TN: I just added an illustration in ch 4, it’s an illustration of Duwei, Jose and Walm, having a drink in the tavern.
25. Chapter 25
The Four-Country Alliance, which continued to make good progress due to the overwhelming difference in forces, began to see a decline in its momentum.
The Jaff Cavalry Battalion, belonging to the Highserk Empire army, was engaged in a maneuver battle against the main force of the Craist Kingdom. They relentlessly attacked the side, rear, and protruding troops. Although Craist had more troops, they had a hard time because the cavalry moved at high speed, so it wasn’t easy to catch up with them.
The pursuit of the cavalry by the Order of Reharzen had some success. In a way, the knights were purposedly invited to pursue, and sometimes they suffered painful damage due to this fishing tactic. If the Craist soldiers advanced without following the directions of Ferrius’ and Myard’s soldiers, who were familiar with the local geography, as expected, they wouldn’t be able to maintain their marching speed.
In addition, highways and bridges were thoroughly destroyed, and intentional landslides were carried out by earth attribute magic on mountain passes and roads, such tactics to delay their movement was carried out.
The progress of the soldiers of Liberitoa Trade Federation was also completely stopped at the Refn Mine. The Liberitoa Trade Federation, which sent 7,000 soldiers to take on a battalion of enemies, suffered far more damage than expected.
With 1200 dead and 2000 injured, the enemies still held the mine and were still alive. Night fire from a few people was also serious, to the point where the Liberitoa Trade Federation soldiers began to develop a fear of fire.
Emrid, who belonged to the infantry unit of the Liberitoa Trade Federation, had dry lips and a dry throat from tension. Emrid was the Company Commander of a 250-man unit from his homeland, and the information he had at his disposal was extensive compared to that of a mere infantry.
He hadn’t shared exact casualty figures with the others to avoid demoralization, but an entire company had already been sacrificed in a defensive facility with walls and defense towers that Emrid’s company was trying to capture. His predecessor, the Company Commander of the defeated unit, was badly wounded and carried to the rear.
Besides the Highserk army, the mountainous terrain was certainly a challenge, but what worried Emrid the most was the soldier manipulating a fire called 《Fire of Hell Gate》.
No one knew the soldier’s name, but he was certainly a user of the skill 《Demon Fire》, which was said to have atrocious powers and could cause widespread damage. He manipulated the clinging blue fire and strong winds and caused deadly damage in the area with many troops.
In fact, the platoon, which was on the offensive, had suffered 21 dead and 14 seriously and lightly wounded in a single battle and was now thinking about reorganization. Among the dead bodies was the Platoon Commander. As a Platoon Commander, he was supposed to be good at manipulating mana and able to withstand a slightly higher temperature than other ordinary foot soldiers, but in reality, he had been turned into a dying bonfire that illuminated the battlefield.
Considering what had happened, they abandoned the idea of pressing the attack and changed the method of attack to slow strangulation and killing. Emrid took the lead and dug a trench in a winding manner.
In this way, they got closer and closer to the wall, and finally, Emrid’s Company was ready in time for a big attack.
Before the all-out assault, the soldiers sprinkled their bodies with water as a measure against 《Demon Fire》. Some even smeared mud on their bodies.
No one laughed at the soldiers covered by mud, who looked like madmen as they watched their colleagues burn, instead more and more of them smeared their bodies with mud as well. To be honest, Emrid wanted to get rid of the mud himself, but as a commander, it was important for him to set an example for his comrades.
“Begin the attack!!”
The short orders propagated in a blink of an eye, and the entire company flooded toward the walls.
Throwing attack at the soldiers emerging from the trench was started. A little later the soldiers were struck down with an ice lance and a clod of earth.
Nevertheless, only a few soldiers fell. And now, the soldiers had already reached the foot of the wall and hung a ladder. The previous fierce resistance of the Highserk was like a lie.
