There was no surprise that Dragon City Guards were victorious. Since Aya killed Faceless One, the war has actually evolved into a one-sided massacre. The Holy Light Religion was totally routed. They fled in panic from the center of the barrack area, but under the guide of the Caliburn, coupled with their previous resentment, Dragon City Guards didn’t let go even a single one of them. They pursued them until fifty kilometers outside the city before gradually stopping.
At this point, the casualties on the side of Holy Light Religion were around seventy to eighty percent of their total initial army that participated in the war. The elite force of Holy Light Religion in Brettonia that was accumulated for over a hundred years has more or less vanished. The city has turned into rivers of blood. The initially smooth and tidy streets were now covered in blood. Everywhere there were corpses of priests in their holy robes. At the same time, the fierce battle inevitably would also injure the innocent—not all civilians had withdrawn from the city, so there were always some unexpected cases. For a time, Dragon City reeked with blood and cries of grief shook the heaven. It was truly an appalling scene.
The nature of war is brutal, so no one was surprised about this scene. Because if the winner of the war was Holy Light Religion, they would not be lenient towards Dragon City Guards either. Instead, they would have set up a large-scale cleansing. Therefore, even though many people were unwilling to bear this slaughter, it was inconvenient to say so.
For example, the very awkward former Archbishop Rowan was caught in a deep contradiction.
As the former Archbishop, he belonged to the Holy Light Religion camp, but when later he revealed his identity as the member of the Priory of Zion, he became the sworn enemy of the Holy Light Religion. In line with the principle of the enemy of my enemy is my friend, in the final slaughter stage, Dragon City Guards never took aim at Rowan. Of course, this was also because of the decades of good ties between Rowan and Dragon City Guards. In the whole city, Rowan’s reputation was very good that even Dragon City Guards were very reluctant to put their hands on this old man.
However, for Rowan himself, it was hard for him to accept this leniency, because the dead people were already too many. As the local Archbishop, Rowan has always regarded the Holy Light believers in Dragon City as his own children. But now, all of these children have become corpses.
Did they do something wrong? Of course not, simply because they have no choice. Faceless One’s tyrannical action was overflowing that if he had made excessive demand, they would surely revolt. Nevertheless, after the war started, all of their actions were involuntary.
They didn’t do anything wrong, yet they all died a violent death. However, could this be blamed on Dragon City Guards? Obviously not. They were more innocent than the Holy Light Religion force. Being cut by the sword of the holy war from the sky, and then being surrounded by the force of Holy Light Religion in the barrack area, from the beginning to the end, did Dragon City Guards have any choice at all?
If one must be blamed, naturally it would be the Faceless One. However, it was a great dereliction of duty for the Archbishop to fail to protect all the people.
And for such a dereliction of duty, what qualification did he have to survive?
In fact, Archbishop Rowan had already thought about committing suicide. Although the teachings of Holy Light Religion prohibited this behavior, in desperation, he has no other choice.
However, a young man who self-proclaimed as the Saintess’ spokesperson found him and dismissed that thought in one sentence.
"Your life is no longer your own, if you’re feeling guilty, then use your last years of life to do some practical action to atone for it."
Death was just an escape. Courage to keep
on living was better than facing death. Rowan deeply sighed but finally said nothing.
In addition to Rowan, everyone needed to bravely face the future. After the fierce battle, both sides were mutually hurt. Although Dragon City Guards won the war, their losses were not that much better than that of the Holy Light Religion camp. Roughly only half of them survived, of which, there were still many who lost their ability to fight forever.
The whole Dragon City also suffered a huge loss. In the final stage of the war, countless buildings were destroyed—many Holy Light Religion followers relied on the nearby buildings (as a natural barrier) to defend, and the response from Dragon City Guards were to directly destroy the man along the building. In the process, it was inevitable that civilians were also injured.
That night, Bedivere floated in the air and wordlessly viewed his own city in bird’s eye view. Although it was unlikely that Dragon City would be reduced to ruins, but his decades of work... seemed to have been in vain.
"But, in the end, it’s a win." Bedivere closed his eyes. "It’s a dream-like victory, I never even considered the possibility of winning. So, what to do next?"
"Hahaha." A hearty laughter sounded beside Bedivere. "The next step is, of course, to continue to win until Brettonia is reunified and the church of Holy Light Religion is completely expelled!"
For this kind of rhetoric, after half a day, Bedivere had already developed high immunity for it. Not to mention that the speaker wasn’t really the monarch that he determined to serve, but merely a mysterious Nine Regions cultivator.
Therefore, there were not that many feelings in Bedivere’s reply. "That’s easy to say, but Holy Light Religion will not give up easily. The next battle might erupt at any time, yet we only have a weary army. Look around you, we don’t even have a single ally."
This war was indeed a miraculous victory, however, the next situation was even more dangerous. The church did not expect to suffer this kind of heavy loss, so how could they be willing to give up? Even if at this time their main force was dealing with the trouble brewing in the Eastern City States, they would certainly allocate their energy to deal with the Dragon City rebellion.
