In the evening, Rody sternly rejected a dinner banquet with the Xier’s Governor-General. Instead, he ate in the government office. Xier’s Governor-General had initially prepared a large house for Rody to stay in before he arrived in the city. However, Rody was not interested in staying in the big house when he saw the current situation. Instead, he insisted on staying at the backyard of the government office.
The government office had a front yard and a backyard. The front yard was where all the local officials handled the government affairs. The backyard was the residence of the Governor-General. However, the Governor-General disliked the backyard as it looked extremely miserable. The Governor-General rarely lived there. It was said that the Governor-General had another mansion in the Purple Leaf City. However, Rody felt that the residence was peaceful and quiet.
In the middle of the night, Rody suddenly heard a racket of noisy footsteps and woke up. He ran out immediately. He then saw Randt already rushing towards him. Randt said, “Your Excellency the Duke! The mountain people at the barracks have all started a mutiny! They have already detained their Regiment Commander. Right now, His Excellency Camus and his army have surrounded the barracks and is currently confronting them! The other defenders of the Purple Leaf City have already gathered outside!”
Rody frowned and immediately wore his uniform. He took ten of his guards with him and rode the horses out of the city.
Along the way, Rody could not help but frown when he saw the soldiers of the Purple Leaf City in big and small groups, running around in disorder. Randt was a straightforward person. When he saw the disorderly local soldiers, he whispered to Rody. “How do the military officers lead their soldiers? How do they go to war with these soldiers? If an enemy were to launch a surprise attack, they will collapse immediately.”
Rody shook his head and sighed. If it was not for Camus’ warning, it would have already been a disaster.
When he arrived at the city gates, he saw that the gates were closed. Many of the defenders, regardless whether they were common soldiers or officers, were seized with terror on the walls. Rody frowned. He sent one of his subordinates to question them, and then he found out the truth.
The information that Randt obtained earlier was wrong. The fact that there was a mutiny at the barracks was true, but the barracks were not surrounded. The place that was surrounded was the city gates. Camus and the Southern Legion were confronting them at the gates. Those mountain soldiers had kidnapped an officer of the Empire. They then gathered at the gates, fully equipped, and made a fuss about wanting to meet with the Governor-General.
Rody took Randt up the walls and along the way, the defenders could be heard saying that His Excellency the Duke had arrived. Hurriedly, the soldiers moved out of the way while the smart ones immediately looked for their commanding officer so that they could report that to them.
Rody stood on the walls and looked down.
Rody saw about ten thousand infantry wearing the uniform of the Empire’s local garrison. They formed a phalanx and were armed with weapons as they gathered murderously outside the city. Behind them, there were a large number of soldiers wearing the uniform of the Southern Legion. The Southern Legion soldiers encircled the garrison soldiers.
Both sides had already drawn their weapons. With one wrong word, they would end up fighting each other. The forest was on fire and the night was as bright as day.
Although the mountain people were wearing the Empire’s uniform, they were easy to differentiate from the people of the Empire. The mountain people were taller than the people of the Empire. They had dark skin. Their noses were flatter and their eyes were more brown.
The mutineers’ formations were neat and orderly. With a glance, it could be seen that these people were regularly trained and were very different from the other garrison soldiers of the Empire who were disorderly.
At that moment, an officer was arguing with one of Camus’ soldiers at the top of his voice. The others were silent as they glared in anger.
That officer who was shouting was wearing the uniform of a commander. At a glance, he was a mountain soldier. It was not known as to what that man had said to the Southern Legion.
Without saying much, he waved his hands and two mountain soldiers immediately dragged out a man. The man had his arms tied behind his back and a rope looped around his neck.
The clothing of the person was disarrayed. Although he was wearing the uniform of the Empire, he had a dispirited and terrified expression.
The mountain officer shouted in a language that Rody could not understand. Rody did not know what he said, but the other mountain soldiers burst out in an earth-shattering cry.
Rody frowned. He grabbed an officer beside him and whispered, “What did they say? Why are they shouting?”
That officer was frightened and stammered, “Your, Your, Your Excellency… they said that if we do not agree with their request, they will immediately kill Toohey and then fight us till the end of life…”
“Toohey? Is he the Regiment Commander for the mountain soldiers?” Rody frowned and let go of the officer.
He looked back at the mountain soldiers below. They were getting more and more emotional. Their torches revealed their angry expressions. Their swords flashed under the light, and some of them had already aimed their bows at the calvary of the Southern Legion.
