Chapter 105 Army Marching Song
Echo was sitting on the highest point of the castle – on the roof of the watchtower, from where she was able to overlook the whole town.
She was only able to reach the top thanks to Lightning taking her up on a piggyback ride, now she had to stay here until sunset, only then would the little girl come back and take her back down. At the moment, Lightning should have already been on her way to the Longsong Stronghold.
The weather was very good today, the sun was shining brightly, and the river in the distance looked under the sunlight like it was made of satin, slowly flowing westwards and dividing the green leaves on the one side and the snowy landscape on the other side into two sides. Lying comfortably in the sun, she felt as if her whole body was embraced warmly by the sun. It was completely unlike her previous time in the extreme south, where the scorching sunlight was so aggressive that it easily hurt her skin.
Even the wind isn’t the same, she thought, during my life I’ve already felt six different kinds of wind. The slightly salty sea breeze in Port of Clearwater, while in King City I felt the wind of the hot and damp monsoons, during my travel through the Impassable Mountain Range we were constantly accompanied by the freezing cold North Wind. And now, here in Border Town, the light breeze has an earthly aroma to it. No matter what, the wind here is pure and independent.
In the Ironsand City, it was either so hot that there was no wind, or we would have an overwhelming storm. Then the wind became visible and the storming air mixes with the stones and gravel, from afar it looked like a giant black monster. Every time the wind came up, I had to hide inside a house or any place else which wasn’t in the open. There was nothing that was able to stop the wind.
Echo still wanted to throw up. And taking her revenge when she thought about her past, it was nearly four years ago that she left Ironsand City. Her Osha clan, unfortunately, was defeated during a fight for power, her father killed by their enemy even after he surrendered. Echo who witnessed all this, wanted to rush to the enemy and take him down by herself, but at that moment she had been caught off-guard from behind.
She didn’t know how many member of her clan were still alive after these four years.
Before she was sold as a slave to the Port of Clearwater, she heard that her Osha clan had violated the agreements of the sacred duel, and were now spurned by the Three Gods. Who then exiled them to the Endless Cape, never being allowed to return to Ironsand City.
But Echo knew that it was all a conspiracy by the Tibia clan, they had smeared black oil on their whip and as long as this oil was ignited, even water was unable to put it out. It was this trick which caught her brother – the clan’s strongest warrior – off-guard in the duel, so that he was burned alive, leading to the chaos in their team’s formation.
In the Endless Cape the only thing beside the hot sand were the ever-burning fires of Mother Earth, who was even more maniac than her brother the Emperor of the Sea. Soon the people of her clan would have turned into bones; but in the end, her fate as a slave was even more miserable.
When Echo awakened to her power – she knew that she had become a witch. Naturally, she thought about revenge, but in the end her ability was useless, she was only able to release sound. No matter how much she begged the gods, they never heard her prayers.
Six months later when she was living in the Port of Clearwater, she came to an understanding, the thought that they were loved by the three Gods was in truth only their self-deception. Under the jurisdiction of the Church, the witches were all hunted inside the four Kingdoms. From that day on, Echo completely gave up on her hope for revenge.
At this moment, suddenly a billow of smoke rose from the distance. She looked to the East Bank of Redwater River and she saw several lights of green flames flash through the trees. The black smoke of the burning trees mixed together with the vapor of the melting snow forming a gray plume in the sky.
It was Anna’s green flame.
When they arrived for the first time in Border Town, Wendy had briefed the sisters about Anna and Nana. When Echo heard about Anna’s ability she was very envious.
Anna was able to freely manipulate flames, it could even reach the temperature hot enough to melt swords… If she had such a powerful ability when she had lived in Ironsand City, the people of the Tibia Clan would never have been able to hurt them.
Echo shook her head, thoughts like these were totally unnecessary, most probably her people had already turned into bones. Since she was still alive she could count herself as lucky. Since His Royal Highness was willing to accept her, she should complete the orders given by His Royal Highness.
She cleared her throat and began to hum the song according to the Prince’s demands.
