Volume 2: Chapter 138 – Sylph Unification War XIII (2/2)
|Possessed Skills||Ruler of the Demon Children of Chaos; Defiant Soul; World Devouring Howl; Sword Mastery A-; Dominator; King’s Soul; Ruler’s Wisdom III; Household of the Gods; One-Eyed Snake’s Evil Eye; The King's Dance at the Edge of Death; Magic Manipulation; Soul of the Berserk King; Third Impact (The Third Chant); Warrior's Instinct; Blessing of the Underworld Goddess; Guided One|
|Divine Protection||Goddess of the Underworld (Altesia)|
|Subordinate Beasts||High Kobold Hasu (Lv77); Gastra (Lv20); Cynthia (Lv1); Orc King (Bui) (Lv82)|
|Abnormal Status||Blessing of the One-Eyed Snake; Protection of the Twin-Headed Snake|
“We should attack!” Felbi said.
In the residence of the Symphoria chief, within a large room, was a meeting where the prominent members discussed how they were to deal with the predicament at hand.
The chiefs Fenit, Sheng, Jirad, and Priena had fled here after losing Sinfall. Falun Gastair was also with them, though his village was yet to capitulate. Pale and Felbi were also present.
Felbi has been persistently asking for a while now that they attack posthaste.
Word of the Goblin-Forni Army’s objective had already reached Symphoria through the distant village of Gastair. Just as the intel said, the Goblin-Forni army have started attacking Symphoria’s supply lines.
“If we don’t attack now, it’ll be too late!” Felbi insisted.
“But can we win if we do fight? The difference in our strength should be clear as day,” Falun said, causing Felbi to frown.
“It would be difficult indeed, but delaying only makes our situation worse,” Felbi said.
“So you wish to gamble everything on one battle instead? Do you really think we can win?” Falun’s calm gaze bore heavily on Felbi. “The only soldiers that can fight are the same soldiers who have been fighting from the start. The volunteer soldiers from the small villages have started plotting their escape the moment their villages were captured. Exactly how many soldiers do you think we can muster?”
“…50 heavy infantry, 60 light infantry, 70 archers. This are our current forces,” Pale calmly said, causing all eyes to gather on her, though she didn’t say a word more.
“According to Gastair’s intel, the enemy has taken in the soldiers from the other villages, bringing their current forces to 700,” Falun said.
The enemy was literally three times bigger than their army. The gravity of that difference caused the whole room to go silent.
“Pale,” Felbi called out despite growing irritated at Falun’s incessant questioning. He wanted to seek her opinion, which she gave without turning to him.
“The first issue is the numerical disparity. Sending the same soldiers that fought in the last battle would only tire them out, so it is indeed impossible to increase our numbers, but—”
“Enough!” Fenit, the representative of Symphoria, interjected. “The meeting is adjourned!”
“What? But Pale is still—” Felbi argued.
“Shut it!” Fenit said. “As chief of Symphoria, I hereby order this meeting be adjourned!”
“Ku… I understand. Please excuse me,” Felbi said, standing up and then bowing before finally leaving the room. Pale helplessly followed after him.
After they left, Fenit clicked his tongue in anger. “Did they really think we would stake everything on one battle!? If we followed their plan, who knows what terrifying fate awaits us! At this rate!”
“The goblins will eventually make their move,” Falun said.
The chiefs all gulped when Falun pointed that out.
“We can’t supply our soldiers forever. Not even the emergency reserves will be enough to feed everyone. Not to mention, the soldiers fighting would truly be nothing more than a last stand. At this rate, the long history of Symphoria will vanish into nothingness,” Falun added, causing all members of the meeting to stop breathnig for a moment as they imagined that terrifying possiblity.
“What should be done then?” Jirad asked. Fenit had gone completely quiet out of depression, but he thought the old elf might have a plan in mind. “Is there any guidance you might be willing to share with us, elder?”
“There is, but it is a humiliating path, perhaps more painful than death,” Falun said.
