Guild Wars - Chapter 254

Published at 21st of November 2020 10:14:05 PM

Chapter 254: 254
Deployed Soldier stood in front of an army of 100,000 men with his hands folded behind his back . He had long since stopped being a mere Private that was expendable on the battlefield .  

He had worked his way up to become a true General of a Field Army, a task previously thought impossible for a male in the matriarchal continent of Vasto .  

He stood atop a small stage erected on his side of the battlefield, which was located in open plains that seemed to go on for miles . The grass was green and very lush, but Deployed Solider knew that it would be painted red very soon .  

Opposite his troops was another Field Army of about the same size, led by a woman clad in red medium armor . She was on a horse, and her army was still arranging themselves on the battlefield since they had arrived far later .  

Soon, the place became quiet . Both groups were staring each other down, killing intent and the will to battle emanating from each side like a whirlwind .  

The hardy looking woman from the other army rode forth on a horse, stopping at the halfway point between them . Deployed Solider also took the reins of his personal steed in hand and followed suit .  

When the two generals were face to face, they stared at each other silently, devoid of any emotions .  

"Your rise is still quite the tale, despite you claiming it was nothing . " The female general greeted him .  

"I am simply a soldier deployed in war . I am merely doing my part for the Favrolo Kingdom, just as you are for the Kierr Nation . " Deployed Solider answered stoically .  

The female general sneered . "Modest to the very end, eh? This shall be our final battle . Both our sides do not have any more able-bodied troops to send to their death, so we won't be getting any reinforcements for many years . " 

"Whoever wins or loses will be decided today . I have grown tired of our continuous stalemates over the years . It is time to see who, between you and I, is the true Great Commander!" 

The female general turned her horse around and rode away, leaving a silent Deployed Solider behind . He sighed and spoke under his breath .  

"The fact that you view your men as means to display your brilliance, and not fellow humans, is why you will never be a Great Commander . " 

He turned his horse around and rode back to his army . When he stopped in front of them, he surveyed his men calmly, looking each of them in the eye .  

"My brothers, the time has come . Many of you might have heard that this would be our final battle, but I doubt it will be so . I am confident in you, my own sworn brothers, who have fought along with me for years, to come out on top . " 

He ate the same food they did, drank the same shitty rum, shat in the same terrible latrines and always slept in the same tents as they did . If it weren't for his position, he would seem like just another regular soldier .  

However, his skill in battle set him apart from the others, as well as his ability to lead a smaller force into a battle with a larger force and come out with either a win, or at least a draw .  

As such, his men raised their spears, bows or swords to the sky and shouted out: "For Man, For Kingdom, For God!" 

Deployed Soldier nodded and turned to gaze at the other side . Simultaneously, the female general was speaking to her men in order to raise morale .  

"One final battle! It shall be the last, so prove your worth to me, and our grand nation! You have fought for many years in this war and have grown stronger for it, have you not? Well, fight one more and it will all be over!" 

She waved her hands grandly as she spoke, depicting a grand scene . "With victory comes citizenship! You will have proper statuses and would be able to find a wife who can manage your families! If you perform exceptionally, even nobility isn't out of the question!" 

She gazed at her men with a sharp gleam in her eye . "But all of this hinges on your victory today! Defeat is not allowed, it is unacceptable! Today, we fight to the last man in order to claim our futures! At dawn we shall be the only ones left!" 

Her men also raised their weapons and shouted out: "For Honor, For Glory, For Success!" 

Deployed Solider shook his head . Her speech was grand, but it was fundamentally wrong . She was enticing them with the future, giving them a temporary boost in morale since they felt that the future would be bright .  

But unlike his men, who truly wanted to be here to fight, her men didn't . If the battle was even, or as long as she had a slight advantage, everything would be fine .  

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But the moment his side took the advantage and sustained it, their wills would start to crumble and disperse after a while . At that point, it would lead to a full rout .  

Deployed Soldier unsheathed his gleaming sword and pointed it at the enemy . He did not shout 'charge' or the like, but he began galloping forward with a serious expression on his face .  

His men, as if they had read his mind, all silently charged forth . There was a glint in their eyes that told of a burning fire within, a determination to fight to the very end, no matter what happened .  

The female general saw their charge and smirked . She took out her own sword and pointed at Deployed Soldier's forces, shouting: "Charge!" 

Her troops roared noisily as they rushed forth, their eyes also had a glint, yet theirs just showed a determination not to die quickly . If they wanted to enjoy the fruits of their labor, they needed to be alive first .  

So, it was natural that when both armies collided, the army of Kierr Nation were on the defensive . Their strikes were light, and their senses were focused on perceiving incoming attacks and avoiding them .  

