29. Chapter 29
In this world, in order to avoid the crumble of the formation caused by magic attacks and defeat it in one fell swoop, countless skirmishers and small groups were often stationed in front of the main group. And in this defensive battle, numerous defensive layers made of earth formed in front of the fortress, built with the full power of the engineers of the army of the Highserk Empire Army.
In particular, the last layer with a U-shaped fence that protected the small entrance of the fortress, and the 6th layer, high enough to be called a mini-castle, could accommodate two battalions and also equipped with an empty moat, a horse fence, a pile trap, a rampart, and even a wooden wall. It was a complex combination to increase the defensive power. Walm had never seen such a carefully crafted defensive installation.
TN: it will be something like this
From the enemy’s point of view, this would be a key point to eliminate for the first step in taking the fortress. If Walm had to say a problem about this, one of the battalions used for the construction of the 6th line was the Liguria Battalion. The infantry battalion was used outside of combat like unskilled laborers for civil engineering. Walm was no exception. He crushed the dam with tools and feet, drove the piles into the ground, and sharpened the tops.
The dexterous men mingled with the engineers to help reinforce the walls and install the pillars. The excavated soil was packed into a straw bag or bucket and brought to the base to make the embankment higher. Stones for throwing and arrows were carried to the ramparts. The work was almost complete, but still, the number of engineers coming and going was highest near the 6th layer.
“Even so, this really has a great height and width.”
The embankment was also a few steps higher and wider than other layers. Walm couldn’t help but wonder where the soil came from.
As the sun set and the time for completion was announced, the smoke signal rose in the distance.
“Aaah, now they’re just 2 or 3 days away.”
Said Jose, who was working with Walm.
“They’ll have to deal with the advance team first, so, I guess the full-scale battle will be in 3 or 4 days?”
“Guess that’s about it. But, the enemy numbers exceed 50,000 huh… surely, this fortress will be filled with corpses by the end.”
The dark-skinned young man looked around and sighed in disgust.
“I only hope, neither my body nor the bodies of our squad members will be among them.”
“Right. It’s too early for the last meal, but it’s sure a good time for a grand dinner.”
“Don’t be in such a rush. If you don’t wash your hands properly, your mama will get angry.”
“Shut up. Let’s go. Quick.”
Walm followed Jose, who spat out expletives, and headed for the corner where the large pots were lined up. The battalion’s units were assembled in platoon formations, all the pots were mobilized, and provisions were prepared. Everything edible was put inside. Even if it was a little damaged, everything would be all right, if it was cooked, it would be all right, All Green to eat. The ingredients were put in without worrying about anything.
As Walm had confirmed in advance, the ingredients differed depending on the pot. A small amount of chicken, pork, orc, beans, cabbage, turnips, carrots, potatoes, etc. were boiled randomly.
Walm took a wooden bowl out from his bag, placed it in front, and the soldier in charge of cooking, poured the soup. The taste was ―― well, just warm, but surely better than nothing. Perhaps, fatigue and hunger had deceived the tongue, and so it tasted better than it should be.
Along with the leftover pieces of the hard-baked bread, Walm carried it to his mouth and stored it in his stomach. He then collected bronze and silver coins from the squad members to buy fruit liquor. Then, after reaching the ramparts, he poured the fruit liquor into a bowl and enjoyed it while smoking a pipe, slowly spreading smoke to the sky.
The two moons rose in the night sky and began to chase each other. Unlike Walm’s previous world, the starry sky of this world without air pollution such as exhaust fumes was the best night sky he had ever seen. That was probably one of the pluses he received when he came to this world. Still, there were perhaps more things he had lost. Especially the things that had to be thrown away during the war, slowly changed Walm, for better or worse.
“What’s the matter? You look so melancholic.”
While Walm looked up at the night sky in a corner of the ramparts, Jose came up after eating.
“Nothing… Just wondering how long will the war last.”
“Well, until we win?”
“Until we win, is it?”
This happened because Highserk kept winning, Walm wanted to say.
The Highserk Empire, which had won every battle with a victory, didn’t know the letters “peace”. Provoked by the other countries, and when one was defeated, another one struck again and forced everyone to follow the flow thoroughly. This was the Highserk Empire. The result was a war against four countries at the same time. It was a world where if you showed your weaknesses, you would be eaten.
Hoping that war would end soon, Walm might be naive and sweet.
It was a fact that even after so many victories, the war wasn’t over. As if the war was the peacetime in this world. In a way, Walm had the feeling of being trapped in an apocalyptic world.
“What? Are you getting scared now? Well, there are a lot of enemies, but we have a strong position, surrounded by natural fortresses. We won’t be losing so one-sidedly.”
Walm agreed that what Jose said as a member of the Highserk army was correct.
