Black Iron's Glory - Chapter 548

On the 14th of the 6th month, Year 603, the Pamigar Liberation Front fought a tough battle through the night and claimed the final two port cities: Felimz and Saint Niklas. Their occupation marked the formal loss of Moloshik on their colony. For the first time in three centuries, the Nubissians successfully overwhelmed a colonising regime to gain independence and freedom.

On the 7th of the 7th month, President Taganem announced the formation of a republic for his people and made Pedapulas their capital. They would also henceforth celebrate their independence on that day every year. The other colonies were shocked. Conflicts with natives broke out all over the colonies, and where it didn't go that far, it at the very least soured relations considerably.

On the 23rd of the 7th month, Lesnia's two corps, 125 thousand troops in all, arrived in their second colony on Nubissia and marched for the pamigar republic's border.

On the 25th, a standing corps from Wasilisk arrived as well. They had also recruited a reserve corps and stationed them on the border.

On the 28th, Moloshik announced it would not give up on its colony, declaring the pamigar traitors and calling for the extermination. They wouldn't cease their efforts until their colony was reclaimed.

On the 29th, Lesnia and Wasilisk announced they didn't acknowledge the republic either, calling their violent revolt a threat to the safety and order of the western coast. They would deploy their forces in support of Moloshik.

On the 30th, Lesnia's three corps and Wasilisk's two attacked the fledgeling country together.

On the 1st of the 8th month, President Taganem announced that all of the republic's citizens were obligated to take up arms. He said he was confident they could defeat their enemies and launch a counterattack into their respective colonies to liberate the natives there so that they may found their own nations.

On the 7th of the 8th month, the pamigar republic managed to resist the assault of the Wasiliskian forces with their three new corps and the defence line they erected. They fought for three days and four nights, causing corpses to pile up into mountains. Wasilisk's two corps lost close to 50 thousand men without being able to breach the defences.

On the other hand, the two Lesnian corps and one colonial corps easily crushed the defence of the two Shiksan voluntary folks. They advanced towards the Pedapulas nonstop.

Lesnia's high-ranking officers and commanders found it fortunate that their enemies were the weak-willed Shiksans as they mocked the Wasiliskians for not being able to make any progress at their side of the border. As they marched, they chanted the slogan of breaching Pedapulas and capturing the mix-blood baron. They even personally announced that all troops were free to do what they wanted after the city was breached.

During the evening of the 7th as the officers gave the order to set up camp and rest, the Lesnian corps came under heavy cannon bombardment. What they didn't expect was for all the rounds to explode the moment they touched the ground. There were also many heavy carriages shooting flaming tubes into their camps. The thundering applause-like gunshots came from all directions. It was as if the three Lesnian corps were heavily surrounded.

It didn't take more than half an hour for their troops to crumble completely. The officers couldn't find their subordinates, while the average soldier couldn't find their superiors. They ran around like a swarm of confused rats, trampling over the injured and dead. Cannon fire, explosions, flames, corpses, blood, cries, sobs, gunshots... They all painted a gruesome sight of hell.

After the first corps fell, the lucky survivors ran without stopping until they were 15 kilometres from the hellscape before they were taken in by centre corps. Once they were informed of the heavy assault, the other corps increased nighttime security and set up a defence line. However, all that was useless when rockets and cannonballs rained down in the middle of their camp from all directions.

Row after row of tents burned brightly, illuminating the entire camp, allowing the attackers to aim and shoot better. People were occasionally blasted into the air before coming crashing down on the ground in pieces. Even so, the Lesnian troops lived up their name as tough troops. Even as they were under heavy fire, their strict discipline and preparation allowed them to function and execute their orders despite the heavy casualties to defend their camp.

However, the survivors from the vanguard became the last straw that broke their back. They were already panicked beyond recognition. The moment the bombardment on the camp began, they ran around screaming for the rest to run, greatly shaking the fighting spirit of the troops to the core.

A few of the officers of the centre corps dealt with the survivors immediately. Little did they know that the survivors would raise their arms against them to resist. All semblance of control was lost. They couldn't even tell friend from foe, driven only by the strong notion to escape the camp. Anyone that dared stop them was the enemy.

That was how the infighting began while the bombardment raged on. Eventually, they broke rank and ran their separate ways. Quite a number of troops from the centre and vanguard corps pushed the fence of their camp down, intent on running as far away from the fire as possible. They discarded their weapons and ammunition and ran, wanting nothing more than to leave the colony to return to the mainland. Only then would their safety be guaranteed.

It was a shame none of them would get their wish. The two Shiksan voluntary folks they thought they had so easily defeated were already ready to intercept them. Helpless, unarmed and lacking in supplies and water, the Lesnian troops had no choice but to surrender.

The triumphant victory that day spread like a shockwave, flabbergasting the pamigar republic and the other western colonies. When the war first broke out, every publication wrote that the pamigar country was merely a flash in the pan and would soon become history.

There was no way they could escape their fate of extermination. The pamigar republic definitely wouldn't be afforded the time to grow and would be wiped out in its infancy, bringing the whole population of five million pamigar down with it.

After all, Lesnia was considered to be among the strongest nations in Southern Freia, while Wasilisk's military might was comparable to Moloshik's. The five corps of those two nations had around 300 thousand troops. How could the pamigar hold up against that? It was already impressive they managed to form three corps to hold back the 100 thousand plus troops of Wasilisk, but it was impossible for them to resist the three Lesnian corps with a mere two folks of Shiksan volunteers.

