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The Black Woods stretched out for thousands of miles. The seemingly-infinite, ancient forest emanated an invigorating air as white mist hung in the air. At the fringe of the woods, larch trees, birches, and willows integrated with one another. From afar, it appeared like a bizarre tribe, draped in the woodland clothing of an overwhelming array of colors with rugged branches sticking out.
Occasionally a mighty gust of Northwestern wind would blast through and the loose snow between branches would slip down gently. The snow powder swirled up into a mist and following the course of the wind, slowly drifting out of the woodland.
As the Sun was setting in the west, a monstrous silhouette emerged at one side of Saijo Mountain. Following the gradual shift of the sunrays, the silhouette of the highland slowly crept closer to the thicket.
The wind again came in a gust and the soldiers of t.i.tan stood facing it. A refreshing sensation slammed into their faces. Wiping over it, they registered that their hands were smeared with bloodstains. The veterans jeered at the ignorance of the new soldiers. This was nothing odd as the corpses of their foes were left behind on the battlefield before them. The blood disseminated in the air relied on the wind to convey the message of death and its revolting odor.
At a location about a hundred meters from the open s.p.a.ce at the foot of Saijo Mountain was the forefront of the defensive position. The First Independent Brigade soldiers of the Steinberger Family's Loantz Front had already established their final defensive structure. It was a defensive line comprising all sorts of military supply wagons that were facing the exact center of the battlefield. Standing atop these vehicles, one could distinctly make out the orderly formation of Deiss' cavalry.
Once in a while, orders from the officers would ring out at the hilltop and orderlies would be seen shuttling inside the tunnels. According to the orders, the archers in the infantry phalanx at the front lines started to adjust their positions little by little. The archers' formation was arranged to be about fifty meters away from the front lines by the battlefield commander, General Aba.s.sia, while the soldiers close to the military supply wagon defensive line were composed of a uniform group of battle soldiers. The Infantry Divisions lying in wait in the left and right wing of Saijo Mountain maintained their positions, watching over the battlefield silently and waiting for a formidable enemy to approach.
The people were used to referring to the Casualty a.s.sembly Point, the place where emergency rescue were commenced at the battlefield as a h.e.l.l. In the depths of the Black Woods, the Casualty a.s.sembly Point set up by the Deiss reflected that name thoroughly. In the former days when soldiers fell, they would howl in agony and scream in hysteria. The number of military doctors was absolutely insufficient to rescue the pitiful casualties. They cla.s.sified the casualties based on the practice adapted since thousand of years ago. The green tag signified death, the red tag indicated emergency rescue was required, the yellow tag implied that they could wait while the black tag was the most terrible mark that signified having given up on them!
The soldiers of Deiss supported their broken legs and covered their mangled arms. They were transfixed by the little pouch at the doctor's waist, which contained all sorts of tags, with different colors representing a different fate.
Marshal Veron, escorted by a crowd of officers, had finally arrived at the Casualty a.s.sembly Point. The Marshal a.s.sessed the h.e.l.l filled with miserable howling and fresh blood.
"It is my fault! I have committed an unforgivable wrong!" The Marshal started to blabber on subconsciously while taking in the snow grounds splattered with red slush, "I should not have underestimated the enemy's strength and dispatched an Infantry Army Group to launch an attack, I… I only wanted to increase the deployment of cavalry when the infantries are engaged in a war against our foes… Then… Then… subdue them in one swoop. I only wanted to…"
"Marshal!" The commander of the Kingdom's Fourth Corps came up beside him. "The people of t.i.tan possessing weapons beyond our knowledge had nothing to do with you. Deploying a suppressive force at the front of the battlefield and then sending the cavalry to charge at them is a sure victory; this is the best option as well as the best strategy! There is absolutely no need for you to blame yourself and I believe the authors of war history and military critics will have the same evaluation about you. Moreover… We will acquire victory for this military campaign in the end."
"Yes, that's right!" Marshal Veron gazed at a blood-soaked soldier who was at death's door and nodded to him with conviction, "We will attain victory in the military campaign at Saijo Mountain in the end!"
The soldier struggled to raise his arm. His sleeves were empty, his hand was absent, only the remnants of a woeful, white bone could be seen sticking out. He… wanted to salute the commander.
Veron averted his eyes. He had experienced situations such as these umpteen times. The soldiers of Deiss were the most tenacious, valuable warriors in the world. Yet… they always collided with a tragic fate.
"Commander! Commander!" The technical head of the artillery team staggered out of the tunnel in a hurry and gasped for breath below the observation deck, "Commander! Did you see? Have you seen it? Our… Our tractors… are being pulled towards the Defensive Front.
Torry tossed his water pouch down from the observation deck. He could tell that the adorable volunteer was already dehydrated by the cannon's residual heat.
