"General there is no movement in the city," Vrom announced, as the scout's reports, but a smile crept on the face of Riyasu.
"It's better that, there is no movement." A general of the army couldn't be too cautious, "How much time will it take if they tried to attack us?" General of West asked.
"The river, we crossed yesterday, was a branch river of Gwang river. Jingeon is 52 km south from there. Even if they move the army right now, it will still take more than 10 hours, before they could reach here."
"What about Na?"
Rather than explaining Vorn took out a piece of cloth and showed it. "We are here. If we go to the north around 18 km here, we will find another branch river of Gwang river. Now we had gone through Jingeon, then we would have reached Na faster but we would have been on the other side of the river. But by this road, we won't need to cross the river. We would reach Na from behind."
"But what will happen if they receive the reinforcement from Jingeon?" Riyasu's voice was sharp.
"Are you sure that Kinoya couldn't take down the city?" The calm Vorn was clearly agitated from the attitude of Riyasu.
On the other hand, Riyasu was the one who couldn't understand, why these people were believing in a boy so much. Though he was not under general of West, he knew very well that, if the general fails, he will have to bear the responsibility too. And there is no way he is going to let his future rest on the hand of a child.
"General, wouldn't it be better if we post a legion at the Jingeon? That way we can at least be sure that there won't be an attack from the back?"
"There won't be any need. Kinoya is taking care of it." Riyasu looked towards Akai who just came in with Vaicus and another boy who was also riding a horse. The general's guard stopped the boy, but the boy spoke first.
"I am Vishnugupta."
With the single words, the guards moved back. Even Riyasu swallowed the insult. To the country disrespecting a Vishnugupta is like disrespecting the first emperor.
"Kinoya had taken down Jinsan." Not caring about the surprised looks of the one around him Chanakya dropped the bomb. It just deepened the silence. Nobody spoke, rather they don't know what to say.
"That city didn't have any strong army. It is easy to take it down. That was not even on the list of the city, we are trying to capture." Riyasu's sarcastic didn't attract the attention of Chanakya, who looked towards the general for the response. Kinoya made his objective to really clear and Chanakya was sure that he could do his part perfectly well.
"How?" The general of West didn't realize that he had stopped the horse. The whole motion of the band had already come to a halt. If it was anybody else then he wouldn't have believed him but a Vishnugupta never lies, but…
"How did he do that?"
"What is so surprising about it? I could take down that city with a legion no a regiment is enough."
"If you are not listening, then let me tell you again, Kinoya concurred the city alone without an army," Akai explained to Riyasu, with a face full of disdain.
"You are mistaken about something. Kinoya didn't concur the city."
Chanakya's words came with another wave of surprised expression. Even Riyasu, who had been happy otherwise, was surprised for a moment but before he could respond Chanakya continued, "He destroyed Jinsan."
It was too much to accept. Nobody asked anything, just looked at Chanakya with bulging eyes. 'Destroyed' they could understand the meaning of the term but couldn't understand the meaning of the sentence, rather couldn't believe it.
"Kinoya didn't concur the city, he destroyed it. There is nothing but dust. Everyone, the garrison, civilian, old or child each and every one of them is dead. You might not find the body if you go there and look for it."
Riyasu could feel a chill ran through his spine, so did others. Akai couldn't believe that a boy could something so devious. Killing a soldier on a battlefield is not a sin, killing a thousand is merit, and killing ten thousand will be fame. But killing a civilian is...
"What are you talking about?" The silent Vaicus was the one to talk first.
"Did you felt a tremor last night?" Chankaya didn't wait for others to answer, "That was the effect of the blast."
"How can he do that?"
"By the same way, they tried to kill us at Yeomcheon."
"How can he do that?"
Chankya smiled and repeated the same answer Kinoya had given him, "This is war, not a merry-making game. Those, who understand it, will win and those who don't, won't make it to the history books. When they could draw us in a city and tried to blow up whole 150,000 soldiers, with their 5000 women without hesitation, then why can't we could do the same, when we have no relation with them? Do you remember how many innocent people were killed by the war under the first emperor? If you really wanted to save a life then you shouldn't have started the war in the first place, but when you had already done that, there is no need to hesitate. If you hesitate, then the one to die will be none other than you." Chanakya couldn't understand it before, but when he himself said that he could feel the weight of the words.
