Vol. 16: Trivia 01 – A War without Gunpowder

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Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly


Carlos was leading. The rest went along a pathway adjoining the stream and stopped at a cottage. “Fine place. Sir, here we are.” Carlos said, “It’s used to be a summer resort for some noble lord. I thought you might like it. Hope it’s not too shabby.”

The cottage faced a pond in which the stream poured. Sparkling ripples and the green around it have created an exceptionally quiet and peaceful place. What made it more joyful was a platform that stretched from one side of the establishment to the center of the water where lively, gentle fishes of a variety of colors resided.

“Indeed.” Cohen stepped onto the platform, “It’s most relaxing. I plan to spend more days in this training ground, during which I’d like to stay here”

“I’m glad.” Luther smiled, “You had been… exhausted. You could need some time to recuperate.”

“I assume your granddaughters have told you. How inconsiderate I am.” Cohen apologised, “Please have a seat.”

The three of them hence seated themselves by the table on the platform. Two guards brought wine. Leila remained gently aside.

Malphite was roaring security allocation a distance away.

“It must’ve been hard for both of you while I was away.” Cohen filled wine for Carlos and Luther, “It was already a painstaking job manning the army, not to mention you had to keep an eye on the troublemakers.”

“Don’t mention it. It’s my job.” Luther took his wine with both hands, “Who are we meeting, Your Grace?”

“First I should explain.” Cohen poured his own wine, “Grandpa, I think we’re short of a certain kind of people among our current bureaucratic system.”

“On top of my head, I don’t have a quick answer.”

“And you, Carlos?” Cohen chuckled.

Carlos sipped his wine then shook his head, “I’m a staff officer who put his brain in wars only.”

“I suppose this one has something to do with war as well.” Cohen nodded then explained, “Marfa told me, the rebels, especially those who defend their outer defense ring, are slacking and tired as our attack date approaches. They have no actual supply coming in. When the war starts, they’ll die, that’s their only fate. At such a time, if only we had a specialist to talk with them, talk them through, and make them realize that surrendering is a better and wiser option. It would lessen the potential casualty on both sides.

“A negotiator!” Luther said, “We have a handful of people who are quick of speech. Send them.”

“Sure we can do that. But there’s a catch.” Cohen said quietly, “In the future, we’re administering an empire instead of just a few provinces. We will have more foreign business. I want a specialized person or group of people dedicated to this job. In this war, our enemy’s troops are clotted in cities. Every rebel commander has his personal arrangement for this war. They are like independent states. It’s a perfect chance for such people to practice for future diplomatic jobs.”

“My king, do you want to create a special bureau for this job?” Luther pondered and asked, “I suppose you have further plans soon after we’ve recovered Swabia.”

“My ultimate goal…” Cohen replied with a smile, gently nodded, “… is not simply limited to a Protoss or an Asmodian empire.”

Martin Luther gaped. Carlos’ goblet dropped.

“Flynn was only a bit surprised. I think you two can do better.” Cohen refilled Carlos’ wine, “Something will happen eventually, that’s why I agreed to take the throne. But I really hate this position and I’ve no interest in being a king.”

“We’re really upset to hear that. That throne was built on countless lives…” Martin Luther said like a grandfather, he won’t be blamed for he watched Cohen grew up. Carlos would never dare to say anything like Luther.

“This is precisely the reason I hate it. It’s been some days, I thought if I say yes, I’ll have to be burdened with tens of thousands of death; if I say no, the ones who died would be wasted.” Cohen stood up, turned his way to the forest by the lakeside, “Tough choice. Whichever I pick, I got only helplessness and pity.”

“However, you chose the former. Lucky for us.” Luther said, “My king, the soldiers, and people love you. With your leadership, they’re willing to die for your cause. I’m sure they will feel happy and satisfied.”

“But I’m not.” Cohen turned, intrigued, “Grandpa, that’s not what I want. I don’t want my people to die for any cause. I know people are gonna die in order to put down this rebellion. I also know, once the empire is restored, Swabia is gonna have decades of peace if I keep myself away from trouble. But what about after? The same rebellion is still gonna rise simply because some high priest calls it. By that time, even if a second Cohen Kheda steps out and cleans up the mess. Countless would still die. I don’t want Swabia to be like that forever!”

