Chapter 111 – Commander Exam 2

“Those mongrels!” yelled General Situ.

The moral of the army plummeted as they watch the enemy army slaughter the innocent villagers. Luon could feel his troops anger, sadness, and fear as a wave emotions came washing over him in the form of dreadful cries.

However, among those who had a fierce reaction to the tactic, there was one who was calm amongst his ranks. General Zhao stood firmly like a tree in front of a vicious hurricane that has yet to fall. His face had only a frown as he let out a small sigh.

“Commander! Let’s attack the enemy now! Those mongrels deserve death,” General Situ said out of rage. Amongst the retainers, he felt more strongly about the tactic used. General Huang closed his eyes out of fear, and General Li merely made some angry remarks. Luon looked at General Wang and found that his backstory setting had changed. Because of D10’s actions, the description said that he was no longer going to switch sides in the middle of the battle.

Although he did get a minor benefit the losses were equivalently huge. Some of his men rushed out of the formation to save the villagers only to be restricted by his other troops or shot down by the enemy.

Luon felt nervous about the situation, he had never met someone as insane as this before. To sacrifice a portion of his starting units to decimate the opposing team’s morale was a tactic he never considered. He asked the other generals, “Does anyone have any idea how many villagers they captured?”

“Commander, I believe that the entirety of 2 rows of their formation is composed solely of villagers,” General Wang said.

The execution was used to instill chaos within Luon’s army and at the same time solidify the other armies strength. The ragtag bunch of villagers on D10’s side is more inclined to follow orders knowing that they will die if they don’t.

Luon needed to settle down his troops and his own emotions, currently, everyone was too riled up to fight on the battlefield. He looked at General Situ, and to the best of his ability he said, “Maintain the formation, the strategy has not changed at all.”

It was the most logical decision to make since there was nothing they could do for those villagers. Although it was cruel to his men, to Luon it was merely a setting used for his examination.

However, General Situ wasn’t satisfied by his answer he angrily said, “Are you abandoning our people! How could you say something so cruel! How can you call yourself a commander like this! Some of our men have families members amongst them!”

The other commanders were silent, inwardly they wanted to help their citizens, but there was no possible way to do so without incurring loses. General Situ knew this himself, but he still requested Luon to take action. Luon tried to convince General Situ knowing he wasn’t wholly sane but his words never got through. General Situ yelled, “Enough! If you aren’t willing to help, then I’ll go myself.”

‘To lose a general all because of this dirty tactic, what should I do?’ Luon thought as the situation was turning out to be the worse.

At this time the execution stopped as the men have been slain, leaving only women and children behind. Luon and the rest of the army soon heard the cries of women who were being tortured. Their opponent’s actions shook up the army more than what they had just done moments ago.

Even Luon found it difficult to hold himself back. However, in spite of all of this, some people maintained their cool. General Zhao continued to stare at the devastating scene with only a mere teardrop streaming down his cheeks.

Another person who was immune to this was Thanatos. He said to Luon, “Don’t get worked up. The more you do get worked up, the more difficult decisions are later down the road.”

‘Then what should I do in a situation like this!’ Luon asked him as he was clueless on what to do.

“It’s simple. Get General Huang to shoot them all down,” Thanatos said.

His words shocked Luon as he asked, ‘Even our own people? Wouldn’t that lower our morale even further?’ Luon found this tactic ludicrous, sure he can do it in the simulation as these people don’t have any real value to Luon, but if the same scenario had happened in the real world, then could he still commit to the same order?

“In times like this we don’t need a kind and virtuous commander, to kill evil one needs a greater evil. The enemies are merely lining themselves up to easily be shot. Take advantage of their weakness and destroy their ranks. Those captives are a lost cause, nothing can be done for them,” Thanatos said.

Luon understood his reasoning but he still found it difficult to believe that this was the ideal solution to the problem, but he couldn’t think up of another solution. He didn’t want to say it, because if he did, he would be agreeing to the notion of sending his troops friends and families to the afterlife.

But time waited for no one, the cries soon got louder, and Luon couldn’t help but quietly mutter, “General Huang, shoot them all down…”

“What did you just say?” General Situ who was preparing to depart heard his words, but couldn’t believe in what Luon had said.

General Huang who had his eyes covered slowly removed his hands and looked at Luon shocked. General Li, Wang and Zhao merely looked away at the scene.

Luon closed his eyes for a second and reopened them as he firmly said, “General Huang, shoot them all down.”

“You!” General Situ ran towards Luon and swung his fist. Luon stood dumbfounded as he received the blow head on.

General Situ who knew he committed an offense by striking a superior officer bellowed, “I dare you to say that again! Can you imagine if it was your family members being killed instead! How dare you say those words!”

Luon pondered on those words. Although it was the most logical thing to do at this moment, Luon couldn’t bear to repeat it in front of General Situ. Luon then heard a small sigh, Thanatos said, “I should have done this in the first place.”

