Woah, there's so much development with the story recently it's crazy! So what do you guys think? Wanna read more?
You can do it here at Patreon; you can even gain access up to 40 advance chapters!
And if you like to speak out on Discord, you can do so through this link: https://discord.gg/HnA74MB. Introduce yourself as a reader of TAS and you'll get the role 'Grandchildren of Weather' in the channel!
What is this? Magic? All of the commanders of the Northern Coalition Army were so shocked they stopped all action. Before anyone, even Viscount Von Dougning, could react, bursts of light ceaselessly exploded within Beale’s infantry.
Rumbling booms followed, and storm-like explosions instantly enveloped the entire frontline. Beale’s infantry had the ‘luck’ of encountering landmines for the very first time on the battlefield of Vaunte. Detonation Crystals, shallowly buried underneath the path, immediately released all of their contained energy when the weight of the infantry walking over it was applied. The horrifying explosive force not only tore open the ground, but also directly assaulted the infantry above.
The iron sabatons of Beale’s infantry were first deformed by the colossal force before they were shot upwards along with the limbs of their owners into the air. Their breastplates dented inward in the process, bones and guts directly crushed to smithereens.
Five or six infantry were sent skyward, most had become dead, cold bodies by the time they fell back to the ground.
In an instant, Beale’s infantry forces were reduced by one-fifth, but the most severe blow was upon the soldiers’ morale. The Northern Coalition Army was already in trouble before they had even engaged with the enemy. The cheers of the men behind them who witnessed this horrific scene abruptly came to a stop as if choked.
“This…...this is what you made out of disassembling those Magic Furnaces?” Princess Gryphine said.
She looked at the scene from afar but was silently contemplating in her heart. The value of the Magic Conductor’s core is very expensive, and those crystals don’t seem to be very cost-effective in terms of lethality. But in a critical battle like this, where we’re willing to do anything, they have produced wonders. She thought.
Brendel nodded in reply to Gryphine’s question. The truth was that both Amandina and Brendel had not slept all night in order to make this. And in the end, because Amandina could not possibly complete such a large amount of alchemical work alone, Brendel was forced to use a Blood Alchemy Array to help.
In the process, he had sacrificed a lot of his blood.
Brendel noticed the half-elf princess’s complexion and correctly surmised most of her thoughts; even so, he did not really care. This was not the full power of the Detonation Crystals, and a good show was still yet to come. Having made so many Detonation Crystals, they were not limited solely to landmines. Landmines were merely child’s play.
He turned back and looked at the other side of the battlefield.
Explosions rang continuously, and one of the Earth Drake Cavalrymen directly died in the series of blasts. The Detonation Crystals had blown off the Drake’s right foot, and the dazed mount threw its rider directly off its back. The poor helpless knight broke his spine in the process and died on the spot.
“Stop! Stop!” Viscount Von Dougning was shocked too, and he immediately tightened his reins and shouted, “It’s a trap!”
But, as a Viscount who rose to fame in wartime versus the Lion Beastmen, , he quickly came up with a solution. He ordered the Beale infantry to stop their compacted forward march and spread out, continuing to advance in a more dispersed formation. This scattered formation had existed as early as the Star Festival, when Duke Albania led the White Lion Legion to fight against the arrow ambushes of the Lion Beastmen, and even earlier than that when the Kirrlutz had also used similar tactics. This was not a new invention. Still, the way he had put his learnings into practical use stunned the commanders of the Northern Coalition Army.
“It was no mistake that he is titled as The Genius of Nayo,” Viscount Finn praised him while standing beside Vitokin. The Count was also very satisfied; at least this did not prove his choice was wrong. Wisdom was one of the virtues of a great noble.
Before he could even finish speaking, the battlefield was once again lit up with an even brighter flash of light. It was as if it was perfectly timed to refute him. The simultaneous violent explosion shook the whole valley.
