Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly
Left Cardinal had his servant released a water-mirror spell in his chamber then focused on tidying his outer presence.
He was very content to his new robe – scarlet velvet coated with silver linings, patterns stitched by gold threads were quite exquisite and symmetrical. The well-tailored clothes with decorations started from the collar and stretched all the way to the edges down.
“All done.” Left Cardinal said, “Tightened the collar next time perhaps. The gold threads are a bit eye-catching, don’t you think?”
“Your presence is stunning in this robe.” The servant flattened the last hint of wrinkle from the hemline down, he fawned, “I heard royal tailors from Symbia are able to insetting gem chips instead of gold threads.”
“Gem chips?” The Left was still not content, “Can they do it on priest’s robes? Is it too far for a velvet robe?”
“From what I heard, they do it by slicing magical gems into chips with specialty cut techniques, then trimming the chips into filament as thin as a golden thread.” The servant quickly explained, “In that way, it’ll have lighter colors and barely noticeable weigh. It has proven to be proper on priest’s robes. No one else in the alliance is eligible to do it, even if they want to.”
“You’re well-informed despite you stayed in the temple all year long. Who told you these?” Lord Left reached out a hand, “Hood.”
With both hands, the servant carefully carried the hood from the desk for the left cardinal to wear.
“I didn’t have the chance to tell you that I’ve returned from Symbia before the end of the war.” The servant cautiously adjusted his master’s robe and replied, “It is fine for you now?”
“Today’s audience is a formal one. Pull it up a bit, yes.” Lord Left said, “Your cousin is a priest from the Symbian temple, isn’t he? Does he has anything to do with that matter?”
“Positive, Symbian temple has abundant vacancies. He intends…”
“He what?” Lord Left humphed coldly, “Considering his young age, he wants the archpriest’s position now?”
At his master’s comment, the servant’s face gloomed, “Wise as always, My Lord.”
The Left Cardinal sighed right before reaching out the back of his hand to touch his servant’s blond facial skin. The latter’s face started to blush.
“Tell your cousin, he needs to take things slow. The capital temple has many complications.” The Left Cardinal took advantage of his servant’s smooth and young skin while gradually telling his decision, “After this while, I’ll reposition him to a medium temple for the time being. Afterward, the Symbian arch-priest place will be his, so that no one will talk about it being unfair.”
“Appreciation, My Lord.” The servant showed his pair of eyes of tenderness while kissing the Left Cardinal’s fingers with affection.
While the Left Cardinal started to wet his groin, the side hall bell rang.
The servant quickly exited the chamber. Not long after, he came back.
“My Lord, it’s the Pope’s attendant.” The servant replied respectively, his face has returned the usual calmness, “His Holiness is calling you to his chamber for a matter worthy of discussion.”
The Left Cardinal nodded then exited his chamber. Only after crossing 7 more doors and adding his following servants to 10 fair-skinned young priests did Lord Left reached the Pope’s chamber.
Once he stepped in, the door promptly shut.
The Left was a little surprised because the Pope has pre-released a magical barrier that cut off any sound from going out.
“What took you so long!?” The pope’s tiny eyes popped open, he cried, “What were you doing?”
“I’m about to welcome white priests who come to debrief. I need time to get dressed.” Seeing the Right Cardinal was also in the room, pacing, Lord Left sunk into a loss, “What happened to you?”
“That dumb maggot Luhrmann!” Pope handed over a scroll, “And AUFs, they’ve completely screwed everything!”
“Left Cardinal shuddered to go over the parchment while Pope was throwing a tantrum aside.
“Lairs! Shameless lairs! I knew I cannot trust the Asmodian people. How could they let that rascal Cohen Kheda return with an army!” Pope’s fist slammed on the desk, the sweat of his wet a few strands of loose hair, “That trash Luhrmann, he let Fischer escape! You two picked this man. I’m not part of it! Take the damn responsibility!”
On finishing reading the scroll, Left’s hand’s back-skin popped blood veins, his wrinkle-covered face paled, a hint of dismal once again emerged in his eyes. Cohen and Fischer’s safe return meant their doom. Their betrayal of the 9th Legion which they worked so hard to cover the failure of the War will come to be known by everyone on this continent. Even, the Divine City rebellion is facing the possibility to come clear one day.
