Chapter 805 - Hunting Pirates
Outside Tian Ling City, deep within the Moon Blade Forest, the Royal Army was in the midst of setting up camp. All of the trees had been cleared and were used to construct each of the individual camps. A large clearing was left before the camp. It had been divided into the three different training grounds: a shooting range, the Blade Shield Camp training ground, and a horse range. A majestic flag stood tall and proud on a flagpole before the camp.
My Flying Scythe Horse slowed down as it stepped onto the soft dirt of the camp. Han Yuan walked over to me from a group of soldiers that were digging out a reservoir, “General, you’ve arrived?”
I was a little puzzled, “Why are you digging out a reservoir next to the camp?”
“To train a navy!”
Han Yuan raised a fist and said, “You saw it in the last battle, the empire doesn’t have a single talented naval regiment. Even those deficient boats that Luo Lin’s underlings built were enough to completely defeat our navy. Furthermore, the Royal Army Camp’s border is adjacent to the War God’s River. The undercurrent in that river is even stronger than the Sea of No Return. We absolutely need to maintain our own war boats and navy. Otherwise, we won’t be able to respond in the next battle.”
I nodded approvingly, “Good job, have you told Princess Pearl about training a navy?”
“Her highness agreed. Even the budget for building these boats came out from her purse!” Han Yuan excitedly explained, “The War God’s River comes from the Ice Ridge Mountain and encircles the southern territories of Tian Ling City. It's a natural barrier. In the past, only the Xia Yu Army maintained a navy of around 3,000 men to protect shipments. But now the Royal Army is starting to build boats as well. At least on water, we’re the only respectable navy that can compete against the Xia Yu Army.”
I smiled and asked, “Then who will be responsible for the safety of Tian Ling City?”
Han Yuan smiled, “General, don’t worry. The capital is being taken care of by Long Xing and Xia Ye. Furthermore, we’ll always have 5,000 men posted inside the city for backup. Don’t worry about this. Besides… Prince Theodore has already transferred ten thousand of his men into the capital and are currently camping in the city. Right now, the city’s civic safety is not our responsibility any more.”
I felt my heart sink a little, “Oh, so it was like that….”
Han Yuan lowered his voice and said, “General, I think Prince Theodore is starting to doubt the Royal Army. He’s been targeting us on every small item. Just why is this?”
I rested the tip of my Zhen Yue Blade on the ground and smiled, “The Royal Army has risen to power too quickly. The strength that we displayed in the last battle was already enough to make Prince Theodore feel afraid. He’s worried that his precious status as Number One Army in the country won’t be secure. That’s no problem, I want Theodore to feel threatened!”
Han Yuan exclaimed, “General, don’t forget, he has royal blood running through his veins. If his majesty ever has….. Then he will be the first choice to take the throne. At that point, I’m afraid that he will harbor ill will towards the Royal Army. Have you considered that?”
I nodded, “I have, and if that is truly the case, then the Royal Army will just change flags. We can garrison the frontier. It's far from the city and Theodore won’t be able to do anything to us. If all else fails….”
Han Yuan smiled, “General, if you decide to establish your own country, then I shall follow you, even to my death!”
I smiled back, “I wouldn’t go that far. The soldiers of the Royal Army all have family inside Tian Ling City. I wouldn’t want to drag them into this as well. How about this, we’ll stride through this with our heads up and not fear the future or the past. Now, pick out the most elite soldiers and cavalrymen. We’re going to check out the pirate situation on the War God’s River. I want to see just how many arms and heads this Pirate Captain really has, to have no fear of the Xia Yu Navy.”
“I’ve already prepared 4,000 men and horses. Half are from the Cavalry Unit and the other half from the Blade and Shield unit. Shall we set off now?”
“Let’s move out!”
I gave out the command and the bugle sounded. Four thousand strong men from the Royal Army set out with me and Han Yuan in the lead. After twenty minutes of marching, I could hear the roars of the river. The wind gently blew against our faces and a earthy scent wafted up my nose. This was the scent of the War God’s River. I had experienced it once before when I was crossing the Bridge of Fate. However, there was still quite a ways before we would reach our destination. I heard a cry in the distance. There was a fiery blaze deep in the forest!
Han Yuan raised his spear and pointed at the fiery light, “I remember that small village, there’s around 10,000 souls in there. Looks like the pirates have already begun their raid!”
I nodded, “Full speed ahead everyone, cavalrymen, lead the charge!”
My Flying Scythe Horse let out a whine and began galloping ahead. Han Yuan led two thousand of the Royal Army’s cavalry and followed behind. When we rushed out of the forest, I could see that the tops of the village houses had already been set on fire. Furthermore, a group of robust men were in the middle of massacring the villagers. One of them shouted, “Kill all the men and bring back the young women. We’ll take all their food and money back to the ship. Move quickly, the Xia Yu Army men are nothing like the Wild Thunder Army’s!”
Cries rang out from the little village. Most of the villagers had been gathered at the center and were being slaughtered by the pirates.
From a distance, I pulled out my Dragon Reservoir Sword and roared, “Royal Army, charge! Those savages wielding the blades have zero regard for human lives. Kill them all! Have no mercy! Blade and Shield Camp, encircle the village, don’t let a single pirate out!”
