Titan Beneath the Heavens
Chapter 234: Twenty-fifth Episode: Chapter 9-2
Chapter 234: Twenty-fifth Episode: Chapter 9-2
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
"Have the villagers been taken care of?"
"Yes, Regimental Commander!" The First Lieutenant nodded, but then he shook his head helplessly after thinking about it. "It was my fault, I shouldn't have told Staff Sergeant Ciel's mother about the monument. The old woman did not want to leave after hearing that. She said... if everyone is gone, there will be no one to look after his son's tombstone."
The Regimental Commander remained silent for a while before suddenly pulling out his sword. The long blade that was reflecting light indeed resembled a monument when it stood firmly on the batture.
A knight's sword out of its sheathed was the signal for those slouchy Titan soldiers to discard their careless and indifferent manner. The archers assembled in their assigned positions, their quivers full of arrows placed next to their feet. Ax wielders gathered in front of the array, their shields positioned side by side, looking like steel barriers from a distance. The soldiers searched for their Regimental Commander in the crowd. They were on the battle line, shouting out orders aloud with no expression on their face like in usual training...
At 1:48 pm on the 23rd day of 7th month in Year 801, a sudden movement was spotted in the forest on the other side of the riverbed. The first thing that caught the eye was King of Faran's three-color streamer, then a guy, whose face could not be made out clearly from afar, came out of the woods.
The leader of the Titan soldiers stepped forward. Both the parties positioned themselves steadily on either side of the bank. The troop consisting of nearly 1,000 of the most determined Imperial Guards was only several meters away from the riverbank. They could not hear the exchange between their commander and the Faran messenger, but their Regimental Commander soon returned to his soldiers.
"The troop from the other side is led by a general. He urged me and my soldiers to lay down our weapons to avoid meaningless sacrifices!"
The entire troop became unusually quiet, but suddenly, one soldier, who could not hold it back any longer, shouted loudly.
"No way! He must be a lunatic!"
The Titan soldiers went into stitches! They looked like they had just heard the world's funniest joke for the first time in their entire life. The Regimental Commander smiled as he waved his hand. His soldier was right! To persuade a group of warriors who were willing to die a martyr's death to lay down their weapons... Even though history had proven the courage of the Titan army numerous times, they always still encountered enemies who were crazy to another level.
The warm sunshine reflected colorful ripples on the surface of the river. The current was rapid where it encountered hard, rocky surface, making loud noises as water gushed along. The silence on the battlefield was broken by the invaders. The other party's mentally-challenged general had apparently realized his hidden disease and ordered the bugler to blow the horn of attack. Almost immediately, countless Faran soldiers appeared out from the woods in succession. They, who were fully armed, marched along the beats of drums. The whole integral infantry division slowly approached the riverbank in sector array.
In the area not far to the south of riverbank, although the Titans could not see it, they all remembered the stone that was buried behind the tall grass. That stone was there since ages ago. It was fully covered in moss, perfectly camouflaged behind the lush green in the summer. The people who did not know about it would never notice it at all.
However, the Titan soldiers knew that it was right there! Carved on it was the ancient but newly-formed Titan national language, "The sacred territory of the Holy Titan Empire is inviolable! Erected since Church's year 1XX!" The passing of the years washed out the words inscribed on the rock, but there was also a small wooden sign established beside it. Honest Silburt villagers warned the intruders in the simplest of languages, "Cow-stealing thieves will be handed over to the village hall – a place not far from hell!"
The invaders finally stepped on this path not far from hell. The commander officer of the Titan soldiers turned around suddenly to face the perhaps bewildered, fearful, or determined soldiers, and raised his knight's sword up in the air! The soldiers prayed in low voices. They recalled their past years and the faces of their loved ones. They were tempted by war and feared of fate. They were resolute and willing to sacrifice all personal missions and beliefs.
"Imperial Guards... attack!"
