Chapter 28- A past drenched in blood
General Doyle abruptly dropped his hand that was holding the gun and saluted: “Your Royal Highness.”
The gun in Lin Yan’s hand was still pointed motionlessly at him.
“If I didn’t do this, your highness wouldn’t have shown yourself.” General Doyle began to explain, “When Your Highness left the Palace and headed straight towards Pandora, I concluded that Your Highness had made contact with the Guide Alliance.”
“Therefore, Your Highness has a right to know about the relationship between the Third Legion and the Scarlet Thorns as well.”
Lin Yan’s eyes sharpened, “…What do you want to do?”
General Doyle looked steadily at her, but his next few words rang out like thunder: “I wish to cooperate with the Guide Alliance through Your Highness.”
When General Doyle finished, not only was Lin Yan’s eyes widened in shock but even Kristen, who had already guessed his intentions, looked at the commander of the Third Legion in surprise.
The Imperial Army has always been known as a gathering place for Sentinels. Furthermore, these independent Sentinels have been beneficiaries of the imperial policy towards Guides and should be very satisfied with the current standards yet….Doyle had stated an unusual and straightforward opinion.
Why was it that…. General Doyle, a man who is supposed to support the current oppressive imperial policy against Guides coming to her to ask for a cooperative relationship with an illegal organization that advocates for Guide rights?
Doyle Walter used to be a normal noble with a military background from Planet Ta. He was thrown into the Imperial Army the moment when he graduated from the military academy. However, Doyle’s luck was quite bad as he was sent to the Third Legion as soon as he joined. The Third Legion was known to have the highest casualty rates.
At the time, the commander of the Third Legion naturally wasn’t a greenhorn like Doyle, but a man named Angus Chu.
The general was of mixed descent, his bloodlines originating from the East and West. He was a typical hero-like figure. Fearless, brave, and good at fighting, he was almost considered a god-like idol to the entire Imperial Army.
And back then Doyle was still a fledgling, a hot-blooded young man. Add on the fact that he was from the aristocratic faction, he made plenty of enemies among the numerous commoners of the Third Legion. Among them was a rival who pestered him every day. The rival would later be known as Big Beard.
Of course, Big Beard wasn’t called by that nickname back then as he didn’t grow that trademark beard till much later.
Due to Angus’ mediation between the two, Big Beard and Doyle had reluctantly managed to maintain a fragile peace with each other. However, it was inevitable that they traded barbed insults when their paths crossed.
The tense relationship between the two rivals lasted for more than ten years….until Commander Angus accepted the order given by the Imperial matching system and brought back a Guide from Planet Ta.
And at that time, it just so happened that the Guide Alliance was rising in prominence on Planet Ta.
Who would’ve thought that the Imperial matching system would force matches even without the consent of the Guide….and that the Guide Angus brought back just happened to be a member of the Alliance?
Thus, the night when Angus tried to complete the spiritual bond with the Guide, he was almost stabbed to death by that fierce and tough Guide he was matched with.
Angus barely managed to survive and this worked up the angry senior officers of the Third Legion into a frenzy. They tied up the hateful Guide and then threw the would-be murderer into prison. Unexpectedly, the officers would be slapped in the face when their boss learned what they did.
Doyle has always known Angus as an iron-blooded general, yet unexpectedly this Angus was also a big softie at heart. A big softie who sympathized with Guide rights.
Angus and the Guide went back and forth for a few months before finally, they succeeded in a mutual bond and the Third Legion was slowly pulled into a relationship with the Guide Alliance.
The situation was developing in a bright direction and the Guide Alliance sent forth a motion to advance Guide rights to the parliament. Even Empress Lin from Platinum Place had come forth to support it. During those glorious days, people looked forward to seeing a world of freedom, equality, and light…but they never expected that a dark period of misery and oppression would come so violently and cruelly.
A war broke out, one that relied heavily on the new technology and intelligence. As usual, the Empire sent out it’s the sharpest blade, the Third Legion, to get rid of the enemy. Yet, for the first time, they suffered a betrayal. A betrayal from their country and their families.
…..An intelligence failure.
That’s what they were told when they met their most powerful enemy in the worst place and when they were in their worst state.
For an entire month, they fought like cornered beasts every day. Yet, no one dared to ask ‘why’ they ended up like this.
Why did the enemy know exactly where to lie in ambush?
Why was it that the other party was clearly not well hidden during the ambushes and yet they received no reports of the enemy’s whereabouts.
Why was the country they had sacrificed their lives for willing to betray them?
It was the most desperate war that Doyle had experienced in the more than twenty years he had been in the army.
The sharpest blade of the empire gradually shattered into pieces in these battles with such a great disparity in power. The sharp blade was sharpened and shattered over and over again in a never-ending wart.
They had no backup, no reinforcements but they must use their own flesh and blood to repel the enemy attacks.
Only the soldiers of the Third Legion understood how fragile and vulnerable the Empire really is.
If they fell in battle, then which Legion could step forward and stop the enemy forces that destroyed the Third Legion.
The peace and tranquility of the Empire…those magnificent rivers and mountains….the precious lives of the common people on the many planets of the Empire….if the Third Legion were to give up, then all of those things will be destroyed in a moment.
