Chapter 123 - Until Dawn Came (Two)

Kingdom’s Bloodline Masterless Sword, 无主之剑 2022/9/13 16:51:50

Chapter 123: Until Dawn Came (Two)

Translator:?EndlessFantasy Translation??Editor:?EndlessFantasy Translation

“This happened three hundred years ago,” the vice diplomat said faintly, “At that time, Midier Jadestar was one of Constellation’s many princes. He was said to be impulsive, lively, and restless when he was young, similar to Tormond the First who founded the kingdom.” Putray sighed softly.

“Not long after he reached adulthood at sixteen, he snuck out of the capital city to seek the kind of adventures depicted in stories and songs. He then encountered Chara and Kaplan at Dragon-Kissed Land…”

Thales raised his eyebrows and said in astonishment, “Snuck out of the capital city?”

‘So, the princes and princesses who dress as commoners to sneak out of the palace really do exist?’

“Hey! Do not just talk about your kingdom’s prince.” Marquis Shiles protested and turned towards the second prince with a smile. “Kaplan Nicola was a Camian and the pride of Good Flow City. He was born in a renowned family of businessmen who were tycoons in the fishing industry. It was said that, since young, he was intelligent and mature, and was known as a genius… Just like you, Your Highness.”

Thales forced a smile.

“How about you?” Putray glanced at Nicholas who had his arms crossed. “Don’t you have anything to say as a Northlander?”

The Star Killer raised his gaze and looked around.

“Chara was an undisputed hero, a typical Northlander, and a fearless Eckstedtian.” Nicholas shook his head expressionlessly. “He had no family name, and there is no need for later generations to remember his family name because he didn’t need to prove his mightiness through his origins and bloodline. We just need to look at his actions.”

Marquis Shiles winked at Putray in resignation.

“No family name? Is that so?” A sarcastic voice rose from beside Thales. “But after the war, Chara married the Walton Family’s daughter and merged his blood with that of the Dragon Spear Family.”

Everyone turned their heads to the side. Thales realized in shock that Aida was the one who spoke. Sitting on the snow-covered ground while hugging her legs, Aida’s disdainful words traveled from beneath her cloak.

Speaking of which, this tactless elf had been talking a lot lately.

“His son took the Walton Family name and became the Archduke of Dragon Clouds City. Drawing support through his father’s awe-inspiring reputation, he became the Common-Elected King of Eckstedt. And just like that, Chara sat behind his son as regent for a good thirty years until his death.

“We just need to look at his actions, huh? Ha!” Aida chuckled. “In my opinion, in the face of power, Chara, the so-called hero, was just like the others.”

Thales wore a curious gaze.

Putray coughed. “Anyhow, Your Highness, the three of them gathered in Dragon-Kissed Land and formed a team, beginning their legendary adventures. Throughout those ten years, they traversed the entire Western Peninsula and even the West Coast of the Eastern Peninsula as mercenaries, tourists, traders, adventurers, and even explorers. Their friendship was indestructible, and their experiences had long since become legends that were weaved into songs by bards, especially after the Battle of Dawn.

“For example, ‘Seeking Dragons in the Desert’, ‘Traversing a Thousand Miles to Hunt for Demons’, ‘The Merfolk’s Chaos in the Demon Sea’, ‘The Founding of Anlenzo Dukedom’, ‘The Wanted Man of the Forbidden Forest’, ‘The Demise and Rebirth of the Sacred Tree’, ‘The Mystery of Brave Souls Fort’, ‘The Demon Priest of Horsewhip City’, and others. They are all renowned songs that depict the experiences of those ten years for the three men.

“At the very least, Chara’s fearlessness and bravery, Midier’s steadfastness and reliability, as well as Kaplan’s wit and vigilance were depicted with great eloquence in these songs.”

Hearing the names of these songs, Thales’ curiosity grew. ‘Seeking dragons, hunting for demons, demonic priests… From what I can remember, aren’t these the lives of people who come together and form teams in those fantasy worlds?

‘Why is my life completely different?’ He sighed internally.

Putray sucked a long mouthful from his tobacco pipe and softly said, “And the Third Peninsula War broke out at that time.”

Everybody said nothing.

“The worst nightmare befell the Western Peninsula. The three men faced the most terrifying opponent.”

Under Thales’ questioning look, Putray cleared his throat and gently uttered a name.

“Laurie Corleone, the Night Wing King.”

Putray raised his gaze and cast Thales a meaningful glance.

Thales tucked his hands under his fur cloak and subconsciously touched the Fangs bracelet against his bosom.

‘Corleone… Really?’

“He was the possessor of the Blood Ocean Throne, the master of the ‘Blood Fangs’—the Corleone Family—and the founder and Eternal Ruler of the Night Kingdom.

