The mountain range was covered with the radiant glow of the sun as it set by the sea, basking the ocean surface with a golden light. The skies began to darken, and the moon slowly became visible.
Just as the sergeants expected, a line of troops appeared behind them.
Brendel received news that it was the patrol party on the outer perimeter that met the enemies first. They were the same light cavalry which had appeared earlier, and according to the reports made by a girl named Bessie, after a little skirmish, the enemies left behind their allies and fallen teammates as they scrambled to escape and notify their superiors.
Upon further interrogation, Brendel realized that they belonged to the Finn division of the Black Blade Squad. The Black Blade Squad’s composition was fairly different from the White Lion Legion from back in King Erik’s days, and they closely resembled the Roman armies back in his previous life except larger in scale.
The Black Blade Squad was composed of divisions of 4500 men per column which were then divided into teams of hundreds and tens. Supposedly, there were about twenty divisions in the Black Blade Squad, each named after the commander they were affiliated under.
Finn’s division naturally meant the commander belonged to the Finn family from Narik.
Brendel’s knowledge about these divisions was nothing to scoff at. Although the Black Blade Squad was a secret army of the Royal Family, the Royal Family only took direct command of one or two commanders. Even the princess could not explain in as much detail as Brendel in regard to the composition of the Black Blade Squad.
With such knowledge, Brendel knew that their enemies camped in Narik, which was to the south of Covardo’s region but to the north of Seifer’s region. The armies were usually poor natives that lived in the mountains. The Finn division was the best Highland Light Infantry division there was.
They might actually be the ones who are chasing us. Brendel thought. Normally, the best troops at pursuing the enemies were knights or the Dragon Cavalry. But due to the terrain, Finn division’s Highland Infantry would have a better chance of navigating through the mountains.
In The Amber Sword, soldiers usually had a certain set of characteristics to them; for example, the White Lion Legion’s loyalty and pride were their most obvious characteristics. With loyalty, they could respond to their leaders quicker, and with pride, they would never falter in any situation.
The Highland Infantry had only one characteristic: Adaptability in the mountains and the forests.
This was something very easy to explain. It meant that they would not be affected by the harsh terrain of the mountains. In fact, they even made use of it as an advantage. Against normal soldiers who were less useful in the mountains, these Highland Infantry were far stronger than their normal states.
Plus, they were up against the rookies that just graduated from the Royal Cavalry Academy. Although these graduates were close to their destination, it was still one day’s worth of journey.
It doesn’t matter who it is, we still have to execute this plan. But we do not have much time left. Brendel thought.
The bronze watch’s hand crossed the 7 o’clock mark, and the Dragon Cavalry disappeared from their sight. Although those dragons had night vision and could battle in the dark, their riders had to be prepared for more drawn-out combat.
Count Audine had pointed that out beforehand, and he also said that they only had an hour’s worth of time until the Dragon Cavalry came back. Brendel had to utilize that time wisely and prepare an ambush point, so he gave orders the patrol knights, sending them into designated positions.
Although it sounded easy to execute, the process was arduous. But it was no trouble to the scouts from the Royal Cavalry Academy. They had learned all of it back in the Academy. Plus, after their training with Makarov who was known far and wide as a trickster, they gained a lot of experience in setting traps and luring their enemies into them.
And so, Brendel’s scouts always acted as if they coincidentally met the enemy’s scouts. Even if those enemies were beaten every time they met them, the Black Blade Squad could grasp the princess’s position and be lured towards her.
These skirmishes confirmed Brendel’s musings that the people chasing them were the Highland Infantry from the Finn division and were led by Baron Wallen who was still oblivious that he was falling into a trap. Moreover, he was charging towards Brendel at full speed.
Usually, Baron Wallen was a cautious man. He knew that his duty was just to delay Brendel’s troops and not annihilate the enemy. In fact, he did not have such an intention. With the information from the scouts, he knew that his enemy outnumbered his men.
But for some reason, he did not know that his opponent defeated even the White Lion Legion. Even Duke Seifer and Count Yoakam did not know how much the White Lion Legion had suffered in Brendel’s hands. They believed Brendel and his men only managed to break through the encirclement by chance.
After all, who would believe that the White Lion Legion lost terribly to merely 200 newbies? If Baron Wallen knew about it, he would have been more careful about entering Brendel’s perimeter.
But there were no ‘ifs’ in war. And in days to come, Baron Wallen would be reminded of the terror he felt on the day when he came face to face with demonized boars.