"I know about this matter!" Torry, to one's surprise, shrugged indifferently, "It is I who suggested to the First Independent Brigade to move the tractors. Not only are those things exceptionally heavy, its carriage is also a half-sealed, st.u.r.dy deck. Even if the cavalry of Deiss charged one after another, they will be unable to break through. Besides, nothing is more suited than these things for the snipers. Our party has quite a number whose archery skills are exquisite…"
"I am not referring to these!" The artillery team's technical head took a huge swig of icy-cold snow water. "I am saying… If you sacrifice our tractors, then how are we going to move the cannons from the battlefield?"
"Who says we are leaving the battlefield?" Torry's adopted an expression as if the question was completely absurd, "The cavalry of the Deiss has already broken through the front lines. I estimate that at this rate, frankly, we do not have the opportunity to utilize all twenty-nine of the cannons. From how I see it, they will not expend too many of their armed troops at the front of the battlefield but will commence a roundabout from the left and right wings. At that moment…"
"I do not understand this!" The technical head flung the water pouch aside, "You know, engaging in war is the soldiers' business! I am only concerned about how you will deal with my cannons! Do you want to hand them over to the Deiss?"
Torry smirked, "To be honest, I am reluctant to! But… My respected technical head, if a Deiss were to break into the tunnel, you will also need to execute the order of destroying these cannons and artillery sh.e.l.l!"
General Aba.s.sia withdrew his gaze from the direction of the observation deck. The officers of all ranks of Saijo Mountain's suppressive force had once again convened around the long table.
"You all heard it right? Our artilleryman commander has already seen through the enemies' ruse."
Looking on at the crowd of Generals, the commander of the battlefield let out a heavy sigh, "The enemy still possesses two entire Cavalry Corps and an Infantry Corps, which also means that when their whole Front is pressured, that will be the hour which bloodshed will descend upon us."
"At that time… At that time at Doncaster plains, how… did you successfully subdue the enemy's Cavalry Corps using an Infantry Corps?"
Aba.s.sia lifted his head and saw that the person who asked the question was a commander of the First Independent Brigade in charge of the front lines.
"Doncaster?" The former hero of war recalled fondly. He cradled his broken arm and with a resolute gaze, bored into the General who was defending the front lines.
"I used my chest to fill in the breach in the battlefront, my flesh to charge against the enemy's cavalry, my teeth to tear at the enemy's war horses, and my blood to obscure the enemy's sight. I used my broken weapons to end the enemy's life, my fighting spirit that raged like a flame and my sincerest patriotism to fend off the enemy's repeated attacks. When I was left with the last few warriors at the front lines, the enemies have been vanquished from the face of the earth!"
The General of the First Independent Brigade stood to salute the commander in a haste, "Your distinguished General! Please remember my name; I am Rabiel Tuonnes! Deputy Commander of the First independent Brigade!"
Evidently, the infantry brigadier general named Rabiel Tuonnes knew what he had to do.
"So… What about my two wings?"
Colonel Kapitch Drake stepped forwards, "General, my two divisions will take the left wing, equipped with their heavy crossbows and bow and arrow; the right wing will be taken by my heavy armored infantry group which is lying in wait in the naturally formed soldier hidey-hole."
Aba.s.sia nodded, the counterforce of both the wings were already adequate. The people of Deiss would under no condition choose to charge on a precipitous terrain, which also means that everything will be resolved at the center of the battlefield.
"Well… What is our Imperial Highness Prince up to?"
Sarlat Drosha the paladin joined the group. "Your distinguished General, I… am really reluctant to bring up this matter, but since you asked… His Imperial Highness dug a pit in the huge tent and is battling with his unsettling digestive system."
It was 3:27 p.m. on the 31st day of the 3rd month in the Church's year 797. We could already refer to that sun nestling on the western horizon as the sunset now. The soft sunlight suddenly transformed into a fiery red, illuminating the snowy grounds in a spectacular ray of light.
The Deiss group suddenly erupted in thunderous cheers. A General clad in silver armor inlaid with gold brandished a great sword in both his hands and pointed towards the frontlines of the battlefield. The three black groups stirred slowly, like three h.e.l.lhounds who had just barged out from the depths of h.e.l.l. The three-colored eagle flag and golden star flag of the Teutonic knights flapped in the wind. The flags initially beat up and down and in the end, became snapping red ribbons. Bathed in blazing sunlight and clad in black armor, the Teutonic knights launched their army group attack meant to defeat the enemy in one swoop.
t.i.tan's earth was trembling in agony. The enemy's iron hooves of oppression had upturned the soil of the native land. The warriors on Saijo Mountain witnessed everything unfold before them tensely. They constantly rubbed the warm sweat on their hands onto their armor and sleeves. They had to ensure that with each swing of their sword, one was decapitated and every arrow shot out pierced through a chest.
A tent on the mountain peak was savagely torn open and the huge fallen canopy stirred up an enormous puff of snow. A knight masked behind a copper helmet with sharp edges and clad in a black and red armor emerged from the snow mist as if having descended from heaven. He carried a machete at his waist and a great sword on his back. A familiar whistle stirred up the Raytheon and it broke the hitching post to leap towards its master's side.
