I am the Monarch – Chapter 324: The Great Warring Period (5)
“What in the world is happening?”
“I don’t know.”
“This is the first time isn’t it?”
“Yeah I think so.”
Dozens of soldiers shook their heads with confusion.
“I thought the Amaranth Kingdom didn’t like taking captives…”
“Yeah. They’re famous for killing everyone instead of taking hostages, especially the longer a battle lasts right?”
“Well, at the same time, they always let go of the ones that surrendered or had no will to resist.”
The soldiers sharing conversations excitedly while letting drops of saliva fly were the soldiers of the Byron Kingdom that were caught by the Amaranth Kingdom’s army. They were locked inside a prison that had three of its sides blocked with solid, rock walls and the other side being thick iron bars.
There were a few less than one hundred all inside the same cell but even then, the prison didn’t feel small or dirty and since it was rather comfortable, they had no real discomfort living there.
It was then.
“Uh? That person is Count Austin Fides, the Commander of the Amaranth Northern Armies, isn’t he?”
“Yeah you’re right. He is.”
“He was a normal spearman before right?”
“After going through several battles with the God of War Roan Lancephil, he ended up at the seat of a count.”
Many of the Byron Kingdom soldiers gathered near the iron bars because Austin and a few other generals appeared before the prison cells. Although he was technically an enemy, the story of Austin who rose up to the position of a kingdom’s noble from a mere spearman was like a heroic story for normal soldiers like them.
They sent gazes filled with awe, jealousy, fear and curiosity at Austin but on the other hand, Austin had an extremely calm expression.
“Fortunately, the captives are not in a bad state.”
Staring at the captive soldiers inside the cells, he murmured in a whisper. A general standing next to him gave a small bow when he heard Austin.
“Yes sir. It’s thanks to the prior preparations we had.”
“Right. Right now is not the time to shed meaningless blood.”
Austin glanced at the cells and the prisoners with a calm gaze.
‘They’re probably finding it hard to understand why they’re kept captives instead of being killed.’
Since it was completely different from how the Amaranth operated until now, that was natural but it was an unavoidable decision from the Amaranth’s side as well.
‘It’s not the time for us to be fighting right now.’
Even if they were to fight, it was not the time to severely damage the other party. When the truth was known and the real battle began, the enemy soldiers held captive right now will become allies fighting alongside them.
‘Reduce the number of deaths during battles as much as possible.’
That was the first and foremost objective of Austin and the Northern Armies as well as the Amaranth Kingdom itself. In fact, even the southern front which was currently fighting with the Diez Kingdom incorporated the same system of holding captives.
Austin heaved out a long sigh as his eyes pointed at the skies.
“I can only hope…”
The desperation within his voice was carried away by the wind.
“That everyone understands us…”
He wished the people of the continent would realise the truth.
‘Argens, Evishun, Tenebra Supervision Office, dozens of thief guilds, the mercenary guilds as well as merchants…’
Currently, the Amaranth Kingdom was focusing on using every organisation possible to relay the truths to the entirety of the continent.
‘Of course, it is up to them whether they believe it or not but…’
No matter how much they pushed it as the truth, if the listeners didn’t believe it, there would be no meaning to it. In fact, the current situation was looking difficult in that sense because from the perspectives of foreign citizens, it could appear like the Amaranth Kingdom was spreading false rumours in fear of the crusaders.
‘In the end, all we can do is propose everything we can…’
Austin breathed in deeply.
‘And wait for the heavens to dispose or not.’
Within his eyes staring into the skies flickered a myriad of emotions. There was a fear towards the unknown future as well as an earnest desire, and hope which he did not want to let go of.
Roan heaved out a deep sigh.
After Kinis returned to the Spirit World, an enormous amount of mana returned to him in an instant, but even then, Tellus was not an easy opponent. If he hadn’t yet fully absorbed Felius and Flamdor, he would’ve definitely lost a hundred times after a hundred battles.
The elongated Travias Spear shortened to an arm’s length. Gently Roan flicked his wrist to drop the red blood before hanging it on his waist.
Immediately after he did that, a deep cough left the deep hole formed on the ground. Roan softly pushed himself forward and jumped into the deep, large hole.
Landing like a light feather, he stared at Tellus lying before him with both his legs and arms cut off. His body which had no limbs attached also had large holes on his chest and stomach and it was surprising enough that he was still breathing.
“T, this insect bastard…”
Staring at Roan, Tellus gave out profanities. In response, Roan smiled while reaching out with his left hand and when he did,
A blue marble jumped out of Tellus’ chest area. The Eye of Devesis was sucked in towards Roan’s grasp in a natural manner.
“I will take care of this.”
His soft, low voice dug into the ears.
Unable to retaliate in any form or manner, Tellus coughed out a lump of crimson blood as his vision turned blurry.
“D, don’t think this will be the end.”
Hearing the last words being forced out of Tellus’ lips, Roan shook his head with a calm expression.
“Are you believing in the other Grand Generals?”
Roan replied with a voice full of confidence. He had the confidence to fight against any Grand General, even if all the remaining ones came at the same time.
“Cough. Kukuku. Of course not.”
With a cough, Tellus broke into a strange grin.
“I, I will find you again.”
At a glance, it seemed to be nonsense but his eyes and voice proved his confidence.
When he saw that, Roan had a thought flashing across his head.
“Are you saying you can be reborn even if you die?”
Tellus grinned sickeningly in response.
“Kukuku. Father will create me anew. Stronger than before, more frightening than before!”
He stared directly into Roan’s eyes.
“Tremble in fear. I will soon find you.”
While Tellus gave threats unamusingly, Roan smiled hazily and nodded.