And compared to Dragon City, a piece of ruins that had lost most of its fighting force, Holy Light Religion had a lot more resources at hand. After operating for more than a hundred years, the majority of forces in Brettonia already had relation with Holy Light Religion. As long as the church promised them enough benefits, by virtue of prestige and trust of the number one church in the continent, they would naturally be willing to be their pawn.
Bedivere did not take lightly of these wolves that might degenerate into church lackeys. Moreover, Dragon City was simply too rich. Whether it was in terms of equipment and texts for those with professions, or in terms of gold and silver for the average person, the accumulation of this wealth in Dragon City was far from that of other cities. Now, under this lose-lose condition, this wealth was a naked enticement for them.
"If we have a little bit of carelessness, they would rise and attack us. But right now, we haven’t even handled our own affairs properly."
After the fierce battle, in addition to silently licking their wounds, Dragon City also faced a critical problem, which was their morale.
In the previous battle, Dragon City Guards were basically united. Except for the minorities who defected after their families were threatened, most showed an amazing cohesion. However, that was just an instinctive response to self-preservation. Now that the war was over and the crisis was lifted, the contradictions were inevitably exposed.
People who used their heads could see that Dragon City was currently facing a dangerous situation. Right now, it could be said that Dragon City has just gone through a narrow escape, but nobody wanted to experience that once again.
"The grace of being nurtured by Dragon City, I think we have already paid it in full today. So, do we need to continue to tie ourselves here, waiting for death?"
"Yeah, I’ve just came back from scouting outside the city. There are armies of other cities that are slowly gathering. Seriously, I don’t think we can fight anymore."
These kind of words quickly spread inside Dragon City, wavering the morale of the army. At the same time, for the ordinary people of Dragon City, this was also a very frightening night.
Within the city, the bloodstain has yet to disappear, which filled Dragon City with murderous intent. In the religious area and the Cathedral, the lights were dim. Outside the city, no one knew how many forces were eyeing at them. Although the war was already over, the battle might erupt at any time. The atmosphere in the city was filled with anxiety.
At this time, they needed someone to come forward to ensure the people and stabilize the situation.
Aya stood on a tower propped up by magic in the square in the center of Dragon City. When she looked down, she could see the whole city in panoramic view.
The dreary atmosphere of Dragon City was clear for her to see. Regarding this, Aya gently opened her mouth and her voice resounded all over Dragon City.
"One hundred and fifty years ago, it was also here, I… my father, once led his army to prepare for the coming final war. His opponent is the largest and also the last feudal lord in Brettonia, whose evil conduct was countless and thus causing seething discontent. During that time, he had outside allies, his power overflowed, and his army was flourishing. However, at that time, father’s army had actually just experienced three fierce battles which caused heavy loses and has already become a weary army."
That clear and icy sound pierced the heart of everyone, making them forget the trouble in their hearts and focus on the voice on the podium, listening to the speech of the girl. At this time, people have already known about the blonde girl’s identity, the daughter of the legendary Knight King who died more than one hundred years ago.
Caliburn holder, inheriting the will of the late king, heir to the kingship of Brettonia—these glorious and eye-catching titles could not really appease the people. In the face of imminent crisis, these titles gradually turned into a forgotten king. After all, she looked like a fragile young girl. Moreover, after killing Faceless One, she fell into a deep sleep.
Then, this young girl finally woke up and could speak in front of the crowd?
Although this time was not a good time to listen to the story, when Aya spoke out, Dragon City Guards couldn’t help but be interested. For most of them, the twelve campaigns of the Knight King to unify Brettonia were merely words in the story, but the details were unclear to them. In people’s knowledge, the invincible Knight King naturally advanced triumphantly. The force under him was no match for anyone. However, at this time, upon hearing the story, it seemed like in the last campaign, the Knight King seemed to be in a hopeless situation?
In fact, one hundred and fifty years ago, the situation was indeed hopeless. At that time, Knight King had just taken Dragon City after three consecutive hard-fought victories, and led the army to rest and reorganize in the city. During this time, the savage feudal lord who previously occupied a corner of Brettonia took this opportunity to profit from that weary army by putting forward a condition, which was to evenly divide the land in half. If not agreed, the savage lord’s army would drown out Dragon City and annihilate the Knight King. At that time, the opponent’s army was nearly ten times as many as the available army of the Knight King.
On the platform, Aya was neither happy nor sad. She was recounting her own story using the point of view of the third person.
"That night, his barracks were also flooded with all kinds of rumors, including the existence of undercover men of the savage lord that infiltrated the camp who spread fear. Because of blind obedience, the soldiers who were near those agents went into panic and at a loss, the veterans were swayed by them, and those in Dragon City who had just previously surrendered had seen things through the cool eye of a bystander. Even the Knights of the Round Table began to endlessly dispute. The soldiers began to retreat, fornicate, and scurry to avoid being the vanguard, as if in the front of them was an abyss, disabling them to move even an inch."
Upon hearing this, many people felt as if it had happened to themselves and began to talk about it. Because if it were them, if they knew the opponent was ten times as many, they would also hesitate and be afraid, just like… now. Facing opponent that was equal in size, they would feel courageous. Facing opponent that was twice or thrice as many, they would be filled with suspicion and think that the battle ahead was reckless. But if it was ten times as many, that would simply be the path of suicide!