Rody looked at a spot with torches and saw a person astride a black horse near the Southern Legion. Camus was wearing a full set of armor. He squinted his eyes and gave off a murderous aura. He lowered his head from his horse and said something to an officer beside him. After that, the officer obeyed and immediately shouted, “Soldiers that are causing disorder! Listen well! His Excellency Camus have given you all the chance to lay down your arms and return to the barracks within two hours. Otherwise, it will be considered as the violation of military orders and offenders will be killed on the spot.” The officer shouted in the Empire’s language and repeated in the common language of the mountain people.
His words caused an uproar with the mountain soldiers. Camus’ subordinates did not care. They raised their lance and shouted, “Soldiers! The command! Line up!”
All the cavalrymen raised their lances as they pointed them at the mountain soldiers.
“Advance!” That officer shouted loudly.
The cavalry formation started to take one step forward. Its oppressive momentum could be felt by everyone. The clamoring mountain soldiers also started to quiet down. They gritted their teeth as they looked at the dark mass of cavalry in front and the long lances in their hands that, together, looked like a forest of trees.
The leader of the mountain soldiers was not an idiot. He knew that it would be difficult to defend a cavalry charge in an open terrain. On top of that, the opponent was Camus’ elite cavalry.
He showed a distressed expression and shouted, “Your Excellency Camus! We have always respected you! Do you really want to kill us mountain people?”
The shout was unyielding and filled with resentment. That officer glared at Camus, and his eyes were filled with rage.
He then heard Camus said, “You are all soldiers of the Empire! Naturally, I do not want to kill you! As long as you put down your weapons and return to the barracks, I will take responsibility for you!” Everyone had heard those words clearly.
That officer hesitated. Camus had prestige in the Southeast and had always kept his words. He was generally revered by everyone. However, the officer also knew that Camus was usually firm. If Camus had decided to kill, he would give the order and would definitely not spare anyone. If that officer acted recklessly, he and his companions would definitely be dead.
While he was hesitating, another mountain soldier loudly shouted, “What nonsense! The people of the Empire only knows how to oppress us! Let us fight them!”
These words came from within the mountain soldiers. That person was hidden in the crowd and could not be found. Those words were like pouring oil on fire. Almost immediately, many of the agitated soldiers immediately shouted, “Fight! Fight!”
The hearts of Camus and Rody started to feel heavy. Rody felt a sense of dread as if someone had just deliberately provoked the mountain soldiers. The mountain tribes had probably already infiltrated the barracks.
Helplessly looking at his excited subordinates, the leader of the mountain soldiers could only grit his teeth and loudly said, “Your Excellency Camus! It is not that we do not believe you! This Toohey always oppressed us too much! We have not received our salary for two months already! Just the day before yesterday, a few of our companions went to reason out with him but they were beaten to death! We cannot take this kind of treatment! Toohey is the Governor-General’s nephew! If we let him go today, we will be dead tomorrow!”
“That’s right! We cannot let him go free!”
“Cannot let him go!”
Countless voices shouted out and caused a commotion.
Camus looked gloomy. He took a deep breath and loudly shouted, “I have already heard about Toohey. Release him and I will handle this! I, Camus, have been in the South for over ten years. Have I ever lied to you before?”
This loud declaration caused everyone to shut up and start to relax. They all knew that Camus was strict but was also fair and true to his words. Now that Camus had made a promise, he would not go back against his words.
There was a moment of silence before that voice uttered another sentence, “Do not be fooled! The people of the Empire are cunning! Let us fight…”
Before he could finish speaking, Camus suddenly roared loudly, “Who is that trying to be sneaky? If you have the courage, come out and talk to me directly!”
Camus sudden voice was loud like thunder and interrupted that person.
Camus gazed around and said, “Come out and talk to me! Tonight, you, mountain people, were brave enough to kidnap a commanding officer! This is a crime punishable by death! However, you do not dare to come out and talk to me?”
The mountain soldiers who heard that shouted as well, “Go out and speak with him directly! What is that to be scared of? The mountain people are not cowards!”
Everybody’s eyes focused on one person as the mountain soldiers slowly moved away to reveal that person. That man was wearing the Empire’s uniform and was standing in the middle. His face showed a strange expression.
That man looked like he was about thirty years old and had a dark complexion. His eyes showed confusion and fear.
Camus snorted coldly and asked, “Didn’t you have something to say? First state your military rank!”
The person stammered and could not give a reply.
The leader of the mountain soldiers was also puzzled and frowned, “What camp are you from? Just answer His Excellency’s questions! Do not be afraid! Do not sully our mountain people’s name!”
