Leit charged towards Angelina's location with a scimitar. There was nobody who could stop him once he charged. The signature move of a high-rank Knecht, impetus projection, caused the sword to glow a light red . Not even the hardest bones could stop a strike from the sword now.
In an instant, several soldiers surrounding Leit were chopped into pieces. Thanks to the oppressive pressure, nobody dared remain around Leit. No one dared to risk their lives by risking contact with the reaper.
Solon pupils shrank. He immediately turned to run. No one here knew better than him about the combat prowess of a high-rank Knecht. Putting aside the hundreds of soldiers nearby that were protecting the princess, even with double the amount, the high-rank Knecht couldn't be stopped if he wanted to kill her.
Only elites of the same rank could put up a fight against this kind of enemy. At the very least, they would require many mid-rank Knechts to have a chance to fight someone of the high rank.. For example, even though Lane's was weaker than Kashir, he could still put up a fight if he gave it his all. Unfortunately, the strongest person present was merely a beginner-rank Knecht. Although swarming a powerful elite with numbers worked wonders, the small number of one to two hundred soldiers wasn't enough for such a manoeuvre.
On the other hand, Locke had been keeping an eye on Solon, Locke always treated Solon as someone powerful enough to count on. Hence, he couldn't understand what happened when Solon ran away. Unless they encountered an enemy who was too strong, Solon would never abscond and leave everyone to die as the commander. As he looked back at the Blood Red soldiers who were slaughtering the ordinary soldiers with ease, he grit his teeth and hailed Hans, Caen and Karl to escape with Solon in secret.
Hans and Caen were still fighting a tough battle against a Blood Red soldier with Locke. Locke obscurely gestured his thumb away from Hans and Caen. As long-time comrades, they understood him instantaneously. The three of them stopped fighting at once and retreated in three different directions. Seeing this, the Blood Red soldier did not give chase but proceeded to look for Angelina.
When Locke ran towards Karl's side and prepared to pull Karl to escape, Karl was still fighting fiercely with a Blood Red soldier. Unlike Locke who needed to cooperate with Hans, Caen and the large number of ordinary soldiers, Karl relied on his veteran experience to put up a good fight with the Blood Red soldier. When Locke went up to pull him away, Karl, being unaware of him, almost gave him a stab. Fortunately, Locke reacted quickly enough and Karl was quick to withdraw his blade.
"Let's go, Uncle Karl!" Locke dragged Karl and turned around to run without any explanation. It wasn't just Karl. The Blood Red soldier was confused too. Even so, he had no desire to continue fighting and charged towards Angelina's direction.
Like Yoshk, Karl had cared for Locke a lot in the past few years. As they came from the same town, Locke was obligated to take Karl away with him. Karl, who did not understand what was going on at first, understood immediately when he saw Locke pointing at the escaping Solon.
No one made a scene; they just ran for their lives. Although fleeing from the battlefield was a slightly lesser crime than committing treason, they would still be in for capital punishment. Moreover, they still needed other platoon jarls and ordinary soldiers to hold the enemies back for them.
Most soldiers did not even notice the quiet evacuation of Solon, Locke and others. Even if they noticed it under the chaotic circumstances, no one would care, or dared to care. Nonetheless, Angelina, who was very near to Solon, realised it. She couldn't believe her eyes. The Faustian army who was always victorious in the words of her father, and the valiant and courageous troops described by her brother in the letters, to her surprise, still had deserters. She almost fainted from the shock.
"I am Princess Angelina! I order you to bring me with you!" Angelina didn't act stuck up at this moment and hurriedly stated her identity. Her sore legs and drained spirit were catching up to her. Put aside walking, remaining conscious was already an achievement. It was a sign of her strong willpower.
When Solon heard that Angelina was a princess, his first reaction was disbelief! Shouldn't the noble Faustian Princess Angelina be in the royal capital now? Why would she be here in this deserted mountain? However, on a second thought, it wasn't hard to guess that this princess was their rescue target. He has heard from his father that this time, the three major divisions had collaborated together to carry out a rescue operation. Who else could make four different corps dispatch units amounting to thousands of people for a mere rescue operation at this critical juncture of the war, except for the princess, who was beloved by the king?
Nonetheless, understanding the situation was one matter, but acting appropriately was another. Solon was not a simple-minded patriot. An excellent nobleman always needed to measure whether the profits were proportional to the costs. Those reapers' target was obviously Princess Angelina. Taking her along would obviously spell death for him. After all, who could stop a high-rank Knecht?
Yet, Solon did not dare to disobey Angelina's order. If he ran beforehand, it shouldn't have been a big deal, but to run after Angelina had proclaimed her identity and to feign ignorance... If word of this incident got out... It won't be just his life that's lost. The whole Cardoj family would have to follow him to his grave!
Solon did not have the luxury to think further. He took a look to his flank and noticed that Locke was the closest to him. "Locke! Take her with you and let's go!" Solon ordered.
