It was now the seventh day. Audis had resisted Faustians's continuous attacks for one whole week.
On several occasions, Falcon and Lion had almost attacked the walls successfully. But the armoured capital guardsmen had always gotten there in time to support and managed to drive the Faustian soldiers off the walls.
It was evening, Locke loitered around a corner of the camp while he ate his bread quietly.
In just a few months, he was now once again eating this disgusting food that made one want to throw it at others.
He drank some water from the jug and forced himself to swallow the unappetising rations. He then picked up the spear that was next to him.
It was Locke's battalion's turn to attack the city again tonight. The difference from the previous attacks was that they were going to attack a zone at the main gates of the west gate.
Although both parties had been battling for a whole week, Faustian had not made any substantial progress.
Kenzir and Marmen were not in a hurry, but their kingdom was already starting to pressure them. Faustian had not been able to seize Audis after such a long time, and they had to bear high pressure from the neighbouring nations.
Taking the Aomar Empire as an example, Faustian and Shalor were small kingdoms surrounding Aomar. If the war continued to drag on, Aomar would consider to step up and mediate.
A large group of Faustian nobles and commanders were having an intense discussion in the central tent of the joint camp.
Yet another reminder was sent by the royal capital through flame transmission today to expedite the war.
Kenzir did not join the heated argument that was happening between the ministers. He just stood at the side while holding a teacup in his hand and looked at the sand table of the battlefield quietly.
The sand table was made by Faustian's casters. In the eyes of an outsider, it was a completely scaled-down version of the battlefield.
A huge squared city stood in the centre of the sand table, that was Audis. The surroundings of the walls were enlarged deliberately in this scaled-down version of Audis. If one took a closer look at it, they could even see the position of each sentry tower.
Red flags representing Faustian were inserted into various positions on the walls of the sand table. They depicted the positions the Faustian soldiers would attack this week.
They also represented Audis' weak points.
As Kenzir was deep in thought, an old man in military uniform stood beside him. It was none other than Marmen.
Marmen had left his main battle zone tonight as he'd been called here by the prince.
Although Marmen was a little curious as to why the prince had called him here at this time, he didn't ask anything. He believed that Kenzir would give him an explanation.
Marmen was also not in a rush. He poured himself a cup of tea and observed the sand table with Kenzir.
After a long time had passed, Kenzir finally spoke. "In order to capture Audis, apart from breaking through internally, we have to grind and crush them externally."
Marmen agreed with him, but he didn't say anything.
Breaking through internally meant having turn-tail collaborators inside the city work with those on the outside. This was impossible, as Audis was managed by the royal family of Shalor over the years.
Although they had received some surrenders from the nobles in the royal capital of Shalor, they were all from nobles with little strength.
Viable candidates should have at least a company with a thousand men under them. But among the nobles who were interested, none of them met the requirements.
As for crushing them externally, there was only a limited number of Faustian soldiers available, and there was no way that their kingdom would send over more support.
Even Margrave Shia had replaced his soldiers in the defensive corps with recruits intermittently over the years, and the veterans had all been sent to the frontlines.
Speaking of Shia, Marmen suddenly remembered that he was currently leading Gale to suppress bandits in the northern region of Shalor.
Could it be? Marmen seemed to have guessed the prince's intentions.
Kenzir didn't plan to be secretive about it. He said straightforwardly, "I intend to let Shia and Gale participate in the siege!"
Marmen didn't refute the prince's decision, reminding him instead, "Your Highness, you have to consider it thoroughly. Gale's current reputation in the neighbouring kingdoms isn't very good..."
Marmen's Lion Corps had always been at odds with Gale, led by Woode. But all these conflicts disappeared after when Woode had died on the battlefield.
Marmen wasn't petty. He only had admiration and remembrance for his old comrade, Woode.
Kenzir knew what Marmen meant. If Gale, who had a reputation for massacres, participated in the siege, Faustian would definitely be condemned by the neighbouring kingdoms. It would be a disadvantage in terms of public opinion alone.
"So we have to make it in one shot!" said Kenzir decisively.
Marmen understood. It meant that Audis must be defeated as swift as lightning the moment Gale appeared. By capturing Audis and declaring the destruction of Shalor when Gale was discovered by informants from various countries, Faustian could then face rebuke from neighbouring nations without worry.
By then, what is done is done, so it would be pointless no matter how the others condemned it. Would they make Faustian give up the territory they'd occupied? That would be impossible.
