Titan Beneath The Heavens Chapter 181
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Talking about His Imperial Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette, the men of District One and Two of the Imperial Guards thought that he was an oddball; a lazy oddball who had nothing to do, and only knew how to complain and rant all the time.
However, these opinions were only held by those people who were too free. In contrary, the wise men greatly respected His Imperial Highness the Prince, who had risen through the ranks in Dulin City since he was young.
About funny things about Princes O'Neil, everyone had different things to say. Some people said that the Imperial Guards by his side were extremely odd; no one would put their life in the pagans' hands, so they thought that His Imperial Highness Prince was a weird person. Some even said that the lifestyle of this prince was absurd; he smoked and drank, but he had never messed around with women, yet others said that despite the nonsensical appearance of the prince in the daytime, once night fell, he would be more frightening than a monster, his eyes would be s.h.i.+ning and would not have to light the oil lamps to read or write.
Which of these guesses were more accurate? n.o.body had the answer to this question, probably, because that O'Neil Andrew Morisette really was an oddball. Right before the war, he had not mobilized any men, and had not disciplined his subordinates sternly like how a Marshal should. To be more precise, his Offensive Army Group Two was just like a heap of sand! When an order from the prince was being relayed by the Military Command Center, it was often a case where that the Army Commander could not locate the Division Commander, who could not find the Regimental Commander as well, and it would be even harder for the Regimental Commander to find the whereabouts of his Unit Commander.
It did not matter if it was just a joke or being made up intentionally. One the first day of the seventh month of Church's year 800, His Imperial Highness Prince suddenly felt that his brain was alive again after waking up! This was definitely something worth to be celebrated, as Torry, Murat and several other Special Warfare Officers whom he was close with … in summary, all his long-time friend had already left Hebhopp Castle, leaving the pitiful Marshall all alone.
When he was cleaning his room, the pitiful Marshal realized that the mini hand cannon which was a gift by Mistress Vijdeline was gone. Now this is weird! How was it possible that there was a thief in his Military Command Center?
His Imperial Highness Prince exploded with wrath, and his voice echoed throughout the entire forest.
After an investigation in the morning, the suspect had showed himself. The person was the personnel on duty at the group's staff quarters that night. He had lost his sanity after losing a huge amount of money, and had actually resorted to stealing the possessions of the Marshal.
Oscar's face darkened. He seemed to not know what to say, but he was certain that he must get his mini hand cannon back. The Imperial Guards' Marshal handed the unlucky man to Devil Sandy. It had been more than six months since the last time Sandinand had seen fresh blood. When he had taken over the suspect, he was beyond elated, like a h.o.r.n.y b.i.t.c.h, wagging its tail nonstop at his master.
Soon after, another suspect appeared. This was a young Major, and rumor had it there was nothing but money in his house. He admitted that he had spent three thousand Golden Ti for the mini hand cannon. However, this silly fellow had not inquired the source of the mini hand cannon, he only knew that he could show off by hanging the item on his waist.
Oscar summoned him to his side, and asked, "Do you know how to use this thing?"
The Major replied the Marshall like a fool, "I'm still experimenting!"
Oscar rolled his eye, "Let me teach you…"
As a result, the empire's prince had repeatedly pulled open the cartridge, filled it up with gunfire, filled it with ammunition, and aimed the weapon accurately at the fool.
The firing of the gun had shocked the birds in the forest. Almost the entire palace shook amidst the crisp and deafening sound. The young Major plopped onto the ground, his eyes bulging like those of a dead fish. Other than these eyes, his expressions were considered as lively and seemed to be plastering a grin, as if it was mocking the actions of the riled up prince.
In front of the scrutinizing eyes of the people, the Persian pagan dragged the unfortunate Major out of the palace. Fresh blood left its beautiful trail onto the white marble floor, like an incomprehensible abstract painting.
The men hid themselves in the corners of the palace in fear, they were still unclear of the situation and thought that the prince had gone insane. Nevertheless, no one dared to complain. It was only now that the people realized that the name of O'Neil Andrew Morisette did not come about without reason.
In the end, several minutes later, Devil Sandy presented the Marshal with the thief, who no longer had the normal appearance of a human being, together with his criminal charge. Oscar still said nothing, and only decided to deal with the man with cruelty.
