Chapter 36 – The War of Arcadia (III)
But regardless of what was being said, from his own personal, emotional perspective, he was unwilling to accept this fact. He would rather the enemy’s four army legions survive if it meant that he wouldn’t lose a single Falcon Dragon Cavalry!
Maldini’s complexion inexplicably became unsettled. The atmosphere within the Commander’s tent seemed to freeze. Those high-ranking military officers close to him were aware that their esteemed generalissimo might explode violently.
Xiang Luan also felt that the mood was amiss, so she forced a smile, saying, “Generalissimo Maldini, even though our losses this time weren’t small, the beastmen’s losses were even greater. Exchanging a thousand for forty thousand elites of the enemy, this is a decisive win! When we return, I will definitely request my Imperial Father to recognize the deceased soldiers for their merits and bequeath substantial compensations to their families.”
Maldini slowly stood up. The Violet Star Dragon Cavalry Commander’s aura that radiated off his body appeared to be the essence of iciness. He turned to face Fisichella and Xiang Luan. Bowing, he said, “Your Highness speaks such truth. We have achieved a decisive victory this time. It can be said that this is the largest victory we have had in a confrontation with the Mjolnir beastmen. Most importantly, we crushed the enemy’s plot to raid Puglia Plains. As the true commander of this battle, Ye Yin Zhu can claim tremendous merit for himself. Even though he is a student of Milan Institution and merely a student-mage within the army, I will definitely report such great service to the Military Department; his Majesty will then bestow down his reward by decree.”
Hearing Maldini’s words, Xiang Luan and Fisichella both simultaneously relaxed. This person was Generalissimo Ironblood. Honestly speaking, they were both somewhat afraid within their hearts. If Maldini investigated Ye Yin Zhu’s sin of sending a thousand tamed dragons to their deaths, the Falcon Dragon Cavalry included, then it would be troubling.
Non-military commands were, to some extent, not accepted. As Ironblood Maldini managed the armed forces, if he were to get rid of Ye Yin Zhu in a violent rage, then Xiang Luan and Fisichella would be unable to reason with him. After all, the Violet Clan held an influential position within the Milan Empire. Emperor Silvio also held his ideas in esteem. He would absolutely not punish Maldini, a man who possessed brilliantly outstanding military service, because of a single mage.
Ye Yin Zhu sensed the somewhat disharmonious atmosphere within the Commander’s tent, but he simply couldn’t make head or tails of it. He never would’ve believed that Maldini would be unfavorable toward him. Hearing this venerable generalissimo speak about establishing his great service, he couldn’t help but bashfully say, “Old horse, oh, excuse me, Generalissimo Maldini, I actually didn’t do anything. If it wasn’t for everyone’s assistance, it would’ve been impossible for me to create such a good result with only my power.”
At the side, the eldest grandson of the Violet Clan, Silver Star Dragon Cavalry Commander Austin, sneered, “Fortunately, you didn’t do anything. Otherwise, how could you compensate for the loss of the Dragon Cavalry Legion?”
“Shut up!” Maldini explosively shouted. He scared Austin so much that his whole body trembled. This grandfather of his had released a tremendously oppressive power that made him feel as if he was suffocating.
A cold light flashed through Maldini’s eyes. He said to Ye Yin Zhu, “You’ve done well. You deserve to be an important person to Miss Anya. With such a large disparity between us and the enemy, you miraculously defeated the opposition. Regardless of whether it is your own resourcefulness and bravery or your unusual magic, you can be considered a rising star of the young generation. However, you still sacrificed the critically important Falcon Dragon Cavalry of the Empire. This error is also not very small. Even if your service is greater, I will also report these facts to my superiors and allow his Majesty to make a decision.”
Xiang Luan and Fisichella knew that they hadn’t been wrong about this generalissimo. If it hadn’t been Ye Yin Zhu this time, then perhaps the conclusion would’ve been extremely miserable. It was precisely because of Anya that the rage in Maldini’s heart was forcefully suppressed.
“I wasn’t thinking of rewards. I just didn’t want to see the beastmen harm my friends and classmates. Generalissimo Maldini, I don’t think that what I’ve done was wrong. Elder Brother Oliveira had said that in order to obtain victory on the battlefield, even if you must be completely unscrupulous, then do so by all means!”
“Yin Zhu…” Ye Yin Zhu’s accidental speech frightened Oliveira, who was sitting to the side, extremely. He was well aware of his grandfather’s temperament. Now that he had suddenly become the originator of the plan…he didn’t dare to bear his grandfather’s fury.
Sure enough, Maldini’s gaze immediately shifted to Oliveira. He somewhat tauntingly said, “Oh, saying it like this, Oliveira’s contributions also aren’t small, no? Not bad not bad, a military officer of our Violet Clan finally understands the art of war. You have all done great service, great service!” As he said this, his voice suddenly changed into a bellow. “Soldier Austin, Soldier Okafur, step forward!”
Austin exchanged glances with his younger brother, and they stepped forward together, chests pushed forward.
Maldini walked until he stopped in front of Okafur. “At that time, what was the order I had given you?”
Although Okafur panicked mentally, he still stated, “You ordered me to guide a thousand Dragon Cavalry Knights to protect the students of the Milan Institution for Magic and Martial Arts and to defend Konya City.”
Maldini’s voice dropped even lower. “Then did you? Why did you sneak away with the Dragon Cavalry? When I had discovered your actions, you were already on the battlefield here at Sacred Heart City. In addition… Austin, as the eldest brother, not only did you not deter Okafur’s actions, you even went as far as to secretly return him into the Dragon Cavalry ranks. Precisely because of your wrongs, you caused Konya City to be empty.”