The General of the guards, His Imperial Highness O'Neil Andrew Morisette measured up his oddly excited old partner. Giving a small grin, he knelt on one knee just like what the men of his family had done before and kissed a corner of the Fierce Tiger Flag of Narcissus. After that, he whirled around and mounted the horse and raising the war flag, he charged toward the most conspicuous position of the Front. Behind him, Sarlat Drosha was fully equipped with rapiers and even had on the paladin medal he hadn't touched in ages. Paul, the King of a.s.sa.s.sins finally presented himself on the battlefield with the status of a knight. The wind whipped up his cloak, revealing daggers and short blades within it. Mendez Blane, the Hercules from the north actually had his upper body bare. However, the front of his battle-ax was huge enough to cover his chest.
Throughout the journey, the soldiers of the mountain's Defensive Front knelt down one after another and paid their n.o.blest respects to the commander.
Lieutenant General Endorph of the First Independent Brigade held on to the reigns for young Oscar, "Your Highness! Come, let us go all out."
Oscar jiggled his bottom with a grimace. He dug against his a.n.u.s over his pants, which was sore from all the friction, "Yes, that's right! Let us go all out!"
"A distance of a thousand five hundred meters! Target red three, green three, blue three! White three! Eight cannons at the front, fire!"
Following the shouts of the artillerymen's commander, Saijo Mountain finally started to rumble. That few seconds felt like a century long. The Delin artillery sh.e.l.l finally exploded violently. The immense sound wave, smoke, and fire swept the battlefield. The horses' torn limbs and fragments of armor rained down everywhere and blood red mist saturated the open land overhead. The procession of the Teutonic Knights was in momentary chaos; the horses were out of control and in a frenzy and the helpless knights were stamped on by their companions from behind.
The Teutonic knight clad in silver armor inlaid with gold raised the command flag and practically at once, the three army groups that flanked the cavalry on both sides suddenly wheeled their horses around and changed their course.
Torry s.n.a.t.c.hed off his beret and tore at his collar. The thing he most feared had finally become a reality; he eyed in trepidation at the enemy's a.s.sault route. The sole attacking army group at the center of the battlefield had already charged out of the line of fire of the second wave of bombardment. Their party was already extremely disorganized, yet they kept adjusting their formations relentlessly. The a.s.sault army group that had dispersed to both wings had already thoroughly escaped from the radius of range. Despite their circling back requiring time, there was already nothing that was hindering their advance.
"Cannons number two and nine! Adjust the cannon base, face the two wings!"
The artillerymen manning the two fortress cannons started to shift the pedestal where the cannons were placed on frantically. The guards responsible to guard the cannon pits also came to give a hand. They still only managed to turn the muzzle of the cannon by a few degrees with the united strength of the men, but when the Deiss' center a.s.sault army group was sixty meters away from the front lines, Torry's artillerymen successfully completed the turn of the cannon base.
"Archer group! Raise your bows to 50 degrees, fire!" The roar of t.i.tan's soldiers finally rang out over the front lines.
From afar, murky dark clouds rose from the foot of the mountain. Under the color that exuded with the omen of death, a black shiny object streaked across the sky. The silver knight bellowed in the language of the Deiss and the command flag kept changing along with the orders. The middle Cavalry Army Group pushed forward with pressure and inclined their dense hardwood shields over their heads.
The rain of arrows arrived right on schedule and pierced the horses and embedded into bodies through the gap between the shields. The Knights of the army group fell continuously, yet the t.i.tan soldiers at the Front could already hear the roaring rallying cries of their enemies!
"I will like to see just how you all will break through my front lines!" The commander of the front lines, Brigadier General Rabiel Tuonnes laughed coldly at the enemies who were approaching fast. "Shieldbearers, raise your shields! Javelin throwers take the center; ax and great sword wielders to the rear; spearmen and flail bearers forwards!"
"Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!" The two thousand t.i.tan soldiers cried in unison and marched towards the front lines with quick small steps. When the military supply wagons and gigantic artillery tractors emerged before their eyes, the gallant soldiers used their shields and chest to press up against these vibrating vehicles.
"Attention! Attention!" Brigadier General Rabiel Tuonnes bellowed, "Beware of the horse hooves of the Deiss! Prepare for the charge! Be ready for the charge! Use all your might to press up against the vehicles!"
The Deiss center a.s.sault army group finally neared the front lines; their formation was still as tight and their fighting spirits were still soaring. Rabiel brandished a spear and pointed it directly at the enemies. It seemed that… we should not mention any unhappy matters; due to the change in the formation and the attack by the rain of arrows, the First Army Group approached t.i.tan's front lines with a speed that could only be described as ordinary.
The horses huffed faint, white fog from their noses, which filled the forest of black armors. t.i.tan's soldiers observed all these through the cracks of the vehicles while waiting for orders from the deputy brigade leader.
"Yaaaaaa!" The group of javelin throwers let out an earth-shaking bellow. The steel javelins flew over the heads of their companions at the front. Some glinting shapes streaked across the front lines and the Deiss' knights of the front lines fell at twenty meters from the front lines.