It was a cheerful ditty, the Prince had only hummed the melody once, but she completely remembered the whole ditty.
Music was nothing new to Echo, as a superior slave she was taught many things. Seductive dances and flirtatious crooning were skills she’d had to master. But the music given by His Highness was completely differently… it was full of rhythm, full of powerful energy. Especially when he asked her to simulate the sound of a flute, every note was like a pulsing beat, people hearing this couldn’t help themselves from wanting to dance.
The difficulty lied in playing several instruments at the same time, later there were also drums and string-instruments that were added. So she had to simulate three different kinds of sounds at the same time, which overlapped each other. Something like this was something that she had never done before. Previously she would have never believed that music could also be played in this way!
In the beginning, it was hard for her to make sure that the drums didn’t disrupt the rhythm of the flutes, so Roland gave her the tip to play the beat with her hands or feet, and only later gradually start to fuse the two sounds together.
After a few days of practice, Echo had gradually mastered this kind of music.
After playing it for several times she was self-assured enough to finally add the in the string-instruments.
When Echo played the new melody for the first time, she had to change the notes again a little –if the sound of the cheerful flute were the torso, the heated drums were the bones, and the last seemingly embellished strings were the soul. She increased the beat, over and over again, until the three instruments were finally fully integrated, the sound was getting higher and higher until she couldn’t stop herself from starting to sing –
“My attack power is higher than yours, so it’s my win.”
Roland put his last card on the table, and Soraya who set across of him covered her face and said with a low voice.
“One more round,” then she thought for a moment, and shuffled through the cards. “Let me pick your ten cards this time.”
“Well,” coughed the Prince, “It’s already late, I have still several things to do, you should go to the other.”
After laying down a groundwork of different cards, the next part was to copy the already invented cards. With the template in front of her, Soraya’s speed of drawing was comparable to a printer. Soon, Roland got several copies of the same units.
So naturally Soraya became his first opponent.
After explaining the rules to her, the first card war was started. During the games, he quickly learned that the thinking process of the witches was completely differently from ordinary people. Soraya quickly figured out the right way to use the skills. After playing for several rounds, Roland was still able to win, but this was only due using several special cards. When Soraya asked him to create her own special cards, he shamefully rejected.
“All right,” Soraya said, then she took the cards into her arms and ran into the direction of the door. At this moment, a cheerful melody came through the open windows. Hearing this Soraya paused, turned around and ran to the window, taking a probing look outside, “Is that Echo?”
“Well, it looks like she has completely mastered it.” Roland leaned back in his chair and admired the familiar music.
Border Town’s first Army would soon enter the first stage of comprehensive maneuvering. Compared with the training for shooting while standing on the wall, the comprehensive maneuvering would be carried out in the wild. At the same time that they moved through the wild, they had to hold their formation – always forming a shooting line.
In order to make the soldiers march with the same pace, he had to rely on drums and slogans. But now with Echo, he could simulate several instruments at the same time. Now they had only had to simply to learn English, then they could implement several famous marching sounds.
Compared to the simple drums, the marching song would not only control the marching speed, it would also effectively boost morale. Of course, the most famous marching song was the “The British Grenadiers”, but Roland only knew its name, but he didn’t know the full tune.
But this didn’t pose a problem for him, as long as he had the tune to “The British Grenadiers”, he could always rearrange its lines later.
During the “War of Resistance”, the sound could be heard through the whole nation, north and south of the Yangtze River. And nearly everyone was familiar with its melody, after all, it was the famous “Guerrillas’ Song.”
When Soraya turned her head in the direction of the Prince, she heard the Prince following the song, gently singing. He sang in a language she had never heard before, but still, the melody and the lyric fitted together perfectly.
“We are all sharpshooters,”
“Each bullet takes out an enemy.”
“We are all soldiers with wings,”
“Unafraid of tall mountains and deep waters.”
“In the dense forests,”
“Our comrades set their camps.”
“On the tall mountains,”
“Our countless brothers are there.”
TN: Information to the Guerrillas’ Song