"Londo!" Kurdak cried and struggled to stand as if he had recovered his movement as he watched Londo being blasted away by Geoffrey's fireball.
Geoffrey then knocked Kurdak back on the ground with a magic missile. He then went to Londo and kicked him down again as he tried to stand.
"Wanna run? Wanna stand?" Geoffrey's gaze turned cold as he grumbled while cutting Londo's right leg off with ice blades.
The bullish man had lost both legs and a left hand almost immediately and became a cripple.
"Nobody shall resist me!" Seeing blood seemed to trigger Geoffrey's sadistic tendencies. He licked his lips and tasted the blood at the corners of his mouth before he began his incantation anew.
A green light concentrated around Geoffrey's hand. Kurdak felt like he was in an icy cave. He was going to kill Londo! His close brother! Geoffrey was determined to wipe him out!
"No, wait!" Kurdak struggled to stand.
Geoffrey stopped when he heard it. He kept his spell maintained as he asked, "What is it? Anything you have to say?"
"Let him go! If you do, I'll surrender myself to you."
"Really?" Geoffrey seemed to relax slightly.
"You can trust my word!"
"Then, kneel and beg!" Geoffrey teased.
"No, Leader!" Londo roared, "Run! Don't care about me! Don't kneel to this dog! You said that we're true men, and true men shouldn't have to yield to despicable pricks like this!"
Kurdak didn't say anything or think about his pride. He only wanted to save Londo and didn't want him to die.
The two years of fighting had caused him to see one comrade after another dying on the battlefield. Every time that happened, it felt like something was sawing itself at his heart.
Perhaps some people could gradually get used to all the death around them after much fighting, but Kurdak couldn't. He couldn't forget those he spent time with, their looks, their smiles, and their words. He couldn't forget and didn't dare to. If he did, those people would be gone in the truest sense. They would no longer exist in that world. Even though they had given everything for the sake of the empire and their homes, wouldn't they have died in vain if nobody remembered their names?
Who was responsible for all that? Both the enemy and Kurdak himself. After all, he was the one who gave the orders to act. If he could command his men better, would he decrease the casualties suffered? It was all on him!
Kurdak continued to strive for the best he could, and that was why his performance shone on the battlefield. It wasn't because he was incredibly smart or had grander ambitions than others. He was only doing his utmost to keep a few more of his men alive so they could live to laugh and argue another day.
But it truly was darned. No matter what he did, his comrades continued to die off one after another. Now, even Blackie, who had saved his life twice, was gone! It truly was useless! Useless! Useless!
Even so, he didn't give up on that. To ensure his survival and those of his brothers, he had to continue fighting. He didn't push away any responsibility nor find excuses for the deaths of his comrades. He took all the burden on himself and endured whatever life had to throw at him while marshalling forwards. He didn't run and only fought with all that on his back. He was a true man, doing what a man should rightly do.
But the more burden he took on, the deeper his pain. Even a true man feared seeing another brother die. He had finally found a good reason to leave his unit and look for Vera and broke off with Leguna because he didn't want him involved in his matters.
However, he had forgotten about Londo and underestimated the loyalty he held for him. Never would he expect the bumbling idiot would actually desert the force and come looking for him, and actually succeeded despite all the odds.
Was he really that stupid? Would he really do all that for his sake? He hadn't imagined that to be the case at all!
Londo was really important to Kurdak and had fought countless times by his side. The times they carried each other's unconscious self away from the battlefield were countless! It was a bond forged through life-and-death encounters just like Leguna's! He couldn't see Londo die no matter what and didn't wish for that to happen either. He couldn't bear losing another good friend.
When Kurdak knew what Geoffrey wanted, he knelt without hesitation and sincerely said, "I beg you, Your Highness, please show this humble fool your benevolent grace!"
"Hahahahahaha!" Geoffrey laughed with satisfaction. "Since we met, I could see you looking down on me. Not just you, Leguna and that vile woman, Annelotte, did so too! You are all the same! But now, you're kneeling to me and begging me in such polite language! Haha! They will soon follow suit!"
"To hell with you! Shut up! Do you think I won't cut you down?" Londo squirmed towards Geoffrey and looked like a pitiful worm.
"Please let him go." Kurdak didn't let himself get mad and lowered his proud head.
"Since you begged me so sincerely, I have to show some princely mercy, after all." He pulled his leg back from Geoffrey.
Just as Kurdak breathed a sigh of relief, what he saw next sent him into an abyss of pain.
The green ball of light shattered and beamed into Londo's chest…
Initially, Londo's impression of Kurdak wasn't all that good. Even though he looked powerful, Londo believed him to be inferior to him. Without fighting it out, Londo believed Kurdak to be weaker than him. He had never liked weaklings. The reason Londo was so obedient was because Leguna had defeated him fair and square.
Even after Kurdak gave Londo command of his own company, Londo's view on him hadn't changed. He thought that Kurdak had intentionally tried to humiliate him as his unit was the most unruly one of the bunch.
Given his personality, quite a number of men secretly called him 'the dumb one', which he found really hurtful. He had been called that when he was still an orphan that nobody wanted. The teasing and contempt often made him really angry and caused him to get into fights often, which served as a foundation for his martial prowess.
He had worked as a laborer, bodyguard, hired thug, mercenary and eventually joined the army. But no matter where he was, he would always be judged by his wit. People thought of him as an idiot who didn't know how to use his brain. But in fact, he just didn't like to think about complicated stuff. He was far from a fool and hated being called one.
So he decided Kurdak was trying to humiliate him by giving him a leadership position!
But what happened later completely changed his view. Though he was quite inept at commanding his own company, Kurdak was patient enough to teach him the intricacies of leadership and commanding subordinates. Though Londo was a slow learner, Kurdak's patience for him has never run out.
Eventually, he came to realize that Kurdak was different from the others. While the others called him 'commander' on the surface, they treated him like an idiot. However, Kurdak always referred to him as a brother.
The sincerity and straightforwardness of Kurdak eventually won Londo over. Soon, he came to call him 'leader'. Though his leader was far younger than him, Londo felt satisfied with that form of address.
In time, Kurdak defeated Londo in their duels and also took a blade for him on the battlefield. Eventually, the hot-tempered man became a devout follower of Kurdak.
Lond wasn't that smart. Normal people knew how to adapt and change, but Londo was someone who decided on something and followed through with it to the very end. That was why even though Kurdak's reputation was ruined and he was being pursued by the empire, Londo still came to his aid. It didn't even occur to him that doing so would cause him to end up in a similar predicament. He didn't even think about whether a lone person like him could change much. He didn't even think about it. He was a fool, and fools didn't think.
He only knew one thing: his leader was in trouble, so he should help him!
And then he came and ended up killed by Geoffrey, achieving nothing more than saddening Kurdak. His death was in vain.
He was a true fool for giving his life for something so meaningless. However, there would always be fools like that in this world who would act on laughable impulse and worthless sentiment. They would trade their lives away for nothing in return.
What an idiot.Previous Chapter Next Chapter