Titan Beneath the Heavens
Chapter 58: Seventh Episode: Chapter 3
Chapter 58: Seventh Episode: Chapter 3
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Outside the city of Andrew Haila, one needed only to slightly lift their heads up to be able to see the fire beacons lighting up in the distance. The prince, Her Royal Highness The Princess, and a few of the utterly despicable ones born in Damorga walked on while looking around. They quickly became disappointed, as the road was deserted without a single pedestrian; only the occasional two or three knights urging their warhorses on were seen pacing frantically back and forth.
"Where did all the people run off to?" The King of Sins gauged his surroundings vigilantly.
"Don’t know; they probably all went home!" Her Royal Highness The Princess responded. This was also what she was rather concerned about. To the princess who came from afar, Andrew had too many things that she could not comprehend.
"Yes, Your Royal Highness! The people have gone home. Every time the fire beacon ignites, it becomes like this. Before attaining the precise intelligence report on the enemy, the whole army prohibits anyone from moving about within the borders of Narcissus." The one who gave the princess an assuring answer was the Narcissus Knight Traisen Front’s Lieutenant Colonel, de Barry.
"Oh good gracious! Then how do the people here live? I mean, those farmers… or rather, anyone who relies on going outdoors to earn a living." The Princess widened her eyes.
"I am also not very clear, these matters are entirely under the jurisdiction of the United Army. Your Royal Highness Princess, but you can trust me that the issue that you just mentioned isn’t an issue of utmost seriousness." Colonel de Barry laughed.
"Then what else could be a serious problem?" Her Royal Highness Princess refused to drop the matter.
"When the Persians turn up outside the doors of your home, that is the most serious problem."
The princess adopted a disapproving look, "Aren’t the Persians always on the Andrew house?"
Without voicing out a reply, de Barry nodded his head.
"Colonel de Barry, I have not congratulated you for becoming the champion in the jousting tournament!" Oscar grinned at the officer who was holding a position under his second brother; he felt that the subject initiated by the princess should come to an end.
"Thank you, Your Royal Highness, I was merely lucky, nothing more."
"Lieutenant Colonel de Barry! Even if you are modest, there is a limit to it! Don’t tell me the achievements of all six continuous victories are all because of luck?" Major General Murat, who had been following behind all this while, was not satisfied; de Barry had beat one of the knights under him before acquiring the title of champion.
"Heeheehee! Lieutenant Colonel Murat, it cannot be put that way. In a tournament, it is a match between luck and strength. My strength and your subordinate, Major Lelah’s are equally matched, it’s just that Lady Luck was in my favor."
Murat twitched his lips in a laugh. Although de Barry showed utmost deference, this lad should not have brought up the word ‘luck’! That wretched luck! Murat felt that since he met that little prince, he had all the while been experiencing misfortune. Perhaps he had unintentionally offended the God of Light some time ago, and his current situation was probably the God’s punishment towards him.
"General Murat, is your knight well?" Oscar had noticed Murat’s bleak look.
"I beg your pardon, but perhaps you should change the way you address. You should address those soldiers as ‘My knights’," Murat said irritably to the prince. "They are all yours, even I included."
Oscar was aware that this Major General was somewhat criticizing him. However, he did not care much, since they still had quite a long time together.
"Very well then Lieutenant Colonel de Barry, tell me, why did General Figg, who is also my second brother, asked you to come with me?" Oscar changed the subject.
"I apologize, Your Royal Highness, for I do not know why General Figg arranged it this way; I am only exercising the orders given to me. However, I believe that General Figg must have his reasons, for he has never issued an order without an objective."
"So you are saying that you have absolute faith in my second brother?" Oscar dared not place a lot of trust in his second brother; for that chap was honestly too cunning!
"Yes Your Royal Highness, I have absolute faith in my General!" When talking about Figg, even Colonel de Barry’s face became serious.
"Of course you have faith!" Murat said snappily, "Good soldiers are always willing to follow a General who is always victorious in battle!"
Oscar shrugged his shoulders, understanding that Murat was just venting.
The prince’s party was about to arrive at the official residence of the Andrew family. This tiny fort sat isolated at the edge of the forest. The watchtowers of the fort had raised war flags, the gates of the fort were still open, yet the silhouettes of many guards could vaguely be made out.