Luon suddenly felt the world twirl as he soon found himself back in the black room with the television in the center of it. Thanatos had taken over his body as his eyes were quickly dyed black. Thanatos got up after being taken down by General Situ and said, “General Huang, don’t make me repeat myself one more time. Kill them all.”

“You-” General Situ was once again riled up, but his words halted as he stared into the emptiness within Luon’s eyes.

“Stand down. Your lucky enough that I haven’t beheaded you for going against the emperor’s will. You know that they can’t help so end your foolish charade. All of you get in formation! General Huang, within the next minute those arrows should be firing, or you will be arrested for defying against my orders,” Thanatos said.

“Yes sir…” said General Huang as he was forced to agree.

“You better do it quickly, it seems that the situation over there is worsening, if you don’t want those ladies to be defiled before death, then you should end their misery. Make it a swift and painless death,” Thanatos said.

“Yes, sir!” General Huang agreed in a hurry, he felt that Thanatos’s words made complete sense. The best they could do is to kill them as quickly as possible and take their assailants to the afterlife with them.

A few seconds passed, and all the generals got into formation. General Huang’s archery team rained arrows at their opponents eliminating nearly 300 soldiers in an instant with the first set along with all of the hostages. The troops were ridden with sadness, but it was immediately replaced with anger and rage for their opponents as Thanatos wouldn’t have made such a cruel decision in the first place if it weren’t for them.

The enemies troops began to panic due to the surprising ranged attack, their formation quickly changed and by the time they were out of range of General Huang’s attack nearly 800 soldiers had died.

The arrows were the first attacks exchanged between both teams. Unlike Thanatos’s formation where the arrows were focused on the right of his army, D10’s soldiers were widely spread out. D10 slowly sent the flank being attacked by arrows back and sent the other side forward to the point where General Situ and his troops have reached within their attack range.

General Situ was in a difficult predicament, despite being told earlier to retreat when he was being attacked by arrows he disobeyed the orders given to him. He was unwilling to listen to Thanatos’s command as he yelled to his troops “Charge!”

The sudden command got the troops off guard as only the ones equipped with horses rush towards the enemy. Thanatos who heard the news from a messenger said, “To think he would pull this off… alright, arrange General Situ’s troops to the main army and tell General Zhao to take over his spot and rescue General Situ if possible.”

The messenger received the command and left immediately to relay the orders.

General Situ’s forces closed in on the enemy, the devastating charge had sent many of their opponent’s archers flying and a brawl occurred shortly after. The initial charge attack would have been disastrous if all his forces were there, but it lost its momentum due to the number of troops he had lost along the way.

Initially, General Situ’s forces were winning, but over time he found it becoming increasingly difficult as more combatants from the other division came. It was to the point where he couldn’t even escape the encirclement.

At this time the main army had engaged in the combat with their opponent’s main army.

General Wang who was in charge of the center formation said, “To think there are two of you here just for me!”

He twirled his spear and intercepted several attacks, among the attackers, were two powerful generals from their opponent’s team.

One of the two laughed and said, “Do you honestly think you can handle both of us? I’ll help send you off since you seek death so much!”

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“Hmph, one or two, it doesn’t matter! I’ll have all of your heads by the end of this!” General Wang parried the two once more as he swung wildly in front of him. His attacks had caused both of them to panic a bit. Their strengths were below General Wang, but they were only in a stalemate due to the other interfering troops.

However, that stalemate soon collapses as the troops from Thanatos’s right flank attacked their enemies main force, the damage caused the opponent’s forces to begin retreating.

Their team outnumbered D10’s unit count with the initial attack at the execution site, and the charge attacked done by General Situ. With the exchanges after that, Luon and Thanatos both felt that both sides were equal in losses if he excluded the gap difference.

Thanatos soon noticed the opponent’s intention, he yelled to his messenger, “Enough with the right flank, get someone to save General Situ from the encirclement! Get the main army to turn inwards!”

More and more and enemies came piling in as General Situ struggled to face the newcomers. Sure enough one of them managed to land a solid blow against General Situ causing him to spew out blood. With a single arm, he raised his spear and split the attacker in half.

Thing’s weren’t looking good for him as his killing pace dropped to nearly half. Three more attackers took the opportunity while General Situ was defending himself, they stabbed their spears towards General Situ’s vital position. If any of them were to land, his life would be over in an instant.

Just as they were about to land a new spear intercepted the three, the attackers shocked by the newcomer were instantly decimated.

The enemies who had lost their chance at slaying a general quickly retreated but were mostly killed by the new reinforcements.

General Situ coughed out some blood as he raised his arms and bowed, he said, “Many thanks. I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t you, General Zhao.”

General Zhao who was told to do as he pleases had intercepted the opponent’s forces from killing General Situ. His actions astounded both Thanatos and Luon as they were too focused on other key points of the battlefield.

“Let’s go back, quickly,” General Zhao said as his forces dragged back the remnant of General Situ’s forces.

The result of the first day of this battle soon came to an end as the victor had yet to be decided. D10 may have lost a lot of soldiers, but they had one of his generals be heavily injured.

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