GOR Chapter 248: Knight’s Glory
Before the break of dawn, the soldiers within the wooden stronghold had been anxiously preparing themselves.
The Norman infantry soldiers began wearing their armours and bundles of sharp spears were carried out.
The squires led the warhorses out and carefully placed saddles upon them before tying it up. Knights equipped in armour that made them look like tin cans were seated there as they rested. They quietly built up their strength as they rested. On the side, their squires carefully polished their swords and sharpened the edges of the blade. Then, they anxiously went to check up on the Knights’ lances to see if there were any problems.
For breakfast, they had broth with meat.
Naturally, each pot of broth that the elite soldiers of the Norman armies took was added with a few spoonful of Merlin’s specially made ‘concoction’!
After having eaten breakfast with meat, the soldiers’ morale was lifted.
When the horn was sounded, the camp finally displayed the hard atmosphere present before a battle took place.
Even though this was an army of the medieval period… an army was still an army!
Chen Xiaolian’s 100-man team was within the Norman armies. Their weapons and equipment had long since been distributed to them. They were also assigned to be part of King William’s personal guards. Chen Xiaolian felt somewhat satisfied with this arrangement.
As for Tian Lie, he had been assigned to be part of Chen Xiaolian’s team – together with Tian Lie was Sasha.
However, in this war using cold weapons, Sasha’s hacking skills could only serve as a decoration – naturally, that was only when facing off against other game participants. Sasha was at the very least an Awakened whose body had been enhanced before. He was at least stronger than the average person.
Chen Xiaolian saw King William and his generals.
The commanders of the troops from Brittany and Flanders had returned to their respective armies. These 2 allies who came from France would be responsible for offense and defence in the battle.
The Norman armies would play the part of the central army. Additionally, they have the mercenary army to act as the reserve.
Chen Xiaolian became excited as he observed the tall and mighty mounted soldiers from France – now that was the feeling he had been expecting from ancient Knights from the West.
King William wore his armour – military leaders in this Western period would personally participate and engage in battles. The commander who remained behind the army would not receive the support of the army.
In the history records, King William and his two brothers were fearsome generals within the army.
King William wore a bright red cloak while his two brothers, Odo and Robert wore black coloured cloaks.
Among King William’s bodyguards was a group of mighty Knights. It consisted of over 100 Knights and over 200 squires who rode on warhorses – in total, there were over 300 mounted soldiers. Within this era in Europe, this team could be considered as a very powerful team of mounted soldiers.
In the morning, the doors to the wooden stronghold were opened up and the army marched out in a line. They marched onto the battlefield.
Beneath the hill where Harold was stationed was an open area of plains.
The light of dawn descended upon the lands and King William’s army encroached upon the surface of the plains like a swarm of ants. The swords and spears in the soldiers’ hands were akin to a forest. The thousands of feet trampling upon the ground caused faint rumbling sounds to emanate forward.
The sounds were like the rumblings of thunder!
If one were to observe the scene from the air, they would notice that King William’s army had formed a formation that was a standard in the medieval period.
The Norman army took the central location, the allied Brittany army took the left and the allied Flanders army took the right.
The army kept moving forward. It was only after they were close to the arrow range of the distant hill that they finally stopped.
Atop the hill, Harold’s army had already formed their own formation.
They formed an arc-shaped row along the hill, one layer after another, one column after another! These London soldiers raised their ovate shields and stacked them together densely. Layer after layer were placed together to form a shield wall.
Under the rays of the sun, the cross-shaped crest on the shields flashed out! The spears hidden behind the shields brought a chill down the spines of their enemies.
The composition of King William’s army was more abundant compared to Harold’s army from London.
Be it the Norman army or their two allies, they were all equipped with more than one weapon. They also had mounted soldiers and archers.
There were seemingly no mounted soldiers in Harold’s army – Harold had rushed his way out from London. Thus, his army consisted only of infantry soldiers.
Chen Xiaolian was thankful that during this period of time, the mighty ‘English longbow archers’ had yet to make their appearance.
Otherwise, considering the distance between the two sides, King William’s armies would be completely within the range of those English longbow archers.
The sound of horns kept resonating through the air without respite.
At this point in time, the officers were fully energized. They used their pumped up energy to straighten up their team.
The officers shouted out loud while going back and forth to keep the spirit of their team up.
Chen Xiaolian noticed that teams of archers were lining up behind the Norman armies. After getting in line, they marched out from both sides and formed a line before the rows of infantry soldiers!
After the team of archers finished setting up their formation, they began pulling out their arrows and inserted them into the ground.
“It’s about to begin!” Bei Tai took a deep breath and his face revealed a trace of excitement.
Chen Xiaolian did not say anything. He carefully stared at Harold’s armies located above the hill.
King William rode out until he was in front of his armies. He raised up his knight sword and roared out with all his might a few times. Then, he urged his horse to move around before his armies as he used this final chance to use a valiant voice to drum up his armies’ morale.
Truth be told, his armies number up to 8,000 men and they were all spread out in formation across the open plains. Even if he were to use all his might, his sound could not possibly be heard by everyone.