Emrid thought that he could finish the attack today and take the mine, but for some reason, he felt that his skin was tingling and so, he hastily turned to a corner of the rampart.
At the place where the soldiers were about to enter, the hot air spread, and a blue flame blew out.
Those who had climbed the ladder quickly rolled down and hid behind a shield or a trench.
“Stop the attack, go back to the trench!!”
Some who were climbing the ramparts literally chose to jump down, and escaped instant death, but four or five soldiers still became prey hunted by the flames.
“Don’t move! Throw the soil quickly!!”
“That Demon Fire user bastard, Damn you!”
The cursing of a soldier who literally had his butt on fire didn’t stop. Even so, the reaction was faster than at first, and the damage was kept to a minimum.
Emrid jumped off the ladder, holding the edge of the armor of a soldier with broken legs. Quickly he dragged the soldier with all his strength, and slid into the trench.
“Doesn’t he care about his surroundings!!?”
So far, the 《Demon Fire》 had been directed at the soldiers under the wall, but now the man was burning even the ramparts he had to protect.
The total attack was temporarily suspended as fire gradually rose in the ramparts.
There, Emrid felt uncomfortable. After all, it was too daring.
Emrid, who had been scrambling around, noticed the true nature of the discomfort.
“… F*cking bastard, we’re going back to the wall now. Moveee!!!”
Pouring water over the body, Emrid grabbed the unburned ladder and ran into the wall alone.
The voices of his subordinates confirming his intentions echoed, but they immediately followed their superior.
Emrid was ready and climbed the ladder at a high speed. There was still suffocating steam in the ramparts, but there was no figure.
“Those bastards, were slowly retreating their soldiers. They purposely burned everywhere as they retreated.”
Emrid kicked up a helmet that had been left on the ground. There was still only one commander, who commanded the company at a young age and issued one order after another to his subordinates.
“The first platoon shall extinguish the fire, the second and third platoons shall be on the lookout. Do not raise the injured to the wall passage. There is a risk of counterattack. The fourth platoon and the rest shall send some scouts to patrol the area, I want to know what’s in front.”
The orders given were transmitted from the top down, and the soldiers concentrated on their work. Despite the delay, one of the most important points had fallen. Nevertheless, Emrid didn’t feel well.
The scouts returned in about 30 minutes and Emrid’s face, taking the report, turned bitter, as if he had eaten a worm.
“The enemy has built an encampment not far. It was a complex one that combined trench and a quite deep empty moat.”
Emrid looked up at the sky and thought about what he was afraid of once again. Having exploited the wall as much as possible, the enemy simply abandoned it and set up camp in the rear. While he concentrated on how to deal with the 《Demon Fire》 and other magic attacks, the enemies withdrew their soldiers one by one.
Entrapped in deception, Emrid cursed his stupidity and was overwhelmed by the dexterity of the Highserk army. He couldn’t even say it out lout or express it.
He could only think that this was why a war against the Highserk Empire wasn’t worth it.
Unlike the areas in Craist and Ferrius, this was a land that couldn’t be detoured, so they had to cross the mine. Considering the damage and the effort in the future, Emrid couldn’t help but feel dizzy.
Emrid thought about what to say to his subordinates and to himself, before finally opening his mouth.
“Don’t be upset. After all, it’s a temporary encampment. The time for it is limited. It doesn’t have the height and robustness of a castle wall.”
《Demon Fire》 was used over a large area of the ramparts. Considering the amount of mana used, it should only be able to be used for a very limited time in a day. In short, it could be said that now would be the best time to attack.
Another Company was waiting behind, and due to the development in the mine, it wouldn’t be Emrid’s company that painstakingly dropped the ramparts, but the other Company that would lead the attack and they should succeed in bringing down the temporary encampment.
The problem was that while there were differences in the quality of defense, there could be several temporary encampments.
Emrid sympathized with the Company responsible for the attack. That was what he could only do now. Thinking that perhaps more people wouldn’t be able to have roasted meat down their throats for a while.
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