The man looked around and said with a red face, “I… I am from the second camp…”
“Nonsense!” Camus interrupted him and said, “Where is your commanding officer? Ask him to come forward!”
As soon as Camus finished his words, a majestic mountain soldier came out and looked at the man before loudly saying, “Your Excellency, Camus! He is not one of my men! He is one of our companion’s family member.”
“Hmph!” Camus gave a cold smile. “He is not a soldier, so how did he enter the barracks? He even dares to wear the military uniform and carry weapons! This is a capital offense! The disturbance you had caused tonight must have been led by him!”
With those words, the other soldiers beside him gave a strange expression as they looked at the spy. That night, it was this man who had incited everyone to fight with Toohey’s subordinates. When this got out of hand, Toohey came to suppress. He then caused a bigger fuss and attracted many mountain soldiers. Finally, under the pressure of the recent oppression they were facing, a mutiny was incited.
That night, they rushed to the city gate demanding to see the Governor-General. During the chaos, he had also put on a uniform and followed them. However, nobody was too concerned about him.
Camus narrowed his eyes and spoke coldly, “Infiltrating the army and deceiving others! Arrest him!”
Two of his cavalrymen acknowledged and immediately dismounted.They strode towards the mountain soldiers.
That person’s eyes shifted, and he screamed, “I am a mountain person! Do you want to kill all of us?”
Those words immediately caused a commotion. A few of the mountain soldiers who were standing at the outer areas of the crowd immediately took out their swords and brandished at the two cavalrymen. They prevented the cavalrymen from getting closer.
The man continued to shout, “The Empire have oppressed us excessively! Are the people of the mountains going to let them take advantage of us forever? Kill them! Rebel! Rebel!”
Those words reminded the mountain soldiers of the oppression and humiliation they received and more soldiers started to make an uproar.
The original leader of the mountain soldiers was still rational but his companions had already started to make an uproar. He sighed and his face gradually sank. Although he was with the group that caused trouble, he only wanted justice and did not really want to rebel. However, when he looked at the current situation, he knew that this was not something that he could control.
The mountain people were, after all, foreigners. They were doughty simpletons. Coupled with the chaotic situation that night, half of the soldiers had lost their calm and started to cause trouble. Although the other half of the soldiers were still clear-headed, but with the yelling of their companions, they gradually lost their calm.
Rody looked at that from afar and felt anxious. Gritting his teeth, he looked at Randt and said in a low voice, “Not good! Order all the soldiers on the walls to get ready! Archers, get ready!”
Randt resolutely went down and transmitted the orders. He was the attendant of the Duke. Although the soldiers on the wall were still panicking, they reluctantly lined up and prepared themselves.
Rody looked at the disorderly soldiers and shook his head. He thought that if they were to totally rely on those soldiers and without the support of Camus, the city would be lost that night.
In this sudden mutiny, even though the soldiers had already closed the city gates, they had not raised the drawbridge over the city moat. If the mountain soldiers were to really break out fighting, there would be a siege. It was going to be really dangerous without the support of Camus’ soldiers from outside the city.
“We need to think of a way to get rid of that spy.” Unfortunately, the instigator was very cunning. He stayed within the protective military array of the mountain soldiers and would absolutely not move a single step out of it. Rody started to calculate in his mind the distance between him and that person. Rody wondered if he could kill that person with just one shot of the arrow.
Just as Rody was thinking, suddenly a sound of the air being pierced could be heard. After that, there was a miserable scream as the spy’s forehead was struck by an arrow. He fell down with his head looking at the sky. Bright red blood, mixed with white brain discharge, was flowing out on the floor. The other mountain soldiers were frightened and they backed away.
Rody was also shocked at the sudden development and immediately looked at the top of the gates. He saw a figure on top of the roof. The figure’s clothes fluttered in the night breeze. He held a strange longbow in his hands. From afar, the figure nodded at Rody before turning around. He then jumped off the roof and disappeared into the night.
“Dark!” Rody could not help but shout. He had not expected Dark to follow him. Dark had kept his promise not to assassinate him, but Rody did not expect Dark to help out.
Seeing that trouble was about to start below the city walls, Rody did not bother to think about other things. He turned his attention back to the two groups below the city walls.
Camus was also surprised but before he could react, the mountain soldiers started to shout. One of them shouted out, “The people of the Empire have begun to kill!”
“They started to kill! Fight back! Fight back!”
In the state of chaos, the mountain soldiers took out their swords and rushed towards Camus’ cavalry.