Yet, the results of the battle shattered everyone's glasses. The two Shiksan folks didn't fail to stop the two corps; instead they had intentionally let them in and ambushed them in the dead of night, completely crushing the two Lesnian corps save for some tens of those who managed to escape.

The lucky survivors said that there were actually four instead of two folks of Shiksan volunteers. The severe explosions and flaming rockets, not to mention the non-stop gunfire, broke the standing corps that came all the way from the mainland. A third of their men were out of commission and the other 80 thousand were taken captive.

When the colonial corps of that was left behind to handle logistics heard of the wipeout of their first two corps, they dumped the supplies and made a rapid retreat in the direction they came. It took them a much shorter two days to reach the defence line they set up. They decided to strengthen their hold there.

On the 21st of the 8th month, the four Shiksan folks pushed deep into the Lesnian colony in their counterattack. The colonial forces of Lesnia crumbled after only holding on for three days. Less than a line of garrison soldiers escaped and returned to the colony's capital, Salatsburg. The four Shiksan folks, on the other hand, proclaimed that they had come upon the losman's request to liberate their people.

After that, they went on to occupy the towns and cities, detained the officials, confiscated the Lesnians' wealth, and gathered them in concentration camps as bargaining chips against Lesnia. They then left the towns and concentration camps in losman hands.

No matter how furiously Unamos, the most respected losman man, proclaimed that he didn't ask the Shiksan volunteers to come, and despite his efforts to resolve the misunderstanding by heading to Salatsburg himself, the local authorities still doubted him. They asked him, the great chieftain, to order the release of the local officials and settlers.

By then, the Lesnian authorities only held a small coastal area of the colony with five towns and two ports. On the other hand, the Shiksan volunteers only left two folks of men to face off against the defenders in Salatsburg. The other two folks had gone to attack Fochs' colony of Cape Loducus.

The United Kingdom of Fochs had no other reason for suffering the losses they did apart from having their colony near the zone of conflict.

On the 19th of the 9th month, one of the Shiksan folks conquered Cape Loducus City and took all Fochsian settlers and officials captive and also confiscated their wealth.

On the 25th of the same month, another Shiksan folk launched a probing attack on Loki Mountains, citing revenge and washing away their humiliation as the reason. They got into conflict with a local garrison force of the region. The fight lasted for eight or so hours, ending with the garrison force retreating from the border after suffering huge casualties.

The victorious Shiksans raided the three mining bases in the colony and made off with large amounts of gold dust and grains. Angered and slighted, the region immediately sent Monolith 3rd Folk out from Lanu northwards to fight.

On the 18th of the 10th month, Monolith 3rd Folk eradicated the Shiksan folk and reclaimed the eastern mountainous area before sending their troops into Cape Loducus to fight the other Shiksan folk. Gunshots rang out for a day and night. In the end, Monolith 3rd Folk obtained final victory by conquering Cape Loducus City and the two Shiksan folks retreated back into Lesnian territory in shambles.

The angered forces of the region wanted to continue pursuing their enemies, but the newly formed losman forces blocked their way at the border of the Lesnian colony. The two sides got into a series of conflicts and suffered quite a number of losses. However, the brass of the region ordered Monolith 3rd Folk to retreat to Cape Loducus to recover instead of feuding with the losman, given how long they'd be fighting nonstop.

After Cape Loducus City was conquered, the captured officials were brought to General Ezeke, intent on getting the writ to rule the city back. The general, however, refused him immediately and launched into a flurry of mockery. The colony of Cape Loducus had, after all, been taken by the forces of the region from Shiksan hands. They even released the Fochsian settlers and officials from captivity.

The general now claimed that all of Cape Loducus belonged to the region. If Fochs wanted it back, there were only two ways: buy it back or go to war over it. There was no way they would give it back for free after expending that much resources and effort to take it.

There was no counterargument to that. Not to mention, it had been raided clean by the two Shiksan folks, so nothing was left behind. Even the six thousand citizens were living off the food Monolith 3rd Folk brought with them. Ezeke would be a fool to do all that and give the colony back for nothing in return, and he would immediately be court-martialed.

Some, however, suspected the region and the Shiksans to be putting up a show, to which he angrily responded that he had long warned the military administration about the pamigars who came to recruit the Shiksan captives. The captives were all horrendous, traitorous folk, after all. He was also against the sale of weapons to the voluntary folks.

Alas, he wasn't in command and nobody heeded his warnings. And after the embargo against the region was raised, the council members wouldn't give up that chance to make money, selling anything they could get their hands on. Now, the region had been bitten by those sly wolves. Ezeke said he had told them so long ago that the Shiksan captives definitely wanted to start the colonial wars once more and formed those mercenary bands.

On the 13th of the 11th month, the region sent ambassadors to President Taganem with a stern warning for him to deal with the Shiksan criminals that were trying to instigate war and get them to call off their attacks against Loki Mountains.

However, Taganem said all he could do was try to mediate between both sides, as he had no way of controlling the Shiksans as they had long ended their employer-employee relationship some time ago. Currently, the four corps were hired by the losman in Lesnia's colony instead.

On the 18th of the 11th month at the capital of the Lesnian colony, Salatsburg, the local officials announced that Great Chieftain Unamas would be given the death sentence for his crimes: death by hanging. Countless Lesnian settlers watched as the Unamas hung in the air as they cheered, as if that was what it took to stop the chaos right now.

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