IN ANOTHER FUTURE – DAMIAN (2)
The swinging blade made a dull sound as it reaped a life. As Damian stared at the neck flying the air, he thought to himself that the drops of blood on his face were exceptionally hot. He had learned to have this kind of mental state when destroying barbarians.
“We are done after finishing up here, young master.”
Damian showed his appreciation for the knight in charge of the miscellaneous clean-up, then he turned to take a wide look around. Dead bodies with parts missing were scattered all over the place. The knights were moving around to gather the bodies in one place and were piling up firewood in preparation to burn them.
When Damian turned twenty, he began to go to subjugate barbarians. And ever since then, he stayed in Roam. The Duke’s days were extremely busy as the king’s closest aide and he could not leave the capital, so naturally, father and son lived apart from each other.
Damian approached the knights that were moving two bodies. Even from a distance, it was obvious the two corpses had very different physique and it bothered him for some reason.
When he drew closer, he realized that it wasn’t only their physiques that were different; there was a considerable age difference between the two bodies. It was a middle-aged man and a young man who had just come of age. And their very similar facial features told anyone that they were related somehow. They had protected each other, the father for the child, and the child for the father and they were dried tears and blood around the rims of their eyes.
“Young master, do you have a different order or…?”
The knight carefully asked after seeing Damian stand there silently, looking at the corpses for a while.
“…No. I’ll leave the rest to you. I shall return first.”
When Damian turned around and quickly walked to his leased horse, the knight hurriedly ran after him.
“Young master, it is dangerous to move separately. We are in the middle of the barbarian land and…”
“Didn’t you say there are no movements in the vicinity?”
“That’s correct, but one can never know.”
Damian hopped on the horse despite the knight’s protests.
“I want to hurl. The smell of blood is especially nauseating today.”
Damian held the horse and kicked the horse’s side in one swift motion. Seeing Damian’s back becoming distant in the blink of an eye, the knight quickly called for a nearby knight to join and followed after the young master.
After running with the two knights for a while, Damian felt something strange, so he slowed down and came to a stop. The knights followed suit and came up to Damian.
“Young master, is something the matter?”
The knights were startled and looked around in a hurry. There were no signs of people around but Damian was born with sharp senses so he could sense the movements of a group slowly narrowing around them. Their suppressed bloodthirst could be felt in the air as they carefully approached like a pack of wolves round up prey.
‘Dozens…no, more than that?’
The power on Damian’s side was only that of three people. No matter how skilled a knight was, there was a limit to overcoming an absolute inferiority in numbers.
‘I guess this is it.’
Damian’s expression was calm as he predicted the end of his short life. He looked up at the sky; it was particularly clear today, without a cloud in sight. He had heard that when the end approached, you would see the person you missed the most drawn in the sky. Damian stared at the sky for a good while, then he smiled bitterly and lowered his head.
Nothing was drawn.
* * *
The Duke of Taran rushed to Roam upon receiving the terrible news of Damian Taran’s death. He met his son for the first time in a very long while, but his son’s body was already cold.
After the funeral of the young lord, the Duke of Taran gathered the entire power of his family and declared war against the barbarians. No one was able to stop the Duke of Taran’s quest for the price of his son’s life.
The conquest of the northern barbarians ended in a year, being more of a unilateral massacre than an actual war. Countless barbarians were killed, regardless of age or gender. The bodies formed mountains and rivers of blood. The repulsive smell of burning bodies rode on the wind and covered the entire barbarian land. And so, the vast barbarian land became a territory with no owner.
It was like a vast, empty piece of land had suddenly dropped from the sky causing many countries to drool over it. A vast territory was a necessary condition to be reborn as a prosperous country. Heated competition for the land began to break out all over the place.
It was a prelude to an enormous war which was later called the Second Continental War.
[End of Sidestory: In Another Future – Damian]