James and several cavalrymen were galloping through the snow.
A scroll written full of numbers and calculations was stuffed in his sleeve, and his breathing was as heavy as a blacksmith’s bellows. He was panting from exhaustion, partly wanting to laugh, and partly wanting to yell at a certain idiot.
Making a castle architect flee from the battlefield with a group of people, did that idiot think he was also some kind of knight who could wield a sword and wear armor? Believe it or not, he would just kneel down and beg for mercy when a few horses from the enemy caught up with him?
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James took the last cavalry in Newcastle, having escaped through the secret passage south of the castle.
James didn’t know anything about the battlefield, he was just an architect who worked with wood and stone all day long.
But even he, when in the early morning of yesterday, saw the rebel army’s salamander banner with a white background instead of the rose flag with a red background flying on the horizon, understood the change in the battle situation.
The Duke of Buckingham, who used offense instead of defense, did not return, but a flood of enemies came.
This time the siege was more violent than the previous one.
The time since the last siege was too short, they barely had time to repair the cracked city walls, and the collapsed towers had no time to rebuild. The enemy was not in a hurry to climb the city, but pushed the trebuchet onto the battlefield, aiming to bombard the repaired city walls.
Amidst the loud rumble, Newcastle was crumbling.
The commander stayed on the city wall from morning until evening, directing at the top of his voice. But everyone knew that Newcastle could not be held.
The enemy gradually began to mount the top of the city wall.
The commander found James at that time with a detachment of cavalry.
He pointed to James and said to the cavalrymen, “He has confidential information on him. Even if you die, you must send him to the King properly.”
“I have a fart——”
Before James even finished, the commander strode over and grabbed him by the collar.
“I’m not trying to save you.” The commander who had already suffered a broken arm was short of breath, and he said in a hoarse voice, “I’m begging you to save my brothers! If I’m here, they will never run away! So I beg you, take them away! I beg you to save their lives!”
After the commander finished speaking, he let go of him.
“Take him away!”
At the command of the commander, those knights with red eyes came up and grabbed James and retreated towards the secret passage.
“Tell His Majesty! The Gulundi heavy cavalry has arrived!”
The commander said this final word to him, and then rushed to the wall again with great strides. He drew out his sword and cut down the rebels who climbed up from the breach in the city wall.
James saw him hold the sword in one hand, raised it high, and slashed down with all his might, beheading a rebel.
Blood spurted from the man’s neck like a fountain, dousing half of the commander. His hair and face was covered with blood, dripping down drop by drop. James didn’t know if the same blood would be sprayed out if the commander himself was beheaded.
The knights escorted James and escaped from the south side of the castle. The enemy’s attack focused on the north, and there were not many rebels outside the secret passage in the south.
Before leaving the castle and rushing into the snow field, James looked back at the castle he designed himself for the last time.
Faintly, black smoke enveloped the sky above the castle, which was the flames of war ignited on the battlefield.
Newcastle was doomed to fall.
After the castle was captured, the rebel army would also think about repairing it, and the carpenters and workers in the city would survive. But the commander and the soldiers defending the city, they would surely die.
Running fast under the starry night, an architect and several cavalrymen fled desperately.
They had with them the last order of a commander:
——Tell the King that the Gulundi heavy cavalry had arrived.
They had rode all night, and James felt that his life would end on the saddle if this continued.
It was a mistake for him to come to Legrand, otherwise he would still be a man who built churches in safety. Thinking so, James waved his whip, and once again urged the horse under him to gallop forward.
The war horse galloped up to a small hill, and suddenly reared as if frightened. James was shocked, and he tugged on the rein, trying to calm the horse. But not only was he unsuccessful, he also rolled off the horse and fell headlong into the icy snow.
A mouthful of snow was poured down his throat abruptly, and James rolled over, struggling to get up from the snow.
As soon as he got up, he understood why the war horse was frightened.
On the far horizon, smoke and dust were faintly rolled up. In the smoke and dust, hundreds of blood-red banners spread out, forming a continuous wave.
