Chapter 99 - Uncertain Fate

Kingdom’s Bloodline Masterless Sword, 无主之剑 2022/9/13 16:51:30

Chapter 99: Uncertain Fate

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

Their fist and palm met each other.

Both Arracca and Sonia trembled slightly.

It was a low, heavy noise, which sounded extremely similar to the sound of a sandbag landing on the ground.

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But Thales shuddered, as if a blunt and heavy hammer was struck against his heart!

‘This is… a fight between supreme class elites?’

It was quiet and simple.

Without wasting any energy, without any extra and unnecessary movements.

Thales noticed that the crowd was whispering among themselves.

Many soldiers were also pointing their fingers at the both of them.

“Oh, no… how many times has it been?”

“Must they tear each other apart before those Northlanders make their attack?”

The two commanders were fighting head on. But at the same time, they continued to stand in their original positions as they resisted each other’s attack without backing down even the slightest.

Sonia’s eyes were unfeeling whereas Arracca had a fierce look on his face.

The soldiers behind the two of them came to a realization and reacted to the situation.

The veterans behind Sonia drew out their swords viciously and they surrounded their commander in an orderly manner.

On the other hand, the sword-and-shield troops around Arracca had an intense look on their faces. They took precisely one step forward and formed a wall with their shields in order to protect Arracca’s flanks.

The two troops were filled with murderous intent and they glared angrily at each other with mutual hostility.

The crowd became increasingly chaotic.

“My god, Starlight Brigade and the Fury Guards are present at the same time…”

“Didn’t the military officer in charge of arranging the work shift intentionally make sure that their shifts would not overlap?”

“Don’t tell me someone’s going to die this time?

“I have a bad feeling about this.”

Almost everyone was watching the confrontation between the two big commanders, with all kinds of complicated feelings stirring within them…

Thales furrowed his brows and took a step forward.

Everyone turned around at the same time to look at the prince, who had a sour expression on his face.

Thales took a look at his surroundings.

‘What on earth is going on?

‘Sonia and Arracca…’

Putray whispered to him from his back, “This is exactly what I was talking about. You are the only who can step in, young prince.”

Thales shook his head.

“Back off, soldiers,” He yelled at the two parties enveloped in a tense atmosphere.

“For all our sakes as Constellatiates, put away your weapons.”

But no one paid him any attention.

Sonia and Arracca both heard what Thales said, but the enraged duo seemed to be more interested in each other.

The subordinates behind them—who according to the crowd, seemed to be the Starlight Brigade and Fury Guards—did not avert their gaze. They just stood behind their respective commanding officers with much loyalty and devotion.

The prince was given the cold shoulder as no one acknowledged him.

Putray closed his eyes and shook his head helplessly.

The whispers of the onlookers became louder as they pointed their fingers at Thales.

Many of their gazes revealed their mockery and ridicule.

This child was their new prince?

Thales felt that he was in an awkward situation.

‘Umm, what should I do?

‘Rush forward and pull them apart?

‘But… Even though Sonia is in an extremely angry state, that Arracca does not seem to be placing any importance on her.

‘I must find something that they care about.’

His brain was working rapidly.

The conversation between Sonia and Arracca materialized in his mind.

An idea appeared in Thales’ head as he took a deep breath.

The prince heard his young voice rise into the air, “I am Thales Jadestar, the Second Prince of Constellation.”

Thales raised his right hand at the two parties and pointed north.

“Maybe some people know that, for the sake of Constellation’s peace and for everyone’s lives here in the fortress…

“I will soon head north to Eckstedt and pay for their prince’s death with my life.”

The surrounding soldiers burst into an uproar.

Broken Dragon Fortress was not isolated. The news from the National Conference had already made its way there a long time ago.

Many of the people’s gazes changed in an instant as they looked at Thales. Some turned into sympathy while some into indignation, anger, and even regret.

Yet Sonia and Arracca’s gazes were still firmly locked onto each other.

Thales adjusted his own breathing and tried his best to appear more relaxed as he walked closer to where they were confronting each other.

Then he spread his hands and gave them a resigned smile. “As for the two commanding officers and your subordinates, before you dig out each other’s hearts, you should at least give a Jadestar Prince, who is going to meet his end soon, some proper respect, right?

“For instance, could you fight only after you have sent me off to my death?”

The whispers of the surrounding soldiers became increasingly louder.

Putray nodded slightly.

Sonia and Arracca discovered that a barely noticeable crease appeared between their brows.

But Thales immediately switched the conversation as he snorted in derision.