The t.i.tan Empire's Military Court Custody had a total of six executioners, of which one of them had been enrolled into Oscar's Offensive Army Group two, who was also the best among the six. In the holy t.i.tan, the profession of an executioner was bound to be looked down upon. The civilians mocked these people who made a living by being an executioner as "aunties", painting them as nosy old women, or perhaps … they had meant for the other definition of the word, which was a.s.sociated with filthy blood.
Nevertheless … the military executioners did not feel ashamed by the word "aunties", and they had even addressed themselves with the name according to their level of expertise. The most brilliant executioner would be "big aunt", followed by "second aunt', "third aunt', "fourth aunt"…
Oscar was extremely delighted that he had brought along his best executioner. He met up with the elderly executioner, whose age was sufficient for him to be a grandfather in the main guest hall of Hebhopp Palace.
"Big Aunt Spark! For how many years have you been in this profession?"
Spark answered casually, "Reporting to your Highness, it has been forty-four years!"
"For how long have you been big aunt?"
Spark scrunched his brows and pondered, "Reporting your Highness, thirty-four years!"
Oscar was extremely satisfied, and sized up the old executioner of the Military Custodial Prison. The interior of the hall was dim. Sunlight penetrated from the slits of the window sills and shone onto Spark's features, onto the old man's sunken eyes, dry face, bowlegs, hunched back, and near his mouth beneath his tall nose, which had an apparent blade scar.
Spark's eyes only opened slightly, his icy cold gaze fell on the empire's prince. Oscar felt chills on his face and said to the old executioner, "Big Aunt Spark, introduce to me a type of cruel punishment!"
Like listing out vegetable names, the old executioner listed out every single torture method the Military Court Custody had ever deployed, but they were all just beatings, putting heavy tanks on them, suffocation, fire torture racks, amputation by five horses or being chopped into chunks of flesh. After hearing what he had to say, Oscar shook his head repeatedly and said that they were all too average and not worth the attention.
His Imperial Highness Prince added on in the end, "When I was a kid, I've seen much in Damorga! The Big Aunties there were always capable of coming up with new tortures! Spark, think again, don't ruin the image of the Military Court Custody!"
The aged executioner was then thrown off his feet, his compet.i.tiveness with his colleagues woke him up. However, what he treasured more was His Imperial Highness Prince before him. It seemed that the rumors within Dulin City were probably true, the Imperial prince had not stayed in Damorga Prison for more than ten years and gained nothing. The more you experienced, the more knowledgeable you got!
The old executioner exited the palace. People recognized him by his cloak with red words, which symbolized the profession of an executioner. The officers in the army group instantly understood what he was going to do, and distanced themselves from him. Although his face was plastered with the same old cautious demeanor, he was secretly smirking. The world could not do without an executioner.
It was similar to how the Holy City of Rome could not do without the G.o.d of Light. However, the people had looked down on the executioners. Similarly, Spark had also looked down on everyone else, just like how you would look down on pigs and dogs.
The Generals and Marshals of the empire's military had come and gone, but only Big Aunt Spark had stayed, stable like a rock and firm like the Alps. Thus … if you were to have worked as an executioner for forty-four years and had sent thousands of dead souls into the depths of h.e.l.l with all kinds of torture methods, you, too, would feel that life was actually as meaningless as pigs and dogs.
The aged executioner returned to his small hut in the woods away from the dazzling royal palace, where he had a few disciples. Spark said to his disciples frankly, "I've never stepped foot into the palace in my entire life. Even a mere guard thought lowly of us. Back in those days, I've never managed to enter the palace even when I've killed an empress together with my mentor. A few years back, I've never gotten any rewards for murdering the Chief of Staff of the Imperial Guards either! But today, I've gone to the palace! To be honest, you fools can never imagine how the empire's palace looks like. This means that … His Imperial Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette prioritizes our profession, and at the same time, the standards of our work must meet his expectations!"
His few disciples nodded in fear. Entering the palace? Truth be told, they had not dared to even think of it! Undertaking the profession as an executioner was equal to isolating yourself completely from the realities of the world. They were just like the slaves of the empire, living in suffering like the monks, only having some insignificant income when they executed a death penalty. The income of an executioner could determine the amount of pain and torture the prisoner would have to go through.
"How could the nothing-for-good fellow steal something from His Imperial Highness the Prince?" a disciple lashed out.