“Not only Swabia. None of the empires on the continent was able to last over 500 years.” Luther sighed, “Actually the Summers’s regime was quite long already.”

“I don’t want to stall. Since I was pushed to this point, I’ll make them pay.” Cohen said emotionlessly, “And trust me, they will pay big time.”

The listeners grasped some of Cohen’s ideas. Martin Luther whispered a question, “That leads us to…”

“Since so many have sacrificed their lives and there’s no stopping. As a king, I’m bound to make their death meaningful.” Carlos and Martin have never seen Cohen like this, “I’m a king, therefore I need to see further, much further, to avoid the same tragedy.” Cohen continued with a sneer, “Protoss Alliance, Asmodian Alliance, piss on them. I’d like to see how they are gonna support more wars.”

“Sir,” Carlos spoke up solemnly, “I agree. And you don’t need to care about my feelings to do whatever you plan to do. I’m a dead man back in the Clay City.”

“Carlos is right. We’re army men. We’re not able to see as far as you can.” Luther said then shook his head, “An army man is obliged to fight for the people. But what about your soldiers, your people. Can they understand you?”

Cohen sat by General Luther. He smiled.

“I don’t want to burden my people who are already in hardship. I can only hope for you two to see me. Rest assured, I’ll draw my plan step by step, and carefully.” Cohen raised a cup, “One founding leader, one young leader, you two basically represent everyone in the army. After today, please take my intention into consideration when you are giving orders.”

Luther sipped his wine and asked the critical question, “Anyone else knows your intention, my king?”

“My father, Flynn, and you two.” Cohen squinted Leila, “And my shadow.”

Leila gently nodded to the two when they threw their confusing looks at her. Then a white dragon’s figure took form in their minds. Both instantly knew who she was, a second later, both felt delighted for having gained the support of such a powerful race.

“Well then, I’ll wrap it up.” Cohen straightened his body and relaxed, “Next, about the one we’re meeting today. He has a unique personality which turns out perfect to be a diplomat. Please offer your experience and encouragement, ‘cuz it concerns his and our empire’s future.”

“Very well.”

“Mal,” Cohen summoned, “bring Liverpool here.”

The orc had a guard to run the errand for him.

Not long after, Liverpool, all fitted in decent garments, trotted to the platform. He made a courtesy to the three then obediently remained silent on the side.

“Meet the First Lieutenant-general, Martin Luther, and Brigadier General and Chief of Staff Carlos.”

“Yes, Young Lord.” Liverpool promptly turned to face the other two individuals, “It is my great honor to meet you, General Luther, General Carlos.”

Cohen talked on, “General Luther is also the grandfather of two of my wives. I usually address him as grandpa.”

“Forgive me, General Luther. How rude I am.” Liverpool knelt then said again, “I am truly sorry.”

“It’s a warring time, don’t be. Rise.” Luther looked at Cohen, “Quick reaction, well-fitted. What about his tongue?”

“I’ve gotten rid of his arrogance and slickness. My father has met him once. He sent people to coach this one on courtesies and customs.” Cohen glimpsed Liverpool, “I want you two to tell me what else he needs.”

“The Chancellor had done all the work for us.” Luther smiled, “What have you learned?”

“Yes, general. Lord Chancellor said even if I’m thinking the filthiest thing, I need to maintain a pure face. Lord Chancellor also said if I am to threaten a man, I need to imply him with gentle language. And I have to ignore others’ blame despite evidence against me is in my face…”

“So much have been taught. I have none for you.” Luther made a hearty laugh, “But since the king required, I’ll have one thing to teach you.”

“Very well. I am all ears, general.”

“I am an army man. I know about wars. I also know your political career is also a battlefield. Therefore no matter what position you’re going to undertake, you’re on the battlefield. Like being in a war, you cannot slack for a second.” Luther said with sincerity, “His Grace wants us to help you, therefore we will do our utmost. We do not care what you were in the past.  Just remember one thing: who you are working for.”

“Yes. Liverpool will mark it for life. Thank you for your words, general.”

Cohen then squinted Carlos. Therefore the Chief of Staff took over Luther’s speech, “Liverpool, your position is determined by your strong suit. You could wear jewels and eat delicacies all day; but these are all instruments to get your work done, not your purpose. If you lost yourself in it, your political career will come to an end. Is that understood?”