No one understood this truth better than those of the Third Legion.
They have always been fighting on the frontlines and have seen the devastation that war brings to a planet.
Doyle has seen the fiery red sea of blood that stretched for hundreds of miles. He had seen how a beautiful sea of flowers become a piece of scorched earth overnight. He has seen how the nightless planet turned into a world of darkness and would forever slumber in the silence of the eternal night.
And so, those despicable politicians took advantage of this knowledge to try and cruelly squeeze out every last bit of value of the Third Legion.
As long as the Third Army does not abandon their country, they will fight until their last breath to stop the enemy.
And like this, they slowly lost their power…the power they held in Parliament. Even if the Third Legion had the greatest luck, they would inevitably lose it all in the face of such a war. And on the other side, the enemy has thoroughly gotten weaker as they were greatly injured by the desperate fighting of the Third Legion. And from then on, the enemy feared the Third Legion and dared not to poke the tiger ever again.
…It was a really good plan. They had killed two birds with one stone.
Even if the country has abandoned them, they cannot abandon their country.
This is the sadness of a soldier.
The final battle was considered the most humiliating one in the history of the Imperial Army.
Big Beard, who was also an adjutant of General Angus like Doyle, fled with Angus’s mecha and disappeared into the vast darkness of space. On the other hand, Angus did not leave as he drove the first flagship of the Third Legion away to lure the enemy’s main force into the vicinity of an ancient red giant star. His ship, half-broken and disabled, plunged straight into the star and triggered a supernova explosion that decimated the enemy’s forces.
As Angus’s adjutant, Doyle had to take the final responsibility and returned to the Empire. He returned with less than a quarter of the troops the Third Legion has started out with.
And while he suffered a humiliating loss, the Guide Alliance seemed to collapse overnight. Empress Lin was assassinated and the senior members of the Alliance fled.
Everything that followed was just a continuation of the mockery.
A sergeant of the Third Legion who had voluntarily escorted the Guide Alliance’s escape was convicted of ‘treason’ and could never set foot on the soil of the Empire for the rest of his life.
The former commander of the Third Legion was labeled as a traitor who had committed suicide in order to repent for his crimes. His adjutant who had escaped halfway became a wanted man, a bounty issued on his head that would never be rescinded. He could never appear in front of anyone of the Empire ever again, for the rest of his life.
On the other hand, it was Doyle who could do nothing that was promoted several times and became the glorious Major General and acting commander of the Third Legion.
The Third Legion and the Guide Alliance back then…all we asked for was a few signatures on a single piece of paper but somehow it ended up like this….” General Doyle’s gaze was full of ridicule, “If I was to give up now, then the lives of my comrades who died would’ve been for nothing.
Lin Yan and Kristen fell silent.
All information about the battle that had almost wiped out the entire Third Legion was buried by the Empire. Even if you scoured the entire interstellar web, it was difficult to even find a trace of information about the battle.
Even Kristen had only heard that they had lost a battle that year but that was all.
The usually noisy media seemed to all agree to become mutes on this matter. They kept silent about this event that would have shocked the Empire.
Perhaps there were people who wanted to speak out but were killed before they could go public.
Lin Yan felt her palms turn clammy.
Those people….the people who dared to assassinate the Empress of the Platinum Palace…it would not be difficult for those people to shut the media up.
The sorrow she felt spread to the other end of the spiritual connection and Kristen reached out and grabbed Lin Yan’s arms. The warmth calmed Lin Yan down a bit.
Lin Yan raised her head and looked at General Doyle: “Your words….I will convey them to the Guide Alliance. However, the reason you came to Pulangke….I believe it’s not just because of that piece of metal in your hands.”
General Doyle took a deep look at her and nodded: “Correct.”
He turned towards Kristen: “I came to Pulangke to retrieve the mecha that belonged to the Third Legion.”
“The exclusive mecha of the former legion commander, the mecha with the strongest combat capability in this empire–”
Kristen frowned. She dug through her memories carefully but failed to remember the bearded former head of the Scarlet Thorns ever mentioning anything about this mecha.
Although a mecha had better attack capability and flexibility than a battleship, the price of one was much too high for independent mercenary groups to own. How could that stingy old man bear to raise a squad of mechas?
“General Doyle,” she decided to tell him the truth, “whether it is here on Pulangke or at our headquarters, I have never seen any mech. You may not find what you are looking for here.”
General Doyle shook his head: “No, since you are here, the Strider must be on Pulangke.”
Lin Yan looked blankly at him and then turned to look at Kristen.
General Doyle stared fixedly at the female Sentinel in front of him. He then said in a certain and firm tone: “Kristen, you are the one he carefully cultivated to one day pilot the Strider.”
“You are the only person who can pilot the Strider.”
Writing a plot about a person getting betrayed by those they had trusted the most…is very frustrating.
Fortunately, this is my novel and at the very least, I can write it so that the heroes who have been buried in the dark may come out and face the light again. And then let those bastards who had caused such a tragedy have a miserable end.
This chapter has a small crucial detail buried in it, I don’t know if any of you cuties have found it yet~