The archers of t.i.tan were waiting for this golden opportunity. The enemies who were trampling on one another again lowered their attack speed. The horses were timid little creatures and even the veteran horses of the battlefield had difficulty overcoming the fear planted in their hearts. When a wall of vehicles that they had no way of getting through materialized in front of them and the menacing glint of the countless blades protruded out from it, the cowardly animals paid no heed to the pressure from the spurs and slowed their footsteps. The rain of arrows descended at the Front and Teutonic knights who were too preoccupied with the fight to notice the skies and care about their shields were gravely injured.
Finally! Separated by a long wall const.i.tuting of vehicles, the Patriots and invaders came face to face, in a decisive standoff!
"Long live our motherland!" The brigade deputy commander mounted the tractors, brandishing his sword. His sudden appearance startled the opponent knights.
"Long live our motherland!" Louder, deeper cries that traveled far into the distance echoed the courageous infantry of the Brigadier General. An ocean of soldiers with chains and spears in hand charged up the intercepting wall of vehicles.
"Cannon number four! What are you doing? Why did you stop firing?" Torry howled from the top of the observation deck fanatically.
"Colonel! We have already fired thirty-two rounds continuously!"
Torry flung the beret in his hands onto the ground, "d.a.m.n it! d.a.m.n it! Cannons one, two, nine, ten! Continue firing at the cavalry of both wings! Don't stop, don't stop!"
The artillerymen manning the cannons could not hear the commander's shouts at all, they only knew to seek the enemy's front lines and open fire! Open fire! Don't cease opening fire!
The Deiss cavalry, which had divided into two wings to charge into the center of the battlefield, was experiencing a tougher time than antic.i.p.ated by the commander. When they were traversing the incline to the left of Saijo Mountain, a hail of arrows suddenly came from the tunnels in the mountains. Completely unprepared, the whole Front of the Teutonic cavalry's outer flank was taken out. Although the army group of the right wing that had doubled did not encounter many problems, the cannons at the right wing were firing away like a concerted orchestra. When they pretty much managed to charge into the center of the battlefield, they instead realized that there was absolutely no place for them to position themselves. The center army group had already surrounded the wall of vehicles and the entire front line was spread out. Unable to secure a position to launch their a.s.sault, they could only reunite with the army group of the left wing and cruise around within the battlefield.
"It can't be this way! It is also not like this!" Marshal Veron Blundindt paced restlessly in the forest at the fringe of the battlefield. The outflanking unit within the forest and the Fourth Corps that had already infiltrated the battlefield were yet to come to the people of t.i.tan's attention, but omitting the unfavorable aspect of the cavalry's a.s.sault, Marshal Veron still had a nagging feeling. Where were the Narcissus knights? And the Red Tigers? What were they doing?
Torry pounded his sword on a square table nearby and shrieked hysterically.
"My battlefield commander! Now is not the time to dawdle around! The Deiss has already dispatched an infantry corps to the outer zone at the center of the battlefield!"
General Aba.s.sia replaced his teacup and asked without even taking a glance, "Can your cannons still fire?"
"Only nineteen rounds! Nineteen rounds! The natural cool down takes thirty over minutes!"
The single-armed General stood up, "It seems that there is nothing more you can do! Messenger!"
A lieutenant, having heard the shout, hurried over.
"Inform General Murat, when the infantries replace the Teutonic Knights and enter the front lines, ask him to seek the most favorable hour to launch his attack!"
Torry suddenly jumped up as he gazed at General Aba.s.sia who after delivering his message, swiveled around to descend the mountain, "Hey! Where are you going?"
"To the front lines!" Aba.s.sia used his sole arm to wave his wide-blade sword.
Front lines! Front lines! The front lines were a death cradle that s.n.a.t.c.hes lives, the final point that deprived one of their privilege to live. The archers of t.i.tan continued their horde of attacks, screaming at the top of their voices to boost their spirit and tightening the bowstrings using their blistered fingers. As for the shieldbearers, they were not a useless a.s.set on the battlefield. The shieldbearers had allocated a sack by their legs and in them were fine axes. Following commands from officers, the party of shield bearers would spin the lethal weapons and take the lives of their enemies! t.i.tan's a.s.sault soldiers surrounding the front lines were bathed in a dazzling multicolored ray of light. They used their blades to cut down enemies and swords to parry. The enemy cavalry maintained their rapid motion while continuously looking for an opening to strike the t.i.tan knights' vital points while their wretched creatures kept stampeding on the defensive lines. Despite all that, they could not slack off! They could not take it easy at all! The cries of those at the verge of death, the shouts of the enemies being hacked, transformed the snowy grounds into a raging murder scene where fighting spirits surged and blood boiled. This scenario was all around the front lines that had already suffered enough losses, occasionally toning down a little and sometimes escalating. The fight and ma.s.sacre continued on.
