Chapter 58 Enemy attack
Editor: Superposhposh, Amaranth
Late in the night, Shaar and Kevin accompanied a team of light cavalry out scouting.
The 13th Cavalry Army when fully assembled it had total of 12,000 soldiers. However, the real fighting force only had 8000 men, while the remaining 4000 were auxiliary troops, supply troops, logistics, squires, and temporarily recruited porters. After all, even though the cavalry was the king of land warfare, they were expensive and precious.
The war horses of the cavalry needed to be fed and safeguarded. They needed veterinarians— likewise, the army needed blacksmiths and military supply personnel, who were responsible for maintaining their weapons. Supply troops were responsible for the baggage, and the logistics officers were responsible for the military funding and so on.
The 8000-man fighting force was divided into four stand-alone legions, with each having 2000 soldiers. In addition, there was also an independent scouting unit, which had about 200 light cavalrymen.
A platoon of 18 cavalry scouts from the independent scout unit, including Shaar and Kevin, was assigned for this reconnaissance mission.
It was the first time Shaar had marched with an army. He had only spent half a day at the military camp, and didn’t yet have the time to carefully observe this army. Looking at the light cavalry scouts, Shaar couldn’t help but to compare them to the mercenaries from Primal Wildfire Town.
Although these scouts were only considered as light cavalry, every one of them were excellent horse riders – If they hadn’t controlled their marching speed and instead ran at full speed, in less than a minute, Shaar would be eating their dust from behind. Each and every one of those guys demonstrated an indescribable fearlessness……Resembling……Wolves!
That’s right; those guys were like a pack of wolves, silent, ferocious, their eyes revealing a hint of resilience and ferocity. Although they treated Shaar very courteously, he could clearly feel that they had not accepted him yet. They kept some distance towards him while maintaining an amiable façade on the surface.
Even though Kevin and Shaar were part the general’s Praetorian Guards, Kevin still complied with the squad captain’s command. Just because they were Praetorian Guards, they didn’t get any special privileges.
Their group travelled north, riding towards the entrance of Al Bactre plain and ventured into it for about 100 miles. Riding on a winding trail, they spent two days searching..
Shaar slowly got familiar with those people and eventually, he showed them his rich survival experience in the wild. He demonstrated his outstanding quality as a hunter, particularly when he was searching for clues. Furthermore, he provided some insight when they found some traces and everybody’s view of him gradually improved.
During their break time, Shaar and the cavalry soldiers sat together while chewing cold, dry bread and drinking ice-cold water.
After two days of searching, they scouted an area 100 miles north of the military camp. Although the cavalry soldiers were somewhat tired, their faces were full of resolve and they didn’t slacken. Everyone’s eyes were bright, and full of spirit. With Shaar’s splendid physique, he displayed strength that turned Kevin’s impression of him into a more favourable one.
Shaar had never experienced living in such a collective environment, but his simple and honest hillbilly temper on the surface was well liked by these soldiers. Moreover, Shaar never considered that asking questions was such a shameful thing and humbly asked the cavalry soldier how to improve his riding skills. Right now, because of his monstrous physique…… he basically used brute strength to force the horse into submission – Two days later, after much guidance, his riding skills improved quite a bit.
Only Kevin felt somewhat helpless after seeing how Shaar using just pure strength suppressed the poor horse forcing it to yield. Kevin could only sigh, while seeing that his own horse was tortured and suffered under this brute.
On the third day, they arrived at a section of the jungle. This part of the jungle wasn’t too big, allowing the cavalry soldiers to run around the jungle. After they didn’t discover any suspicious traces, they decided to rest a moment. After their rest they started on a journey to return.
During the break, that scout team leader asked Shaar, “Don’t you feel that what we do is boring?” He was a veteran who had served more than seven years in the 13th Cavalry Army, and settled down here after being transferred seven years ago. Getting a promotion in the elite cavalry army was extremely difficult, and it didn’t help that he was a commoner with no background. Even the fair General Adrick could not help him with this—after all, there was a strict system for promotion in the army.
With the qualifications of the team leader, he could easily get a promotion if he transferred to a regular army but he rejected several times when he was asked to transfer, refusing to leave from here. What’s even more absurd is, it is said that this guy’s son also joined the 13th Cavalry Army……
According to Kevin, there were many people in the 13th Cavalry Army that shared similar stories to the team leader.
“Why do you ask?” asked Shaar, curiously staring at the team leader. After travelling together for several days, he felt that this guy was a warm-hearted good person and acted very sincerely towards his comrades. He was a capable middle-aged guy; with weather sharpen bronze skin on his face. Deep, heavy wrinkles could be seen under his eyes, and even though he was only 40 years old, he already looked almost 50.
“We ran around for two days and we achieved nothing. You probably think that this task is very boring.” The team leader laughed, and looked at the resting cavalry soldiers around him.
Thinking for a moment, Shaar took a deep breath and answered earnestly, “I don’t believe so. A scout’s value does not lie in whether he is able to discover a problem.”
“Oh?” Although he only asked casually about it, he didn’t expected the rookie to actually have such an answer. Picking up interest in Shaar, he asked, “What is your opinion about it?”