Oscar felt unsatisfied. All the family members at home seemed to be rushing about for war, yet it seemed that only his third brother and he were wondering about aimlessly. His third brother was okay with it, but was there honestly nothing in which he can assist?
"Oscar! Brother!" Sasha’s yell was heard in the distant. The young lady seemed to have been waiting by the gates all this while. When she saw the prince’s party, she urged her female horse to practically frisk over.
"What’s up? Did something happen at home?" Oscar could only think of asking that when he saw his sister.
"Yes! A wedding! Second brother’s wedding!"
Oscar was astounded! Wasn’t his second brother a little too impatient?
The Hall of Heroes of the Andrew family, as we know, was actually a small chapel. Today, the 29th day of the 7th month, in the 791’s year in the Morning of Light’s Calendar. Figg Andrew Tibotty, Andrew family’s second son, Commander of the Narcissus Knight Traisen Front, much like a majority of the Narcissus knights; was going to hold a wedding ceremony on this Army Day.
The decorations in the little chapel were simple. Two rows of pews and an altar, a figure of the God of Light Sapriuses, and also a red carpet spread out specifically for the wedding.
"In other words..." Oscar stood at the doorway of the Hall of Heroes, "Our groom has invited the pastor, the Registry of Marriages, our relatives, the bride and he solely did not include himself! Am I right?"
Tracey had a white wedding dress worn over the top of her black army uniform. Although she herself did not mind this rather peculiar way of dressing up, with the black showing through the white, she at least was aware that in the history of the Andrew family’s marriages, she was the most sloppy bride.
"No Your Royal Highness! Oh, that’s right..." Tracey blinked several times, "Would it be okay if I addressed you as little Oscar? As you know, if there are no incidents, I will be your sister-in-law in the future."
"Of course, beloved sister-in-law. You should absolutely not call me by Prince, Your Royal Highness or any addresses of the sort."
"Then, could we disregard that fellow who is running late for now? I would like to know, why has that scoundrel Figg got his whole body covered in blood at the arena."
"Ah... basically, that is the blood of the fowls. I filled it into his leather bag prior to the event. However, my dear sister-in-law, with your intelligence, you probably know that all this was clearly planned by that latecomer." Oscar stroked his nose; evidently, this little lad again felt awkward. However, he knew that if he were to come to an equal with his second brother in the future, then getting on this sister-in-law’s good side was definitely a must.
"However, I don’t think that this matters much. Figg will use his eternal love to compensate for everything he had done to you today. Although he is a little rascal, a little obscene and also a little shameless, all these do not mean anything. You should believe me, and all the more believe my brother. He is a good man who will protect you all his life.
Tracey looked at little Oscar steadily, "Uhh... I don’t know what to say, but...Thank you!"
The bride kissed the younger brother on the cheek. She was about to say something more, but then she saw a group of knights galloping towards them from the forest trail. The young lady finally knew what ‘nervousness’ meant. She did not fling herself into his husband’s embrace like an infatuated fool, but instead ran into the chapel, red-faced.
"Hahahahaha!" Figg has not had such an indulgent laugh for a long time. Oscar heard this chap’s hearty laugh from far off.
"Hey! My little brother! How are you feeling?" And with that, Andrew family’s second son leaped off the galloping warhorse. The knights he brought with him grabbed the reins of the steed.
"How else can I feel? This question should be answered by you, you are the one who’s the groom!" Oscar grinned as he met his second brother.
"My feeling, Haha! I only have one feeling!" Figg took his younger brother into his embrace. "This feeling is truly… truly the most marvelous!" After saying this, the elder brother did not forget to plant a heavy kiss on his little brother’s forehead.
Oscar gazed at his brother. This was his first time being in such high spirits for another person other than himself.
"We should go inside!" Oscar reminded his second brother.
Figg peered into the doors of the little chapel and straightened his military uniform.
"That’s right! Allow me to enter first and you follow behind me. If I look behind and you’re gone then, it will be too bad for you, little fellow! After all, you are the best man!"
"These words seem to be my line!" Oscar pulled on Figg’s sleeves, "Then what should I do? No one has told me how to be a best man!"
Figg dragged his younger brother into the chapel, "No, the best man is actually just for display, you don’t have to do anything."
While Oscar was still dubious, the little chapel erupted with enthusiastic cheers.
