There were four ranks of Wind Archers, and the same applies to the Terror Phantoms. The Terror Phantoms always prided themselves with their flexibility and swift movements, but those were not too effective while facing the archers. The Wind Archers’ enchanted arrows were able to pierce through the phantom’s body structure. With their immunity towards arrows now gone, the phantoms were left with their low HP gauges. These creatures skid above the White Lions Legion with wings full of little pores, letting out a terrifying scream. As Carglise looked up into the sky, all he could see were bodies fully pierced by arrows, dropping down like rain. By then, the monsters in the sky halved in numbers.
Bloodstaff has yet to give a retreat order, as the remaining phantoms charged towards the Aourine wizards. “Of course they’re thinking of taking down our wizards. Our lord knows them too well,” as Medissa’s eyes filled up with admiration. Raindrops creep down her cheeks as she peeked between the gaps of the woods, watching the monsters fly around. Same goes to the six hundred archers waiting beneath the cloak in a nearby forest, each pulling out a second arrow from their quivers.
“Arrow number 3,” Medissa whispered as she prepared her aim.
White flames lit up the dark woods, like stars in the night sky.
Meddisa nodded, “We’ll wait for them to reach closer to us first, wait for my cue.”
As she was trying to estimate their distance, the phantoms were above the wizards. Many of the younger wizards were terrified, but they couldn’t run away from the eyes of their respective leaders. The silver elf princess voiced softly, “Follow my lead, shoot.” Her archery skills were not the best, but being a commander from the Silver Elves Linge Legion a long time ago, she was considered top tier even among the tree elves. Her fingertips released the bow string as she shouted. A silver fine line flew straight out into the sky, hitting a phantom in its head.
The phantom that got shot let out a loud cry. The arrow in its head started burning. In pain, the phantom started thrashing around, before it dropped to the ground as a huge fireball. When it reaches solid ground, only ashes remain.
Sounds of arrows releasing can be heard, as a rain of flames came flying towards the Terror Phantoms. For the troops from Madara, that spelled disaster, as hundreds of phantoms came face to face with a storm of fire. One by one, the phantoms combusted into balls of fire, then falling to the ground. Their ashes scattered all around like a sandstorm. As the ashes slowly fell, visibility was restored, but now only a quarter of the phantoms can be seen.
Over at Bloodstaff’s side, the necromancers were puzzled, watching the number of phantoms they summoned decline gradually. No one knew what was going on, no one, but Bloodstuff. He held his staff tight, and the fire of souls in his eyes never reacted so intensely before. He now knew he was fooled by those damn Aouines.
“As I expected, they prepared their arrows with holy water,” Count Jacque sighed from afar. Compared to their opponents, they were like amateurs. For Brendel, they were indeed, amateurs, but what surprised him was the enchantment the Trentheims used in their first wave. If they had used the Holy Attribute Enchantment since the beginning, Bloodstaff would have retreated their phantoms. The Trentheims obviously thought it through, just so they could pull off their trick on Madara.
If unenchanted arrows were used first, there would be too many phantoms to fight off later. This means that the Trentheims knew from the beginning, that bloodstaff will bring out his Terror Phantoms, how he will use them, and even their outcomes. They got it all planned out! Count Jacques thought. How did they figure these out?
If he were to ask Brendel about his thoughts, Brendel would just brush them off as overthinking. For him, Bloodstaff was like an open book, everything about him was written all over his face, almost as if Brendel was cheating. Bloodstaff was always cautious and knowledgeable, but he was always arrogant when facing the Aouines, and was sure to catch his lapse in judgement. He would start getting cautious if the first wave fell short. That was why the Wind Archers and a different enchantment was used instead of the Holy Attribute Enchantment which deals the largest harm on the phantoms, just so Bloodstaff could let his guard down and deploy his Terror Phantoms without caution.
But being able to bring down that many Terror Phantoms, was completely out of their expectations. There were too many variables on the battlefield, and no one could be confident enough about their plans. The whole operation was planned around Bloodstaff’s character, but they never thought it would turn out so well that by then, just around ten Terror Phantoms can be seen flying around in the sky. In such small numbers, they were not able to deal any harm to the wizards. The wizards could still fight back, you know. Hence, the Necromancers called back their phantoms. If not, they might not even have enough for anything else in the future, in case they might need them again.
