Titan Beneath the Heavens
Chapter 221: Twenty-fifth Episode: Chapter 1
Chapter 221: Twenty-fifth Episode: Chapter 1
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
At dusk, the flame of the sun lit up the western sky. The falling sun only spilled a string of light at the edge of the horizon. Only the fiery red sky and flaming clouds were still releasing its magnificent colors.
The mountains under the sky were at times bright and dark. Near Potimisino Village, the bright red sky hovered above the ruined houses and large bundles of flame. Thick, dark smoke slowly rose from the center of the village. There was no wind in early summer, so the smoke headed straight toward the sky. The gigantic smoke pillar could be seen from a few kilometers away.
The Potimisino War that was started by the Southern Army Group came to an end in the afternoon. This was earlier than the Westell War by more than two hours. The Guards dug a thirty-meter-deep hole at the ruins. They had only finished preparing this hole by the next morning.
The army sent out a whole infantry corps to clear the place. Even though this job could ensure the soldiers in the unit collect an enormous loot as war prizes, it was not an easy job to search the bodies with terrifying deaths on the battlefield. The warriors mostly used handkerchief or scarf to cover their mouths and noses tightly. The whole battlefield stunk of a filthy odor. Broken limbs and some unnamed body organs were all over the ground. Some soldiers' eyes were smeared with blood water. The world they saw was bright red. No one would possibly believe this, but the red world was the most realistic depiction of the Potimisino battlefield.
The warriors had gathered the bodies left by the enemy even before the hole was done. Mountain-like bodies were gathered in three directions in the Potimisino Village. When the hole was done, the Titan warriors threw the enemy's bodies into the hole. They could not even throw too many at once. All they did was layering the bottom of the hole with bodies.
After filling in oil, they threw fire torches into it. The hole began to burn intensely. At this time, the Titan warriors stood far away. They covered their noses to resist the stench released by burning corpses. The stench and the scene before their eyes could easily be depicted as hell. The knights who were going about in the thick smoke resembled spirit catchers in hell.
The catchers already began to fill the hole with soil even before the fire had stopped. The soil that had been mixed with bloody water soon suppressed the fire and buried the corpses into the deepest parts of hell. Then, the warriors threw another layer of corpses into the hole and the fire continued. This repeated process only came to its end after two days and one night.
However, during this period, the southern soldiers of Titan dug a new hole nearby the village. Apparently, the thirty-meter-deep hole was not sufficient to bury all dead bodies. Adding to that, it was summer now. If the bodies were exposed under the sun for three days, the Titans would not need to deal with enemies. The epidemic would be enough to eliminate all invaders.
In Slovenia Potimisino War, the dead accounted to 39,217 and the captured was 40,221 people as recorded in the history of the Guards. This way, those who were observant would notice their enemy was the Slovenia Kingdom Army's major groups in the circle of Potimisino. There was a total of nine corps. Titan soldiers had eliminated 39,217 and captured 40,221 people amongst them. Except for that, the war history had never talked about missing people or those who fought their way out. So, these observant people would ask, almost eighty percent of the ninety-thousand-men army were gone. (What happened to the remaining twenty percent of people?) They asked.
The leader of Narcissus Knights, Figg Andrew Tibotty and his guards made a whole cavalry brigade and walked past the battlefield nonchalantly. The soldiers who were resting on the ground all heard the dense sound of horse hooves from afar. Marshal Figg's black horse was riding at the front. The passionate soldiers only knew to avoid it just before the horse reached them.
Cheers shook the sky and countless Titan warriors roared out from the quiet mountains. They saw Narcissus Knights running toward them while holding the war flag up high. They even saw the paladins behind the flag-bearers who were pulling at a few broken Slovenia army fag. This meant that the Narcissus Knights had, as well, attained victory. When the soldiers were dumb-founded looking at the steel carriage passing by them, some Narcissus comrades who were not rushing with their journey told them that it was the Slovenian King who attempted to protect the pagans. Thus, the cheers became even more high-spirited.
