The 145th chapter “day of bloodshed” (part 1)
Looking up at the thick floating clouds in the sky, “Old Smoke” squinted his eyes as he raised his hand to shield the reflecting lights from his eyes: “Oh, looks like the weather is changing.”
Then he glanced at the subordinates by his side because the inspecting officer was very pleased by the time he left their group.
“Right now…… The central square should be very lively.” Thinking this, Old Smoke couldn’t keep his excitement down and tiptoed himself to see the end of the street. It was then the faint cries and screams of the citizens reached his ears…..
Old Smoke and his men’s are all part of the empire’s most elite “capital defense army”. Formerly known as the “Thorn Flower Regiment” before their names were changed, this unique group is not under the command of the military ranks despite being a part of the capital’s defense force. The reason is simple. According to tradition, their special regiment will only accept people of utmost quality with impeccable background into their ranks. Because they are handpicked by special officers, these men’s will only obey the direct command of the emperor and no one else!
Compared to the other palace guards, the members of this special corps is paid double the amount of those regular soldiers and will always be the first to receive new supplies from the armory! What is laughable is that not only is the human treated well, even the horses in this corps receives special treatment. For example: the fodder used to feed the horses is always of the finest quality to insure the horses are kept at their best. All this is to insure their loyalty to the emperor!
Because they are the so called “King’s Guard”, dedicated to only protecting the palace and no one else.
In the main street behind Old Smoke’s group, there are large amounts of capital defense forces. Though Old Smoke find this a little strange because early in the morning, the police force was suddenly replaced by the military soldiers, but he is not one to overstep his boundaries. Once the day is over, they can kick back and relax because every year after the ceremony, his majesty would always wantonly reward the King’s guard. If one is lucky, they might even be promoted to the status of a noble!
Old Smoke measured his qualifications: born from a declining noble family, but because he is not the eldest son, he didn’t receive a peerage title. After serving in the king’s guard for 12 years, he finally climbed to the position of a captain. If all goes well and his luck is good, he might even be gifted with the title of “Sir”.
“Sir”, such a beautiful title.
Old Smoke rubbed his numb legs after standing there all morning. Luckily the sun is covered by the clouds because the hot weather today is killing him…..
But compared to the guys behind him, Old Smoke thought he was already getting the better end of the stick….. Covered from top to bottom in heavy armor, the poor saps must be boiling inside. Seeing this, even he felt pity for them.
But strangely enough, none of those guys looked dissatisfied; instead, all of them had a strong conviction on their faces.
Seeing this, Old Smoke couldn’t help but wonder at the strange sight: When did the city defense force ever become so good? Unless these people are those recently moved from the Northern Storm army, then there’s no way they could show such endurance and conviction. Only after experiencing real danger will such atmospheres appear on one’s face.
“These poor guys.” Old Smoke showed disdain on his mouth. Although their identity are supposedly the same, but the “King’s Guard” always looked down at the regular soldiers from the city defense forces. After all, they are the ones protecting the palace and the other party is stuck patrolling the grounds outside the capital walls. With such a huge gap in their work location, the glory of their job is simply too huge.
To showcase this unbalanced treatment, their outfits are vastly different for this special occasion: Still wearing the usual gear, Old Smoke’s light armor had a special metallic paint added onto it to give it a silver sheen. And that’s not all, on each of their helmets; a golden feather was hanging on the top to give off an invigorating look.
As the breeze blew against their specially crafted cloaks, the fabric fluttered in the wind like a true knight…. Old Smoke is not oblivious to his status. When he skimmed through the onlookers, he can see many blushing girls eying him over many times.
Although this specially crafted armor was nice in appearance, but in Old Smoke’s standard, he felt it was too lavish and unpractical. In his mind, he even suspected that if an enemy were to use a standard sword in the military, they would be able to easily pierce through this set of armor!
But what the hell, it’s not like they are going off to fight!! As long as it looks good for today, then it’s fine.
Yeah, that’s right! In order to look good!
Old Smoke raised his spirit. Behind him, there are four squads of King’s Guard awaiting their command today just like his squad. In their case, they are supposed to be the anchor for the parade.
Where they are located now is a small square around 2 kilometers from the central square outside the palace. Despite it being called small, but its size only falls slightly short of the central square.
Known as victory square, this is one of the three biggest squares in the capital. According to the festival arrangements, all of the parade members are to gather in this place before they are called for.
And in front of Old Smoke, there is a formation consisting of a thousand infantry troops belonging to the capital’s defense force. To be stationed in front of Old Smoke’s squad, their status is already considered good because in the eyes of everyone, they are considered second in the ranking of importance, only one rank below Old Smoke.
As Old Smoke looked at the war like equipment’s of the city defense forces, he couldn’t help but sigh:
“Aigh, no matter what they wore, they are all fully equipped for battle…. Eh, they are even equipped with crossbows? My god, so many things and that heavy armor….. Aren’t they tired? It’s not like we’re going to war…..”
And even further behind Old Smoke are the parade floats prepared mostly by the general populous.
According to tradition, the 18 biggest commerce union’s will join together to produce the most extravagant parade floats for this celebratory event.
Hmm, if he remembers correctly, the float of the Solomon family definitely won first place in the previous year! In a stroke of genius, their float was not only eye catching; the thing was practically a moving opera house! Of course, that is not enough to win the hearts of the emperor so easily. It’s actually the plays that took place on that special stage that captivated the ruler of this land. Ranging from the founding of the empire, to the rising of the Augustine Family, all of this was carefully panned out in their show.
But the show that truly shined is the retelling of the war that happened 20 years ago in the Northwest. When the emperor saw this, he was so happy that every actor was awarded 100 gold coins!
So who knows what new trick does the Solomon family have in store? Marquis of Solomon is a old friend of his Majesty, and takes care of the Royal Assets. Within the Chamber of Commerce in the capital, he is definitely in the forefront of the rankings….. EH?????
Old Smoke was in the middle of the looking for the Solomon Family’s float, but he didn’t have much difficulty finding it!
This is strange already… Because according to the status of the Solomon family in the Chamber of Commerce, they should be at the end to act as the anchor for the civilian part. To be placed right in the front of their segment and directly behind the King’s Guard, isn’t that a bit too shameful considering their identity? Old Smoke sighs at the sight.
And what is really odd is the how weird the float looked.
How can you call that a parade float?! The size is definitely there, but the stage is completely bare without so much as a flower bouquet. If he had to make a comparison, Old Smoke would think he was looking at a coffin in a magnified state!
Bare, bleak colors, without any expensive decorations!
This is the Solomon family’s float this year?
Old Smoke widened his eyes. That thing is nothing but a wooden box with wheels….. Do they really intend to push something like that to meet his Majesty? What the hell…..
When he was in the middle of his ranting thought, a great scream echoed into his ears from the central square! Like bees flying through the ear, this noise is just like a humming song of terror!
No happiness or joy, the only feeling it had was surprise and fear!
What’s going on? Old Smoke consciously straightened his body as he and his subordinates try to guess what was happening at the central square.
At this time, the sound of loud trumpets playing floated into their ears.
When Old Smoke listened to the sound, his face turned slightly pale because he was somewhat familiar with the call patterns.
Two long and one short one……
God damn it! This is the cavalry charge call! Why the hell are they blowing such a call in the middle of the festival?!!
Just as he was in the middle of his dumbfounded thought, a great ROAR of anger came from the infantry troops of the capital’s defense forces! In mere seconds, the scene became chaotic!
“The Capital Defense army is revolting!”
“These people have gone mad!!”
If you like this translation, consider donating for extra release