Book 2, Chapter 90

Cruelty

Almost half of Schitich’s army had yet to show up, but news of his death had been spread by the soldiers who managed to escape. The dragon formation that had been making its way over from the city could be seen turning back, indicating that the rest of the soldiers were unlikely to continue their attack.

After all, eighty of Schitich’s strongest soldiers, all personally under his command, had been almost completely wiped out. If they attacked now, the remaining captains and the less than hundred cavalry would all face the same fate.

Richard started moving all around the camp, barking out orders, “Clean up the warzone. Heal the wounded and gather the captives. Take the corpses away, gather the horses…”

Everything went quite smoothly, and the aftermath of the battle was taken note of. There were 16 captives and more than 50 intact horses. Eleven enemies had escaped, while almost sixty had died. Richard himself had lost three footsoldiers and five half-orcs. Roughly a dozen more were injured, but Flowsand could fix anything outside of death and broken limbs. They would soon be brought back to full capacity.

Richard’s core party didn’t participate in the cleanup. They took the time to rest and heal, recovering their abilities as soon as possible. Outside of a second attack from the city, they also had to be ready for any attacks from the surrounding camps.

Everyone here was no saint, most looking to take advantage of the rest. It was just that Richard had won by a landslide, and the surrounding camps didn’t know too much about him. They didn’t know whether they would benefit much even if they won, and after seeing the battle they weren’t sure they could.

“All the bodies have been searched, my Lord. How do you want us to deal with them?” A foot soldier came to ask for instructions.

Richard muttered to himself for a while before saying, “Stake the ordinary soldiers and leave prop them up at the side of the camp. Send the bodies of the captains over to Zendrall. As for Schitich… Zendrall!”

“Yes?” the necromancer asked without lifting his head. He was busy retrieving the injured warrior of darkness.

“I have some plans for Schitich’s corpse. Would leaving him on the stakes for a few days be a problem?”

Zendrall was a little shocked, saying helplessly, “If we make some preparations beforehand, he can be transformed into a skeleton knight. However, that will leave him two levels lower than a warrior of darkness. If I have his corpse now, I will be able to summon a warrior of darkness with his soul.” To be honest, the expression and response seemed unlike that of a necromancer.

Having seen the capabilities of the warriors of darkness, Richard didn’t have any grand illusions of their powers. As such, seeing Zendrall send his current one back to his summoning plane. He immediately said, “You have thirty minutes to take care of Schitich’s corpse, but I want his face to be preserved without damage.”

The necromancer had to extract the soul from Schitich’s body, flooding the corpse with the energy of death to preserve his original power. It only took a few minutes to finish the task.

Half an hour later, tens of stakes were erected at the outskirts of Richard’s camp on some empty land, a lifeless body without armour nailed to each. At the centre was a pillar that was thrice as high, with Schitich hanging from atop it. There were ten lit torches nearby, illuminating the Two-Headed Dragon and his subordinates.

If not for the necromancer’s requirements, Richard would have cut their limbs off before displaying them.

Under the cover of the knight, countless pairs of eyes bore witness to this horrific scene. The bustling camps quieted down, and the bonfires originally burning in the city gradually faded away.

“I want to make an example to the rest of these rats, this is how anyone who tries to kill me ends up!” Richard said as he gazed at the city. He then waved his hands, “It looks like there won’t be any other incidents tonight, you can go sleep.”

Gangdor was stood half-naked on an empty patch, using a pail of water to clean the wounds on his body. His compact muscles and the rune on his right shoulder seemed full of energy. Once Richard made his way back to his tent, Gangdor gently stroked his chin, “Boss is growing more cruel.”

Olar suddenly appeared out of nowhere, nodding in agreement. He spoke up in a tone full of emotion, “Behind every cruel boss are at least two cruel women.”

Gangdor nodded his head vigorously, “That makes sense. Who said it?”

“Me!”

The bard’s words caused Gangdor’s face to warp to one of disappointment. Had it been some great person in history who said this, it would have made for a great quote. Coming from Olar, they didn’t have enough strength. However, something lit up in his big head as he asked, “Two cruel women… Did you provoke Waterflower and Flowsand?”

