Conquest Chapter 113 (Part 1)- The “Henchman” Tatara
JUNE 19, 2017 SUPERPOTATOSAMA3 COMMENTS
So this chapter (113) is about 6.3k characters long, which I am also going to split into 3 parts (considering that I don’t think I can comfortably do it in 2). This chapter is a bit short, but I hope you guys enjoy.
Although winter had already passed, the weather suddenly changed, a sudden snowstorm in the northern part of the Byzantine Empire set in, lasting an entire three days. The snow blocked the road and closed off many bridges. Goods had a very hard time traveling around the empire, causing the prices for food to soar, and adding a great deal of pressure on the common citizens.
In contrast, these problems seemed very far away for the majority of the Empire’s nobility. When the snow arrived, many of the nobles were busy holding various different activities, such as lavish banquets, horseback hunting during the snow, enjoying the winter scenery, and the ladies and lords were happily showing off the latest styles of fur clothes in fashion.
Shaar and his companions, and the rest of the caravan was obstructed by the sudden road blockages, and were forced to stay in the provincial capital of Armenia, Malika City.
Armenia County was already considerably close to the Empire’s capital, Osgiliath. Despite its’ proximity, however, it does not belong within the jurisdiction of the central government but is rather a Themata militarized region (TN: This author uses quite some technical terms from history, you can click here if you were wondering what this term actually is), comprised of the county capital Malika, the surrounding six smaller cities, and dozens of other villages and towns, with a population of over half a million people. Moreover, in regards to geography, the distance from Armenia county to the Empire capital, Osgiliath, is the closest, and Malika City is also the empire’s third largest city. From a military viewpoint, Armenia Military Zone is also top three in terms of military strength, out of a total of forty-six.
The Armenian Military Region is also the very first since the establishment of the current military order, and the current superintendent of the military region, General Hughes, is a member of the military faction. When the seat of power fell into his family’s hands seventy years ago, they have never turned the power over to another and has already passed the position down for three generations.
After seventy years of operation, like most other military regions within the Byzantine Empire, the Armenian Military Region seems more like a country within a country. The Superintendent General Hughes not only has a force of over fifty thousand citizen-soldiers registered on paper, he has also developed another standing army of twenty thousand strong. Of course, this army did not exist on the official records of the Empire and is still classified under “farmer-soldier”, which many other military regions similarly did.
Looking at it from this perspective, if we consider all of the military regions within the borders of the Byzantine Empire, the one that causes a headache for the Emperor the most would undoubtedly be the Armenian Military Region!
It is because it is too close to the administrative zone of the Imperial Capital, Osgiliath!!
The Imperial Administrative Zone is comprised of Osgiliath at the very center, surrounded by six other urban zones along with another approximately one thousand square kilometers of land surrounding it. And setting off from Malika City under normal circumstance, in accordance with the speed of a marching army would only take three days to reach the Imperial Capital Osgiliath!
Under with the Themata Military System, these various warlords and superintendents of these military zones were only loyal to the central government superficially. With the situation like this, how could the emperor rest easy?
The Armenian military region has an area that produces high-quality iron ore which was found sixty years ago. The direct aftermath of this discovery led to the immediate prosperity of General Hughes’s family. The possession of such a wealthy land with an enormous population, coupled with the discovery of iron ore led to the strength of the Armenian military region to be more than doubled! A saying even arose from this discovery, that the armor the Armenian military infantry possesses is of an even higher quality than that of the standing Imperial Army!
This region produces the Byzantine Empire’s best armor and weaponry, and the output to is very shocking! Because of such an advantage, the Armenian military region’s governing family could be considered a major power within the empire’s ring of military families. As the Armenian military region often exports weapons and armor to other military regions, it has become the core player within the military faction.
The current Governor Hughes, even when considering the area of the entire empire, could be considered in the top ten list of people with the most power, and as such, naturally, would not personally come and meet Shaar whose standing was far beneath his.
