Before they could wrap their heads around the first wave of fireballs, the second promptly clamored down upon Bloodstaff’s legion, as the Madaran side of the battle once again gleamed under the overcast sky. This time around, however, the winds of battle seemed to be taking a turn against them as the Necromancers burnt through their magic whilst the battle heavily tilted to become a show for the Magician squad to perform. History appeared to have repeated itself under the cover of the magic barrage, the White Lion Battalion once again sliced their way through the formations of the Madaran Legion.
But this time would be slightly more challenging than the last, after all the formation of the Undead’s core was unexpectedly well fortified with the accumulation of firepower consisted of three to four squads. Notwithstanding the initial development of the White Lion Battalion, they were quickly bogged down as the two sides were once again engulfed in a slaughter, so evenly matched it was hard to tell where the battle would go.
Bloodstaff began shifting the armies from his two flanks to enforce the central army, wary about the White Lion Battalion breaking his defenses who at this point, under the power scaling of various spells had achieved nearly Class Four military skill.
Their opponents however only had a very small portion of Class Three Spider Swordsmen, most of which were no match even to the younger White Lions, only keeping them at arm’s length with their sheer strength in numbers.
The truth was by then Bloodstaff’s wings were already inexplicably hollow.
But at this point he could no longer worry about that, if the central positions were shaken, once the White Lion Battalion breaks through it would mark the end. As for the Wind archers squad, if they wanted to harass the flanks he could only let them be.
What he was not aware of was that Brendel was waiting for an opportunity.
Under Brendel’s command, the Wind archer maidens once again halted their adversaries at their tracks. This time, however, as they raised their longbows, on the string were now shining arrows of Holy Silver, and with a brush of the fingertip, the arrow tips were now burning with Holy flames.
After a round of firing, the Skeleton army that was at their tails were now few and far between. They would then once again switch to the heavy arrows of the Blade of the Rock for a successive round. Nevertheless, the Skeleton division was now completely relegated out of the driving seat.
Brendel took a decent evaluation of the current scenario they were in, and in the drizzling rain, he raised the Halran Gaia, the Staff of Earth, and charismatically cleaved his way through the enemy lines. A dozen of White City Pioneers with Raban included closely followed behind. The thirteen knights formed an arrow formation.
“Medissa!” Brendel, under the faint shroud of the drizzling rain, yelled.
“Got it, Milord!” Medissa raised her longbow and under her command, the Wind Archer Legion extended their shots right towards Bloodstaff’s wing divisions.
Brendel hurried his mount as they proceeded, with Raban and Ferlarn on his two sides and the rest close behind. As the modest cavalry squad marched beyond the distance of one to two hundred feet, they instantly began accelerating, directed at Bloodstaff’s flanks.
Bloodstaff naturally noted the cavalry but under the pressure of engaging from a direct assault, he could not identify the single dozen soldiers that were in the vicinity. Making a rough assumption that it might be members from the Aouine personal guard, he ordered a mid-level central Black Knight squad towards the direction of the infiltration.
Brendel and company began making a short sprint, and only then did Medissa announce the final command, “Third arrows!”
She crucially did not disclose the direction of the wind. The wind direction in a battlefield had many a time influenced the events of the war, but with the notable exception of the Wind Archers. Their most recognizable skill was that regardless of the direction of the winds their aim will not be affected, and was hence the only all-weather long-range firing squad.
The Archer maidens solemnly switched back to the Holy Silver arrows, activated the demonic spell, and off another wave of glowing arrows were set upon Bloodstaff’s flanks. The plot of land where skeleton archers and fighters stood just a moment ago had been promptly cleared up as if they were readying the lands for Brendel and his band.
At that moment, Brendel and company had ventured into the range for the final spurt. As he lifted his head, the Madaran Black Knights squad that was dispatched earlier as counter-offense was there to welcome them, but he did not offer a change of command, the only thing mentioned was for them to retain the charge.
He was waiting for the moment.