All of a sudden, Spark had an idea! He rushed back to the place, and said to the prince with a dignified demeanor, "I swear, you have never seen this method of torture! To these people are blind even if they're blessed with eyes, we can use decapitation! Please be rest a.s.sured, your Highness, although I've only seen my mentor deploying this method once, I won't disappoint you!"
Prince O'Neil exclaimed with enthusiasm, "Listen to this! Listen to this!" He shouted at the soldiers, "Decapitation! Decapitation! This is my first time hearing this! The location shall be fixed at the field outside the palace, let us all move there, and have an eye-opening experience."
Among the many military orders, this is the first time the entire Offensive Army Group Two of the Imperial Guards had a.s.sembled without any exception. They lined up at the field outside the palace, preparing to witness this ancient torture method they had never heard of.
Spark had spent the entire evening just to get the materials ready for the decapitation. Firstly, he measured the size of the criminal's head, and then measured the distance between the eyes. After that, he found the Senior Officer of Military Supplies and obtained a piece of molten metal. He operated the furnace himself and produced an iron hoop. Just like a mask, there was an opening at the back of the head. There was a small hole on each side of the opening to be tied with a rope.
Big Aunt's disciples were occupied as well, and they were tasked with the delicate woodworks. The diligent group produced a wooden winch. They chose a flexible cow-skin rope, and tied it onto the winch, the other end of the rope connected to the iron hoop.
At four o'clock in the evening, Big Aunt Spark had begun his performance just when the soldiers were starting to yawn. The most brilliant executioner of the Military Court Custody first saluted at Marshal O'Neil who was sitting on the stage of the field, and signaled for his disciples to announce the law-breaker's crime and the torture agreed by the supreme commander.
After this, the climatic performance commenced! The old executioner fixed the neck of the criminal in a wooden fence, so that it was impossible for him to move his head. Then, he put the iron hoop onto the law-breaker's head! Hehe!
The people were mesmerized by Big Aunt Spark's capabilities. The iron hoop was neither big nor small, fitting itself onto the criminal's head just right.
Spark focused his gaze as the law-breaker's eyes. He was not enjoying the fear and despair shown in the eyes, but he was observing if the location of the pair of eyeb.a.l.l.s fitted the iron hoop.
At last, Big Aunt let out a sigh of satisfaction. He turned toward the Marshal again, "All is set, please give your orders."
Oscar waved his hand casually. He kept on moving about in his seat not because of nervousness, but excitement! He still recalled that when he was young, he had been scared to death even though he had spectated the performances of the Big Aunt of Damorga Prison several times. However, after some time, he had become numb! Since he was so excited today, he only wished for the military's Big Aunt to not let him down.
After receiving the confirmation, Spark started to act. It was actually pretty simple, all he had to do was to turn the handle of the winch, and the cow-skin rope would be tightened along with the iron hoop on the criminal's head. In the beginning, there might not be much to feel, but after a while, the offender began moaning, followed by hysterical screams. He kept on kicking his legs, and it seemed as if every single muscle on his body was s.h.i.+vering and shaking. No matter what, he could do nothing to stop the movements of the iron hoop, which had completely sunken into the spot where his eyes were, pressing into the bones at his brows as well as his eyeb.a.l.l.s.
The spectating soldiers were s.h.i.+vering like autumn gra.s.shoppers, some did not dare to continue looking and shut their eyes closed; some were in a daze, their consciousness blurring; nevertheless, there were still some who appeared calm. During this moment, Marshal O'Neil could be heard saying to his Chief of Staff, "Take note. When the war commences, only a.s.sign those who are in mentally sane at the frontlines of the formation."
Major General l.u.s.tone wiped the sweat off his forehead and nodded in understanding. His Imperial Highness the Prince's plans were indeed brilliant, those who could take in all of these in their eyes without crying would definitely be qualified to be at the frontlines.
Big Aunt Spark had been observing Prince O'Neil's demeanor the whole time. Just when the torturing of the criminal had hit the one hour mark, the Marshal of the Imperial Guards showed hints of exhaustion on his face. The old executioner of the Military Court Custody promptly made his decision and abruptly rotated the winch. Heart-wrenching cries were instantly heard from the criminal. Two lively eyeb.a.l.l.s shot out from the sockets like bullets, leaving b.l.o.o.d.y trails on the two holes of the iron hoop.
