Chapter 814 – Another Expedition
We escorted five thousand or so Dragonling prisoners back to the capital. As we neared the gate, the guards’ jaws dropped. Dragonscale’s head was slightly poking out of my bag. I led forty thousand soldiers into the capital and walked straight towards the Royal Palace. If I received the quest from here, it only makes sense that I turn the quest in through here as well.
Within the Grand Hall, the old king was in the middle of his daily meeting with his advisors. Pearl, Theodore, and Owen were all present. There were even a few players who were receiving quests. They broke into hushed whispers the second they saw us. One of them even turned on a recorder. It was as though they had never seen a ranked player on CBN Battlenet, how immature! I walked across the hall with my sword at my hip and respectfully bowed before the old king, “Your majesty, the Royal Army has not dishonored the mission you bestowed upon us and have rooted out the Dragonling Army. Here is the head of the pirate captain, Dragonscale. Furthermore, there are another five thousand prisoners waiting outside the hall for their punishment.”
One of the imperial guards walked over to me with a silver platter in hand. I placed the head on the platter for him to present to the king. King Rob threw a glance full of malice at it and said, “Theodore, Owen, you’ve crossed swords with the pirates, you should be able to recognize who this is, right?”
Theodore nodded, “Father, it is indeed Dragonscale’s head. The Royal Army General Li Xiao Yao has eliminated the Dragonling Army!”
King Rob slapped his arm rest and stood up with a wide grin, “Good… Haha, General Li Xiao Yao is truly one of the most talented young men in the nation. Hmph, those Dragonling Pirates have terrorized the War God’s River and have been like a thorn in our eye. Today, this thorn has finally been pulled out! The Royal Army has truly accomplished an incredible mission. Simply amazing. General Li Xiao Yao, what kind of reward would you like?”
I looked down and said, “Whatever your majesty decides!”
The old king roared in laughter and the system bell sounded beside my ear. As I expected, the old king was truly generous this time. Not only did he reward me, he also rewarded the entire Royal Army ——
System Notification: Congratulations, you have completed the SSS tier military quest [Eliminating the Dragonling Army], Your Reward: Level+1, Charm+50, Achievement Points+400, Gold+100,000. Furthermore, all Royal Army Soldiers Level+3. You have also received the following Military Equipment: Dragon Crystal Cannon x50, Cannon x100, Crossbow Carts x200, Gold x2,000,000!
So many rewards! The four generals, Han Yuan, Xiao Lie, Long Xing, and Xia Ye were also celebrating amongst themselves. Han Yuan hid a smile, “General, with all these Dragon Crystal Cannons and Gold, our Royal Army will be on a whole new level. Ha ha, this is too great. We’re definitely among the top three military armies in the empire!”
I bowed, “Thank you, your majesty for the generous reward. Your majesty, there’s still the five thousand Dragonling prisoners. How should we deal with them?”
King Rob smiled, “General Li, what do you think these detestable bandits should be dealt with?”
I pondered for a moment before speaking up, “We can break them up and assign some of them to the villages or fields to work. Or we can even assign them to guard the border. After all, we are low on manpower. Killing them would be a waste.”
King Rob grunted, “Your words ring true…”
But right at that moment, Theodore suddenly stood up and said, “Father, I must respectfully disagree with Li Xiao Yao. The Dragonling Army has so blatantly fought against the laws of the empire, making an enemy out of Father. There’s no need to tolerate such dishonorable bandits. If we show mercy to these five thousand prisoners, then the next day, ten thousand, a hundred thousand rebels will be at your gates. Father, please reconsider!”
Owen bowed, “Father, brother’s words are reasonable!”
I wanted to say more, but Pearl pulled me back, signaling for my silence. I knew in my heart that the Royal Army has been rising much too quickly. News of our achievements had completely overwhelmed all news about the Flame Dragon and Xia Yu Armies. That was why Theodore and Owen were so hostile towards me. Thinking back, it makes complete sense. Pearl probably didn’t want me to get into this debate so I should lay low.
I took a step back to Pearl’s side and didn’t say anything more.
Though, who would’ve thought that Theodore would choose this moment to mockingly laugh at me, “All of the soldiers have gossipped about how kind of a general you are and how you never kill a prisoner. Looks like the rumors are true. General Li, I suggest that these five thousand should be hung on both sides of the street. What do you have to say about that?”
I thought back to the five thousand captives outside the city walls. They had already laid down their weapons and still had the hope to at least live their lives out behind bars. Goosebumps rose up all over my arms. I clenched my teeth and didn’t say anything.
Theodore kept digging, “General Li, why are you so quiet now?”
I growled back, “If your highness believes it to be proper, then please, go ahead. There is no need to ask for permission from me.”
Theodore laughed, “Father, we absolutely cannot allow these bandits and thieves to live. Execute them!”
The old king gave a frustrated sigh and said, “Theodore, I’ll leave this matter to you! Is there any other business? If not, let us adjourn. I am feeling tired.”