Viscount Von Dougning was dumbfounded at the sights these violent explosions brought. Detonations tore the ground asunder, causing newly blood-soaked soil to fall all around him like muddied rain. He wiped his face. He was sticky and uncomfortable. From his deductions, the princess had merely half a night of preparation. Where did she find time to set up camp, scout the terrain, and bury traps? He figured they were just bluffing by putting on a loud show and wanting to delay for time.
But he did not expect to be wrong. Brendel’s ‘trap’ was not as complicated as he had thought. In fact, the trap was pretty easy to assemble, Brendel and Amandina had just used some leftovers to make it before throwing said traps into the grass.
But this product, made out of little effort, was causing major trouble for the Northern Coalition Army.
When Brendel saw the Beale Infantry stop once again, he felt delighted. There were no international conventions in this world, so he could use whatever kind of landmine he wanted without feeling the slightest bit of pressure. And this weapon making its first appearance on the battlefield had indeed brought them unexpected benefits.
The Northern Coalition Army would have to pay a big price if they wanted to move forward. The real purpose of the landmines was to weaken the enemy’s morale as they would lose one or two divisions before even reaching their opponent. This was unheard of before in Vaunte.
Of course, the other party could always stop and slowly clear the landmines as Brendel and Amandina had not buried the Detonation Crystals deeply. They could find them one-by-one if they were careful, but that was exactly what Brendel wanted. He was not short of time anyways. It was best to drag out the battle for a week or half a month, as by then, the northern nobles would no longer be able to take control of the battlefield.
However, the Northern Coalition Army clearly understood this and did not intend to give Brendel and his allies any time. Viscount Von Dougning paused for a moment before ordering Beale’s infantry to move on again, remaining in their scattered formation.
It was purely using human lives as tiles of blood and flesh to pave a path forward.
Beale’s infantry immediately made a commotion, but it was instantly suppressed. After Viscount Von Dougning coldly ordered his Rangers to kill several disobedient soldiers, the infantry began to move forward reluctantly.
But the battle cries that were shouted out so bravely before - ‘I will take the lead! Victory is ours! Long live Aouine! Long live the king!’ - had turned into a joke by now. Their morale had plummeted.
Viscount Von Dougning glared hatefully at the northern side, his face as dark as a storm.
But, regardless of their protests, the Northern Coalition Army finally started to move forward again. Under the loud noises of explosions, the disciplined Beale Infantry was reduced bit by bit, and finally, they could not bear it any longer and collapsed. The low-class soldiers cried out loud as they wanted to retreat, but the long sharp spears behind them kept forcing them to move forward.
This scene reminded Brendel of when the Kirrlutz kingdom drove their slave soldiers out to attack, but what the Kirrlutz were driving out were enemies and slaves, today Aouine was driving out its own people.
He coldly looked at this scene.
Behind him, Princess Gryphine was also biting on her lip.
The first infantry brigade of the Beale finally broke down completely. Or rather, they were completely doomed. This division not only lost its formation but also its spirit. Everyone knew that the Beale would no longer hold the title of the ‘First Infantry Brigade’ in the future anymore.
This was a nightmare everyone would remember.
But this nightmare was still continuing; Viscount Von Dougning replaced Beale’s first infantry brigade with the second brigade. At this moment, it was as if this young man had turned into a cold-blooded grim reaper whose only purpose was to win. He was so merciless that he was building a bridge to victory out of human bodies, only caring about the end result.
The men’s sacrifice was just a number to him.
The advance of the Northern Coalition Army finally showed some results, the second brigade now only one mile away from Brendel’s main campsite. The Northern Coalition Army’s main force was bolstering them from behind, and Brendel could even see the knights’ movements at the back.
But it was at this time that the second brigade of Beale Infantry, at the front, got hit by something.
Everyone heard a ‘swoosh’ sound as if all the air had been sucked away, and suddenly the sky turned dark. Viscount Von Dougning subconsciously lifted his head, and he saw from above that both the Marchenko and Leviko Mountains had a rain of black arrows coming down from them. The second brigade seemed like they had run into an invisible wall, and their formation was disintegrating from the front.