The Redback Boars were one of the specialties on the Silver Sea Cliff. Although they were not considered a calamity yet, once the Demonic Waves arrived, they would have an appalling series of battles with the Coast Guards. Back then, Brendel had experienced through the pain of going up against them, but right now, it was Baron Wallen’s turn.
An infant Redback Boar had the power of a high-tier Iron-ranker while an adult could reach level 25, the peak of Iron rank. And the most troublesome part was that they attacked in groups. tThey were known to attack in swarms at the very least.
Unlike Brendel who remained wary of his surroundings, Baron Wallen and his large troop of soldiers immediately enraged the hordes of demonized boars. In the end, their casualties due to the boars exceeded even the attacks by the scouts.
And. in an attempt to get away from the precarious situation, they could only hope to escape past the mountains and onto the plains. Though he could not do that as he needed to keep a certain distance from the princess’s army to stay out of range of their perception magic, he did not care anymore.
As expected, he traveled into Brendel’s vision.
Baron Wallen ordered his men to stay in formation and walk in a line down the valley. Meanwhile, Brendel was hiding in bushes a hundred or so meters away. Behind him were the longbow archers from the Royal Cavalry Academy.
All of them unnoticed by Baron Wallen.
Bridget and her team of Nagas began to chant. Ampere Seale had only just experienced a heavy storm, and the air was still humid, which made their water-based magics more efficient. A large illusion blanketed the entire valley, making the trees and as the bushes around Baron Wallen seemed a little more abundant some noise cancellation effects also began to take place. [TL: Can I hire you to improve my earbuds?]
It had a simple spell, and the effect was stronger when cast on Wallen’s entire troop. He and his men walked in circles, even after they realized they had somehow been trapped.
Outside of the illusion’s range, Brendel and his men could only laugh.
But the sergeants realized just how terrifying the effects of magic were. It was truly scary. Their enemies were completely immobilized. Although they had known of magic’s potency from books, seeing it with their own eyes was a different matter.
Brendel noticed their expressions and nodded to himself. These people will face far stronger enemies in the future. Vaunte doesn’t only have weak troops like those in Aouine. In the future when we face Madara or even the Kirrlutz, we have to prepare ourselves.
Baron Wallen had his own mages too. Amongst them, the most experienced one was a high leveled mage at the Silver rank. In The Amber Sword, those at mid Silver rank were about level 29 ~ 32 and had mastered tier four magic. Although he was still not a master, he was at least a high leveled mage.
But unfortunately, he was no match for Ciel, a grandmaster in the Gold rank. Brendel let the Nagas handle the illusion spells while letting his mage attendant deal with the countermeasures their enemies might take. As a mage who specialized in the study and application of Laws, he was quite talented at canceling magics. Once he made a move, the mages on Baron Wallen’s side were soon disabled like their allies. They did not even realize their magic had been nullified, only vageuly feeling that something was out of place..
Finn’s division’s Highland Infantry had about 1500 men in it, and Baron Wallen was a passable commander. The coordination he and his men had previously displayed when navigating the forests was, quite frankly, fairly impressive.
Brendel waited until more than half of the enemy passed by them, up until their troops were closest to his own, before he raised the Shale Longbow in his hands.
The bow glowed emitted a weak grey glow that wrapped the arrow, turning it into a stone encased Shale Arrow. It was the the Shale Longbow. For most situations Brendel found himself in, the bow was too low leveled, and was not effective at dealing with high leveled enemies.
But here, its potential was brought out completely.
Brendel targeted Baron Wallen and the men closest to him.
They did not even realize they were being watched by a sniper.
He estimated the distance and humidity in the air, and he let go of the bowstring.
There was no wind.
Besides slanting a little downwards, the arrow flew in a straight line at the baron’s horse.
“I’ve lost my touch,” he shook his head.
Warriors in The Amber Sword were not merely musclemen. Warrior was a Class, and it had Mercenary as one of its subtypes. These people were versatile in using all kinds of weapons and defensive equipment in battle. Brendel was once a level 130 grandmaster and was skilled in using all manner of arms, but it had been far too long since he last held a bow.
Barron Wallen heard the whistling sound. It was a sound he knew all too well, and the mages around him reacted quickly by raising a Wind Shield. They were, however, still too late, as the arrow was shot from too close a distance.
An arrow shot from 100 meters away was practically no different from an arrow shot at point-blank range. Its flight was so quick that it made it past the shield before it fully manifested.