The eyeb.a.l.l.s which had shot out flew a long distance and landed on a spectating soldier. The man first looked at the lingering skin attached to the eyeb.a.l.l.s on his armor, and looked at the spherical item rolling on the ground. With a roll of his eyes, he fell unconscious the next instant.
The torture was still ongoing. Barbaric movements exploded from the offender's body, his maniacal screams shaking the entire world and his constant struggles even cracked open the wooden fence which was holding him in place.
Big Aunt Spark stared at the criminal's eyes with devotion, oh right! The spots were now two b.l.o.o.d.y holes of which their depth was unknown. Along with the constant contractions of the iron hoop, blood water, bone sc.r.a.ps and skin flowed out altogether, resulting in the two tiny black holes to seem like an abyss concealing countless ghosts and lost souls.
Finally! The criminal's screams gradually turned into soft moans, and the maniacal struggles were now spasms of every single muscle. The iron hoop had already cut open his head, pressing into his skull, and white liquid flowed from the pitch-black abyss.
After some time, Big Aunt Spark tried to detect the offender's pulse. Relaxed, he sighed and retreated to the side as usual.
"Marshal, please testify the execution!"
The rows of officers made way for O'Neil Andrew Morisette to step down from the stage with glee, leaving only the one who had fainted blocking the way. After avoiding the unconscious people and the vomit cautiously, Oscar saw the pitiful victim of the decapitation.
Barely glancing at the criminal, he turned toward the executioner at the side.
"You're indeed Big Aunt Spark, who has held the name of big aunt for thirty-four years under the Military Court Custody! I'm impressed by your capabilities!" according to tradition, the empire's prince flung a heavy bag of money to the executioner while he was speaking. Peeking through the small opening of the bag, the old man Spark caught a glimmer of sparkle.
"Your Highness, thank you for your kindness, I'll always serve you with my all!"
Oscar spared a glance at the executioner who was down on one knee. He shrugged nonchalantly, and turned toward the bunch of military officers who were standing blankly at the side.
There was no lack of quick-witted men among the group from Military Districts One and two. They immediately kowtowed like how an honorary knight would greet his master.
Oscar then chuckled with satisfaction, "Get up, my fools! But I need to say this first! Once we've departed tomorrow, it'll be the warzones ahead of the woods! If anyone happens to be late, falling off the formation, running unnecessary errands, or any events which displeases me …"
The young Marshal of the Imperial Guards pointed at the military executioner who was kowtowing on the ground like a skunk, "I don't mind letting that certain someone to hang out with Big Aunt Spark for some time."
For a long duration right after this point, or to be more precise, before Big Aunt Spark's retirement, and military men who had always carried themselves with dignity kept on sizing him up like a mother rabbit, and even greeted him along the lines of "Good day Big Aunt Spark" and "Good morning Big Aunt Spark".
After that, all the way until Spark's death, he was still mumbling about how the Imperial Guard's Marshal, His Imperial Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette's high opinion of him. At this time, the people needed to remind him.
It was the prince's kindness toward him. Old Spark glowered at the talkative bunch, and immediately gave off strong killing intent. The executioner said, "Why don't you guys think this way? If my master hadn't deployed my torturing methods, would he have become the emperor?"
Just like that, old Spark had died even before the people had said much to him. While n.o.body knew if he went to heaven or h.e.l.l, the great Oscar did not forget the countless killings committed by the b.a.s.t.a.r.d. After the executioner's death, Oscar granted him the t.i.tle of an honorary knight. As a result, every other executioner had placed his portrait in front of the beds, and wors.h.i.+pped him as if he was a saint. Most probably … old Spark had risen to heaven.
Church's year 800, the sixth day of the seventh month, right when Marshal O'Neil's Offensive Army Group Two was strolling along the woods at the Western borders of Damorga Province, oh G.o.d of Light please take pity! Silver Fox Alan had even forgotten to put on his uniform when he had reached the temporary command center. He was shaking in elation, not bothering to sweep away the strands of hair obstructing his vision.
The Imperial Guard's Marshal was holding doc.u.ments in each of his hands, one was the battlefield news which had been confirmed by the empire's Military Intelligence Bureau, while the other was the information regarding the enemies transmitted by the posting near the river bank.
"Haha! Hahahaha!" the sly fox Alan compared the two doc.u.ments in detail.
His laughter had alerted everyone there, his booming voice echoing within the four walls for quite some time.