“It is said that he was one of the oldest and scariest Blood Clansman. According to legend, when he spread his gigantic wings open, even the most brilliant sun rays will be shrouded in endless, bloody darkness.” Putray adjusted his tone. All of them looked as if they were crowding around the fireplace to exchange ghost stories.

“It is surmised that he had lived for countless years. Before he went missing, he was once known as a being who surpassed the supreme class.”

‘The missing Night Wing King, Laurie Corleone…’ Thales recalled the fight between the two Corleone maidens… or should he say ladies?

‘Isn’t he their “father”?’

“Ridiculous. Surpassing supreme class?” Nicholas sneered. “There’s no such thing at all. They are just false rumors spread by the bards.”

Putray ignored Nicholas and continued to speak with regard for no one but himself.

“When the Third Peninsula War took place, the Night Kingdom happened to be at its peak. Led by Laurie Corleone, the Allied Forces of the Eastern Peninsula unexpectedly came ashore at Eckstedt’s Eastern Cliff which is the most dangerous and impossible part to land on, and launched a night raid.

“Based on the two previous wars, everyone thought that the people from the Eastern Peninsula would land at Constellation. They anticipated that the Western Peninsula’s Shield would once again stall the Eastern Peninsula’s attack until reinforcements from Eckstedt’s bold and powerful, heavy infantry troops and those from the other kingdom rushed over.”

“The outcome was obvious. The utterly unprepared Eckstedt was ambushed. Elaphure City was the first to be captured.”

Marquis Shiles smiled and said, “After that, Elaphure City’s Archduke Gaddro had to import a large amount of city defense machines every year from Steel City to defend the eastern side of their shores. Good Flow City was responsible for the transportation.”

Putray continued speaking, “The enemies’ troops surged in without end through this opening which was located on a sea cliff. They crossed the weakly defended inland of Ecsktedt without difficulty and advanced into Dragon Clouds City.

“Your Highness, you can read the detailed battle records from various major history books,” Putray sighed, “In short, after a few horrifying battles, the Night Wing King’s awe-inspiring reputation was once again acknowledged. It was the most disastrous series of failures since the establishment of Eckstedt who took pride in their warriors and military forces.”

“As for the reinforcements of the other kingdoms that travelled north, even Constellation’s expeditionary forces were annihilated without warning. The army forces of other kingdoms didn’t stand a chance at all.

“I heard that there were very few survivors. Even the King of Eckstedt of that time died in battle at Dragon Clouds City.

Thales was stunned. He turned to look at the current commander of the White Blade Guards.

“That was also an important part of what was recorded in the ‘Book of White Blade Legends’,” Nicholas said suddenly with a complicated gaze, “It was the tenth time the White Blade Guards was annihilated since the era of the Empire, and also the third ‘White Blade Disgrace’—to have our king die despite our heavy protection.”

‘Since the era of the Empire?’ Thales thought. ‘Do the White Blade Guards have such a long history? They existed even before the establishment of Eckstedt?’

Putray shook his head. “No one could ward off the Night Wing King’s invincible forces, along with his strange, versatile and unpredictable military tactics.

“At some point, the Western Peninsula was unable to assemble even a single expedition troop that had the combat capability to intercept the people from the Eastern Peninsula. At least, this was what the history books recorded.

“Thus, the Night Wing King’s army roamed freely across Northland and was almost unbeatable. Dragon Clouds City fell into a hopeless last-ditch defense. After the king died, Eckstedt was in turmoil. There were only a few archdukes who persisted in the fighting,” Putray said faintly.

“And the Eastern Peninsula sent word requesting to conduct peace negotiations based on the situation of that time. Facing heavy casualties and a huge price to pay, Constellation and the other small kingdoms were starting to consider the Eastern Peninsula’s suggestion.

“At that moment, the three men stood at the forefront of history and rescued the Western Peninsula that was in jeopardy.”

Thales inhaled softly. “The three Dawn Heroes?”

Putray nodded. “Chara, Midier, and Kaplan assembled the remaining troops. Their fight inspired Constellation and the other kingdoms—”

The Star Killer cut him off.

“Stop boasting about yourselves,” Nicholas taunted. He crossed his arms and lifted his gaze. “Chara… Chara the Hero… he was the first and only one to step forward.

“Alone, Chara held a black flag and returned to Eckstedt’s battlefield.

“He called and assembled the Eckstedtians who had lost the will to fight—deep in the mountains, in the countryside, and within the pine forests. The Eckstedtians fought against the people of the Eastern Peninsula with no regard for bloodshed and sacrifice, in every single district and territory.

“Isolated and helpless, he was hopelessly outnumbered. In the beginning, he even suffered a series of defeats. However, he… Chara never gave up. Heroes are casted this way—by the cultivation of bravery and determination through the shedding of blood.”