“Yeah, you’re right.”
Walm gave a sloppy reply, but Jose said nothing afterward.
In order for Walm not to die in a few days, he would have to kill more. He was neither a softhearted nor a good-natured man. He would kill to avoid being killed.
In the silence, Walm brought the fruit liquor poured into the bowl to his mouth. The acid ran down his tongue and into his throat. As Walm frowned, Jose laughed merrily.
The beginning of the battle was a dazzling flash of light and a booming explosion. A siege battle often began with an attack by the magic-users, but the magical blast between tens of thousands of troops was, to sum it in a word, “fierce.” Flames danced everywhere, limbs flew through the air, and soldiers hit by the rock fainted. When the ice flower bloomed, blood dripped from the body of the hit soldier, and the flower turned red. As for the soldiers who were hit directly in the head by <Earth Bullet>, they lost their balance and drowned on the ground.
The Highserk army continued in carefully constructed defense territory while maintaining superiority in the battle situation, but suddenly someone from the Four-Country Alliance launched a distinctive attack. It was holy attribute magic that was strong enough to scrape off the embankment. The light even obliterated the Highserk Empire soldiers who were hiding behind the embankment.
At the point where all the magic with four attributes flew in succession, part of the embankment was destroyed by the onslaught. With the support of the magic-user soldiers, the Four-Country Alliance began to move forward, using the golem created by the earth attribute magic as a shield.
Interdicting attacks began to prevent the advance. The archer, who could do little to no effect on the golem itself, continued to shoot arrows at the enemy soldiers who might be behind it with a curving shot. In addition, some soldiers with skills such as 《Hard Shoot》 had managed to destroy golems with projectiles that had a destructive power that couldn’t be found in ordinary people.
Soldiers who had lost their cover hid behind the shields and undulations, but the number of casualties increased dramatically due to the influx of attacks. In response to the unexpected resistance, the Four-Country Alliance moved to capture the layers while building a connecting trench and earth wall.
“Time to change. Move the platoon to the 9th layer!!”
The Liguria battalion was initially placed in the 9th layer which was in the center, that also served as a transportation network for each layer and a collection point of supplies.
And now, on the third day after the collision, the exhausted battalion on the front and the other platoons of the Liguria battalion, which was a reserve force waiting in the 9th layer, were replaced.
There were 6000 soldiers on the front layers and 4000 soldiers were behind it. In front of the fortress, which became a bottleneck, The enemy couldn’t deploy 50,000 soldiers at the same time. The limit was 8,000 to 10,000 soldiers at most. That was why the enemy changed troops day by day and attacked the Highserk army intermittently.
The Kozul platoon was assigned to the 3rd layer built on the left-wing.
Half of the retreating platoon was injured. A fierce battle was expected due to the lack of troops so such a result wasn’t that shocking.
Reaching the 3rd layer, Walm looked down into the flat ground from the embankment.
On the ground, a zigzag trench extended from the outer part of the layer, from which a low embankment with shields lined up.
On the sloping surface, a number of soldiers bared their bodies.
“Hah, is this the soldier’s graveyard?”
Said Jose wryly.
“There are corpses from all five countries.”
Said Noor with a petrified expression.
“Even the Knight of Craist Kingdom is lying on the ground. Was it that bad?”
Beyond Barito’s line of sight, a knight of the Order of Reharzen, who had lost his head, was half-buried in the soil.
“Guess he was the victim of a mass attack last night. Leave him alone, and he may become a Dullahan.”
Every member of the squad laughed at Squad Commander Duwei’s words, but Walm didn’t think it was a joke.
The enemy soldiers, who were having a hard time climbing the embankment, were hit by Walm’s <Fireball> and Willart’s <Ice Lance> and <Waterball>, and the surrounding area became dirty mud.
Noor and Barito also kept throwing rocks at the heads of the soldiers who had lost their shields.
Looking at Squad Commander Duwei throwing a log alone, Walm couldn’t help but be astonished.
Even though Duwei’s squad and the other squads had successfully put down the enemy’s offensive, this wasn’t the case everywhere.
“Walm, is Walm here!!?”
A messenger shouted Walm’s name.
Walm had already learned that most of the time. it was only bad news. And unfortunately, his birthday was still a long way off so he couldn’t even be slightly happy about it.
“I’m here!! What’s wrong?”
The messenger who had found the person he was looking for, ran up and began to explain quickly.
“It’s an order from Commander Kozul. He told me to tell you to crush one of the enemy breakthroughs that is being formed in the 8th Squad’s camp with 《Demon Fire》. Come, I’ll guide you.”
“Eeeh, another “fire extinguishing” work huh.”
“If anything, you would be the one setting up the fire.”