Knowing the fact that many secret orders concerned were issued by him and the Right Cardinal, these three red-robed priests were bonded together. No one will be safe or endangered alone.
As he kept on pondering, Left Cardinal grew so afraid that he rushed over to catch the Right Cardinal who was still pacing in the room.
“Give me something! Think now!” As if a hint of fire was glowing in Left’s eyes, his mouth opened as big as a hungry tiger, “I will kill you! I swear I’ll slaughter you! Fischer is the rightful heir to the Swabian throne, and he has 2 provinces! Cohen Kheda, if they took the upper hand, we’ll all be dead! Death, do you even know what that means? If that were the case, I should skin you before that!”
“I AM THINKING!” Right Cardinal was also having a hard time. “Just do not interrupt me!”
Having paused for a second, a massive pour of profanities was puked from Lord Left’s mouth. Right Cardinal received a face full of spits; the skin of his upper neck has gone blood red. Naturally, Right Cardinal deserved it because the most pressure will usually result in the most effective method. It was precisely why Left Cardinal treated him this fiercely.
“Enough! I’ve had enough!” Right Cardinal was on the verge of a breakdown, he cried, “I have it!”
Once heard, Pope instantly rushed over, his agile movement was no less than a young boy.
“Start talking, and your way has better be right!” Left Cardinal didn’t spare his filth, for he has always been a dreadful-minded man. As a dagger of handful gems was drawn by a dry and wrinkled hand, the blade was touching Right Cardinal’s neck the next moment.
Felt by the sharpness of the metal, Right Cardinal’s nostril shivered rapidly, sweat fulfilled his forehead, his brain was spinning at full speed.
“Hear me out, Pope, you need to meet Princess Charlotte at once. Tell her about the complication that is happening in Swabia, tell her AUF army was spotted within the alliance and we need time for more detailed intelligence to come in.” Right Cardinal half cried, half said.
“How could Her Princess not know about it!?” Pope reached out a slap on Right Cardinal’s face, “How could the War God David, Elder Princess Micha’el not know about it!?”
“It’s one thing they are aware of it, it’s another thing if they lay bare our lies or not. As a matter of fact, Princess Charlotte knew everything from the start. Precisely because of her distaste for Cohen Kheda did she indulge us to do our dirty works and call back the War God who should have supervised the War.” More words came from Right Cardinal’s lips, “Think it through, War God won’t say otherwise about Princess Charlotte’s decision. And Princess Micha’el is never going to go head and teeth with her own blood sister for a sheer human being, a rascal like Cohen Kheda, she just won’t.”
Pope and Left shared a look.
“You tell me! Give him orders to buy over Swabian viceroys, with as much money as he has. If money doesn’t work, promise a rise in rank or even higher position in court! Whatever they want, give them. Isolate Darkmoon and Dark City as much as possible. Seal them off! I want them to wear out of money, army, and supply!” Right Cardinal swallowed, “Keep them this way for a while, then send troops against Fischer. We’re fighting this lonely 2 provinces with the power of several empires. It’ll be an easy win.”
“What about after the victory?”
“Afterwards,” said Right, “there’ll be no rightful royal blood. As long as we issue a supreme order, all upheaval in Swabia will be over.”
“Buy over… forces from other empires…” As Pope pondered, he suddenly cried, “Nonsense, where does Luhrmann collect all that much money?”
“He… if he doesn’t have…” Right Cardinal was terrified, “We do!”
“What the devil on earth are you talking about? You actually wanna fund him?” Pope’s entire face started twisting, “We’ve gained no benefits from this fucking rebellion! And now you’re suggesting that we give him money?”
“To this point, the situation has gone this far. If we don’t fix it now, we’ll all be dead.” Said Right Cardinal, “On the plus side, think about the future gain we’ll be getting. The plan at hand might not be so bad after all…”
“Then where would Luhrmann find his army? Armed forces can’t be simply bought by money.” Left Cardinal said impatiently, “If you don’t finish talking sooner, I promise there’ll be one more incident in this room: I KILL YOU!”