“That was a promise between the three men,” Putray refuted coldly, “Midier and Kaplan returned to Constellation and Camus respectively and tried their best to convince their own kingdom to fight one last time. This doesn’t mean that the other two men are cowards.”

“I am not talking about Midier, but all of you—the reinforcements from Constellation,” Nicholas said mockingly, “Midier brought a reinforcement of twenty men. The bards remember this number clearly!”

‘Twenty men?’

Thales looked at Putray curiously, waiting for him to respond.

Putray frowned. “At that time, Constellation was indeed deeply concerned about dispatching more troops. After all, the opponent was Night Wing King’s army force, and Midier was only a prince who had left home for many years. Moreover, he requested for military power the moment he returned.

“On top of that, as a prince, Midier was ordered to stop participating in Eckstedt’s military affairs.” Putray’s eyes shone. “However, Midier did not yield. Facing such an order, Midier threw the nine-pointed star emblem—the symbol of the Jadestar Royal Family—onto the ground in front of all the courtiers.

“This meant that he gave up his right to inherit the throne,” Putray said softly.

Thales’ eyes widened slowly.

“‘Please do not forget that Constellation was built on an oath,’ Midier said this before the entire enraged Royal Court of Constellation.”

‘The Oath Keeper. So that’s how…’

“Thus, the Oath Keeper walked out of Renaissance Palace and headed north towards Eckstedt with twenty warriors who were still willing to follow him, and rushed to the rescue of Chara who was fighting a lone battle.”

“This is why we only have respect for the Oath Keeper.” Nicholas laughed. “When all of Constellation became cowards, he was one of the few courageous Constellatiates. Even the Camians were better than all of you!”

Putray did not say anything.

“About this, I have to say that Kaplan the Prophet unexpectedly…” Shiles coughed softly and chipped in. “This is also why the citizens of Camus admire him…

“From the raising of the bill, to the gathering of consensus, and then getting the resolution passed, Kaplan Nicola is the only person in history who managed to convince the Highest Unified Parliament of Camus to dispatch troops within eighty-six days. All fourteen states at that time agreed to entrust their last remaining resources to Kaplan, a thirty-year-old young man, allowing him to bring those resources to the battlefield in Eckstedt. Those resources included military troops, provisions, and money.

“If all of you are familiar with the unified parliament’s lack of efficiency when it comes to discussions, and know a thing or two about the greed and selfishness of the various states’ congressmen…” Marquis Shiles sighed. “God knows how Kaplan did it.”

“That is your history, not ours. In the end, it was still Constellation’s reinforcements that saved the battlefield, wasn’t it?” Putray narrowed his eyes.

Thales raised his head and watched the three men.

“However, Kaplan’s act of leading troops to provide reinforcements was obviously effective. Camus Union’s status in the world increased greatly because of it.” Shiles spread his arms wide. “Thus, the three men reunited at the battlefield and confronted the Eastern Peninsula’s army. They learned from the lessons of the past. This battle persisted for over a year.

“In the end, in Prestige Orchid Region, where we are standing on right now, in the Prestige Orchid Snowfield,” Putray said quietly, “Chara the Hero, Kaplan Nicola the Prophet, and Midier Jadestar the Oath Keeper led the Last Allied Forces set on fighting back, and intercepted the Eastern Peninsula’s main forces.

“Here, they began the final battle with the ‘Night Wing King’, Laurie Corleone, who was invincible and highly renowned after invading the Western Peninsula along with the countless ferocious troops under him.”

Thales lowered his head and touched the snow beneath his feet.

‘Prestige Orchid Snowfield. On this land three hundred years ago…’

“The horrifying battle began at dawn. It was said that blood covered the whole snowfield that night, and its reflection illuminated the moon and made it extremely red.” Putray continued showcasing his skills as a bard. “Both parties suffered heavy casualties, and their blood converged into a warm river that melted the snow faster than usual.

“Midier fought until his armor was battered. Chara, the commander in chief, was in danger at some point. Even Kaplan the Prophet lost his life in that heroic battle. Until the moment when dawn came and the morning sun rose.”

The vice diplomat paused for a while. Thales listened quietly. No one interrupted him. Even Nicholas had lowered his head and did not speak.

Amid the silence, Putray said softly, “They won.”

The cold wind whistled over the campfire and caused the crackling flames to burn even brighter.

“This was the Battle of Dawn. It was one of the Four Major Reversal Battles in history, together with the Holiness Exorcism Campaign during the age of feudal kings, the Reversal Gust Battle during the Battle of Eradication, and the War of Brilliance during the Fourth Peninsular War. Of course, this is what all of us in the Western Peninsula say. The kingdoms in the Eastern Peninsula obviously have completely different opinions.”

Putray concluded gradually. “Ever since then, the Hero, the Prophet, and the Oath Keeper were known as the West’s ‘Three Dawn Heroes’.”

Thales took a deep breath.

