Chapter 301 – Captives
Zhao Hai was sitting inside a tent drinking some mutton soup and eating some mutton. This time, they weren’t hurrying along anymore since they just arrived at an area not far away from Herculean Bull’s old camp.
Wales drunk an entire bowl of soup and ate a piece of mutton, after feeling nourished he turned to Zhao Hai and asked, “Little Hai, are you sure that the Fighting Bulls didn’t see us?”
Zhao Hai nodded, “Don’t worry brother, the Fighting Bulls had not come out of the camp after all this time, so it’ll be impossible for them to spot us. But brother needs to prepare your heart, the Fighting Bulls hadn’t treated you clansmen properly.” Zhao Hai stopped talking at this point.
Wales looked at Zhao Hai, “Little Hai, what’s it like there?”
Zhao Hai sighed, “They didn’t provide any tents for your clansmen, they also didn’t give them some padded clothing, and they were only fed once every few days . Of the three hundred thousand captured Herculean Bulls, two hundred thousand remain.”
Wales’ eyes almost fell from their sockets, he stared blankly, one could see veins bulging on his head. Zhao Hai hurriedly added, “Big Brother, don’t be angry, we can save your people soon.”
Wales took deep breaths and closed his eyes, it took a while for him to calm down. He turned to Zhao Hai, “Right, we can take revenge soon. Brother Hai, I want to thank you. Because of you all of these became possible.”
Zhao Hai smiled and said, “Big Brother is too polite, I’m the Herculean Bull’s Crown Prince, isn’t this what I should be doing? Brother, currently, the clansmen are grouped together, the elderly are placed at the outer parts while the women and children are in the middle, warming each other up by talking a walk from time to time. However, there were no Fighting Bulls monitoring them, so I can go there ahead and supply them some food, if there are weapons, I could also deliver it to them so that when we launch our attack, they may be able to help out.”
Wales shook his head, “We can give them food, but not weapons. They suffered for a long time, their bodies have long since grew weak. If we let them fight, they may just die in vain.”
At this time, Mendez interjected while shaking his head, “Brother Seven, I agree with Little Hai’s words. We should give them weapons, not only can they provide help in killing the enemy, they could also use the weapons as a means of self defense. If we are battling, what if the Fighting Bulls were to send some people to kill them? Thus we should provide them weapons.”
Yale also nodded, “I also agree that we should give them weapons, but we can’t give them weapons that are too large, hatchets would be good, as they are not too conspicuous. Right, Wales did the Supreme Elder say when we’ll begin?”
Wales replied with a serious tone, “The day after tomorrow. We cannot wait for too long, the earlier the better.”
Yale nodded and said, “At night?”
Wales nodded, “Yes, a surprise attack at night.”
Yale asked again, “Did the Mastiff elder arrive? How many are there?”
Wales said, “They arrived, two came. I actually didn’t hope that the Mastiffs would send their three elders, but sending two is certainly a surprise.”
Yale added, “Good, let everyone take a rest tomorrow and prepare for the attack the day after tomorrow.” They want to attack the Fighting Bulls with the element of surprise. So while they were moving, they were very careful to not come across any other tribes along the way, minimizing the advantages that the Fighting Bulls could acquire.
What they’re planning was the right thing to do, but moving around with five hundred thousand people while remaining undetected was challenging. Fortunately, beastmen tend to remain inside their camps during winter, so Zhao Hai lent Wales some hawks to survey the area ahead to spot some tents and then avoided those areas.
This aid, along with his previous deeds, were taken by all the Herculean Bulls at heart. Now they were convinced that without Zhao Hai, their counterattack wouldn’t be possible. This opportunity was given to them by Zhao Hai, thus the Herculean Bulls have been very respectful to him.
In the current Herculean Bull clan, even though Zhao Hai wasn’t a beastman, his position wasn’t any lower than elder Kony. Now, every time Zhao delivered them food, no matter old or young, they would give Zhao Hai their salutes, as a sign of their innermost gratitude.
At this point, Zhao Hai told Wales, “Big Brother, it would be better if you send a clan representative with me. Otherwise, since the other clansmen do not know of me, they may make a fuss, and the Fighting Bulls might be alerted.”
Wales knew that Zhao Hai was about to give his captured clansmen some food. He nodded and replied, “Right, Uncle Kony, please go together with Little Hai. I’ll have the hatchets prepared right now.”
Kony didn’t oppose, he nodded and replied, “Good, when it comes to familiarity with the other clansmen, I’m at the advantage so it’s right that I come.”
At this time, Mendez exited the tent to fetch the hatchets. He got a few of them, enough for a person to wield one each. Although these hatchets weren’t large, in the hand of the Herculean Bulls they would be equally terrifying.
Before long, all of the hatchets were collected and placed in the middle of the camp. Zhao Hai looked at Wales and said, “Well, Brother, I’ll go now.” After having said that, the middle of the camp was immediately covered in a black fog taking Zhao Hai and Kony along. When the black fog disappeared, the two also vanished from the camp.
When the two appeared, they were already not far from the Fighting Bulls encampment, it was a huge camp. To be honest, this was actually the Herculean Bull’s old camp, but now it was acquired by the Fighting Bulls.
Kony can finally see the situation outside now that they were so close from the camp. Kony’s eyes gave of a bit of light but Zhao Hai didn’t comment on it. They were again wrapped by the black fog and reappeared right beside a ragged group. These people wore expressionless faces and were moving constantly. They were bundled together with almost having no gap between them.
This time, Zhao Hai used Earth Magic to elevate the place that they were in. Now they were able to see the whole group of Herculean Bull captives.