Although Shaar had arrived at Malika City for only one day, the Hughes family had already received word of this new up- and- coming star’s arrival due to their impermeable information networks which have been put in place after three generations of rule. Right when he entered the city, Shaar had already exposed his identity when he showed the guard proof of his identity.
However, when the news was passed up the line of command, Hughes did not have any intention to suck up to this “Hero of the Empire” at all. However, he did pass down a command: “Don’t provoke or obstruct that guy. Let him pass through.”
Unfortunately, due to the roads being blocked in by the snow, Shaar had no choice but to live in the city for a few more days.
A short chapter, as I was looking for a decent place to cut this section off. There were some technical stuff that I had some trouble translating, but it ended up daijoubu.
Conquest Chapter 113 (Part 2/3)- The “Henchman” Tatara
JUNE 20, 2017 SUPERPOTATOSAMA4 COMMENTS
Yay! 20th post milestone!
The foundation for the next arc is slowly being laid… enter, THE TOURNAMENT ARC! DUN DUN~~
Although the winter wonderland attracted the attention of many nobles, it was quite a different scene inside the city.
The snow on the roads was trampled under countless number of horses, turning into a muddy black concoction. In some locations, the snow melted and formed into muddy pits, and an occasional carriage passing by would splash the dirty water onto the nearby passerby.
The prices for grain had already risen a lot despite the governor’s attempt to solve the food shortage by opening the city’s various grain reserves as well as banning all merchants from mass-buying large amounts of grain. The price for bread had risen by forty percent, and the price of meat doubled- Armenia, though rich in iron ores, was not a big producer of grain, nor animal husbandry industry a prevalent force in the within the empire. A portion of the food within the military region was imported from outside of the region.
However in general, over the span of three generations the governor’s family rule could be considered successful, as in regards to the poor population within the city, not many of them have been starved or frozen to death.
However because of the blizzard, many people were trapped within Malika City. In addition to Shaar and the others, there are also many other caravans traveling north that were also delayed there. Though there was a lot of them, they were as a whole very peaceful, being merchant groups that do business.
This time around, there were also many warriors and mercenary groups within Malika City.
This was because at the beginning of every spring, the Empire- wide annual martial arts competition will be held at the imperial capital of Osgiliath. As long as you are a citizen of the Byzantine Empire, and hold an official title of warrior, then you could participate.
This ancient tradition has been passed down in the Byzantine Empire for thousands of years. Legend says that at the very founding of the empire, such an event was held to promote the prestige of martial arts within the empire. The first few competitions were said to be restricted to only warriors, with a chance to meet the Emperor personally along with badges of honor bestowed upon the winners of the contest, along with a reasonably lucrative reward and a quick rise to fame, becoming one of the warriors under the Imperial court.
After the passage of thousands of years, this tradition was still retained, however the layout of this event had been changed hundreds of times.
In the arena, the original solo competitions have been retained, but another category was also added: Group battles! This no longer restricted it to the individual, but allowed groups of warriors to participate and compete amongst themselves in view of tens of thousands of cheering spectators with many different combat styles, such as melee warriors, swordsmen, ax soldiers, and even archers and assassins. This addition made it so that the competition was not a test of individual skill, but rather required a high level of cooperation and collective combat skills.
During many a round of competition, the losing side would suffer severe casualties, or even massacred on the spot! But the reward for the victors is just as amazing!
And aside from the various man versus man competitions, there are even blood-soaked battles between man and beast! (TN: PvP and PvE lool)
Raging bulls, lions, tigers, leopards, hungry wolves… and later on, even monsters were captured and thrown straight into the arena for warriors to fight against!
And the rules of the competition became more and more cruel and bloody over time! Before the start of each competition, the applicants must sign a death contract. Upon entering the arena, the competition would immediately begin with the portcullis shutting behind them and competitors would fight to the death. Only after surviving until the end could the winner ask for the portcullis to be opened again, signifying the end of that round!
In recent years, the competition has reached to an unprecedented bloody level.