A loud cry shook the Titan soldiers' unsettled minds back into the array of swords and spears. In that instant, they startled, went completely stunned, then shouted with resolution and defiant!
"Long live... our motherland! Long live... Titan!"
"Long live... St. O'Neil Andrew Morisette!" the crowd burst into rounds of applause and cheers. The open carriage decorated with countless white roses drove out of the cross arch of the St. Roman Lovran's Cathedral, slowly heading for Caesar Square under the safeguard of more than a thousand cavalrymen.
The two key roles of the wedding were just united under the noblest and happiest agreement in the world before the Pope His Grand Eminence. They vowed to support each other in their remaining times, until the end of their lives.
The marriage between the Manuel Royal Family and Andrew was the first union of these two noble and traditional clans. The entirety of the Italia nation participated in this marriage. It had been a rough year so far as the biggest war of all history has reached a critical stage, but the wedding of Her Highness Princess Caro Arsia had allowed Italia a rare peace in this very period. Only yesterday, the special envoy of the Westland Kingdom Alliance delivered a credential of blessing for the wedding and repeatedly stressed that the Anti-Titan Alliance recognized the neutral status of Italia in the ongoing war.
In fact, regardless of whether Italia was neutral or not in this situation, or whether it would favor either side in the war, O'Neil Andrew Morisette had never regarded this artistically-zealous country as an enemy.
Although throughout history, Italia had occasionally caused inconveniences to Titan, these two countries had had frequent exchanges in all aspects, especially in the commercial field, to the extent that if there was a chaotic situation in Italia, sixty to seventy percent of the merchant class gathered in Vielonna would go bankrupt.
Profits were always above everything else! Both the nobles and merchants of Titan endorsed the choice of His Imperial Highness Prince O'Neil. Italia was different from Faran. This sovereign monarchy developed from the consortium of city-states was not as authoritarian as Faran or Deiss. Manuel's control over the country's provinces was limited by law. The centralized rule of the monarchy was not advanced, which to a certain extent promoted the prosperity and development of the Italian society.
The relatively-lenient monarchy resulted in a relatively-relaxed social and trading environment. If it was not for the trouble caused by the Holy See, the highest theocracy system of Roman Vatican, the first bourgeoisie in world history should happen in Italia, not in that island over the sea.
O'Neil Andrew Morisette was complacent about his latest marriage. How many men under the sun could marry four brides? Of course, those outrageous Easterners and the Persians who advocated polygamy was out of the story.
Regarding his new wife, Oscar could only say that... she was someone he knew! Going back in time, he and Caro Arsia Manuel had been separated for ten years since that fall together in Year 791! The Prince of Titan could not help but be terrified by the thought of it. Ten years, Oh, God of Light! What kind of concept was this? Was there anyone out there who remembered how O'Neil Andrew Morisette looked like ten years ago?
"When we first met… you used to style your hair into a plait! You didn't have this annoying mustache, and your gaze wasn't as puzzling and charming as it is now. Physically... I didn't mean to say you were fat, but you are stronger than you were before! In short, you appear more like a man now, from inside and out!"
Oscar smiled at his new wife, "Not nervous anymore?"
Caro Arsia nodded immediately. The most nerve-breaking moment had passed! Today was the most important stage of her life. When the door to the cathedral hall was opened, and she walked down the aisle dressed in a bridal dress full of diamonds and white roses, the hem of her gown about forty meters long draped behind her… she could not remember how the ceremony was executed.
The Princess of Italia did not remember what had happened at the wedding ceremony, but the guests who attended remembered it all. Caro Arsia Manuel, who was beautiful as a lily of the valley, cried her eyes out in her own wedding. The nation princess who only entered the marriage hall at the age of 25 recalled how helpless she felt each time she refused the other royal wedding requests in the name of serving her God! She had to bear other people's disdainful and dubious looks, to cope with covetousness of the men and jealousy of the women. Only in that small room of the monastery could she obtain a moment of silence. During this time, she would use her imagination to weave dreams about her sweetheart. She would carefully and secretly pray to the God by repeatedly saying the mantra - "I will say yes, the moment you ask for my hands!"