“Yes, General Carlos. Liverpool will always remember my position and master.”

“Well, so far, so good?” Cohen said.

“Satisfactory. Not too slick so far.” Luther nodded, “Quite agreeable first impression. No one would hate him.”

Cohen then turned for Liverpool, “Have you seen the big picture?”

“Yes, Young Lord.” Liverpool promptly replied, “Your army is in the battle station, ready to take back your empire from the rebels.”

“And do you understand why I take you with me these days?”

“Understood. You want me to witness your power and build my confidence for my incoming work.”

“You’ve grown smarter.” Cohen rose and stepped forward. Liverpool knelt.

“Now I’m naming you a baron candidate. Feel free to call yourself a first baron to the public.” Cohen put on a serious face, “The rebels have deployed 20 cities on my marching route. The leaders and soldiers in those cities are having sleepless nights. You are to persuade them to surrender to me.

Though he knew it would be an uneasy job, Liverpool never imagined it was such crucial work. He froze for a second then quickly came back to nod without hesitation.

“As for the means, follow your talent, advise, urge, lie, whatever ways you can think of, I don’t care. I just need one result.” Cohen said, “As long as he’s a man, he’ll want to live. Even if he’s not afraid of death, you’ll make him understand that his death means nothing if he doesn’t surrender. For really tough ones, make him remember anything he’s too reluctant to leave. For the weak ones, promise his future wellbeing. You’ll have a scheduler, a deputy, and guards.”

“Appreciation, Young Lord,” Liverpool replied with half gratitude, half fear, his eyes wet.

“Whenever you’re afraid, recall that thousands of soldiers got your back. Your opponent won’t risk it.” Cohen continued, “But you’ll have to work your way out. Think, observe and feel before you act. In this way could you avoid danger. Have I made myself clear?”

Liverpool knew he will have to be strong either way. Therefore he cleared up his mixed emotions and replied firmly, “Understood.”

Cohen nodded in satisfaction and went back to his seat.

“I brought you back myself. You indeed went through hardship with me. I won’t let your die.” Cohen filled a cup with wine and raised it, “Remember this, the more cities you took, the fewer dead soldiers we have, the more families you save. This is not for my servant. It’s a victory drink for my future Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Do you think it is for you, Liverpool?”

“It is for me!” Liverpool approached with both knees attached to the ground and took the meaningful cup of red.

He slowly rose, threw his appreciation eyes to his young lord. Liverpool finished the wine, meaning he had said goodbye to his servitude and began marching to his goal. He told himself silently that he will have to fulfill his mission and prove his value.

“This drink sees that you are one of my court members and nobility. Be one with honor and dignity.” Cohen suddenly glared at him and raised his volume, “What the first thing I taught you?”

“If I kneel, I have to mean it.”

“My man does not kneel easily. There are so much more you stand for than yourself now.” Cohen made his voice gentler, “I’m giving you a title and a position by my side, but you’re getting honor and dignity. You are the one to uphold it. But if you can’t do what I asked of you, you’re useless to me even if you run after my carriage for the rest of your life.”

“Understood, Young Lord.” Liverpool replied while secretly straightened his body, “I am your man. And I will not shame you.”

“Good, you’ve learned. Later on, my Chief of Staff will ready your things. Try to relax.” Cohen laughed then said, “You can announce that you’re the Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs. But here you don’t have a formal position yet. When I take the capital, I’ll award you accordingly. Now off you go.”

“Your Grace.” Liverpool made his exit. “General Luther, General Carlos.”

Cohen turned to the rest when Liverpool was out of sight.

Luther asked curiously, “My king, it seems that you’ve invested heavily in this person.”

“Not precisely. He presented himself to me at the right time.” Cohen said vaguely, “And I was in need for an individual to tend foreign affairs. So I thought I’ll try him out.”

“Then you have my support.” Luther nodded, “How are you holding up? I saw you were pressuring your personality.”

“It was not easy.” Cohen said the truth, “But it’s worth it. I would if it’s for the greater good.”

“What a meeting.” Carlos exclaimed, “Sir, you seem like an entirely new person.”