‘The Battle of Dawn. The story of the Three Heroes.’

And his extraordinary, spontaneous ancestor who was willing to relinquish the throne for the sake of friendship and loyalty.

No one noticed that a cloaked figure in a corner was quietly staring at the campfire without moving after listening to the song and the story from beginning to end.

“Even though Midier threw away the Jadestar Royal Family’s emblem, he still inherited the throne and became the ‘King of Oath-Keeping’, right?” the second prince raised his head to ask.

Putray nodded. “Yes. After the Battle of Dawn, his prestige was unparalleled. He was also the best candidate to inherit the throne. On the other hand, Chara married a lady from the Walton Family. Their son later became the new king of Eckstedt.”

Shiles smiled as he said, “As for Kaplan Nicola, a gigantic bronze statue of him was erected in the center of Good Flow City… to commemorate this wise prophet, his sacrifices, and his contributions to Good Flow City and Camus Union’s status in the Western Peninsula.”

‘Something’s amiss.’ Thales thought.

The backgrounds of the Three Constellation King’s portraits seemed to depict their greatest contributions. Tormond the First’s portrait had the Battle of Eradication as its background. But Thales remembered clearly that in Midier the Fourth’s portrait where the late king wielded a sword and a shield, it had a towering tree as its background.

‘But according to the story, shouldn’t Midier the Fourth’s greatest contribution be the Battle of Dawn?’

At this moment, Nicholas said slowly, “You didn’t mention the last part; what happened after the battle?”

Thales wore a curious expression. “What happened after the battle?”

Putray only spoke after a moment of silence.

“The saddest thing happened,” the vice diplomat said faintly. “After the war, Chara and Midier, the pair of intimate friends who were supposed to be brought closer by life and death… fell apart.

“Constellation and Eckstedt’s relationship, which had initially improved, had also deteriorated quickly as a result.”

Nicholas’ voice rang out.

“Midier took the opportunity to build the Broken Dragon Fortress while Eckstedt was weak. Ever since then, the fortress became our largest threat. A gigantic bastion that can withstand the Day Before the Bitter Cold Winter, set on the border, easy to defend but hard to attack, held countless garrison troops, kept watch on our every move, and can be used as an outpost to advance northwards at any time!”

Nicholas fixed his glare on Thales and said, “If it wasn’t for the fact that the Battle of Dawn just ended, and Chara had become renowned for having dealt the Night Wing King a heavy blow, I have no doubt that Constellation would have advanced north and attacked Eckstedt at that time!”

“Little prince, why do you think we care so much about that stupid fortress of yours?”

Thales was utterly stunned.

‘Broken Dragon Fortress. A distinguished bastion that guards Constellation’s Northern Territory. A staunch city wall, and a fortress that stops the Great Dragon from pushing southwards…

‘So this is how the Eckstedtians see it? An outpost for Constellation to advance towards the north?

‘And…’ He lowered his head. ‘Chara and Midier. Comrades in arms who adventured ten years together and entrusted their lives to each other… they fell out?’

“Why?” Thales clenched his teeth, raised his head and asked, “Why did Chara and Midier fall out?”

Putray sighed and shook his head. “Don’t know.”

“Don’t know?” Nicholas said with a dissatisfied expression, “I know something that is being said about this…”

“That is just an unverified rumor—” Putray said disdainfully.

“At least it is something!” Nicholas rudely cut him off.

Marquis Shiles watched the two men with considerable interest as they argued.

The Star Killer’s voice drowned that of Constellation’s vice diplomat.

“There’s nothing to hide.” Nicholas completely ignored Putray’s unpleasant expression. He sneered and said faintly, “The two most outstanding men in the Battle of Dawn fell out because of a woman.”

‘What?’ Thales’ mouth fell open in shock. ‘A woman?’

Putray exhaled. His expression was still unpleasant. “If you really have to put it this way, you will be looking down on the friendship between the Hero and the Oath Keeper, tarnishing their past glory and shared legends.

“You will also be insulting Queen Aixora’s honor while offending Constellation’s Jadestar Family and Sacred Tree Kingdom’s Leaf Fall Family!”

‘Queen Aixora?’ Thales heard an unfamiliar name. ‘And… Sacred Tree Kingdom, Leaf Fall Family?’

“What of it?” Nicholas said, blunt and cold. “Everyone knows that when Chara persisted and fought alone in Northland, Constellation’s Oath Keeper, Midier Jadestar…

“Snatched Chara’s lover away! He even married her and made her queen after that!”

Under Putray’s displeased gaze, the Star Killer shook his head and said, “An elf queen.”

‘Elf… Queen? The woman Chara loved… Midier the Fourth’s queen?’

The second prince’s heart pounded. Another gust of cold wind whistled past them.

Thales suddenly realized that Aida who was behind him had disappeared at some point.