Chapter 264 – Two Blades
Gasol was running like crazy. There were only a few dozen escorts left at his side, all of whom were herculean bulls. There were nobody else other than them. Not a single one.
2000 armored cavalry, all killed in action.
Gasol felt like he was still having a nightmare. Why had all 2000 of his cavalry been crushed in just a single charge by the undead creatures? Could it be that he hadn’t brought 2000 armored cavalry, but 2000 argali instead?
If it weren’t for his escorts using their own lives to help him break through the encirclement, he would likely have died in the melee. The attacks of the undead creatures still resonated in his mind when he thought about it.
Meanwhile, Gasol thought about another thing; If he had been defeated by Wales this time, then what would Wales do next? Would Wales lead the undead into the tribe?
Gasol felt even more insecure when he thought of this, and there was another matter that troubled him deeply: the loss of the 1500 fighting bulls. They had been loaned to him. Now that they had all died, what sort of reaction would the Fighting Bull Tribe have?
Most importantly, the 500 herculean bulls that he had brought with him were his most loyal subordinates, and his most effective weapon. Now, they had fallen almost completely. Without this weapon which he could definitely depend on, his days would be even harder to get by.
Gasol had already wanted to cry. His losses this time were too great for him to bear.
In contrast to Gasol, Zhao Hai’s gains were large. 1500 fighting bull warriors, no escapees. They had all become Zhao Hai’s new underlings. Zhao Hai didn’t touch the remaining herculean bull warriors, since he had to give Wales some face. No matter whose subordinates they were, the fact that they were herculean bulls still remained. Zhao Hai couldn’t step over that line.
Wales was very happy about Zhao Hai’s actions. In Wales’ eyes, these fallen herculean bull warriors should receive their due respects.
And so, Wales buried the herculean bull warriors along with their mounts. However, he kept all of their weapons, because Beastmen Prairie lacked metal, which he couldn’t afford to waste.
Zhao Hai was somewhat disappointed that not a single mount was kept alive in this attack. Zhao Hai had lost a chance to add a new species to the space.
However, Zhao Hai felt happy when he thought about the 1500 fighting bull warriors. Now, he had over 7000 undead creatures in his possession. He could deploy the undead beasts at Iron Mountain Castle as guards, and still have enough undead hands to use afterwards.
Actually, if Zhao Hai willed it, he could reveal his family identity, given his current strength. Even with the Church Of Light as his enemy, he wouldn’t have to be afraid. He didn’t need to worry about his own safety at all with the existence of the space. He should be indulging in warfare, because if a war were fought, he would get new undead troops. If he wished for it, the number of undead would keep on increasing, and then he would have even fewer reasons to be afraid of anyone.
But he didn’t want to do it like this. To be honest, Zhao Hai was still insecure about the frequent use of undead creatures. Chinese people emphasized ‘peace in burial’. If it weren’t for the safety of he himself and the ones around him, Zhao Hai wouldn’t even wish to use the undead. Especially humanoid ones.
He didn’t like warfare either. He knew that if his identity were discovered, it would cause a war that would center around him, and then, many people would surely die. He didn’t want to become the criminal of the whole continent.
Currently, only the nobles were giving him trouble, but to Zhao Hai, it wasn’t a big deal. ‘If I don’t wanna fight, I’ll just hide’, he would think. But if a war was waged because of him, then not only would the nobles hate him, but the civilians would as well. He didn’t want that.
Wales didn’t go after Gasol immediately after their victory. He still intended to stick to his original plan of going to get the support of the branch tribes before finishing Gasol off.
Wales had considered this beforehand. Just as Yale had said, there was nothing good about the contact between the fighting bulls and Gasol. They wouldn’t just watch Gasol fail without doing anything. If Gasol fell, then the one to rise would be Wales, who had never gotten along with fighting bulls. If Wales gained the chieftainship, he would oppress the Fighting Bull Tribe. The fighting bull chieftain would never miss this detail. If Wales chose to push their momentum, it would only let the Fighting Bull Tribe support Gasol completely, and things would escalate to a higher degree.
