80. Chapter 80 – Battle of Carorolaia Vein
As Walm expected, there was no confusion in the playground filled with learning students, and the approaching formation was in a beautiful straight line. The drum sound was as if telling the speed of the march, with the big shield held in the front row, they continued moving forward.
“So, that’s the army of Meisenav Family?”
The quality of the armor worn by the soldiers was good despite them looking inexperienced. It could be said that they were just a flock of sheep with thick skin and sharp horns. There were enough shepherds in the lead, and it seemed that they were accustomed to handling them.
Now, Walm stopped unnecessary talks. After all, the gap was already about to reach 250 meters. The archer began to push the strings with an arrow. The two young soldiers nearby Walm began to pinch a stone in the provided sling.
“Listen, they’re so widespread. You just need to send it somewhere in the front, and you’ll hit someone.”
The two nodded silently. Walm was hired as a magic user so he wasn’t provided with a sling. Although he had some stuff in his magic bag, he wasn’t very good at throwing, so he didn’t want to butt in the things he wasn’t asked for.
At the order of the 100-man Commander, the pebbles launched by the sling soared high in the sky all at once and then fell into the approaching army in a parabolic manner. Of course, there were some who missed the target, some who missed the timing and so rolled the pebbles on the ground, and some who shot without enough power.
Correctly launched stones hit the enemy’s armor and shields, and the metallic sound echoed to the branch castle. Some of them fainted on the spot, perhaps because their vital spot was hit.
The young soldiers also managed to throw stones into the formation after several trials and errors. They have a complex expression that was just indescribable, perhaps, because of the joy of accomplishment and the sour aftertaste that they might have injured someone, such contradictive feelings rushed at the same time.
“That’s great. Aren’t you both good at this?”
Walm praised them. The expression was cloudy and dark, but the brightness returned, albeit slightly.
While instigating the innocent boy, Walm was trying to dilute the guilt feelings and make them adapt to the battlefield. He wanted to vomit at his own flippant trick, but the smile he had put on his face couldn’t be removed.
By the time the enemies cut 250 meters in distance, the arrow that the archer had drawn to the limit was shot. When an arrow fell with the sound of the wind, the march visibly slowed down and people’s screams reached the branch castle.
The attack by the magic users began at a distance of less than 60 meters. The range was varied depending on the magic. The earth bullet blew off the big shield and the ones holding the bamboo bundle, and the ice spear pierced the bamboo bundle.
After cutting fifty meters, Walm stuck out his arm and manifested his mana in form of fire. The embodied blue flame swirled, and a fireball was kneaded.
“Fireball is comiiiIIINGG!!”
A sad voice was raised by the soldier carrying the big shield. Soldiers who communicated and alerted the others on the front lines were dangerous. Walm shot the fireball at the source of the voice. The fireball that hit directly scattered pieces of flesh and blood, and the leftover fire clung to the surrounding soldiers.
“Ah? ah, aaaAAAHHH!! Hands! M-my hands…!!”
“Stop the bleeding and go to the back!”
Great damage spread to the ones behind the half-broken shield. No cheers were obtained, just strange silence which dominated the surroundings. The tragedy that Walm accomplished brought the two young soldiers back into a reality that made them want to look away.
Walm plainly told them to kill their emotions. If you were beside Walm, you could see more of those rotten scenes. Without receiving a word of consolation.
Paying attention to the next prey, Walm found soldiers holding the bamboo bundle in a diagonal direction trying to parry the attack. However, it wasn’t so easy to hold, and he saw a gap between the ground and the bamboo bundle. Walm shot a fireball at the gap. The fireball exploded on the ground resulting in earth and sand falling overhead, creating a dent.
The damage to the bamboo bundle and the soldiers behind it was also enormous. There were many soldiers who lost their legs and screamed in agony, and many who suffered minor damage such as missing fingers and burns on their legs.
In order to silence Walm who scattered such destruction, it was inevitable that attacks would be concentrated on him. Miscellaneous thrown objects hit the walls, and the wind noise of the arrows could be heard from above the hiding spot. A soldier who carelessly exposed himself was forced to welcome the arrow with his forehead and collapsed without making a noise. The disturbing corpse was immediately dragged down the wall.
The four corners that protruded outward were designed like that to attack the enemy soldiers trying to stick to the wall from the side. It was a kind of defensive tower, and these corner towers were a key point of defense even though they were low-rise buildings. They were exceptionally made of stone, which further enhanced the defensive performance.
