Book 2 Chapter 7.6 - Weak
“I already shouted for everyone to stay inside. Why did you not listen?” Su’s voice carried a bit of anger that could not be suppressed. However, not even he himself could say whether the anger was toward’s Li’s actions or if he transferred some of his anger towards Helen onto Li.
“They are all soldiers that follow me, and… weren’t you also outside?” Li’s voice was extremely soft, and her eyes were aimed at the corner of the tent.
“I am different from you all. At the very least, I wouldn’t fear this level of radiation!” Su said angrily. From his perspective, Li’s actions were completely meaningless, and instead brought trouble onto himself. If it wasn’t for the dragonriders’ treatment option, with Li’s constitution, she probably won’t survive more than three days.
Li suddenly raised her head and stared at Su. “But I didn’t know that! You never told me this, and you never tell me stuff about you. I don’t know anything about you!”
When faced with Li’s burning gaze, the rigidness within his heart suddenly softened. Indeed, Li practically knew nothing about himself, and not even Persephone knew. From the past until now, Su always intentionally closed himself off. For him, being understood by others meant danger.
Su sighed. He removed a clean set of combat clothes that was hanging from the tent and handed it to Li. “You should put this on. You can’t continue to stay cold like that.”
Li didn’t take the clothes and insteads threw herself into Su’s embrace, tightly grabbing him! Through their intimate skin contact, Su could completely feel her body’s astonishing heat. The strength of her embrace also left Su shocked and somewhat moved.
“Give it to me!” Li buried her head in Su’s chest. Her voice was extremely soft, but it was also like the roar of a female lion.
“Now is not the time! Your body is extremely weak, and it will bring danger to your life.” Su directly refused.
Li raised her head and stared into Su’s eye. “Then when will you give it to me? You promised.”
Su didn’t recall when he promised her this, but under such close contact, Su felt that her body’s life force was gradually weakening. In addition, from her breathing, he could already smell a faint smell of blood.
This Li became a subordinate of his for a hundred yuan, and she even charged out into the deadly rainy night perhaps just to help him get soaked a bit less. She might have not even thought that much and did it all instinctively.
“When you return from the hospital, I’ll give it to you.” Su said. In reality, Li’s speed of weakening left him extremely worried. If this continued, Li might not even be able to last until tomorrow.
Li’s eyes suddenly erupted with radiance, and she said with her teeth almost clenched, “I will definitely come back alive!”
The rainy night was extremely cold. Fatigue quickly overcame Li, and she fell asleep in Su’s bosom. Su increased his body temperature and warmed her just like that all the way until the rain stopped.
As soon as the rain stopped, the rumbling of an off-road vehicle sounded. The one that drove was Li Gaolei, his cigarette especially blinding in the darkness.
Su moved the sleepy Li into the off-road vehicle. After handing a sheet of paper to Li Gaolei, he said, “Send her to Persephone’s private hospital in Dragon City and find someone named Helen. I already marked the location on the map. You have to hurry.”
“No problem, leader. What about the others?” Li Gaolei pressed down on the accelerator again and again, causing the off-road vehicle to become like a restricted beast that continuously roared.
“Can’t save them. Only Li can be saved, because she’s a subordinate.” Su gave a simple reply.
Li Gaolei didn’t ask anymore and instead pressed the accelerator all the way down. The off-road vehicle roared, bringing forth large amounts of mud before departing into the distance.
Only after seeing Li Gaolei leave into the distance did Su turn around slowly towards his own tent. Every step closer he took, another chunk of lead would drop into his mind, making the weight he felt heavier. It was because he couldn’t sense any life force inside the tent already. When he pulled apart the entrance, what he encountered was a wave of a thick bloody odor.
Blood seeped out from the six soldiers’ mouths and nose, and their eyes were tightly shut. They huddled together, all of them already submerging into eternal rest.
Su stood there silently.
After an unknown amount of time passed, Kane’s voice sounded from behind him. “Leader, they are done for. Let’s bury them, cremating them is fine too. If we continue, the brothers who are alive will get sick too.”
It seemed like even if Helen was willing to save them, these soldiers still wouldn’t have lasted until they reached the hospital. Even if the rain immediately stopped, they wouldn’t live until they reached Dragon City. However, this didn’t make the weight Su felt inside any lighter. What Helen said was correct. His current strength was extremely limited, and even if he wanted to, he couldn’t save many people. In addition, he already had many responsibilities. Showing kindness to others would only bring more responsibility that he couldn’t bear onto himself.
Kane stood at Su’s side and looked at the dead soldiers. These six individuals were all veterans that had followed him for a long time. He was extremely close to each one of them.
Kane rubbed his beard and brought out a small bronze wine container before firmly drinking several gulps of the strong alcohol. Then, he laughed and said, “Leader, you don’t need to feel bad for their sake. The fact that they were able to live until today is already an extremely fortunate thing. When is there a day where people don’t die in the wilderness?”
Su shook his head and said, “They were my soldiers, yet I couldn’t help them.”
Kane turned around and looked at Su. “You did everything you could, leader. That’s the most important part.”
Did everything I could?
Su became silent. Only now did he feel that Helen and Persephone were correct. Many times, only the result was important. Whether or not one tried their best was actually not that important.
“Leader, do you know why I was willing to become your subordinate?” Kane’s tone did not sound like the tone a subordinate made to his superior, and instead like an old friend gossiping. “Because I believe that if my legs were blasted apart on the battlefield, as long as there is a possibility, you will definitely drag me back. It now seems like my decision back then wasn’t wrong.”
“However, I can only drag back a single person each time.” Su’s mind was clouded with despair.
Kane laughed and said, “Don’t be like that, leader! You have to think of it like this. Being able to drag one is still better than not being able to drag anyone at all! Leader, we are in a war, and people will always die in wars. We have to look forward!”
Su pulled himself together. With a nod, he said, “What you said is correct. Tell our people that once the sky brightens, we are going to pack everything up. We are going to leave this place and move to the edge of Dragon City’s central region.”
“We are going to withdraw?” Kane was a bit astonished, but he then began to think a bit.
“Alright, it seems like we are going to smash these scorpions to mush together with their shells!” Kane said.
A smile that hadn’t appeared on Su’s face for a long time reappeared.
“Correct.” He said.Previous Chapter Next Chapter