I was sitting on the gunpowder barrel. I looked at the three before me and seriously asked, “That’s the current situation. The problem we’re faced with now is very serious. And that is, what are we going to do? We’re just one step away from our dream, but it’s one very hard step to take.”
This decision affects the lives of our entire team, yet we were discussing it while sitting on a few old-broken barrels of gunpowder, dressed in filthy clothing stained with blood.
It didn’t look formal in the slightest.
Lorana wiped her long-sword. I got a glimpse of what it meant to hold the title of the continent’s number-one Sword Saint. She didn’t use any enchantments or even mana. She relied purely on her sword skills to defeat an entire platoon of enemies, slaughtering all of them without letting her clothes get damaged.
She narrowed her eyes after hearing my question and asked, “That, Your Majesty, depends on how you’re thinking about it… Let me reword that. When faced with this question, are you considering it as the Prince or the future Emperor?”
I hesitated for a moment and then asked her, “Is that somehow related?”
Lorana snickered and replied, “Of course it is. If you’re considering it as the prince, then you can leave now, since it’s not absolutely necessary for you to complete this task. Leaving won’t affect your identity or status as the Prince, as you can leave it to Her Majesty. You just need to return to the city. If you are considering it as an Emperor, then you must complete this task. I believe that if it was Elizabeth, who was in your shoes, she’d surely continue. She definitely wouldn’t leave this place.”
“I don’t think that our soldiers have the strength to continue, though…”
I looked at my soldiers around me, who were exhausted and lying scattered all around. Those who could still move looked white as a sheet. I looked at them and couldn’t imagine how they could continue advancing in their state.
‘I do want to advance but can my men?’
Lorana looked at me and firmly replied, “Your Majesty, whether soldiers can advance or not lies with whether their leader has what it takes to make them advance or not. What you need isn’t power as a leader nor is it a question of how much prestige you have, but your will to advance as a King. If you hesitate in front of your soldiers, they won’t have any desire to advance. You must stand in front of them. They will have the strength to advance. Elizabeth would never leave. She would definitely stand at the front of her soldiers. Your Majesty, if you stand at the front as the leader, your soldiers will not feel lost. As long as you have hope in your heart to advance, you won’t fall here.”
I nodded. Philes looked at us and hesitated for a moment before wiping the sweat on his face. He asked, “Our men might be able to advance, but we do not have weapons to defeat the enemy. We virtually have no weapons anymore and we have used up all of our bullets. If we go to their rescue now, are we confident that we can rescue them?”
Tarak nodded and added, “We are indeed very close to our destination, but we will not gain anything out of rescuing them. When that happens, it will end the same way as leaving. If we leave, we will definitely make it out alive. However, if we fail to rescue them, we will not be able to return. This is a gamble. Your Majesty, we may not be able to rescue them, so I do not recommend rescuing them.”
I nodded. He was right. Maybe I could get my soldiers on their feet to advance, but they can’t defeat enemies with their teeth or fists. We’ve killed a good number of people here, so who knows how many people are still there. We don’t have many usable weapons left. We’re here to search for the metal, precisely because our gun barrels can’t be used. The only useable weapons we have left are the elven swords.
‘So what will we use to defeat our enemies?’
Our soldiers are technically the exact same as other human soldiers. My soldiers are so formidable thanks to our more advanced weapons. But we don’t have our weapons anymore. I believe that soldiers Nier personally trained are very strong, but I can’t let my exhausted soldiers fight with just their swords.
The enemy has guns, after all. I can’t let them charge at enemies armed with guns using their bodies as shields.
Lorana chuckled in a weird tone then pointed at the Earth Dragon lying on the ground. She suggested, “We aren’t completely unarmed. Isn’t that a perfect weapon? Do you think there’s anyone who could defend against five massive beasts charging at them? We just need to charge into the enemy and then our foot soldiers can close the gap and begin to cut the enemies down, right?”
I stood up and looked at the Earth Dragon. I suddenly realised that I wasn’t completely unarmed. I still have the weapons Mommy Vyvyan gave me, and they were numbers and tens of ignite and explosive potions. I can charge into the enemy, then throw them into the enemy formation to disintegrate their formation. My men will then be able to attack them from another side. I can rescue them using a diversion tactic.
I looked at Lorana and commanded, “Kill one Earth Dragon.”
“Kill one Earth Dragon and feed its flesh to our soldiers. Use the remaining water to brew a pot of Earth Dragon Stew and give our men a sumptuous meal. We’re going on the attack next.”
I looked up to the sky and continued, “If we move fast enough, we’ll reach our destination tonight. We don’t have many more resources anymore, so we don’t require so many Earth Dragons anymore. We just need one Earth Dragon to guard our remaining resources and two to send our wounded men back. Leave behind half of our men to protect our wounded. We’ll pick them up when we come back.”
I touched the necklace at my chest and clenched my teeth. I can call Mommy Vyvyan with this necklace. I can succeed for sure if Mommy Vyvyan comes, but I know that I can’t depend on mom’s strength anymore. If I still need to rely on Mom to come help me, then there’d be no point in me coming here.
I must end this with my own effort. I must accomplish my goal with my own strength. I must personally locate the mine. I’ve worked hard up until now. If I quit now, I won’t have the right to talk about being a qualified King in the future.
I must complete this task. I won’t give up after coming all the way here. No. Way, I’m just one step away from achieving the future I want. I don’t want to quit now.
“Call all our men here. Call all our men who can still move here. Kill an Earth Dragon and feed it to them. Next, we’ll break through the enemy’s last siege. I won’t back down! I’ll bite them and use my fists if I must! We’re right in front of our dream! I won’t give up!!”