Then how did the Knight King solve the problem? Ten times as many… by what method did he delay the battle to give time for his soldiers to recuperate and press the enemy again?
Although it was also clear that with the Knight King’s character, he would not easily compromise with the enemy, not to mention the homicidal savage lord that believed in evil spirit, however, if he didn’t compromise, then what? If the situation at the time was really as bad as what Aya said, they would have no chance to engage the enemy head-on and win! Before they knew it, in just a few words, people began to be captivated by Aya’s story.
Perhaps the story was really too immersive.
Looking at the innumerable dazed eyes under the platform, Aya gently raised her head to hide her eyes that were filled with emotion.
One hundred and fifty years, but it all seemed like yesterday. The situation was almost exactly the same.
After restraining the agitation in her heart, Aya slowly continued her story, with the faint majestic voice that intensified everyone’s heartbeat.
"Who are we? Wandering stray dogs? Or voracious vultures? A cockroach in the sewer? Or a stooped rat in the shade? No! We are proud lions, blessed Bretton Dragon Clan warriors, the forever glorious Knights of Brettonia! Our codes are unity, courage, unbending, rather die honorably than live in dishonor! We will never negotiate with the evil, never bow to the savage! Because if we discard our codes, we betray all those who bless us and guard our friends, turn back on our previous wars, those who paved the road of victory of their comrades with their lives! Because we have promised them, and ourselves, that we will always face forward, march ahead courageously, even if the abyss is below us!"
"But, my knights, do not be timid, let alone despair, for beneath us is the glorious road to victory! We are the masters of the destiny of Brettonia! The brilliance of Caliburn will lead us forward! The earth is our shield, the firmament is our armor, and the storm and thunder is our weapon! Knights, across the abyss, the smooth road ahead is endless!"
In Dragon City, Aya’s call continued to reverberate. In the silence, it gradually turned into a low and deep humming sound, which stirred people’s hearts.
Even if the story was already one hundred and fifty years in the past, and today’s Dragon City Guards were not the firm group under the Knight King, but similar feelings actually continued to well up in people’s hearts, for the same people of Brettonia would always have similar elements in their veins.
It was the longing for glory. Once upon a time, Holy Light Religion spread in Brettonia like wildfire. The priests and holy knights from foreign land poured into the area, riding roughshod over people, but people of Brettonia still exercised forbearance. After the Knight King left, people subconsciously wanted to find something to fill the void. However, it was not until this time that people discovered that Holy Light Religion, though more powerful, larger, and has their own light, but they were nothing compared to the shining brilliance of Knight King.
The spirit of disregarding everything code was the glory that they truly longed for. And for this, they did not hesitate to die!
Of course, after one hundred and fifty years, even for those who were not familiar with history, people also knew that the result of that war was a victory for the Knight King. The Knights’ valiant sacrifices were not in vain, for it was in exchange for the unprecedented unity of Brettonia. However, people were still impatient to hear Aya’s story.
"In that war, father took the lead. The Caliburn crushed the eight great shamans of the savage tribe, beheading the savage lord in front of the formation. The morale of the Knights of the Round Tables was never ending like a rainbow. They directly crushed the enemy position head-on with irresistible force. The battle lasted for three days and three nights. The knights, burning their lives and souls, persisted until the very last minutes, utterly destroying the enemy that was ten times as many. After the third day, the whole army cheered to their heart’s content and celebrated the victory!"
Under the platform, there were countless glistening eyes.
And while standing on the high platform, Aya has clearly felt as if the city was blazing with flames. Thereupon she held her Caliburn high and let its golden beam soar into the sky, illuminating Dragon City as if it was as bright as day.
"One hundred and fifty years ago, my father, with the sword Caliburn, broke the endless darkness and despair to establish the unprecedented feat of unifying Brettonia. Today, the sword Caliburn is still guiding us to the road of victory! At this moment, I can clearly hear the cry of Caliburn, the victory is at the front, always at the front! The all-around darkness is not our home to return to, and the tip of twilight in the city is not our end. Our destination is forward all the way, forging ahead, cutting tens of thousands of lights!"
"Someone would ask, what is ahead? What are we fighting for? The warriors of one hundred and fifty years ago, even in their deepest despair, still has clear and firm belief. They believe the knightly spirit, they believe that Brettonia will certainly move towards unification. However, now, in the face of a divided land and aggressive aggression of the Holy Light Religion, I say, this is the abyss that we must cross, and this is the enemy that we’re about to face!"
"I am the daughter of the Knight King, and I hold my fate unwaveringly towards our late king! I firmly believe that this is the land of the people of Brettonia, the land of the knightly spirit!"
Aya’s voice was like a strong wind, a tsunami, in fact, and her passionate emotion swept through everyone’s heart.
"In the name of Caliburn, the sword in the stone, I declare that the war for the country of Brettonia, starts here! Anyone who stands in front of this road will be crushed! We will tread the victory ladder to reach the glorious eternal shore!"
"Long live, Brettonia!"
"Long live, Brettonia!"