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Chapter 141 – Conquering the North part 10 ~King of Steppe~
Inside a tent which style was often used by the northern people, the leaders of the tribes had gathered together.
Sitting at the head of the group was Batu, the chief of the Wind tribe. On his sides were Batoru and Mukasa, watching over the gathering with a strict look.
Ares was also present, sitting diagonally behind Batu. He found this meeting to be quite interesting as he looked around.
The other tribe chiefs, while wondering about the content of this meeting, were staring at each other as they waited for the gathering to truly begin.
Those who followed Batu to resist Amqa.
Those who obeyed Batu and fought for him.
Those who reluctantly obeyed Amqa but revolted later on.
And…those who had defeated Amqa.
Each of these leaders warily watched each other as they waited with anxiety on their faces.
Right. It was clear to them that Batu, as the final victor of the war, would be in charge of deciding what would become of the northern riders next.
Batu was the first to speak.
[Now… I will now decide the treatment for each tribe involved in this war, including the Iron Tribe.
The Iron Tribe representative that took over the position after Amqa died visibly trembled as his face turned pale. So did the other tribal leaders that had teamed up with Amqa.
Batu resumed his speech after a short pause.
[Simply put, everything will be decided by the Wind Tribe. Am I correct?]
All of the leaders nodded.
It was the law of the grassland to let the victor decide everything for the loser. Whether to keep them alive, to rob them dry or to eliminate them.
Batu continued on.
[All the women and children will be under Wind tribe’s custody. After the children grow up, they will be allowed to choose between reviving the Iron Tribe, or staying as part of the Wind Tribe. Same goes for the women. They can wait until the Iron Tribe is reformed, or wed a Wind Tribe man and blend into the Wind Tribe as is. They’ll be free to choose.]
The tribal chiefs were in uproar after hearing that. After all… that decision was very lenient, especially if compared to what was considered as a norm to the people of the steppe.
Normally, the women and children will either be enslaved or executed alongside the men.
Batu’s decision was a generosity rarely seen in the history of the grassland.
But Batu still continued.
[But I cannot be as lenient to the men. They will have to work as slaves for three years. During that period, if one of them does something wrong, then the person in question will be charged with the death penalty. After three years, I will give them the same option as the women and children: either to assimilate into the Wind tribe or return to rebuild the Iron Tribe.]
[P-please wait a moment!]
The chief of the Sand tribe stood up. The tribe was one of those who joined the Wind Tribe quite early on.
[I have never heard of anything like this in our history. Sparing the women and children is one thing, but sparing the men as well is… Please reconsider.]
[Wha… what is…]
[I AM the victor of this war. There will be no objection to this decision.]
Everyone else was silenced then.
After confirming the situation, Batu stood up, and began speaking again.
[I have one more announcement for everyone today. I, right here and now, hope that the people of the grassland can finally stand as one. Yes… just like the time of Jamka Ran.]
Batu continued to speak as he walked. The tribe chiefs audibly took a deep breath. As he observed from behind, Ares knew that Batu’s words had put a heavy pressure on all the chiefs present.
[Clashes between various tribes…..and this war, it all happened because there is a gap between us. Originally, there was only one kingdom in this steppe. But then we separated into tribes and fought each other… So let’s take this war as an opportunity to come together as one once again. For all the tribes to unite together, that’s what I want.]
Batu then turned to the Sand Tribe chief.
[And for that sole reason, I will not tolerate conflict between tribes. But if you insist on keeping warring with each other… then be my guest and prepare for me.]
Upon hearing this threat, the pale faced Sand tribe chief quickly dropped to his knees in prostration.
[Pardon my insolence.]
Batu returned to his seat after nodding his head. At the same time, Bort, the chief of the Spear Tribe as well as the other chiefs who still held sizable power, rose to their feet. Bort then spoke up.
[My tribe was saved by Batu…therefore we will obey Batu.]
The other chiefs nodded in agreement to Bort’s proclamation. For these tribes, Batu was their lifesaver.
Bort then continued.
[What the Wind tribe chief Batu has spoken does make sense. From now on, let us center ourselves around him and aim for prosperity together.]
At Bort’s suggestion, more tribal chiefs rose up to show their agreement.
They were at first just listening and watching the situation, but now they stood up one after another, excitement in their faces.