Once the dream had come true, a great joy would transform the angel of the God of Light into the goddess of happiness. Her frowns and smiles would affect the people's sanity, and her joys and griefs would make the millions of the audiences be dumbfounded in awe! Regardless, the people thought Titan Imperial Prince had been gifted the world's greatest gift so easily. This was the man who picked the lily of the valley which God of Light had accidentally dropped from heaven.
The security measures of the Narcissus Knights who came out of the cathedral frightened the Italian powerful officials. Those in the know could not help but mock O'Neil Andrew Morisette who was grinning from ear to ear. They ridiculed that if he had not done anything wrong, or if he was really a saint... why would he deploy knights who were equipped with extremely heavy shields and completely-armed in a wedding ceremony?
St. O'Neil Andrew Morisette walked into Caesar Palace with his new wife, their arms linked. He would hold a wedding reception in this historic palace. Later on, he would occupy the Princess as beautiful as a lily in the valley in her bedroom. He wanted to make her pregnant. Since Sasha started showing maternal symptoms, Oscar found himself enjoyed making a woman pregnant. Rather... he fell in love with this kind of thinking.
Those who were close with Prince of Titan chose to make jokes when Oscar was in high spirits. These people whispered, "Chief! If you get your new wife's belly swollen again, you can rule the world with several tiny boys!"
Hearing this, Oscar rocked back and forth as he laughed in delight. However, he would not take it seriously, as it was just a joke. Up to the present time, the Prince of Titan has had two sons and one daughter, with the remaining two still in their mother's belly. Oscar was actually very satisfied, but he could not help but worry. Take Her Majesty the tenth Queen of the Deiss Kingdom in the Roulexberg Dynasty for example, who knew in what ways Opareal, with lofty aspirations, would raise Oscar's son?
However, Oscar was definite that Opareal would never tell her son that his biological father was a Titan Prince! The most likely situation would be his son growing up in Deiss, receiving education in the court of the Deiss Kingdom, studying in Deiss Knight and Cavalry Academy, getting further training in the Deiss Kingdom Army, and finally inheriting the throne of his mother to lead the impulsive nobles of his country to continue expanding their territory.
If this was the case... his son would be an outstanding Deiss soldier, an outrageous Deiss warrior, an out-and-out Prince of Deiss. Since Opareal had strictly limited his son's birth, this child no longer had any relationship with the Prince of Titan! He was not going to recognize his father, neither would he acknowledge his Andrew heritage. He was going to treat the world from a genuine, pure perspective of a Prince of Deiss.
O'Neil Andrew Morisette could not help but shake his head at the thought of this. How naïve it was to place his high hopes to rule the world on this son! His son would no longer be his son after birth, but the Prince of their lifelong rival - Deiss. According to the intelligence information provided by the Military Intelligence Bureau, this was an indisputable fact.
He tried to figure out Elizabeth's situation… only God knew what would happen to her if William or another person in the Kingdom of Engels find out the baby in her stomach belonged to someone else. But Oscar could make some predictions. Once the matter was revealed, Elizabeth would be sent to the religious court or guillotine on the charge of adultery. Therefore, Oscar would bring this secret into his coffin. This was not only the stain of his life but also the most secretive and most absurd scandal in history.
He could not count on his two children who were in foreign countries, hence Oscar was only left with Sasha's Sinelli. As for Vijdeline's Micath, Oscar believed that this eldest son would become a great young man in the future. Unfortunately, his eldest son's identity was not justified, and hence he could not be entrusted with a great responsibility.
Well... as for Alanis? Oscar felt a pang of pain in his head as he thought of Her Majesty the Empress. He owed the world to Alanis. Even though he really wished to compensate her a child, there was always something that separated these two people, like two straight lines that would never intersect.
