This charge felt too easy. Perhaps it was because we had defeated their main forces already. The remainder must’ve been bandits of the desert and some sly company who were powerless before our attacking cavalry. There were some elites， who held their weapons and tried to counterattack， but they were all cut down by us.
We swiftly crossed through the sea of fire and the sand swept up by a fierce gust of wind hit us. The fire was bending due to the strong wind. But at the same time, we didn’t have to hold our breath thanks to the strong wind.
We crossed through the fire and corpses similarly to phantoms and headed toward our final destination. We didn’t face any strong resistance on the entire way. I was a little nervous to the point I had a sad and dreary feeling, but I now had an odd type of feeling. I lost as if I had just come to the desert. I never expected it to be so simple.
‘If I knew it was going to be this simple, what the heck was I fretting about earlier?’
It was just that the fire on the ground and the ruins slowed our horses down. We had to take some detours while heading to the centre. Despite the road being long, the twists and turns couldn’t put out the confidence and composure rising in my chest. I truly felt that my dream was going to be realised just like that.
‘But, is the wind that’s blowing right now getting stronger and stronger or what?’
“Your Majesty, do you feel that this wind is a little too strong?”
Lorana, who was next to me, frowned. I felt the same way. I didn’t think it was strong at first, but it had not gotten so strong that we couldn’t open our eyes. I initially thought it was strong due to our speed, but it now felt rough even when we stood still.
Lorana looked at me with a serious look as she covered her nose and mouth with her mask. She looked at me and in a tense tone said, “I feel that it’s a little dangerous. Your Majesty, this might be a sandstorm. If it’s a sandstorm, we’ll be completely split up. We must find those people as soon as possible, and then swiftly return to our camp. We’ll be done for if we get caught in a sandstorm out here.”
‘I’ve only seen sandstorms in the past, but the sandstorms in the city can’t compare at all. After I grew up, forests were formed to guard against natural disasters and to protect the environment so I never saw sandstorms again. However, I often heard about how scary sandstorms in the desert were. Compared to bandits and jackals of the desert, the most frightening thing in the desert was sandstorms that could hit at any moment. They could suck up an entire team’s things.’
‘I can’t believe we’re faced with a sandstorm now. But that wasn’t all. We still had groups of enemies ahead. We’d be considered lucky if we could stay on the ground when it starts blowing fiercely. We need to cut open a path. The scariest part was that we can’t possibly see our comrades when the storm hits.’
I had split the team into three teams! Under normal circumstances, we should’ve stopped at the centre and waited for all three teams to regroup, but we were out of time to wait for them. We could only pray that they had already arrived and were waiting for us. If we’re not together then the sandstorm will completely separate us.
We can’t support each other if we get swallowed up by the sandstorm. Even those next to you will be blown away. When that happens, not only will our vision be impaired. but we’ll also be right in among our enemies. We won’t be able to tell if the team we suddenly run into is our team or not. By the time we can see, we’d be only five or six steps away from each other. The enemies’ sword will already be poised and ready to strike me by then.
‘Sandstorms are extremely scary. I’m not afraid of anything right now, but a sandstorm could truly blow away my dream right in front of me.’
“Everyone, take down the enemy and reach our destination as fast as possible! Once we get there, we’ll grab the people and leave immediately. Don’t wait any longer. If we wait and run into a sandstorm, we’ll be in danger. Take the people straight back to our campsite! You, come here! Yes, you!”
I pulled a soldier over. I honestly didn’t care who it was. He looked at me with a stunned look, completely clueless as to what I wanted. I pulled down the reins on my horse. Lorana read my mind and suddenly passed Luna into his arms. Luna cried out. Before she realised it, I had firmly strapped her to the horse saddle.
The buckle was originally intended to be used to hang swords or other weapons from, but Luna was now hanging from it. Luna couldn’t resist against Lorana’s strength, while I didn’t show any signs of relaxing on my face.
‘If there’s danger, I must send Luna out.’
“Take Luna back to our camp. Do not come out until the sandstorm blows over. It’s a blind spot over there, so I don’t think anybody is likely to come over. You must keep Luna safe.”
I pat him on his shoulder and then stroked Luna’s face. Luna yelled loudly and tightly grabbed onto my hand. I looked at her face and pulled her hand off. Separations during these moments should be tender and painfully decisive. Our tension had been reduced by a lot and I believed that we would win for sure when I brought Luna along, but this sandstorm that came out of nowhere has messed up all of my plans.
‘I can’t put Luna in danger.’
I don’t have any time for lovey-dovey words nor is there time for us to show our affection for each other. I just want to get her out, right now. I want to get her to safety. All the affectionate stuff, love and whatever can wait until after she gets out alive. I can only stay by her side if she makes it out alive.
I turned around. If I took another glimpse at her, I might feel a little sorrow. The strong wind continued to get stronger and stronger, to the point where I couldn’t hear the sound of the horse behind me leaving. In fact, I could barely hear Lorana’s voice when she was right next to me. The strong winds got stronger and stronger similarly to a tsunami of sand. Even my elite battle steeds were neighing and trembling in the fierce wind.
We felt we were a little late. Despite having done our best to move forward, we were now at the border of the sandstorm.
‘I don’t know what we’ll be faced with next but I don’t have any intention of retreating now. I’ve already considered the question. Everybody’s hope rests on my shoulders. I’ve come here, so I won’t retreat!’
“Tie everybody together with a rope. I might not have any means of contacting the others, but we can’t let ourselves be separated. If we’re separated any more, we’ll be done for. I can still remember the route. Can you see the flame over there? The three clusters of fire is the signal we agreed on…”
Honestly, I felt like the signal was just garbage now. I have no way of telling if it’s a cluster of fire inside of a huge fire, but that must be the real thing because I could vaguely see the tent nearby. If there aren’t any problems, we might be able to leave with everyone when the sandstorm covers the entire place…
We tied ourselves together and galloped in that direction. This time, however, we were moving slower. Our horses were slowed by the fierce wind.
“Your Majesty, advancing with the wind blowing against us is going to be a little hard.”
“That’s fine… The wind will be behind us when we leave.”
I chuckled and then tightened up my hoodie before leading my men over.
‘I don’t think I’ll be able to leave before the sandstorm comes, as this tent was, indeed, what we were searching for. Those were, indeed, the people we needed to rescue.’
‘Outside right now, though, is a large group of people who’ve laid siege. If we don’t kill them then we have no way of entering.’
“Brothers. Let’s try it out today. We’ll launch a night raid using the Earth Dragon for the first time. It’ll be our first assault after we’ve used up all of our bullets and ran out of provisions. We’re going to start a slaughter in the desert next! Everyone, our targets are everyone but those in the tent! Slay them all!! Charge!”