Chapter 56: Spoils of Victory

Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio  Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio

Pfftt.

Blood splattered as the short sword was pulled out of the Jackalan’s eye socket.

Kant flicked his forearm, splashing blood staining the blade onto the ground. He kicked the Jackalan that was kneeling and dead in front of him. His face looked rather relaxed and tired. “It’s over.”

The thick stench of things being burned permeated the air.

Even thicker than that was the stench of blood in the air, so much so that it felt as if it was solid.

Bodies were all over the ground where Kant stood.

Most of the bodies belonged to dead Jackalans. The occasional perished Swadian warrior was also seen.

Under the valiant and suicidal charge of Kant’s forces, the battle was finally over.

At that moment, the ownership of the Nahrin Desert was finally decided.

The Jackalan Tribe was engulfed by the flames. Heatwaves swept all over the place, lighting up the dried, ragged tents around and turning the place into a sea of flames. Any Jackalan that did not manage to escape in time was quickly burned or suffocated to death in the flames.

This was the place where the Jackalans had lived for generations.

It was also the grave marking the end of their reign.

It was a totally different story for Kant.

The man stood at the edge of the flames, enjoying the scene of the roaring fire engulfing everything in its path. He sensed the heatwave dispelling the chill of night in the desert while lamenting the brutality of war.

He had been the victor.

He had been the one who had conquered the Nahrin Desert.

He was a noble and a baron of the Dukedom of Leo.

That was enough for him.

The Swadian troops who survived stood behind Kant. They watched the flames before them.

The roaring inferno before their eyes did not scare them. Instead, it made them feel rather warm.

They were all very tired from all that fighting mere moments before.

Their bodies were covered in blood and grime. Many limped along as they helped each other out. If one looked close enough, it was easy to tell that almost everyone had ended up injured. It was a testament to the extent of brutality witnessed in the battle that had just ended.

Kant’s forces had taken the lead with their initial ambush.

However, when the Jackalans resisted, his forces were still severely devastated.

Casualties were high in their ranks.

“Two-thirds of us will be left behind in this place.”

Kant turned around and made a rough count.

He let out a deep sigh. Less than 100 men were standing behind him, and all of them were injured.

He turned his gaze on the eastern horizon.

A beam of the dawn’s light pierced through the thick darkness. A faint round white bulb gradually rose on the horizon.

Dawn was approaching.

Gallop, gallop, gallop, gallop…

The rushed gallops of the horses were heard coming from the great fire.

Firentis took the lead and led four or five Elite Desert Bandits out of the sea of flames. They pulled their reins when they came near their lord, ordering their horses to halt with a vocal command.

“You’re back.”

Kant nodded to Firentis. He looked rather relieved. “It’s good to see you around again.”

Firentis was his only general.

The general had been scalded by the flames as he emerged from the sea of flames. If it had not been for the fact that he was wearing an iron helmet, all of his hair would have probably burned off. Based on how the horses’ manes were almost half-burned and injuries were everywhere on their bodies, the same would have happened to him. The wounds from both the fire and the spike clubs looked very harrowing.

Firentis expressed his gratitude in a very solemn manner. “Thank you very much for your concern, Lord Kant.”

Firentis got off his horse and took a package from one of the bags hanging on the horse’s back. He handed it to Kant and said, “Here are the belongings of that Jackalan shaman, My Lord.”

“Huh?” Kant took hold of the package.

He opened it and found a staff that was broken in several places in it, as well as a book that looked rather old.

Kant’s expression was serious.

The staff was made of some sort of thin wood. It had been snapped into several pieces after it was stomped on. Firentis had collected it in its entirety. The most eye-catching part was the top end of the staff, which contained a black gem that was about the size of an egg.

Kant had seen one of those back in the Dukedom of Leo. It was where the staff’s power came from.

The royal mages in the castle all had similar staffs to aid with spellcasting.

The old book caught Kant’s attention the most.

“What is this?” Kant was unable to help but frown.

He held the book in his hand. It felt rather soft. The cover of the book seemed to be crafted with a soft goat pelt. While the book had dirt and dust on it, it still made Kant’s heart race. It was as if he was holding some incredible item.

At the same time, a dialog box from the system appeared.

[Ding… You have secured victory after fighting a bloody battle.]

[Main Quest: The First Powerful Enemy is complete.]

[Reward: 10,000 Denars, 1,000 Reputation, 10 Honor]

[Introduction: The act of defeating a powerful enemy was but a steppingstone. A new journey awaits, so please keep working hard. Believe in your abilities. None of your enemies will be as terrifying as your first powerful enemy. None will be able to stand in your way.]

It was obvious from the dialog box that the quest from the system had been completed.

Kant grinned.

He had expected this.

The Jackalan Tribe before him had been engulfed in flames. When the fire was extinguished, nothing but ruins would be left behind.