Forget about it! Oscar compromised with himself. He peeled off the woman's corset, liberated the shy woman's rounded peaks that had never been touched by another person. He kneaded gently, rubbed slowly, and pinched carefully. From the woman's throat came warm waves of the pants. The special scent made Oscar indulged in it completely.
The newlyweds tumbled over the wedding bed, constantly exploring each other's mysteries. One party came prepared to lead the overall situation and took complete initiative; while the other party was in the ascendant, behaving submissive and enthusiastic.
Humans were always tempted by the unfamiliar! Like a great helmsman, Oscar constantly pulled at the huge sails and bravely broke through the coast of the new world, riding the waves. The current was warm, the air hot and dry. The man must go through tortuous waterways and muddy swamps in order to reach the destination of desires.
He was approaching the destination! The woman's appeared as if she was plated with silver, on her white shiny skin was decorated with beads of sweat. Her cheeks reddened in embarrassment as she tried to tighten her limbs around the broad shoulder of the strong man. Screams, pants, gasps, and crazy talks came out of her mouth as she moved her waist madly to receive her husband's domination. When they reached the expected destination, Oscar was left stranded in a harbor of warm and wet chaos. His mind and body were completely calm as if the windstorm earlier had not happened.
Perhaps there was no clear indication of the windstorm. Facing a war that was destined to be long-drawn-out, millions of stars decorated the sky, the Milky Way traversed across the vast sky. The Titan Empire Southern Army Group headquarters were located at the deepest point in the Bragg Fortress. At this time late at night, the headquarters building was still brightly lit.
The hallway was filled with loud noises. The sound of military boots tapping on the floor rose and fell in an unsteady rhythm. All the soldiers were rushing about, like the groundhogs that shuttled back and forth in the tunnel.
The time was already one in the morning on the 24th day of 7th month in the Year 801. Just moments ago, an emergency report sent back by observers from the Fifth Region battlefield had already arrived at various control departments.
"The Silburt forerunner battle lasted for two hours fifty minutes. It is served! The frontier defense unit, Second Infantry Division of Fifth Region, began an arduous battle! The invading enemy was defeated by our army several times. The two sides of the battle repeatedly fought over the national borders, but the enemy had the upper hand in numbers that the Second Infantry Division was split by the enemy in the battle array, later rounded up and eliminated!"
General Eugene Mir Bradley flipped through the battle communique and set his gaze on the column of battlefield casualties, "Although there was no opportunity to confirm this, according to the battlefield observer's recounting afterward, Imperial Guards who survived SIlburt Forerunner Battle will not exceed... forty men!"
"How unfortunate..." A soft murmur came from the commander's office. General Eugene instinctively turned around to the source of the noise. Travel-worn, the chief of staff of Southern Army Corps, Lieutenant General Tantalus Piche, slowly entered the room and fell back to the seat in front of the desk.
"Oh, you are back?"
"Don't mention it!" Mad Tatan replied as he waved his hands impatiently. "If I'm crazy, the guerrilla fighters of Slovenia are the most normal people!"
"You had a hard time?"
The Chief of Staff of Southern Army Group smiled weakly and shook his head, "Not really, casualties are inevitable in war. It's just that, Faran's offense didn't come at the right time. The southern soldiers who went on the expedition to Slovenia could not ease their mind thinking about defending their hometown."
Eugene handed over the battle report in his hands, but the chief of staff did not accept it. Since it was a forerunner battle, the ending has long been written clearly in history textbooks.
The old general sighed and tried to for a smile on his face, "I have not congratulated you yet! The Lighthouse Strategy was an extremely successful attack. To occupy a country in only the short period of one month, perhaps only you and His Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette can do this!"
Tantalus remained quiet. He could sense that his old partner was forcing himself to be happy. The Lighthouse Strategy brought home 100 tons of gold to the Titan, but simultaneously also created the most appropriate excuse for the well-prepared enemy to open fire. On the frontline of the mountainous part of the empire southern, the Imperial Guards were going to face the powerful assault of the dominant enemy. No one knew how many fortresses, castles, villages, or towns would be affected by these flames of war. No one knew how many innocent soldiers and Titan people would follow in the footsteps of the forerunners.