“We’ve finally met with the enemy!” Viscount Von Dougning felt a sudden adrenaline rush, he turned and shouted, “I order the highland infantry to attack Leviko Mountain, take the mountaintop down first! Beale Infantry, continue forward!”
The retinue of knights behind him immediately raised their flag.
That same flag was raised on the other side of the river valley. Viscount Finn looked at it from afar and rode out from among the knights immediately. A knight behind him raised his horn and blew.
The sound of the horn surrounded the whole river valley.
Finn’s highland infantry began to break away from the main formation, and thousands of infantry in grey tabards rushed across the river bed like a torrent. In front of them was a safe passage that had been ‘paved’ by the Beale’s men, which enabled them to make a direct assault towards Leviko Mountain.
Unfortunately, their charge was not as easy as they had imagined it to be.
The second brigade of Finn’s Highland Infantry had just stepped into the black pine forest when they heard a gravelly voice scream, “Sako-!” If they had understood the Naga language, they would’ve known what it meant.
Sani’s mouth was wide open, and the long note of his voice could be heard piercing through the entire forest. The enemy’s human silhouettes were reflected in the caramel-colored eyes of the Naga soldiers, as they lifted the javelins in their hands in sync, throwing them out.
Screams echoed out from among the forest.
The seventh division of Finn’s second highland infantry brigade was almost totally drowned in the projectiles, Centurion Sir Raphael died on the spot, and only one-third of a hundred and fifty infantrymen survived.
“Ai!” Sani immediately ordered his people to form a spear wall, and the foremost three rows of the secret Naga Army held up their spears, forming a jungle of steel.
The third, fourth, and ninth division of the highland infantry had already passed their comrades at this moment. Centurion Brod, who was overseeing the battle together with his colleagues, knew things were not going to be good when he saw the secret Naga army in the forest holding their distinct weapons. Moon-shaped spears, the Grey Fin Nagas! But it was too late to retreat, and everyone could only stand and watch as the two armies of different races collided.
There was a muffled, yet unified sound, when the Nagas’ spears tore armor apart. Brod instinctively raised his head and saw the first row of the Black Blade Corps being thrown up and back, smashing into rocks or finding themselves hung on trees.
The Nagas’ secret army was still advancing, the formation of the highland infantry’s three divisions were as fragile as a thin piece of paper in front of it. The third level army faced against the first level army with overwhelming might. Brod saw most of the Nagas wiping out the human soldiers before them in almost an instant, and the Nagas in the back rows were still reaching out for their second javelin off their backs in perfect synchronization.
This was the last scene he saw in his life.
It was a mess inside the forest. There were corpses of human soldiers nailed to the ground everywhere.
Sani lifted his head and looked around. Brendel had explained, roughly to him before, about the Black Blade Corps’ formations. Currently, they had defeated about half of human’s brigade, but it was enough yet.
“Retrieve our people’s corpses and clear the battlefield. Retreat!” He used the Naga language to give orders. Brendel did not plan to tangle with the Black Blade Corps on these two mountaintops for too long. Originally, the students of the Royal Cavalry Academy had planned to turn this place into a fresh battlefield of flesh and blood, but he thought that plan was not worth it.
But, how can we defend our central campsite if we give up these two mountaintops?
A sliver of doubt could be seen in Sani’s caramel-colored eyes.
When Viscount Finn hurried up Leviko Mountain, he saw this sight of hell. In a mere fifteen minutes, the second brigade of the highland infantry had lost a total of five divisions, and four Centurions. He had not even experienced such losses when he was surrounded by the Lion Beastmen in Toas.
And although the leader of the cavalry had sworn that they had gone through massive challenges to obtain the mountaintop and defeat their enemies, The Grey Fin Nagas, Finn was no fool and he could tell that it was the Nagas themselves that had retreated. Otherwise, how would his subordinates not even manage to retrieve a single dead body?