“What is going to happen next is we order troops from other empires to assist Luhrmann at all cost. We can utilize all PUF forces who are currently in Swabia to help Luhrmann’s plan. We are the red-robbed priests, put pressure on them. They will think the order comes directly from the race supreme.” As the plan gradually takes shape, Right Cardinal’s eyes started to emit glitter of excitement, “We need to give Luhrmann a military advantage and let him take the initiative. Then we’ll force part of other empires’ armies to disassemble so that these free soldiers could join Luhrmann’s command as sell-swords. Given all these, any moron like Luhrmann can easily win this war.”
Pope and Left shared a look one more time.
A good while later, Pope asked with a lowered tone, “Will it work?”
“I suppose.” Left put away his dagger, “Though it will take us some time to disarm the targeted armies from other empires.”
“Time waits for no one.” Right cut in, “I want these forces to be up to the second wave of the attack.”
“Hmm…” Pope pondered.
“Let’s do this! I’ll bring in some experienced commanders to direct the battles.” Left’s face muscle pumped, it seemed that he’s made a final decision, “Additionally, Luhrmann can have our Lightbringer Cavalries, just in case.”
“It would have to be done.” Pope shook his head, he said to Right Cardinal, “I wish your plan would eventually work.”
Right Cardinal felt his neck and answered with shock, “Definitely, we’ll win!”
“I’m going to require an audience with Princess Charlotte immediately.” Pope tidied his robe, “You two start drawing orders immediately. Ready the army supplies. Make every second count.”
“3 months!” Right Cardinal promptly added, “You must get us no less than 3 months!”
Hence the Pope withdrew the sound barrier, he stopped by the chamber door as he adjusted his rapid respiratory movement. Soon, his face returned to normal. The moment he turned sanctimonious, he pulled a string beside him.
The door opened silently, 2 servants who have been attending knelt at the sound of the opening. At that moment, Pope’s face was already full of gentle, merciful smile. He stepped out while gesturing blessing movement with his left hand.
Having passed a teleportation tunnel, the Pope arrived at the outer gate of Princess Charlotte’s palace.
As Pope fearfully stated his appeal to his upper master, Princess Charlotte did not turn a hair. Instead, she focused on her ikebana work without even sparing a glimpse of the man kneeling beside.
The Pope devotedly stayed on the floor with his entire body, waiting for the goddess’ inquiring.
“You are telling me that AUF forces were spotted in Swabia empire?” A long while after, a few words came out of Princess Charlotte’s emotionless lips, “Did you hear yourself?”
“Yes, Your Grace.” Pope slightly lifted his chin to make his face truly believable and honest, “An army of roughly 100, 000 emerged out of nowhere and no predictions then under-merged near DC, the capital city of Swabia. Its domestic situation has been confirmed to be upside down. No news comes from Climos Summers, the Swabian King. Multiple mini-battles were spotted in DC area. The temple is doing its best to fix this matter. But we need time.”
“Do you? How much time do you need this time?” Princess Charlotte kept trimming her artwork as she said, “Empire Swabia is a crucial part to Protoss. How much time do you need in order to police this place and bring peace back to it?”
“Us three have agreed on 3 months judging from the current undergoing.”
“3 months?” Charlotte paused her hands for a nano-second, then continued, “Is it true?”
“Ye.. yes, Your Grace.”
“Might as well. You have your 3 months now.” Princess Charlotte’s flower work has finished, she studied it while saying, “Careful on it. If you can bring peach back to Swabia within the promised time, I will not inquire your miscarriage of duty during the Protoss/Asmodian War. If you fail this time, no one will save you.”
“I promise, my princess.” Pope said with profound reverence and awe, “We will make the best effort to restore Swabia.”
“Silent. Enough of your nonsense.” Charlotte impatiently interrupted Pope, “Careful this time. Do not let me down. Go now.”
“Your Grace.” After the short-burst scold, Pope nearly sweated his pants, so he hurried and left.
“Useless.” Reminded of Pope’s pale face, a sense of distraught feeling took over Princess Charlotte’s mind, so she knocked her prior work down the table.
The Protoss race’s eyes and ears in the human world were not limited to the light temples. Princess Charlotte has had a concise knowledge of what had happened in Swabia empire. The reason for her giving the red priests 3 months was that she knew this was the only solution since the whole thing had already gone the wrong direction. She hoped for a chance to fix this matter. As for the 3 red priests, under such a life-and-death moment, they will definitely do their best work.