The clock issued a monotonous noise. The two soldiers who controlled the destiny of the south mooched about on one's thoughts. They thought of many things. On one hand, they pondered about the war progress; on the other hand, they were asking questions to themselves. They had started wars, suffered from wars, and resisted wars. If there was really right and wrong in the world, then who was right and who was wrong? Would there ever be an answer to this question?
Colonel Payne Lubelly was the chief liaison officer of O'Neil Andrew Morisette's Southern Army Group office during the period of suppressing the bandits. He read aloud the Imperial Prince, and the Imperial Guards Marshal's opinions on the anti-aggression war in front of the two main generals.
"First, strengthen the defensive works, evacuate the civilian population, hide provisions and livestock. Second, have a clear vision of the purpose of the battles. Third, avoid meaningless battles that will drain the forces. Fourth, actively carry out guerrilla warfare. Fifth, mobilize the mass troops to cooperate with Imperial Guards at any chance possible. Sixth, pay attention to restricting local order during wartimes, and guarantee stability and prosperity in non-war areas."
"It's nothing more than the same old tune..." The Chief of Staff of Southern Army Group uttered. His old classmate was probably enjoying his honeymoon in Italia. Outrageously fortunate!
General Eugene shut his eyes slowly. He was planning to take forty winks, but a tactical map full of various marks appeared beneath the curtain of darkness. The colored blocks on the map and the small characters symbolizing the army's designation were drilled into his brain. The man was already old. This feeling made him want to stab a knife into his own neck. However, unless he was defeated, he would not do stupid things like this.
"Yes! That's it!" The Commander of the Southern Army Group suddenly opened his eyes. "Don't be stupid! Don't try to be a hero! Everything should be focused on the overall deployment of the Army Group, and treat Vielonna-Bragg's front line as the center of defense! Who cares how many men the Faran brings, as long as we hold back our enemies at the strategic center, when His Highness deploys the counterattack force back on the battlefield... we will show the Farans who we are!"
"The Red Tiger Army is in the process of purchasing cotton clothes and climbing gear in Italia..." Colonel Payne Lubelly, who had been in deep thoughts in the corner of the room, suddenly appeared said this out of nowhere.
"Haha!" the quick-witted Chief of Staff of Southern Army Group was the first to react. "I knew that our young friend will not just focus on dealing with women. It seems that the Red Tigers are going to traverse The Alps!"
"Will Faran believe it?" General Eugene remained skeptical, "Only 1-1 Snow Lions in the entire world have successfully crossed the Alps to reach the heart of Faran land, and that was more than a hundred years ago."
"Andrew is the God-chosen warriors. Faran can choose to strengthen the defense forces in the mountainous area of Italia-Faran border, or consider the Red Tigers descending from heaven is only a battle array to confuse the enemies...." Tantalus fell into deep thought. "You should understand the Narcissus Knights. They are the fighting creatures that will rush forward into the battlefield without a word at their leader commands. If His Highness orders them to launch an attack in the mountains of the Italia-Faran border, they will flap their wings and head there. I never doubted that the Narcissus Knights were born to create miracles."
General Eugene grinned in delight. As the commander, he was only taking precautions measures. If he really wanted to speak of the Faran offense, this suddenness and unreasonableness of the offensive only startled Eugene. This commander had entered the Southern Military Region for nearly twenty years. He understood every battle route, every pillbox, and even every soldier by heart. He was confident in the defending war, he was only slightly anxious about the peace on both sides of the western and northern front line.
"Hopefully it was just me overthinking!" Eugene thought to himself as he rose from the seat. He rested his thin but unusually-powerful arm on his Chief of Staff, "Come on! The war is waiting for us!"<script>chaptererror();</script>