Louis stood not far from the throne. He crossed his arms in front of his chest, with the red handkerchief fluttering from its knot on his arm. He reported, “Your majesty, ever since the last Battle at the Sea of No Return, the Hybrid Demon Territory forces have gone into silence. Even the Revered One has lost over half of its forces. I suggest that the empire deploy its most elite troops past the Dragon City and into the Revered One’s Empire to dispose of Luo Lin’s army. At the same time, they’ll take bring his head back to honor the former duke, Luo Lei. What does your majesty think?”
The old king stiffened, “What? Advance on the Revered One’s territory? This… are you sure now is the right time?”
Louis replied, “During the Battle of the Sea of No Return, the two Demon Kings, Han Lin and Kehl, died at Deer Lake. The Hybrid Demons are very jittery right now and are in a corner. From what I see, they have very few forces left. They are now a fish in murky waters. I’m convinced that they are at the end of their path. Now is the time for decisive action. We’ll sweep the north under the imperial flag, first taking the Revered One’s territory, and then killing the rest one by one. At that point, these military achievements will resound through the pages of history!”
When Louis mentioned the achievements, I could see a light turn on in King Rob’s eyes. The old king was at the latter end of his years. As a monarch, his greatest goal was naturally to leave a good name in history. After all, he did not wish for his posterity to look back at his reign and see him as an average ruler. Louis’ words struck the heart of the matter. I could already see this failure waiting to happen. D*mn, the king is falling for his trap!
As I predicted, a few seconds later, the king gripped the hilt of his Ruler’s Sword, and his face lit up with ambition, “General Louis’ words ring true. Everyone here, let us discuss further. Who do you nominate as the commander of this exhibition?”
Theodore immediately stepped up, “I think that the Royal Army has sufficiently demonstrated their military prowess. The commander Li Xiao Yao is, after all, a widely known hero. How about we deploy 50,000 of the Royal Army soldiers to invade the Hybrid Demon Territory’s Revered One’s Empire?”
King Rob nodded, “General Li, do you have any objections?”
I felt a stab in my heart. They were striking the Royal Army. I clenched my teeth and responded, “Your majesty, the Royal Army has been continuously battling for the past month and its soldiers are weary. If we were to set off for a new campaign, I would suggest your majesty to wait for my soldiers to recover first. Besides…. The Hybrid Demons in the north have more power than me, or anyone else in this room can clearly attest to. It is not as General Louis says, where they are a fish trapped in a puddle. Rather, they are highly capable and are likely to be biding their time while they hide their numbers, just waiting for us to provoke them first!”
Louis detested me for the five thousand Long Spear Unit men that I seized, as well as the death of his officer, Yugo. He coldly smiled, “General Li, are you so afraid of the Hybrid Demons that you aren’t willing to set off in battle? That’s the only reason I can imagine why you would shirk your responsibilities as a military man of the empire!”
I let out a sigh, “There’s no need for you to try and provoke me. I will go if his majesty so commands.”
Pearl clenched her fist, “Father, if General Li Xiao Yao only leads a single unit, he will undoubtedly fall to a disadvantage against the Hybrid Demons. How about… you announce a decree to deploy troops from Dragon City to go on this campaign as well! This way, there will at least be a higher chance in our victory!”
The old king nodded, “I will allow it.”
Right then, Crown Prince Theodore suddenly stood up and said, “Father, even if the Royal Army and the Dragon City Armies were to both set out, they wouldn’t necessarily gain total victory. I ask that you allow my Flame Dragon Army to set out with the Royal Army. The Hybrid Demon Territory has trespassed our borders time and time again. It’s about time we finally lead one sweeping campaign against them!”
The old king became giddy, “Theodore, are you certain you will return victorious?”
Theodore nodded, “Of course!”
The old king roared with laughter and said, “You bring honor to your title as the Crown Prince of the empire. This is the kind of air a prince should have. Prepare the decree, the Flame Dragon Army will set out with the Royal Army. They both will work together and support each other in regards to the rations and techniques!”
Theodore looked down with a smile, “Thank you, Father!”
I bowed as well and replied, “Thank you, your majesty.”
Han Yuan, Xiao Lie, and the others followed closely behind me. Each of them was more excited than the last. This new mission was a great chance to earn achievement points. Xiao Lie didn’t have to worry. Based on what happened at the Sea of No Return, it’s clear that the Demon Kings weren’t normal BOSSes. They all were extremely cunning. The Flame Dragon Army along with the Royal Army amounted to less than 200,000 forces. With that many soldiers, they all might even end up being buried in Hybrid Demon Territory. But… if Dragon City’s Frost and Zi Shu along with their fifteen Dragon Knights were to lead the charge, we might have a chance at victory. Either way, whether we live or die, all we can do now is try our best!
When I reached this conclusion, I turned around to leave. I glared at Louis. After all, it was his bright idea to push the Royal Army towards its own demise.
Louis was stunned by this show of defiance. He clearly seemed to have never imagined that I would dare to give him a look like that. He saw my killing intent with that one glance. The moment I get the chance, I will take out this effeminate General of the Violent Thunder Army without hesitation!
King Rob stood up and pointed his Ruler’s Sword above his head with a smile, “Then, two days from now, the campaign will set out!”