The day the notice of Roman enlisting soldiers came, Henderson thought, ‘I want to be a man of Roman Dmitry.’
He still could not forget what happened at Lawrence’s Square. Henderson and the others were only having a normal day until Roman came in and trampled the peace. And people covered their mouths at the sight of Ben Miles, a heinous criminal, being dragged along by the hand of Roman while his blood constantly dripped down on the ground. And soon, Roman executed Ben Miles. He said he couldn’t forgive the Blood Fang, who touched the people of Dmitry, and didn’t even mind getting his hands dirty with blood. When he saw that look, Henderson couldn’t help but admire him. Because of that reason, Henderson, who was originally from Lawrence, instantly applied to become one of Roman Dmitry’s people.
‘A soldier doesn’t need to have great qualities.’—That was the common thought of those who applied. They thought Dmitry wasn’t a huge family, so it wouldn’t be tough to become one of Roman’s soldiers. However, what happened? Even after he managed to pass the test, Henderson had to face many more difficulties. It was mainly because all those who had passed the test were far from ordinary. Not to mention Chris and Kevin, who had demonstrated their Aura in the war, there were veteran mercenaries like Lucas and Pooky. In the end, there was only one person there who could be called normal. And that was Henderson.
In fact, if that was all, Henderson felt like he could somehow survive as one of Roman’s soldiers. However, the training truly stunned him.
’…Can I even stay here?’ was his thought for the first few weeks while training. Looking at the other soldiers who were so much better than him, Henderson even thought he didn’t deserve to be here. It was also because, actually, unlike those who had strong hearts and didn’t even blink an eye during the test, he looked like he would pee out of fear.
His heart still raced as he thought about it. In a group that was full of wild predators, he only thought of himself as a herbivore.
He pondered it for a long time. Finally, he went to Chris and said, “…I am sorry, but I don’t think I am qualified to serve Sir Roman Dmitry.”N♡vεlB¡n: Transforming Moments into Memories.
It was a realistic decision. Most would have even considered it to be correct. Nevertheless, Chris asked, “Why do you think so?”
“I don’t know why. Maybe it is because, unlike the other soldiers here, I am a beginner who doesn’t even know how to properly wield a sword. I cannot keep up with the training process, and it doesn’t make sense for me to waste the resources of Sir Roman Dmitry. I think I was arrogant to even want and come here to follow him when all I did was farm all my life.”
“Are you saying that because you think your level is below that of others?”
If Chris had heard that before he met Roman, he would have agreed with Henderson. However, even Chris had become different now.
“When I think of Kevin the first time I saw him, he was nothing more than a kid who had passion in his eyes. To be honest, I couldn’t understand why a man like our liege would even bring in a kid from the slums. But does Kevin still look weak to you? No. In that short time, Kevin grew into a warrior no one can ignore.”
“…Is that true?”
“Of course, it is. It is a funny thing, but I was the same back then. When I first met the young master, I was ignorant and ran toward him only to get my teeth broken. At that time, I was a frog in the well. And just like the current Kevin is different from the Kevin of the past, I have also changed from the past by the guidance of our liege. So, what are you worried about? The young master has accepted you as a soldier. You might be humble now, but you have the potential to grow, just like Kevin and me. Roman Dmitry—the young master we serve has the ability to make it possible.”
His heart began to pound intensely. Kevin was truly someone who was recognized by everyone. But even Kevin was someone who was but a small child before he met Roman Dmitry.
‘Can I also be like that?’
He wasn’t sure, but after hearing Kevin and Chris’ case, hope bloomed in his heart.
“…To be honest, I did not believe in myself. As a farmer, I could not even imagine being as strong as you and Kevin, but as you have said, I will trust the eyes of our liege, Chris. He chose me from so many applicants, so he must have a good reason. I will focus on my training again. And in the future, I won’t come looking for Chris for such things.”
Henderson’s mindset changed entirely that day. And from that point onward, Henderson’s life began to change as well.
The last few months, Henderson was obsessed with training to death. He did it all in order to not bring shame to Roman. Even if he puked all day, even if he fainted during training, Henderson continued to go against the odds and eventually caught up with his colleagues and created his current body.
Because of that, when he saw the other soldiers, who had a whole year to train, complain, he couldn’t help but raise his voice.
“What do you people think war is? When you are on the line of life and death, where you can only survive by killing others, will you say that you cannot fight because you only had a short training time? Pathetic bastards. One year is the time when you can farm until the harvest comes. You all are just making pathetic excuses for the comfortable life you have been living and saying that you had no chance because of your life as conscripts.”