Cohen chuckled then asked Carlos about recent updates on the 36 Clans.

“Speaking of that, I’m really impressed. I knew Master Lorenzo was tough but I never thought he’s able to fix those Clan gentries.” Carlos laughed, “No more complaints at the supervisor’. Some of the good ones were even promoted.”

“Good. That secret corridor on the P/A Line is still there?”

“Positive. I’ve spared troops to stay and manage that place, with regular communications.” Carlos said after a pondering, “Like what we had experienced there, again a dozen miles of both ends of the corridor were shrouded by ivies. Therefore it stays undiscovered by other parties.”

“There is one more thing I need you to attend. Get some capable hands from the clans and send them back to the Line.” Cohen’s forefinger tapped the desktop, “I want to know how many clan people and villages are still there. If you can, make contact with them.”

“For what?” Carlos asked curiously.

“Make it work. I’ll tell you later.”

“Very well.”

“That’s all for now. I won’t occupy your precious time.” Cohen stood up, “I’ll walk you out grandpa.”

Liverpool remained outside the cottage waiting for Carlos’s arrival. The orc captain was not far from him, eyeing him with an unfriendly look. Their first encounter did not go well, and their unfriendship was public knowledge despite both of them were utterly loyal to Cohen.

After the initial panic, Liverpool put on a genial face, trying to look back at Malphite calmly. However, the orc did not react. Later he simply turned away.

Luckily Carlos came. Liverpool trotted to salute.

Carlos stopped Liverpool, “No, come with me. We don’t have much time.”

Several men were waiting by the door when they reached Carlos’s spacious office.

“This is the captain of your guards. This is your deputy. A dedicated liaison officer will arrive shortly.” Carlos asked his own deputy to unscroll a map.

“I’m going to debrief your mission directly from the king. Here, all cities.” Carlos said, “About 20, big and small, on the outer ring of the rebel’s defense line. They are abandoned pawns whose only value is to deplete and stall our army. Your liaison staff has detailed info. Do your talks on your way there, on your own accord.”

“Apologies, General Carlos, I’m not good at maps.” Liverpool expressed a sorry smile, “Could you please tell me how much time it takes to travel from the first city to the last?”

“A month. You know it’s unrealistic. The army’s schedule is classified. You don’t have clearance  yet.” Carlos said, “I know it’s a hard job. Here, here and here are your main focus. Dismantling either of them means great help to our army, understand?”

“Understood.” Liverpool silently repeated those city names, “Are there anything else I should pay attention to?”

“You’ll also need to widen your eyes and try to learn as much as you can. A battalion will be traveling with you for protection, covert agents as well. To assist your work, His Grave has authorized a great deal of gold and blank appointment letter.” Carlos handed Liverpool a pouch, “Inside, is your seal and sigil. The king has a word for you. I have a cup of fine red for your return.

Liverpool closed the pouch after examining the inside, surging with thoughts and emotions. “I won’t let you down.”

“I wish you good luck.”

“Thank you, General Carlos.”

Carlos shook his head and off he attended his affairs.

As the Chief of Staff, Carlos couldn’t have less faith in Liverpool. He didn’t believe that this man was capable of achieving anything.

Carlos was not the only one who thought so. Liverpool was also extremely confused with his mission. What is the Secretary of Foreign Affairs? I’ve never heard of it. What I’ve learned from the lords, the things they taught me, could it be all the necessities as an SFA? However, with these most simple socializing skills I already knew, could I really achieve something?

After fitting in formal nobility’s garment and boarding a luxurious carriage led by four beautiful yet magnificent horses, Liverpool was suddenly struck by terror. However, once he thought his young lord, no, it’s my king, more hope came to counter the terror.

It’s my young lord’s assignment. I’ll do it. Either way, my life is his.

The carriage left the army camp with close protection. Through the window, Liverpool gazed as the training ground shrunk and disappeared amongst the green land. The fear slowly dissipated. He told a guard to bring his deputy and liaison officer.

Without halting the vehicle, two young officers boarded Liverpool’s compartment. They are from the army. Liverpool could tell.

“My lord.” The deputy stood in front of Liverpool.

“Nice to meet you two.” Liverpool offered a smile, “Our schedule is tight. In order to make it work, there are a few things I want to know first.