The Titan warriors jumped and laughed as if they were celebrating in a carnival. They ran about, telling others of this news. They even took off their blood-stained helmets before the Narcissus Knights and threw the helmets into the sky. Marshal Figg had captured the enemy's king. If in the previous age of knights, this meant the change of ruler of the Slovenia Kingdom.
At a tall and deep valley road, Marshal Figg and his knights stopped abruptly and so did the steel carriage. The Narcissus Knights used all their strength to pull Tirana XI who was a little dizzy from the journey out of the carriage. The Slovenian King immediately kneeled and threw up once he stepped on the ground. It was as if he had to throw up all his organs before he stopped.
Figg threw a towel at him. This captured king did not even think before he accepted it. Tirana XI wiped his mouth and his face and only then he realized that he should get up from the ground. The king returned the dirty towel to the Narcissus Knights' Marshal, but Figg shook his head with a smile. He pointed to the slope in front of him, "Your Majesty, keep it for yourself! I think you will still need it after a while."
The Slovenian King looked over strangely. He did not know what was going to happen after this.
No matter what, his life was ensured at this moment because Marshal Figg had told him that the Narcissus Knights would be honored in the ancient courtesy. The Titan's Empress would not think of killing a king as well.
Then, what more could it be?
The large steel carriage could not climb the slope. The Slovenian King was given a horse in jujube color. He knew the knights of Andrew were humiliating him, but looking at the expressions of those soldiers, he knew his objection now would further be looked down by the Narcissus people. Then, he silently went up the horse and followed Figg.
"Phew..." Figg blew a whistle when he reached the top and looked at the scenery. He greeted an officer of the Guards who came forward, "Not bad! I must give your Eighth Region Second Corps respect now!"
The Corps Commander of the Eighth Region Second Corps Major General Silvio Barrick respectfully greeted Marshal Andrew, then spat on the ground before him. However, it was not meant for Figg, but to Tirana XI who wore the clothing of a Slovenian knight. The butcher of the southern Corps did not need to guess to know the young man on the horse in front of him was the protector of those evil pagans.
The Titan warriors nearby surrounded their Corps commander. There were about two thousand people here. Figg was stunned looking at them. If the Corps Commander of the Second Corps was as strict as Oscar had described, then his soldiers would not look as bad as this.
"What is wrong with you?" Figg turned to Major General Silvio.
The butcher spat, "Launching an attack in the morning right when the enemy is most energetic, and the war coordinate is these sh*tty people's commander unit in Potimisino. What do you say we should be?"
"Oh..." Figg nodded in understanding.
Silvio glared at the trembling Tirana XI with disgust, then turned to the leader of the Narcissus Knights, "Sir, the warriors behind me are all the remaining soldiers of the Second Corps. We fought our way from the outside into their commanding unit. I only realized how many I have lost in the end. This is just absurd!"
Even if the losses of Southern Army Group were completely within the expectation of Figg, but he was still moved after hearing these words. Even though the butcher Silvio's reputation was bad, the Second Corps he led had replaced the infamous "Snow Lions" and became the strongest brigade amongst the Southern Army Group. Figg only understood why the soldiers he saw on his way were mostly in such bad shape. Even the Second Corps had such a hard time with the battle – it was apparent how strong and relentless the enemy's resistance was!
"Sir, thank you for all the things you have done for the Empire!" Figg paid his respect to Silvio Barrick with the most ancient sword greetings of the Narcissus Knights.
"You should say for the Andrews..." Even though he was saying this in his heart, the arrogant Silvio only nodded in agreement with Figg.
"Really? We have to pass through there?" The trembling Slovenian King suddenly pointed to the plains in front of him. His facial expression was completely distorted. His eyes filled with terror.
"Of course..." Figg smiled cunningly. "This is the present given to you by the Chief of Staff of Titan's Southern Army Group Lieutenant General Tantalus!"