"They're crossing the river! The lowly peasants of the West have started to cross the river!" Alan put down the doc.u.ments. He patted one staff officers on the shoulder, "Relay these orders to each of the ballet departments in my stead, mobilize! Everyone mobilize! Gather yourselves at the battlefield by nine o'clock on the fifteenth day of this month."
The old staff officer straightened his spine and saluted with delight. He looked at his hundred colleagues in the room, and looked at Alan, who was flailing his limbs about in elation.
"Marshal! Congratulations! The enemies have fallen into the deadly trap we've set up just for them!"
Alan shook his head. Nevertheless, he still failed to conceal the happiness on his face, "We can't say for sure … there's no guarantee yet!"
The staff officer saluted once again. However, this salute was not of courtesy, but full of pa.s.sionate gazes toward his commander. His commander handed a doc.u.ment of battle command to him. He had to sign the doc.u.ment, and this name of his and the order would be recorded into history altogether. At the same time, Alan also produced another doc.u.ment which he had been preparing for a long time.
The old staff received the doc.u.ment cautiously. With just one glance, his demeanor had turned stern.
"Vann Hewitt Alan, the empire's Military Affairs Chancellor and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, hereby present the official doc.u.ments of the Guards!"
Again, the old staff officer presented the commander with his most courteous salute.
Alan waved his hands, he did not wish to be stared at by people with such looks. To distract the soldiers' line of sight, the Commander of the Imperial Guards laid out the military doc.u.ments in his left hand onto the table. Those were initially the background a.n.a.lysis reports sent by the Military Intelligence Bureau, but now they had become sheets of lively drawings.
Alan touched the artist's masterpiece. He could even feel the lingering screams of the injured men, and could hear the sounds of blood dripping onto the wooden floor.
"Send my regards to the Commander of the Military Intelligence Control Center's Operation Branch One, if he wishes to hold his own exhibition, remind him to send me an invitation as well."
After dismissing the aged staff officer, Alan picked up another piece of drawing. On it was a young mother with curly hair, oval-shaped face, and delicate features. However, the artist had painted the beautiful lady a pair of exhausted, suffering and painful eyes.
"Children! Children! Get back into the house! Get back into the house!" Jenissa pushed the naughty Ayana and Midelski. These two children had already reached the age of mischief, and they had almost died in their previous journeys of escape, let alone just fooling around. However, the two children now had a s.p.a.cious and bright room, they could bathe with hot water at night, and had the chance to enjoy two eggs and delicious cream cakes in the morning. They really had to thank Sir Klaslaw, as he had been the one to take in the homeless mother and children.
"Mom, look! Grandpa gave me a book of music scores!" the little girl hugged the book tight while showing off to her mother. She feared that her mother would s.n.a.t.c.h away the book just like how she did with those chocolate candies.
"My … my presents is a set of toys!" the little boy refused to fall behind, but he was too small.
Jenissa pecked on her daughter's forehead, and pinched her son's cheek, "Now, hurry up and get in!" The two children obeyed her and entered their rooms, but they were still mumbling, "Is Grandpa Klaslaw going out again?"
"I've told you to not let the children call me that!" Klaslaw directed a dangerous stare at the woman.
Jenissa surveyed the surroundings of the temporary shelter. She knew that this was the house of Sir Klaslaw's ancestors, "But speaking about age … you really are old!"
Klaslaw was slightly angry and turned his focus to pack his belongings. The woman offered her help but she was impolitely rejected by him. After an extended duration of the suffocating silence, Klaslaw still lost his patience in the end.
"Jenissa! I didn't take you in for you to be my maid, don't you plaster an obedient and obeying demeanor all the time, what I need is a … is a …" the knight contemplated his choice of words, and realized that it was hard for him to speak his mind. Even though he had only been with Jenissa for a little more than ten days, he had fallen in love with the widow, who had undergone countless pain and sufferings.
Jenissa had no words. However, she understood clearly in her heart that the knight needed a female master in his home, but she did not dare to imagine herself being in that position, as her previous man had only been an average carpenter. He had been captured by the Westerners to slavery, but his corpse had been sent back to her instead. Even so, she truly believed that she and the carpenter were a matching pair, and not a … oh heavens! A knight!
"Do you understand what I'm saying?" Klaslaw flung away his luggage, and forced the woman of humble origins to one of the corners of the room.
