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The sunlight was like a sharp sword, piercing through the mist. On the highlands, the flowers were laid out like beds and the flowing river sparkled silver, but spears lined up between the forests broke the serenity. The Highland Infantry marched together, and countless coats of arms and banners could be seen. Each was painted with various emblems, from lions and thorns to pelicans and garlands.
Finn’s Division, Constantine’s Division, Beale’s Division, and the Northern Coalition Army were rallying. The forest was dominated by thousands of spears, tips of these spears gleaming white as snow, shifting with the breath of the infantry. It created a scene of rippling silver and flashing light for miles around.
Looking into the distance, from the Anker Mountains, the southern area seemed to have turned a depressing black. The flags above the water waved around, an occasional flash of weaponry breaking through. Brendel pursed his lips, This is a real battle. It was only at this moment that he felt the illusion of returning to the past.
Everyone was gripping their swords so tightly that their knuckles turned white. Even the nobles’ private soldiers had forgotten to breathe, only looking at the huge army with their mouths wide open.
More soldiers appeared continuously from behind the army, their number already surpassing tens of thousands. If all these people were to breathe together, the sound of it might even be stronger than the rushing of the wind.
The gentle breeze blowing across the Mar Highlands was quickly calming down.
The air became humid and stifling, a sign of the coming storm. Across the green meadow, a knight left the main array of the Northern Coalition Army. He raised his spear and trotted towards the north.
“Quick, look! That is the genius knight of the port. Master intended to make him the commander, and I heard he was here to replace his father.”
“A twenty-year-old commander?”
“It’s because he’s a genius. I heard that the young Lord has fought many victorious battles against the Lion Beastmen. It was miraculous. The veterans who fought with him call him ‘Wagner’. Did you know that ‘Wagner’ is a hero in the legends of the mountain people?”
“The veterans are those who joined the Eleven Months War! He could actually command them. And only he could command them. I heard that Master is interested in nurturing and training him to become the next legion commander.”
“It’s possible, comrade. There’s a rumor going around saying the young Lord is a direct disciple of Earth Sword Saint Darius. Think about it, before the Sword Saint became famous, people also called him ‘Wagner’, right?”
“I don’t think that’s possible, but I did hear that Master Darius had descendants, right? Nobody knew where he went, so maybe that descendant of his is the Lord Viscount. After all, Master Darius couldn’t bear looking at a divided Aouine.”
The soldiers were all discussing with each other. In the end, paying respect to him was inevitable. During the kingdom’s restoration period, Sword Saint Darius had a legendary reputation in Aouine, and his mysterious disappearance left a powerful ending to his legend. Many commoners believed that the Earth Sword Saint was the kingdom’s guardian and that one day, when the kingdom was in grave danger, he would reappear and fight for the kingdom again.
In ‘The Amber Sword’, such a statement was widely circulated among some of the players. Aouine’s players even reconfigured the military swordsmanship left behind by Darius. But no one, Brendel included, had expected that even the kingdom’s guardian was unable to escape the judgment of time.
That last glimmer of hope was also buried under the ashes of Bucce.
Brendel held his longsword, his heart filled with sorrow.
Viscount Von Dougning raised his head high, filled with energy. If you looked closely, you would find that the rider covered in silver armor was the young man who stood next to Vitokin a few days ago. This young man was also the leader of the Black Blade Corps who had clashed with Brendel before the auction. He was a genius knight of the Nayo people, and even the veterans who had fought in the Eleven Months War admired him very much. All of them believed that he might be the next Earth Sword Saint.
Viscount Von Dougning also believed that this young man would be the next Sword Saint.
He raised his spear and rode his heavy Earth Drake a few times around the Northern Coalition’s campsite. His cloak ran like a golden flame, and the cheers of the Northern Coalition Army came rumbling down the mountains and over the seas. They cheered and shouted together:
There was a gleam from the sweat on the young man’s forehead when he came to Count Vitokin with his head held high. The Count nodded with satisfaction. Although the White Lion Legion had a lot of talented men, the Black Blade Corps also had successors, especially the one that was praised by the veterans of the November War. It was said the battles this young man had gone through against the Lion Beastmen were perfect and that he was just like the young Sword Saint Darius.