The butcher Silvio was bothered by the tasteless conversation. He took out his sword and stabbed the rear of the horse. The horse screeched in pain. After the yell, it rushed forward down the slope. Then, the terrified Slovenian King screamed like a woman. The Titan warriors nearby roared in laughter as they watched the embarrassing king. They had already forgotten about the terrible number of injuries. Moreover, they had completed the revenge toward the enemy. The plains in which the injured horse rushed into was the evidence of that horrible revenge.
The setting sun had retrieved its bright flame. The light which spilled on the ground slowly darkened. The strange-looking dusk filled the plains and the heavy red light turned into strings of haze which disappeared soon after. When the haze was thin, thousands of overturned crosses could be seen on the plains. On every cross, there was a body pinned to it. The head of the corpse was near the ground. Blood gushed out from the steel nails pinned into its limbs and the slithered throat. Most of the injuries on the bodies had already shown its rotten meat. Obviously, they had already been like that for quite some time.
The bloody water made the ground muddy. There were still Titan soldiers walking about in the forest of overturned crosses. The Slovenian King looked at this in horror. He wanted to cry and curse, but he just did not know where to start. Pinning one on the overturned cross before slithering his or her throat was the ancient punishment against pagan of the Religion of Light, but the ones who suffered such punishment were not all pagans. They were the soldiers of the king and the warriors who defended their country's sovereignty. The Titans should not let them bear such sins.
Then, laughter came from the horrible forest. Tirana XI saw two Titan soldiers opened the mouth of a corpse and broke his golden tooth with their scabbard. They even took the corpse's wedding ring from his finger. Even the most innocent king would not forget the face of the invaders. Tirana XI suddenly found himself fearless. All that was left in his heart was anger! It was an agonizing fury!
The slaughter seemed to be endless. The blood and body stench were overwhelming. The sky had gone completely dark and the grey universe lit up a few lights. They were the light of the stars.
There was a flock of birds hovering above the slaughtering place. There were vultures, falcons and cliff eagles.
These predators of the dead had already been busy for a whole day. Each of them was full of food. They kept circulating in the sky as if they were digesting the delicious food they have not had in many years. Soon, the birds formed a moving vortex in the sky where the light of the stars spilled from the center of the vortex. In the end, this made the horrible scene even more terrifying.
Tirana XI did not know how he had gone past this hell-like place. He only hoped that he had many knives in his hands! If he saw the Chief of Staff who created all of this later, he would stab that person without caring about anything. Even though he was a king, this was as much as he could do now.
At the edge of the field, the horrifying slaughter seemed endless. The Slovenian King heard Titan words, curses and cries. Going against the Narcissus Knights' traverse, Tirana XI rushed forward toward the light of the fire torch. (O God of Light! What have I seen?) He thought.
A team of Kingdom soldiers had their hands tied behind their backs. Thick rope bound them together. The warriors were kneeling on the ground with their heads lowered as they stared hopelessly at their country's soil. Titan soldiers of the Second Corps had inherited the cruel and numb beast-like behavior of the previous generation. Although they were busy with cursing, the whips and their boots were not doing nothing. More than ten carriages were carrying new crosses. Two Titan soldiers got one and placed it on the ground upside down. Then, an officer ordered a warrior to get a poor guy who was destined to be brought to a place with no lords and suffer eternally.
This captured soldier had no energy left to struggle. Nor did he had the energy to beg the invaders who seemed like evil gods. He was holding a small statue of God of Light and kept reciting the mantra in a low voice.
Four muscular warriors held the limbs of the captured soldier tightly. Unspeakable excitement showed itself on the face of these warriors as if they were doing some sort of an incredible job.
The poor guy had his legs stacked together and a thick nail then pierced through his ankles after being hit strongly by a hammer.
The Slovenian soldier whose mind was completely destroyed by the slaughter finally released a shocking yell. He struggled and yelled crazily. His whole body was twitching while tears poured from his face.