The eldest in the Andrew family led his wife and children to sit in the first row. Madame Pauline glanced back and forth between the bride and her son; Sasha, as the maid of honor of the bride, stood beside the altar while the third son was the most bizarre. The silly son of the Andrew family was actually standing at the seat of the wedding witness with a serious atmosphere. There was another thing, the people who attended were all seated on the at the bridegroom’s side while there was no one at all seated at the bride’s side. However, there was nothing suspicious about this at all, considering the bride was an orphan and both her parents had already passed away within the chaos of war.
Just like this, an extremely simple wedding ceremony; including the pastor, had not more than ten of those who showed up to witness the ceremony.
Figg strode towards the altar. Did he know what he was doing? He initially planned to thoroughly dispose of the Persians first, and then only consider the prospect of marriage, yet he had already decided, hadn’t he? Moreover, the gods seemed to keep exhorting him, in his ears, "Child! This is a fine young lady, if you miss her, you will regret it for a lifetime!" Figg quickened his pace; he walked towards his wife with resolution. He did not want to regret, especially not with regards this matter.
"Why is time moving so slow?" Tracey muttered in her heart. The cheers had already resounded, right? He had arrived, had he not? The bride faced the altar and bowed. She finally heard his footsteps approaching, but oh god! Great God of Light! Could you please fast forward the chiming clock a little? Wedding! Goodness, gracious! Tracey groaned, she did not know whether she had lost her mind, but her wedding dress, her hand grasping the... "You’re late!" The pastor of the Andrew family greeted the groom.
"My apologies! An emergency military affairs meeting! I got away with great difficulty."
Dressed in his holy robes, the pastor shrugged nonchalantly, he was aware that the child was saying those for the bride to hear.
"So shall we begin?"
"Yes... Oh no!" Figg was quick to change his words.
The pastor shot a baffled look at the groom.
"I mean to say... my subordinates are waiting for me outside, you know I have very limited time, so with all due respect, Mr. Pastor, can you skip over and conduct the most important part?" Figg glanced at the pastor with distress. Time! That was most important to him.
"Does the bride have any opinions?" The pastor asked Tracey.
The bride who had been silent all this while shook her head.
"Then very well. The all-powerful God of Light, in accordance with the requests of this newlywed who loyally serves you, we have cut short the rituals of the wedding ceremony. Now may the wedding witness pass on the sacred keepsake to the groom and bride."
Cody took a step forward. He uncovered the silk on the silver platter in his hands. Two diamond rings, one large and one tiny, were seen lying on it.
The bride took the larger one while the groom took the smaller one. During this process, as the best man who was standing dumbly behind the groom, Little Oscar was indeed sweating rivers in the place of these newlyweds. He was afraid that his third brother would at this crucial moment demand for yogurt. Ola! If that were the case, then it would certainly be a huge laughing matter!
However, the teen’s anxiety was unnecessary. Cody was like a true clergy, completing the process strictly by the rules; just like when dancing, the dumb third young master transformed into an image of a fine man, mature and staid.
"So, before the God of Light, please answer me with the sincerest of hearts. Figg Andrew Tibotty, are you willing to take Miss Tracey Ninova as your wife, and to rely on one another throughout your life, be it through age or sickness?
During this neutral moment, Oscar glanced at the young lady beside the bride and met Sasha’s eyes. Both of them were startled and averted their gazes swiftly.
"Yes, I do." It was rare for Figg to say his vows solemnly. His chest was perfectly straight and the scar on his face was emanating a fantastic radiance.
"Tracey Ninova, are you willing to marry Figg Andrew Tibotty, even if a horde of Persians were to suddenly burst through the doors?"
"Then please exchange your rings."
After the groom and bride had completed that step, Tracey tried to free herself from Figg who was grasping her hand, but no matter how hard she tried, she could not do so.
"In that case, groom, what are you waiting for?" The pastor asked the second young master who was staring at him blankly.
"Waiting for what?" The second young master was a little perplexed.
"Don’t tell me you don’t wish to kiss the bride?"
Figg came to his senses! Aside from being a rogue pervert, it was his first time knowing that he was also a fool!
The groom uncovered the bride’s veil. This was not his first time meeting her, but at that moment, he was completely mesmerized. Figg tried to find the best position on those enchanting lips before his eyes, forget about it! Who cares!