“At your service.” The liaison officer smiled back.

“First, could you introduce yourselves?” Liverpool said modestly, “As you know, I’m still new to the job and a stranger to you two. My name is Liverpool. I used to be His Grace’s servant. For future reference, if I ever offend you, my apologies in advance.”

“That makes the three of us. My name is Phillips, I used to be a scholar from the Dark City Academy. This is Corporal Nicolas. He’s a liaison officer from the army headquarter.” The deputy said, “Both of us are soldiers.”

“About my position.” Liverpool pondered the said, “I’ll be honest. I’m from the Asmodian side of the Line and I’ve never heard of such a position.”

“It’s understandable. Neither do we.” Philips knew Liverpool’s background, therefore his first impression of Liverpool was not bad, “When I was at the academy, my mentor once said no empire has established a position dedicated to foreign affairs. Only when they’re faced with extremely vital affairs or they have to communicate with a foreign empire, will they send a court member of proper status. As for day-to-day inter-empire exchanges, they were taken care of by the temple.

“So when there is a war?”

“Correct. When war broke out between two empires, the temple will first be notified and be ready to pick up the pieces at proper times…”

Therefore, Liverpool came to understand how crucial his job was and how much the king expected of him.

“I see that we’ll have to try harder.” Liverpool quickly unscrolled a map, “Phil, Nick, here’s our first target. Tell us about him, my liaison officer.”

“Yes, My Lord.” Nicolas leaned forward, “It’s a small city. First rock on our army’s marching route. It services as a front outpost. I don’t suppose the rebels care about the demise of this city.”

“He must be very stressful, that commander.” Liverpool said, “His army could face death any second.”

“You’re right, my lord.” Nicolas nodded, “From our intel, he’s on the edge of a breakdown, very unstable mental state.”

“I see.” Liverpool suddenly paused a second, then said, “Does he have families? If yes, are they with him or held by the rebels?”

“Again, you guessed right, My Lord. This man is a nobility but his house had fallen for generations.” Nicolas gave Liverpool a thumb up, “His parents were previously spotted near the capital.”

“The key to this job is you, Corporal.” The flash of craftiness made Liverpool suddenly resembled the look of a businessman, “Are you able to extract his families asap?”

“Yes, My Lord.” Nicolas smiled confidently, “This is why I was assigned here. With your order, the bureau will act immediately.”

Touched, Liverpool knew his king had made sure he had everything he needed to finish the job.

“Thank you for your assistance, sincerely.” Liverpool reached out his hands, “Let us work together and complete His Grace’s assignment!”

Their hands shook firmly.

Three days later, a fleet, escorted by a calvary of king’s guards, passed through Kheda’s defense line and anxiously approached a city occupied by the rebels.

This very tiny frontline city stood lonely on the flatland. If it hadn’t been the war, no one would have remembered its name: Thom. However, this city’s once calmness and peacefulness have been replaced by anxiety and melancholy. Common people hid all day in their homes. Drunken, frivolous soldiers loitering the streets. Just like the city’s commander, nothing could hide the blue in their eyes.

Even the huge acres of near-ripe crops were unattended outside the walls. As worried as the farmers were, they dared not to harvest now that the war could break out at any time. A fleet of riders that passed days ago had nearly frightened the soldiers to death.

A fully-plated guard rode off his fleet and ran alone down to the gate of Thom while the rebels on the wall gazed with suspension.

“Halt!” A man’s blank voice yelled, “No more steps, or we’ll loose the bows!”

The horse made a circle and stopped. The rider proudly yelled upwards, “I’m talking on behalf of Cohen Kheda, king of Swabia. His envoy is here and he wants to speak to your commander!”

“Wait there!”

He didn’t keep the rider waiting. The envoy and a maxim of 3 men were granted entrance.

“One man is enough. I don’t want to spend too much time here.” When Liverpool got the news, he talked to his deputy, “Phil, stay here and gather some info about our next target.”

Then Liverpool made his way to Thom with the squire. He rejected the rope ladder gracefully and entered from the gate. He was granted audience to the city’s commander almost immediately after entering. At about 30 steps away, Liverpool hinted his squire to stop.

