Sun of War
“Thank you for your service on the long flight. You can rest up at the town near the camp. Don’t go too far because, as soon as you hear the warning, you need to come back to the hangar. We are at war now, understand?” commanded Oraina, letting the ocean breeze blow against her.
Though the place had become the air force’s frontline command centre, war yet had to ruin the popular vacation spot.
It had been three months, but Lin Chucheng was still apologetic to Oraina, hence the loud and respectful response.
The soldiers erupted into cheers as they went back to their camps to grab their sunnies and dashing pilot jackets. They polished their shoes and even sneaked on some cologne. They jumped on a supply jeep to travel to the town to show off in front of girls dressed in risqué fashion.
They were informed war had officially commenced a week ago. The air force’s tension eased off, though, as it was a peaceful week. There were no deaths or attacks since the announcement. News of the war commencing didn’t even make it to the headlines in the newspapers for a second day. Lin Dongqing’s absence at Queen Sisi’s birthday banquet made the headlines, instead.
Lin Chucheng’s team flew a week over the ocean to reach this place. They laughed, jested, japed and enjoyed free beer and grilled meat every night.
“Lin Chucheng, planning to visit the town? I’ve never been to this sort of vacation spot or seen the ocean,” Alice enthused, choosing to stick to her ordinary uniform. The island was considered the nobles’ vacation spot, so it was easy to see why Alice was unlikely able to afford visiting it.
“Let’s go check it out, then. It’s also my first time here.”
The two jumped on the back of a truck to leave the air force’s base. The sky was as blue as it was everywhere else. The ocean breeze disseminated the aroma of grilled meat and fragrance women wore.
Lin Chucheng desired war and a medal, yet he couldn’t sleep the night war was declared due to fear. He shed tears when they were told to write their wills for it was the first time he realised how he reluctant he was to part with his mother, Anna, his grandma, Angelina, and Elven Queen Lucilia, whom once gave him candy… Because of how peaceful it was, he didn’t know what attitude to adopt in regards to war. If war was what it had been for the last week, how was he supposed to earn glory and a medal?
“This place looks really nice,” commented Alice, sitting up and holding her short hair in place as she admired the blue ocean.
The wind blew open Alice’s jacket, revealing her shirt inside and her globes’ contour. Since she leaned on the rails, Lin Chucheng, who was next to her, could see the top of her peach. Usually, she always had her head down, fixing accessories and eating with everyone. As such, he never thought too much of her. While he had met countless women and girls before, he could feel his face burning. Although he turned away, the breeze wasn’t enough to cool his face.
“I never expected a holiday when I joined the air force. I wish my brother was here to see this scenery. I reckon his minor asthma would be alleviated being near the ocean,” Alice muttered to herself.
Taking advantage of Alice’s mumbling to end the awkwardness, Lin Chucheng inquired, “Your younger brother has asthma?”
“Yeah. We live within the vicinity of a quarry, so his health has always suffered,” answered Alice, smiling hopelessly. “The medication that the doctors in the imperial capital prescribe is effective. Sadly, it’s too pricey. As a result, my brother can only keep it in check with herb medications doctors at our town prescribe. The problem is that the herbs are often dirty; I always find blades of grass in his nose.”
“If we are granted a vacation, come to my place. We… have a doctor. He can take a look at your brother.”
“Thanks, but I can’t afford it.” Smiling graciously, Alice elaborated, “The living expenses in the imperial capital are really high. I doubt doctors have it easy. Thank you for the kind offer, though.”
Lin Chucheng gazed at the ocean with brooding eyes. He had seen the life of commoners before plenty of times during his time assisting in the tax department. Even though the commoners had plenty of ways to write off taxes, they weren’t aware. They toiled assiduously, but it wasn’t enough to have a cosy life in the prosperous kingdom.
Why does Alice’s family have to suffer while my father earns huge sums even though he’s no longer prime minister? Why does my mother throw away clothing she’s only worn once while Alice’s brother has to rely on herbs to live? Why…?
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