However, there would be no shortage of participants, as even convicted criminals are allowed to participate in such an event, and once reaching a certain number of victories, no matter what degree of severity your crime was, the Empire will grant amnesty to you and eliminate all records of your crimes!
There are even some slaves that, upon receiving victory at such a grand event, can obtain freedom!
At the present time, the empire already has many warrior groups that have gone professional for an event like this. These teams recruit many brave warriors and form an organization that does nothing but go through hard training every day, and swarm to the Imperial capital to participate in this event. In achieving victory, they would attain immediate fame and fortune, and if they fail…. They would become nothing more than corpses on the floor of the arena, to be dragged away by the standby soldiers.
Some of the participants are brought by slave traders from all over the world. They are put through strict combat training, and then signed up for the event. Upon winning, the slaver trader would obtain an enormous “bonus”, while the slave would obtain their freedom.
At the same time, because this ancient tradition naturally incentivizes gambling, this has become a source for evil….
At this time, the annual competition held at Osgiliath is less than a month’s time away, and many mercenary teams have been trapped in Malika City due to the snow. Numerous men, who were rowdy and boisterous by nature, when faced with the looming date of the event with no way to vent their anxiety would naturally cause a lot of trouble to break out.
Even more are the many regulars that participate in the event, and had held grudges and hatred for individuals in previous competitions, upon meeting them here, would naturally let the accrued jealousy and anger burst out….
There are others that previously have had no hatred or bad blood, but heard about the reputation of the other group, and inevitably taken the opportunity to ruthlessly undermine or injure the opposing team, in order to get rid of potential competitors….
Due to this, the law and order in the city has become increasingly chaotic, with the patrolling soldiers running back and forth resolving fights, and even frequently looking into cases of murder.
Although the patrolling soldiers have been working hard to suppress the outbreaks, but to these mercenary and warrior groups that have been walking on the knife edge day- to- day, their efforts did little to deter them. Even a select few ferocious warrior teams even engaged in combat with the city patrol, then left Malika City under the cover of the chaos.
After all, outside the city was a frozen landscape of ice and snow, none of the pursuers from the city were willing to chase to fiercely. They could always find a village after traveling a distance and then wait until the weather improved before leaving.
Shaar, Gu Luo, and the rest of the caravan have been staying in this hotel for two days already. In the evening, they sat downstairs at the hotel lobby eating and drinking, but only after a moment, they heard a loud cursing sound a distance away from them, followed by the sound of a table being flipped over and the sound of bowls and plates shattering. Two people sitting a distance away from them cursed at each other a few more times, then suddenly stood up, and drew their swords out.
“Ai, this is already the third time today.” Shaar sighed, raising the wine bottle and pouring himself some more, while sitting there comfortably watching them fight.
The owner of this hotel and his assistant had long been scared into hiding behind the counter. Upon hearing the sound of shattering plates and bowls, the owner, with his face full of jiggling fat, became distressed at the lost of his precious chinaware, but could only lie there and pray silently in his heart.
The Landis people had already gathered together quickly, with Gu Luo and the others at the very center. After a few days, they had long become accustomed to this sort of scene, so everyone stayed calm while onlooking at a distance.
At the very beginning when he first encountered this scene, Shaar was still very curious about watching, but after seeing it for three days, he had long lost most of his initial interest, but still watched for another reason:
Within these warrior groups, there existed many hidden experts with unique and powerful martial skills!
Not a bad place to end off, I’m definitely looking forward to the upcoming fights and tournament arc!
Onto a different topic- I’ve been considering adding a donation or a sponsorship button for people that enjoy reading my translation, but I haven’t made a decision yet. If I do decide to do sponsored chapters/ sections, I think a reasonable level would be at 25 per release, in addition to my daily releases (therefore releasing 2 or more every day). Because the chapters are irregular in length, that would be equivalent to approximately 2.5-3.5k characters in length. I guess I’ll think of further details if I do decide to implement it in the future, but for now, enjoy! Let me know if you guys have any thoughts in regards to this or the novel in the comments below!
