16. Chapter 16
The battle continued even after the enemy’s main force was destroyed and 3000 Ferrius soldiers surrendered. Exhausted troops were disarming prisoners of war while making the occupied hills a temporary headquarter. The remaining troops, the nimble cavalry battalion and the light infantry battalion, were pursuing the remaining Ferrius troops in an attempt to retreat to their home country.
Even now, after the loss of the commander’s head by Walm and the destruction of the five battalions, the strength of the two battalions was still there. If it was to be left unharmed, it would affect future diplomacy.
Under such circumstances, Liguria light infantry battalion was ordered not to stay at the hills but to go to Aidenberg, the capital of Myard. This was because Ferrius and Myard soldiers who couldn’t join the main army were hiding in the city, and their mission was to annihilate them.
There were no major defenses in Aidenberg, since Myrad focused on border defense. This was one of the factors that Ferrius and Myard chose to fight on the plains. Rivers were flowing out of the city and you could only enter the city from the plains.
If you wanted to enter the city from a river, you had to cross with a boat or a bridge, only two options. The bridge, a key point, functioned as a defensive means, and even now, when the victory of the Highserk Empire was decided, the garrison continued to fight. Fortunately, the weak resistance was quickly subdued, but one of the two bridges was destroyed by Ferrius soldiers.
The Liguria battalion had several priorities. The first was to secure an area where troops were accumulated. Myard territory, a fertile breadbasket, was actively exporting grain to neighboring countries, and Aidenberg, the center of trade, had a large number of grain storages as well as food storage that supported the army’s stomach.
The second was the capture, protection, and murder of influential and powerful people. Reigning wouldn’t be successful simply by killing all the hostile humans. Walm was taught when he first joined the army that a certain number of influential people in Myard were needed to efficiently annex them into part of the Highserk Empire.
Important posts would be given to feudal lords and aristocrats who had been informed in advance, but the remaining rulers and chairs of concession would be given to the influential people, showing mercy. Although it was a so-called “carrot and stick”, in this way the Highserk Empire unified the area called the Crucible of Chaos, where small nations were scattered and divided into groups.
The third was the maintenance of public order. Many defeated soldiers had been desperate in the city, and they continued to hide, while repeatedly plundering and forced raping the citizens. In addition, some Highserk soldiers were also plundering, ignoring military rules.
Although the world was more tolerant of plundering and humiliation than Walm’s previous world, Highserk suppressed them at important locations. After all, excessive violent wolves could hinder the future of the Highserk Empire, which was trying to operate the land and people as it was by replacing only the head.
Of course, there were unprotected beings that the soldiers could use to vent their anger. It was the influential people who would be cut from the head’s chair.
The now-deceased Youth Myard, a former Kanoa nobleman who became the King of Myard, was also the target. The old-fashioned yet elegant mansion, which might have been hundreds of years old, was devastated by a large number of soldiers.
“These people are… it must be those Myard soldiers, right?”
It was Noor who was looking at the stacked corpses.
“For the soldiers who lost their country, it must’ve looked like a treasure trove without a guard dog.”
Jose glanced at the corpse, but immediately turned to the mansion, perhaps not interested.
“Even if you have power and wealth, nothing matters when it collapses.”
Is it because of the merchant’s blood?
Walm’s eyes seemed sentimental about the cheerful Jose.
“It’s not that I don’t understand where it’s coming from, but to value those things more than their own lives, it’s pathetic.”
Those who were smart would have either rounded up early and pretended to be civilians in the city and were concealed by their relatives, or they tried to escape to the outside of the city. Those piled up here were those who were dazzled by greed and so late to escape.
“I know that it’s their former lords, but what ungrateful bastards. According to the surviving servants, the relatives were killed by the plunderers before we came. Some of them weren’t only soldiers but also citizens.”
The voice of Squad Commander Duwei was mixed with contempt.
“There are enough hands in the mansion. We were ordered to patrol the city. Did you have what you needed?”
The backpacks and waist bags of the squad members were packed with loot from wars and food left in the food storage. Walm, who was ordered to maintain security, was on a patrol, while doing some legal plundering in the meantime.
Although acting according to national and organizational rules, it wouldn’t be morally permissible.
There were no civilian streets on the streets of the city. Only Highserk soldiers. Occasionally, they were dragging the defeated soldiers who were captured.
When the soldiers found in even the slightest resistance or bad manners, those captured people would become a brand-new stain on the road, and were carried by wheelbarrows that were pushed by their fellow compatriots who became the prisoners of wars.
“Wait! I’m not a soldier.”
A man dragged out of the building shouted an excuse, but the soldier’s hands didn’t loosen, instead, they took off the man’s clothes.
“There’s a trace of iron on his bleeding. Take him.”