Charlotte also knew that her elder sister and her holy father must have known what she knew. Since they did not initiate an inquiry, they must be kind to give herself a chance to make it right. Nevertheless, they were her families.
“Could I be wrong this time?” Princess Charlotte talked to herself, “I merely intended to teach a lesson to Cohen Kheda, this human being chosen by my sister. Who knew things will go this far. Now the Swabian royal family is incriminated. These 3 fools, they’re no longer useful to Protoss anymore.”
Whether to tell this matter to her father or not remained to be questionable. After all, it was not a small case which the Swabian royal couple was killed by their own prime minister. How would the Protoss king punish this princess?
After a certain while of pondering, Charlotte made up her mind and started heading to her father’s palace.
Pamiche Knarch’s palace was enormous and quite peaceful, for this Protoss king has always been considering, thinking, meditating. Charlotte was not a fan of this part of the palaces. Even, she was a bit fearful of it.
A short distance out of her father’s chamber, Charlotte dismissed all other lower Protoss members who came along. Then she came clean of the entire episode to her father across his door.
A few chuckling came. Charlotte knew it was her father’s voice.
“My prodigal daughter, you’ve failed on this case.” The Lord of Light’s tone showed no fluctuation, which gave Princess Charlotte much confusion, “Clearly, your sister’s vision outgrows yours.”
“Yes, father.” Although they are talking through a door, Princess Charlotte irresistibly lowered her head in shame.
“My daughter, needless to worry. I have no intention to lay punish on you. With that unwilling-to-admit-defeat disposition of yours, willing to yield is, in fact, descent self-discipline.” Light Lord stated without losing his calm, “Try to go modest on yourself, learn from your sister.”
“Is there anything more you want to tell me?
“Could current turbulence in Swabia bring negative influence to us?”
“An empire as pitiful as Swabia.” Light Lord seemed to be talking to himself, “I would wish there is a thing that is able to make a change.”
“Of all the Protoss/Asmodian Wars, rotations of realms, not a single of them matters. What matters is that they serve a Protoss purpose.” Pamiche Knarch talked, “The whole thing started because of you, and the outcome is yet unknown. To be fair, the Summers family had proven to be able, but they did hold secret business behind us. Luhrmann is indeed self-processed, he is the temple’s loyal dog. It balances. Let us quietly watch their show.”
“My Lord Father’s intention is to see who wins this confrontation, and we are going to favor the winner?”
“Absolutely, it is, after all, a human’s struggle, which does not require our intervention most of the time. While we watch, humanity reveals. Humanity is the only thing that confuses me. I might as well say it’s a trivia I found interesting during this dull world.”
Princess Charlotte asked in confusion, “Father, you’re the Light Lord with powers to annihilate heaven and earth. Could there be a thing that confuses you?”
“Pure power should not be a thing us Protoss goes after.” Light Lord said, “We deserves more.”
“More humanity? Is it essential?”
“It is. I am not alone. The Dark Lord agrees with it. But he is as confused as I do.” On mentioning of his arch-enemy, Light Lord’s tone remains calm, “Humans are no different whether they’re under our reign or under the Asmodian’s. They possess both good and evil traits. Where these two conflict within individuals, interesting things tends to happen, intriguing behaviors blossoms. At first, I considered the War will essentially induce human beings to start disintegrating and finish to become completely different races with distinct mindset and cultures. However, after the War had been going on for hundreds of times, not surprisingly, they remained the same after all.”
“In that case, they are indeed helpless.”
“They might be, but it’s irrelevant. It is still too early to tell you.” Light Lord continued, “As for the matter at hand, when the situation shows any signs of moderation, you or simply send a Protoss envoy, and end this for good.”
“Yes, father.” Princess Charlotte gave Light Lord’s words a fair thought, then said, “May I have your wisdom on temple affairs?”
“Temple is under your management alone. Now you want my interference?” Lord of Light chuckled, “If it were your sister who was given this headache, she would not ask me.”
Up until this moment did Princess Charlotte entirely have a hold of her father’s intention.
As for this Cohen Kheda, he is a fascinating one. He did escape from an extremely unfriendly situation as well as put great shame on the Asmodians.” Spoken of whom, the Protoss King’s tone has finally had a bit of turbulence, “Such a capable young man is beyond compare, and he could never be the work of Visual Kheda or Climos Summers education. Pay attention to him. Do not give him anything that he could utilize against you. If he really goes head and teeth disregarding all consequences, you’ll have to deal with all the embarrassment as a member of race supreme.”