The Viscount gritted his teeth, he just wanted to complete the task. He would not bother the Count over such an insignificant matter. “Clean up the battlefield immediately, and return to Count Vitokin telling him of our victory!” Finn commanded aggressively.
He could not help raising his head to look at the center of the battlefield, and he felt a sense of nervousness in his heart. This battle was too peculiar. Why did those Nagas take the initiative to abandon their high ground?
On the other side of the battlefield, almost the same exact scene was happening on the Marchenko Mountains. Baron Constantine couldn’t believe his eyes, seeing the young soldiers of the ‘fake White Lion Legion’ swagger away after almost destroying all of his infantry.
“Dear Marsha, are you protecting us from heaven?”
“Thank Marsha……!” Baron Constantine laid prone on the ground and almost cried.
Viscount Von Dougning immediately got the news that the Marchenko and Leviko mountaintops were fully captured. At that moment, he let out a huge sigh. Despite facing many troubles on the way, victory was finally in sight.
“Is the Princess really planning to abandon the high ground in the South? Is she planning to lure the main force to attack the central camp? Does she want to cover her left and right flanks? No. This is more like she’s trying to lure us in deeper…...she’s really arrogant.”
Countless thoughts flashed through his mind but his eyes gradually became more and more fanatical and passionate. Since the Princess dared to expose their weaknesses to them, how could they easily let them go? They foolishly believed that their Central Camp was indestructible, but Viscount Von Dougning did not believe that Count Audine’s private army could be relied upon.
“Let’s destroy their arrogance with a single strike.”
He raised his spear up.
A horn sounded.
The wailing of a horn sounded once again. The Northern Coalition Army did not advance slowly anymore, instead, they seemed to move all together. Since the Marchenko Mountains and Leviko Mountains fell into their hands, they were finally able to fully focus all of their forces in one charge.
Advancing from three sides, Count Vitokin finally invested more than four infantries at once. The intimidating army was like a flood overflowing the mountains, but this flood was going upstream from the river banks, the streams, the forests, and the mountains. From all of these locations they launched their assault.
Banner after banner sailed against the wind, and the sporadic detonations of the Detonation Crystals were practically drowned out in the sea of people.
At this moment, everyone on Princess Gryphine’s side could not help themselves from turning pale; there were too many enemies after all. By losing the Marchenko and Leviko Mountains, it was obvious to them that they would probably not be capable of defending their Central Camp.
Just relying on the private army?
Brendel’s expression too finally revealed hints of nervousness. He was not worried about whether his plan would fail, instead, he was more concerned about the psychological pressure imposing itself onto the officers. If they collapsed with just a touch, it would be over. But he only had this one opportunity, he needed to lure the main forces of the enemy to this point.
“Hang in there!”
Brendel shouted it in his heart, but he subconsciously pulled out his sword too. Although they had not made contact with the enemy yet, he could already feel the wavering morale of the private army. There was no time to lose, he had to calm them down. He raised Halran Gaia high up into the air, and the ‘Bahamut’s Grip’ on his arm blended perfectly with his sky blue armor, having the same ability to self-transform as in the game. The metal gauntlet resembled a Blue Dragon’s claws, looking majestic.
And then, from behind him–
The longbowmen stationed on the hillside got their long-awaited orders at last. At the same time as Brendel drew his sword, they withdrew their arrows from their holsters behind them and nocked them on their longbows. However, the arrow tips had been removed and replaced with shiny gray crystals.
Bessie looked at the longbowmen and could not help shaking her head. Their movements were slow and non-uniform. These private noble soldiers really were useless, and their numbers were too small. Among the thousand longbowmen, even a small half of them were temporarily employed. Could these people really be of use?
She had no trust in them.
But the commander had told her personally, that as long as they could draw their bows and shoot arrows into the enemy formation, they were of good use. Bessie looked at the coalition army underneath the mountain. She thought to herself that this was not a difficult thing to do, there was no need to aim at all.
She also drew her shale longbow.
“Fire - !”