The Titan soldiers seemed numb with such scene. They were busy going about their business without caring about the noise and the disturbance of the deadly aura at all.
The sufferings of the captured soldier continued. His arms were pressed on the cross. The Titan soldier who was holding the hammer was aiming at the position to hammer the nail.
Without bothering his beg or the excruciating pain brought upon by the nail, the hammer fell onto him ruthlessly. Blood spilled out and a terrible yell rang once again in the dark night. This was a hopeless howl and an excruciating statement!
The Slovenian soldier had stopped his struggle. His heavily injured arms merged with the cross and his palms slowly opened. The statue of God of Light was exposed in the light. The Titan soldiers were attracted by this golden ornament. The officer came forward and took this statue. Then, he put it to his mouth and tried to bite it.
Titan soldiers surrounded him. This small thing would worth a few gold coins and could be counted as wealth.
"Look at this, boss! Even the god is blessing you!" The warriors tried very hard to please this officer who was smiling widely.
"Yes, yes!" The officer spat at the captured soldier on the cross, "I thought all Slovenians are poor! Right, why did you all stop? Continue! Quick! This guy is a thief. He must have stolen this thing!"
Among the agreements, the hammer hit the nail again. Then, a jujube horse rushed forward. The knight on the horse yelled, "Stop! Stop!"
The Slovenian King Tirana XI sat on the horse sternly. His upheaval chest was filled with anger. His gaze was deep, and his hair disheveled. He had never been more like a king than now! The Titan soldiers were surprised to hear this angry howl. They stopped what they were doing and stared in question at this man who came from nowhere.
"It's a knight!" A Titan warrior suddenly pulled out his sword. He was the first to recognize the knight's armor.
"Yeah!" The officer nodded and took out his sword. "The armor shows that he is noble!"
The captured soldier on the ground looked up. Their units were eliminated. How could there be any knight left?
The Titan soldiers around the knight came toward him. Their swords were held against the body of the Slovenian King, but Tirana XI paid no attention to it. He simply scanned the invaders around him with a disgusted gaze. To be honest, he would not do this an hour before. An hour before, he was still thinking how he could beg the forgiveness of O'Neil Andrew Morisette, but now, let this Titan Prince and his murderers go to hell! No one could let a king give up his pride and country! Tirana XI understood a moral, but he still could not say it clearly.
Figg was stopping not far away from him with his guards. He was smiling as he witnessed the sudden incident.
He even ordered the Commander of the Second Corps to not bother them.
Tirana XI pointed a finger at the poor guy on the ground, "Let him go! He is a loyal believer of the God of Light. You heard his prayer and his beg. Even the god will choose to forgive his sins."
"Sir..." An evil-looking Titan soldier came forward, "Sir! We came from far away. You should at least pay a little for the sin of this poor guy..."
Without waiting for the invaders around him to make a fuss, Tirana XI had already taken off the golden ring from his finger. He threw the ancient-looking ring on the ground and begged for his wife's forgiveness in his heart.
That was his wedding ring with his queen even though he had never treasured their union before.
The invaders whistled. The king's ring was passed around them, "Look…there's a woman's name on it!" "Look...diamonds!" "Look...there are also logos of the religion and the pagans!" "Look...this Sir married a pagan b*tch!" The Titan soldiers made a loud fuss out of it.
"Look...these are the invaders!" The last king of Tirana Kingdom muttered in a low voice in his heart with disgust. The Titan soldiers and the Narcissus Knights were no longer the strong and powerful invaders in his eyes. They were a bunch of lowly bandits and robbers! A bunch of...
Just when the king was searching for the words to curse the invaders, an incident happened! A captured soldier who knelt on the ground somehow broke out of his bounds. He quietly approached a laughing Titan soldier and smashed his hard elbow into the soldier's face. The captured soldier took his sword and ran toward the evil soldiers surrounding the knight.