“Yes, father.” Charlotte replied, “Enlighten me, how should I do with Cohen Kheda? He is truly a distasteful one.”
“Like dealing with any other human beings, there is no need to do anything out of certain purposes. Oddly enough, we have seen a myriad of military or political-talented people in the past eras, this man is the only one whose behavior fascinates me. My advice is – leave him alone and see what more surprise he could bring.”
“What if he behaves recklessly?”
“Always contain such behaviors out of our territory.” Said the Protoss King, “Let the Asmodians be burdened with Cohen Kheda’s madness. I assume the Dark Lord is as attracted by this man as I do. My old rivalry fancies new things much more than I do.”
“Wise father. I know what to do now.”
“As changing as the world is, may your mind be unbiased. What troubles you never trouble。” The Light Lord ended the conversation, “You may excuse yourself.”
(Swabia Empire, Divine City, the Royal Palace)
Luhrmann was sitting on the throne which was occupied by Climos Summers only not long ago, reading a scroll with attention. An icy face full of concern gradually defrosted. As Luhrmann’s eyes rolled back and forth, a hint of light smile took shape and soon spread to his entire face.
“People,” Luhrmann dropped the scroll and replaced it with a carved decanter, “It is a war already wins.”
Several close generals who have been standing beside Luhrmann’s desk exhaled heavily seeing that their much-concerned master has finally lost his distressed face.
“My Lord,” a general asked with caution, “what gives you such joy?”
“Hahaha, my plea to the cardinals has been granted. They’re giving 10 million gold coins for me to buy over the rest of the nobilities in the empire. The leftover will be taken as military funds and money for the new reign.” Luhrmann tasted his delicious wine. At this second, he was flying free, “There will be a large sum of elite armies for us to deploy. They’re all but none, the best of the best from every other empire. Anyone who stands against us will be annihilated! Destroyed!”
“Great, your excellency!” The group of people was overjoyed, “Does that mean you can ascend the throne soon?”
Luhrmann laughed, but he shook his head.
“Take that talk back. I might not be the one.” He tilted his goblet, “We will have to hear from the race supreme as well as from the red priests.”
“I don’t see that should be a problem!” A member of civil duty fawned, “You’re the most worthy one here. You have spent days and nights on policing the internal rebellion. Now that the Summers have died away. All the people in this world will say yes to you.”
Perhaps this civil official had forgotten: DC residents were far from recovering from the dreadful rebellion; he had also forgotten that countless raped young ladies who filled thousands of wells in the city were carried and buried in body bags the day before.
“Don’t be, the prince is still alive after all. Though he is still a held-hostage by the Kheda family, we’ll definitely rescue His Royal Highness and help him back to his throne.” Said Luhrmann with a straight face, “Now it’s ours, his subjects’ time to do the lousy job.”
“Needless to concern, my lord.” One of Luhrmann’s confidential man said, “Who knows what will happen in this changeful world. There’re always many surprises. And we’re not the all-purpose gods.”
“Having an incident is one thing, luck favors the prepared.” Luhrmann cut off the conversation, “Let’s talk about our future military plan.”
“Yes, my lord.” Thus the generals gathered.
“I’m more inclined to civil duties, so I’ll leave the military discussion to you.” Luhrmann eyed over his men, “Tell me about your view on the current situation.”
“Don’t be so modest, my lord. Allow me.” An army-man stepped forward, “We’re holding a total of 270, 000 soldiers now with the addition of roughly 150, 000 armed forces. According to the intelligence, Darkmoon and Dark City have rebel forces of less than 200, 000. If that is the case, I think we’ll need more men to fight this war.”
The rest agreed, “He’s right, Lord Luhrmann. We’ll leave the final decision to you whether to attack or to defend.”
Luhrmann sipped his wine and asked, “Enlighten me on what benefit or harm it’ll bring to us if we initiate either action.”
“My lord, our current army holding is not enough to attack both cities at the same times. Forcing such an aggressive military operation might put us in an unfriendly position.” The first general said, “If there happens to be an unexpected episode that’s not considered, we could sink in a dilemma.”