“You couldn’t possibly…” Priena gulped in a long while since losing Sinfall.
“We should reconciliate. Look for a way to make peace,” Falun said.
“Now? Of all times?” The short statured Silver who had barely managed to flee Sheng with his life powerlessly shook his head.
“Perhaps a mere surrender won’t be accepted. In that case, we could offer them a tribute of some kind,” Falun said.
By this time, the people gathered finally understood where Falun was getting at. Now, they wondered who Falun had in mind. They exchanged glances amonge themselves, wondering wretchedly who should be sacrificed.
“For example, the person who made them suffer the most in this war,” Falun suggested.
Silver immediately disapproved. “But that’s…”
But Fenit was all for it. “Do you think they’ll accept?”
He even ignored Silver and directly asked Falun how likely the goblins were to accept.
“The enemies are goblins. Have you ever heard of a goblin refusing a fair maiden? Not to mention, the very person responsible for much of their suffering.”
“Meanwhile, we can bide our time and recover our forces,” Jirad said, earning Priena’s approval.
“Goblin rule wouldn’t last anyway. I’m sure even Shure will be abandoned.”
At the onset of a faint hope, the voices of the chiefs naturally became smaller.
“But who’s going to negotiate peace with them? Will Shure even hear us out?” Jirad asked, causing the room to go quiet again.
“Let me take that stage,” Falun confidently said. “I was once his teacher, after all.”
There was no other path left. They had their doubts, but there was nothing they could do but accept Falun’s proposal and see how things go.
“What about the soldiers? Do you think they’ll quietly accept this?” The chief of Sinfall, Priena, asked.
Falun caressed his beard. “That will be a problem, actually. We will have to find a way to separate her from the soldiers.”
“I-I have something that can help with that! I have proof that Pale betrayed us!” Fenit excitedly said.
Unfortunately, poor Fenit did not notice Falun’s miscihevous smile as he excitedly revealed his plans. And neither did the rest of the excited chiefs.
From that day on, a strange rumor started circulating within Symphoria.
—Pale has been tricked by the demigod of the night god’s household, Verdna, and has betrayed us. That’s why we lost!
That rumour quickly spread.
10 days after the meeting, it suddenly happened.
Selena and Pale were relaxing in their residence when out of the blue, the door was suddenly kicked, and in came rushing Fenit’s private soldiers. Before anyone knew it, Pale was tied up with a rope and a sword was pointed at her neck.
“What are you doing!?” Selena cried, but the soldiers quickly knocked her out to make her quiet.
Without a word, those same soldiers took Pale and dragged her to the plaza, where the people showered her with jeers.
Waiting for her there were Fenit and the other chiefs.
“I can’t believe you had the gall to betray us, Pale!” Fenit’s voice was tinged with both hate and a faint trace of joy.
The crowd jeered harder when they heard Fenit’s accusation.
“W-What are you saying!?” Pale thought she was seeing a nightmare. “What is the meaning of this, Fenit!?”
“Don’t call my name with your dirty mouth, traitor!” Fenit said as he slapped Pale on the cheek.
“This woman has sold her soul to the demigod of the night god’s household, Verdna, and has brought a calamity upon my village!” Fenit declared.
“What foolish thing are you saying! I have no relations with Verdna!” Pale argued.
“Unfortunately, we have eyewitnesses. Two, in fact.” Fenit pointed to a female elf he had whispered to once before and a man serving in her unit as a messenger.
“I stand witness that Pale Symphoria has indeed spoken to Verdna at the bathhouse of Sheng!” The woman said out loud.
“That wasn’t Verdna!” Pale argued.
“Not Verdna!? Then who was it you were meeting at Sheng’s bathhouse?” Fenit asked.
“I… I don’t know that either, but—”
“Look! The traitor can’t even come up with an excuse! Truly, a detestable liar!”
“You’re wrong! I’m not—”
Pale desperately tried to defend herself but her words could only vanish into the jeering crowd.