“Grandfather, we…” Austin just began explaining himself when Maldini cut him off.
“Shut your mouth. You should address me as Generalissimo. Pass on my commands: The brothers Austin and Okafur went absent without leave, causing my army to suffer damage. Effective immediately, these two men will be stripped of their Dragon Cavalry Commander titles and taken into custody to await trial at the Imperial Capital. Take them away.”
No one dared to plea for leniency in the face of Maldini’s fury. Out of everyone present, only Ye Yin Zhu wasn’t afraid of Maldini. He also wasn’t going to plea for their leniency, however, because he also believed that Maldini’s actions were justified. Austin’s younger brother truly did abscond of his duties.
Four strongly-built soldiers promptly entered the tent and restrained Austin and Okafur before leaving the Commander’s tent. Even though the two brothers’ strengths were at their peak, they absolutely didn’t dare to resist.
In fact, even though Maldini was in a furious rage, he was still selfish. If any other military officer had neglected his duty, he would’ve executed him long ago. What use would there be in detaining and returning them to the Imperial Capital to stand trial?
“Your Highness the Prince, your Highness the Princess, Sacred Heart City is this Empire’s frontier region and not a place your persons should stay for a long time. In a little while, I will dispatch people to escort you and the Milan students to return to the Imperial Capital at once. This will also conveniently deliver those two vile spawns to detainment. Oliveira, take these two Highnesses and Ye Yin Zhu to rest.”
Oliveira secretly released a breath of relief. He didn’t dare to look at his grandfather again and hurriedly agreed.
Upon departing the Commander’s tent, Fisichella also breathed a sigh of relief. “Generalissimo Maldini seems livid.”
Oliveira bitterly smiled and said, “Whenever grandfather gets angry, the consequences are very grave. Elder Brother, Second Brother, they have bad luck this time.”
Fisichella patted his shoulder and said, “Don’t worry, Senior. Imperial Father probably wouldn’t truly punish the Violet Clan. After all, the two Dragon Cavalry commanders had done this in order to be able to strike at the enemy. If it had been me, I’m afraid my choice would’ve been the same.”
Oliveira nodded and then turned to speak to Ye Yin Zhu. “Yin Zhu, you nearly killed me just now! I really don’t know whether your military strategy and tactics are right or wrong.”
Ye Yin Zhu was somewhat at a loss. “I harmed you, what?”
Looking at Ye Yin Zhu’s hardly affected and pure appearance, Oliveira really couldn’t say anything to him. He sighed helplessly and said, “Forget about it; it’s already over. Anyway, you really made me gain a whole new level of respect for you. How could I have expected that you would go as far as to use such an extraordinary method to force the enemy to retreat? Everyone’s perspective toward Divine Music mages really are erroneous. Who said all of you are trash? From what I see, Divine Music mages might be the most powerful mages.”
Xiang Luan and Fisichella deeply believed this was correct and nodded in agreement. In their eyes, Ye Yin Zhu was merely a Yellow Rank mage, but from the perspective of this war’s victory, who could say that Divine Music mages were useless?
And just like at the institution, Ye Yin Zhu and Sura still shared a room. Entering the door, he was welcomed by an anxiously waiting Sura. “How did things go, Yin Zhu? Maldini didn’t make things difficult for you, right?”
Ye Yin Zhu stared at him blankly, before saying, “No! Why would he make things difficult for me?”
Sura sighed in relief and explained, “That’s good. Those Falcon dragons are extremely important to the Milan Empire. This time, they were all lost. I was afraid that Maldini would be unaccepting of this sacrifice and take it out on you. Go and rest first, alright? Has your body fully recovered yet?”
Ye Yin Zhu walked over to his bed and sat down. He smiled and said, “Fortunately, yes. My spiritual force is recovering quickly. Still, it was a little dangerous this time; those numerous and disorderly mindsets had nearly caused me to be unable to reabsorb my Spiritual Imprint. Once I fully recover, however, I think my spiritual force will progress significantly.”
“Spiritual force progressing? Is this also because of the battle?” Sura asked, slightly amazed.
Ye Yin Zhu shook his head and explained, “I also don’t know. I sense that my spiritual force itself is like a pool. Perhaps borrowing everyone’s spiritual force caused this pool to expand; although my spiritual force is more or less restored to normal levels by now, it still doesn’t seem to be enough to completely fill the enlarged pool. Because it’s like this, I feel that I have improved.”
Sura smiled and exclaimed, “You! Next time, don’t take risks. Mages have the greatest need to be cautious. Every kind of magical element is actually very dangerous. When used improperly, it can create a hard to control crisis. Come, wash your face.” As he said this, he placed a warm towel in Ye Yin Zhu’s hand.
Ye Yin Zhu stared at him blankly for a moment. The towel was very soft, and had a fresh and clean fragrance wafting from it. As he wiped his face, he said, “Sura, since we left Konya City, it’s like you’ve become a different person.”
Sura smilingly looked at him as he queried, “Have I? How come I don’t feel it?”
Ye Yin Zhu smiled and exclaimed, “You were never this attentive to me before!”
Sura’s eyes displayed a trace of a strange light. He subconsciously glanced at the silver ring on his finger. “Didn’t you already pay me a lifetime’s worth of wages? Having already received it, I will naturally be better toward you.”