the death of the emperor couple, all these things confounded and churned my entire body.
My fingered lifted slightly. Fischer was the king now. The status of us differentiated.
“CLANG” Two armors clashed, Fischer had me in his arms.
“Cohen, good job.” Fischer cried in my ears, “I knew you’ll never die!”
“Fischer…” I said with much fear, “I wish I had come sooner.”
Our bodies apart but eyes were still into each other’s. The languish face of Fischer’s was still visible and eyes red.
He tapped my shoulder and his lips shift up and down as if he intended to make a sound. Eventually, no word came out of his mouth but the eyes of his were welled with tears.
“It’s good to see you’re all right.” Once again, intangible choked up my sentence, “My friend.”
“I’m fine.” Fischer made sound finally, “I just, I have been worrying about you. My royal father and mother are gone. I cannot lose you, my friend.”
“Toughen up, bro!” I stared at Fischer in his eyes, “Both of us must live to see the day His Royal Majesty and Her Royal Queen are revenged! I’m gonna shred that Luhrmann fucker!”
“We will!” Fischer nodded with utter confidence, “As long as you’re here for me.”
“In this case, Your Grace, please address yourself as the king.” firmly, said I, “Your Grace, you have succeeded as the King of Swabia.”
“I…” Fischer’s eyes told me that he hesitated but the hesitation quickly transformed into sorrow.
“Your Grace, we held lament for the emperor couple. Their death demise, however, is an inevitable fact.” said I, “As long as you assume the rightful and proper name are your army able to exert the most power and do the heart of our Swabian people pledge allegiance.”
“Cohen,” Fischer nodded his head, “you have my word, in the name of the king of Swabia.”
“Yes, Your Grace.”
“Though we’re… I’m the king and you’re my subject, I hope that…” Fischer stared into my eyes earnestly, “… our friendship remains unchanged. You’re still my best friend, my arm and hand!”
“I am, Your Grace.” I said to comply, “I will always treasure this friendship which I value so much.”
“You’d better be.” Fischer took a look at the sky, then said, “Now show me your army. Truthfully, your appearance had me astonished.”
“Er… the army is still wrapping up the leftover fights.” I blushed, “But the king’s safety is atop of the most. Will you give me a while, my king.”
“Have you forgotten that I’ve never feared anything.” Fischer’s eyebrow stirred, a trace of firmness spurred out of his usual gentle look, “These soldiers have fought for us and it is our duty to stay with them, now and till the day I revenge my mother and father, I will stay with them.”
“Indeed, that’s true. But the fight’s not over yet…”
“Tell me, Viceroy Cohen,” Fischer said with a hind of a smile, “In this world, is there another place safer than my best friend’s army?”
“You had me, my king.” I replied, “Please, they are your soldiers as well.
This chapter was originally published on Wuxianation, any despicable reposts or copies without proper citings are strictly prohibited.