"Hehe! Hehehe!" Torry trained his eyes attentively onto the infantry army group in the distance. He was aware that if the enemy lost their speedy a.s.sault cavalry, they would not make it up the mountain no matter what. Nine artillery sh.e.l.ls, perhaps these were the last nineteen artillery sh.e.l.ls of Saijo mountain's defending battle! These nineteen artillery sh.e.l.ls must explode among enemies to sufficiently turn the fate of the battlefield around.
"Move forward a little! A little more!" Torry silently calculated the scale used in the demonstration diagram. Let us not forget the artillerymen commander cultivated by this rogue had yet to showcase the Fortress cannon's maximum firing range.
"Two kilometers to the front! The front lines of the enemies! Attack!"
The muzzles of the cannons were lifted and, after a violent tremble, the machine that reaped souls was completely engulfed in smoke, fire, and snow mist. The Deiss infantry army group that was approaching the battlefield received a violent surprise. The infantries started charging head-on like a bunch of maniacs for they did not wish to procure the same fate as their comrades!
"Again!" Torry was aware that the continuous shouting had left him hoa.r.s.e, but he still heard the loud boom of the cannons with satisfaction.
This was the last volley of attacks from t.i.tan's artillerymen unit at Saijo mountain. What followed was the half an hour long interval for the cannons to cool down. As we know, within half an hour, lots of things could take place!
The Black Woods was dense with fog, preventing light from penetrating through. However, the winter sunset still managed to paint a layer of pink over it. Under the freezing climate, the wild rattan had fused to become one with the snow grounds. Along the surface of the ground, they crept towards the tree trunks and following the tree trunks, traversed the between the small gaps in the woodland where patches of skies could be seen.
Urgent and chaotic noises rang out through the snow grounds. Deprived of the sun's rays, the acc.u.mulated snow in the Black Woods was as thick and solid as usual. The Deiss' entire cavalry division was responsible for surrounding the rear of Saijo Mountain. The commander of the party, upon hearing the sound of the bugle a while ago, registered that the fourth infantry corps had already set out and he had to hurry to coordinate with the whole progress of the military campaign.
In the depths of the dense thicket, behind a red pine, a soldier with a white cloak draped over his shoulder tautened his bowstring leisurely and stepped out partially from behind the tree. The master archer from the Steinberger family appreciated the North wind that blew through the forest. Gently, he adjusted the angle of the bow and arrow and the strength exerted by his hands. Major Wellington recited a silent litany to the wind G.o.d and when the second Deiss commander exposed his neck when he turned around, the master released his arrow swiftly.
Riding along with the force of the wind, the arrow brushed off some tree bark and with a tiny force of resistance, its angle was slightly adjusted. The Deiss division commander's neck suddenly spurted red blood and the burly body gradually tumbled down from the horse, blood raining down from the sky like a sunset glow.
Looking at the bow that in Welington's hand that was still vibrating, Kamille Rayen the paladin smiled and nodded with approval.
"Andrew Haila!" A shout filled with fervor reverberated through the forest endlessly.
To the horror of the Deiss cavalry, they perceived that the skies, treetops, snow grounds, behind the trees, devilish-like nimble organisms flooded out from every corner of the thicket. As the scene that unfolded just a few hours ago, the Narcissus knights used the same methods to avenge the enemies who murdered their comrade-in-arms. The warhorses had difficulty mobilizing and the knights on the horses could only watch in horror as their thighs were hacked. Those who dismounted rolled onto the snow grounds and by the time they picked themselves up, a flash of a bright arc left them decapitated. The Teutonic knights who were ambushed retreated backward, but the knights of the rear group continued surging forwards. The scattered soldiers who lost their commander had become a group of soldiers without direction; it was every man for himself. Although they held the advantage in numbers, they just could not organize an effective counterattack.
"Fire arrows!" The opportunity finally arose for Major Wellington and he let loose a burning arrow! Behind him, archers of the battle group raised their longbows that were emitting fire and black smoke.
"Target! Obliterate the determined site of the lamp oil!" As soon as Wellington finished, Wellington unleashed the true beast with menace!
Marshal Veron Blundindt gazed at the distant forest that had gone up in a fiery blaze, appalled. The fire was spreading and expanding! The thick smoke that rolled up into the sky obscured the segment of the blood-colored sky.
Colonel Opal grabbed on to the reins tightly, her face was drained of color and as pale as the snow grounds.
"The second cavalry division surrounding the rear of the mountain is finished!"
Without having Veron utter a word, just by the rolling smoke, he could imagine the Kingdom's warriors struggling in the raging inferno!
"Marshal! Marshal!" A messenger, who was drenched in sweat, hurried to stand before the commander, "Reporting Marshal, the cavalry division in charge of double backing at the right wing of Saijo Mountain was intercepted by a Heavy Infantry Group from who knows where!"
"What did you say?" Veron whipped his head around. He searched in consternation using his telescope, unwilling to believe that the plan to double back and envelop was done for just like that!
