Book 4 Chapter 2.5 - Dark Night
The weather already entered a season that fluctuated between warm and cold days. In the northern mountain area, the climate would suddenly become blistering hot, causing the ice and snow that had accumulated over an entire winter to start dissolving bit by bit. However, on the boundless great earth, what was more often reflected off one’s eyes were the charred black scars of flames and deep bomb craters.
The snow and water seeped into the earth, forming expanses of scorching mud that greatly hindered the mobility of men and vehicles. A fleet of off-road vehicles arduously made its way through the mountains filled with mud pits and ponds, and eventually, it finally arrived at a spacious zone and stopped.
Persephone walked out from within the vehicle. A map jumped out from her portable intelligence system, and then she looked at it silently. There was a winding path of advance on the map, but it was not one that lead to the Black Dragonrider’s base in the north and instead extended towards the west. She raised her head and looked towards the mist shrouded distance. A nearly undetectable sigh escaped from her lips.
A middle-aged man with a face weathered with scars and and a resolute expression arrived at Persephone’s side. In a deep voice, he said, “General, we already completed our preparations.”
Persephone laughed somewhat bitterly, almost a bit self-mockingly, and then said, “I’m already no longer a general. Worde, with the status as a friend, I advise you to reconsider your decision. There is still time to change your mind. If you return to Dragon City, all of you can live a stable life. I still have a few friends back at general headquarters, and with your abilities, obtaining the status of a formal dragonrider isn’t too difficult.”
Worde shook his head. He looked at the eight people standing behind him that had already completed their preparations, and then with a gentle smile, he said to Persephone, “I’ve stayed by your side as your subordinate since you were 14, and now, it’s already been more than ten years. These ten or so years is enough to make a person settle down without any intention of changing their way of life. Regardless of how your distinguished self’s identity changes, I will forever be your subordinate. The few people behind me are of the same opinion.”
Persephone lowered her head and stared deathly at the map on the light screen. Two rows of snow white teeth fiercely grinded the strands of hair between them. She didn’t say anything this entire time, nor was there anything she could say.
“General!” A loud and clear sound broke through the tense atmosphere. Renfell walked over.
“I am no longer a general.” Persephone replied with a smile. When facing Renfell, her calm and composed attitude returned.
“The meeting hasn’t even been held yet!” Renfell disapproved of these words.
“Doesn’t make much of a difference, just a matter of a few days of time.” Persephone said.
Renfell laughed and said, “In reality, what is so special about the rank of general anyway? Isn’t it just the being able to accept missions and exchange for authority? Look, we’ve fought for so long together in the northern front, and our abilities were all exchanged for while hanging on the brink between life and death, so isn’t this fine as well? There is no reason to rely on general headquarters at all. General, how about this. Why don’t you just bring us with you to construct another Black Dragonrider organization?”
Persephone laughed helplessly and said, “Easy for you to say! Alright, let’s not talk about these useless things. If you have something you need from me, just directly say it!”
A trace of awkwardness from being exposed appeared on Renfell’s face, and then he put away his smile. He resolutely said, “General, me and the others have already discussed this among ourselves, and we wish to move together with Worde. If you only depend on them, your strength will be too weak!”
Persephone was shocked. “You should know what Worde is planning to do.”
“Of course I know!” Renfell smiled in an extremely carefree manner. He pointed at the men behind him, and they were just like him, young, full of energy, and with the aura of blood and steel from the battlefield. When he looked at Persephone again, Renfell spoke in a rather unworried manner, “They are all like me, wanting to meet that Colonel Su for themselves and seeing just how heroic our general’s man is.”
Persephone sighed and said, “But I’m not even sure if I’ll be able to find him…”
“You two don’t have any way of contact?” Renfell was a bit shocked.
"None. He wouldn't give me any way to contact him out of fear of involving me, and he even more so doesn’t wish for me to look for him. He wants to face Bevulas’ rage and pursuit alone.” Persephone spoke with a rather dull voice.
“Then, general, you…” Renfell didn’t continue asking, but his intention was clear. Why didn’t Persephone just go with her men to look for Su and instead chose to stay in the northern base alone?
“Me staying behind has many significant effects. At the very least, Bevulas cannot do whatever he pleases, and he has to exhaust more energy and manpower to deal with me!” Persephone’s beautiful and alluring eyes narrowed slightly. Wisps of sharp and ice cold radiance seeped out from her pupils.
Renfell took a deep breath, and then he slowly bowed to Persephone in respect. With a bit of bitterness, he said, “General, only now do I understand why I can only work under you and never be your man. I will travel together with Worde, and if I can come back alive, I hope at that time, I will have the power and qualifications to affect your distinguished self’s fate!”
After speaking, he didn’t wait for Persephone’s agreement. He put his arms around Worde’s shoulders and said with a loud voice, “Let’s set off! Brothers!”
Thus, these men both young and old, who had just emerged from the flames of war, carried their bodies covered in sweat and blood once again onto an unknown journey.
The only one that stayed behind was Persephone alone, her gray hair dancing about in the wind.Previous Chapter Next Chapter