Several soldiers were not far from them, sharpening weapons, striding, pacing. Sweat nearly soaked Liverpool despite that he knew this scary scene was merely a setup. His heart fluttered drastically as he began recalling how his young master confronted his enemies.

The commander was a colonel. From the look of his face, he was not in a good shape. Liverpool knew it was the alcohol. Nevertheless, Liverpool’s welcome was not bad due to his nobility status.

“Good day to you, colonel.” Liverpool straightened himself and started the conversation, “Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Baron Liverpool, Secretary of Foreign Affair appointed by King Cohen Kheda.”

“King Luhrmann! Cohen Kheda is not the rightful king.” The colonel said firmly.

“It’s a complicated issue which I don’t think it’s necessary for us to continue.” The start of the communication eased Liverpool a bit, he replied with a smile, “Colonel, I am a rightful Baron beyond any doubt.”

Colonel muttered a word but eventually, he slightly lowered his upper body. Liverpool returned with extremely formal courtesy.

“I assume you already knew why I’m here.” Liverpool approached, “I do wish my presence won’t give you any trouble. As a matter of fact, I brought good news. May I come a bit closer? You know a nobility cannot tolerate body search.”

Colonel paused a second then nodded.

“What have you brought?” The colonel said, warily and exhaustedly, “I don’t think we have anything of your interest now.”

“I’ve given a fair amount of thought before I came here, trust me.” Liverpool approached again, “Still, I hope our little conversation remains between us.”

“You mean the police? They are indeed everywhere.” The colonel said bitterly, “Maybe we can have a walk on the wall.”

“With pleasure.” Liverpool cheered secretly, “After you.”

The wall of this small city was narrow which allowed 3 people to walk side by side. Fortunately, Liverpool was not actually walking. The two of them found a quiet corner atop the wall and began conversing.

“What is your purpose here?” The colonel asked after the conversation starter.

“I’m here to talk you into lowering your weapons. I understand it’s a difficult choice for a soldier like you.” Liverpool’s face turned serious, “However, if you think about it, it’s the only chance, yours as well as your subordinates’.”

“It’s not gonna work!” The colonel didn’t even consider, “We’re never gonna yield.”

“Really, so you choose to die on the battlefield.”

“Why me?” Colonel sneered, “Even Cohen Kheda’s army cannot always win.”

“I’m not your enemy.” Liverpool said sincerely, “Frankly, we all have the same answer about this war. Therefore I’m not here to argue with you.”

“You’re the one to talk. If I were in your shoes, I can talk like that.”

“I admire you, Colonel.” Liverpool suddenly went off-topic, “You’re willing to sacrifice yourself for your family. How noble.”

“What… do you know!” Colonel persisted firmly, and verbally, “I’m a soldier!”

“A soldier has to choose, a soldier has families.” Liverpool made himself louder, “If you already know what’s gonna happen, why are you still working for the party that’s deemed to lose? Don’t let your subordinates die for nothing.”

“Mr. Baron, I’ll walk you out.” The colonel said bitterly, “It’s my destiny.”

Till this point, the negotiation has come to an end. Liverpool didn’t even know what he has done wrong.

“The last thing, hear me out. If you still insist when I’m done, I’ll leave immediately.” Liverpool sighed and made his final effort, “Mr. Colonel, you know, we have a very powerful intelligence system. Although your families are in the capital, it’s not an issue for us to protect them.”

The colonel froze there. His mouth was half-open for quite a while.

“Your parents, two sisters, wife, and son.” The colonel’s reaction gave Liverpool some hope. Quickly, he did his best, “With your permission, I’ll guarantee their absolute safety.”

“But…”

“There’s nothing he can’t do.” Liverpool suddenly recalled Chancellor Visual Kheda’s lesson, so he kept on the luring, “You can trust me.”

“What can you do?”

“I believe you’ve heard the news of several viceroys’ death. How tragic that they chose to support the rebels. Such power can kill, it can also protect. The war is a chaotic time but it’s not difficult to protect a few people. We even know what’s on Luhrmann’s lunch menu.”

“But it’s too much a price. I’m merely a colonel. I don’t think I’m worthy of your attention…” He suspected.

