BBYW Vol. 4 Chapter 28 (WN)

Chapter 28 – The Formation of the “Motley Militia”

Some time earlier, in the western province capital of Thebes…

I was staring at the sky, lost in my thoughts.

Then, a memory resurfaced in my mind: a lesson I received from my strategy instructor in my childhood.

Question: “What is the most necessary trait in order to lead people?”

The first answer that popped in my head was “fear”.

Like a great scholar of old once said, “a king should seek to be feared by his people, rather than loved.”

To be loved and respected by the people is a fine thing — but if such familiarity leads to contempt and disrespect, then it is better to be feared.

In reality, countries where the righteous are not properly rewarded and the guilty are not properly punished never last long. As long as the king is feared, the people will respect the law and comply with their duties, such as taxes and conscription.

Soldiers fought on the battlefield to the end because they feared the punishment they would face if they fled.

Rule based on fear, however, had one major flaw. The fear accumulating within the people would one day explode.

All countries ruling with an iron fist of terror met the same end: the oppressed people caused a rebellion and the rulers faced the guillotine.

In other words, everything needs balance. A leader needs to employ a mixture of “fear” and “everything else” when ruling over their domain or kingdom.

“…well, that’s the gist of it. But you need to do it really well.”

I whispered to myself, looking down at the undead creatures and men lying on the floor.

I was in a training ground for soldiers, in Thebes. On the wide grounds there were men slumped on the ground here and there, breathing heavily and shaking.

“You’re pretty pitiful for people that depend on their muscles to work. You wouldn’t make it in my army like this, you know?”

I shook my head and sighed.

The men lying on the floor of the grounds were so-called “adventurers”, attracted to the capital by the hefty rewards offered by House Sphinx.

I had gathered them here, gave them a beating and sat on one of the piles of bodies.

“Gh…this…can’t be…”


The slumped adventurers whimpered.

More than 300 of them had gathered on the grounds. More than 200 fell by my hand, while the remaining 100 or so were huddled in a corner, trembling.

Both groups — those still conscious, at least — all showed the same emotion in their eyes.

A deep, deep feeling of “fear” towards me.

“Well, the first stage is cleared, I suppose. You should have a proper fear of me by now. Anyway, I’m going to be your boss from now on. No objections, I suppose!” 

So I shouted, and all adventurers vigorously shook their heads.

In order to lead them to the battle against the “Terror Armies”, I needed to set up a firm hierarchy.

“Any one who manages to defeat me will receive 100 gold coins! If you think you are stronger than me, come and get it!”

All adventurers lured in by such a sweet prospect were mercilessly beaten down, so I managed to rise to the top of their group, as I planned.

In this world, most people do not oppose others if it would involve being wounded in the process. It is much easier to obey the strong and depend on their goodwill, as it would mean to be able to survive without being hurt.

There are also people who overcome such fear in order to maintain their principles. For better or worse, however, there were no such great characters among the adventurers.

No one rose to face me anymore: all heads were bowed in my direction.

“Very well…after planting fear in their hearts…”

“I’m going to mend your wounds now, please don’t move.”

Mist, Valon’s fiancee, approached one of the men lying on the ground.

Wearing a rather provocative outfit, she started dutifully cleaning his body and wounds with a wet cloth.

“Oh..ooh, thank you…”

“Hehe, thank you so much, Milady!”

Mist’s dark complexion was probably unusual for them, but she was a breathtaking beauty after all.

The adventurers were already informed of her high rank and connection to House Sphinx. To be taken care of by such a noble beauty was quite a compelling situation for them: they forgot all their fear and blushed like maidens.

“…alright, this should work…please don’t move too much, okay?”

“Yes, thank you, Miss.”

Not too far, Naam was wrapping a bandage around another man’s arm.

She was embarrassed and kind of clumsy, but did her best to take care of the wound: the older adventurer watched over her with a gentle smile.

Seeing the attention on the grounds focused on the two, I realized that the second step of my plan had succeeded and grinned.

“Alright! All those who joined the battle will receive 10 gold coins! You lot better start working your asses off, for the sake of the ladies of House Sphinx too!!!”


The adventurers responded, as vigorously as I hoped.

They were just a rag-tag bunch moments ago, but were now transforming into a proper legion.

(“Fear” is necessary to control people…but it is not enough to shape strong soldiers. The “will” to fight for someone’s sake and the “desire” to fight for one’s own sake. Only when those three cards are in play, can soldiers ready to fight to the death truly be born.)

According to Mist, the third fortress would last only a few more days. If that happened, the fall of House Sphinx would become inevitable.

The amount of time the adventurers needed to become a strong army would thus decide the fate of the clan.

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