Jenissa gripped her dress hard, her heart … no! Many hearts were thumping maniacally! She never understood, since the man before her was so desperate for her attention, why had he not just thrown her onto the bed? She would not reject, but would welcome him instead!
"Oh G.o.d of Light! I'm so lowly!" while the woman thought like this, she was searching for an excuse on the other hand, "By doing so, I'll be able to repay everything the n.o.ble old man had done for me and my children!" The woman thought that it was … perfectly reasonable.
Klaslaw spared a glanced at the clock above the cupboard, oh heavens! He had to move soon. The n.o.ble gentleman grabbed the woman's hand, and stuffed a piece of doc.u.ment and a delicate jewelry box into her hand.
Jenissa wanted to cry. She clasped the tiny jewelry box tight. No matter how ignorant she was, she knew that there would be nothing other than a ring in the tiny box.
"Alright! Come and hug me, this is the orders of your male master!" Klaslaw spread his arms out for the woman.
Jenissa was still hesitating. In the depths of her heart, she really desired such a gift, and her children also needed support, but … she was just Jenissa, plain and average, daughter of a forest guard and wife of a carpenter. She … the man could wait no further. Klaslaw pulled the woman into his embrace furiously, and said to her with a low voice by her ear, "You silly woman ... you silly woman …"
"Am I a fool?" Jenissa stayed rigid in the man's embrace. The man's body temperature and nice odor persuaded her that she had been struck by G.o.d's love spells.
"I need to go, my silly woman!" like a true gentleman, Klaslaw tidied up his clothes and kissed the woman's forehead.
A blank demeanor was still plastered on Jenissa's face. Greatly disappointed by this, the man turned his head away. After Klaslaw had bid his farewells to his butler and maids in the yard, he leapt onto the horse, while his silly woman stood by the door with watery eyes, staring at him with longing. There were also the children, who squeezed themselves in front of the window of the living room, competing with each other to wave their goodbyes at him. The knight felt a little pain, how nice it would be if the world had no such things as the Imperial Guards or the empire's Military Intelligence Bureau!
Looking at the silent woman one last time, the Commander of Operation Branch One of t.i.tan Empire's Military Intelligence Control Center whipped his horse, carrying him away from his homeland, away from his dearest woman.
After recovering from her daze, she suddenly raced after them but gave up after reaching the gates of the garden. The man's silhouette was getting smaller as he went further into the distance. She did not know when the children had arrived by her side. The little girl clutched onto her music scores while the little boy hugged his toys, "Is Grandpa gone?"
Jenissa immediately wiped off the falling tears. She quickly closed the tiny jewelry box, the sparkles of the wedding ring were gone instantly.
"Don't call him grandpa. Once he returns, call him dad!"
The children immediately responded in understanding, and showed off their presents to their mother again.
With the exclusive pa.s.s issued by the Military Intelligence Bureau, Sir Klaslaw traversed through the heavily guarded woods, rivers, and plains. After switching to a combat horse at a small military station at the lands near Shawob River, he resumed his journey. When the illumination of the moon and stars showered the ground, the knight met up with the rest of his operation comrades at the location they had initially agreed. He sized up his comrades' facial expressions one by one. Other than the lingering dust and exhaustion, there was nothing else.
"Thank you everyone!" the knight saluted at his teammates. His stern posture did not match his plain hunting clothes at all, but the clothes of his teammates were even more absurd! There was the stable's groom, the local church's priest, a farmer with muddy feet, and a charming lady whose costume demanded attention.
"Only these?" the knight lifted the paper strip in his palm. The other teammates nodded respectively in affirmation. As if he saw through the worries of his superior, an elderly shoemaker stepped forward.
"Sir, you must know … it's not easy at all for us to survive in the enemies' territories! Those b.a.s.t.a.r.ds only knew how to bully women and suspect men as spies. But be rest a.s.sured, the information we've scouted is all accurate. We can swear with our lives."
The knight only nodded softly in understanding, but he was well aware that they could not linger at the place for long. He still had to inform the higher-ups of the Military Intelligence Bureau regarding his progress, which would effectively be evidence for the attacks of Special Combat Brigade One. No delay would be tolerated for this.
Without stopping, Klaslaw bid his farewells to his teammates, changed into his Colonel uniform and continued to be on his way. Around midnight, he had arrived at Nikala City on the Shawob river bank. The city had a ma.s.sive harbor and huge dock which produced more than a hundred sailboats annually. At the same time, Nikala was also the divide between the frontlines and the back, concurrently the supplies center and base which had been crucial to Silver Fox Alan's survival.
