Vol. 9.5: Chapter 12: Finale

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Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly


Clay City, the storm was pouring; the fight had no signs of reducing.

Kill! There will be no extra movements except for waving the weapons in hands.

Roads? There were none. All men were stampeding in the maze-like bastion.

Right after an ‘ouch’ sound, Rut went missing. When Fallen found him, Rut has caught a tall enemy soldier and fallen into a trap. A broken lance pierced the two. They were inseparable no matter how.

Rut left no word before he was gone.

Scarlet’s tears have dried out. He continued marching while Ranger tried dragging Fallen to leave the place because Fallen wouldn’t let go of Rut’s body.

At this moment, Samgha had only 3 members left: Ranger, Scarlet, Fallen. The rest have all gone. They’ve disappeared in front of their comrades’ eyes. The only 3 left have become just too insensitive to wipe a single tear.

“Attack! We’ll live once we break out!” Ranger called loudly to encourage the other two. He waved twice of his blade to kill 2 more enemy soldiers.

However, they were combating in the clay city. They were not aware of what was happening outside.

On the outside, no one knew how PUF had subverted several slave armies. Tens of thousands of slaves revolted at the same time. They were slaughtering the camp guards. In the meanwhile, PUF’s reinforcements emerged far behind AUF’s camp.

Behind AUF’s camp, a rider was spurring with full speed.

“Commander Wilder! Is that Commander Wilder!? I’m Lieutenant Maru of the 5th reconnaissance battalion! Our troops are deadly in danger, you HAVE to hurry!”

Back to the fierce fight in the clay city, millions of arrow rained from the sky. One of them landed on Scarlet. Ranger hurried over and dragged the substitute commander by a broken wall. Fallen raised a shield to protect.

“Buckle up, buddy. It’s ok!” Ranger freaked out. He slapped on Scarlet’s face, “Are you okay?”

“No worries.” Scarlet scrambled to pull out the arrow on his thigh, “I’m not dead yet.”

“Good, I’m glad.” Ranger calmed down, then he said to Fallen, “Fallen, get over under the shield.”

“I… I…” The little werewolf stood by the wall, his voice was somewhat odd, “I… I…”

Ranger looked through and found Fallen had no missing parts.

“What’s wrong?”

Fallen reddened his face. His mouth opened but no words came out. Then the werewolf slumped on the dirt. An arrow with a black body and white feathers was on his back.

After dragging Fallen carefully by the wall, tears once again blurred Ranger’s eyes. Scarlet just started cursing everything he could think of.

“I… am I alright?” Fallen whispered, “It hurts on my back.”

“No, it’s okay. How could you not be?” Ranger held Fallen’s body and said as softly as he can, “You scraped on the wall. You’ll be fine later…”

“But… but, something warm…” Fallen licked his lips, “is running…”

“Sweat, it’s sweat.” Ranger’s heart churned, but he pushed a smile, “Fallen is a brave werewolf. And it’s been a long day, how could you not sweat?”

As the arrow rain stopped, enemies approached. Sounds of them slaughtering the AUF wounded soldiers started echoing. Scarlet stopped cursing. He ripped a piece of cloth to cover his cut and crawled beside Fallen.

“Thirsty, Fallen?” smiled Scarlet, “I’m fetching some water.”

“No.” Fallen said anxiously, “Enemies.”

“Listen, our troops are fighting back!” Scarlet grinned, “Don’t worry. We’ll be going back soon. We’ll all be fine. Let’s go home…”

“Go home, we all go home. We have to deliver Lancelot’s letter to his kids.” Fallen still whispered, his face was oddly red, “Am I a brave soldier… am I? Am I getting an official title name?”

Scarlet dared not answer this question. He lept a few step forward and again engaged in a fight with several closing PUF soldiers.

“You are. I guarantee…” Ranger replied softly. He glimpsed that Scarlet has put down the 5th enemy. Scarlet was stalling.

“Ni… nice…” Fallen exclaimed his mother’s name softly and finally breathed the last air by Ranger’s lies. Fallen peacefully closed his eyes.

“BASTARDS – YOU BASTARDS!”

Ranger grabbed his long sword. With Scarlet, the two fought side by side, “I’M KILLING YOU ALL!”

“Living enemies! Two lived!”

A big crowd of enemies closed in. Ranger and Scarlet worked back to back with the best teamwork. Their lives did not matter any longer.

Kill! For Fallen, for Rut, for all of you!

One slash, one dead, one life!

The two persisted as enemies around fell one by one until more than 30 bodies accumulated around their feet.

They didn’t know, in this battle, they were the last two soldiers who remained fighting among the 300, 000 AUF soldiers. Even some further enemies came to watch this final battle.

“They’re officers!” A surrendered AUF slave soldier shouted, “Champion officers. Catch them live for the bounty!”

“Catch your mama for bounty. You’re not in AUF!” A few PUF-dressed soldiers came over, “Stop. How many more dead friends do you want? Ready the crossbow!”

Hence the soldiers that surrounded Scarlet and Ranger stepped away. Dozens of enhanced crossbows raised and aimed these two worn young men.

“FUCK!” Scarlet glanced Ranger, he puked a word, “It’s not worth it, dying like this.”

Ranger made a bitter smile.

“Fire!” Sharp bolts pierced metal armor and went deeply into flesh. Ranger finally understood how the enemies felt to be shot by himself. At that moment, he thought it was fair.

The two was dragged and tossed into the AUF survivor pile. While the others were groaning, Scarlet and Ranger were chit-chatting.