"Your Majesty...leave quickly! Your Majesty...quick!" This brave Slovenian warrior waved his long sword in a frenzy. The sharp blade brought about a high-pitched whistling, scaring the Titan soldier nearest to his left who took a few steps back. However, this Tirana King did not run away as he was told to. He kept thinking on his horse, dumb-founded... (Run? Where to?) He thought.
"Your Majesty..." The warrior groaned in helplessness. When numerous spears stabbed into his body and lifted him up, he found that he stared straight into the king's eyes.
"Your Majesty...leave...leave...fight...until the end..."
The warrior's breathing became weak, but he was still waving his sword using the last drop of his soul. His sword hit the spears of the invaders in vain until the furious Titan officer ordered for the spear-users to release their spears. The injured body fell solidly on the ground, but the invaders were not satisfied. The angry ax-users rushed forward. They waved their axes and cut the body in a frenzy until the person became a pile of mashed meat.
Tirana XI did not cry. He simply turned his horse to face the officer, "You have received your ransom. Release that poor guy!"
"Pthu!" The Titan officer spat on the ground and turned to the soldiers beside him, "Bring this Sir down. Next will be him!"
"Enough!" The dark-looking General Silvio Barrick arrived finally. This was the first time he felt embarrassed in front of the enemy.
"This is the King of Slovenia. You have no rights to do that!" The Corps Commander of Second Corps glared coldly at the leading officer.
"Your Majesty..." Silvio turned to Tirana XI. No matter what, he felt that this king was respectable as a king. "Marshal Figg is tired of waiting. You should continue your journey immediately."
Tirana XI did not care about the butcher's words. His gaze had stayed on the Kingdom's soldier. The soldiers had realized that this knight in front of them was the king they had sworn loyalty and fought for. Even though they had failed and had no dignity left to face the king, they still moved their body in difficulty. They faced the king and knelt. The King was trembling. This was the first time he realized how much the country needed him just as how much he needed the country.
"Your Majesty! Please, your journey!" Silvio said impatiently. He must think of a way to get this man away. The butcher took off his army hat and said strictly, "I assure you in the name of soldier, these people will be survivors of this judgment."
"Judgment?" Tirana XI glared at him, "You call this judgment?"
"Yes! Judgment!" Marshal Figg slowly entered the slaughtering field. He glanced at the Slovenian King with smiles, "Your Majesty, performance time is over! The whole world is waiting for you to recede from your throne!"
Tirana XI did not reply to the cunning Narcissus Marshal and turned to Silvio Barrick instead.
"Have I received the assurance of a soldier?"
The butcher nodded with a smile, "Yes, Your Majesty, you have!"
The king retrieved his gaze and saluted his Kingdom soldiers. He said to them, "The country will remember what you have done! Care for your lives, but don't forget what that warrior had said!"
"Battle until the end, huh?" General Silvio sent the Narcissus Knights and the Slovenian King away. He suddenly gave a cruel smile, "So naïve! They won't have the chance to battle until the end..."
The officer who was commanding the slaughtering came forward, "Commander..."
Silvio did not even wait for his subordinate to finish speaking. He immediately hit the guy, "F*ck this! How can you even get that warrior's medal? Do you know how embarrassing you are earlier?"
Sentry Maxime, who received the Empire's warrior medal and once saved Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette from danger was already a squadron commander of the Second Corps. He scratched his head in embarrassment, but this smart sentry had already presented the beautiful and precious ring to the Corps Commander.
Silvio placed the ring on his palm, then looked at the Empire's warrior as if saying he still knew his place, "Sir! Are we really letting them go?" Maxime pointed to the captured soldiers kneeling on the ground.
"Pfft..." Silvio hummed coldly, "Chief of Staff General Tantalus gave me orders to defend the central region of Potimisino Village. Also, to eliminate all enemies who did not surrender!"
Maxime blinked in difficulty, "But you just promised that king..."