"Guards! Block!" Colonel Krapitch Drake managed to resist the enemy's surprise attack using a wooden stake and a spear that was close to three meters long. He was reminiscing the look on the enemy's faces he led the unit to charge out of the soldier hidey-hole. However, the wound on his shoulder reminded him that the military strength was inadequate. The resisting force was severely lacking in power!
Just when the enemy's cavalry was about to launch the third a.s.sault on the heavy armored soldiers consisting of less than six hundred men at the right wing of the mountain ridge, an ear-splitting boom suddenly came from the two cannons defending the right wing. The enemy's a.s.sault group immediately fell into chaos. Krapitch clearly saw a small group of the opponents protecting a Knight who had collapsed on his horse and evacuated from the battlefield swiftly.
"Indeed, a fine cannon!" The infantry division commander expressed his heartfelt appreciation. That shot must have injured the opponent's battlefield commander.
"Salute the artillery soldiers!" The infantry soldiers on the slope of the Front looked up at Major Sukhoi and raised their blades high above their heads.
Being greeted with the cheers of the soldiers, Torry and the Technical head could only shake their heads and smile bitterly. Those two Fortress cannons still required twenty minutes at the very least for its natural cooling. But now? The body of the cannon was already slightly overheated and the cooldown time would be prolonged.
Time continued to tick by according to its own pace, but just how many soldiers were left on the front lines? Brigadier General Rabiel Tuonnes did not wish to know the answer to that. He only knew that the groups and organizational structure of each type of solider were disrupted. The gallant Teutonic knights of Deiss exceeded the General's expectations. The enemies used their warhorses to ramp against the vehicles and used corpses to construct steps. The sixth time the commander of the front lines was swept down from the vehicles, Rabiel realized with trepidation that the Teutonic Knights had already started crossing over the vehicles.
A dark silhouette dashed down the slope. The knight on the horse received cheers from countless soldiers of t.i.tan in his a.s.sault. This knight raised the gigantic Fierce Tiger Flag of Narcissus. With a sharp cry, he charged from the left side of the battlefield into the vehicle Fronts. The muscles on the whole body of the knight's gigantic black horse quivered, tracing out a perfect outline. It leaped over the heads of the soldiers as if he was soaring and zipped up the carriage of the wagons! The force of the horse's charge rammed a Deiss knight who had just crossed over the body of cars, with both men and horses, sending them flying! Without heeding the pain of the wound, the black devil beast pranced around the whole vehicle Front. Its master continued to brandish his machete and it continued to send those who obstructed its way, flying.
Being confronted by the fierce flag bearer, the Teutonic knights chose to get out of his way. When the flag bearer, clad in frightening armor. charged back towards the breach in the middle section of the front lines, the Deiss cavalry had already conceded the front lines. They dashed towards the rear of the battlefield from both wings and exposed the nine infantry phalanx, spreading out like a fan and drawing near Saijo Mountain. Oscar uncovered his visor. His soldiers had already abandoned the vehicle Front that was shattered beyond measure, leaving only His Imperial Highness The Prince, a lonesome figure standing at the very front of the procession sizing up the enemy's infantry army group with a pair of mocking eyes.
"Boom!" An artillery sh.e.l.l accurately struck an infantry phalanx that was closest to the front lines!
"Cannon four! Are you mad?" Torry hurtled towards cannon number four, screaming.
"Major, my cannon number four can fire thirty-three rounds, thirty-four rounds even! I have been with it for more than half a year and I know its limit! Please! The most crucial hour is upon us, is it not? Let me fire! Even if it is a cook-off, I will not allow my precious to be left to the Deiss!"
"How… How can the soldiers of my family all be useless scoundrels!" Torry watched on as the cannon number four was reloaded with hot tears streaming down his face!
"Cannon four! Forwards nine hundred meters! Fire!"
t.i.tan's groups defending Saijo Mountain fell into absolute silence. The warriors who were exhausted beyond comprehension were transfixed by the flailing enemies within the artillery barrage. Their artillery brothers were using their lives to exchange for the opportunity to cripple the enemies.
"Cannon four… Fire!"
Following an earth-shaking boom, all the soldiers affixed their gazes toward the pit of cannon number four! Saijo Mountain was trembling; among the smoke and flying shrapnel, a heavy blood-colored mist rose. The soldiers watched in consternation and discovered in alarm that cannon number four's pit, had completely vanished!
Cook-off! This was a cook-off? The soldiers of t.i.tan removed their helmets when the enemies were just about to advance over the front lines.
At that moment, numerous abnormally bright sounds traveled out one after another on Saijo Mountain, like a relay!
"Cannon six, ready!""Cannon eight, ready!""Cannon five, ready!""Cannon seven, ready!"
Looking at the cannon pits on the left, which lighted a flame one after another, Major Tove Van Sukhoi cowered and shrank back onto the observation deck. Both his hands were on the safety rails. His gaze alternated between the artillery soldiers who were still reloading, and the two wings of cannons that were frantically shifting their muzzles to face the center of the battlefield. This rogue who had never expressed his inner feelings was letting out guttural sobs.
