‘Actually, I think that there shouldn’t be that many people there if we were to kill a group at that small campsite, since they all basically know about this, and since they know, they definitely would’ve come to try and snatch the kid from us.’
Luna really liked the kid and he hugged her as if he found his haven, sobbing in her arms the entire time. Luna gently hugged him. While they spoke different languages, her gentle caresses were enough to reassure him.
‘I had no reason to be jealous of the kid. But seeing Luna’s blissful expression, I guess the kid made Luna’s dream of being a mother a reality. She can’t have kids; however, her motherly nature as an elf made her have a desire to love kids. I think the kid will be able to let her experience motherly love, too.’
We marched really quickly. Luna was seated in the last Earth Dragon carriage we had, though I was against bringing Luna along. This isn’t a safe journey after all. It was a gamble with our lives on the line.
‘I can lose my life and my army, but I couldn’t lose Luna. I don’t want the people around me to be in the same situation as Mera was, after all. If Luna is gone, I will never have a personal servant again.’
Luna insisted on coming, though. She wouldn’t give up, no matter what. She even tied herself to the horse to force me to bring her along. Luna was insistent on watching me. There was no persuading her. She gripped my cape with a tight grip and exclaimed, “I must stay by your side even if it is dangerous, because I am your personal servant. So please let me stay by your side!”
‘And so, I ended up bringing Luna along, even though she wasn’t exactly useful here, and I had no room to be thinking about taking care of her. But with her by my side, I was able to be less worried.’
The ruins were inside the oasis. This was the first sight of green we’d seen in over dozens of days. There was a lake at the centre of the oasis. However, the lake wasn’t large. I was really curious as to why there was a lake of water. The lake generously provided its surroundings and every generation of the nomads who came here everyday with life.
‘For safety purposes, I had an Earth Dragon carriage stay inside the oasis. If we succeed but then get no replenishments, then we’ll have water here. Food isn’t the most important thing in the desert. Worst case scenario, I’ll kill another Earth Dragon. Water couldn’t be replenished, though.’
We had finished with our arrangements for our return. We only needed to worry about if we could use the arrangements now. I didn’t arrange for a substitute unit since I didn’t have many men in the first place. I must succeed this time or I’ll be doomed. As I’ve kept saying, this is a gamble with our lives.
I stood on a tall dune and looked at the yellow-sand ruins in the distance. I then looked down and asked the kid, “Is this where your tribesmen are trapped?”
Tarak translated my question and the kid nodded. I looked in that direction. It was a ruin of yellow sand which reminded me of Old Summer Palace. However, I could faintly see how it was once a city. Half of the city walls, which hadn’t been destroyed by gusts of winds remained, as well as traces of roads and houses. The sides where the wind hit had basically crumbled, though. While it wasn’t damaged on the other side, it looked the same as it did back then.
I could also see that people had used all sorts of things to surround it.
‘It was just as I surmised. They had surrounded the city, but they didn’t kill the people inside. Of course, I’m not convinced that they’re nice people. They were just waiting to snatch the kid from us before killing the people inside.’
Otherwise, it would be a waste of energy to kill the people here. Plus, if the people were to take the map and destroy it along with themselves, then they’d get nothing, either. Thus, it was best to resolve things peacefully. With that said, if I were to break through the siege, it’s still best if I send someone in to speak to them. If they mistake my intentions, then everything will be in vain.
I lowered my head down and asked the kid next to me, “Can you get in?”
Tarak paused and then asked, “Your Majesty, did you want him to go in and report that we were coming?”
I nodded and replied, “Yes. If they mistake us as enemies, then we’ll get caught in a pincer attack. It’s as I mentioned. It appears that there aren’t too many people laying siege to the city here. Perhaps most of them went to kill us. Their campsites around the city are also separated, so it doesn’t seem as though they have a way to contact each other. Or rather, they’re competing with each other.”
“Uhm. Your Majesty, I think that we are very likely to be able to break through successfully. The enemy is not tightly gathered around. To the contrary, one gunpowder barrel will suffice. We just need to light up a single barrel. If we can break through from there, the entire situation will be in disarray. As long as we can create a bit of chaos, we will be able to use the opening to break the siege.”
I nodded. I don’t reckon this battle will be that difficult. It’s just that when I looked at the horizon, I couldn’t shake off the feeling that there was something there. I couldn’t see it clearly due to the overcast.
‘Is that pile of stuff moving or am I imagining things? I don’t know what I saw. Perhaps it was just my imagination?’
“Tarak, can you see something over there? It seems it’s coming our way.”
I pointed in its direction. Tarak squinted and then replied, “Sorry, Your Majesty, I do not see anything. Perhaps it is your imagination…”
I rubbed my eyes, but I still felt that overcast was thing was still there. I also felt it was getting closer, too. Tarak, however, didn’t see it.
‘Could it be due to my eyes becoming hazy after being in the desert for so long? Or am I just imagining it?’
“Don’t worry about it then. I changed my deployment, I’m putting the three Earth Dragons in three teams, to have them attack from left, right and front at the same time. We will regroup in the centre to break out of the siege from one side, while leading the people we need to rescue. Have the kid go in and report in now. Once you hear loud explosions and see a flare, have your people prepare to aid us. Take out your royal family emblems. Those that have it shining on their chest at night are our men!”
‘My human senses are going to drag me down now.’
‘I always remember that I’m not human but half-elf whenever I face a crisis. My eyesight is significantly superior to Tarak’s. That’s why I could see what he couldn’t. And that wasn’t my imagination. It was the most terrifying death god of the desert…’