“Oh, of course. Perhaps you have already gotten used to this since for a long time.” Thales turned around and stared at the surrounding soldiers as he slipped his hand into his pocket in a relaxed manner.

He was prepared to take out the royal family’s Nine-Pointed Star brooch and show it to everyone.

The next sentence Thales was going to say would have him relying on his last name.

However, he could not feel the Nine-Pointed Star brooch.

He only had the fang bracelet in his pocket, which the Night Queen gave him as a keepsake of the Corleone Family before they parted.

Thales’ smile froze for about zero point one seconds.

‘Damn that Katerina… She did not return the Nine-Pointed Star brooch to me!’

Nonetheless, the smile returned to the prince’s face at lightning speed.

He transformed the bewilderment he felt when he stuck his hand into his empty pocket to a relaxed expression, as if he was about to take a picture with his hand in his pocket.

Thales turned back to the two people, who were still up against each other’s throats, and sneered.

“After all, this is not the first time the both of you… have seen a Jadestar dying in front of you…”

A tremble traveled through Sonia’s body.

Whereas Arracca looked like he was struggling.

Memories of their past welled up in their hearts.

The voices of the surrounding soldiers got even louder.

“You have heard about it as well? Both of them are…”

“Anyway, I do not understand why they find each other so displeasing…”

‘One, two, three…’ Thales was counting the seconds in his heart.

‘Please, give me some respect!’

He felt the awkwardness welling up in him again.

Finally, both of the commanders snorted coldly and abruptly let go of each other.

The guards on both sides sheathed their swords, but they still stared at the opposite party with a dark expression on their faces.

Thales sighed in relief.

By the side, Putray gave him a wicked grin and winked at him.

Gilbert would have never been so disrespectful.

Thales returned an angry glare towards him.

But he knew that the matter was not yet settled.

“Very good, should… we settle the matter ahead of us?” Thales rubbed his palms together as he grinned and pointed at Willow Ken, who was stunned.

Arracca snorted impatiently. “Are you going to judge this yourself, young prince?”

“What now, do you have any objections to that?” Sonia snorted. “He is the most suitable person around here with his status.”

‘No. This is not just a trial. This can also be the conflict and disagreement between two commanders.’

He looked at Willow, who had a pleading expression on his face. ‘Also, this is about the life and death of a person.’

He lifted his head and looked at the military officer who was in charge of the execution.

“Is there anyone who can verify his words? What about the person he saved?”

The military officer in charge seemed like he had never spoken to any members of the royal family before. He took a step back as he was overwhelmed by the sudden honor of speaking to royalty. Then he shook his head. “There is no one… which is why we suspect that he is lying.”

Thales furrowed his eyebrows.

‘This is not looking good.’

“To confirm whether he is an army deserter… please bring me his weapon.”

The military officer nodded nervously.

Soon, under everyone’s watchful gaze, a pair of wooden sticks, which were much shorter than a spear, were presented to Thales. The damaged wooden sticks were still stained with dried blood and the metal tip could barely be seen from the side.

From the surface, it indeed seemed like a broken spear.

However… Thales stared at the black-haired young man.

“You can… fight with dual pikes?”

Willow nodded his head forcefully. “I-I can!”

“Another lie,” the military officer shook his head and said, “There is absolutely no soldier who went through this type of training, not to mention, he is only a fisherman!”

Thales exhaled deeply.

He glanced at the surrounding soldiers whose gazes were burning brightly. He then looked at Sonia’s hopeful gaze, Arracca’s intimidating gaze, and Putray’s perplexed expression.

“If he can use the two pikes proficiently—” Thales muttered.

Arracca lighty snorted at that moment and cut Thales off.

“Regardless of whether he is an army deserter, there is no doubt that he disobeyed a command and ran back to the battlefield.” This intrepid man sneered at the prince.

“What? If he can use two pikes, are you going to declare him not guilty by using your Jadestar privilege? Esteemed second prince?”

‘Disobey? This is bad.’

“Then, are you going to directly put him to death?” Sonia went head to head with him as she replied coldly, “What if he is innocent—”

“On the battlefield, no one cares if you are innocent or otherwise!” Arracca cut her off harshly.

“It does not matter whether you intended to run or save someone, you disobeyed the rules and you have to pay for it.”

Sonia was rendered speechless in an instant.

She could only turn her head over and look at Thales hesitantly. “I respect your decision, Your Highness.”

Arracca stared at Thales and said in disdain, “Continue, pardon his crime, and see if he will still disobey the rules next time… Perhaps by then, he would not only cause death to himself.”