As the Wind Archers rained down the last round of arrows, they promptly dropped the longbows and hurried back to where their war mounts were. Clenched onto their saddles, they hurled themselves on and withdrew a Scimitar from within the pockets of their hoods. In an instant, the Wind Archer division was now an armed cavalry in waiting.
Medissa too swapped her bow for a Silver lance, and promptly felt reminiscent of her time back in the War of the Holy Saints, picturing her squad behind as the gallant Linge Legion of the day.
Under the overcast sky, she tilted her lance into a horizontal stance, her unicorn at that moment began to stomp uneasily on its hooves. The young princess of the Silver Elves took a light breath and then gave her command, “Linge Legion, with me!”
The legion marched ahead.
“The Trentheimers are using their bowmen as attacking cavalry!” Count Jeelin had to make a second take on the scenes unfolding before him. In a hair-gripping moment, he yelled, “Are they out of their minds?”
Count Jacques this time around preferred to remain silent, ignoring his mindless rhetorical question. He then turned towards the rest as he declared, “Brace yourselves! We’re bringing the fight to those Undead bastards this time, the time for the decisive battle has come!”
He did not elaborate much, but a clear thought circulated in his mind.
In a certain myth, there was an army.
It was a popular one amongst the civilians.
Even Bloodstaff reacted to its close resemblance. The War of the Holy Saints left an evident mark on the history of this world, on how four saints defeated the world-dominating powers of evil and from within crafted four of the brightest and most influential kingdoms across Vaunte.
Upon which, the four Holy Cathedrals conquered Vaunte for nearly a millennium, and the beautification of this era in history had left a profound impression in the hearts of the humans across the lands.
As for the Undead of Madara, it was also one of the legends. From memory, they were birthed from immense pain and suffering yet unable to free themselves from these burdens. It was a myth from a long time ago, one that Bloodstaff too, was incidentally reminded about.
He noticed the longbow that was discarded on the ground, mounted his horse, and was ready to charge at the Elven Archer Legion, abruptly reminded that he was once informed of the name for this exact army.
It was an alluring name.
They were the Linge. That’s right.
“Silver Elves,” Count Jacques, too, was reminded of the rumors he was briefed about, some of which were related to Brendel’s unique relationship with the Silver Elves. Never would he expect that the Silver Elves would offer this legendary battalion in support of the Count of Trentheim, and for a man of such stature, could it be a blessing or a curse for him to be aligned with a modest nation like Aouine.
Nevertheless, there were discrepancies in everyone’s guesses.
The archer maiden division of Wind Elves might have inherited the legendary name of Linge that was sealed for millennia, but they were not remotely as great as the illustrious military squad once bearing that name. Archers of the Tree elves and Wind elves might have received some close combat training, but for them to charge on mounts as cavalry was a stretch of their abilities.
Nevertheless, upon Medissa’s command, these archer maidens did not flinch or hesitate, their courage was on par, even exceeding that of the men.
Brendel turned around as he witnessed the valiance of the all-female division, and promptly shifted his gaze back to his band of twelve as he notified Raban, “Let’s wedge an opening for the girls.”
“As requested, Milord,” Raban firmly replied.
The thirteen-man strong cavalry upon their mounts began galloping at full speed into Bloodstaff’s flank, now with nearly a hundred awaiting their arrival.
Bloodstaff’s direct-command Black Knights were at least Higher Silver level in terms of skill, and were not lacking any Peak-Silver level high-flyers, not to mention most of which were war-hardened and sufficiently adept in combat and war.
Bloodstaff was confident that even if the band in question was the Aouine Royal Guard, it would hardly pose much of a problem in most circumstances. Unfortunately for him, this was no usual circumstance, and his enemies were no common folk.
Brendel at the lead was first to pierce into the enemy formation, and the first scene the Vierans were to witness upon charging out of the forests was exactly that.
For a knight to lead his subordinates to battle was commonplace on the Vaunte mainland, but for a Noble Count of the kingdom with actual ruling authority to lead a band of a dozen cavalry to battle was mindblowing to most, given how it was essentially non-existent after the Seifer Dynasty.