Finally, under the baptism of artillery barrages and rain of arrows, the fourth infantry corps of Deiss Kingdom managed to break through the vehicle Front that was hindering their way. Not far off before them was the cruel soldiers who had a.s.sembled to one side on Saijo Mountain, merely a group of not more than four thousand people. These soldiers of t.i.tan raised countless military flags and the Deiss invaders looked on at those flags with greed. They only need to attain either one of those and the Kingdom would bestow upon them territories and a n.o.bility t.i.tle.
"Why… Why do they want to lay out an attack formation on the defending grounds?" Colonel Opal pointed towards the battlefield with his whip. He initially thought that victory was before his eyes. However, once he saw the formation of the people of t.i.tan, fear gripped his heart.
"This is bad!" Marshal Veron finally perceived the problem at hand! "Order the Teutonic Knights to enter the battlefield quickly and order them to guard against attacks from the enemy on both wings!"
Scores of messengers bolted for the cavalry group that was quietly waiting for victory at the edge of the battlefield.
"Ignite the isolation trench!" Lieutenant General Endorph and General Gondol Aba.s.sia who gave the orders simultaneously locked eyes and could not forbear a smile. A group of archers lighted fiery arrows and the fire arrows accurately landed on the firewall that had been prepared in advance.
The Teutonic Knights had just started mobilizing, but they realized the barrier that the people of t.i.tan had set up in advance was already starting to burn violently. The fourth corps was within the firewall while the Knights were beyond it! The soldiers of t.i.tan added on combustibles from the procession into the lamp oil and rapeseed oil. Torry even destroyed a few artillery sh.e.l.ls to sprinkle gunpowder onto the firewall. Could it be that we had to go around it? The Teutonic Knights, who were at their wits' end, gazed at the firewall completely baffled.
The sounds of horse hooves! The closely packed sounds of horse galloping! The Deiss infantries within the firewall searched in alarm. The sound of horse hooves converged at both wings and the tremendous momentum caused Saijo Mountain to tremble a little.
There! There! The soldiers of Deiss Kingdom's fourth infantry corps finally saw the speedy a.s.sault cavalry! They ma.s.sed together in the direction where the cavalry was charging towards and faced the group of t.i.tan infantries on the hillside, a.s.suming a defending stance.
"Andrew Haila!" Following the cries that shook the heavens, draped in the sunrays and bathed in the multicolored red of the sunset were the Fierce Tigers, who could not hold themselves back any longer as they finally charged into the battlefield!
"Long live our motherland!" Oscar once again shouted the slogan that captured people's hearts! The edge of the machete reflected the sunlight and gave off a brilliant glint.
"Long live!" Following the commander's figure, the t.i.tan soldiers who were blood-soaked from the few hours long battle rushed down Saijo mountain. They seemed to have disrupted their formation and scattered their army types. However, none of this was important.
Saijo Mountain, the brilliant mountain, had arrows hailing from the skies and cannons booming thunderously away!
"Hehe!" Taking in the scene of the infantry army group that fled everywhere after pa.s.sing through the scene of the fire, Marshal Veron Blundindt unexpectedly broke into laughter, "Am I old? Have I turned stupid? How can I not have made a single correct decision within the last four hours?
Colonel Opal unsheathed his narrow edged saber, "Our Teutonic knights still have the military strength of a corps, let us launch the final a.s.sault!"
Veron shook his head, "Look, t.i.tan's soldiers are undeniably the descendants of the great Roman warriors. They are even more impatient than us!"
The t.i.tan soldiers who had just broken up the scattered remnants of the enemy army was, to one's surprise, frantically burying the firewall. Soon, being confronted with the last crops of the Deiss Teutonic Knights, the Red Tiger a.s.sault Division of the Narcissus Knight Neruda Front charged into the center of the battlefield and arranged themselves into a rigorous front line at the Front.
Oscar stood at the very front of the front lines and gave his machete a kiss, "My beloved, oh my beloved! Please forgive me, I am O'Neil Andrew Morisette, so… certain things, O'Neil Andrew Morisette must do! For example… Leading a cavalry division who had cut down by one-third of their numbers to charged against the enemy army. But… This I must do! For the motherland! More so for Andrew, the unfailing religion of the G.o.d-chosen warriors!"
Murat Bedoya was pacing back and forth at the front of the ranks; the heavy cavalry was at the front, the battle cavalry at both flanks, and the rangers at the most rear of the ranks! The division commander of the Red Tigers adjusted the formation, br.i.m.m.i.n.g with excitement! The charge that scared away the enemies a while ago did not count. It has been ages since the Red Tigers partic.i.p.ated in a true a.s.sault! This… Has been long antic.i.p.ated!
A group of knights who had charged into the front lines halted beside the prince. These knights were blood-soaked from head to toe. They gripped onto the longbows in their hands and carried two swords behind their backs; Lieutenant General Endorph and Major Wellington Steinberger had dashed out from among the crowd.