James opened his mouth and the snow that he accidentally swallowed chilled his heart and lungs. He coughed violently, as if he wanted to cough out his lungs.
The bloody wave rushed towards him from a distance, and arrived in front of his eyes in an instant. The cavalry behind James exclaimed. Seeing that James, who had rolled onto the snow slope, was about to be trampled into mincemeat by the war horse, the leading knight reined the horse in the nick of time, and stopped at a distance less than three steps away from James.
Behind the knight, all the war horses stopped at the same time, instantly turning from a galloping torrent into a still vast ocean. The banners rolled up and fluttered fiercely, but the war horses had all stood still, and at this moment they were blowing out streams of white smoke from their noses.
James narrowly escaped death and stood up on unsteady legs from the side of the horse.
He had just stood up, but the knights behind got off their horses and knelt down in the snow.
“Greetings Your Majesty!”
Startled, James looked up at the leading knight.
The knight was wearing armor with his back against the light, so he couldn’t see his face clearly. It was near dawn, and there was a layer of faint blue light between the sky and the earth. Now this cold blue light fell on the knight, plating him like a piece of iron that was fished out of the fire and quenched with ice.
James suddenly remembered that a few days ago, when the Duke of Buckingham led the cavalry into battle, it was also in such a faint and cold morning light.
“You came from Newcastle?”
The King was on horseback, the people behind him were too far away, and the people in front of him were kneeling. Everyone could only hear his calm voice, and no one saw his trembling hands holding the rein and whip.
“The city…..the city is captured.”
The voice of the cavalryman who answered trembled slightly. He was the commander’s retinue, and he was also the commander’s best friend.
There was silence between heaven and earth, as if even the war horses did not dare to neigh.
The cold wind from the north made people’s fingers stiff, and the blood in their veins frozen. The King felt that the ice particles in the air were poured into his lungs along his breath, and the coldness that could not be warmed by fire leaked out from the cracks in his bones. The bad premonition came true, and the last bit of hope sunk slowly into the abyss.
The King’s ice blue eyes fixed on the cavalryman.
The cavalryman took off his helmet and slammed it heavily on the snow. James didn’t realize until then that he was actually still quite young. The taciturn knight that fled with him along the way had a childish round face.
“His Excellency the Duke broke through the first siege on the city, but the city wall was damaged, making it impossible to defend it. His Excellency was determined to intercept the second batch of rebel troops…..” The young knight’s voice was hoarse, as if each word was soaked in blood, “His Excellency died in battle, the commander swore to defend the city to the death, and had us tell His Majesty——the Gulundi heavy cavalry has arrived!”
The duke died in battle, and the Gulundi heavy cavalry arrived.
Like two boulders suddenly crashing into the calm lake, the army couldn’t help but burst into exclamations.
His Excellency the Duke…..
Died in battle.
The King’s Adam’s apple rolled, he clenched his teeth, and raised his head. It was as if the exhaustion of two days and one night of rapid march suddenly crashed over him, and the world in front of him seemed to suddenly turn black, and all the colors in the world turned gray.
The sound of blood dripping seemed to be heard again in his ear, light and soft, causing his breathing to become extremely difficult in an instant. That drop of blood…..that was the blood of the Duke of Buckingham, his uncle’s blood.
What was surging in his heart? What was it that froze him a bit by bit?
He once had nothing, and when he came to Legrand, he shouldered the fate of a country and a family. But he finally had something. How much did he own? How much could he lose? Should he weep? Should he roar or scream? Who would teach him to roar, to scream?
In his years past, everyone wanted him to die. He struggled to survive amidst the hatred and coldness of the world. He was no longer able to cry or be weak. Now who could tell him what to do when he was so full of sorrow? How did one let their tears flow down?
Too long a silence.
A cavalryman stepped out of the ranks and came to the King’s side.
He was the lieutenant general of the Iron Rose Cavalry and an old cavalryman who was familiar with the Duke of Buckingham.
When the King decided to carry out military reforms and form a new royal military, the Duke of Buckingham was still worried that General Sheehan was too young and inexperienced, so he appointed him as the lieutenant general of the Iron Rose Cavalry.
