Chapter 198 The sudden opening
Three days passed quickly, and the construction of the defense line had finally ended.
Roland stood on a stage far behind the front line, the same way he had done when they repelled the demonic beast during the Months of Demons. Today, he once again went to the battlefield in person in order to inspire all of the officers and soldiers of the First Army.
Due to having a special task, Nightingale had already snuck onto the battlefield, and took Echo along with her. Because of this, it was Anna who stood at his side this time and took over Nightingale’s protection duty.
Roland himself wore a coated armor together with two revolvers fastened at his waist. However, as long as the defensive line didn’t totally fall apart, allowing a rushing enemy to pass through like a fish that was escaping the net, it would be awfully difficult for the enemy to pose a threat to him.
“Currently the enemy is about ten kilometers away from here, Goo!” a giant pigeon informed him as it descended from the sky and landed on his shoulder.
“Well done, keep watching,” Roland took a piece of beef jerky from his pocket and passed it to Maggie’s mouth. Within two or three pecks she had swallowed down the whole jerky, then once more opened her wings and rose into the sky, flying eastwards.
With Lightning and Maggie taking turns investigating, Roland had a clear picture of the enemy’s movements this whole time, allowing him to set the battlefield comfortably to his liking.
When dealing with crazy drugged warriors, confronting them in a line formation wasn’t safe. He was especially taking extra care after Lightning’s report that several hundreds of them were wearing short spears. If he wasn’t wrong, then it was likely that the spears would be used as pre-emptive weapons.
General the range of throwing weapons shouldn’t be longer than 50 meters, however, this was only the case for ordinary people. But, how far they could throw them after taking the pills, Roland wasn’t sure of either. If they could reach further than 100 meters, they would become a threat to the firearm team. Because of that, he had chosen to put down a number of bunkers, and implementing urban tactics. By constructing a barricade, letting the guns stopping them from coming closer, and an artillery barrage as support, he had built an insurmountable line of defense.
Under the current situation of having a sufficient amount of cement, it was easier to quickly construct some bunkers than construct the city wall. Furthermore, the bunkers were only a building with a monolayer of bricks, making it somewhat fragile, but for the militia who weren’t using heavy siege equipment, that should still be an unbreakable fortification.
Ten bunkers forming a rhombus were built on each side of the road, forming a crossfire zone. Each bunker was stationed with twenty-four soldiers, half of whom were veterans with the other half being recruits. The experienced veterans were responsible for shooting; while the recruits were responsible for loading ammunition. Lastly, Soraya had also drawn an “optical camouflage” for the bunker. So that as long as someone was looking from a distance, the bunker would become interspersed into the surrounding environment, making it difficult to distinguish the difference between the two.
Behind the frontline there stood the artillery unit. The twenty cannons were lined up and would follow the same firing sequence as last time, adjusting the firing angle and filling the corresponding ammunition according to Lightning’s signals.
At the side of artillery positions there also stood an emergency force, with about 100 people, equipped with flintlock guns, whose only task was to protect the artillery unit and the Prince, His Royal Highness who was standing behind them.
Watching the line of defense and seeing the soldiers with their high morale and their spirits trembling with excitement, within his heart, Roland was deeply moved. The army, at first extremely weak and fragile, built out of people who only enrolled into the military with the purpose of having an egg to eat; after going through the baptism of the Months of Demons and the defense battle, now stood side by side, proudly wearing on their shoulders the responsibility of defending their home.
“Your Highness, right now the enemy is only two kilometers away from us,” Lightning, reported as she returned.
“Very well, the surveillance task will be fully handed over to Maggie; you instead will have to go into the woods and issue the signals for the artillery.” Roland nodded, then turned to the Chief Knight and said, “Pass my order, all members of the First Army should enter their alert position and prepare to welcome the enemy!”
“Yes!” Carter saluted.
Lehman felt it as his hand became harder and harder to move.
Two days ago he had constantly felt a burning pain, but by now he had almost lost all feelings in his arm. He could no longer put his armor over his swollen greenish blue arm. At the place where the iron hammer had hit his arm, it had left behind a blackish red mark, at first glance it looked like a somewhat transparent yet shiny layer was laid over his skin. .