For the first time, Tracey saw the scar on Figg’s face up close. It was very sinister, awfully hideous, so awfully passionate that it could stifle a person! Oh god! What does this have to do with anything? Why isn’t he ending this yet? Won’t there be enough opportunities in the future?
The kiss finally ended and Figg wiped his mouth shamelessly.
"Congratulations, the God of Light is your witness, you have become husband and wife!"
The people stood up and clapped. Madame Pauline had tears trickling down her cheeks. Sobbing, she used both her hands to cover her mouth. The young lady took out a pre-prepared flower basket and Cody happily scattered countless Narcissus flowers. The eyes of the head of the Andrew family were also shining. Figg noticed that his eldest brother could also not hold it in, for the corners of the lad’s eyes were wet!
Oscar looked like an idiot, following the footsteps of the newlyweds. He and the relatives escorted the newlyweds towards the outside of the doors together. When they reached the doors, the eldest brother grabbed the young lad who was still thinking about continuing on. They stood at the top of the flight of steps while the groom and bride walked towards the group of knights.
The bride turned around and the people could see that she was happy! Oscar was a little puzzled because he saw that the bride was giving him a look. After that, the bride’s flower garland was flung towards him!
The youngster had every intent to catch the flower garland, but a tall silhouette suddenly got in front of his way. Cody! This child who wanted to have his way, rushed towards his younger brother, giggling. Oscar was a little indignant; this chap had snatched away the bride’s blessing! This blessing was supposed to be his!
"Ola! Thankfully it isn’t me! The Narcissus flowers in this place are given to the spirits of martyrs!" The youngster decided to properly pay his devious third brother back.
And as expected, the younger brother’s words immediately caused Cody‘s face to fall. Spirits of martyrs? This term was one of the very few things that he could understand. Without thinking, the third brother flung the flower garland to his eldest brother at the side. Racheff, who was encircled by his wife and children, was in a dilemma, not knowing whether to throw it or hold it.
Figg leaped onto the horseback. Although a lot of the grooms of the Narcissus knights bade farewell to their brides after the wedding ceremony this way, he still felt tormented. He did not know what he should say to the lady who had just become his wife. It seemed that saying anything was out of place! "Wait for my return!" This won’t do, Figg contradicted his own mind. Since he was coming back, why didn’t he just stay back? "I love you! Wait for my return!" This didn’t seem to work either! These phrases sounded a little like blackmail.
"My husband is a Narcissus knight who charges and breaks through the enemy lines on the battlefield. His duty is to defend the frontier. The allotted time may be eternal but I believe that there will come the day when my husband will take off his bloodstained armor, bring the medals of victory while carrying a large bouquet of Narcissus on a lovely afternoon, and knock on my bedroom door."
Tracey gazed at Figg when she said these words. That was a segment of a dialogue in the extremely familiar legendary novel. However, the people of Narcissus never got tired of it over the years.
"I have forgotten, how did the knight answer again?" Tracey stood in Figg’s shadow. Her husband was really tall in her eyes!
Figg pursed his lips. He was unsure whether he should speak out that exchange. That dialogue had been used way too often. He thought that Tracey would be more creative, but it seemed that it was not that way.
"My...My wife!" Figg compromised, "My wife is a fairly ordinary young lady of Narcissus. At home, she tirelessly cared for my parents and our three children. Even if I leave her, with the possibility of the time being eternal, but I believe that there will come a day when I will remove my bloodstained armor, with the medals of victory all over my chest, holding a bouquet of flowers on a beautiful afternoon, and return to my hometown; and she will be standing by the little brook at the entrance of our home."
"Could I... Could I kiss you?" Tracey could not hold it back any longer; she did not wish to continue being strong anymore. At least just for this moment, let her become a woman who needed love and protection, who needed a sense of security.
"Oh... Tracey!" When confronted with the calling of such deep love, the simple-minded Figg no longer wanted to put on an indifferent front. He lowered his body from the horse. When his lips were pressed tightly on his wife’s, he finally understood that the cold, bitter liquid were actually tears.
The sound of galloping horses quickly faded into the forest. Tracey waved her veil in the direction where the knights had vanished. However, she quickly realized that one of the knights had turned around and had stopped at the corner of the forest trail’s turning.
