Imperial capital. Military assembly plaza.
Usually, humanity reserved the plaza for entertainment purposes. Everyone was equal there in the large plaza. Everyone had the right to play there. Nonetheless, it was still used for its original purpose. Humanity’s soldiers gathered there before every war that they fought. It was where ambitions, loyalty and madness grew. It was either where a sovereign would be born or obliterated. The plaza had witnessed miracles and destruction time and time again. It was where humanity’s most fearsome war machines assembled.
The plaza served its purpose again today as the military’s gathering grounds. Below the throne were mighty soldiers perfectly lined up in formation. The red war flag on the poles fluttered in the winds. The knights stood at the forefront. Their white steeds had their heads lowered in silence, not daring to make a sound. The soldiers primly stood in place. Their curved blades and shields reflected the sunlight, while their war flag was even more captivating. Every single one of them silently had their heads up and eyes on the throne on the platform. Fully-equipped guards stood on both sides of the empty throne. Their monarch had yet to appear; everyone awaited the Queen’s command.
Queen Sisi swiftly appeared from the side of the throne. She dressed in the same uniform as her soldiers. The soldiers vigorously raised their arms and loudly chanted. Nothing could raise their spirits more than seeing their monarch dressed in the same uniform as them. It was proof that Queen Sisi didn’t consider them cannon fodder but comrades and companions. That granted the soldiers the satisfaction and excitement of being valued. All of the soldiers were willing to die fighting for their comrades.
“Men.” Queen Sisi loved when soldiers cheered for her. She extended a hand to have the cheering stop for a moment. She looked at her immensely imposing army. Her confidence and pride stroked her ego. She looked at her soldiers below and exclaimed, “My courageous soldiers, today, I called you here, not to satisfy my own wishes, but for your own sake, your family and a better future that you should be entitled to. Your descendants will be able to go further and see more! They will no longer be stuck on this small land as we are! They will be able to see the entire world!! Your children will have everyone in this world’s respect!!”
The passionate soldiers raised their shields and sent tremors through the air with their roar, literally lighting up the air, preventing anyone from breathing.
“I know that you are all tired and have just suffered the misery of losing loved ones. Nevertheless, I am in the same boat. I have always stood with you; have I ever run away even once?! I’m also tired, and I’ve also suffered. However, if we stop advancing here, we will be failures as soldiers. Our brothers have fallen! We mustn’t let their deaths be in vain! I will go to the frontlines together with you this time! I will fight by your sides!! This time, we will attack the elves! We will kill those ignoble and pitiful insects in the forest! Those elves have hurt our friend! We must reinstate the Elven Queen!”
“For the Queen!!”
Humanity’s booming roars shook the Earth. Queen Sisi loved it; her soldiers’ roars stimulated her arrogance. They were her soldiers, who would fight and die for her. All of that honour and glory was hers, and they would still be even in the future!
“March toward that forest!! Burn down that forest! Silence that forest! Go, my soldiers! I will, personally, light the first torch!!”
Humanity’s war machine started to move. Humanity wasn’t a race that won every war they fought. They failed before, but their war machine had never collapsed before. Humanity wouldn’t lay down their sword even in the face of despair. Humanity had conquered one race after another. It was the elves’ turn to taste defeat at the hands of humanity. The war between humans and elves officially commenced.
The war was between the two races, but the fighting didn’t start at the border. Due to being far and remote, the war and news of it arrived there late. I didn’t know what the elves had to say since I wasn’t waiting for the elves’ Lucilia but the dwarf, Francis.
Francis sat on the chair and handed a beautiful emerald gem to Leah. Leah cheerfully took it and examined it from different angles. I guess all women like pretty things.
Francis gave Veirya a smile: “Veirya, we should’ve sent gifts for your marriage to Tarak. I noticed you two didn’t buy rings, so I specifically made one. This is the best gem we have found in the last thirty years. Our best artisan made the ring. I’m giving it to Tarak as a present for you two.”
Francis handed me a small box. Curious, I opened it. The gem was blindingly shiny. The crystal didn’t reflect light; to the contrary, it emitted light. Pure white gems were inlaid in the centre. It was set off with a leaf that resembled a spinning upward rose petal. The leave was also embellished with tiny gems that emitted a light together. I bet only dwarves would give away something so valuable without a second thought.
“A ring?” asked Veirya.
Veirya scanned the ring curiously. She, apparently, didn’t understand its purpose, while I felt too awkward to explain it to her. I, therefore, placed it aside. We only claimed to be married; we weren’t actually officially together. I felt a little too embarrassed to give Veirya the ring. It was better for me to take it out again when I officially proposed.
I was aware Francis came from far away and brought so many gifts for more reasons than being friendly. For him to have paid us a visit not long after we separated, it must’ve been for business, and that would be none other than the acquisition of the land.
As there was a village in the area, I had to speak with the residents there. I had never met them before, but the law stipulated they belonged to Veirya.
I queried, “You want to talk about the land acquisition, right?”
Francis nodded with a smile: “It truly is a great pleasure to speak with you. You can understand what we want, which makes things so much easier. Correct, I want to discuss the land acquisition. The villagers are your assets. We need you, as the lord, to speak with them because you would be more convincing than us. Therefore, I’d like to ask you to speak to them.”
“All right. However, I need to bring Veirya and Leah. Is that fine with you?”
“All right, then. Come call us when you’re ready to go.”
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