The archers in the forest were overjoyed with their performance. Watching the phantoms fly back to where they came from, Medissa let out a breath of relief. The Wind Archers’ first battle yielded great results , she thought. The current Wind Archers now were still nothing compared to their ancestors, but they are still unique in some way. The Linge Legion were once very versatile troops. They ride on unicorns while holding silver spears in close-distance battles, and their archery skills shine in long-distance fights. The Wind Archers in front of her, were of course still incomparable to the legion she once led, but they’re not bad for their time.
Medissa was silent most of the time, but she still carried the arrogant character of the Silver People. Her troops had to be the best. Once, it was the Linge Legion. Now, it shall carry their name too. Ancient ballads among the trees, recited the intelligence of their heroes, and their bravery fighting the evils. It was the ballad of the woods.
Brendel prepared three types of enchanted arrows for the Wind Archers. One, was the Wind Wings, which increased the range of the arrows. Second, was the Peaks of Stone, made for bringing down heavily-armored infantries. The third one was specially prepared for the battle in Madara - The Holy Attribute. Usually, the archers brought twenty four ordinary arrows, along with six enchanted arrows, two of each kind. But for this battle, they would be fighting the Undead. Hence, they replaced one Wind Wings and one Peaks of Stone with two Holy Attributes.
These enchanted arrows cost Four Hundred and Twenty Taels. An ordinary troop would have wasted a year’s worth of maintenance cost after the fight.
For the Aourine aristocrats, it would be such a disgrace to spend that much on weapons. They would rather desert than to spend money on this costly war. Rather than calling it a battle, for them, it was more of a scheme to waste money.
But it was all worth the money today. The Vierans shaking in the bushes would probably learn something from today.
But how did our Lord see all these coming?
The little princess’ eyes were filled with curiosity and confusion. From what she learned about human history, there had never been such an era that happened before. The War of The Holy Saints seemed to be a distant memory. So, what on earth does their Lord know, allowing him to keep walking that far? Could it be like what Jana mentioned, that everything today happened, just because he left a deep impression in the Undeads of Bucce?
She shook her head. Something didn’t feel right. Our Lord had been preparing for something, and it was not just for what happened in Bucce. It just didn’t make sense, considering his actions in Ampere Seale.
With her thumb and index in her mouth, she turned around, letting out a loud, long whistle to her troops. “Recess is over!”, she shouted. Her voice echoed throughout the trees. “We had a good start. Next time, it will be our time to shine! We shall let them know the name of Linge!”
“Glory to the Linge Legion!” The girls cried.
Medissa nodded her head.
Brendel stood over at the high ground by the riverbank, watching how the tables had turned. With cover from the wizards, the White Lions Legion were able to break through Count Visgard and Mogkin’s Undead camp. A glow swept through the riverbank, blowing up the Skeleton Swordsmen. As they tried to get back up, icicles drop down from the sky, smashing them to pieces. The White Lions ran over the remains of their enemies, while Freya and Forn killed Count Visgard. The flag with black roses and spiders started to tremble. In the next moment, it finally fell.
Visgard had his arm cut off, with only a leg remaining still struggling to find balance on its horse as the fight proceeded. Brendel was shocked indeed. Under such conditions, no usual human being could remain sane. But Visgard was calm, as he was an Undead. He had no fears, no determination nor any other feelings. Even while facing death, they could still be the same terrifying devil, still waiting for the chance to bite.
The good news is, they underestimated their enemies.
Following Mogkin’s footsteps, Count Visgard has fallen. As the former died with great regrets, Hipamila was able to acquire strength he never imagined before upon the amplification by the Crown of the Mountains. After the war in the deadly Tundra Forest, Hipamila was already in the Elemental Awakening stage. Now, he acquired the skills and experience of a priest, turning him into a Dual Professional. Brendel had only heard about such occurrences from NPCs, such as Eleranta from the north. Now, he was witnessing a legend come true.
To Brendel’s horror, he now understood what it meant by “He could incorporate the blessings of the land in his battle. The more the blessings, the bigger the damage of this Scepter” in the Crown of the Mountains. That Scepter has the ability to multiply its damage dealt infinitely. When it deals damage, it increases the enhancement spell's potency. Gaia’s enhancement spells were still somewhat different from those of the Holy Cathedral of Fire. The spells from the Cathedral of Fire were mostly for personal purposes, hence they own the world strongest bishops and Compassion Flame Knight. Gaia’s Holy Cathedral of Earth was the opposite. It has the strongest enhancement spells with bigger coverage.
Brendel noticed that those White Lion Infantries around Hipamila were now almost as strong as minibosses. It had not been long since the formation of White Lions Legion, and most of the commanders were only Silver-ranked. Even after consuming the Dragonblood Potions, most of the troops were still stuck at peak Iron rank. Yet, under the blessing from Hipamila, all of them had the skills of a Silver-ranked warrior.