Willow’s face went pale in an instant. He was drenched in his own sweat as his gaze kept going back and forth between Arracca and Thales.

Thales furrowed his brows.

‘This is troublesome.’

Arracca, Sonia, Putray and the surrounding soldiers, including Willow all directed their gazes on him.

‘What should I do?

‘Hang him? What would Sonia and the surrounding soldiers think about that?

‘Pardon him? What about Arracca, the military orders and rules?

‘Or simply change it to another punishment.

‘No, it is not appropriate… Darn it.

‘Gilbert never taught me this…’

“Wait… Gilbert?”

Thales muttered to himself and made his decision.

“Willow Ken, I cannot be certain if you are an army deserter,” the second prince walked towards Willow and said to him, “and so, I cannot convict you as guilty and I cannot hang you.”

Willow sighed in relief.

“See, this is the starting point to losing a war…” As expected, Arracca snorted and also as expected, he received an angry glare from Sonia.

Some soldiers who agreed with Arracca started to shake their heads.

But what Thales said afterwards made Willow nervous again.

“However, if you truly disobeyed the rules, I cannot declare you innocent as well,” Thales shook his head and said.

“I cannot pass judgement.”

Everyone at the scene suddenly fell silent.

And then the entire crowd broke into an uproar.

Sonia fiercely furrowed her brows. ‘What does this mean?’

“Ha, guilty and not guilty?” Arracca sneered.

“So what are you going to do, my prince? How about you shorten the garrotte into half?”

Thales remained expressionless.

He raised his hand slightly and clenched his fist to have the crowd quite down.

Thales said softly, “But you did say, Willow, that you retreated to save your comrade.”

Willow lifted his gaze and looked at the second prince, still trembling.

“It does not matter whether you have truly done this or not, such a spirit is very honorable.”

Thales’ voice echoed among the crowd standing in the narrow street.

“So, I cannot hang you.”

A tremble coursed through Willow’s body as he stared at the prince in disbelief.

Thales continued. “It is not because of your conduct, whether it is not guilty or otherwise.

“But it is because I cannot let the others be afraid of what happens to you after what you did and become hesitant in saving their comrades… this is not something that they should hesitate in doing,” Thales replied faintly.

The crowd’s gazes on Thales changed.

Sonia had a happy look on her face whereas Arracca furrowed his brows deeply.

Only Putray had a complicated and deep look in his eyes.

Thales’ expression became solemn as he said seriously, “This does not mean that you are not guilty and that you do not have to pay the price for disobeying military orders.”

Willow’s breathing started to speed up.

“Willow Ken, in the subsequent battles, you must save the lives of more than ten comrades,” Thales said resolutely.

“This will be the price you have to pay for not being hanged. Only by doing so will you be able to offset the offense of disobeying the rules and wash away the suspicion of being an army deserter.

“You must save ten of them!”

Under everyone’s watchful gaze, Thales took out JC’s dagger and walked behind Willow without any expression on his face. He placed the sharp blade near the rope that bound Willow’s hands together.

Thales took a deep breath and forcefully cut the rope.

Abashed, Thales discovered that the strength in his hand was a little too weak.

Perhaps, with his current speed, he would have needed more than ten seconds to cut open the tied rope.

He felt the gazes of the crowd surrounding him.

‘This, this, this…

‘The atmosphere is very much ruined!’

At this very moment, that familiar fluctuation rushed into both of Thales’ hands.

It was as if his blood suddenly sped up. The muscles in his right hand trembled and a strength much stronger than what he could usually muster erupted forth from within him!

The rope around Willow’s hands was cut off in an instant.

Thales put his dagger back and forced himself not to look at the bloody wound he accidently caused on the back of Willow’s hand. ‘Ahem.’

“Therefore, I will use your future behavior in exchange for your current life and freedom.

“Do you understand, Willow Ken?”

He stared solemnly at Willow, who had just regained his freedom.

Willow was panting as he kneeled on the ground and looked at Thales.

He parted his trembling lips.

“Yes… Yes… Prince Thales!” he shouted in excitement.

“Save ten people! I will remember it!”

“There is another request,” Thales said indifferently.

Willow was momentarily stunned.

All of a sudden, Thales put on a smile, which had disappeared for a long while and said, “Go and change those two pikes of yours. They cannot even stab a fish in the river to death in their worn out condition.”

Willow Ken took three deep breaths.

Then, he put on a smile that showed his relief of being let off the hook. Willow nodded desperately. “Yes, I will sincerely obey your command!”