“Let us hear what the people want then! Those who wish to see Pale executed, clap your hands!”
The resulting applause was like the heavy downpour of death, crying out for Pale’s soul.
“I have heard your pleas. And I would like to grant your wish! But before that, there is something I wish to ask,” Fenit asked.
The crowd went quiet.
“Pale has indeed committed a great crime. But can we oppose the will of the gods? Is there anyone who can say with confidence that they couold go against the will of the gods!?”
The crowd exchanged glances with each other.
“None, of course. I think so too. If destiny was decided by the gods, then would not Pale herself be no more than a victim?”
Falun was thinking that things had taken a strange turn, but Pale was able to correctly guess Fenit’s intention. The man was intending to use her until every drop of blood from her body had been sucked dry.
“That being said, however, we cannot simply let her go unpunished. For to do so would be to spit upon those who have perished; therefore—!”
Fenit spread his arms and said. “We shall crush her eyes, and then exile her!”
The crowd cheered at Fenit’s proclamation.
Sitting before me were the elders of the elves I’ve been fighting.
Every one of them looked at me with fear in their eyes as they either flattered me or frowned in disgust.
15 days after Sinfall capitulated, when we were halfway done with our roads as we prepared for our eventual clash with Pale, the report came.
The elves have surrendered.
“Impossible,” I thought immediately, but it was only for a moment, as the man who declared himself to be Falun Gastair’s messenger told us the appointed date and the procedure.
“Don’t they still have soldiers?” I asked Shure as soon as the messenger left.
“Elder Falun must’ve convinced them. As usual, he’s good with dirty things like this.”
Apparently, this was the real deal.
“Their conditions?” I asked.
“They will be handing Pale Symphoria, Selena Shiren, and the commander, Felbi,” Shure said.
“Isn’t Pale Symphoria their benefactor?”
It was precisely because of her that the chiefs were saved during the battle at Sinfall. Didn’t they abandon their lives during that battle?
“Elder Falun didn’t say anything in the reports about a trap. They seem to be truly intending to hand over their heroes in exchange for their lives,” Shure said with disgust.
He must be furious. After all, the race he is so proud of is acting like some lower lifeform. To someone as noble as him, it must be a feeling no different from having mud thrown at his face.
It seems Selena is being sent with them.
“I understand. We’ll accept their peace, but they must ensure that they hand over those people safely. If those people have even a scratch on them, they will pay with their heads.”
A curious look appeared on Shure’s beautiful face.
“You can’t use them as hostages, yet they’re that valuable?”
“They are far more valuable than having the chiefs as hostage. It wouldn’t do if they were to be killed just like that… Besides, with this we’ve finally unified the sylph.”
We have never spoken, but I am deeply interested in that elven woman, Pale. Polished strategies that led her armies to victory, a charm that encourages her allies… Yes, I must have her.
“…I have troubled you much during this war,” Shure quietly closed his eyes and deeply bowed.
“We’re friends, right? There’s no need to be so formal,” I wryly smiled.
Shure nodded. “Thank you for giving me this opportunity to deal with them with my own hands.”
“I only take what I want,” I said.
And then, we went to the designated place.
That day, the 76-day Sylph Unification War ended in the victory of the Goblin-Forni Army.
At the designated place, the leading actors, Pale and Felbi, were handed over to the goblins, but the Goblin-Forni coalition demanded one more thing from Symphoria.
They demanded that the chiefs be dismissed.
Of course, the chiefs refused, but then the Goblin King said this.
“Shall I draw the curtains on war once more?”
The pressure emanated by the Goblin King silenced the chiefs, forcing them to accept his conditions.
The Sage’s Council was recreated under Shure’s leadership, and the whole sylph race allied themselves with the goblins. From that day on, the elves began to move.
—240 days until the war with the humans.
Tl Note: ♪♫♬ If you want Pale to be executed, clap your hands! ♪♫♬