The lieutenant general walked up to the King, who was looking in the direction of Newcastle.
When he saw the King, the lieutenant general almost thought that the King would whip his horse at any moment and rush to the place where the Duke of Buckingham might be buried.
The knuckles of the King’s hand holding the whip had turned cold and bloodless, but the whip was still not swung out in the end.
“Your Majesty…..” The lieutenant general spoke in a low voice. At that moment, he felt that what he saw was not Legrand’s monarch, but a young man who had lost his last respected elder, the nephew of the Duke of Buckingham.
Perhaps the Duke of Buckingham might be more than just an uncle to the King…..He was the one who guarded him with his life. William III died too early. The Duke of Buckingham was likely equivalent to a father to the King.
What choice would a child who lost his father make? What choice should he make?
The King bowed his head, the shadow of his helmet covering his face, and the always proud and powerful monarch looked like a sad youth at this moment. But his voice was clearly still that of the King.
He was the nephew of the Duke of Buckingham…..
But also a king!
Anyone could cry, anyone could suffer, anyone could be desperately angry, but only the king couldn’t.
The army broke out into noise.
The cavalry did not expect such an order from the King.
The Duke of Buckingham was killed in battle, wouldn’t the King avenge the Duke?
The King growled like a young lion suddenly enraged.
“Withdraw to Benz City!”
The lieutenant general looked silently at the King whose head was lowered.
He remembered that he once asked the Duke of Buckingham why he had been guarding the young king for more than ten years. At that time, the Duke of Buckingham said “because he is the hope of the Rose family, he will be a true emperor”.
The lieutenant general didn’t understand at the time.
Now he understood.
Withdrawing troops now was what they really should do.
He knew the Duke of Buckingham very well, and he knew what the royal cavalry commanded by the Duke of Buckingham was like. But the Duke of Buckingham died in battle. And Newcastle has fallen, and it was pointless for them to move forward. The galloping vanguard cavalry did not carry any siege equipment with them. Not only could they not take the castle back from the enemy, they might even have to face the Gulundi heavy cavalry that had already arrived.
This was a battle that was likely to be lost for the exhausted Iron Rose Cavalry which had been marching for several days and nights.
Whatever the military situation ahead was, everything was unknown, and the soldiers should not be pointlessly put in danger. This was what any general who commanded an army must do.
The death of the Duke of Buckingham was a great disaster for the whole of Legrand. At this time, they couldn’t afford a second catastrophic defeat, which would plunge the entire Northland counter-insurgency war into a downturn.
They could only withdraw.
Withdraw to the nearest autonomous city to them, Benz City. Guard there and wait for the follow-up troops to arrive.
This was what they should really do.
The lieutenant general took a deep breath, suppressing the sorrow and sadness. He took one last look at the King, turned his horse, and returned to the army.
The King stood numbly in the ice and snow, watching under his command, the front of the cavalry turning into the rear, and the rear turning into the front, and slowly leave in the direction they came from in the snow.
The King stood still and did not move.
Soon, the King was the only one left on the snow slope.
He suddenly burst out in broken laughter.
No tears, no weeping, only hoarse, suppressed laughter in a torn voice.
Anger and sorrow surged through his veins, stirring up the madness of the ancient Rose family. His dead father, his dead uncle, all his dead ancestors…..their will revived in him.
The King raised his head in the north wind, looked up at the vast sky, and squeezed out a voice through his teeth. There was so much blood in his voice, as if a terrible monster had been released from his heart, and now the bloodthirsty monster was letting out its roar.
The old lion of the empire fell into the bloody mud, to be replaced by a new bloody king.
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
“I will have the royal Rose flag fly across the mainland, the glory that never sets to last eternally, and all the people who the golden carriage passes to submit!”
He would make the long-cherished wish of the Duke of Buckingham come true! Have the glory of the Rose family revived on this land!
Whoever killed the Duke of Buckingham, he would have their heads cut off, their sinful bones crushed, and their souls kneel in front of his grave for eternity!
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