Figg shouted towards his wife, "Tracey! If I really see you bringing three children when I return, what should I do?"
Tracey stomped her feet in humiliation. Her husband, sure enough, still had that disgusting behavior of his. The bride lifted up her skirts and pick up a stone by the side of the road!
"Before you return, if a woman bringing children call on me, then don’t you ever dream of seeing me again!"
The stone fell at a place quite a distance from Figg. The General urged his horse to gallop away, smirking. Oscar knew that that rascal was definitely laughing like a maniac.
Oscar stood there quietly; he could sense the atmosphere was brimming with thick affection at the moment. Sasha was consoling her new sister-in-law. Mother Pauline looked in the direction where her son had vanished, lost in thought. The eldest brother clasped, praying for "The bride’s blessing", but his wife was already pulling on his ear. Cody, who was bored stiff was pestering his "Nanny" to play mud with him.
The teen let off a sigh, he felt that he did not quite fit into this scene; he did not know which group he should join.
"Hey!" Snowstorm greeted the youngster.
"Ola! Paul! What happened?" Oscar went straight towards the King of Assassins, greeting him.
"Nothing, I just feel really uncomfortable." The King of Assassins did not forget to survey the surroundings vigilantly after saying this.
"What’s up? Is there danger?" Oscar was a little apprehensive.
"Don’t tell me that you did not notice?" Snowstorm was a little in disbelief. "Good gracious! You didn’t notice? Our surroundings are filled with an immense number of the United Army secret guards. Just when the fire beacons lit up, the numbers of those bodyguards have increased by a fold."
Paul scrutinized the lad briefly. In the end, he let off a sigh, "It’s not that I want to nag you, Your Royal Highness Prince, but since you returned home, you have basically let down your guard. This is definitely a dangerous move. Moreover, recently you have been zoning out without a reason. These are all extremely dangerous signs, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Why didn’t you consider whether they are people among the guards of the United Army who may want to murder you? What will you do then?"
"Hehe, this is the first time you called me by Your Royal Highness. However, my King of Assassins, aren’t you a little paranoid? They are the United Army, the most loyal secret unit to the family." Oscar was a little against him at the outset, yet in actuality, he just did not want to admit his shortcomings.
"Don’t be so innocent! If you still remember that you are a Royal Highness Prince, then it’s best for you to get yourself together. I believe in my judgment. Many a time, there are a few in the crowd that definitely hold bad intentions against you. I’ve already noticed quite a few people such as these."
"Of course, the Narcissus County is filled with many secret agents, they guard Andrew as if they were guarding against thieves." Oscar still had a little understanding of the condition of his family’s territory.
"My little Oscar! I can only say, suit yourself!" Paul was no longer anxious, "Since you feel that there is no danger, then there is nothing more I can say."
The wedding ceremony ended and Oscar bade farewell to a few relatives. He still did not feel like returning home, he wanted to drop by the headquarters to have a look. Perhaps to widen his knowledge of how the headquarters operated when facing a war?
"But... Do you not wish to experience a real war?" Lieutenant Colonel de Barry of the Traisen Front asked suddenly.
His Royal Highness The Prince reined in his horse and his followers followed suit and halted. At that moment, the youngster finally understood why this Lieutenant Colonel did not follow the Commander of the Front to leave.
"Hehe, it seems like my second brother indeed never carries out a matter without any objective! Lieutenant Colonel de Barry, the aim of your General Figg commanding you to follow me was to tempt me into going to the front lines, am I right?" Oscar sneered at the Lieutenant Colonel.
"Your Royal Highness, this is not a temptation, it is merely a suggestion or an option that is worth your consideration. You could stay at home, or you could follow the Traisen Front to take a stroll on the battlefield." Lieutenant Colonel de Barry also smiled when saying this.
"De Barry! You should really be a little more honest. Could it be that this is not considered a temptation? I, on the other hand, think that this is a highly tempting matter!" Oscar was a little moved, he gazed upon the dense thicket and fell into contemplation. However, one of his followers stepped out to oppose him from pondering further over it.
"Your Royal Highness!" If you really decide to go to the front lines, then I can only say that your actions are extremely irresponsible." Major General Murat perceived that if he did not speak now it would be too late.