The Herculean Bull captives didn’t have anything to warm themselves up. So in order to survive the freezing winter, they crowded together to share warmth and kept moving around like a group of penguins. The person outside would be switched from time to time by someone from the inside so that nobody would freeze to death quickly.
Although their methods did work, not everyone could survive the freezing cold and snowstorms. Of the three hundred thousand captives, only less than two hundred thousand remain.
Many of those who died were the elderly, in order to save the Herculean Bull children, they placed the children in the middle of the group and stood outside to block off the cold winds. If the Fighting Bulls were to send some food, the children would be the first to eat. Because of the cold and hunger, many people died as a consequence.
When Kony saw his clansmen, he grit his teeth almost to the point of crushing them. Then he patted the side of a clansman’s face since they didn’t manage to notice him, and with his old voice he said, “Carrik, Carrik, I’m Kony, can you still recognize me?”
The Herculean Bull woke up and started to turn his eyes. He glanced at Kony and seemed to not see him. He closed his eyes again before he opened them up quickly, as though in disbelief, the clansman looked around and then said with a lowered voice, “Elder, why are you here? Were you also caught?”
Due to the small commotion, the surrounding people came to notice the new arrivals. But since all were elderly Herculean Bulls, some of them knew that Kony was able to escape and was thus surprised to see him here. However, since they were experienced, they didn’t make any loud noises and seemed to continue on with what they’re doing while engulfing Kony and Zhao Hai towards the middle of the group.
Kony looked at Carrik and shook his head, his eyes were tearful, “This old man has made you suffer, but your suffering will soon be over. The Seventh Prince Wales has managed to return to the clan and became the new chieftain. He took us back here to seek vengeance, you only need to wait for two days. In two days, we will attack the Fighting Bull clan. This is the chieftain’s Beheading Blood Oath Brother and also our tribes Crown Prince Zhao Hai. He is also a formidable magician and today he brought us here to deliver you food and weapons. You only need to endure for two more days.”
Carrik looked excitedly at Kony, his tears were flowing down. It was a very difficult time for them, they were waiting for this day and it finally arrived.
At this time, the sky had already turned dark, and the Fighting Bull camp was very quiet, they seemed to have gone to bed. In such a weather, even Polar Bears and Giant Tigers who loved fighting would stay inside their camp to rest.
They didn’t fear that the Herculean Bulls would escape. In such a weather, if the Herculean Bulls were to try to escape without any warm clothes, then they would definitely freeze in the prairie. Thus they didn’t send anyone to monitor the captives, but only sent someone look out for their argali and grain.
Fortunately, Carrik and the others were veterans who had fought many battles. Although they were old and captured, they immediately calmed down, which was a skill they had acquired. Thus, the group resumed their tranquility after only a few moments as though there weren’t anything new happening.
Kony looked at their calmness and then turned his head to Carrik, “Pass on the information that we have come back, so that they do not make a ruckus, act as though nothing’s going on”
Carrik nodded, immediately conveyed the message to the people around and pass it on. The message was simple, Elder Kony has returned, the other clansmen has returned.
This information spread like a ripple as though a pebble had disturbed the pond. The message spread and then Zhao Hai also began giving out mutton and mutton soup. He didn’t give them much, only half a jin of lamb as well as a bowl of soup.
They did not dare speak too loudly, afraid that the Fighting Bulls might hear. Currently, Carrik didn’t go with the other clansmen, but followed Kony and Zhao Hai at the side to help the clansmen.
Zhao Hai started with the elderly first, some of these elderly were almost beyond saving, they need food the most.
Carrik also came to know Zhao Hai’s magic, he saw that in Zhao Hai’s hand a bowl of hot soup and some warm mutton would suddenly appear. When he looked at Zhao Hai, he seemed to see the Beast God.
Zhao Hai didn’t give their weapons immediately, he was afraid of being found out by the Fighting Bulls. He only gave them some food. Then, in between the cover of Carrik and the others, they headed towards the center of the group where the women and children were and gave them some food.
Zhao Hai found out that giving food this time was more difficult. Back at the main camp, he only needed to send food to each tent, but this time he needed to deliver them one by one to the hands of the people.
Zhao Hai was busy until dawn. Although it was winter, Zhao Hai and Kony were sweating. When the morning came, all of the people had already drank hot soup and ate warm mutton. Kony then told Carrik about their means of transfer and then vanished from the group with Zhao Hai.
Although Carrik still had to endure the cold winds here, they now have a burning hope in their hearts. If winter comes, can spring be far behind?
When Zhao Hai and Kony returned to the main camp, Wales still had not rested and had been waiting for them. Looking at their unsightly complexion, Wales decided to walk to them instead.
Zhao Hai was already tired and didn’t have the energy to say a few words, he just waved his hand and went to the side to lie down. Kony fared better than Zhao Hai since he had a beastman’s stamina, and also he didn’t personally hand out the food one by one to the clansmen back then. Kony nodded at Wales and said, “The food has been given, but Little Hai didn’t give them the weapons in fear of it being discovered. He decided to give the weapons tomorrow as we gave the evening meal, I also agreed with this.”
Wales nodded and asked, “How were the clansmen?”
Kony replied, “There were less than two hundred thousand people left. Calculating the combat potential with the elderly and the women, they would amount to one hundred and fifty thousand which is still a formidable force. The rest have died of freezing or starvation and is now lying down on the prairie.”
Wales, angrily snorted, “Fighting Bulls, I’ll certainly make you into slaves for generations.”
At this time the sound of snoring could be heard. Wales turned to look at where it came from, but realized that it was just Zhao Hai, tired and has fallen asleep.
- I just want to state that if an animal’s name is capitalized, then its referring to the beastman version of that animal.
- If winter is approaching and everything is dying, then there is a spring season ahead. Source