Castell tugged the reins on his horse, faced the general who had his sword drawn and was preparing to charge forth, and shouted: “General Kurt, her majesty has orders to retreat.”
Kurt turned around to look at Castell and thundered: “We won’t retreat! A soldier who lives is a disgrace! I will show these beasts our power! Bring the ladder over! I was once like you people. I’m a disgrace for having lived until now! I’ll show you how soldiers die!”
Kurt picked up a ladder and charged onto the battlefield. The corpses of the red-uniform army dyed the ground red. The flag on the elves’ star fortress was still standing. Their rain of arrows poured down into the red uniform army’s camp, and a sudden explosion threw the red uniform soldiers into the air. The cannons of humanity violently hit the star fortress. However, the hole they opened was immediately sealed.
The red army’s assault unit attacked the star fortress. However, the star fortress itself was difficult to attack, and the elves also used a miraculous liquid which was like water, yet would explode and could set them ablaze. Therefore, even if they were able to reach the star fortress, there was no way for them to climb up using ladders. The star fortress wasn’t high. Siege towers were useless while canons couldn’t blow it open. In the end, the red uniform army decided to attempt suicidal attacks by running up to the base of the star fortress and then throwing hand grenades into the fortress.
The problem was, they weren’t well-trained with hand grenades. Some of them couldn’t throw them, and ended up blowing up with the star fortress. And as aforementioned, every time a hole was created via an explosion, the elves poured that water of theirs on which would form a thick layer of ice.
“General Kurt, calm down! Her majesty didn’t order you to retreat in order to punish you. It’s just that we would suffer immeasurable losses if we kept this up while the elves are using a large amount of magic!”
Castell rushed up in front of Kurt, tugged the reins on his horse and shouted: “Her majesty doesn’t want to see her army suffer losses here. Obey orders, General Kurt. Let her majesty make the decisions for the next battle.”
Kurt paused for a moment and then angrily pushed the ladder over before ordering his men to give the order to retreat by sounding the drums. The vanguard of the red uniform army heard the signal, and while they all revealed looks of relief, they maintained order as they retreated.
“General Kurt, please retreat to the rear. Her majesty will arrive right away.”
Castell turned around and rode off on his steed.
The empress silently looked at the battlefield filled with smoke and the corpses of the red uniform army. She sat on her horse and glanced at Kurt’s platoon which suffered heavy losses. Kurt’s platoon was the platoon with the greatest glory in all the empire. They were the infantries that the empress led when she rose to power, as well as being her most trusted unit. However, the platoon had lost a quarter of their forces within a single battle in the afternoon, causing even the empress to feel slightly saddened.
Castell looked at the empress and asked: “Your majesty, shall we form another unit and attack again? We still have four more platoons.”
“No. No good will come out of blindly attacking. We shall end our attack here for today. The magic of the elves are very powerful. Don’t attack during the day. Let’s try a night assault.”
Inside the elf city camp.
The queen looked at the leaders of the various elf tribes, slammed her hand on the table and said: “Did you all see that? We can defeat the humans. The human army is not invincible. We can subdue the magic dragons in the north and we can subdue the beasts in the forests, so how can we not defeat a group of humans?! We have already stopped the humans here. Every time they want to advance, they’ll have to pay with their blood and lives. If you can return and gather your tribesmen, and then lead an attack from the rear and sides, effectively surrounding them, then we will win. The humans are no match for us once they enter the forests!”
“What do we stand to gain from working with you?”
An elf stood up, stared at the queen’s blue eyes through his brown eyes and continued, “In the previous elf war, you exiled us and we’re still be hunted by your forces. And now you’re asking for us because the imperial capital you formed is on the brink of destruction.”
“Not mine, but ours.”
The queen looked at him silently and then continued, “Your tribes will also be destroyed. Do you truly believe that the humans will spare you? I know Elizabeth. She won’t spare a single elf. We won’t let a tribe go extinct in our war, but if we let ourselves be consumed by the past, we will most certainly be wiped out by another race.”