Olar’s expression immediately soured. The curiosity in Gangdor’s gaze immediately faded away, and there was no sarcasm or schadenfreude either.

“Which one?” he asked, expression full of sympathy. He didn’t believe the elven bard would dare provoke both of them. Had he really done so, he would not be here standing perfectly intact.

Olar hesitated for a long time before speaking, “....Waterflower.”

Gangdor shrugged his shoulders, “Why not Flowsand?”

“It seemed like Waterflower was a little interested in me, and it’s obvious Flowsand is not. Sounding her out would only get me a little hurt at most, she wouldn’t go so far as to kill me. Flowsand, on the other hand… If she wanted to hurt or kill me, she would have many ways.”

“You’re smart!” Gangdor praised him. He then pulled Olar closer, lowering his voice, “How did you ‘provoke’ Waterflower, give me details!”

Gangdor’s arm was thicker than both of the elf’s combined, and it was at least three to four times as strong as well. The steely grip left Olar hardly able to breathe, and he understood the threat. Gangdor wouldn’t let him off easily if he didn’t tell him everything. But that didn’t matter, the only reason he even came over was to look for someone to share his woes and stress with.

“I then touched her butt…” Olar managed to squeeze the words out of his throat.

“Touched her butt? Did you really touch it?” Gangdor’s eyes turned extremely bright with anticipation. Sadly the bard still disappointed him, even though that was only to be expected.

“It wasn’t a full touch, my finger just bumped into her, and…” Even though it was a small, cheap thrill, it still resonated strongly with the bard.

“And?” Gangdor asked eagerly, even more pity in his tone.

“And…” Olar forced a smile and continued, “And I realised the true purpose of her steel pike.”

Gangdor laughed heartily, sweeping up and down over the bard’s body and then patting him hard on his shoulders, “You found out about Waterflower’s pike, but you could still stand and fight with such strength tonight. Did you go look for Miss Flowsand as well?”

Olar’s body trembled uncontrollably as he nodded his head, continuing with an unbeatable darkness in his tone, “I was hurt so badly that I could barely walk. If I didn’t want Master to find out, I had no choice but to look for Miss Flowsand in secret. However… She only cast lesser heals on me throughout the night!”

The corner of Gangdor’s eyes twitched a few times.

All healing spells were similar, utilising magic to quicken the healing process. The only difference was the rate of acceleration. Lesser heals accelerated the process as well, but the effect was much smaller.

In a plane that advocated violence and war, being able to bear the pain of an injury was fundamental to every man. No warrior worth his salt cried out in pain during the healing process, just gritting their teeth and dealing with it.

However, even though Olar’s injuries needed much more powerful healing Flowsand had insisted on lesser heals. Gangdor estimated it would have taken twenty to thirty sessions at a minimum, each a few hours long. The movement of the wounds every time would greatly intensify Olar’s pain, and the bard suspected that Flowsand had secretly added a spell that heightened his perception during the process.

Olar had previously witnessed Richard and Flowsand’s process of interrogating criminals. He shivered as he recalled how Flowsand maximised the pain as she treated the criminals with lesser heals.

Gangdor coughed once and patted Olar on the shoulders with sympathy, “You’ve been given a fright.”

“It’s not as simple as a fright! You don’t understand the feeling!” the bard suddenly grew agitated.

“Alright alright. Looking at how pitiful you are, let me give you a word of advice. Waterflower is not as simple as she seems.”

“Waterflower?” Olar was startled. In his eyes, the girl had just used her strength by instinct.

“Think about it. Why did Waterflower allow your finger to brush against her butt? If she didn’t mean for it to happen, you definitely wouldn’t have had the chance. Even with ten hands, she would cut them all down before they reached her!” Gangdor prompted profoundly.

Olar broke out in a cold sweat, “Don’t tell me… She did it so I couldn’t tell Master? After all, I was the one who started…”

Gangdor opened his big mouth, “You touched her with a finger, but she returned it with a pike. Isn’t that fair?”

The bard turned white as a ghost, starting to resemble a lost soul. What kind of fairness was this? However, he felt powerless to complain.

“You said it yourself. Behind every cruel boss are two women who are even more cruel.”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA

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