“Watch out, my lord!” the knight next to Baron Wallen, a Silver ranker shrieked as he yanked out his sword to cut the arrow. But before he could bring his blade down, it exploded with a ‘bang’.
A flash of white light surrounded everyone close by, shocking them all. There were loud screams, and when it was over, the people closest to it had been turned to stone, including the knight who had attempted to cut the arrow down and his steed.
Seven knights and two mages as well as Baron Wallen.
Only one mage managed to escape. But even he wasn’t unscathed, having had one of his arms turned to stone, the rock continuing to grow onto his neck as he stumbled away. He immediately placed his right palm onto his left arm, and with a flash, the petrified area shattered.
“Enemy attack!” he yelled as he scrambled for the staff next to him.
But it was too late. In an instant, the forest was filled with sounds of arrows flying through the air.
Brendel stowed away his bow. It was a Bronze leveled magic weapon. Although incapable of dealing with Elemental Awakeners, or even some Gold rankers, it was overkill to use it against these pawns.
“Ah! A magic bow?!” Someone’s shocked whisper could be heard from behind him.
Brendel looked back to see the girl names Bessie looking at his bow. “You want it?” he asked. A good bow important to any scout, and Brendel did not need it. To him, a weapon at that grade was trash.
“Ah! I- It’s No- Nothing.” Bessie blushed a little. Although she was born a tomboy and was often a little rude, she could not just ask for something that belonged to her commander. Her squeal just now was no more than an accident.
“Haha. My lord, of course she wants it. She’s just embarrassed to say so.” A sergeant nearby chuckled. Brendel did not have a commanding air to him. They acted respectfully towards him, but they did not fear him.
Brendel looked at the person who spoke and was surprised to recognize him.
I believe he was called Holland. Back when Carglise rescued him from the White Lion Legion, he seemed to be interested in this girl, Bessie. Hmmm… I think they might have been married back in the game.
Brendel smirked with amusement and tossed the bow to him, “I’ll give it to you then. As to how you want to pass it on to this lady here, it’ll depend on your abilities.”
“Ah!” he looked away with a blush decorating his cheeks. He did not expect his intentions to be exposed. When he looked back, he realized that Bessie had turned to join the fight without even looking at him.
“My lord, this…” Holland revealed a downcast face.
“Aiyaya…” Brendel thought in his heart, I can only help you this much, my friend. It’s a Bronze tier magic weapon, you know! It was worth around 200 Taels back in the game!
The only reason he could laugh in this situation was because he did not care about this ambush’s outcome from the beginning. As long as Maynild and Count Audine were in charge of the situation here, there was no way they could lose.
In reality, although Finn’s Highland Infantry was a subdivision known for their mobility, their fame came mainly from their efforts back when Anson the Sixth rebelled and during the previous Holy War. But after the Eleven Months War, there were less courageous additions from the Black Blade Squad into their ranks. Although they were persistent people, they did not have the undying bravery the White Lion Legion had in the face of a sneak attack.
According to their system, which was even older than the White Lion Legion’s, there were three main groups under the subdivision, with ten smaller groups under each of those three. Each of those smaller groups was led by a commander. And many of those powerful people were turned to stone with that arrow just now!
Without their leaders, they were a mess.
Due to the effectiveness of the surprise attack, the twenty Naga mages did not need to maintain their illusion spells anymore. They summoned hail and ice struck their enemies at high speeds. The hailstones were not pebbles that could be blocked with mere shields. They were fist-sized, magically reinforced icebergs and each could penetrate normal armors.
Obviously the Highland Infantry could not withstand the attack any longer. After one round of bombardment, all that was left was a pile of corpses and fleeing soldiers.
Lacking their commanders, everyone capable of running fled, and those that couldn’t did their best to hide.
And how could a separated army have any combat power?
All that awaited the Highland Infantry were the private armies and the Royal Cavalry who allied with the princess, whose soldiers already outmatched the infantry individually. Even if they wanted to regroup, they would be assaulted by hailstones again. They had nowhere to go.
In ten minutes, they broke down comletely. Some surrendered while others ran away.
Brendel did not want to chase those who ran as it was too much of a hassle for him.
From the beginning till the end, it took less than half an hour to annihilate them. The skies were not even dark yet!
Brendel was looking at his watch while they battled. We still have a quarter of an hour before the Dragon Cavalry returns. Everything is turning out surprisingly smoothly this time!
He looked at the enemy soldiers who were running away and heaved a sigh of relief. His worries were gone and all uncertainties regarding his plan had been dealt with. As for the enemies who were running away-
They were bait for a bigger fish.