"Stupid!" The Corps Commander scolded loudly, "This is why you are just a Captain and I am a General! Why don't you use your head for a bit? This is a war! War doesn't need any assurance. The same way you don't need a reason to kill here!"
The used-to-be sentry thought about it, then nodded in understanding. He thought that it was nothing less expected of a general's thinking.
"Oh, right..." Silvio suddenly took hold of the sentry's shoulder, "How is your old friend?"
"James?" Maxime immediately thought of his communication official, but James was already the communication official of the Second Corps, "His shoulder was pierced by a hammer. He still needs some time before he can stand."
Silvio breathed a sigh of relief. He really liked that guy who delivered his order quickly and accurately, and with a furious fighting style. "Send my regards to him!"
"Yes, Sir!" Maxime stood straight and saluted, but he got a little impatient every time he thought about his old friend's injury. The sentry turned to his squadron soldiers and yelled loudly as if he was yelling at animals, "What are you little sh*t doing? Raise your hammer. Place the cross! I didn't bring you here to fool around! Send them to hell! Quickly!"
The silent slaughtering field roared with terrifying cries as if it had never been quiet before.
After going around the base camp of the Southern Army Group, Figg did not even found one person who could make a decision. He simply introduced the Slovenian King to the warriors of the Guards who was drowned in happiness. Figg was a little worried at the camp. There were not many officers working at the base camp. Where had all these people have gone to?
According to a messenger, the Chief of Staff General Tantalus ordered all officers to help at various locations with injured soldiers. Figg could only say that he was unlucky. He had never been to those places. It was not because he was afraid to see the scene, but he simply thought that since he was on a battlefield as a soldier, then everything was destined. Sympathy was as cheap as the b*tches' tears and no one would care about that.
In Potimisino War, the Southern Army Group had sacrificed approximately forty-five thousand of soldiers to eliminate the strong enemy. It was a heavy price to pay. If it was not for the units of Slovenia Kingdom Army located at the left wing of the village had surrendered before the battle, it would still be unclear whether Titan would win this war.
According to the Lighthouse Strategy, General Tantalus's battlefront units had pushed forward by a hundred kilometers toward the south along the western border of Italia and Slovenia. However, the huge losses had made Tantalus paused in his footsteps and rearranged himself. He waited for the Army Group to replenish reserve soldiers from the back before continuing the next strategy.
At an empty land about a kilometer away from the base camp, the soldiers of the Guards had built a simple temporary medical tent for those injured. The simple camp was brightly lit. Moans and all sort of yells rang in the tent. The medical officer and the army priest were running about in all tents. There was a military officer guarding every tent.
After seeing General Tantalus, Figg simply shook his hand politely. He was a little nervous due to the aura at the location. He even became very irritable.
"Relax!" Tantalus glanced at the Narcissus Knight's Marshal funnily, "This is a place where the injured gather at. It has always been this way."
The injured among Titan soldiers lied helplessly on an army bed stained in fresh blood. Even if their chief commander had brought all medication of the army group and gathered a large number of medical members from the local clinics, the number of injured soldiers were overwhelming. Medication and injuries tending could not always be given equally to everyone at any time. According to the norms, the doctor would give color labels to every injured soldier. Different color represented different fate. The injured soldiers paid no attention to their pain. They simply stared at the doctor's pocket.
Was it the green death? Or the black giving up? Or the medication that represented life?
Figg passed the Slovenian King to the Chief of Staff of the Southern Army Group. Reaching a compromise with this man was Oscar's job. The Narcissus Knight's Marshal ran away from the Casualty Assembly Point. He knew he should not have gone to that bloody place. So, he began to throw up as if he needed to clear his intestines.
Tirana XI glanced at the butcher's leader. From the appearance and action of this person, Tantalus Piche was a standard soldier, "All of this for what?" The Slovenian King did not understand. He pointed to the Titan soldier who was tortured by pain. Even if Slovenia soldiers had paid a more painful price, but the king still had to ask. What was the reason behind this?