While the dark night fell silent, the city was brightly lit with lights and bustling with lives. It was not the first time the a.s.sembly at the harbor was being carried out overtime without regards for any compensation. Nevertheless, they calculated in another way; another bundle of arrows would mean that another pirate would be killed, and another bag of flour would signify that another family of refugees could be rescued.
"People! Let's work harder! We need to hand these items to our brothers by daylight!" the harbor was full of screams and shouts like these. Klaslaw got off the horse and handed the little fellow with a military insignia on its b.u.t.t to a guard. After that, he proceeded to search around the harbor aimlessly, constantly grabbing onto strangers and directed his inquiry.
"Which s.h.i.+p came from Dulin?"
Most of the soldiers who were busy transporting resources for the war had no idea. He had gotten his answer only when a scheduling officer had told him that the huge sailboat from Dulin was in the dock. With disbelief, the scheduling officer told him that the owner of the boat was a weird man, and that he insisted that the boat had indeed come from Dulin even if there was no waterway connected to Dulin.
After registering his words, Klaslaw was elated. He patted the scheduling officer on the shoulder, "That's right! This is exactly what I'm looking for, there's no mistake that it came from Dulin!"
After thanking the officer, the knight rushed toward the direction of the dock. There were guards everywhere, with an average of one guard every three steps and one whistle blow within five. Furthermore, there were also soldiers patrolling the river banks with military dogs.
After pa.s.sing through the gates, Klaslaw came to the officer a.s.signed to welcome him. It was only after the introduction that he knew that nonchalant Lieutenant Colonel was in fact "Gay" Mike, the famed Guerilla Commander of the Military Intelligence Bureau's Special Combat Brigade One.
After saluting at each other, Colonel Mike and Klaslaw exchanged firm handshakes. The two somehow had the feeling of belongingness to the same organization. They chatted while walking, all the way until they entered the busy dock.
"What's this?" the knight pointed at a weird-looking boat in the dock. He had never come across a boat capable of opening up and closing its flat roof.
Colonel Mike shrugged unceremoniously, "It's the same theory as the hanger on the trailer, and it'll come into use when we advance toward Buzaberg Harbor by water."
Klaslaw looked at the funny-looking s.h.i.+p once again, and enlightenment seemed to have dawned upon him.
"The Commander of the Operation Branch One of the Warzone Control Center is here!"
"Alright! I got it!" Count Tivoli Hadley, concurrently the Vice Chief of the Military Intelligence Bureau and the Lieutenant General of the Imperial Guards lifted his head from the table. He put away the magnifying gla.s.s in his hand, and hugged Klaslaw even before the knight had the chance to salute at him.
"So how are? Are you overly busy these days?"
Klaslaw could only smile bitterly. He wanted to clarify that he was not busy, but it the answer would seem absurd. Instead, he could only say, "General, it's all for the empire!"
The Vice Chief of the Military Intelligence Bureau nodded and gestured at a seat to the Operation Branch Commander. They took their seats immediately.
"Let's have a look at what our former intelligence officer had brought us!" said Tivoli while rubbing his palms. By his side, the few special warfare officers from Offensive Army Group Two also looked to be listening attentively.
Klaslaw cleared his throat. He needed a serving of strong alcohol.
Church's year 800, toward the end of the sixth month, the attacks of the invaders against Buzaberg Harbor had finally come to a close. They poured their efforts into repairing the facilities of their base at the harbor, and commenced their ambush onto the Imperial Guards on the opposite bank.
In the morning of the first day of the seventh month, the primary forces of the Anti-t.i.tan Alliance carried out all the rafts they had hidden in the woods. Within the morning itself, approximately twenty thousand soldiers had made their way across Shawob River. Obeying Marshal Alan's instructions, the Imperial Guards did not stop or interfere with the Western Anti-t.i.tan Alliance's operations of crossing the river. When it had reached evening, s.h.i.+ps were still pa.s.sing by Buzaberg Harbor. It seemed like the Anti-t.i.tan Alliance could not wait any further to fight Silver Fox Alan to death.
"This is good news …" the Vice Chief of the Military Intelligence Bureau spoke after a momentary silence. "The Western Anti-t.i.tan Alliance wants to resolve issues, and so does Alan. Most importantly, we have to look at the final outcome of the war. It has always been this way since ages ago, tactics and strategies were never the keys. Throughout history, only the final ending mattered."