Without waiting for the youngster to voice his thoughts, Lieutenant Colonel de Barry spoke first. "General Murat, as His Royal Highness’ direct officer of the Cavalry Division, how could you be afraid of war? Don’t forget that you and your Cavalry Division will be accompanying His Royal Highness Prince to enter the inland. Meaning to say, there won’t be many chances of your being on the battlefield in future. Why aren’t you seizing this golden opportunity?"
Murat opened his mouth, but in the end, did not utter a single word. He was right! De Barry had struck a place close to heart. There was nothing bad about following the prince, but the distance from the battlefield is indeed growing further and further! On these few days, he kept wondering that perhaps he and his Red Tigers would never gallop over the battlefield after leaving Narcissus.
Oscar also had his head down, brooding over his worries. He had to hand it to him, his second brother was crafty and extremely shrewd in reading people. This man had sent his subordinate to talk to him about these things mostly because he wanted to escape suspicions. When the moment comes, the one who took personal actions was him, while his second brother had already left, right? When father starts investigating in detail, haha! The unfortunate one will definitely be him.
Oscar shook his head, it seemed that his second brother was just intolerable. This man was too good at calculating; for the General has calculated thoroughly about Murat. Oscar believed that if he really wanted to go to the Traisen Front, then Murat and his Red Tiger Cavalry Division would follow suit.
"Have you decided?" Lieutenant Colonel de Barry pressed on to ask. He felt that it was still best not to provide His Royal Highness ample time to consider even more matters.
Oscar’s eyes suddenly shot up brightly! There was nothing to be afraid of! His second brother would not let anything dangerous befall him. He could also easily make up an excuse to inform his father of his departure. So long as he returned safe and sound, his father would not blame him. Since this was the case, why not go ahead and experience a real war? Since he himself wanted to go study about the Ancient War Theory, why couldn’t he start from this?"
"I’ve decided!" The youngster said with resolution.
"You’ve really decided?" Murat could no longer insist on perspective. After all, going to was exactly what he had been hoping for.
"Yes! Let us accompany General Figg’s Traisen Front. Let us see if the Persians are really like the beasts of the devil!" The teen cried, exceptionally thrilled.
"No, they appear more or less like your horseman and moreover they are definitely not easy to handle." Murat once again burst his bubble.
In a flash, Oscar’s look became cold. At last, he did not wish to put up with the General who was full of resentment.
"General Murat, I do not know what the problem between both of us is, but I would like you to consider carefully now. If you cannot accept the fact of you being my direct Army Division, then it is still not too late, I can go to headquarters immediately and explain to my father about this matter. In the end, you will still be the Red Tiger Commander of the Neruda Front."
Murat was about to say something but he was stopped by a wave of His Royal Highness Prince’s hand. "Do not hurry to answer, I have not finished. If you decide to accept this appointment, then you should know what you need to do, what words you should say, for example, that horseman of mine, matters related to him should not be the topic of your discussion."
Murat was aware that his uninhibited attitude had finally infuriated His Royal Highness. He indeed did not wish to accompany the prince to the Empire’s inland because he felt that his future would be ruined. A General who could not go onto the battlefield, is there any future left for him?
The Major General really wanted to withdraw, but he knew that if he really did just that, then he was not a qualified Narcissus knight. The instructions from headquarters were very clear. He was aware from the moment he accepted the order that he had set foot onto a destined path. Although every word he said seemed to go against the little prince, that was nevertheless just his attitude. Obeying commands were the Narcissus knight’s mission in life, and Murat finally accepted this reality.
"Your Royal Highness, if my language has offended you, then I extend to you my sincerest apologies. I am the Commanding officer of your direct Army Division, I am only responsible towards you. This is the truth, and I feel that I absolutely do not have any reason to change this fact. Narcissus knight’s Fourth Independent Cavalry Division are the Red Tiger’s new military unit number, The Fourth Independent Division awaits your assignment at all times, please instruct us!"
Oscar gazed into Murat’s eyes. This man had finally come to a compromise. "Murat, I believe that you have already decided, so I do not wish for anything that could disappoint me happen."
"Yes, Your Royal Highness." And thus Murat did not utter another word.
"Then very well! You go ahead and return to the Army Division’s station and prepare all the arrangements for battle. You are the expert in this field, so everything is up to you."
"But Your Royal Highness, aren’t you returning with me to the station? We can set off latest by this evening." For the first time, Murat voiced out a rational proposal.