Potato rolling out~~
Conquest Chapter 113 (Part 3/3)- The “Henchman” Tatara
JUNE 22, 2017 SUPERPOTATOSAMA6 COMMENTS
Sorry it this chapter was slightly delayed. I spent some time deciding on how I will do housing for the upcoming fall semester…
Shaar was very clear as to the limits of his own abilities. His own arsenal is only composed of Dragon Thorn and Crimson Rage Qi. Crimson Rage Qi could be used as a technique in combat, but once he uses Dragon Thorn if he is not able to kill his opponent, then will have sealed his own fate!
As for killing techniques that he knows, he only has the “Thousand Men Army Slaughter” that the old man passed on to him. Though it is a very powerful technique, Dora informed him that this technique was obvious a skill meant for group battles! In other words, this technique was very suited for the battlefield. However, in single man duels, this skill is sufficient for any ordinary opponents, but upon meeting a strong enemy, this technique will inevitably be insufficient.
His “Thousand Men Army Slaughter” technique is good for group fights, as once used, the consecutive attacks cover a large area, but in a one-on-one scenario, it is sorely lacking in both offense and defense.
Though Shaar originally didn’t care too much for this, Dora’s next words convinced Shaar.
“If you had seriously learned a powerful martial art, then if you meet Hastings, you can at least take him on for a couple of rounds! Otherwise with your current abilities, even with Crimson Rage Qi, your only fate is to be slaughtered by him. Even if you use Dragon Thorn, you can only injure him slightly.
However, combat techniques…. Where could he learn them?
In enemy encounters before, Shaar relied primarily on the abilities of his own body, in his innate abilities and instincts. Upon meeting ordinary opponents, he would naturally take the upper hand, thus resulting in Dora’s evaluation: “You are just fighting wildly without direction, and relying on your strength to bully those that are weaker than you. If you met with a real master, then he would immediately be able to see your weaknesses and walk all over you!
However, in regards to actual martial techniques, he has no way of learning them… Though Dora was seemingly very knowledgeable, she is, after all, a dragon, and has no way of learning any human martial arts.
As for the other people that Shaar knows, the martial arts of Sarbar and the rest of them do not even measure up to Shaar’s! As for the really powerful people… Hastings is considered one, but would Hastings even consider him as a disciple?
General Adrick’s martial arts should be quite impressive, but for him to teach Shaar was impossible. After all, as a general, he must command many people to go to war. While looking at these people fighting, Shaar had a thought to steal a few techniques from these people.
From a while back, in Wildfire Town, he had seen many mercenaries fight, but most of the mercenaries over there come from a common background. The few warrior groups in front of him, most likely come from a decent background! They probably spent most of their time practicing their martial arts, with the goal of participating in mind. Therefore, amongst these people, most of them have practiced for a long time, and in these few days, he has seen quite a few masters!
Putting aside actual combat, if you simply look at their skills, then any one you pick out would be better than Shaar by a lot.
At this time, the two groups of people crashed into each other, and a warrior wearing a black leather armor suddenly jumped out with a roar and waving his hand, sent a sword light shooting out. The opponent that he was facing abruptly fell down clutching his throat, a stream of fresh blood flowing through his fingers.
The warrior wearing black armor that used the sword light was seemingly already at the level of an intermediate warrior, and his sword techniques seemed cruel and sinister.His sword’s shadow flickered again and again, and left a series of phantom images, making it so that onlookers would not be able to differentiate between the real sword and false images. With every move that he stabbed out with, the sword would always be able to accurate pierce through armor into the enemy’s weaknesses. In less than a moment, he felled five or six opponents that were in front of him.
This kind of ingenious sword technique moved Shaar’s heart, and he couldn’t resist but pick up a fork that was in front of him and begin to mimic it. Only, the ability to make the sword move like that and leave phantom images lied in the wrist and required certain skills for it to work, so how could he have learned it in such a short period of time? Shaar could only but stare intently at that man.
