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Chapter 129 – Wind Tribe
A wide grassland. A fort stood in the middle of it. Troia Fort. Two silhouettes observed it atop a hill overlooking the scenery.
[Hmm… the inlanders haven’t made any movement yet… huh? Isn’t it strange that no one came out from the fort to attack us…?]
The person who muttered that was Batu, the barbarian army general as well as the acting chief for the Wind tribe. He didn’t seem to be any older than twenty, which made him of similar age to Ares.
His eyes were jet black just like his hair, and his face firm and stoic. The horizontal scar crossing the ridge of his nose simply added to his stoic look.
His body was cladded in leather armor, and a headdress made of horse’s hide, distinct to the northern barbarian tribes, decorated his head.
Young. Too young even. Curiously, the northern barbarians willingly follow his command.
There were two reasons for that.
First was because he’s a direct descendant to the great king of the wind tribe.
The great legendary barbarian king Jamka Ran belonged to the Wind tribe. Therefore his bloodline was something prestigious. Batu, as Jamka Ran’s direct descendant, was considered like an aristocrat among the northern barbarians.
Second were his abilities and achievements.
Despite his young age, Batu had participated in many battles under the command of his father, Bahar. And he had won all the battles he fought in so far.
Excellent bravery, popular, great track record, and prestigious bloodline. Many thought highly of him before.
『The second coming of Jamka.』
Everybody called him as such.
That’s why… Batu felt bitter with his current ;situation. Having to obey Amqa… is the same as throwing away the pride and honor of the wind tribe.
This was probably his darkest hour. It all began when the Iron Tribe invaded the Wind Tribe’s land. Under the command of his father, Bahar, Batu set out to rout the Iron Tribe forces that had been plundering on their territory… but Amqa used his absence to attack.
Amqa told Batu this when the latter returned:
[The fate of the Wind Tribe is in my hand. Bow to me, and obey.]
[If you don’t, I will slaughter the entire tribe.]
Since then, the men of the Wind Tribe had always gone as the advance forces for any dangerous battle. Amqa treated them like disposable pawns. Batu only managed to survive up until now by pooling up all his wisdom each time.
However, nothing changed no matter how many battles they had won. The men were simply driven to the next dangerous battle, while those who’re kept as hostages had to live their lives like slaves.
Amqa was certainly an excellent warrior. But even he wasn’t sure about defeating Batu in a direct battle. It was exactly because of that he felt the need to make Batu obey him no matter what.
A foreigner who stood next to Batu responded.
[It’s better to not move recklessly. Our cavalry is not good for sieges. The best would be to wait and meet them on the open grassland when they come out.]
Batu turned his head toward the man who stood next to him, Shu Shiranui. This man had a taller than average stature. His eyes and hair were similarly jet black like Batu, but he tied his long hair on the back.
He also sported impressively sharp eyes. He wore red armor with unfamiliar design and wielded a spear with a cross-shaped tip, which was rarely seen in this continent. In his waist hung a 『katana』, a type of one-edged sword peculiar to the far east continent.
They met shortly after Batu was forced to submit to Amqa. Batu found Shu lying unconscious while the former was riding around to survey the battlefield. Batu shared Shu some foods, because apparently the latter was running out of supply.
Since then, Shu had been helping Batu to repay this favor of saving his life.
[I should only be serving someone from 『Murakumo』clan. However, a debt of gratitude must not be forgotten. I shall become your temporary 『ally』from this day onward.]
At first, Batu was annoyed because Shu forced his way in… but after working side-by-side several times, he couldn’t help but notice. This ally of his possessed valor that surpasses normal humans.
Before Batu knew it, Shu’s valor had gained him the recognition from the other northern barbarians, turning him into an indispensable member of Batu’s army.
Not only strong, but he’s also wise. Batu sometimes would seek Shu’s counsel over matters.
[It’s past the time they usually come out to retaliate. But let’s wait until we can engage them in the grassland. You see, their soldiers are preparing for battle. A proof that they’ll make a move given the time.]
After that, Batu and Shu could only squint their eyes as they observed the situation once more.
According to Shu, the soldiers had finally moved out from Fort Troia.
[This… deploying to two directions?]
Both Batu and Shu found this peculiar. What’s the benefit from dividing their military forces now?
[They might be up to something. We better be careful.]
[That’s only natural. Then, how should we do this?]
Batu had always consulted Shu when it came to strategy and tactics. Shu thought a bit before replying.
[From here, we can see that the larger forces and the dragon riders are setting out to the north. Their numbers are greater than ours, and dragons are troublesome to deal with. On the other hand, dealing with the smaller number that is heading toward us should be easier.]
[Then it’s decided. Let’s begin with those guys who come for us.]
Batu climbed on his horse.
[Shu. Announce this to the troops. From this moment onward, we will enter a full scale battle with the inlanders. We shall defeat them and make Amqa carved our might into his mind!]
Shu also climbed on his horse and galloped down the hill where their army was waiting.
Batu looked back to the grassland… and mused to himself.
[…..who am I kidding? Even if we win this, our situation won’t change at all…]
Amqa’s true goal was to eliminate all the capable warriors of the wind tribe. After that goal is achieved and only then he could legitimately seek to ascend to the seat of 『Ran (Chieftain)』
The position of Ran (Chieftain) originally belonged to the Wind Tribe. Most other tribes recognized that. Even if Amqa wanted to claim the position for himself, the other tribes wouldn’t agree to it as it’s already their tradition. Therefore, for Amqa, the Wind Tribe is the only obstacle in his plan.
If each and every member of the Wind Tribe somehow disappeared, then nobody will dare to oppose his claim. But he couldn’t just slaughter the Wind Tribe, since it would only incite revolt. There’s also no doubt that the wind tribe will not give up without giving one hell of a fight. If that were to happen, all his plans will break in pieces.
[Therefore, they’ll continue to use us.]
Batu muttered with a clenched jaw. By taking the women and children of the wind tribe, the men were forced to obey.
While he was still in his reverie, a group of cavalrymen galloped from the below. Shu was at the forefront.
[Preparations are completed. Shall we?]
Batu nodded at the foreign warrior’s word. He quietly urged his horse to start running. Behind him, the entire cavalry unit followed.
They headed to the grasslands to meet the Grants forces. At the moment, nobody amongst them knew… that this battle would become the turn of fate for both Batu and Shu.
As always, thank you for reading this work.
And… thank you so much for your support.
I’d love to reply to your comments… but I’m sorry, I couldn’t. I’ll definitely still read them all. It’s the source for encouragement for me.
Thank you, and I promise that I’ll do my best in the future.