“Why doubting yourself?” Liverpool chuckled. He knew the colonel’s faith was shaken. Therefore he continued, “Look at the field and the crops waiting to be harvested. Think about the common people waiting for your protection. If you say no, it’ll be a slaughtering land here. Countless lives from both armies will bleed and die. Countless homes will be broken. And you, my colonel, your decision can change it. Maybe for some people, you’re just a plain soldier. But to us, you’re can decide the fate of countless lives.”

“I know.” The colonel was still firm, “But I’m a soldier and I have my duty.”

“Your duty is to be loyal to Swabia, not for those scums who know only to exploit the empire.” Liverpool’s face suddenly turned a shade of mystery, “Or maybe you don’t know how honorable it is to fight for King Cohen Kheda. You’ll gain instead of losing anything.”

At the end of Liverpool’s speech, there was a hint of mixed emotions in addition to suspicion. He strode back and forth, then suddenly asked, “If, I mean if, I lower my weapon. What would happen?”

“You’ll be a contributor.” Liverpool stared straight into his counterpart’s eyes with extreme sincerity, “You’ll be awarded a position and live on happily with your families.”

“What about my subordinates?” The colonel stood closer, “It’s a tough choice.”

“We’ll fund you to make it easier. The money will be enough to calm your men.” Liverpool replied carefully, “As the leader, you’ll benefit more.”

“Sound wonderful.” However, he suddenly hummed, “How do I know you won’t chop my head.”

“There are countless rumors about King Cohen Kheda, dishonesty is not one of them.” Liverpool was extremely patient, “In fact, His Grace had me bring your appointment letter. As long as I have your final words, the letter and gold are yours.”

“And what if I lie to you?”

“I represent the king. The ones who lied to the king can run to the end of the world and still face their fate.” Liverpool explained, “But for a man as honest as you, I know you won’t.”

The colonel did not come up with further questions. He merely turned away and sighed, “It won’t be easy.”

Liverpool knew he needed time to consider. Therefore he remained silent.

“The police were sent by the capital. They are the main problem.” The colonel turned back to Liverpool, a shade of anxiety flashed in his eyes, “… some hardcore loyalists. If they’re not disappeared, what I’m about to do will not end well.”

“Mr. Colonel, I’m offering you a way out. But I can’t do your job for you.” Liverpool shook his head, “As a soldier, time to make a choice. I think you know what’s the meaning of it.”

The colonel’s eyelid tilted. His face suddenly went cold.

“I don’t wanna be pushy, but I’m on a schedule. In less than an hour, I’m leaving for another city.” Liverpool shoved the colonel one last time, “But I do wish to see your show.”

Colonel’s throat notch traveled up and down, his fist clenched firmly. Finally, he summoned his sub-commander.

After he has talked with him, the sub-commander gazed back in astonishment. The colonel nodded viciously.

His orders were carried out without hesitation. Fifteen minutes later, the entire army police corps totaling a little over 100 men’s bodies were presented in front of Liverpool.

“Congratulations, Colonel.” Liverpool shook hands with him, “You’ve chosen a bright path for you and your people.”

“If you can’t save your families…” He replied emotionlessly, “… I’ll end your life.”

“I have faith it’ll go in the intended direction.” Liverpool said confidently, “I’ll expect your victory drink once the war is over.”

Hence he made a gesture to tell his squire it was time to work. Soon, his squire returned with a few Kheda’s officers, including the appointment letter and a whole carriage of gold.

Later that day, the colonel declared his choice on the city’s central square. With a hand firmly holding onto the appointment letter signed by Cohen Kheda, the colonel thought it was the best day recently. He distributed the money while telling heartily his soldiers that they needed not die. All were thrilled. In the end, everyone on the square hailed we follow you.”

Thom City’s gate hence opened to welcome Kheda’s army. The rebel’s flag was surrendered. An assault infantry battalion from the 1st Legion was waiting to move in.

“Go, go, go.” Liverpool scrambled onto his carriage, “Police, I forgot about the police! Gotta remember that next time!”

Liverpool’s fleet set off to its next target in bursts of cheers. However, the secretary himself was still sunken in residual fear. Blue in the lips, shivering in the voice, soaking wet in the vest, Liverpool was nothing but weak and limp.


This chapter was originally published on Wuxianation, any despicable reposts or copies without proper citings are strictly prohibited.

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