An axe warrior at this time swung down at the warrior wearing black, but at this time, the warrior flicked his sword up and caught the axehead with the edge of his blade. He then slid his sword following the edge of the ax, and with a bloody flash, cut off three of the axman’s fingers! Following this, with another move, he immediately pierced through the ax-wielding man!
Upon seeing this sight, Shaar could not help but shout: “Good!!”
With this shout, the situation suddenly turned bad. Originally that group the black-armored warrior was with had already been victorious, with over a dozen of their opponents lying wounded on the ground, but upon hearing this shout, the warrior in black turned around to stare at Shaar, his face full of hostility.
Shaar’s current arrangement was a bit over the top. In contrast to the warrior troop that was in a battle of life and death, Shaar was sitting at the table surrounded by Landis warriors, this uncle was sitting there tasting the wine, with a wine bottle even in his hand…
That black armored warrior grunted heavily, and slowly walked over carrying his sword, blood slowly dripping off the tip. He stopped seven or eight steps before the place Shaar sat at, with his companions gathering as well, glowering at Shaar. Some even rubbed their palms together in anticipation, ready to begin fighting without another word.
“It seems like this lordship is a warrior as well.” The black armored warrior laughed coldly, his eyes sweeping over the Landis warriors. “Though I have never heard the news of allowing another country’s warriors to participate in this event. Which warrior troop do you belong to, your face looks very unfamiliar?”
Shaar let go of the bottle of wine in his hand, and let out a sigh, smiling. “I’ve been watching for three days, but this battle today is especially spectacular! Your sword techniques really are quite powerful!”
The black armored warrior’s face sank, his face full of anger as he shouted, “Spectacular? Our life and death battle in your lordship’s eyes is merely a play?!”
Shaar scratched his head. “This… I was sitting here, having a good meal, and you people decided to fight. Surely you don’t mean for us to not even look at your fight at all, as we’re sitting right next to you? When you are fighting, should I blindfold my eyes? It’s not as if it’s a woman baring her ass, what’s so shameful that you can’t let others see?
With these words, what the other side was about to say was suddenly plugged back in. Although his words were rude, it reflected the sentiment of the crowd: Gentlemen, it was your decision to begin fighting, surely as bystanders, we should be allowed to look on.
The warrior in black was evidently not a man of words, so he decided to speak with his sword, and coldly said. “My name is Alfred Carter, captain of the Wolf Fang warrior group! From the looks of it you are a warrior as well, and going to participate in the contest at the Imperial capital as well. If you haven’t heard of my name before, I don’t mind making it so that you never forget about our encounter today! State your name, warrior! Let me experience and see if your skills match up with your arrogant expression!
Before Shaar could open his mouth, Tatara had already jumped up- this was the time for him to show his loyalty, how could he let this opportunity slip by? Furthermore, although the other side was aggressive, he was clear about his master’s ability! There was nothing to fear there was no danger involved, as his master’s loyal dog, this was akin to a heaven-sent opportunity!
“Has your dog eyes gone blind!” The magician slammed the table and moved to stand up, but stayed shrunken against Shaar’s side, not daring to move forward even a little bit. He pointed at the black-armored warrior Alfred Carter and shouted, “How can your puny stature compared to the identity of my lordship?! Laughable! My lordship is a valiant army general, how can your warrior group even be qualified to challenge him?! Humph! Challenge my lordship? I think that you’re getting tired of living! Do you even know who my lordship is! You think that with a little bit of fighting spirit that you can put everyone below your sights? How is your swordsmanship compared to the Odin General Hastings? Humph, even Hastings was seriously injured and had no choice but to flee in the face of my lordship! Are you saying you can do better than Hastings? To have the gall to challenge my lordship!
Welp, this is the last part of this chapter, the next chapter should be up in one entire post.
Good night, my friends and fellow readers,