I felt that nightfall came too late. However, everything unfolded as Tarak said it would. When night started to fall, clouds that appeared out of nowhere, began to cover the sky. The bright moon and stars were covered by clouds. It really was pitch black. Not even I could see beyond a few metres. The only thing we could rely on was our memory and the reports our scouts brought back late at night. Our scouts returned to inform us of the enemy positions, but I had no idea where the two teams that split up were.
Tarak and Philes led one team each, leading the wing attacks, while Lorana and I led the team here. I only have just over ten people and an Earth Dragon with me. Based on our location during the day, we should be within distance to begin our charge now. The people inside had fires lit up. It was the only light in the darkness, which was also our best reminder.
Nobody discovered us, even though we didn’t really care about being discreet or staying hidden. Nobody noticed our location, either.
‘I think it’d be more accurate to say that nobody cared about their rear. Should I describe the enemy as a motley crew or should I say that they didn’t think anybody would attack them in the desert, despite not having heard back from their own people?’
I looked at the Earth Dragon rider next to me and quietly asked, “Earth Dragons, you ready?”
This young man chose to ride the Earth Dragon of his own volition. I initially intended to ride it myself, but Earth Dragon riders face a lot of danger. As the body of the Earth Dragon is so large, it becomes everyone’s target when it rampages. Guns might not be very accurate, but there’s no guarantee you won’t get caught by a bullet. Moreover, we don’t have reins for Earth Dragons, because they were supposed to pull the carriages, not enter combat. If the Earth Dragon goes out of control, you’re very likely to fall off the top.
My suggestion was, consequently, rejected. I really admire the young man’s courage for volunteering. It was his turn to charge, I saw his legs quiver. I handed him the Ignite and Explosion potions in my hands to him then looked up at his slightly stiff face, and told him, “It’s alright. Don’t be nervous. You just need to charge in and throw these things. Do you still remember how we stopped the Earth Dragons? You don’t need to engage the enemy in a fight. You can go to that place and wait for us to return once you’ve charged into the enemy’s formation and dismantled it.”
“Understood, Your Majesty.”
He nodded and then reacted as he wanted to puke, but he tried to hold it back. That was a sign that he was nervous. I know that, but I can’t swap him out for someone else now.
‘Since you volunteered yourself, I can only wish you good luck.’
I touched the protective talisman in front of my chest. The talisman was Nier’s gift for me. If Nier was here right now, she would be standing here with her long sword and strong gaze. Unfortunately, she’s not here right now. I’ve only got this protective talisman on me. It was enough, though.
This was enough for me to feel that she was here by my side.
It’s reassuring to have your loved one by your side when you’re looking to go die.
I gently grabbed hold of Luna’s hand. Luna was seated atop Lorana’s horse. I looked at her with a solemn look and she froze for a moment. She then revealed a gentle smile and asked, “What is the matter, Your Majesty?”
“Are you scared?”
I found myself choking on my words. I originally had countless things to say, but in the end, I could only utter three empty words that made me feel awkward.
Luna looked at me and softly chuckled. Even though it was pitch black, Luna’s smile could still seemingly shine with bliss and a holy light. She interlocked her fingers with mine and softly replied, “Yes.”
“If you’re scared, head back.”
“I am scared that something might happen to you.”
Luna tightly held my hand, looked toward the flame in the dark and resolutely continued, “Your Majesty, if there is no one next to you to stop you, you will definitely overextend yourself. I am scared that you will do something reckless, which is why I must be by your side. Your Majesty, you need someone to take care of you, no matter where you go.”
“Am I as weak as you say?”
I smiled helplessly and then tugged the reins. I stopped for a moment and then a made a high-pitched whistle with my mouth. The disgusting oppressing silence in the desert was shattered by my whistle. All the clouds in the sky seemed to be shocked, too. Then a strong gust of wind from out of nowhere blew them away.
The people in the camp seemed to be clueless as to what just happened. They even refused to go and check what happened. The people around the fire just stood up for a moment and then lazily sat back down. But they won’t be sitting for long this time, because the Earth felt as though it was quaking before them. Flustered, they looked toward the direction of the sound in the darkness. The heavy sound was approaching them at a fast pace. Something huge then knocked away the pitiful roadblocks, while the roars that would irritate their ears slammed against their ears. They looked at the huge beast before them with blank expressions. They opened their mouths wide, but not a sound would come out. It was as if a fire and intense explosion descended from the heavens, reducing them to bits and pieces.
The intense flames spread throughout the area of sand, swallowing up everything it came into contact with. The strong gust of wind and dry nature of the desert made the flames grow even bigger as though it was an invincible death god. Cries and shouts now filled the interior of the camp. The darkness was now bright, since the flames were burning brightly. The camps nearby also got affected. The people, who weren’t originally on the same team, thought someone launched an attack taking advantage of the cover of the night. Therefore, they picked up their weapons and rushed over. They fired in the direction of the other camp without any aim. Those who were attacked thought they were the ones attacking, so the survivors returned fire without hesitation.
All of the camps around were thrown into a chaotic battle. The flames virtually burnt the clouds in the sky. The explosive sound of gun fire was going off non-stop, similarly to fried tofu crackling in the pan. All of this was accompanied by the sound of slaughter, roars and cries before death.
I drew my handgun.
‘I don’t actually have many bullets, either. However, there wasn’t much point in me fighting. I just needed to act as a flag. This was the final battle. We just need to win this battle and we’ll be victorious in here. The first step of my dream shall finally take off. There’s nothing left to hide at this point. My emblem of the Rosvenor Empire at my chest shined in the darkness.’
‘I’m the prince of the Rosvenor Empire! I’m the next Emperor of the Rosvenor Empire! I want to tell the world, every single soul in the world, the things you fight for, everything you desperately wanted, not one of you will be able to defeat me, because I’m the most outstanding King among you all. I’m not a kid who only hides behind his mother. I’m the next Elven King, and the next Emperor of the empire!’
We left nothing in the tank for the final battle. We didn’t employ any strategy. We just needed to cut open a path, rush to the people ahead we needed to save and then kill our way out.
‘I once thought that the desert to the south was an incomparably carefree place as though it was another world. But, between me and the ore I need right now is a sea of flames and a bunch of enemies. I just need to cross the sea of flames and slaughter all of my enemies!’
I didn’t need to give any command or coordinate anything.
My men drew their only remaining weapon. Their elven blades shined, revealing all of their determined faces. The horses neighed toward the heavens and kicked up sand. The horses that shook the heavens charged toward the massive flame and toward the fierce winds without hesitation!