Book 2 Chapter 15.1 - Dagger Aimed At the Back
After devouring enough food to satisfy twenty people, Su was finally relieved of his hunger. When he regained consciousness, he felt an incredibly ferocious feeling of starvation that suppressed all else. It was to the point where before satisfying his stomach, Su was unable to think about anything else.
After finishing the last can, Su released a breath of air. He pushed aside the table and stood up.
"You really are a strange one…" Ricardo, who was standing next to the military screen, uttered this sentence. Before he finished speaking, he suddenly shuddered, because his cigarette had burned to its limit without his notice and burned his fingers. He had only inhaled once since this cigarette was lit before he entered a daze from watching Su frantically eat. What was a bit inconceivable was that Su's body was still well-proportioned and perfect. It was a body full of power and it gave off a feeling of oppressiveness, yet Su wasn't a muscle freak either. Where did all of that food go? It was as if Su's stomach was a bottomless black hole.
Su didn't pay Ricardo's sigh any attention and instead began to maneuver his body. After several sets of strange movements, he frowned and stopped.
As Su moved his body, Ricardo was always watching with his breath held, not letting any detail escape. Only when Su stopped did he exhale and say, "Hey, you freak, where did you learn how to move like that?"
Even when there was only a thin layer of light blonde short hair covering his head, together with the Black Dragonrider eye-patch, it gave Su an appearance that could even match Persephone's a strange and mysterious type of charm. However, right now, there was even more so a hint of worry on his face.
When he heard Ricardo's question, Su felt a bit strange and replied, "I was just checking to see if the activity of various parts of my body is still normal. There were a few areas that were injured. These aren't some random movements. Does even something like this have to be learned?"
Ricardo laughed bitterly and said, "Correct, for you it might seem like casual movements, but for us, the meaning is completely different. Inside the Black Dragonriders, the special movements for detecting the body's injuries is something only officer ranked or higher personnel have the authority to learn, and it isn't complete. For these movements, only after experiencing special training and special directions of genetic strengthening can one completely do them. On the battlefield, not only can they detect the body's hidden injuries, they can also stabilize one's injuries. As long as one understands the situation of one's injuries, focused treatment could be carried out. As such, even a simple and crude military hospital would be able to save the life of a dragonrider. The movements you made just now are at least 80% similar to the movements I learned, and that's why I felt that it was strange."
Su thought for a moment before saying, "Seems like dragonriders collect fees for almost everything."
Ricardo nodded and said, "That's only natural. Only through this method can the resources scattered among dragonriders be gathered and exploited. If headquarters didn't collect a fee, where would we be able to obtain such a large selection of new equipment, and how would we be able to develop more than ten new abilities each year?"
Su developed a new opinion towards how the Black Dragonriders operated. He asked, "How are the battle results this time? What should we be doing now?"
"Your tactical tablet has already been destroyed, so I used my tactical tablet to send a report to headquarters. Here, look, this is the battle report, and this is the list of spoils of war that hasn't been divided yet."
Su accepted Ricardo's tactical tablet and carefully read through the report. This time, a total of fifteen people from the dragonriders' side died and thirty people were wounded. Most of the ones that died were the veteran bodyguards that stayed by Ricardo's side, and they had all died under Martham's hands. Meanwhile, the casualties on Su's side were extremely light. A total of 130 people died on the Scorpions of Disaster's side, and three heavily injured individuals were captured as captives. It could be said to be an overwhelming victory for the dragonriders.
As for the long list of war spoils, Su didn't look it over carefully. He directly flipped towards the end and found the area where the value was estimated. The estimates of these spoils were valued at 1.2 million, not much higher than Malim's corpse and much lower than what Su had expected, leaving him a bit surprised. It seemed like after obtaining the initial batch of material with the the technology of the Scorpions of Disaster, this batch didn't bring the Black Dragonriders too many new items.
Perhaps information on Martham and Pandora was worth more. However, for some reason, Su didn't plan on sharing this information with headquarters. From Su's perspective, Pandora was already his, and she couldn't be shared with anyone else. This type of pure and completely possessive thought originated from his body's instincts, and it was powerful to the point where he couldn't resist it.
Su returned the tactical tablet to Ricardo, and with a smile, he said, "I've looked through it. How do you plan on splitting the rewards?"
"Isn't this a simple thing? We worked together, so let's just split it in half." Ricardo shrugged his shoulders and said casually.
600 thousand, for Su, was an extremely large sum. This was true not only for Su. For any lower dragonrider officer, as well as many higher officers, this was not an amount to look down on. From the victory contributions, Ricardo didn't show decisive effects like Su did, but during the start of the battle, he still contributed greatly. In addition, it was him who brought Su back. In addition, Ricardo's losses in battle were much heavier than Su's. Just the dozen or so experienced bodyguards whose skills were close to the subordinate standard already brought Ricardo's losses to over three hundred thousand. These soldiers didn't only represent a number, because when they were matched together into a troop, the strength they displayed would be far greater than a simple sum. After all, there were too many parts of a person that couldn't be estimated with money.
This was why Ricardo should receive even more. If one calculated it through the Black Dragonriders' spoils of war distribution formula, it was more accurate to give Ricardo 800 thousand.
Su was also familiar with the Black Dragonriders' distribution formula. The rather complex formula wasn't that big of an issue for Su's calculation abilities, which was why as soon as Ricardo finished speaking, Su said, "You should take 800 thousand."
Ricardo shook his head and continued to casually say, "I don't lack this 200 thousand, while it's different for you. The battle this time was split from your mission, and you also saved me once, so just treat it as the mission introduction fee. This amount of money should allow for your three subordinates' abilities and equipment to receive another upgrade. They are all rarely seen outstanding subordinates and cannot be allowed to die. You have to strengthen your own army before you can accept missions that are more difficult and earn more money. After you expand your strength, we can collaborate again. Compared to this 200 thousand, I would much rather have a battle comrade that I can fight together with."
"But there is a grudge between your family and myself. Why aren't you choosing to stand by your family's side?" Su still could not find an answer to this problem.
Ricardo laughed. He didn't look at Su and instead looked at the soldiers outside that were busy moving about before saying in an unhurried manner, "I've fought several years of war in the northern front, and the one thing I learned was that on the battlefield, the most valuable thing was a comrade who one could completely trust his back to. However, in the eyes of many people in the family, what brothers, what family, what blood relationship was there to speak of? As long as the price was suitable, everything could be brought out to be purchased. Those successors ranked behind me, including that Laiknar that died under your hands all wished for me to die a bit earlier on the battlefield so they could have a chance at inheriting the family's assets. How unfortunate it is that this old one isn't going to let them have their wishes satisfied!"
From Ricardo's words, Su heard a vague sense of frustration and helplessness, as well as a bit of resentment. He didn't know what type of internal conflicts had happened before in the family that made him feel this way. Perhaps the fact that he was a first rank successor, yet he had to continuously struggle for life and death in the northern battlefield, was already a rather strange matter.
Ricardo became silent for a bit before continuing, "When I saw you in the training base, as well as how you dealt with the matters later, I felt that you were someone who I could trust my back to. At the very least, the family and I don't have too much ties. Everything I have right now was personally earned from the northern battlefield."
For Su, Ricardo's trust truly was a bit sudden. The many years of experiences in the wilderness made it so that he wouldn't casually believe someone, even if it was Ricardo who he had just fought together with. Su, who was like a wild beast, developed trust towards others at an extremely slow pace. The time spent between Ricardo and himself was still too short.