“Good. I’ll wait, but when you’re reborn…”
Raising his right leg he carried it over towards Tellus’ face.
“I wish you would talk less.”
Roan shook his head as if he felt extremely annoyed and seeing that, Tellus immediately crumpled his expression.
“What, how dare a human insect to say that to I, the great Tellus…”
However, he wasn’t even allowed to end his sentence.
It was because Roan stomped on his head as is and the head was smashed into small pieces led by a shocking thud.
Disgusting smell flowed out as acrid smoke rose up. Soon, the body that barely retained its appearance melted away without leaving a single sign.
‘Can the Mad Dragon Lunark create guys like this without an end?’
Roan asked himself but immediately shook his head in denial.
‘No, there must be a limit even for him.’
If not, Kalian, as well as other dragons, would have created their own guardians as they pleased.
Heaving out another deep sigh, Roan turned to the Eye of Devesis.
‘Before the Mad Dragon rampages, I must find the body of Felius.’
Roan couldn’t understand why Lunark was yet to find him personally. Since the situation was changing rapidly, Roan did not realise that Lunark had been sealed inside Europas’ lair after being tricked but regardless, now was not the time for leisure.
Letting mana flow into the Eye of Devesis, Roan carried his feet. Whenever he moved towards a direction, he felt a faint vibration being given off.
‘So it’s showing the general direction first with vibrations and…’
It seemed that it would turn brighter when he approached a certain distance.
‘Good, if it’s like this, I would be able to find it earlier than I thought.’
A faint smile appeared on his lips.
Quickly kicking off the ground, he disappeared into the depths of the Grain Mountain Range as a gust replaced the spot Roan had been at.
Strange noises flowed out from the darkness.
Deep inside a forest where the evil monsters lurked, on a wide empty land in the middle were 10 men and women, both old and young crouching down and letting out strange murmurs. As if they were praying, they joined their hands and lowered their heads without taking a single break.
After who knows how long, a man appeared from behind the veils of darkness. Like everyone else praying at the empty plot of land, he wore old, worn-out brown clothes.
“You have all gathered.”
As the low voice left his lips, the murmuring people closed their mouths and lowered their heads further down. Silence befell the land. The middle-aged man that appeared after everyone else looked deeply into the faces of the people praying with joint hands.
“All the believers are letting out tears of joy thanks to our holy sacrifices. Besides…”
Pride oozed out from his voice.
“Sir Archbishop Latio sent a letter saying that he was proud and thankful of us.”
As soon as he finished,
“Ah… Sir Archbishop Latio has…”
The gathered people shed tears of joy. They were ones that had originally been living in the Aimas Union that immigrated over to the Amaranth Kingdom during the chaotic times of war. Staring at them, the middle-aged man continued carefully in a whisper.
“Let’s all become glorious martyrs.”
Kneeling down, he took out a dagger from his clothes. At the same time, he laid down on the ground a paper with strange patterns drawn as he placed his left hand on top of it.
Halting his breath, the man stabbed his left hand with the dagger.
Piercing through his palm, the dagger drove itself straight through the paper. As the crimson blood flowed out and wetted the piece of paper, something strange occurred.
Black light started emanating out from the paper. The light followed the ground as it drew patterns that resembled the one on the paper.
Seeing the patterns being drawn beneath their knees, the people shouted and before long, they took out sharp, polished daggers from their clothes.
“Let the world understand the great will of Sir Archbishop!”
“For the peace of this world!”
“Long live Sir Archbishop Latio!”
It was unclear whether they were believers of the Tallian God or Latio. They then pierced the daggers into their throats without hesitation and not a single person did otherwise.
Groans sounded as more than ten people lost their lives with knees on the ground. The red blood flowing down the throats wetted the land as the patterns flickered every time it touched blood.
“Oh! Glorious! Glorious!”
The only one alive, the middle-aged man shouted before pulling the dagger out from his left hand, driving it into his own throat.
He marked the final death.
Like everyone else, he died on his knees as the blood boiled within. Flowing down the dagger, the crimson blood seeped deep into the ground.
As if that final death was what it had been waiting for, the patterns gave off a last bright shine and at the same time,
Grass rustled as a group of men appeared from within.
Wearing black travel clothes, the men looked around at the land while spewing out profanities.
“We were a step late.”
When one of the men took off his mask, a face with memorable warm eyes appeared.
“Captain Willow, what do we do?”
Another man next to him asked in a soft voice. In response, Captain Willow quietly examined the situation before heaving out a short sigh.
“Firstly, we should collect the dead bodies and report to the Intelligence Department.”
“The Intelligence Department?”
Hearing the question, Willow gently nodded.
“There was an order to report the location whenever suicide cases of the citizens occured. Sir Grand Strategist would be personally taking care of it so do not let go of a single piece of data or clue and investigate as precisely as you could before reporting.”
“Ohh… Sir Grand Strategist would be personally…”
The men nodded their heads while muttering. Soon, they walked to various locations of the empty plot of land to collect the bodies, clues and proofs. Standing in the middle of all that, Willow gazed at them with a frown.
‘In this area only, more than ten cases of group suicides occurred.’
As time passed, it felt like the frequency was increasing rapidly.
‘At this rate, rather than the number of people dying due to the war…’
His face turned stiff unconsciously.
‘There will be more deaths from suicide.’
It wasn’t a baseless prediction as that was how serious things were going. Willow glanced over to the east where the Mediasis Castle laid.
‘Sir Grand Strategist Ian Phillips, we will just believe in you.’
He bit his lower lips. For some reason, his heart thumped anxiously in an unpleasant manner as if he had just entered a nightmare.
<The Great Warring Period (5)> End.