Thales turned his head around and looked at his surroundings.

Sonia gave him a smile and looked at him with a gratified expression.

“Very appropriate, Your Highness.”

The Fortress Flower walked brusquely over to Thales, and while Thales still had a sour expression on his face, she lifted him from the ground!

It was unknown who was the first who started to clap, but one by one, the surrounding soldiers started to applaud!

There were even some people who started to cheer.

There was also someone who shouted, “Our prince!”

Sonia laughed heartily and held Thales on her shoulder. His complexion had become utterly pale. She rubbed his head with all her strength. “You are one qualified Jadestar!”

“Sly little brat,” Arracca stared coldly at Thales as he mumbled to himself. He swung his arm as a gesture for his subordinates to leave. Then, he exited the area together with his subordinates while the crowd applauded.

Only Aida had a confused expression on her face as she asked the pensive Putray standing by her side, “What did he just do?”

Thales, who had always been originally weak and feeble, became increasingly dizzy when he was placed down after Sonia swung him around in two circles. He could only grab onto Putray’s robe powerlessly and retch.

Under the lead of a few soldiers, Putray and Thales walked towards the barracks, which had been prepared for the prince. Aida followed them and she had a sick complexion, again due to the freezing weather.

Thales sighed, “I thought trouble would only arrive after we reach Eckstedt.”

However, Putray did not reply him.

“Your Highness,” Putray said quietly. He did not notice that he was using honorifics while speaking.

“What did you think of that solution?”

Thales was briefly taken aback. ‘Hmm?’

“You did not kill that soldier, instead you made him commit meritorious deeds in the future,” Putray said as he walked.

Thales rubbed his cold, red hands together and puffed out a breath of warm air against them “Er, about that… Gilbert was actually the one who told me about it. It was related to my uncle, Midier Jadestar.”

Putray’s expression changed and he furrowed his brows.

“Gilbert said that he had once messed up a diplomatic task because he did not cooperate well with his colleagues.” Thales recalled the conversation and did not pay any attention to Putray’s expression. “But Prince Midier did not punish him. Rather, he allowed Gilbert to make up for the ‘debt’ that he owed Constellation with greater meritorious deeds in the future.”

Putray furrowed his brows tightly whereas Thales lifted his eyebrows.

“The Far Easterners also have a saying that goes ‘atone for one’s crimes by performing good deeds’—but that is only limited to important people. I could not directly use this saying to save a low-ranked soldier like Willow, so I had to use the reason of saving his comrades in order to convince other people.

“But in the end, this is not a really good solution.” Thales spread his hands. “Think about it, if all the army deserters come back and say ‘I ran away to save my comrade…'”

“So, you are imitating Prince Midier?” Putray did not listen to Thales speak, but he slowly said, “Gilbert probably hopes that you will be the next Midier.”

Thales was confounded.

He scratched his head. “Umm… this matter probably affected Gilbert very deeply.”

“Ah, yes.” Putray let out a long sigh. He was thinking about something in his heart when he said, “Gilbert indeed saved the entire of Constellation during the negotiation of the ‘Fortress Treaty’ after that. He atoned for his mistake of being hostile towards Steel City… Otherwise, according to the law at the time, this matter was more than enough to send him to jail.”

Thales turned his head around in curiosity. “Oh, Putray… you also know about this incident?”

“Of course, Your Highness.” Putray seemed like he had already gotten used to addressing Thales as ‘Your Highness’. He spoke in a faint manner, “That year, Gilbert did not mess things up because he did not cooperate well with his colleagues.”

Thales widened his eyes.

“At the time, Gilbert was only a descendant of a degraded noble. He was ostracized and deliberately framed by his colleagues when he first arrived at the Foreign Affairs Department as the prince’s attendant, which was why he ended up in that sort of plight.” Putray sighed.

“Ah?” Thales asked in bewilderment, “Is that so?”

Putray slowly nodded. “So, it was only after that incident did he pour his blood, sweat and tears to contribute to Constellation… He believed it was the debt he owed to Midier and Constellation.”

“Everyone has their own life’s journey and their fate is always uncertain.” Thales sighed as he casually shrugged his shoulders. “Did he tell you about this matter?”

“No, he did not.” Putray’s gaze was deep and his words had a faint tint of grief as well as remorse.

“But I know more than him.”

Thales lifted his head.

He saw Putray taking in a deep breath as he slowly enunciated each word.

“Because… Back in the day, I was the person who ostracized and framed him in the Foreign Affairs Department.”

Thales was stupefied.

‘This is so awkward.’