“Don’t you people have the star fortress?”
“The star fortress won’t allow us to continue to live. For us to continue living, we must defeat the humans.” The queen looked at all the elves, opened her arms and said, “The war between us elves is a fact. I know what our forces did to you all. But… but I was not the one who led the army. The ones who led the army were my grandpa, my father and my brother. My hands are not stained with the blood of any of your kind. I hereby swear to the gods on the name of the Galadriel tribe and our honour, that no elf ruler shall reject any elf, nor will they trespass any elven land, village or get in the way of any elf’s life! I will not discriminate against anybody due to bloodlines or suspect your tribe because we have different bloodlines. The elven capital will hereby be open to you all, and so will the holy spring!”
A red-eyed elf slammed his hand on the table, looked at Vyvyan and roared: “Your army killed so many of our people. How do you expect us to trust you?!”
Vyvyan looked at him and in a quiet tone said: “Because I am Vyvyan Galadriel.”
All of the elf tribe leaders silently lowered their heads. A moment later, an elder stood up, looked at Vyvyan and softly asked: “What do you want us to do?”
“Do you really want to help this tribe? More elves died to them than the number of elves who’ve died to humans!”
The elder chuckled softly and then said: “The previous elf war wasn’t started by the Galadriel tribe. The war broke out because all the separate elf races wanted to fight for the holy spring. It just happened to be that the Galadriel tribe won. But so what if we lost that war? The holy spring still belongs to us elves. Now if we were to reject her offer to form an alliance, we may end up with a polluted holy spring and burnt forests. I would rather die to an elf than live under the rule of humans.”
The red-eyed elf went silent. He then looked at Vyvyan and asked: “You can accept tribes you exiled for centuries?”
“Not us, but I.”
Vyvyan looked at him and continued, “I have never discriminated against anybody. I don’t mind bloodlines. Character and honour are what’s most important. As long as you are willing to accept the rule of the Galadriel tribe and help to in this war with your own strength, I guarantee I will give you the respect and equality you deserve. The elven groups which were separated will unite to form a large and powerful elven nation! The humans aren’t strong because of their abilities, but because they are united!”
“Can you allow this war to continue? I want to see your courage to continue fighting.”
Vyvyan smiled slightly and then said: “You don’t have to worry about that. Even if we run out of fighting power and supplies, I will fight the humans to the death. Everybody may retreat, but I will not retreat because my most beloved son is in the elven capital right now. I will not let anybody put him in danger. My reason for fighting is very simple, and that is just to protect my child.”
“For your child?”
The red-eyed elf laughed aloud and then looked at her and asked: “What does that child mean to you?”
Vyvyan moved her red cape. Her gaze was as resolute as steel. She looked at the red-eyed elf and then said: “I can die for my entire world, and I can die for elves too. We are the ones who are paying the biggest price in this war. We’ve bled the most. Our Galadriel tribe has not disgraced the title of the strongest elf race. So let me ask you, where is your determination when us elves are in danger?”
The leaders of the various elf tribes went silent, exchanged glances and kept silent for a long time.
“I shall go all out for the Galadriel’s.”
The elder with white hair stood up, saluted Vyvyan and respectfully said: “Please forgive me for my initial rudeness. I did not think that a woman could rule. But I now see that you have an incomparable noble heart. You are a noble mother, a noble elf and a noble ruler. I believe that us elves will truly become united as an empire under your rule. Your highness! Your orders!”
The other leaders clenched their teeth, stood up one by one, looked at Vyvyan, lowered their heads and said: “Your highness! Your orders!”
The red-eyed elf looked at Vyvyan and hesitated for a moment. He then bowed and softly said: “I hope that you can allow our tribesmen who suffered from superciliousness and curses in the past to be set free. Your highness, if you can give us respect, we shall give you our lives.”