When the last of the tribal chiefs present finally stood up as well, Bort turned to Batu.
[Batu…no, our Ran. Are you willing to lead us as the 『King of Steppe』from hereafter?]
Batu regarded the question silently at first, then replied.
[Not yet… I haven’t personally unified the grassland… it’s too soon for me….]
[No, it’s certainly not too soon!]
Bort raised his voice
[Everyone here has determined ourselves to obey Batu. Because… we want a strong king to lead us. Therefore… for all of us here as well, please name yourself『Batu Ran』.]
With Bort as a start, the other chiefs also voiced their agreement.
The tent was soon filled with excitement and cheering, creating an odd atmosphere.
Watching this, Batu raised his right hand. The liveliness immediately died down as if it was a lie.
He then rose from his seat and declared.
[I understand, and I shall respond to your feelings. From here onward, I shall call myself Ran (Chieftain), and I will lead you all as the King of the Steppe!]
Hearing the affirmation, the tribe chiefs went into an excited outburst once more. Some of them started shouting while others sang with the other chiefs.
It was, after all, the inauguration of the first Ran since the last one, Jamka Ran, passed away. It’s a historical event for the people of the grassland. It’s only natural that everyone couldn’t hide their excitement.
On that day, huge celebration parties were held by each tribe. This day would be celebrated by northern riders with a smile on their faces for years to come.
[Ahh. I’m tired.]
Ares muttered as he entered his personal tent. Sigurd and Shion who were waiting inside relaxedly quickly rose to their feet.
[Nah, you two, please be at ease.]
Shion broke into a smile after hearing that.
[Thank you for the hard work, Milord.]
[Yeah, it’s tiring. But everything went as Shion said.]
[Bort-dono was hard to convince. But he really made everything smoother.]
Everything that happened at the meeting….was all according to Shion’s plan.
Shion was the one who orchestrated the meeting, having Bort act out the script he had prepared to smoothen Batu’s way to become Ran.
And everyone else was convinced… Just according to his plan.
[With this, the northern riders will not attack us anymore. I guess we can scratch that out from our list now?]
[But, will it be fine? Does this not mean that another strong country has appeared in the north?]
Sigurd asked Shion. His worry was certainly understandable. For this meant that one more powerful country had appeared in the Arcadia continent.
[Perhaps that’s really the case for Arcadia. But… will that also apply to our Lord?]
Shion gave a meaningful grin as he said so.
[Our Lord and Batu-dono are blood brothers. And the Wind Tribe will never forget a great favor. In fact, we have made a strong country an 『ally』.]
Shion relaxed himself and continued
[With more friends around, people will try to find a way to get along. In that regard…we have to put ourselves in the same 『position』as they are…right, Milord?]
Ares could only laugh at the implications behind Shion’s words.
As he laughed, Ares could hear the sound of festivities outside.
Apparently, the grassland people had also invited his men to join the party.
[Well, for now it’s better to not look too far into the future. Just do our best at anything we come across. Regarding the future of the steppe, we can start thinking about it when things have started to 『calm down』.]
The two nodded in agreement to Ares’ words.
And just like that, the battle involving the entire grassland had finally closed its curtains quietly with Ares’ success.
After claiming the title of Ran, Batu put his charisma into use, gathering all of his forces and marched east.
His goal was to truly unify the entirety of the grassland.
Afterward, Batu conquered the entire grassland at a terrifying speed, ultimately establishing a country of northern riders named 『Bahar』.
The country was named after his father’s.
Bahar would later storm the east then to the south, becoming a new superpower of the continent… but their forces never once attempted to invade Arcadia.
Batu’s most active retainers during the grassland unification were Batoru and Mukasa.
Bort would later become his retainer as well, serving as deputy chief.
Other than them, there was also the Flame Tribe chief, Timur, making up the 4 most trusted of Batu’s retainers.
Later on, they would be known in history books as the 『Four Wolves』, the most famous retainers of the 『King of Winds』…..
Thank you for reading.
I came to like Batu as a character when I wrote this arc. Hopefully he’ll make another appearance later on.
Now the story will start progressing to another stage, but this arc will still be going for another few chapters.
Eh? What happened to Shu, you asked? Certainly many people are curious about this so I will write about him next. Please look forward to it!