The Vierans were convinced they were witnessing the actions of a madman, but little do they know, more was to come from the Count of Trentheim.
The thirteen knights once again reinforced their arrow formation, with Brendel as the “arrow tip”, he raised the Staff of Earth and cleaved across the Black Knight that was coming towards him.
The Black Knight promptly raised his sword to parry, but what he was met with was himself, along with his weapon and the skeleton mount he was on fracturing into six parts, and promptly burst into a ball of Soul Flames, before fading into the autumn winds.
Another Black Knight in complete observation of his comrade disintegrating before his face from the hands of this mortal soldier was left stupefied, yet before he could react the Staff of Earth had already penetrated through a third Black Knight before himself and pierced right through his chest. All that was left was the quickly fading screams of a hollow voice.
An overpowering force dragged them down from their nether horses and tossed far, before they ultimately collapsed onto the other Black Knight within the radius.
Only then did the power of the piercing damage truly exploded, with those particular Black Knights as its core it formed an impact shaped like a fan, complemented by a loud bang as all Black Knights in that direction toppled en masse.
With just a mere two acts Brendel had thoroughly decimated one-fourth of the Black Knights before himself, as all in attendance, allied or foe, watched as the Black Knights’ once air-tight formation now had a hole bored through its center like it was made of paper.
What monstrous power is this?
Vieran Nobles only then were reminded of the rumors that this young Count was not only of utmost importance in the Royal court, he was also a gifted swordsman, and legend had it that he has achieved the prowess of that of a Sword Saint.
Despite how meager the overall believability of that rumor was, from the scenes before their eyes, it had evidently shown that the Count of Trentheim were at least a few levels higher than the self-proclaimed Gold-tier warriors.
Could it be that since Flame King Gretel, there was now a second Elemental Activation genius here on this earth at the striking age of twenty?
Deductions went rampant across all their minds.
Compared to the genuine surprise jumbled with envious tendencies, Bloodstaff at that moment was distraught.
He had now belatedly come to realize, not only was the young opposition commander Elementally Activated, his dozen-knight cavalry was no normal individuals either. Those twelve knights were each terrifyingly with at least Lower-Gold tier skills. Against the band of personal guards to the lord, Bloodstaff lamented at the thought that he was quickly running out of options.
What have I gotten myself into...if someone were to tell me this was the Royal Family’s Secret Army I wouldn’t hesitate to believe now. But the thought a squad of this might just appear apparently from thin air, it rattles me!
The name was uttered on repeat as he tried to piece together how the most outback of the Aouine Kingdom’s Southeastern territory could amass an army this ferocious.
Not long into his contemplation, it was cut short as Bloodstaff had to shift his focus back onto his own army for arguably the most crucial moment in the war. They had to uphold their flanks from enemy breakthrough, or else all their effort thus far would be futile.
Bloodstaff paused ever so slightly for hesitation, then decided to lead his own squad of skeleton warriors to reinforce the crippling flanks on both sides, now that his opponent had dispatched such prolific forces, he could no longer hold his hand back any further.
On this battlefield, the only one that could match Brendel’s wits, was himself.
Bloodstaff was still rearranging his formations when Medissa and her accompanied Wind Archers Squad clashed with the Madaran side flanks. Brendel had twice felt his elemental pool began to hum, and as he turned across to Medissa, she had her lance held into the air as she rallied,
“Under the name of the Holy Spirit, may you bless us on this battlefield, for we fight for the side of justice, and only for justice shall we assemble!” A beam of white light pierced through the storm clouds vertically to the ground, impeccably encapsulating the Wind Archer Legion in its circumference, before countless angels began navigating towards each and every Wind Archer, to which they offered protection.
Under their protection, Medissa and her subordinating Archer maidens witnessed an instant skill boost from their initial Mid-Silver tier powers to Peak Silver, bordering Gold tier!