Recalling his memories, he remembered reading some notes in his old man’s books that talked about scouting during combat. After thinking for a moment, he replied with a smile, “I don’t understand it very much, but ……Finding a problem is without a doubt very important but if we don’t find anything, it can at least provide a valuable clue to the commander which shows that this region is ‘clear’. This itself is a valuable information and therefore not finding a problem cannot be arbitrarily considered invaluable.”
The team leader narrowed his eyes, and Kevin, who was minding his own business just now, couldn’t help but look at Shaar full of curiosity, “Have you studied these things before?”
Shaking his head, Shaar hesitated for moment, “I have read about it in some books……”
A happy smile emerged on the Captain’s face and he gave Shaar a slap while looking at Kevin, “Hey! Bald kid, this new rookie just arrived right? Can you tell the general to put him under me? All the new recruits only want to become heavy cavalry so that they be on the frontlines. There are only a few guys who have the patience for scouting.”
Kevin cracked a smile, “For this, you need to talk with the general yourself.”
Lowering his head, he went back to minding his own business. Sitting down beside him, Shaar looked at Kevin – this guy was holding a piece of sheepskin covered in dense, charcoal written text. Using a knife, he gently scraped off the writing on the sheepskin.
“What are you doing?”, asked Shaar.
“Writing a letter,” Kevin replied without lifting his head, “We who became soldiers don’t have the money to buy paper. Since paper is easily damaged, sheepskin is used to communicate with your family. Write on it with charcoal, and after reading it, you can scrape the text off and use it again.”
Baldy raised his head and looked at Shaar, “Have you never used something like that?”
Dumbstruck for a moment, Shaar suddenly felt a strange feeling in his heart and opened his mouth, “I ……I have never written a letter, and besides, I have no one that I can write to.”
When he said those words, his heart suddenly gave birth to an indescribable loneliness.
Writing a letter ……meant that there had to be family members to write to. As for me……
Hmm, after my old man died, I am the only one left.
For some unknown reason, when I think about it that pitiful creature’s face appears in my mind……
Shaar froze for a moment and his whole body started to get goose bumps. Quickly slapping himself on his arm, he spit on the ground.
Fuck, did this uncle spend too much time with Oaks and get infected with the goblin’s man-loving sickness?!
Forcefully shaking his head, he quickly put aside this fearful thought.
Hearing Kevin’s voice in his ears, Shaar noticed that this fellow’s eyes were glowing with excitement. His normally fierce face suddenly revealed a funny and tender expression, “This is my wife’s letter, hehe! I am someone who has a wife, her name is Julia. She is a pure Rhodelian woman! Haha! Amazed? Right now, pure Rhodelian people are very rare in the empire. Hehe, I actually managed to marry one! I serve in the Rhodelian Cavalry Army, and my wife is a Rhodelian woman. In the entire army, I am the only one!!”
When talking about his wife, this hothead who normally only said few words suddenly became talkative……
Looking at this hothead’s proud expression, Shaar sighed……
Having a wife, must be a great thing! Ah, so irritating uncle Shaar is still a……
“Ah, your wife must be very pretty.” The virgin Shaar expressed his admiration with envy.
“Of course! She is the goddess of my heart.” The hothead grinned and looked at Shaar with even more pleasing eyes, “The steaks she grills are great. If there is the chance, I will invite you to my house to let you taste her skills! You are a nice fellow and we can become good friends in the future.”
This……pitiful hothead probably didn’t know Shaar’s outlandish standards of “beauty”. If he knew, I only fear that those two men who had just become friends would instantly get angry and start a duel.
After many years, in a time where Shaar has made a name for himself with his honorable deeds spread all over the continent, his early funny aesthetic standards would become jokes that everyone would use to tease others.
The phrase “King Shaar said that your wife (daughter) is very beautiful” – such words would be considered as a famous saying to curse people and were widely spread……
This famous saying would spread over the continent with another world-famous joke, “XXX, your mother called you to go home for dinner.” Side by side, those two famous sentences would enhance each other’s charm on the continent……
When the scouts were taking a rest, they picked the three biggest trees with the best view in the vicinity and they let three chosen cavalry soldiers act as lookout while concealing themselves. The young soldier standing at the right wore thick leather armor which turned rough after several days. It rubbed painfully against the skin on his thigh, making the squatting cavalry soldier in a very laughable posture. However, his eyes were still very bright—he had the highest archery skill in this squad and someone who excelled at archery usually had the best vision.
Looking vigilantly at the distance, he swept over several important positions. The soldier sighed in relief while still keeping his eyes gazing at the distance while carefully hiding his body behind the branches and leaves at the same time. Loosening his water bag on his waist, he slowly unscrewed it……
When he held the water bag and took a slip of water, his eyes finally averted from observing at the distance – The tiny moment he raised the bag to drink water……
Whoosh!! A sharp arrow shot out from the void like dark silent night. Not even creating the glimmer of piercing sound like a poisonous snake it maliciously pierced his throat!
The arrow shot through the water bag in his hand while piercing his throat! In a flash the eyes of the soldier unwillingly widened. Lifting his hand he suddenly plunged down the tree!
The cavalry scouts on the ground immediately awakened! Exactly at this moment, in the darkness, more than a dozen blurry, black shadows rushed towards them in the woods!