"You don't know?" Tantalus glanced unbelievably at the Slovenian King.
"My god! It seems that your Kingdom should really be changed. Didn't you realize Slovenia is outdated from the whole world?"
Tirana XI was even more confused. The closed-door policy was to prevent the economic invasion of pirates and overseas influence. The closed-off policy for freedom of religion was also to neutralize the real contradiction between two religions in the country. This was the internal politics of Slovenia. What did that have to do with the whole world?
"Andrew needs your land. Titan needs your sea. Engels needs your sailing route. West Percy needs your trading quota. Roman Church needs the pagan's head. So, all these prompt soldiers to invade your Kingdom. It is as simple as that! Your appearance here is what the whole world needs." Tirana XI let out a terrible laugh. As simple as that? As simple as that! A strong country would invade a small country. All excuses and reasons were carried out according to the thinking of this strong country. A strong country could lie to its people, gather its gang, divide the power and enjoy all fruits of success of a small country. As the king of a small country, Tirana XI had not committed many sins even if he was useless. However, according to the saying of a representative of a strong country, Titan would ask Roman Vatican to strip the ruling rights of Slovenia Tirana Royal Family and judge the family's sin. The Slovenian King would be banished from the land and never to return to his home. The Tirana family would spend the rest of its time in repentance under the surveillance of the Vatican.
"So, if you accept this arrangement, I will bring you to meet Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette."
"If I don't?"
Tantalus shrugged, "I don't really care. The ones who are troubled by this will probably be the bishops in Vatican! Is burning you alive or guillotine the better treatment for you and your royal family members? The bishops will probably argue about this matter for a few years."
Tirana XI showed his terrible smile again. We could see that he had no other choice.
"Bring me to Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette."
Tantalus nodded happily. It was done! Slovenia would now belong to the Empire and Andrew.
"But...may I ask a question?"
The Slovenian King or Sir Tirana glanced at the invader mockingly, "On what sin does the Roman Vatican plan to judge my family and me?"
Tantalus's smile stiffened. This was too much! For a long while, he had been busy arranging his soldiers that the young master and himself forgot about the sins of the Slovenia Royal Family. However, the Mad Titan was a smart guy. He only gave it a thought before listing a whole number of sins.
"You see...the sins of Slovenia Royal Family included arranging racial slaughter, supporting pagans and terrorism, monopolizing international business route, and illegally developing large-scaled weapon..."
Tantalus patted the king's shoulder, " Please rest assured that we will definitely find a sin that is suitable for you."
Nothing less expected of the Mad Titan. Only he could think of such rubbish, but no matter what, he had relayed the opinion and the will of the Empire completely. It was not evil or good that determined everything in international relations. It was the interest among all stakeholders. This was the unchanging principle of all times.
Due to this principle, different groups in the Slovenia Kingdom had made all preparations before the war broke out. Those who intended to stop the invasion organized a large number of private army units and gathered mercenaries from Faran and Italia to defend the country. Meanwhile, those who intended to snatch power during the war were busy selling the country's information.
When Narcissus Knights' Red Tiger Front reached Maratore Fortress that was located at the northeastern border of Slovenia, a light signal was shot from fortress in the dark night. The signal blinked three times. The military officer who was responsible for welcoming them ran out of the fortress gate.
Derula Han then walked toward the traitor of the country. Behind him was a whole rangers division.
No matter what the Slovenian had prepared in the fortress, Derula Han's mission was to pass through the fortress as soon as possible. This was so that he could ensure a safe pathway for the whole front behind him.
That officer who welcomed the Narcissus Knights did not say anything. He knew what sort of responsibility he was bearing in the whole matter. He simply waved to the Narcissus general, then said impatiently, "Please, your action must be quick!"
Derula Han did not say anything. His rangers had spread out into a formation in the night. They slowly approached the pitch-black Maratore Fortress. Thousands of warriors were divided into three groups in front of the gate. One group rushed into the fortress gate. The remaining two then moved toward the left and right wing of the fortress.