"But what if we fail? The consequences are..." Although Marmen was experienced, he was old and he didn't have the energy of a young man anymore, so he tended to do things more steadily. He didn't oppose to Kenzir's proposal explicitly. He only wanted the prince to consider the consequences instead.
"There's no 'what if'. On the day of Gale's appearance, we'll have to do whatever it takes to take down the gates of Audis!" Kenzir threw the teacup to the ground. Smash! The sound of the teacup shattering overlapped with Kenzir's voice, giving off an imposing feel.
The nobles in the tent stopped their discussions. They then looked at Kenzir and Marmen curiously.
Marmen lowered his head and pondered the pros and cons carefully. When Kenzir was getting impatient, he finally lifted his head and said, "I agree with this plan!"
Kenzir smiled. Although he was the commander at the frontlines, he was a junior and was younger than Marmen. So, Kenzir must first receive the support from Marmen before he could fully put his ability to good use.
At this moment, the nobles and generals looked at both of them in great confusion.
Tonight was the night where Locke and the others attacked the city. After having a few days off, it was finally their turn to fight. With his strong amour and shield, it would be a walk in the park for Locke.
Yes, he was just going on a casual walk. Locke had been in the army for many years and had probably guessed the intentions of the elites. Plus, Angelina would send people over to pass him news from time to time. He almost felt like a bystander on the battlefield for the past few days.
Locke had never been to the walls of Audis. Other platoon jarls, such as Mond, who was just a low-rank Knecht, had already led his soldiers to rush up to it twice in the past two days. Though, they failed to gain a foothold every time and were repressed by Shalor's counterattacks.
Of course, Mond was the only platoon jarl in Cardoj's unit to attack using ladders. Even though Locke was a low-rank Knecht as well, he'd not been to the walls. Everyone thought that it was because he'd just made the breakthrough not long ago and his strength was still not up to par, so nobody said anything.
Only Mond knew deep down that if Locke wore his bright yellow armour, he probably couldn't break Locke's defence no matter how he attacked. This armour was enough to protect an ordinary person from the stones falling off the walls.
With Locke's current strength and equipment, Wyr was probably the only person in Cardoj's unit who could defeat him in a fight.
What Mond didn't know was that even if Wyr fought him personally, he could only hurt Locke only if Locke didn't use the secret treasure that Angelina had given him.
Cardoj had probably never heard of this treasure that could withstand the full attack of a peak-level Knecht, let alone Mond.
After a night of a bloody battle, Locke dragged his exhausted body and led his soldiers to retreat from the battlefield.
It wasn't the same now compared to when it first started when there were no casualties. Nowadays, each of their battalion's attacks had a significant amount of casualties, and the cavalry platoon was no exception. Even under the supervision of the powerful Wyr, more than ten men were injured and a few had died.
Their platoon had already suffered so many casualties. The other platoons were even worse, especially 3rd Platoon. Hans had been stressing out all the time for the past two days.
Not only just that, two days ago, Cardoj had also prohibited injured soldiers from retiring from their line of duty unless it was as severe as a broken arm or leg.
Hans and Caen were very lucky that they had brought Hank down on the first day of the war. One was Hank's brother and the other, his master, and they both took great care of him.
Only Locke was lukewarm towards Hank, perhaps because he wasn't very fond of smooth-talkers in general.
Other than 3rd Platoon suffering heavy casualties, another platoon had also surprised Locke.
The group of mercenaries which had impressed Cardoj and his unit for not having any casualties in the first battle had shown their shortcomings and how amateur they were on the battlefield lately.
As the battle became more and more worrying, the casualties of this group of mercenaries increased with each passing day. They would lose around ten men in each battle.
These desperadoes who had been hired all year round had no possessions except for a knife and their muscles. Most of them didn't even have decent armour. As these mercenaries had no protection, they were the quickest to die in this violent siege.
No matter how big their muscles were, they couldn't withstand the arrows that were shot from the walls, and many mercenaries were killed because of that.
Shalor's garrisons were quite ruthless. Most of the arrows were poisoned, rendering a human life as fragile as paper for those without armour.
However, the casualties of the mercenary platoon had reduced during these few days. A lot of Faustian soldiers had died on the battlefield, and they didn't mind the bad luck. They just pulled their corpses out and used them as shields, and no one would say anything about it.
The mercenaries who lived on the edge cared about nothing except for money.
Locke was very curious about the bearded leader and had always wanted to talk to him, but he had never gotten the chance to do so.