Locke, in hearing this, wanted to swear. Anyone knew that death crept even closer with another burden with them.
Angelina turned to look at Locke. If Solon, who came to her rescue first, was the protagonist, Dale and Brian who had stellar performances in the war would be the deuteragonists, and Locke would be one of the side characters on the scene. If Locke's identity as the platoon jarl was disclosed, then at most, he would be a big supporting character. Angelina took a good look at Locke. Ashen-grey, messy hair, armed with only a standard chipped sword... She never bothered to give him a second glance after her initial impression of him.
Solon was the most powerful among them. So, he had no choice but to listen. Upon hearing that this was a princess, he didn't hesitate any further. His life was at stake. "Caen, let's drag her along! Hans, clear the road!" Locke said hurriedly.
On both sides, Locke and Hans dragged Angelina by her arms and started running. There was no time to care about the prudish social norms of gender.
Needless to say, as the strongest among them, Caen walked behind them as rearguard.
"Trying to run?!" From far away, Leit noticed the few who were planning to make an escape. How could he allow Shalor's last hope to escape? He circulated the impetus in his abdomen, making the blood-red sword glow even more intensely. Any soldier who even made an attempt to block him was killed swiftly, each one faster than the other. He managed to part a trail through the crowd of soldiers.
This was probably the greatest casualty Locke and his battalion suffered since the battle at Felmo Grand Canyon. As of now, almost half of the 200 soldiers were killed. Even in the battle of Felmo Grand Canyon, their battalion has only lost about 150 people.
As the massacre continued, Locke and others could sense another tempestuous aura behind them. After Kashir finished off Lane, he closed the distance to them as well. "Give up and don't fight unnecessarily. We'll leave after we capture our target!" He shouted from far away. They were already close to the border of the Bering Mountains, so he was surprised when the Faustian's rescue forces arrived so early. Nonetheless, he understood the situation. His main priority now was to capture the target and leave at once. Otherwise, once more Faustian soldiers arrive, they would fail their mission.
The Faustian soldiers fell into a deep panic when another high-rank Knecht rushed to the scene. Although the ordinary soldiers could not really understand how scary a Knecht was, Leit's display of violence told them what they needed. The corpse fragments littered all over the bloody ground made every Faustian soldier shiver with fear.
Kashir went straight for Angelina. Unlike Leit, who was still rampaging through the crowd of Faustian soldiers, Kashir directly parried the enemy's attacks and swiftly closed the distance between him and Locke with his subordinates.
Run! Solon could sense the reaper coming for him. Without dallying, he quickly led the way to escape. At the end of the day, Solon was a noble in the care of the baron. Although he spent quite some time facing trials of war, he still lacked courage. On the other hand, Locke and others could maintain their calm despite being pursued, and they weren't any slower for it.
After a night of battle, Leit and Kashir had exhausted a significant amount of their impetus and stamina. In particular, even though Kashir never lost a fight, the panting caught up to him after his energy was spent on dealing with a large number of soldiers. Thus, he didn't seem as calm and unhurried like before. After all, high-rank Knechts were people too. Taking on an elite with a huge number of soldiers was effective for a reason.
As the targets attempted to flee in the woods, the hunters continued their pursuit.
The Faustian soldiers left behind were still caught up in an intense battle with the Blood Red soldiers. Without the same level elites to back them up, they faced the possibility of being wiped out. Luckily, the Blood Red soldiers were uninterested with the ordinary Faustian soldiers, and they were close to their limit as well. Their priority was to complete the missions assigned to them only, so they would try to avoid any pointless fights.
Leit had caught Dale's neck with his right hand, causing his face to purple as he tried to escape the grip. However, his efforts were for naught as Leit crushed his grip. Snap! The vice jarl of 3rd Platoon, Dale, went limp.
On the other hand, Brian howled and charged towards Leit with a spear. Leit used Dale's corpse to block the strike and proceeded to stab Brian with the scimitar in his left hand. Brian couldn't fathom what had happened as he lowered his head to look at his abdomen. A blood-red scimitar had pierced through him. "Ahhh!" He used his leftover energy to point his spear at Leit. Sadly, before the tip of the spear could touch Leit, all signs of life in his eyes were gone.
Karl tried to block Kashir's way. However, Kashir didn't even bat an eyelid and slashed with his impetus-covered blade. In response, Karl held up his sword to block the attack, but he underestimated Kashir's ability. Before this, Lane hadn't really expended much of Kashir's strength. Right now, Kashir was even stronger than Lane, and the slash was a full-power attack from a high-rank Knecht. Karl, who was only an entry-level Knecht, stood no chance.
Whap! The impetus cut clean through Karl's sword and hewed Karl's right arm right off.
Two platoon jarls bit the dust and another was now handicapped. Locke's battalion had never suffered such a severe loss since the bloody fight at Gordon Heights.