The Desert Fox would not be so dumb to be too friendly with the Slovenian who betrayed his country. He followed the officer and went up to the fortress' wall. His group already had the fortress' south and north gates under control.
The smart Ranger Commander first checked out the soldier's hole at the wall. There was only dust in the soldier's hole. No soldiers were in sight. Not even a footprint. Derula Han then checked the machinery room that controlled the door overhang. He was satisfied that no one was inside. After ensuring that everything was safe, the Rangers Division Commander then climbed to the highest point of the enemy's fortress. He took an arrow that had phosphorus powder on it. But before he loaded the arrow, he turned to the Slovenian officer hesitantly.
"I am sorry to ask of this. Where did you hide the whole Division Corps that guards the fortress? They won't disappear into thin air!"
The officer smiled. The Titans were truly meticulous, "They are in the mountain alley seven kilometers away from the fortress. My mission for them is to patrol the place with arms. Even though some had begun to suspect something, but I am the commander of this defense line. They still have to follow my orders."
Derula Han nodded, then touched his arrow. He suddenly glared at the messenger beside him, "How did you become a soldier like this? This arrow is wet!"
The messenger was stunned for a moment, but his reaction was not slow. General Derula took the new arrow. This time he did not hesitate to send the arrow to the night sky. The swishing sound of the arrow went quickly ahead along with the blue flames that were produced from air friction. After a few seconds, it disappeared into the night sky like a meteor.
"According to the promise...yellow means safe..."
"We changed our signal!" Derula Han did not care about the confused officer. He turned around and went down the enemy's fortress, but he still explained to the officer.
"I hope you will understand! After all, we are going into a battle. It's always better to be careful. So, my knights and I would like to check your fortress now. Maybe some trouble-seeking guys are still hiding in here."
The Slovenian officer shook his head with a bitter smile, "I have already checked. There are only a few veteran soldiers who are responsible for opening the southern and northern door overhang."
General Derula got on his horse at the square of the fortress in front of the door overhang. His knights went past their commander and they headed to the fortress' gate.
"What is this about?" The officer looked at the Narcissus Knights who came and went nervously.
Derula Han smiled. He saluted to the officer, "I heard that you are the son-in-law of the Secretary of State of Slovenia Kingdom, Raleigh Thomas! You have committed treason because you have sworn loyalty to him."
The Chief Commander of Maratore Defense Line had a cold expression. He bit his lips and tried hard not to let any voice out.
Derula Han sent the last knights out of the fortress gate, then patted the officer's shoulder, "Believe me! Your choice is completely correct!"
The person's eyes lit up. He glanced at the tall soldier before him. It seemed that he had already known about everything. "Thank you for reminding me. Please tell General Murat that I love power and status. But more than anything, I love Slovenia!"
The Ranger Commander of Red Tiger only smiled, then he rushed out of the fortress on his horse.
"Wait..." A voice came from behind him. The Slovenian officer who was doubted as a traitor questioned him in a loud voice, "Can you tell me from where you have seen through me?"
Derula Han turned around, "My knights and I have searched through a radius of ten kilometers! We found nothing at all. Your guards must still be in the fortress!"
The tall knights waved at this Slovenian officer who planned to destroy the Red Tiger, "Let us meet soon..."
The officer let out a clear laughter, but he did not reply to the Narcissus general's greeting. Instead, he blew the whistle that was hidden in his armor. Suddenly, Maratore Fortress was brightly lit. Countless fully-armed soldiers came out from the tunnels and every building in the fortress. They ran toward the gate and closed the door overhang. They hung an army flag that represented war at the fortress.
That officer who had never betrayed his country stood on the tower. His face was as determined as those who were behind him. When the horizon of the night was completely painted in red by the fire torches of the Narcissus soldier, he pulled out his sword and pointed to the sky.
"All hail Slovenia..."