“Stop!” Rody suddenly shouted loudly from the top of the city gates. At that crucial moment, he used his fighting energy. He stood on the very edge of the brick of the walls. He was so loud that everybody could clearly hear him even though the crowd was noisy. His voice was like a hammer pounding on their hearts. Everyone was startled and could not help but looked up at the city walls.
With only the light from the torches around him, Rody fearlessly stood on the walls. A pale golden flame could be seen around his body. His golden hair fluttered in the wind as he gazed across the crowd. The arrogance of his body was like a bewitching flame, making Rody look like the Killer God in the night.
Rody roared, “People below the city walls! Listen! I am the Empire’s Duke of Tulip Family! I am the Special Envoy for the Southeast, sent by His Majesty the Emperor! The mutiny you have incited tonight is a crime, punishable by death! I and Camus want to be lenient and give you a chance. But you are all still gathered here! Do you really want to start a rebellion? Have you all considered the consequences of rebelling? Most of your family are in the city! Don’t you know that the entire family of the rebels would be executed according to the law?”
In the silence, Rody’s words spread throughout the crowd. Everyone was startled after listening to what he said. Those noisy mountain people immediately calmed down.
The mountain people and the mountain tribes were slightly different. The mountain people had lived in the city and had been under the rule of the Empire for many years. Most of their families also lived in the city. They already had different lifestyles compared to those that lived in the remote mountains. As a result, their hearts felt heavy when they heard those words.
Rody purposely paused for a moment before he loudly shouted again, “You all gathered here and caused trouble, to seek justice? Fine! I will give you justice!” After that, Rody grabbed a bow and arrow from a soldier, next to him. He gave a cold groan as he pulled the bowstring.
They then heard the sound of the arrow flying. The arrow was wrapped in a faint golden flame as it flew down the walls. The sound of the void had the same momentum as the thunder.
After that, there was a piercing sound. Everyone cried out in alarm as the tied up Toohey gave a blood-curdling scream. The arrow wrapped in golden flame struck him and his chest exploded. Flesh and blood flew in every direction, and the man died a very gruesome death.
Everyone was shocked by what had just happened. Even Camus did not expect Rody to do such a thing.
Rody put down the bow and coldly looked at the mountain soldiers below the city walls. He saw that they were all in disbelief. Rody gave a wry smile and loudly said, “I have given you your justice! Now I will count to ten! In this time, I want everyone to drop your weapons, line up and head back to the barracks! If not, that person will be considered a rebel, and his whole family will be executed!”
Everyone looked at one another. The leader of the mountain soldiers then pushed aside the crowd, stepped forward and knelt down. He then bowed his head and said, “Thank you, Your Excellency the Duke for bringing justice to us! However, word of this incident has already spread! Kidnapping a commanding officer is also punishable by death! We do not mind leaving on condition that Your Excellency can guarantee not to pursue this incident! Otherwise, everyone will also die.” Speaking up to that point, the man stood up and silently looked at Rody.
Rody snorted coldly and loudly said, “Military law of the Empire states that you are all guilty and should be executed! However, I will give you all two choices! Your first choice is to drop your weapons and return to your barracks! I will only look for the leader in this incident, and I will spare the rest! Your second choice will be to pick up your weapons and fight to your heart’s content! However, once you have rebelled, I will order the soldiers in the city to execute all of your family members without sparing a single life!”
‘Without sparing a single life.’ Those words rang in the hearts of the mountain soldiers. They thought of their family members in the city and immediately became soft-hearted.
Rody did not hesitate and started to count. “One!”
The mountain soldiers below the city walls looked at one another.
The mountain soldiers looked at their leader. Their leader was sweating and his facial expression was gloomy.
“Three!” Rody continued to shout coldly without hesitating.
“Archers, get ready!” Randt shouted. A row of soldiers immediately stood on top of the walls. Each of them held a bow and arrow in their hands and aimed towards the city walls below.
“Four!” Rody’s cold voice came again.
“Your Excellency the Duke!” The officer shouted, “Don’t go back on your words! If everybody were to go back, you will spare them. You will only punish the leader!”
Rody coldly replied, “If you can trust General Camus, do you think I, the Duke of Tulip Family, will lie to you?”
The officer was shocked and remembered the Duke’s fame. He then gritted his teeth and took a deep breath before shouting, “Everybody put down your weapons!”
Rody nodded his head and no longer continued counting.
The mountain soldiers looked at one another until, finally, the sound of the first weapon dropping on to the floor was heard. When the first person had dropped his weapon, the others immediately followed and dropped their weapons.
The clattering sound went uninterrupted. A few of the unyielding and tough soldiers also dropped their weapons when they saw the others gave up and that the situation was hopeless.