Luhrmann nodded, “And your idea is?”
“I strongly suggest a rest of the attack. We wait for the cardinals’ reinforcements.” The general pondered, “Once the two armies converge, victory is ours.”
“Everybody thinks so?”
“Yes, my lord. It’s a collective idea out of our initial discussion.”
Luhrmann nodded. He left his goblet and rose his body. The rest gazed at him with eyes of questions.
“Unlike reckless young boys, your idea is as mature as yourselves for most occasions, and it’s a good thing.” Luhrmann walked to face the generals with praising eyes, “However, you’ve all neglected one man.”
“Who is it?”
“Cohen Kheda.” Luhrmann exhaled, “I don’t blame for it because there are things you do not know.”
“Enlighten us, my lord.”
“Let me tell you under what circumstance did Cohen Kheda returned Swabia.” Luhrmann lowered his voice, “The 9th Legion which had 70, 000 well-equipped soldiers had depleted more than half by the first period of the War. Upon which, with no backup, he’s managed to persist on for more than 10 days and annihilate 3 AUF main battle legions plus roughly 6 slave armies. Attention, he did not defeat them, he annihilated a big force of 300, 000, killed every last one of them.”
About what happened to Cohen Kheda, both alliances have kept it a top secret. Thus when Luhrmann’s men heard the truth behind the secret, all of their faces turned dark. As well educated and experienced generals, they all knew what that meant.
“Precisely because of him, the supreme commander of the Asmodian United Forces was forced to kill himself after the ceremony which was supposed to be a reward. And this Knight of Protoss here has brought back more than 100, 000 soldiers on his way back to his home country.” Luhrmann frowned, “If he had time to recover, there’s our headache.”
A man cautiously said, “The… then how should we deal with him.”
“I’ve studied every battle he’s gone through since he started his military career. From the royal combat trial in Portaria deserted temple to the Clay City war that brought so much shame to the Asmodian Alliance, I discovered an interesting fact about this person.” Luhrmann grinned, “This Protoss Knight is an expert in defending, but he rarely attacks proactively.”
“But I seem to remember he did lead the 9th Legion far into enemy’s rear. Wasn’t that a proactive attack?”
“I wouldn’t call it an attack. He’d rather assault his foes from the back than confront them face-en-face.” Luhrmann said affirmatively, “He’ll die trying to seduce his enemies to attack him so that he could find his opponent’s weakness. In your case, when fighting the AUFs, he seldom attacks.”
“One more thing, this man has a rather odd personality. He’s cruel to his foes but gentle to loved ones.” Luhrmann’s vision traveled through the glass window into the vast sky, “He’ll definitely lose his mind if his close people are harmed in one way or another. He is a boy at his later tens after all.”
“So what would be your plan for him, my lord?”
“We war. Keep the pressure going. I want these rebels out of breath.” Luhrmann’s fists clenched, “I doubt all of our efforts are going to prove effective, but our prime objective is to deplete their supplies. Let those neutral clouts see the nasty end result if they decide to play against me.”
“My lord, I thought you said Cohen Kheda is best at defending jobs, so why are we attacking?”
“You’re not wrong. That is why we’re going for Darkmoon now and only.” Luhrmann spared a look for his subordinate, “Among these 2 provinces, Darkmoon is their true backyard. As for the newly founded Dark City, feeding commoners is already a huge problem for them, let alone supporting a big war. Darkmoon is the main supply base for them. Darkmoon is going to provide all that they need in this war. If that place is torn up, it’ll be an easy fight for us. Cohen Kheda alone will not turn the tide anyhow. If we do things otherwise, Cohen Kheda’s rich commanding knowledge and Darkmoon’s abundant supply will put us in grave danger.”
“In your case, your excellency, we’ll be dealing with one of the 4 greatest generals from the Protoss Alliance of all time – Martin Luther. Either way, the war to come is not an easy one.”
“Like I said, capturing Darkmoon is not a must, sabotaging it, is.” Luhrmann humphed, “Reinforcements are coming, like always. Therefore, all you need to do is to empty their goods. As for the killing and dying job, I’ll find people to do it.”
“I see! Everything is accounted for, my lord.” All fawned.