Although Count Vitokin dismissed the rumors that were circulating amongst the soldiers, he figured that if one day Viscount Von Dougning was to become another Earth Sword Saint, the Black Blade Corps might surpass the White Lion Legion. He took the spear from the young man. “The commander must take lead.” This was an important belief in the Black Blade Corps, but now only this ceremony was left. Count Vitokin asked calmly, “Have you gotten a clear view of the Princess’s location?”
“I saw it, Lord Vitokin!”
“How is it?”
There were three huge phalanxes under the shadow of the foothills at the Anker Mountains. Thousands of the nobles’ private soldiers lined up north of the creek bank. The men in the first three rows had four to five-meter long spears accompanied by oval shields which reflected the sunlight. These strangely shaped shields did not look anything like what human soldiers usually used; instead, they looked more like what Silver Elf field troops wielded.
A heavy silver barrier was laid down in front of the Northern Coalition Army.
“It’s that genius of the Nayo,” said Oberwei.
Brendel had put on a full set of knight’s armor for the first time and climbed onto the back of a battle horse in the center of the phalanx. After hearing what Oberwei said, he lifted his head and looked at the confident knight standing in front of the Northern Coalition Army.
“When the Black Blade Corps fought against the Lion Beastmen in the north, Viscount Von Dougning used less than a quarter of his military force to deal with the enemy. He attacked them from behind and burned their supplies, forcing the Holy Cathedral of Earth to retreat. Makarov said that this person would be a future star of Aouine. Mr. Brendel, you have to be careful of him,” Princess Gryphine whispered from behind him.
Brendel lifted his faceguard and smiled slightly.
Who do I need to be careful of? He should be the one who needs to be careful. This man was killed by Freya previously, and now this heroine of Aouine is on this very battlefield. Seems like this Viscount is going to be unlucky.
Oberwei, the Wolf Baron, noticed the look on Brendel’s face. He smiled slightly and asked, “What’s wrong? It seems like you have history with this person?”
It’s more than just mere history, he still owes me a battle.
“Princess Gryphine didn’t allow the officers to set up a central camp.”
The old knight Leider moved his telescope away from his eye. His crow’s feet shifted as he frowned and asked, “Which army is that?” [T/N Crow’s feet are wrinkles around your eye that usually occur as you get older]
“Looking at the flag, it looks like Audine’s private army.”
“They’re really arrogant, aren’t they?” Marquis Balta also sighed. “It seems the Princess’s winning streak has caused her to underestimate her enemies. I guess we will win this war with just one battle.”
These words were what most of the front-line commanders were thinking. This one battle will decide victory. It seemed like Lady Marsha was on the North’s side. Although the Seifer Royal Family had once lost their glory, the same was now occurring for the Covardo Royal Family. Count Vitokin closed his eyes and was grateful that he did not choose the wrong side to stand on.
We are surely going to win.
On the battlefield.
Both the right and left flanks of the Princess’s army extended backward up into the Anker Mountains, giving up the Marchenko and Leviko Mountain peaks to the south and forming a huge battlefield reliant solely upon their central force.
Their main camp was in the center of the entire battlefield. Princess Gryphine intended to use the area to stabilize and command her forces across the battlefield.
Everyone could not help but sigh, “What a bold move.”
“As soon as the central force is defeated, the Princess’s army will lose its support.” Viscount Von Dougning pointed his finger toward the shadow of the Anker Mountain and analyzed, “The entire battlefield will be divided by us, and they will only be able to fight on their own. Defeat is just a matter of time.”
“How could Oberwei make this kind of mistake? He is the Lone Wolf of the kingdom!” A noble officer said in a loud voice.