It was no longer a place where any Jackalan would live.

Even the ones that had survived the battle and made it out would not be able to survive long in the harsh conditions of the Nahrin Desert. Furthermore, the extreme heat and cold between day and night were enough to take their lives.

When he was still mulling over the aftermath of the battle, a new dialog box appeared on his retina.

[Ding… You have obtained stunning results due to having won the battle despite heavily outnumbered.]

[Evaluation Acquired: Epic Victory]

[Reputation acquired x 100]

[Honor acquired x 1]

The result of that battle was evaluated by the system to be an epic victory.

Kant grinned at the results.

He had crushed a Jackalan Tribe that consisted of 2,000 Jackalans with only 300 men. He won despite being severely outnumbered and at a disadvantage. That evaluation was well within expectation.

Kant turned around.

He saw his limping troops behind him. The grin on his face gradually disappeared.

Despite being an ambush, his forces had suffered heavy casualties.

Only 10 Swadian Footmen were left.

Only 31 Swadian Militia members were left.

Only 46 Swadian Recruits were left.

Finally, only five Elite Desert Bandits were left.

The total of his surviving units was a mere 92.

It was as if he had been robbed clean. All of the reward he gained from the last battle was gone in that one battle.

War had a way of burning through one’s resources quickly.

[Ding… Your forces have upgradable units.]

It was a consolation and relief that his surviving forces were at least able to get upgraded.

All troop classes after the upgrade would become elites.

“Open the list of troop classes.”

Kant connected his mind with the system. A dialog box immediately appeared on his retina.

[Upgradable Troop Class: Swadian Recruits x 46]

[Spend 10 Denars each to upgrade to Swadian Militia.]

[Ding… You have surplus experience. Your forces can be upgraded consecutively.]

[Upgradable Troop Class: Swadian Militias x 31]

[Spend 20 Denars each to upgrade to Swadian Footman/Swadian Skirmisher.]

[Ding… You have surplus experience. Your forces can be upgraded consecutively.]

[Upgradable Troop Class: Swadian Footmen x 10]

[Spend 50 Denars each to upgrade to Swadian Man-at-arms/Swadian Infantry.]

[Ding… You have surplus experience. Your forces can be upgraded consecutively]

[Upgradable Troop Class: Elite Desert Bandits x 5]

[Spend 40 Denars each to upgrade to Sarrandian Horseman.]

[Ding… You have surplus experience. Your forces can be upgraded consecutively.]

The upgrade routes of the troop classes were clearly shown on the system’s dialog box.

However, Kant’s heart was racing.

The fruit of victory was indeed sweet.

All of his troops were available for upgrades.

Better yet, all of them were able to be upgraded further.

Even if they were to not be upgraded to become troop classes of higher levels, the quality of Kant’s forces would be enhanced.

Kant only needed to make it through the exhaustion period after the war to take in the fruits of his victory and gain a second explosive growth in his forces.

It was just like how it had been with the night invasion back then.

However, a new dialog box appeared on his retina before Kant had begun to upgrade his troops.

[Ding… Extraordinary things were discovered after a careful inspection.]

[Special Quest: Explore the Mysterious is complete.]

[Reward: 5,000 Denars]

[Introduction: You have received loot from the Jackalan Tribe, which contained mystical powers.]

Kant was slightly stunned by what he saw in that dialog box from the system.

Special quest?

After a short while, Kant finally recalled something of that sort.

It was a special quest given by the system when he scouted the place the week before.

Kant had forgotten all about the special quest because he had been preoccupied with invading the Jackalan Tribe. He only came to suddenly remember the quest when he was reminded by the system.

He lowered his head and looked at the broken staff in the package, as well as the mysterious old book.

Kant knew deep down that those two things were what the system was talking about.

The system gave him the answer he sought.

[Ding… Side Quest assigned]

[Side Quest: Help from the System]

[Reward: Upgrade the village]

[Introduction: This is a world with mystical powers at work. Items holding conceptual powers contain energies that the system desperate needs. Will you allow the system to absorb the items?]

[Remark: The system will be amplified after absorbing the items.]

[Will you allow the system to absorb the items?]

Kant was thoroughly dumbfounded.

That side quest from the system did not even give him any choice regarding the matter.

The reward offered was the upgrade of his village.

Furthermore, there was also the remark, which he had never seen before. All of that meant that the system was in desperate need of those items.

Kant nodded and made his choice without hesitation. “Yes, I will.”

The system was the only help he had in that world and the only thing he was truly able to rely on. Boosting the system led him to prosperity. Losing the system led to his downfall. Kant was not foolish enough to hold anything back from the system.

Besides, the system was his cheat.

It was held in such great importance that Kant deemed the cheat to be more precious than his parents in that world.

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