Meanwhile, the army of Favrolo Kingdom fought like wild beasts released from a cage . Their strikes were heavy, and they trusted their skills to prevent them from dying until they took the life of, at least, one man .  

With these different ideologies and fighting styles, a clear distinction was drawn in the quality of each army, and quickly revealed who was taking the lead .  

The men of the Kierr Nation were suppressed by their enemies' craziness and determination to kill, with their own burning will to live being snuffed out . They were getting mentally and spiritually overwhelmed .  

The men of the Favrolo Army took lives like gardeners pruning bushes, howling in joy with every man they killed . Even if they were also run through with a weapon, they would laugh madly and make sure to take their killer down with them .  

This ate away at the morale of the Kierr Army, and then they performed one of the most fatal mistakes in battle . They began to step back slowly, trying to escape the madness of their enemies .  

It wasn't desertion because they hadn't broken rank, but it was clear that their morale was decreasing rapidly and their will to fight was waning . If something didn't happen soon to stabilize their morale, they would desert .  

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"WHAT ARE YOU FOOLS DOING?!" The female general roared as she fought with Deployed Solider in an epic sword battle .  

"What you told them to . Survive . " Deployed Soldier pointed out calmly as he parried an overhead swing from the woman and kicked her in her gut, knocking her back .  

She gasped for air as she clutched her belly, gazing at Deployed Solider with confusion . "What I told them…? I told them to win! What does that have to do with their current cowardice?!" 

Deployed Solider looked at the female general with pity . "Barbara, have you ever told them why they fight? Have you ever given them a reason to do so from the bottom of their hearts?" 

"What nonsense is this? They are soldiers fighting for our very nation! What other reason is there?" Barbara spat, some blood dribbling between her lips .  

"That is your - and every one of the other generals' - mistake . You assume the men beneath you are unthinking dogs that move where you want them to because they genuinely want to . " 

Deployed Soldier walked towards Barbara with his sword at the ready . "They are not . They are not pawns on a chess board . They are humans, people just like you . They feel fear, hate, want and more . They do not want to die, yet your force them to do so . " 

Barbara raised herself up and mounted a defense as she roared at Deployed Solider, who was slashing at her with quick but precise strikes . "Then if they do fear death, why not channel that into fighting for victory?" 

"That is possible, if victory is assured . But the moment it becomes uncertain, so too will their will to fight . Your men fight to live because you painted a bright future for them . " 

Deployed Soldier deflected her sword, leaving her wide open . Then he cut off her sword arm, leaving a bleeding stump there as Barbara screamed in pain .  

"However, to enjoy such a future, one must be alive first . So, on their minds the priority is not to come out the victor, but first and foremost survive until the end by all means necessary . When that desire is threatened, their will to fight dissipates . " 

Deployed Soldier shook his head and walked up to Barbara calmly, who clutched her stump with a disbelieving expression . "How… how can this be…? We've fought for years, but this never…" 

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Deployed Soldier paused and for the first time, his stoic expression changed into one of awkwardness . "Well… I was given this chance by my guild leader, so I should at least learn all I can from it before defeating the last boss . " 

Barbara's expression showed incomprehension to the highest degree . "All these years… all these battles… you could have killed me and won, but you only let it end in a draw… just for the chance to better yourself?!" 

"Pff… ha…haha… . hahaha!!" She began laughing, insanity in her voice as her thread of reason snapped . The pain of losing blood, her arm, as well as the revelation that she was used as a 'sharpening tool' for her archenemy all this while made her lose it all .  

Deployed Soldier shook his head and made a clean swipe across her neck, severing her head with ease . She still had that mad expression on her detached head, but Deployed Soldier calmly grabbed it and walked into view of both armies .  

The Favrolo Army had retained more than 90,000 men from the original 100,000 while the Kierr army was left with barely 50,000 . It was clear who the victor was, and the Kierr Army were on the verge of breaking ranks to flee .  

Deployed Soldier didn't shout or make any extra movements, but every head found themselves instinctively turning his way . There was a long spell of silence, until Deployed Soldier held up the head of Barbara .  

When his troops saw it, they roared with glee . When Barbara's troops saw it, their morale broke, and they dropped their weapons in defeat . Without her to at least guide their escape, there was no point .  

Turning their backs to run at this time would see them routed in full . As such, they surrendered without even trying to escape, hoping for enemy's mercy .  

While Deployed Soldier's troops handled tying up the prisoners of war, he himself looked to the sky and sighed . No matter the battlefield, one thing was always true .  

A man's life was expendable in the face of conflict, and the cold steel of a blade or bullet could take away one's right to life without a care for their feelings .  

The Lieutenant General of one of his corps came up to him with reverence in his eyes . He spoke in a tone filled with worship, and his word echoed the thoughts of all the men who fought under him .  

"Never in my life… did I think I would fight alongside a genuine Great Commander . "