“You know, this feels as if it’s a holiday,” voiced Alice, thrilled at the sight of the city outside of the jeep.
Lin Chucheng bobbed his head to himself. They hadn’t been assigned any new assignments since they sunk the transport ships – which was two months ago. During that window, he had been frequently flying from hangar to hangar if not driving from hangar to hangar.
Though the kingdom and empire declared war on one another, Dongdenoah people, who were lined up on either side of the jeep, and Sidnoah people, who were located in the distant fortification, were the ones actually going at each other’s necks.
Dongdenoah were this place’s original inhabitants. Sidnoah people migrated here. Due to Sidnoah people reselling livestock and operating business to amass wealth, the Dongdenoah were outraged. As a result, the two groups got into physical altercations here, the frontier of Troy Empire and the springboard into Troy’s territory that Queen Sisi’s coveted. One day, the wild Sidnoah people assassinated a Dongdenoah noble who supported Queen Sisi, sounding the official trumpet of war.
The two strongest nations circled around nearby islands to blast each other. Both sides were done with their preparations. Although Dondenoah’s forces were marching here, their main force was fighting on the frontlines. Since Dongdenoah’s forces encountered the enemy advancing toward them on land, Lin Chucheng was sent in as their reinforcements.
The town that Sidnoah people formerly owned was occupied and somewhat damaged. The Dongdenoah group bringing up the rear were amidst checking their spoils of war – Sidnoah people.
Lin Chucheng watched the soldiers haul residents out from their homes. There were women screaming and glass breaking. The Dongdenoah people were almost banished from this land, yet they were basking in the glory of others and sticking their noses in the clouds. They aimed guns at citizens and spat profanities as they forced innocent citizens to the curb. The fighting was over, yet innocent folks were bleeding and bruised.
Lin Chucheng didn’t deem the Dondenoah people’s behaviour something to be proud of as a noble. In saying that, he wasn’t a chief, nor did he have any authority to denounce their actions. Therefore, he popped his hat on and turned a blind eye to the tragedy ensuing.
Suddenly, the driver slammed the brakes hard, jolting Lin Dongqing. Lin Dongqing removed his hat to take a look. Alice got to her feet, while the driver got off and fired off coarse language as if his mouth was a machine gun. Lin Chucheng got out of the car and saw a girl crying on the ground, hands around her shaky leg. The blood on her leg stung him.
A soldier ran over and saluted Lin Chucheng. The soldier tried to haul the girl off by her arm, but she cried as she fought back. In response, the soldier whacked her across the face and aimed his gun at her head as he verbally blasted her with vulgar language.
“Oi, what are you doing?!” Lin Chucheng instinctively shouted and pressed down on the gun.
The soldier didn’t speak Lin Chucheng’s language, though it wasn’t necessary to discern Lin Chucheng snapped. Dongdenoah people wouldn’t dare to offend a pilot from their suzerain. Hence, the soldier scampered back and let go of the girl.
Lin Chucheng pulled the girl into a hug and snapped at the soldier: “Scram!”
The girl clung to Lin Chucheng’s clothing as he held her with one hand and retreated. The soldier dithered for a brief moment prior to turning away.
“What are you going to do about the girl? Didn’t Oraina say we aren’t babysitters? She’ll be thrown out even if you take her to the base, I reckon. I’m not going to take punishment for you again.” Alice took out items from the pilot first-aid kit to nurse the girl’s wounds after pulling her onto the truck.
“Drive,” Lin Chucheng told the driver, then just sat with his arms crossed. He took her with him in the spur of the moment. Ten minutes later, he regretted his decision somewhat. He couldn’t stand watching someone abuse a child. Nonetheless, he didn’t know what to do with her next. “I’ll try to send her somewhere safe. At the very least, I won’t let them get their hands on her.”
“Where is ‘safe’ for her? She’s a Sidnoah citizen. You going to send her to them or keep her here.”
The cat caught Lin Chucheng’s tongue again.
The girl appeared to understand what the two were discussing. She gingerly grabbed Lin Chucheng’s shirt and said something that he couldn’t understand. Regardless, he could see in her eyes that she was afraid and didn’t want to go, especially back to the Dongdenoah group.
Lin Chucheng smiled bitterly at an idea that came to mind. He just… He just thought the one man he didn’t want to be reminded of would be able to help the girl.
“I’ll send her to my home,” Lin Chucheng declared as they were getting closer and closer to the hangar. “I believe my family can take her in. I can’t help everyone. Nonetheless, I chose to help her. Therefore, I will see to it that she is safe. I want to request a pass and enough money so that she can find my place.”
“Your… family is okay with taking in some odd girl?”
“Well… odd girls are ubiquitous at my place…”
My sister, for one, is just as odd…
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