There was a mark on the man’s back that would certainly have been made by an arrow. This was one of the wounds that Walm had often seen on the battlefield. He would never make a mistake.
“No. When I was outside, a flowing arrow flew in. I’ve never been on the battlefield.”
The man desperately continued to make excuses, but the soldier continued without caring about it.
“Do you want to be treated like them?”
The wheelbarrow pointed by the soldier with his chin was full of bodies. Walm could even trace from where, that fresh blood drips from the loading platform, came from.
The man still tried to open his mouth, but gave up when he saw the soldier put his hand on the sword at the final warning.
When the man hung his head, he glanced at the building he was dragged out. A young woman and a child, who might be his family members, were peeking in a frustrated state.
“You should be thankful for not being killed. Well, you’ll be freed if you work for a few months. Walk, fast.”
The man looked at his family for once last time and quietly joined the line of prisoners. Such a scene could be seen all over the city. Brand-new lacerations, bruises, and burns that might have been caused by the war were also on their body.
Some of them were just civilians. Seeing such, Walm felt gloomy, but there was no way for him to give special treatment to only some. After all, it might hinder the maintenance of public security, and also rebels with military experience couldn’t be left unchecked no matter what.
On top of that, Walm glared at his homeland, the Highserk Empire, that for better or for worse, had a clause saying even human life would be considered a resource. If they were from a country that was still in battle, most would be used as a hostage to get a ransom, as for the low-ranking prisoners of war, they would be sold domestically and internationally.
There were several paths that enemy soldiers would follow after the annexation. For a certain period, they would be engaged in the restoration of cities and facilities damaged by the war, or civil engineering work at home and abroad. That was how the rivers and roads in Highserk were created.
Depending on how hard-working the individual was and how the supervisor was, they would be released as early as after several months or as long as after several years. Many of them were appointed to the supervisor’s seat as they were, or joined the Highserk army, mainly for those who had nowhere to go.
As the Duwei’s Squad roamed the city, the hustle and bustle echoed in one street. Walm was reflexively about to hold his halberd.
“Battle sound …?”
Barito was ready, but Squad Commander Duwei denied it.
“It’s a strange sound for a fight. Is it a skirmish?”
Upon hearing the sound, Walm rushed to the center of the turmoil. It was a typical citizen’s house. At the entrance, there was another squad that would have been patrolling.
Walm asked the elderly soldier who was blocking the entrance.
“They’ve done too much. They broke into the house and raped the woman. And her husband was also beaten to death. Besides that, they rampaged, when they were arrested.”
As Walm looked inside, four young soldiers were pressed against the floor and detained. On that side lay a woman who was sitting down and crying, and a man who lost his energy from his eyes. Perhaps he was punched on the face, his nose and teeth were broken.
“They’re stupid guys. Even though they didn’t have that kind of permission, they were crazy.”
They were men who were familiar to Walm somewhere. He explored his brain and remembered where he met them. Yes, they were the ones who were taking the woman away by force at the fort along the border.
“What will happen to these guys?”
Thinking, the soldier folded his arms.
“Usually it’s a decapitation, but we have won the battle. And it’s from the Sarria Battalion who often fought against Myard soldiers. I guess just a whipping and labor with the prisoners.”
When Sarria’s young soldier heard it, he tried to swear, but when his face was kicked several times, he quietly shut up.
“Is it enough?”
Thinking that the sentence was too light for someone who killed one civilian, involuntarily Walm hummed.
“It’s a common story. If you killed them every time for such a thing, Highserk would’ve lost a lot of their soldiers.”
Squad Commander Duwei who was listening next to him also joined the conversation.
“The whipping is not that easy you know? The screaming soldier screams at the first whip, crying at the second and third whip. The skin peels off and the flesh falls off. Even if you faint, the next whip will wake you up again. You will faint again and wake up again. Some of them even die. I wonder if those can bear it? “
Squad Commander Duwei looked down at the Sarria soldiers as if looking at the filth. On the other hand, imagining the whipping, the faces of the Sarria soldiers became stiff.
“Did you hear that, idiots? You should thank the Squad Commander for the advice. If you want to reduce the number of whips, stop resisting and move quietly.”
They looked like hungry young wolves, but they were taken by older soldiers like obedient dogs.
Although Walm was wary of the attack, no battle occurred in the area covered by him. What happened was a small dispute when detaining the defeated soldiers, also plundering and forced raping, by the Myard soldiers and the Highserk soldiers who ignored the military rules.
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2 thoughts on “Nigoru Hitomi de Nani wo Negau ch 16”
Read all the way through from chapter one. Seems quite interesting. I hope the tone of the story won’t go too soft in the future.
Wish those soldiers were executed but at least they’ll suffer