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Book 3-3.1 After the Battle
It took them until the moon came up to clear the battlefield.
Vibli prepared to defend against an ambush with 5,000 warriors, but everybody knew that the Wikaly would not be able to do anything else today. They gathered the ownerless pirmas as well as the wounded and the bodies of their dead allies, while taking all of the wounded Wikaly warriors and the random stragglers as prisoners. One day, they will all be warriors of Pareia. As per the customs of the desert, none of the prisoners caused any issues.
Pareia’s warriors were finally able to have a late dinner and relax after all three moons rose up high into the sky. On the other hand, the Greatest Warriors did not have any time to even eat dinner or take a break as they immediately headed to a meeting.
“I will report on today’s results.”
Yulian was tired, but he pressed down on his temples to wake himself up as he received Egane’s report.
“Discussing the situation with our warriors first, we have 3,000 dead and 4,000 wounded. Of them, 1,500 are no longer able to battle. We have also gathered 3,000 pirmas and all weapons left on the battlefield. We have confirmed that there are 5,000 dead enemy soldiers, as well as 5,000 that we have taken prisoner. I believe that 3,000 of the prisoners cannot fight right now.”
“We suffered a greater damage than I expected.”
At Yulian’s words, Egane put on a face that seemed to be saying Yulian was wrong.
“We had 5,000 less warriors, and in the beginning, we had close to 10,000 less warriors. When you consider that, this can be considered an overwhelming victory. I am a bit disappointed though. If the enemy waited a little longer to retreat, we could have done even better.”
“The fact that I could not quickly get rid of the Wikaly’s Greatest Warriors is coming back to haunt us. No, even if it was late, if I had not allowed those two to get away, we would not have suffered as much damage.”
Trebol shouted at Yulian’s guilt-filled voice.
“The only reason we were able to face them head on like this was because of the Glow and Red Storm. Without you, we would never have fought against an enemy who had 10,000 more warriors than we did. The Glow’s performance today has the morale of our warriors boiling hot while instilling a sense of fear in the Wikaly’s warriors. Because of that, we should not see this many dead warriors in future battles.”
“It is still disappointing.”
As Yulian indicated, if he had managed to keep those Greatest Warriors occupied, they would have suffered only about half of the damage they received while causing more damage to the Wikaly warriors. Since that was the truth, the Greatest Warriors had no way to console Yulian’s feelings of guilt.
Egane started to speak.
Since we have greatly destroyed the spirit of the enemy, the Wikaly will not dare to fight us head on again. Now all we have to do is wait for news from the warriors that headed up toward the center of Wikaly.”
“Either way, I guess we have to move the wounded back to Pareia.”
Egane shook his head no at Yulian’s suggestion.
“We cannot do that yet. We only have about 15,000 available to fight, but the enemy still has around 20,000 warriors. This difference of 5,000 can end up becoming a big issue. Even if we add the 10,000 that went up the quicksand river, our number is 25,000. If they focus on defending the oasis and have a Greatest Warrior talented in defending, we will not be able to defeat them even with an extra 5,000 warriors.
“It might make things more difficult in the short run, but we must send the wounded back to Pareia to be treated. Our immediate goal is to defeat the Wikaly, but after that, we are aiming for the entire desert. We need to take even one more warrior with us if possible. Find about 1,000 who are not as good at fighting to take the wounded back to Pareia.
As Yulian sternly answered, Egane obliged. They had managed to break the Wikaly’s morale down, and once they manage to surround the oasis, the enemy will have no means of getting any supplies so it shouldn’t be difficult to defeat them.
“I understand. I will immediately issue the order.”
“Everyone did a great job today. This war will start to become boring starting tomorrow, so please make sure to pay close attention to your warriors’ morales. Greatest Warriors Vibli and Trebol, please take 2,500 warriors each and do the same thing you were doing on the flanks.
“We understand Glow.”
“Everybody must be tired. Go ahead and get some rest.”
Once his subordinate Greatest Warriors left the paoe, Yulian started to think with his eyes closed.
‘I must have killed over a hundred people just today. It is not like I feel guilty about it, but it does hurt to have to kill people. It is ironic that we must shed blood to prevent future bloodshed. It feels so terrible that we must kill our fellow desert brothers to make it happen.’
War is in essence a game of murder. Who can kill who first? How can you kill more? That is the definition of war.
Yulian was hurting inside at the fact that it was his dream and command that made 8,000 warriors lose their lives today. That cold truth was making Yulian’s resolve start to shake.
“What are you thinking so deeply about?”
As Chun Myung Hoon opened the door to the paoe and entered, Yulian quickly stood up from his seat.
“Master, you appeared right when I was hoping to see you.”
At Yulian’s extremely dead voice, Chun Myung Hoon gazed at Yulian before asking.
“Is it painful?”
“Master, you can read minds now too.”
“You seemed to handle it well without a problem when you were fighting against the Shuarei. Well, I guess you really didn’t have time to have such thoughts in that battle.”
Chun Myung Hoon casually responded to Yulian as he continued to speak.
“Did you expect that role to be easy? A king is someone who will always have blood on his hands. Since you are the king of 500,000 people, you will get even more blood on your hands.”
“Honestly, I am a bit scared as well.”
“That is normal. But how can you be the king if you care about what everybody thinks? Even in my life, there was a time when many people lost their lives because of me. But I trusted myself. I also trusted the people I needed to lead. If you have set a goal, you just need to chase after it.”
Chun Myung Hoon’s simple words calmed Yulian down quite a bit.
‘Right. I am fighting to create a day when the people of the desert do not need to shed each other’s blood anymore. If I can unify the desert, there will no longer need to be any war between fellow tribe members.”
“I told you about the king before right? Become someone whose existence alone can bring peace to your people. If you fall off balance, all the people following you will fall off balance as well.”
“I guess I was reflecting beyond my level.”
“It is normal for humans. If you enjoy killing, you are just a crazy perverted bastard.”
“Yes, I will keep that in mind.”
Chun Myung Hoon came and patted Yulian’s shoulder as he started to speak.
“Everybody born under the Mandate of Heaven will not have an easy life. They will also face troubles in their life. But the heavens only throw that to the people who can handle it and defeat it. Do not lose to it.”
Yulian clenched his two fists and nodded his head.