Chapter 76 Heavy burden
Ruhr, who was sitting on his horse, held the report in his hand the messenger had brought in from the frontlines.
Hmm… They retreated, although they had won. Adrick felt that something was wrong.
Ruhr started to forcefully rub his cheek, pinching the fatty skin into a large mass. This action didn’t solicit a response from the surrounding men, since they had already gotten used to the general’s strange habit.
Although Ruhrs’ infantry army’s marching speed was already fairly slow, since they were also responsible for taking care of the large amount of military equipment and supplies, such as: grain, fodder, and other commodities.
The soldiers of the 6th Army weren’t in a hurry to arrive at the frontlines – the so called courage of an army, would be deeply imprinted inside its soldiers according to the commander’s actions. Therefore, the 6th Army’s style would never be like the 13th Iron Army’s one.
In fact, when they set out north this time, the rabbit general Ruhr continued to carry a deep worry in his heart. It was a strange sense that he was born with, and each time he encountered danger, this feeling was especially intense. Ruhr joined the army for many years and fought many battles, and each time a critical situation arose, he managed to escape safely. It could be said that more than 50% of these situations were because of this keen sense. This time when they were marching north, with each additional step, his feeling of danger kept getting more pronounced. It was so strong, that this fatty was sweating coldly in this chilling weather, and completely soaking his cotton-padded gown inside his armor.
Thinking for a moment, Ruhr made a decision:”Concentrate all the horses in our army, as well as the scouts… Yes, let the legion at the back leave behind 1000 men! Arrange a mixed unit and separate it from the main force to slowly follow us from behind. Remind them that they have to keep a day’s distance off the main force. Don’t let them get too close nor too far from us!”
After issuing the order, this rabbit general sighed while his face revealed a wry smile: “Let’s hope that my premonition is correct as well.”
While talking, he touched his fat face and said a voice full of ridicule: “Even Hasting could not kill me. Could it be that the military officer leading the Odins this time is fiercer than Hasting? Hmpf!”
The 13th Army was worthy of being one of the Empire’s most elite units. After Adrick gave the order to retreat, although the soldiers had some doubts in their hearts, they still executed the order full of resolve.
After the formation was reorganized, the 13th Army quickly withdrew from the battlefield and evacuated from the flat plains. General Adrick personally led a legion to guard the rear in order to prevent the Odin army’s pursuit.
A distance of ten miles was neither near nor far, however it took a meal worth of effort for the cavalry to arrive at the designated assembly point.
Saucier, this valiant centurion who was used to leading his cavalry to charge through his enemies, still held some dissatisfaction. After regrouping, he couldn’t bear it and went to Adrick to complain.
“General, I don’t understand. Since we have won, even if we don’t charge in recklessly and enter the mountain valley, we could at least siege the valley and stubbornly pin those Odins inside, why…”
Adrick sat on his horse eating dinner, which consisted of a piece of hard meatloaf and cold water. Swallowing it down in few bites, he wiped the remaining water from his beard and squinted his eyes to look at the number one warrior under his command, with a hint of disappointment.
Taking a deep breath, Adricks’ eyes seemed slightly low-spirited: “Saucier, how many years have you already been following me?”
The full bearded Saucier thought for a moment: “I’ve had nine years with the 13th army. When you arrived back then, I was still the vice officer of a legion.”
Adrick smiled with his looks maintaining the always present dignity, before turning around to look at his cavalry’s neat formation. Whether quietly lining up or walking on the way to an assignment, the cavalrymen didn’t make any extra noise, only the hoofbeats or occasional jangling of armor could be heard. Except for these noises, a solemn and respectful quietness was prevalent over the camp.
The general’s expression became complicated, before he sighed softly. A bitter smile immediately appeared on his face: “Saucier… I probably, can’t stay here for much longer.”
Saucier’s expression immediately changed as he heard the general’s worried voice: “I have spent nine years in the 13th Army and according to the imperial military law, do you think there is a commander who can stay this long in the same army? Hmpf…Two years ago, they already wanted to transfer me. You are someone who has lived his whole lifetime in the imperial army, and should understand that it is impossible for a commander to stay a lifetime in one of the main army’s. This is in order to prevent the general from gathering too much of the soldiers support, and starting a rebellion. Being able to command the 13th Army for nine years is the limit, and if I guessed right, after this war, in a year or so, I am going to be transferred. Perhaps to serve as vice-minister of the military headquarters in Osgiliath or I can go become a military governor in a region……”
Saucier’s expression became even uglier as he stared at Adrick while not being able to utter a single word.
Adrick’s thick palm patted Saucier’s shoulder, while whispering: “My old friend, we have fought side-by-side for nine years and I think that you are the most suitable man to succeed me. You have fought bravely and I let you command the most elite legion inside 13th Army, made entirely of heavy armored cavalry. In all these years, your prestige has been growing; you have enough understanding and sentiments toward this army, while I also don’t doubt your ability. However…”
The general suddenly pointed at his head: “You still need to use this place more! The 13th Army corps is an iron army. An iron army that marches forward courageously! However, except for courage, a military commander also needs to use his brain! It’s not like you don’t have the brain, it’s just that you are too accustomed to using force to solve a problem. There is no doubting your bravery, but if you are a military commander, just bravery is not enough.”