"Your Highness!" The Lieutenant General saluted to the commander on his horse. "Major Torry's cannons are completely destroyed and thus the transport mission of the First Independent Brigade has ended. I bring the warriors of the Steinberger Family. Do you mind if us willing soldiers join in?"
"Subsume under the battle array!"
"As you wish!" The Lieutenant General once again saluted.
Once Brigadier General Rabiel Tuonnes of the First Independent Brigade had halted his horse, he realized with a start that the person standing beside him was General Aba.s.sia. Both the Generals had their gazes affixed onto each other's broken arm. General Aba.s.sia tightened the bandage around Brigadier General Tuonnes' arm for blood was still flowing out from it. Finally, both of their gazes fell on each other's legs which were bounded tightly to help maintain balance on the horse and could not help but catch each other's eyes and laugh.
In order to avoid any accidents, Snowstorm buried all his valuable, shameful equipment in the mountain. The a.s.sa.s.sin came across Torry on his way down from the mountain and helped the swaying Major of the artillery soldiers up from the ground.
"Have you been crying?"
"Mmm!" Torry nodded, "This here is cannon number four's pit where my most brilliant artillerymen lie! That is an artillery crew who has broken the reloading record four times!"
"Wanna come with me?" Snowstorm indicated towards the group of cavalry that had arranged themselves orderly on the battlefield.
Torry nodded, "Definitely!"
Kamille Rayen eyed his battle soldiers and could not forbear a grin. Their faces and armors were covered with black soot from the smoke and fire. The paladin evaluated his soldiers one by one and his gaze paused on a young lad. The lad had taken a cigar from an old soldier and took a puff and ended up choking to the extent that even his wound was torn open! However, the silly lad was indeed a fine man. He was not only the sole scout who broke through the heavy encirclement, but he also used his double-handed great sword in the forest to hack at a small group of Teutonic knights that ended up fleeing ignominiously in the forest defending war! Kamille gave him a light smile and he dropped his gaze, quietly waiting for a.s.sault command.
"Your Highness, my commander! Will you like to say a few words to us?" A knight asked loudly.
"I feel like going to do my business!" Oscar yelled in retort. The next moment, ear-piercing whistles and laughter came from the group of Red Tigers.
"Your Highness, how are we going to fight this war?" One of the knights positioned in the first row of the front lines queried.
Oscar scratched his head, "I think… we should surround them!"
"Hahahahahahahahaha!" The Narcissus knights erupted in roaring laughter! Surround the enemy? The enemy had an entire corps! Even the shadow that they cast on the ground was larger than the group of Narcissus nights!
Oscar glanced at his companions crowded around him and then made an inviting gesture towards Major General Arcan the paladin, cavalry commander of the Red Tigers.
When this paladin raised the Red Tiger's a.s.sault command flag and leaped into the open s.p.a.ce, a curtain of silence fell over the group of Narcissus knights!
Arcan the paladin faced the battlefield before him and slowly stretched out the commander flag towards the group of enemies. The Knights' warhorses were restlessly stomping their hooves on the ground. When these jittery creatures of the battlefield heard the sound of their masters placing metal on the ground, they finally whined impatiently!
The Paladin's movements stopped and the military bugler sounded the bugle horn of a.s.sault!
It was 5:37 p.m., on the 31st day of the 3rd month in the Church's Year 797, twilight emitted the last of its rays and warmth! At the great Northwest of the Empire, before a highland called Saijo Mountain, 2136 Narcissus knights launched their final a.s.sault on their advantaged enemies who invaded their nation, crying out 'Long Live!' At that moment, no one knew the story of those 2136 Knights and their commander. The subjects of t.i.tan Empire were still living and reproducing in the light of peace!
The doctor was washing his hands in a copper basin and took the towel that Baron Viesharl pa.s.sed to him.
"My Lady!" The doctor started awkwardly, but he still dropped the news truthfully on Vijdeline, "My Lady, you are unmarried yet, so… I also do not know how to judge this matter! Your body is fine, it's just that… You are pregnant!"
Vijdeline nodded, her face emotionless!
The attendant escorted the doctor out and Baron Viesharl turned and returned to the room. This room was originally his, but his mistress had occupied it for a while now.
Lady Vijdeline Van Sukhoi reclined on the cozy pillow. Her face flushed as she gazed at the clueless Flea. However, if she did not clarify this matter, she knew that she would not let it go.
"Big Flea! Can… Can guys… Control that sort of thing?"
"Control what?" He blinked in puzzlement.
"Getting… Getting women pregnant, that sort of thing!"
"I… I apologize! My Lady, control that sort of thing? I… I have never heard of it!"
Vijdeline turned her head away in irritation, "Then how come the aunts of the family can repeatedly throw themselves all over men without getting pregnant while I only… I only did it twice… And this happened!"
"I… I can only say, I hope it is a son!" As soon as he said that, he staggered after having the tea up thrown at him by the Mistress.
So… At the very end of the end… Let us change the scene. The son's father, who was also the General of the guards, His Imperial Highness The Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette, was facing the broken sunset and streaking through the battlefield in the distance!