If things really progressed to that point, then all of the bull-headed races might engage in civil war. That was absolutely not what Wales wanted to see. So, what he needed to do now was to stick to the plan, overthrow Gasol, and then ‘clean up’ the Fighting Bull Tribe.
Currently, what Gasol and the Fighting Bull Tribe didn’t know was that Wales had the greatest trump card: the grains.
The Fighting Bull Tribe and Gasol had surely assumed that Wales’ current greatest backing was Zhao Hai’s undead army. But they couldn’t be more mistaken. The undead army was just one blade in Wales’ hand. The grains were the other fierce blade in his hand.
The best weapon in the beastmen lands was food, due to the frequent food shortages experienced here. Especially some of the smaller tribes, who had food shortages not just during winter, but all the time. They couldn’t get more than the larger tribes, and the grain dealers wouldn’t come to smaller tribes. It was thus very difficult for them to buy grains.
Now that Wales had grains, coupled with his reputation in the tribe, he could definitely gain the support of the branch races, and then he could deliver the fatal blow to Gasol.
Wales and the others rested where they were for 2 days after having defeated Gasol, while actually, there wasn’t a need for them to do so, since the ones who fought had been the undead creatures.
However, Wales and the others still rested. In those 2 days, they handled the corpses of Gasol’s escorts by burying them properly. Then they left after a proper rest.
Strictly put, right now, the territory they were in wasn’t the bull-headed races’ territory. Although everyone on Beastmen Prairie lived nomadic lifestyles, every race actually had their own turf. The stronger the race, the better their grasses, and the more rivers they had. Their places would be warmer when winter came, and less likely for blizzards to pass by.
On the flip side, the weaker the race, the worse grasslands they had, and it would be impossible for their magic beasts to grow strong. Without strong magic beasts, they would not be able to get get more grains. Without more grains, they could only eat magic beasts, which would incur greater losses. This was a downward spiral.
Wales and the others were currently at the outer regions of Beastmen Prairie. The grasslands here weren’t great, and they were shared. However, this was the territory of pig-headed races. It was because of this that Zhao Hai had come across Spiel and the others. One should know that small tribes like Spiel’s would never dare to be active in the turfs of other races.
The pig-headed races had a lower standing on the prairie compared to the bull-headed races because of the difference in fighting power between them. The ruling race, the warthogs, couldn’t match up to the herculean bulls. This affected the overall standing of all the pig-headed races among beastmen.
Wales and the others made their way towards the pig-headed races’ territory, but they didn’t head towards the bull-headed races’ territories immediately. Instead, they went in a circle.
That wasn’t to say that Wales was afraid that Gasol would mobilize a force to deal with him. Wales clearly knew that, if Gasol really had the support of everyone in the tribe, then Gasol wouldn’t have brought this amount of people to deal with him, with a larger amount of fighting bulls.
The smart Wales could guess from this point that not everyone in the tribe had supported Gasol, and thus, Gasol had borrowed troops from the Fighting Bull Tribe. Not only did this expose his colluding with the Fighting Bull Tribe, it also exposed the situation of his position in the tribe.
Beastmen were a direct race. They worshipped power. If you were powerful, they would listen to you willingly. Gasol’s power was great indeed. He had fought many wars for the Herculean Bull Tribe, with more victories than losses, and had a high popularity. That was why his ambitions had inflated so rapidly.
If Gasol had done nothing more, he would’ve had a chance to become the chieftain. After all, the position could not be decided by the former chieftain alone.
But Gasol had made a wrong move. He never should’ve poisoned the former chieftain, or sent people to hunt down Mendez and Wales. Doing so made his popularity drop to the freezing point instantly.
Because beastmen’s personalities were too direct, they always got the shorter end of the stick when it came to getting along with humans. Such direct personalities also created a habit of deeply despising anyone who would use schemes. Gasol’s original image of a powerful warrior had instantly turned into that of a petty creep who used schemes. His popularity in the tribe was lost as a result. That was exactly why he couldn’t mobilize the herculean bulls to hunt down Wales and his company.