Otherwise, it would have been half-destroyed in the attack that came without a cut. Walm assigned the degree of danger to the enemy’s attack and crushed it in order from the dangerous one. The first was, of course, the magic users, the second was the generals and officers, and the third was the archers. The blocking tools visibly showed their power and fulfilled their purpose, leaving a ripple in the straight line of formations, and it was a straight line, the enemy soldiers on the edge of the formation, who was within an effective range of attack, were delayed to see the situation.
Arrows and stones flew mercilessly at soldiers who had lost their defenses due to the explosion. The enemy soldier with the arrowhead piercing into his shoulder raises a voice of agony, but was silenced not long after by the subsequent stone. The two young soldiers were throwing stones as if they were possessed.
“Oi, where are you going?”
Walm stopped the soldiers from leaving the yard. He wouldn’t stop if the man was just a miscellaneous soldier, but the man was the same precious magic user as him. He couldn’t help but care when he thought of the burden he had to shoulder might increase.
“It’s an order by the 100-man Commander, I must support other walls. This side will be okay, you’re here after all.”
After saying so, the magic user rushed away. Magic soldiers who used mana-efficient earth bullets had a lot of work and were useful for preventing the invasion of enemies. Walm wanted to have a piece of mind for a while after his excellent comrade went away, but the enemy didn’t give him time and was trying to enter the empty moat despite the onslaught.
A fireball approached an enemy soldier who swept the abatis and now was breaking a stake. The end of the soldiers who had descended to the bottom of the moat was extremely miserable as the escape area for the explosion was limited. Being blasted like a detonation, the human bomb gifted a hot shock wave to the surroundings rapidly, with limbs and torso falling on the surrounding soldiers after a moment.
The heat could even be felt from the top of the ramparts. The smell of burning sebum and the viscera exposed to the atmosphere was mixed with undigested foods and had a terrible stink. There were a certain number of soldiers who stuffed food and liquor as much as they could before the start of the battle. After all, it might be the last meal in this world before going to the netherworld.
Some would reach for the injured. As a person, it might look like a sympathetic action. But as a soldier, it would look like a pity action.
It might be possible to return to the front in a short period of time if there was recovery magic even if the viscera were damaged, but if undigested food overflowed from the damaged viscera, the influx of foreign substances going in might contaminate the body, and treatment with simple recovery magic alone wouldn’t suffice. Water magic and special surgery would be needed.
“The time and place are not the same, but… well, a battlefield is a battlefield.”
Really, a detestable nostalgic feeling. The terrible scene of death, the pungent odor that pierced the nasal cavity, and the sound of the battlefield that shook the eardrum awakened Walm’s memories.
Kuwen and Kalim had pale faces, but they still didn’t loosen their hands. They were slowly adapting themselves. An enthusiastic adult soldier was upset like a toddler just because the viscera that had flown in were stuck to his armor, spitting out curses everywhere.
Dozens of enemies hadn’t given up even after being burned and blown away. The soil was thrown into the empty moat where corpses were rolling as if they wanted to bury themselves. They were trying to stick directly under the wall.
“Dive into the gap!! Gold coins will be given to those who get the first blood!!”
The regular soldiers rebuild the disturbed battle line, kicking the timid soldiers and pushing them into the front line. Walm also welcomed them with fire. A soldier who had become a human torch due to blue flames rolled backward on the slope. The soldier who was holding the stake was kidnapped by the blast, leaving only his hand on the stake.
“Push in and kill that guy!! KILL HIIIMMM!!!”
Bare emotions were sent. Walm accepted it. The soldiers under his eyes were now obsessed with Walm’s every move, but Walm, who was only one of the magic users, felt that he was being overpraised.
The damage from the stones and arrows to the front got even more enormous, as they were wary of the magic shot from the corner tower. The attack was carried out on three sides of the wall, but about half of the two sides were within the range of Walm’s attack. The remaining half was also diverted by Walm’s firepower, leading to the attack of other magic users becoming more effective.
A soldier who somehow managed to crawl up also had a spear swung down from the wall welcoming him, and rolled down with a shock on his head. Walm pitied the enemy soldiers, but it must be done.
Sometimes, the brute force could be a powerful tactic. The enemy commander might have predicted such a situation, but even so, many of his soldiers died, perhaps more than expected.