While the dark-skinned comrades shot the bow, he leaked the words of correction. Well, it didn’t really matter to Walm.
“It’s not the time for joking you know?”
Walm wanted to refuse, but sadly he was just a soldier who had no veto power, so he had no choice but to follow the orders.
The place where Walm rushed quickly was filled with a reserve unit commanded by Platoon Commander Kozul, but many enemies seemed to fill the embankment slope. It was like a swarm of ants swarming for food. As expected, the enemy didn’t seem to miss the perfect opportunity to make a breakthrough.
In this era of hand-to-hand combat, assault by dense formation was indeed powerful, but the timing was important because some individuals had powerful ranged attacks such as <Magic> and 《Skill》. If Walm’s mana was exhausted or if he couldn’t be in time for rescue, the allies would be in fierce hand-to-hand combat with enemies, and he wouldn’t be able to attack carelessly.
However, the enemy still couldn’t break through, and it was a dense formation like no other. In short, it was the perfect place for Walm’s 《Demon Fire》, even if they were well protected with shields.
“Lend me two shields”
The soldiers who had been waiting guessed Walm’s intention and handed over the shields.
Walm put the halberd on his back and checked the condition of the round shields. Then he took the mask from the bag on his waist and placed it on his face. The demon-shaped mask trembled, perhaps in anticipation of what was about to happen. He breathed through the gap in the mask and clung to the embankment where spears and swords were stuck.
The soldiers who until then had been fighting hand-to-hand combat, suddenly left the embankment all at once, as if a small wave was being drawn. While watching it, Walm kept activating 《Demon Fire》. Of course, many of the enemy soldiers were surprised.
The response of the Liberitoa soldiers who continued to kill each other at the Rehn mine was quick and so the effect was halved over time, but today’s opponent was the soldiers of Craist Kingdom.
There were various reactions such as those who looked at the culprit’s face with shocked expressions and those who were ready to rush and cut Walm. The attitude of instantly shifting to an offense looked good in Walm’s eyes, but it wasn’t so different from self-immolation.
“It’s not going away. Please put it out!!!”
“Go away, Moveee!!!”
The blue flame that blew out momentarily clung to the enemy soldiers as if it had viscosity properties, and the range was expanded at once.
As the fire spread, a chorus of screams rang out. The cursing, angry voices, and shouting never ceased on the battlefield, but the screams that rose before Walm were the loudest voices of the war so far. Those within a 10-meter radius became human torches one by one, with intensity differences depending on the amount of mana. Those who rolled down the slope immediately were lucky.
“Retreat once, retreat!!!!”
The dense formation prevented the burned from moving freely, more so their muscles had been burned and hardened. And as they continued to breathe the fire into their lungs, they began to flutter breathlessly.
“Ah… ugh, ah”
With one mask on his face, Walm somehow didn’t waver. Perhaps it was because the other person couldn’t see his face, or because he could roleplay as another person. In any case, Walm increased the range by turning the 《Demon Fire》 from a fan-shaped which went to surroundings, to a straight line. The slopes around the area began to burn. If it hadn’t been made of earth, it would have burned completely.
“It’s the 《Demon Fire》. So, it’s real. Just like what one of the Liberitoa guys said.”
Walm jumped out onto the slope and continued spraying fiery flames and hot air around him, but some soldiers who had regained their composure tried to attack from a great distance.
Many arrows fell, but the strong wind deflected the arrows, and the hot air made it hard to reach Walm, so they didn’t hit. Various magic was also disturbed by the explosion and the hot air, and even the slight leftover was held out by the round shield. The fire was scattered intensely even in the place where there seemed to be magic-users and archers.
40 seconds in time. Before the mana was completely exhausted, Walm returned to the top of the embankment.
Far from rejoicing at having repulsed the enemy, everyone was at a loss for words in the face of the burned corpses rolling across the slopes.
“Huh, huuuhh, huufff”
Walm, who had used up most of his mana and was breathing heavily, was greeted by someone.
“Good job, Walm. Thanks to you, they’ve failed at making a breakthrough.”
It was Platoon Commander Kozul who greeted Walm with applause. Hearing it Walm couldn’t help but wonder if he was actually watching the tragic event from somewhere. Regardless, he would be a good boss because he didn’t forget to praise his subordinates for the success of his men.
“Thank you very much”
When Walm took off the mask and thanked back for the praise, the other soldiers also thanked him. The damage caused by the 《Demon Fire》 that struck directly during the dense formation was enormous. More than 100 enemy soldiers were killed, about the same number or more were injured, and a large number of troops were dragged into the trench. The burning smell of flesh lingered in the nostrils. And in such a bloodbath event, the mask stopped vibrating as if satisfied.
TN: Join my discord channel if you want.