Klaslaw did not care much about his superior's thoughts, he was only concerned about the impending strikes of the Special Warfare Brigade One of the Military Intelligence Bureau.
"Fellow officers of Brigade One, I've brought you the map with the details of the allied armies at the harbor."
Brigadier General Luke Citel stood up abruptly, and received the folded map sternly from Klaslaw, "I'm sorry. Your men … are there any casualties?"
While he spoke, the Brigadier General gestured at Sir Klaslaw with the enemies' military map. After the knight shook his head, the General sighed in relief.
Klaslaw said, "There's no such thing. My men have concealed themselves perfectly, and till this day, none has yet to lose contact!" it was apparent that the Imperial Guards' Colonel felt proud and fortunate while he was speaking.
Luke Citel nodded in understanding, "That's good … that's good …"
The Brigadier General laid out the map on the table, and stabilized it by placing candles on top of the four corners. The warfare officers and the staff officers all gathered around the table. They were all veterans, and with just a single glance, they knew that not only was the map extremely accurate with every single location of postings, each patrol route of the enemies was also marked down in detail.
Luke Citel was stunned momentarily, it had been a long time since he had come across such a professionally done tactical map!
Of course, the Special Warfare Officer was referring to the person who had drafted the map. As for the a.s.signment of defensive territories of the enemies, Luke Citel could only say that it was … casually done.
"We can make our move here!" Alligator Macier was the first of the Special Warfare Officers to speak up. He pointed at a small corner of the harbor, which had the lowest water level indicated. Macier had held the position as an a.s.sault Commander, and no one could beat his expertise in the art of a.s.sault. Just as Alligator finished what he had to say, his colleagues all nodded in agreement.
Commando Commander Blasky rushed forward and studied the drawings repeatedly. The offense location should be a natural open s.p.a.ce at the harbor, it was at some distance between the bridges and the jetty, and was connected to the open land on the river bank, the open land was more than one thousand meter squares in area, and it could accommodate the Commando Group to get into its complete formation.
"I must remind all of you!" Klaslaw emphasized while he wiped off the beads of sweat on his forehead, and the d.a.m.ned summer greatly annoyed him, "I don't care about the geography, and it doesn't matter how deep the waters are! Buzaberg is a route essential to the Anti-t.i.tan Alliance's advancement, and it's also their only path of escape. They'll definitely a.s.sign a large number of troops to station there, furthermore …"
'We've foreseen this!" the Special Combat Brigade Commander cut off the knight's words, and handed a new towel to Klaslaw who was drenched in sweat, "But … an imperial prince of the empire had once said, there are some things … that a soldier must do!"
"That's right!" Tove Van Sukhoi pushed the door open and walked in, "Our hero, His Imperial Highness Prince Marshal O'Neil had said so when he had launched the battle of Sajio Mountain! I had been foolishly trusted his words wholeheartedly, and guess what? Our weapons had been destroyed and our men had died."
The officers all laughed with the sole exception of the Vice Chief of the Military Intelligence Bureau who was frowning, "How dare you! Can't you be punctual for once?"
Torry still had his usual despicable facial expression plastered on him. He extended his arm, and put it on the shoulders of Lieutenant General Tivoli Hadley, "Hey! Don't worry! I've just taken a look at the new cannons which had just arrived at the harbor! I swear! Regardless of the number of lowly peasants stationing at the harbor, my cannons can eliminate one-third of them, with all the facilities at the river bank destroyed altogether."
"I'll take the remaining third!" the Brigade Commander laughed, and then just like everyone else, he directed his gaze to the Commander of the Red Tiger Cavalry Corps who had stayed silent the entire time.
Murat produced a dagger, and traced its sharp ends along a route on the land toward the harbor, "Since everyone's like this … the final one third must be handed to me!"
Amidst the laughter of the fellow soldiers, Lieutenant General Tivoli Hadley took out a doc.u.ment, and waved it at the men.
"Special orders from O'Neil Andrew Morisette, the Chief of the Imperial Military Intelligence Bureau and the Marshal of the Guards! The codename of this operation is …"
"Scissors and tailoring!"
Titan Beneath The Heavens Chapter 181
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Titan Beneath The Heavens Chapter 181 summary
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