“You’ve been my subordinates for years so I won’t send you off fighting a war that might kill you.” Luhrmann glanced over men beside him with the kindest eyes, “I’m not too old to think straight. You’ve all been running errands for me these days. I urge you to claim your share of reward for your own good. Well, can’t let you know I’m actually a cheap man, haha.”
“Appreciation, my lord.”
“Okay, meeting adjourned. Go now, ready the army.”
“Are the envoys and my gifts for local dignitaries ready to set off?”
“I assure you, my lord, they’re ready.”
(Swabia empire, Dark City, Dark army camp)
“Attack!” War sabers danced in the air.
“Attack!” Forces of several regiments converged into 2 parties as soldiers marked by 2 different colors were fighting on the battlefield. Their supervisors’ command lines obligingly cried as well.
Personnel from the LAD ran back and forth too because they held the duty of judging the result and other details of the confrontation. Shaman physicians who have recently joined the army were also kept busy by wounds of various kinds.
Specially-crafted weapons and training gears won’t severely wound its users so the trainees were able to fight without actual fear like what they’ll be doing on a real battlefield. One can see bits of wood dusting in the air and hear ‘attack’ cryings thrusting into the sky.
As for their highest commander – Major Cohen Kheda, he was standing with a collection of officers on a side turret, watching from a high point at the big picture.
He remained silent in the front row without any emotions. Since the start of the mass training session, an expression of joy has never shown on Cohen Kheda’s face, because no man, not even Cohen Kheda, was able to bear a heavy burden as a matter of fact.
The silver Protoss Knight’s armor was protecting Cohen Kheda’s well-tidied figure which was already familiarized by his subordinates in the past days. However, his cape, though its color remained unchanged, was absolutely brand new – it was the collective work of the viceroy’s 3 wives.
Though the husband-and-wives problem was still waiting to be resolved, the 3 IA supervisors’ love for their husband did not diminish a bit. As proven by the viceroy’s new cape – Flynn Rhona’s exquisite trimming, Winslet’s magic blessing and Carey Rhona’s beginner needlework which had left 30-ish blood stains on the cloth.
Now the battlefield has found a winner as the red team who has taken the upper hand wholly divided the blue team into chunks. The blue team was still struggling in the hope to get rid of the harsh situation.
Looking at the 2 teams that tangled, Cohen Kheda touched his jaw with a vague expression.
“Sir,” Carlos caught eyes on his boss’ quick change of face, he said under his voice, “is there a problem?”
“Nah.” Cohen shook his head, he promptly hinted the riders who were waiting on the edge of the field, “Are they the next to perform a confrontation?”
“Yes, sir.” Carlos nodded, “They are ready.”
“Send my order, put the riders on the field, let them help the blue team.”
“Sir!???” Carlos was indeed not prepared for this.
“They won’t have any time to adjust to changes when fighting real wars.” Cohen gave a last glance to his Chief of Staff, “Do it, now!”
The order was sent, loud and clear. Instantly, a massive cloud of dust stirred as the riders marched with their horses. The red team’s advantage hence was utterly disrupted. Not long after, the confrontation finished.
“Do you see that?” Down in the dumps, the red team was pointed by Cohen Kheda with a finger, “Our soldiers have indeed completed their routine training. But they are far less prepared for dealing crisis.”
All officers around Cohen Kheda were rendered speechless. They expected at least a B+ score for today’s confrontation performance. No one has foreseen this episode.
“To be fair, I’m not asking too much of you. You know what kind of situation we’re dealing with now.” Cohen turned to these middle-ranked officers and aggravated his tone, “You won’t find a battlefield that’s not changing in every second. I’m beginning to wonder how on earth do you train your sergeants and corporals. Am I going to personally lead and teach them, huh!?”
His underlings all stood with lowered heads and were with faces of shame.
“You have 5 days to fix it. Don’t leave a mess!” Cohen Kheda’s eyes stopped at every one of the men presented, “I have my job, and you have yours. It’s your duty to make it perfect. Don’t make me think you’re unworthy of your uniforms! DO I make myself clear?”
“Sir, yes, sir!”
All the firm replies made Cohen Kheda nod and leave the turret with his Chief of Staff and 2 other legion commanders. He was going to meet staffs from the logistics division.
At the same time, a guarding officer came running over.
“Sir, your father is expecting you.” He said, “He’s in the pavilion.”
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