And so, rhythmic drum sounds echoed on the battlefield, and the angry roar of regular soldiers rose everywhere.
“It’s a signal for withdrawal. RETREAATT!!”
“Don’t let go of your weapons. If you let go, you will be scolded!!”
The enemy soldiers left at the sound of the drum that announced the withdrawal. Of course, no one waved off. Instead, a large number of souvenirs would be given for free, albeit only stones and arrows.
“The enemy turned their tail and ran away!!”
On this day, the cheers of Dalimarx soldiers echoed in the branch castle for the first time.
“What a wretched stated we are in!”
Viscount Barnes Cuvier was dominated by anger and impatience. It was a castle attack. The sacrifice of the commoners was an inherent part of it, and Barnes was prepared. He intended to.
“It was just a single magic user!!”
With arrows and stones as a welcoming sign, Barnes and his soldiers approached the wall while receiving some damage. With the support of magic users and archers, the infantry would try to break through. It was supposed to. But, before the soldiers could attach to the wall, 200 troops had been lost and many injured.
Everything was due to the firepower of the powerful magic user deployed in the corner tower, and the constantly spewed fireballs burned down shields and bamboo bundles, and also killed the soldiers. The exposed soldiers received all thrown objects before they could even climb the slope.
Barnes wasn’t watching silently either. He sent magic users and archers to silence the source of the nasty fire, but the result was a painful counterattack and exhaustion for his soldiers.
Some of those soldiers took a lot of time to train, a type of soldier that would be difficult to replace, so it was inevitable that Barnes’ influence would decline in the future. It was a painful failure in the first battle to determine the momentum of the battle, and Barnes, who took command of the soldiers, had a heavy responsibility for the outcome. The enemy wasn’t the only one who angered Barnes, who was desperate to get rid of this dishonor he had received.
“The fallen soldiers. They were just unlucky.”
“Well, it can’t be helped, because that magic user was a little powerful.”
Now, the front-line command center was filled with people other than Barnes’ retainers and aides. Still waiting for Barnes to attack again, those who had the blood of the Meisenav family and the mercenaries hired by the Count, which dispatched to support the struggle.
Barnes could tolerate those of Count Odilon’s family and other vassals. However, he couldn’t forgive the vulgar and inferior mercenaries entering his battle. The problem was, that those from Count Odilon’s family and the mercenaries were said to move independently out of Barnes’ command.
Barnes felt that he was being told that he wasn’t credible. His hands quivered with anger, but Barnes couldn’t refute his Lord’s decision.
However, mercenaries were for sure capable of fighting. Although the unit was less than 100 people, there were only those who could use “magic” and “skill”. There were those who had dived deep into a labyrinth in Labyrinth City. It was a mercenary unit with constant rumors.
“But, for “Viscount-dono” to attain this result. I can’t believe it.”
The head of the hired soldier, called Giusto, said so as if to ridicule Barnes’ blunder. His words and deeds, including his pretentious attitude, touched Barnes’ sensitive spot, further fueling the anger.
“Bastard, you’re just a hired mercenary, shut your rude mouth. Arrows, stones, and magic are finite. Once we prevented them, once they’ve run out of it, their deaths will be decided.”
The loss of 200 people was immeasurable, but not all of the soldiers were wasted. There were many left in the empty moat. Now some parts, filled with soil and corpses, and obstacles were also being removed. In addition, the parts with serious damage in the walls had already been reported to Barnes.
“Oh no. No one would despise Viscount-dono who soon will get rid of that powerful fire and make a breakthrough. Without it, we would have been attacking the walls by this time.”
“Hmph, and now here’s come the flattery. Shameless.”
Barnes didn’t have time to have an unscrupulous conversation with a vulgar mercenary.
“…Well, enough. As soon as the injured have been treated and the shield has been repaired, we will launch another attack again.”
Restoration of shields and bamboo bundles had been completed, and injured people other than the ones with serious injuries have returned to the battlefield with the help of recovery magic.
Barnes switched his thoughts to planning another attack. He didn’t notice that Giusto was laughing.
“Ku, Kuku, Viscount-dono is wonderful. An excellent paving stone. Even if you can’t take credit, you still doing your best to set the way for us. Oh, really, how kind of you.”
Giusto’s words were like passing wind in the hustle and bustle of planning the next attack and never reached the Viscount.
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