Eternal Song V
Consume half Elemental Points (Knight), Farland Knights rallies all allied forces, and hence are rewarded with a skill boost (Current level+5).
Sustenance, Rally shall sustain until the Reset time on the following day.
“My Glory, shall be all your Glory!”
Only then did Brendel truly experienced the capabilities of the Farland Knights. Originally of Mid-Silver tier Wind Archers on long-range attacks, now that they were converted to short-range cavalry, in terms of battle experience and skill they were only at Peak Iron tier, and their armors which prioritize flexibility naturally would be inferior in comparison to the melee infantry armors of the Skeleton Warriors.
Hence, even Class Four Wind Archers were only on par with Class Two Skeleton Warriors in hand-to-hand combat.
Nevertheless, after further spell buffs to Peak-Silver tier, the maidens’ fighting prowess was now raised to Lower Silver tier. Given that Iron to Silver-tier was an upgrade in itself, now with their improved stats, one tier above the skeletons, were able to comfortably shift their melee warfare in their favor.
Before it was complete, Medissa revealed a second card:
Eternal Song IV
Consume 1 Glory, Farland Knight ordered that his followers receive Group Enchantment.
Sustenance, Group Dash shall sustain until the Reset time on the following day.
“I saw with my own eyes, the Sabris howled as they initiated dash, and soldiers hundreds upon thousands began crumbling before his feet -- Baron Vassaran Cardin”
(Group Enchantment, all creatures possessing the same enchantment within a fixed radius would receive an additional 1% to their damage, damage further stacked with every unit of said enchantment within the affected radius)
Under the enhancement of the sign, Medissa’s Wind archers instantly received a boost in spirits, seeing their damage increased by one to two times.
They broke free from the cavalry and became the personal guard to the general, and as the cavalry cut through their enemies, the defenses of the Undead crumbled upon contact. Originally estimating his flanks to put up a fight, Bloodstaff, under Medissa’s two-card advantage, saw his armies pulverized like dust.
Bloodstaff brought along a squad of Skeleton Warriors on his own to catch the fight, but as his flanks melted as if they were exposed in the summer heat as the Wind archers progressed, the tides of war seemed to be completely favoring his adversaries as they look to rejoin the White Lion Battalion in the center of the battlefield.
Watching as the scenes played out, Bloodstaff knew it was all over, his armies were done for, and the Darkened Nobles from the Seas of the Dying Moon were done for. As for his accomplice from within Aouine, Count Radner, at this point was no longer worth offering any thought.
Bloodstaff was here intending to block Brendel’s attacking tracks, but now eyeing the turn of events hastily took his turn and went back where he came with what remained of the Skeleton Cavalry that he could rally and promptly retreated.
One form of reassurance that he could foster was that the Undead would never experience fatigue or face total destruction, but their mortal opponents would, and they could never hunt them down for eternity.
But now the idea of winning was far beyond his reach, a successful escape back into Madaran territory was already a flush of luck for him.
The humans across the battlefield had already begun to cheer.
Most of which were Vierans that were just gleeful that they could evade what could be akin to the jaws of death, especially the lower-ranked soldiers, unable to believe that the terrifying Madaran Legion was defeated just like that.
Even though the battlefield was still scattered with thousands of skeletons, they noticed that the Trentheim Legion had utterly torn the Madara armies into separate parts, and as dozens upon dozens of Necromancers fell under their weapons, victory was only a matter of time.
At this point, even the Viero Nobles could pause and see that even if they were to stop giving chase, the Skeleton structures were fracturing into dust and debris before their eyes.
The Undead Legion was on the verge of complete retreat, and Count Jacques was convinced that Bloodstaff was no longer confident that his conquest was anything more than beating a dead horse. He knew this was just a plot to offer them some time for escape. The match was set and what was left was to decide how drastic the score was.
Nonetheless, what left the Vierans fidgety was that the outcome of this war was ultimately detached from their participation.
In their eyes, the Count of Trentheim had already begun to slow down his movements in the core of battle as the Undead Legion crumbled by his side.