When a war begins, one needs to defend their life. Even if they were drafted, how hard they worked could bring about a vast difference. However, what were the soldiers of other nobles doing? They were just holding onto saying that they didn’t have the minimum qualifications. Seeing them complain about such stuff, Henderson could only frown. “For all of you, who have lived their lives without training hard for a year, today’s training must have been quite difficult. But if you know that your current state is lacking, isn’t it a common reaction to try and catch up with us instead of blaming us? Why? Are you asking us to come down to the same level as you now?”
Roman told them earlier that for their time on the Southern Front, they had to prepare for war. Roman’s soldiers all trained as if they were on a real battlefield and, although not perfect, they were sure they would have a chance of survival and winning, if a war truly broke out. That was why they couldn’t understand the other soldiers’ reactions. Being in the same room as them and hearing their naïve thoughts made their skin crawl.
Even though Henderson’s words were brutally offensive, the soldiers of other nobles could only stay silent. The fact that Henderson’s preparation period was less than even half a year made them all go silent.
Once he said that, Henderson turned away from them. Even if their attitude didn’t change, Henderson would still train with the same passionate attitude the next day and the days after that as well. He would do so because it was the will of Roman Dmitry. And because of that will, Roman’s soldiers thought that the war had already started.
The training continued. It was quite extreme. Still, even though the intensity of the training increased day by day, Roman’s soldiers only clenched their teeth and continued to train hard.
The nobles who watched the training noticed the gap between them was too much. Was it because their pride was hurt because of the difference? They, while watching the others training as if they were on a battlefield, complained, “Why are they all overdoing it?”
“Right. This isn’t even the Western Front for them to be that dedicated. It’s the Southern Front, which is far from war. However, it seems like our men are suffering because of them.”
“Well, those born shallow will do such things. If they don’t act out like this, how will the Dmitry family even get recognition?”
They openly mocked Roman. The Southern Front was known to be a place for the nobles to spend two years of vacation at. Rather, it would have been understandable if this was the Western Front. There, people even got rewards for doing such things, but the Southern Front was unlike that.
Roman, who was under the sun, had a bright red face.
Seeing him training so hard with the soldiers, the nobles thought he was foolish.
Nevertheless, among the nobles under the shadows of the trees, there was a noble who, rather than ridiculing him, looked worried. That noble was Henry Albert.
’…How do I even win the heart of someone like him?’
Right, the current situation was quite odd for him. If he was interested in pleasure, like other nobles, Henry could have struck up a conversation, but Roman was only sweating and working hard. Henry’s thoughts had changed from those he had the first day. Actually, if it wasn’t for his uncle’s orders, even he would have been making fun of him. Nevertheless, he couldn’t. When he thought he would be assigned to the same unit as someone like Roman, his head started to ache.
‘No, was I ever this sensitive? If he came to the Southern Training Center, it should be to speak and build friendships with others. In the end, common people do not know how to relax and take it easy, eh? I don’t know now. I guess things will work out in the end.’
He lay down in the shadows of the trees as the sun was quite hot today. He could hear the soldiers shouting while training to cheer themselves, and he lay down in the coolness of the shade.
He thought after a good night’s sleep, maybe this tedious training would end.
At that time, on the front line of defense on the Southern Front, Cairo’s soldiers watched the border.
“Ugh, I am exhausted.”
“Don’t even ask that. I only slept for 2 hours as I was busy playing cards with the 2nd Squad.”
The soldier had quite a tired face. He didn’t even look at the border. He only gently checked to see if there was anyone under the fortress wall, and he then pulled out a water bottle hanging from his waist and opened up the lid.
The smell of alcohol irritated the tip of his nose. The soldier next to him was dumbfounded.
“You brought alcohol?”
“Does it matter if I brought it? We need to let go of being so strict. Does it matter if we have a drink in a place where no one will come anyway? And rather, this is good for work efficiency. It is better to have a little drink and get up than work while feeling sleepy.”
“If you don’t want to drink, tell me. I will just drink by myself if you don’t want to.”
He drank it. A stimulating sensation went down his throat. And seeing the other soldier like that, the other one couldn’t resist it.
“Just one sip.”
On the Southern Front, this was a common sight. The long time of peace had given birth to a sense of complacency. They became even more complacent as there were no major problems during their years of service yet.
But they didn’t see it. While drinking, the shaking at a place of lush vegetation at the border had gone unnoticed.
Editor’s Thoughts: Man, Roman and his soldiers are truly epic. Also, the war is about to begin! Let’s go!!!