No one uttered a single word. The whole atmosphere was heavy.
"Would he do the same to Jihgeon?" The words of the general of West drew everybody's attention to Chanakya, who nodded and said, "We should march and reach Na by tomorrow noon. Then we will rest and go to war on the next day. No one should engage the enemy before the day of tomorrow." Without hesitation, Chanakya left the place after leaving the words.
'Who is the actual Commander-in-chief?' All he could do was stare at the back.
"How that can be possible?" It was hard to believe for the Commander-in-chief, general Manu.
"They might have employed the same tactics that official Nus had told us to use." The one answered was the same one, who fought Kinoya at the Chararch, in the city of Yeomcheon.
That didn't quench the emotion of the general rather infuriated him more. "Where was that white freak thinking?" So he shouted. The message bearer was already terrified. Everybody knew about the temper about the general, who was reluctant about letting an official get in the military tent but it was the nation where the King reign supreme.
"Official Nus is on his way here. He will reach Hapcheon within two days."
"Two days? That idiot wasn't able to do anything then losing soldiers and showing the enemy a way to destroy us. Now he is on holiday."
"Don't worry, General as long as I am here they won't be able to anything like they did to other two cities?" Captain Fret was overflowing with confidence. Unlike his attitude toward the white freak, the general had faith in the captain. That was not because of his background, rather coming out of the enemy territory after fighting for such a long time earned his respect.
"Could they really destroy the city such a way?"
"It is possible if they had the device we had used. If they escape all the traps and reach the crystal room then they won't have any problem attaching the device to the crystal. Attaching one will delay the detonation, but it will certainly blow. And from the magical fluctuation I am sensing, I am quite sure both cities were destroyed in the same way. But…" The general was quite eager to hear the next line, "I am not sure about it but I think the key of those attack is with the devil."
"It could be some mage or magic Knight."
"No. The only reason, my master didn't mobilize anyone other than me, because he and also the King wanted to keep the Magic out of the way. If the mage came in the war, then it will be an utter slaughter. Now the question is how he escaped the magic trap." Fret thought for a moment but never the less changed the subject, "But that is not our biggest concern right now."
"What can he do right now? We will do as officer Nus said. General Kirmac's praise couldn't be just empty words." He wasn't willing to follow the plan neither do his subordinates.
"General we can't do that. The soldiers are unhappy."
"Unhappy?" The term caught Manu by surprise.
"They have heard all the soldiers were slaughtered without a single one spared."
"Who was the idiot?" The general slammed his hand on the table. It was common knowledge, to hold any bad news back unless it is necessary. Any news can ignite emotion in those instinct driven soldiers, hence clouding the judgment. Like the unrest, they are creating right now.
"The enemy was continuously boasting about it by the city wall from the moment they had reached here in the late afternoon."
Fret could see the creases forming on the forehead of the general. He, himself, was surprised. For the starter, the Empire's army changed its tactics after just 7 months. It was something that was out of Nus's calculation. But from conquering every city of its path, to coming to Na, directly by a forced march not something he had thought about. And the choice of the unconventional terrain was surprising too.
"Are they trying to lure us out and fight them?" one of the subordinates asked.
"Are they thinking that we are an idiot?" The general sizzled up.
"One thing is sure that the empire is getting desperate." Fret added, "They want to end it as soon as possible, just as official Nus had predicted."
"That bloody white freak, I am starting to hate that guys' intuition." General Manu couldn't help but praise it. "We will stay in the fort, at least until that white freak arrives. Tell that to every soldier. If one of them tried to leave the city and attack, their whole squad will be slaughtered."
Little did he knew, nothing will be going according to his plan? If he was a prestigious general like Kirmac then the things would have been different but he was not and the sun of war don't wait for anybody.
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