I called out to Philes out of habit when I placed my hand down. My healed throat didn’t bring me back my former vassal. I hesitated for a moment before calling for Tanya, instead.
Tanya entered my tent, and then hesitated after looking at me. I turned around, “Let’s head out now. Wear some more clothes and bring ice picks. Oh, right, bring enough rope, too.”
“Did you want to climb the mountain, Your Majesty?” asked Tanya. She paused for a moment before continuing, “That is not a wise decision, Your Majesty. You have just returned and have not yet had a good rest. Further, it is extremely dangerous to climb the snowy mountains at night. I am strongly against climbing the snowy mountains at this time.”
“Uhm, I know. That’s why I’m bringing you along, Tanya. It’ll be just you and two others.” I l replied. Then, I pressed my hand on her shoulder. Tone solemn, I said, “I want to go to the top of the mountain now. I must go, Tanya.”
She gave me a nod, “All right, then, Your Majesty. However, you must promise me that you will obey me on the mountain. You must follow my steps, and we must stop immediately if you feel unwell or weak. You must not force yourself.”
I nodded “Uhm, got it.”
I then stood up. Tanya made a small bow, then turned to go and prepare the things we needed for our trip in the night.
I felt as though a pair of eyes were trained on me from behind. I turned my head around and saw a pair of crescent moon eyes looking at me. Ling Yue wagged her tail. She looked at me with an odd look and asked, “Are you heading out?”
I nodded, “Yeah, I’ll be going out for a bit. I should be back by around noon. Continuing sleeping, Ling Yue. You don’t need to worry about me. I have Tanya with me, and I’m not stupid enough to go and try to challenge the enemies all alone, so you don’t need to worry.”
“No… I’m very worried for you right now…” Ling Yue sat up and looked at me. She elaborated, “If you were like others, crying and shouting as I did, felt so enraged you want to immediately kill the anthropoids, then I would feel that you’re normal… However… however… right now… you’re acting as if nothing happened. That really scares me…”
I grinned. I walked up to the edge of the bed I responded, “There’s no point in me crying and carrying on here right now. Many of those I care about have left me. I’ve cried next to them before and suffered in anguish before. I always wanted to avoid that happening, but I failed. I helplessly watched Philes leave me. I can’t stop death. I couldn’t save them.”
I stood up. Tanya’s footsteps came from outside. I grabbed my thick cloak by the side and added, “But I, at least, have the ability and desire to avenge them. I can’t bring them back to life, but I can, at the very least, prevent myself from feeling powerless to do anything. I’m now going to avenge Philes.”
Ling Yue looked at me and hastily exclaimed, “It’s impossible for you to defeat that horde of anthropoids! There are too many of them. All of them have gathered there. How are you going to get your revenge?!! You can’t avenge him by taking a stroll at night. Why do you have to go out at night?”
“No. I can.” I replied. I turned my head back around with a smile and elaborated, “I can get my revenge by strolling at night. Ling Yue, you don’t need to worry about it. I told you that I want revenge, so I will definitely get it. My Philes is dead, so they better prepare to die. I might not be able to take them all on alone or kill enemies coming at me from all sides, but I have a desire to kill them, and I’ll see that it’s done. I swear it.”
Ling Yue looked at me. Her lips trembled, but I didn’t speak. Tanya pulled the curtain to the tent open and ignored Ling Yue behind me. She bowed, “Your Majesty, the things you need are ready. Let us go now. Which mountain did you want to climb?”
Climbing a mountain isn’t fun. It might’ve been exhilarating and provided a sense of accomplishment if we weren’t climbing the mountain with the anthropoids around and in the middle of the night. The mountain wasn’t comprised of just snow. There were also layers of ice. When we stabbed the ice picks in, the ice virtually swallowed our picks. It was almost impossible to pull them out. I did mention that the mountains were virtually impossible to climb. Tanya tried to search for a viable path up at the start but she soon gave up, and opted to scale the mountain with ice picks.
We finally found a path that we could walk on after climbing half way up. We followed Tanya along the steep mountain. We had very little space to place our feet. Therefore, if we slipped just marginally, we’d fall without crashing into anything on the way down.
We also ended up circling around to the spot overhead of the anthropoids gathering spot. What I first thought to be the sound of the wind was actually the sounds of the breathing of the anthropoids below. We weren’t at the peak of the mountain, but it was rare to find flat spot half way up the mountain. It was as if somebody sliced off a section of the mountain to create the flat zone.
I waved my hand and tugged Tanya in front of me. We then ducked down on the vacant space. The four of us lay there on the snow without speaking, for there were anthropoids below us. If they heard us, none of us would be able to escape with our lives.
I looked at the two next to me. They squinted and looked at the mountain opposite our position. With the moon behind the mountain, we virtually couldn’t see anything. We only managed to see a few caves of varying sizes that looked darker than the rest. The two of them took out pen and paper and waited for daybreak.
We lay on the snow, yet I didn’t feel cold. The two of them concentrated on the mountain opposite our position, while I focused on the anthropoids below us.
The anthropoids below killed my Philes. I couldn’t save him. I couldn’t fight side by side with him on the frontlines. I helplessly watched him die. All I could now give him was glory and honour.
“I don’t regret it…”
Those were Philes last words.
I didn’t make my subordinate, who was loyal to me, regret his decision, and I didn’t let my men feel ashamed.
I, therefore, needed to pull myself together. I had to prove to myself that I didn’t let my loyal men down with my actions. I couldn’t let their sacrifice be in vain. Yes, I couldn’t bring my Philes back even if I killed all of the anthropoids below, but that has nothing to do with me being unable to kill them.
I wasn’t doing this to revive Philes. I was doing it to massacre them. I just wanted to murder them.
‘It won’t be cold for much longer, because I’ll melt this ice with the blood of those below!’