“It is the Lone Wolf’s personality to want to take a stronger initiative. He has great forbearance and wants to win in one fell swoop!” The Viscount said with confidence.
“Where are the Nagas and the students of the Royal Calvary Academy, then?”
“They must be in both the right and left flanks!” Viscount Von Dougning answered.
Everyone came to that realization. Count Vitokin looked up and stared at the shadow under the Anker Mountains. After a while, his eyes stopped upon the young man on the Earth Drake’s back. “Viscount Von Dougning, are you willing to be the herald for the new king?”
Viscount Von Dougning was delighted, as he knew that this was his best opportunity to become a legend in history. He lifted his head high, “Of course.”
The soldiers who were dispatching orders went back and forth, and clamor of nobles giving commands rose across the wilderness. Flags of the Northern Coalition Army waved back and forth. The army slowly started to take action.
Everyone held their breath and Brendel felt a chill down his spine.
The wind blew.
“Raise your spears!”
“Forward! Stay in line!” The first to move was the Beale army from Bursas. The Beale infantry each had a breastplate, war halberd, wide-brimmed helmet, and iron gloves. They had strict discipline, and their unified blue and white tabards made them look like blue and white ribbons spreading out from the Northern Coalition Army from above.
Viscount Von Dougning rode on a huge Earth Drake, followed by his Rangers behind the infantry.
In total, two thin lines of infantry stood across the entire valley. Although not everyone could be clearly seen due to the uneven terrain, there were hundreds of thousands of flags waving in the air.
Even knowing the first attack would just be a test, it was inevitable for the men to feel their blood rushing.
Now, this was a real battle. How many people could see such a sight with their own eyes, not to mention actually participating in it? Moreover, Von Doughning understood that this battle would make his name resound even further.
Viscount Von Dougning will be a glorious name written in history from now on.
He raised his spear high into the air and shouted with all his might, “I will take the first step, and you shall find victory in me! Long live Aouine! Long live the King!” His voice rang out and the Northern Coalition Army cheered in response.
Their cheering voices rose like a tsunami.
The roars worried Count Audine’s private soldiers. They gripped tightly onto their spears and sweat ran down their faces and backs like rivers. Count Audine looked at his uneasy soldiers and could not help but sigh. This plan is really too bold. How will my soldiers win in such a battle?
He turned and looked at Brendel.
Brendel showed no signs of worry, listening to the Princess at the side.
“I’ve heard of Mr. Brendel’s brave actions in Fortress Riedon from Oberwei, but what was it like when you made your move to attack?” Princess Gryphine looked at the Northern Coalition Army with a passive expression.
“That time?” Brendel laughed, “I didn’t think too much. A person has to survive. The same goes for both nobles and ordinary people. There aren't any differences when we’re talking about life.”
“Are you trying to warn me about something?” The Princess asked shrewdly.
“No, it’s just a thought.”
Princess Gryphine glanced at him.
Brendel was silently counting in his heart, then he suddenly turned around and asked, “Amandina, how much further?”
“Less than ten meters, my Lord.” Amandina, who was yawning behind him with blood-shot eyes, answered.
The well-dressed Beale infantry brigade moved forward along the river valley. The Princess’s camp, up on the north bank at the intersection of the creeks, was still unclear to them and none of them knew what kind of ambush they might encounter.
The priests of the Holy Cathedral of Fire, who followed the army, started chanting prayers, their hymns echoing in the sky above the wilderness. Rays of golden light shone down from the sky on the infantry, strengthening them.
This was a flame protection spell. It gave the beneficiaries an additional one point of protection and one point of retaliation against fire. However, this spell did not syngergize well with their armor, so those who were more lightly armored benefited from a more complete protection.
Suddenly, everyone on the battlefield saw a ray of light appear among the Beale infantry, throwing a few of them up into the air in an instant. Their dead bodies fell onto the meadow like wooden puppets, accompanied by an ear-deafening explosion which shook the wilderness.