The bone must be broken, he thought, if I don’t treat it soon, this arm won’t be preserved. The analgesic drugs we found in the church can alleviate the pain, but they cannot regenerate a broken bone. He decided to wait until the end of the battle before he would immediately return to King’s City, where he would go find the best pharmacists and alchemists in the whole Kingdom of Graycastle. They ought to be able to cure this damned internal injury I have.
“Sir Lehman, your hand… is it really alright?” Levin asked concerned.
“It just looks a bit scary,” he pretended to be indifferent. “Let’s put it off until after we’ve attacked Border Town, for now, the town still isn’t in our hands, so we should keep our concentration focused on that task.”
“I hope the pain in your arm didn’t make you head muzzy, Sir,” Duane sneered. “How do you want to attack the town?”
The tone the other Knight spoke with made Lehman frown, but now wasn’t the time to care about such a small matter.
“According to the news we were able to gather from the nobles of the Wolf and Elk Family, they mainly relied on a long-range offensive weapon to curb the Knights. This kind of weapon could attack the Knights before their charge reached them. Furthermore, when used they are accompanied by a flame and a loud noise. All in all they are similar to a huge ballista, which can throw objects at a much faster speed than a crossbow arrow.”
“In other words, despite its power, it cannot continuously fire, right?” Levin quickly seized the key point.
“Yes, the faster we are able to reach their defense, the fewer attacks we will have to face,” Lehman nodded, “in addition, the number of people is also crucial. As far as I know, Duke Ryan and his coalition of nobles all together only had 200 Knights, and in the end, they only missed the chance to break through by a final step. However, we possess more than 1500 people, who, after taking the pills aren’t any slower than a running horse, so our result will be entirely differently than the last attempt.”
“Or all that will never happen,” Duane thought otherwise, “Perhaps Roland Wimbledon is still sitting in his castle, waiting for the arrival of the envoy. So, as long as we relaxedly enter the castle, we can just go and chop off his head.”
“No, by now he definitely has noticed us,” Lehman categorically denied this option, “Didn’t you discover that within the last three days we hadn’t come across any caravan? That the merchants in Longsong Stronghold, after seeing our large unit chose to either stay or return to the stronghold isn’t strange, but that we hadn’t seen any caravan coming from Border Town is unusual. The only explanation for this is that the Prince must have sealed Border Town off.”
“Do you finally understand why his Majesty chose Sir Lehman to be captain instead of you?” Levin asked mockingly.
“Well, it looks like you have no problem with your head,” Duane just shrugged his shoulders. “This way it’s quite good. Compared with merely killing the Prince by myself, it will be more interesting to kill all of those outcasts who dare to rebel against His Majesty Timothy.”
“Sir Lehman, we have discovered soldiers and horses in front of Border Town,” the investigating Cavalier reported.
“Alright, let’s go and have a look,” Lehman pushed his horse forward. At this point the castle’s outline had become faintly visible and at the end of the road he could see some shadows busy walking. Pulling out his observation mirror, he carefully observed the arrangement of the enemy’s defensive line, “Those things with the wheels, according to our intelligence they should be the long-range attack weapons, but their number seem to be much greater than was reported.”
“Should we have everyone rush madly at them?” Levin asked.
“This road is a bit narrow, I am afraid that it can’t accommodate the whole militia,” he looked at the woods to the right of him, “We should branch off some people and let them circle around, even though they will be slower, but that won’t matter. As long as we are able to start a flank attack, their defensive line won’t be able to last for long.”
The moment Lehman was preparing to give his commands to adjust his army, he suddenly caught a touch of white from the corner of his eyes.
Being startled, he stared blankly, is this… a hallucination caused by my broken arm? Impossible, it actually is a woman. The woman was wearing a hood, her whole body was covered with a white robe, and even faster than he was able to open his mouth to shout, a flame suddenly appeared from her hands.
Lehman only felt how his head suddenly got hit by a force similar to the hammer, before the world began to spin and he fell into darkness.