Right as I reached the village, two of the pirates charged at me with their blades in hand. They had the strength of a level 152 Titan tier monster and were considered fairly strong compared to the current level of NPCs. However, the Royal Army soldiers behind me were veterans and were already over level 150. Furthermore, all the men in our cavalry were of Titan tier strength. There were even some lieutenants and captains at Valkyrie and Emperor Tiers. They were completely fearless before these pirates.
My Dragon Reservoir Sword slashed through the two pirates as it flew out with a [Blade Spin]. My Flying Scythe Horse reared up and then dashed forward, giving me the chance to cut right into their necks. Two incredible damage numbers popped up——
Seeing damage like that, I felt my heart jump and I was very satisfied with the result. My Ancient Heavenly Tiger leapt out from a magic circle and assisted in the battle. Behind me, Han Yuan led a group of soldiers and charged into the fray. Around a hundred of the pirates that were trying to stop them were immediately cut down. Not a single one was shown mercy.
In the plaza, there were at least another thousand pirates guarding the loot and the villagers. One of them looked at the emblem on my shoulder and shuddered. He cried out, “Sh*t! Its the Royal Army. That…. That man is the commander who killed the Blood Giant at Deer Lake, the General of the South! D*mm*t, why are they here? Isn’t this Xia Yu and Wild Thunder Armies’ territory?”
Another pirate slammed his halberd into the ground and cried out, “Captain, what do we do now?”
The leader leapt onto a horse, “Leave the loot and the women and escape with me. We’re retreating to the War God’s River. Water is our territory!”
As he said that, he threw a provocative glance at me and roared, “General of the Royal Army, if you have the guts, come after us! We’ll fight to the death on the War God’s River!”
I didn’t give him a second thought and slashed another pirate. I continued commanding the Royal Army to kill all the pirates in the area. In less than ten minutes, only a handful were left.
Burning buildings lit up the village. An elder walked over to me from the plaza, his eyes brimming with tears, “Lord General… I am the chief of this village. Thank you for leading your army here. Otherwise, I’m afraid our little Starlight Village would not have survived this catastrophe. Starlight will forever be in your debt….”
I replied, “Please, it is no problem. Hurry and stop the fires. That’s right, isn’t this region under the protection of the Xia Yu Army? Why did they not come and protect you from the pirates?”
The old man shuddered, he did not seem very candid.
I could already guess from his reaction about what had happened, “No matter what it is, just tell me. Even if the world were to fall, I will support you!”
The old man’s cane started to shudder and fury overtook his emotions, “This territory was originally under the protection of the Xia Yu Army, but a year ago, the Wild Thunder Army began camping here. They ended up taking control over the safety and protection of this area. However… the pirates began to raid these areas more and more, and the empire’s troops never came to help. I heard a rumor that the pirates have been splitting the loot with an official from the Wild Thunder Army. Even…. our little village used to have a famous pretty young lady known as “Iris”. She had been kidnapped close to half a year ago. I heard that she was taken to become a servant in some government official’s household. She’s probably already lost her innocence….”
“The Wild Thunder ARmy?”
I furrowed my brow. I thought back to the General Louis who had a red handkerchief tied around his arm in the battle. He was the commander of the Wild Thunder Army. Rumor had it that he was a romantic. Maybe this kidnapping had to do with him?
The old man continued, “General, a dozen or so miles from here are several other villages that have also been raided by these pirates. We’ve been living in hell for the past year, our honor and dignity crushed. If this continues, I’m afraid that the Moon Blade Forest will be uninhabitable!”
I nodded, “Please don’t worry, the empire’s Royal Army is now garrisoned in the Moon Blade Forest. We’ll eradicate this pirate nuisance so that you may live a peaceful life.”
Thank you general, thank you. And… general, if it’s possible…. Can you bring Iris back? She’s my grandaughter….”
“Don’t worry, I will do everything I can!”
“Thank you general!”
System Notification: You have received the quest [Save the Young Woman Iris] (SSS Tier)
Quest Details: Pursue the pirate troops and locate the young girl who is known as Iris and bring her back to her grandfather. You will receive a generous reward upon completion. Furthermore, your reputation among the villagers will increase. Please note, these pirates are much stronger than you may think. Beware, they are not your only enemy!
SSS Tier quest. It wasn’t a main story quest, but there was still experience to be gained from it!
I looked around and saw that the fires were under control and immediately turned around to face Han Yuan, “Let’s go and pursue them. I want to see just how strong those pirates are on the War God’s River!”
“Yes sir!” Han Yuan was incredibly excited. Before he joined the army he was a commoner and so naturally understood the ails of these villagers. He fiercely wanted to show these pirates justice.
“Royal Army, advance to the west!”
Han Yuan gave the command and two thousand of the cavalrymen turned to face the west. Pirate corpses were scattered on the outskirts of the village. The barbarian troops of the Blade and Shield Camp had completely massacred them. One of the lieutenants walked over and reported back to me, “General, a dozen or so of the pirates slipped past our net and went south towards the War God’s River. That must be where their ship is.”
I nodded, “Follow them!”