It was unbelievable, even for Brendel.
The troops over at the left wing had huge advancements due to Hipamila. They broke through two base camps of the Undead. As planned, none of them stopped to play around with the remaining troops of Visgard and Mogkin. Instead, they rushed straight towards Bloodstaff. It was not a long distance between them, and the White Lions picked up insane speed. Bloodstaff rearranged some troops back around him, leaving a very weak defense behind. If that falls, the necromancers in the middle will be in deep trouble.
Brendel stared afar. At the other side of the river, the Undeads were trying hard to reassemble the Skeleton Swordsmen, but were disturbed by the men of Count Lantonilan and Highland Knights. The battle was intense over there. Seems like Bloodstaff wouldn’t be counting on the Skeleton Swordsmen for a while, same with Brendel regarding Lantonilan’s men.
Both sides had got a grasp on each other’s weakness by now. Over at the Aouines, they were still surrounded in the forest. Even with enough willpower, they were very cautious while facing the skeletons. Their only troops which were intact were the crossbowmen, which were useless for their condition. Lantonilan’s men were busy stopping the Skeleton Swordsmen, but nothing much was done. Only Brendel’s and Bloodstaff’s troops were left fighting in the battlefield. At least for Brendel, Bloodstaff’s armies were away from him, with Bloodstaff’s defense already broken through from both sides. As long Trentheim’s troops could deal the blow before Bloodstaff managed to reorder their formation, it would spell victory for Brendel.
Bloodstaff had an advantage with his large number of troops. Behind them were only five troops of the White Lions, two groups of Wind Archers and some wizards. The Wind Archers had no way to deal with close-distance battles. It wasn’t too possible for the White Lions Legion to keep on going after such a long fight with Visgard’s men. Even if one or two troops managed to reach him, it wouldn't be too big of an issue to overcome them with the large numbers of Madara’s men.
No one seemed to have the time to rearrange their sides. The Trentheims were trying their best to break through the Undead’s defenses, just so they could reach and deal with the necromancers. In the meantime, Bloodstaff was trying to reorganize their formation. It was a race against time. It would’ve been great for anyone to have reinforcements now, it would have dealt a great boost for them.
Unfortunately, none of them had back-ups.
Things are now in deadlock.
Yet, such a deadlock was favorable for Bloodstaff. “Such recklessness!” Bloodstaff let out a laugh. What he needed was more time. It was indeed shameful for him to be in that situation despite facing a weak opponent, but it was better than losing. Furthermore, what he was dealing with was the last line of defense for the humans in the South. Once he took them down, it won’t be any harder for him to face off with the Vierans, Karsuk or even the entire Ampere Seale anymore.
He could let his ally, Radner, take control over this giant piece of land. It could act as a buffer between Madara and North Aourine.
Bloodstaff was relieved. He could see victory right in front of him.
Above the hill on another side, Count Jacques had a serious look on his face. What a huge mistake the Trentheims had made. Or maybe it shouldn’t be called a mistake, since it’s unavoidable. Count Jeelin even requested him to blow a warning siren for the Trentheims, but Count Jacques declined the request. For him, it was too late and pointless. No one believed that what the Trentheims did were right. It didn’t look right from what was going on.
They had too few troops.
Count Jacques was in deep regret. Everything would’ve been different if he hadn’t sent the Vierans to their death. He grabbed his sword tight, his finger joints were pale. Never in his life had he felt so hopeless.
No one there could have thought of what Brendel would have felt at that moment. As opposed to many others, he was pretty glad at the situation. He was fairly relaxed as he stood in the drizzle. Everything went according to his expectations. Bloodstaff made a mistake.
A very deadly mistake.
He seriously thought the Trentheims had no more back-up.
Brendel turned his head behind. Far behind in the forest, Medissa nodded to him. The little fairy princess grabbed the horn from her waist, it was The Farland Knight’s Dragon Horn. The horn was black in colour, with patterns of silver roses carved onto it. Drawings of a past war can be seen on its body. It was about a legend, where blue flags sway across Malard’s land, and spears with shining tips. It was about the distant cry of the horns, and the courage of the ancient fairies.
It was about the Silver King who led his knights against the Miirna.
The little fairy princess held the horn close to her lips, as she blew out loud.
The sound of horns echoed through the mountain range.
Silver celestial horses come galloping down the sky like snow, as the ground and mountains start to roar.
At that moment, Bloodstaff’s Scepter fell to the ground.