“It didn’t occur to me… we lost the war.” Scarlet coughed acutely, “How’s Fallen…”

“Calm, peaceful…” Ranger, “But I… but I had no idea whether I was lying to him, or lying to myself…”

“I wanna be peaceful, puff…” Scarlet blowout a huge mist of blood then gasped, “And sure, I meant if only…”

“How much bounty… do you have now?” Ranger asked, “Lend me all.”

“Wh… why?”

“If someone owes you things, you don’t wanna die.” Ranger explained, “And I, I’m the opposite. I don’t wanna die if I owe others.”

“Hehhe… hehhe…” Scarlet laughed, he kept on laughing. Then he suddenly stopped.

“Well, now you’re peaceful. I’ll see you on the other side.” Ranger said leisurely, “But who the fuck is gonna tell me a joke now?”

A few PUF officers came over followed by soldiers with axes.

“Here’s a champion officer.” A foot stepped on Ranger’s chest, “Bastard, your name!”

“Ranger.” Ranger thought the officer was funny, “Free and Easy and Wanderous Ranger.”

“You’ve quite a lot of medals.” The officer grinned, “How many men did you kill?”

“No men, only swines.”

“That makes the two of us.” The officer was not stupid, “Starting from him, he’s Ranger!”

“What’s going on?” Another officer came over. Judging by the number of his guards, he should be a very senior one.

“Greeting, Commander Moya!” The first petty officer at once stood at attention and saluted, “We’re carrying out Commander Cohen’s order: chopping all AUF survivors’ limbs and leave them to die here!”

“I see.” The officer named Moya turned to Ranger, “You’re about my age. Do you want a clean death?”

“I don’t need your care…” Ranger acted like a man of spirit, “FUCK!”

Moya stopped his guards who intended to kick Ranger’s ass. He said a question which was quite tricky for Ranger to answer, “So you do care? Then why become a soldier?”

“Hehhe, you asked that. AUF… PUF, we’re enemies by nature.” Ranger answered coldly, “You killed all my friends…”

A light smile emerged on Moya’s face. His strong body leaned forward, “So your friends died. But how about before they die? I assumed you’ve ended a man’s life, why did you do that?”

“It is war. And you’ll do the same.” Ranger’s mind was still clear, “It’s either I kill you, or you kill me…”

“Wrong, we kill because we don’t have a choice. We want to live. You’re otherwise. You’re most clear about AUF’s deeds.” Moya said, “You moan your friends’ death, aren’t we all?” Aren’t all the soldiers here burdened with hatred?”

“Fuck…” Ranger had no word to tell, but he did not want to admit losing.

“Who caused the hatred? And what’s the meaning of this war? Did it ever occur to you? We fight in order to live, yet you war in order to war. That’s why we’re different.” Moya stood up and told the others, “Carry on, soldier.”

While Ranger was tasting this officer’s final comment, his body was dragged aside. Before Ranger could smile at the soldier who pulled him, the latter spat on his face.

“You AUF bastard! FOR MY POOR FATHER!” He raised an ax then chopped hard down! Ranger’s left arm went cold.

“FOR MY POOR SISTER!” The soldier’s ax waved again. Ranger’s right arm went cold as well.

“FOR MY NEWBORN BROTHER!” The soldier welled his eyes, his ax raised once more. Ranger’s left foot shivered.

“FOR MY DEAD FAMILIES!” The ax landed on Ranger’s right foot.

“YOU ASSHOLES!” The executioner dropped his ax. He slumped on the ground and started sobbing, “You killed my whole family…”

There were officers came to comfort this man. Some were tapping his shoulders. Ranger’s eyes were wide open. During the last moments of his life, he finally started questioning the purpose of this war.

The supreme commander of the Phantom Legion’s last order had ripped thousands of AUF survivors’ limbs. Those once proud AUF soldiers now became the wounded waiting for their death. Some started weeping, some groaning.

Ranger lied on the ground. The pain has long gone. His blood was slowly, irresistibly leaving his body. During his dying moment, the young man’s eyes who he killed for the first time recurred in his mind.

It turned out that young man was looking at the clouds. The free and easy white clouds in the azure sky. O, clouds, white as snow….

Protoss, Asmodians, fuck you all…

However, it was only Ranger’s wishful thoughts. A piece of weak prayer gradually resounded among the wounded people. The sound slowly turned above the breath, above painful groans, above the desperate weeping.

 

All-father, my Dark Lord,

Timelessly, we hold proud in serving you; timelessly, we praise your name.

We praise you because you offer us salvation.

When enemies come in to attack, he will fall and die.

When there is an army of hate, we will not fear.

We, your children must thrust heads and despise hostilities.

O, Dark Lord,

May we offer you the joy in enemy’s tent;

O, Dark Lord, our eternal King,

May we chant your paean on enemies dead altar.

 

Countless men closed their eyes in the prayers that rose and fell, their face happy and satisfied.

Became they knew that they will become legends, heroes that were going to encourage the next generation to fight the next brave war.

However, on the land of Peace, the sky was still blue, clouds white, mountains green, rivers flew. All of these will not change because of the war.

Patient Anemia, firm Scarlet, calm Ranger, shy Fallen, happy Rut, Baham with thick lips, scheming Carlos, and Simon, Cooks, Edmund, as well as all the rookies.

I wish the blue sky, the white clouds and the vast mountains and rivers will remember them.

Remember forever this bundle of joys.

Remember forever the Samgha Squadron.

 

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One comment

  1. Samgha Squadron was actually a guild in an online game, and the author was a guild member at that time. The main characters in this story, including Anaemia, Scarlet Heaven, Ranger, Rut are all members of the guild. This side story was also written in memory of their friendship.

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