“Er, about that,” he said awkwardly, “Maybe, if you had not carried out those actions before, Gilbert would not become such a remarkable Foreign Affairs Minister and Administrative Minister today.”

“Yes, maybe,” Putray said bitterly, “Constellation is very lucky to have such an outstanding and selfless—”

A familiar voice could be heard behind them.

It seemed like the owner was only barely restraining his anger.

Thales and Putray turned around in surprise.

The second prince’s attendant, Wya Caso could be seen staring at them, looking unhappy.

“Wya…” Thales opened his mouth in confusion.

‘He is… angry?’

“Your Highness!” Wya seemed like he was doing his best to control his emotions. He took two deep breaths before he returned to normal and slowly said, “Chora… Chora, he is dying soon.”

The color on Thales’ face changed immediately.

Chora, the head of Jadestar Family’s Private Army was currently lying on the bed in the barracks. His face was pale.

“I-I have a younger sister,” Chora’s eyes were without focus as he spoke in a delirious state, “She is in the capital, in the capital…”

Wya Caso, who was wrapped in bandages said with a regretful look on his face, “Your Highness, the vampires have injured him too seriously…”

Thales let out a long sigh. “Is there no other way at all to save him?”

Wya shook his head with a sorrowful expression on his face. “We looked for help from every military doctor in the fortress, but they are only military doctors. I am afraid that they do not have such medical expertise…”

Thales furrowed his brows. “Are there any other doctors?”

Putray wrinkled his forehead. “The Cold Castle is the nearest, and they do have a doctor. But… I am afraid that there is not enough time.

“Also, the Eckstedtians have emptied the… In short, the road is very unsafe.”

“You have to accept reality.” Aida sighed under her cloak. “At least, let him leave without any worries and regrets as he gets on his way to hell’s river.”

Thales looked at Chora, who was lying on the bed. He remembered how he had poked him until the soldier laughed for the first time in Mindis Hall.

And also when he brought the swordsmen and mercenaries to fight against the vampires.

Chora shielded Thales by putting himself between Thales and Serena together with his comrades.

Not to mention… the battle to resist the Blood Clan in the birch tree forest…

He closed his eyes in sadness.

‘Darn it.’

“Prince Thales!”

Everyone turned their heads around.

A young man with black hair and brown eyes could be seen standing at the entrance of the barracks.

That ‘army deserter’ who was almost hanged.

Willow bowed before Thales respectfully and gave him a grateful smile. “I am really too happy to see you! I was sent to inform you…”

He glanced inside the barrack and swept his glance over the dying Chora.

Willow immediately stopped smiling and he spoke with fear as well as trepidation, “Err… About that… the two commanders have invited you and the vice diplomat over…”

Thales sighed and stared at Chora with a heartbroken gaze.

He nodded and walked out of the room along with Putray and Aida.

“Is that your subordinate, Your Highness?” Willow asked cautiously.

“Yes, but we are unable to save him.

“I hope he passes peacefully,” Thales said absent-mindedly, “Willow, how did you become an orderly officer?”

Willow shrugged and said helplessly, “Well, after all… many people still think that I am an army deserter…”

Thales nodded absent-mindedly but his footsteps came to a stop.

“Let the commanders wait for a while. I am going to send him off to his final destination.

“He is dying because of me…”

Thales turned around sorrowfully and looked at Chora, who was on his deathbed.

Putray shook his head and waved at Willow.

Thales walked back to the bed and stared at Chora, who was still mumbling to himself. Thales clenched his fists tightly.

‘If only Chora and the other Jadestar private soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the birch tree forest had not followed me…

Right at this very moment, “Your Highness… that…”

Willow could not help but voice up.

Putray and the others stared at him in displeasure.

“Please do not make him rush,” Wya said unhappily, “Please, give the dying some respect…. even if you are the ferryman of hell’s river.”

“No,” Willow gestured with his hands as he said anxiously.

“Yesterday, when I was treated as an army deserter, I was directly locked into the dungeon… that dungeon…”

“This is not a good time to express your gratitude,” Putray furrowed his brows as he spoke.

“Ah, no.” Willow shook his head.

He panted and said, “I know someone from the dungeon who was locked up because he seemed suspicious…”

The young soldier was speaking loudly.

“That man mentioned that… He’s a doctor!”

Thales and the others were shocked and they stared at Willow.

“That’s right, he also said that his name is… Ramon!”

Willow finally said what he wanted to say. He scratched his head and revealed a bright smile.

“He is a doctor from the capital.

“According to him… he has excellent medical expertise.”