In fact, Adrick had a idea that he had hidden in his heart for many years, but didn’t dare to say it. It was extremely sensitive, and if said, he feared that it would hurt the morale of his troops…
(Forward, upon death…This slogan was indeed very passionate; however, the 13th Army had shouldered this slogan for way too long! He felt that this slogan was already putting too much pressure on them! An army that only knew how to constantly charge forward on a battlefield could never truly affect or control the war! The truly invincible army should be able to know when to retreat! However, shouldering the slogan, “Forward, upon death” was a heavy burden that put the whole 13th Army into a frantic mood among all of the ranks! They thought that bravery could solve all problems, and as long as they give their all, they could conquer every one of their enemies. Such an idea…was simply wrong!)
(If it was only a legion, or a small unit, then this unprecedented valiant slogan with an indomitable soul was no doubt helpful. However the 13th Army was a whole army! It was a conventional army made for independent combat! Therefore, in many cases, when put into a battle, they have to know more than just “forward”, sometimes, they must learn “retreat” or even “failure”!!)
(It was just that with these words, other people couldn’t say them, and Adrick, who was the commander of the 13th Army, could say it even less!)
(This frantic slogan, would certainly boost their morals in most situations no doubt, and also be able to push them into an unprecedented battle efficiency. However, sometimes it could kill the whole army instead…)
Shaar sat quietly on his bed with closed eyes, with his fire pitchfork laying across his knees, and he was holding the magical crystal in his palm.
“You don’t need to think of a way to “fuse” with this magic crystal, because in fact, when I hid inside it with my soul, I discovered that it had already imprinted your soul deep within in it! Perhaps, you don’t know the circumstances of this yourself, but because your soul was already imprinted inside it, you can always unleash this mysterious strength at the crucial moments. Only because of this reason, could the magic crystal could release such a power.”
Within the depths of his mind, the cold voice of the dragon kept talking to him.
(Hm… I already ‘fused’ with it? When was that?) Shaar frowned, while thinking deeply in his mind. (When did I start to carry this stone with me? Hm… I already forgot the day; it seems as if it was when I was very young. The old man put this thing on my neck. Perhaps, the old man deceived me and did something without me noticing…)
“Although I cannot tell you exactly how to control this kind of magical power, but according to your previous eruptions, using the fluctuation and the internal energy of this magic crystal, I can probably do some analysis. The main source of the crystal is…rage ki! On a battlefield, experiencing the critical moment of life and death and walking at the edge of that line would release rage ki! Your rage ki and the enemies’ rage ki that want you to kill! To be precise, this stone is a special magic crystal that can absorb the rage ki of the surroundings and then transform it into a powerful force, before unleashing it. As this stone’s master, what you need to do is to find out the energy of it. Then afterwards, in a fight, you can use this strength with your own initiative…”
“Carefully think about it. in order to stimulate the eruption of this power, you need to expose yourself to an external pressuring force. When you are pressed to a certain extent by the external pressuring force, the soul will send out the fluctuation and trigger the soul imprint in the stone, before unleashing its power.”
As a dragon, although I have lost my mortal body, I still retain the majority of my soul’s strength. I can still reluctantly display the dragon race’s unique power. Although it is only a small portion of my original powers, within it includes… ‘Sovereignty of the Dragon’.”
As the voice dropped, Shaar’s whole body immediately tightened! An invisible feeling of oppression enveloped him! This feeling was something that couldn’t be seen nor touched, as if a immense danger suddenly descended and covered all of him! His heart immediately started to race as he felt a shortness of breath, and every hair on his body started to stand up straight – same as if a beast feeling danger, he tightened his whole body while curling together!
“Calm down! Get used to this pressure! It is impossible for my soul power to continue this kind of pressure for too long! Under this kind of precise oppression, your consciousness will start to feel every inch of fluctuation…Damn, I have never met such a stupid human!”
Just as it was about to finish talking, that dragon’s voice in his mind became frantic…
Suddenly opening his eyes, Shaar’s pupils suddenly became crimson red! Jumping up all of a sudden, he seemed to have to lost his mind as he started screaming, maliciously waving his fire pitchfork into the surroundings…
With a loud noise, a mass of crimson light spread out in all directions, shooting into every corner. The military tent suddenly fell apart under this barrage of light and came tumbling down!
All the thick wooden stakes supporting the tent fell, pounding onto Shaar’s body, pushing him onto the bed, collapsing it.
Shaar instantly sobered up and started to pitifully cough dust, choking until tears came out. Tumbling on the ground to flee from the ruins, he spat a mouthful of mud onto the floor.
Standing up from the failed attempt, Shaar immediately perked up and stared at his fire pitchfork, before suddenly laughing.
“Hahahaha! I felt it! I felt it!!!”
The dragon’s voice in his mind could not endure the power usage and became weaker: “Idiot! What a stupid human! You just felt it once! The road before being able to use it is still far away! What are you so proud of!”