"No!" Oscar vetoed his proposal immediately, "Didn’t I say I wanted to go to the headquarters? I suppose the secret members of the United Army have already reported this matter there and I must at least go greet my father. So... This is it!" Oscar turned his horse around.
"Snowstorm, Doramy, Godot, Percy, Sarlat, return home first and pack your things for the long, arduous journey ahead, and remember to pack mine as well. Baron Erbe, you are my family’s chamberlain and also the assistant of my family matters; you stay back and await Her Royal Highness Princess’ orders, for she does not have a single person to order around here."
"Lieutenant Colonel de Barry, you come with me to the headquarters. After that, we will go directly to Murat’s Army Division station, we move out tonight!"
The lad once again turned towards Murat, "I say General, where is your Army Division stationed?"
Murat’s old habits once again surfaced, "You don’t know?" The general could not believe that his direct commanding officer actually did not know where his knights were!
"It’s not like you’ve told me before."
"Uhh... I apologize to you!" What else could Murat have said! "How about this, I will send an officer to the headquarters to meet you, this way the issue will be resolved, right?"
"Also send another to the official residence, my followers also don’t know where your station is located."
"Very well Your Royal Highness! As you wish."
"So let it be this way, we move separately, see you later!" At the end, Oscar informed a few people and then left on the galloping horse. His time was very precious now. Before the United Army personnel discovered anything, he must break free from the lines of sight of his father as well as those spies.
It was nothing like what Oscar had imagined, the headquarters did not present a scene of being confronted by great enemies; only the guard force of the forest and Shanvelor Palace had increased. Oscar had already passed through countless checkpoints when entering the huge gates.
In the Shanvelor Palace, all of the officers had already returned to their posts. Their public holiday had once again been ended by the all-evil Persians! The Command Center that was situated on the second floor of the Palace was the Narcissus Knight Regiment’s war hub. It was here that the knight regiment’s staff officers analyzed all the battle reports and all sorts of documents. Although the military intelligence from the front already lost its most important window period once it reached their hands, at least they could still henceforth make the right decisions in war deployment.
The strategy Command Center, as compared to the quiet palace grounds, was undeniably the most bustling department. The communications officials were like wild cats, slinking swiftly into and out of the huge doors. A huge amount of documents were drifting before each department’s Commanding Officer like snowflakes. Oscar gaped at everything within the Command Center; it resembled a flea market exceedingly. He did not know what all these people were doing, shouting all sorts of toponyms and numbers of military units, so tentatively; the youngster regarded them as haggling prices.
No one paid any attention to His Royal Highness The Prince. The advisors had focused all their attention on the battle information before their eyes.
The little prince found his father in front of an enormous table. A map of Narcissus County about four to five meters wide was spread across the table. Only with great difficulty did the youngster managed to squeeze into a place between the officers surrounding the table.
"Oh! My little son, why did you come?" The Duke noticed Oscar who had suddenly appeared within his field of vision.
"Nothing, just looking around." Oscar rubbed his nose. He could also say this. A while ago he had listened in on the things that the advisors were debating on and he did not understand a single thing. In other words, he could only stop at the stage of just looking around, since he could be of no help here.
"Marshal! These are the comprehensive analysis results of the Buchwald Front, Traisen Front, Birboehm Front and Mistral Front battle reports!" An officer barged into the group at the table and passed the documents in his hands to Duke Andrew.
"Haha! Right on time!" The Duke dusted off the documents with his hand. "Little Oscar, come to my side."
Oscar crossed many officers before arriving before his father and during that time, an old general patted him on the shoulder. The youngster still remembered that he was his grandfather. Once the youth had taken up the position beside his father, he noticed that sure enough, quite a few of the officers on the spot were his relatives.
"Young lad, feeling a little uneasy, am I right?" The Duke spoke to his son in a low voice.
"No, not at all!" Oscar indeed did not feel uneasy, he only wanted to leave this place as soon as possible now.
The Duke said nothing more. He passed the documents in his hands to a staff officer beside him, "My son, this is our Chief of Staff, you can call him General Laurier, or Uncle Laurier. Come, let the Narcissus knight’s Chief of Staff explain to us, let’s see what the Persians have been up to!"<script>chaptererror();</script>