I didn’t stop again. I set out once all of our resources arrived, and we were done with deployments.
Another full-moon night was coming in three days. I looked up at the sky overhead and felt a little melancholic. We had arrived at the border of the elven lands and the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon was just below our feet. The snowy North would soon be in sight, as well as the anthropoids, who’d occasionally look at us.
We still needed to wait. We needed to find a suitable location to cross over. Additionally, we needed to create a bridge to cross over. We didn’t consist of just soldiers. We had got cannons and military machines, too. We ran the risk of getting totally wiped out if we insisted on crossing over before confirming the situation.
As for the anthropoids that didn’t know what to do, I used them as long-distance shooting practice targets when I was bored. When we were bored, Philes and I would make bets, and then shoot the anthropoids on the other side.
Ling Yue remained at my side all the time. She watched us treat the anthropoids on the other side as wine or old coins. We treated their lives as cheap bets, something for us to pass time. She remained at our side at the watchtower as she watched us take out her own folk with one shot, one after another.
She kept silent. I occasionally noticed her gaze, but I couldn’t derive anything from them.
Smoke whirled around. I placed my gun down and watched the brown silhouette on the other side collapse after the sound of the gunshot. A patch of blood appeared on the snow. From my side, Philes clapped and looked at me. He chuckled hopelessly and tossed me a few gold coins. He said, “Your marksmanship sure is incredible, Your Majesty. You killed it in one shot from such a long distance. That is remarkable; I think that skirmishers will be most happy if you succeed the throne.”
I chuckled as I shook my head. Skirmishers are akin to marksman with god-tier marksmanship skills. They don’t fight in formations. Instead, they spread out and hunt their targets similarly to a hunter, which was basically what I was doing, really. However, I didn’t particularly like them, because I hadn’t become acquainted with the army yet. The types of soldiers I liked best won’t necessarily be the ones I hold in the highest regard.
“Whoa! Your Majesty, it looks as though it is still moving. It appears that I cannot give you this gold coin yet!”
A soldier next to Philes then shouted out. We went over together to see what it was about. The corpse started moving again. It seemed that I didn’t kill him with that last shot. I placed the gold coin back on the table, somewhat frustrated. I then said, “No way. I aimed for his chest. Even if I hit his abdomen, he should die after getting hit with an explosive round, right?”
Philes narrowed his eyes and said, “No! No! No! That does seem to be the case. There is something there… Ah… It is a child… It is a small anthropoid…”
I lingered for a moment then looked over. My enhanced vision – thanks to my elven genetics – let me spot the anthropoid. I saw a small head come out from underneath he anthropoid I killed. It desperately nudged its dad or mom’s corpse and refused to leave.
Ling Yue suddenly turned her head around and looked at me with disbelief. She thundered, “He is still a kid!!”
“They sure didn’t stop to think when they killed our children.” I slowly, fully reloaded my gun. Without looking at her, I coldly said, “Do you still remember that village? Did the death of those villagers have anything to do with this war? Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten? Ling Yue, don’t tell me that you’ve forgotten the pillar they made out of the corpses. I won’t forget it; I’ll never forget it, so I’ll show them no mercy. Further, this is a higher anthropoid right? It wouldn’t have a child, otherwise.”
“Wait! Wait! He might be the same kind as me!”
Ling Yue pressed her hands down on my gun barrel and looked at me as though she was pleading me.
I looked at her and sternly replied, “Did you forget who put you in your current predicament? Didn’t you say that you wanted revenge? Why, then, are you stopping me? Do you really think that they’re innocent? Ling Yue, nobody is innocent once a war starts. I said that I’d get revenge for you on your behalf, so quit with the morality talk. Revenge is proven with blood!”
“The ones who massacred our tribe were those four tribes!! It had nothing to do with him!”
“They’re on the enemy’s side. That’s enough of a reason.”
I yanked Ling Yue’s hands off and Philes restrained her. I ignored her cries and pulled the trigger.
The small body jolted, and then stopped moving before falling down next to the adult.
Ling Yue looked over in their direction, and then looked back at me without saying a word.
I placed my gun down then put two gold coins onto the table. I turned around, “That’s good enough. Let’s end here for today. Consider it my loss. Ling Yue, let’s go.”
“Your Majesty! Somebody is running!!”
I quickly spun my head around to see a dark shadow running toward us very swiftly. I lingered for a moment before picking up the gun and reloading it.
I threw the rifle away, causing a collision sound.
“That is not my target to kill. That’s who I need to protect.”
Philes looked over. Behind the staggering figure was a swarm of dark shadows. The dark figure was being chased down by a huge horde, the same way Ling Yue was chased back then. I didn’t know who she was or if she’s Ling Yue’s tribesman or whatever, but if they were being chased by the anthropoids, then they were someone who could definitely help me!
I wasn’t going to let an opportunity that came knocking get away!
“Tell the cavalry to search along the Grand Canyon! I don’t know where that person came from. Artillerymen, open fire! Do your best to hold off the pursuers at the rear! I don’t care what it takes! Make sure the person fleeing makes it to me alive!!”
I shouted my orders to the soldiers running below. Horns went off at our temporary camp. Our horses kicked up dust as they ran over. I stood atop the lookout tower and watched the individual run.
‘Don’t get caught! Don’t get caught! Please! Don’t get caught!’
The artillerymen opened fire. After I gave my orders from the lookout tower, explosions immediately littered the location where the pursuing anthropoids were. The black silhouette looked at the chaos ensuing behind her, and then looked over toward our camp. I didn’t know if she understood my intentions. I watched her dexterously flip over several boulders, and then disappear from my sight.
After that, I had to trust that my cavalry would be able to find her.
‘I believe that she’ll be able to make it here even if they can’t, right? We provided support, so she should understand what our intention is, right?’
“That person… I seem to remember her.”
Ling Yue, who was next to me, suddenly spoke out. She looked in the direction the girl disappeared in and softly said, “I really… do remember… that person. If I remember correctly… She’s the Queen’s personal bodyguard!”