Chapter 227: The Young Man’s Yearning and the Last Command
The central focus of the battlefield was the front line. The Heraldic soldiers took another step, burning their cheeks with the reddish hue of dusk. The front collapsed even with their own steps. It created an unbelievable exhilaration in everybody’s chest. It was an unknown pleasure that melted one’s heart, a pleasure which one could never taste in their everyday life.
It felt like a supreme pleasure because the iron weapons kept reaching your cheeks and because the danger of death was always next to you. This was probably the charm of the battlefield. In other words, a sense of euphoria that gave in to hate the enemy with vigor.
At the forefront of the Heraldic army, the humans who prominently raised their fangs against the enemy were those who volunteered. Some were young and some were skilled. Some volunteered to do the burning religious mission, while others volunteered to grab some money. The age and reasons for volunteering were all different.
Therefore, the only thing they had in common was their vows. All agreed to let their lives be smeared with the blood of the battlefield.
Hayes, who was still a young man, was one of the volunteers.
The young-looking soldier was not the first to hold a spear on this battlefield. As an apprentice of one of the Heraldic soldiers, although young, he had driven bandits away and had suppressed the evil that caused assaults in the city for several times over.
Even if he did the job right, he didn’t make a lot of money because he was an apprentice. However, Hayes still had enough experience in the road and even felt a little proud as a soldier. He had the guts to do even the dirtiest of jobs. Therefore, it was not the first time for him to hurt someone with a weapon.
Nonetheless, he had never killed anyone. For the first time in the Battle of Sanyo, Hayes killed a person.
He realized that the feel of an iron spear penetrating a person was softer and creepier than he expected it to be. However, he got used to the feeling by the time it became the third time.
Hayes spilled liquid from between his legs on the day he saw the iron spears easily devour his comrades, yet he also got used to that feeling. He got used to the feeling of iron piercing his nose, the flesh of his comrades ripping apart in front of his eyes, and the sound of trampling on bones. He got used to this vivid battlefield.
Hayes felt that those who weren’t used to these sights would easily die on the battlefield.
Was it a normal feeling? Hayes didn’t even know if he was sane or crazy. For a moment, he even wondered why he was here. Still, Hayes wielded his spear. A creepy sensation struck his arm.
The reason why the young soldier Hayes volunteered for the frontlines was neither money nor honor. It was because of one simple wish.
“…I wish to take a glance at the existence of the hero everyone talks about. I want to see it.”
Hayes knew that he would die miserably somewhere on the battlefield or in the city. He had no money, and his parents died from illness a long time ago. He thought the same fate would befall on him too. He would face a miserable and unavoidable death somewhere and soon.
Therefore, Hayes wanted to see the hero before he perished. He wanted to see that existence once. A hero heard in folklore, in fairy tales, and in a childhood sleeping story. He wanted to see that brilliant person up close, even if he lost something else.
Hayes wanted to see with his own eyes the strength to crush all the hostile humans, the desire to lead the people and attract the eyes, that dazzling glory.
From an early age, Hayes heard that a hero would eventually guide and save the Heraldic Order. Hayes’ parents told him that story many times. They even told him that the hero was still accumulating wisdom under God. Hayes came to believe that it was true.
Still, Hayes’ parents were not saved by the hero, of course, they didn’t even hear the hero’s name, and at the end they died like animals, muttering a curse to the hero who didn’t show up no matter how long they waited. However.
Unlike such parents, would Hayes finally reach happiness or continue to live under extreme unhappiness? A hero appeared before Hayes’ eyes.
The Hero Lugis. An unmistakable hero who had defeated the trading city of Garoua Maria, the Hanging Gardens of Ghazalia, the mercenary city of Belfein, and given the title of Gold by the Heraldic Order Saint Matia. Everyone in the city said that he was the true hero.
Was that really the case? Hayes was skeptical about whether the human being named Lugis was truly a hero. The color of skepticism oozed deeply in his young eyes.
In fact, that feeling was more like rage than skepticism itself.
Really, if he were a hero who saved everything and if he were a brilliant person who reached out to anyone, why didn’t he save his parents before they died? Was it possible to say that his parents died miserably because they were abandoned by the hero? Were his parents too merciful?
In Hayes’ heart grew skepticism, rage and yearning for the hero named Lugis that appeared before his eyes. These emotions were still battling with one another. That was why Hayes wanted to see its existence up close.
In the frontlines, the figure of the hero named Lugis, who got off the horse and wielded the sword with a purple line, reached Hayes’ gaze. The closer he looked, the better he understood. Each swing of Lugis’ sword was heavier and sharper than Hayes’ weapon movement.
As if frightened by the glitter of the purple blade, the army of the Great Holy Church collapsed and retreated with its quivering legs.
Hayes heard a voice during a short break from the chaos of the battlefield.
「You are very young. 」
Upon hearing those words, Hayes’ heart bounced. The words were strangely memorable amid the barbaric voices that echoed on the battlefield. There was no mistake; it was the voice of the hero Lugis.
For a moment, Hayes was confused as to whom the voice was pointing to, but soon he realized that the hero talking to him. After all, there were no other young soldiers’ volunteers other than Hayes himself.
Lugis tightened his lips without even wiping the blood on his cheeks. He kept looking forward, but Hayes knew that his consciousness was certainly pointing at him.
Hayes, of course, became speechless. He desperately sought the right answer and how to say it, but his confused head didn’t collect a single word.
With a moment of hesitation, Hayes answered Lugis’ question by saying his age. A strange feeling of embarrassment and joyfulness took his heart by storm.
Even if Hayes doubted Lugis as a true hero, it was also a fact that he felt a strong admiration towards him. After all, a boy’s heart was too complicated.
Lugis briefly responded to Hayes’ words, and then asked his name. Again, Hayes responded, strangely distorting his lips.
「I see, well then Hayes. I need you to be a messenger now. I have something I want you to tell Matia…」
I sighed a little after seeing the young soldier’s back moving away.
I wondered what I was doing. It was rather ridiculous. Until now, I had burned people and headed for the dead. As for that boy, since he went to this battlefield, he was probably prepared to die.
Even so, it was foolish to try to move him backwards at this time. What I was doing was a self-satisfaction that did not mean anything, or perhaps I was dressing myself up as a self-indulgent person.
My eyes narrowed and my cheeks distorted due to self-loathing that seemed to tighten my internal organs. But well, I needed a messenger anyway. In a sense, it was natural to use a soldier at hand.
I drew a circle in the air while making my legs run, and scratched the wrists and bellies of the enemy soldiers. Beyond the red-blackish field of view, I saw the enemy’s main team illuminated by the sunlight at dusk. It wasn’t a dream, but a place where I could finally reach with my bare hands.
It was an unmistakable place of death. If I stepped in, the ambush would happily welcome me with open arms. Even if I knew that fact, I could not escape from that place of death. The enemy’s main team, illuminated by red light of dusk, looked strangely beautiful.
「The enemy is falling apart. What will you do now, Lord Lugis? 」
One of the soldiers next to me spoke aloud. Even though he was still on the horizon where he could die, his voice was strangely bouncing. The heat and madness of the battlefield seemed to let people float more than bad wine.
Then, all I had to do was keep the heat cool.
I took a small breath. I strengthened my eyes. I had to speak to at most 100 soldiers around me, those who volunteered for the assault troops on the front line and those who they were willing to die.
「…Do you want to win? Then, listen carefully. This is my last command. 」
My lips crumbled and distorted. I sensed a sarcastic smile appearing on my cheeks.
Ohhhh it feels that we reached the climax! 😀
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