However, as he sat on his horse, his red coloured cloak billowed in the wind.
His voice that was cut off by the wind fell intermittently upon Chen Xiaolian’s ears. Although he could not make our what the words were, seeing the majestic image of King William as he sat upon the horse – Chen Xiaolian had to admit, King William did possessed the air of a leader.
At this moment, King William’s body, who knew if it was a trick of the light or a psychological effect – seemed enveloped by an aura of light!
As William was drumming up his armies’ morale, Harold’s flag was hoisted up high upon the hill. The soldiers from London began shouting out.
Hearing the shouts from the other side, the Norman armies naturally would not accept being outdone. The Norman soldiers began howling out. French, Italian, all forms of language and expletives were hurled out.
Chen Xiaolian suddenly let out a smile. He said, “Is this that time before a battle where they display out their fighting spirit? Bei Tai, let our team join in as well! Sing our team’s song!”
Bei Tai suppressed his desire to laugh out. He strode out, stood before the team and shouted loudly, “Manchester United!!!”
The 100 men shouted out a battle cry.
Next, they began to sing out loudly in unison.
This was the lyrics that Lun Tai and Bei Tai had taught them yesterday night… although it only consisted of a few words.
“Glory, glory, Man United…”
The orderly and uniform song became distinctive among the messy shouts of expletives. The song even spread out to the other side…
“I… did I misheard it?”
Phoenix who was standing in the first row of her team could not restrain herself and she burst out into laughter.
Phoenix stepped forward while holding onto a bow in one hand. She used Monster’s shoulder to gain support as she peered into the distance.
In the distance, the intermittent words of “Glory, glory, Man United…” spread over and the corners of Phoenix’s lips involuntarily curled up.
“Is this a spoof by an Awakened? Manchester’s song?” Phoenix narrowed her eyes and said, “Could it be that Xiaolian fellow?”
King William had also heard the song sung by Chen Xiaolian’s 100-man team. The orderly and uniform song had more momentum behind it compared to the messy jumbles of expletives.
While seated on his horse, he glanced at them and nodded his head – this kid sure has some strange abilities.
After that, King William pulled out his sword and pointed it up to the sky!
“For the King!”
The one positioned closest to William was the Knight Tayloff. This fellow was the first to shout out vigorously.
His shout immediately received support as the countless soldiers and officers began roaring.
“For the king!”
“For the king!”
After the shouts of expletives were changed to shouts of the phrase, the sounds became much more powerful!
“Robert!” William urged his horse to move to his brother’s side. He glanced at his two brothers who were also on horseback and said, “Odo, those London fellows will hide on the hill and be on the defensive! It seems we will have to spread out and attack!”
“Please give the orders, my King!”
Robert answered in a low tone.
Robert harrumphed before turning toward the team of archers. He swiftly waved his arm down!
Following the orders given by the officers, the archers pulled out the arrows placed before them. Then, they drew the bows and positioned them toward the sky.
“God is with us!”
The officers of the archers shouted!
A hail of arrows flew out madly, blotting out the sun!
The battle had begun!
The hail of arrows, which blotted out the sun descended like a swarm of locusts!
On top of the hill, the soldiers within Harold’s armies raised up their shields to form what seemed like a tortoise’s shell.
The dense hail of arrows fell down upon the rows of soldiers and tinkling sounds echoed out non-stop as the arrows made contact with the surface of the shields. The arrows were everywhere! Only some who were unfortunate would end up being injured by the arrows, which managed to slip in through the cracks within the formation of shields. Sporadic screams could be heard coming out from among the formation of soldiers.
The Norman armies launched a total of three volleys!
The arrows slammed down upon the military formation formed by the London armies. However, the London armies had the protection afforded by the shield formation and the arrow attack was only good for show. The result of the attack was not that good.
Phoenix was crouching carefully on the ground. Beside her, the tall and mighty Monster was holding onto a huge circular shaped shield, which he held aloft, blocking off all the incoming arrows. His monkey had climbed up onto Phoenix’s arms. Occasionally, the wretched screams of soldiers could be heard coming from beside them. Phoenix only gave those screams a perfunctory glance before turning back.
She exhaled gently and raised her head to look at Monster. He silently gave a stiff smile at her.
“We have the advantage in terms of terrain. They are facing an uphill battle. Next, we’ll have a direct collision of forces.” Phoenix exhaled and said, “Later on, everyone must be careful.”
After the three volleys of arrows, the London soldiers remained standing firmly atop the hill, like a rock in face of waves of water.
Although there were occasional screams of misery, their formation was still intact.
When the Norman armies stopped shooting arrows, the London armies upon the hill began bellowing. They lowered their shields and hurled shouts of abuses at their enemy. They showed off how they were unaffected by the attack and mocked the enemy for their weak attack.
Some of the militia emerged from the shield wall formation and unbuckled their pants while standing upon the battlefield. They exposed their white buttocks and displayed them to the Norman armies.
Observing the towering shield wall, King William maintained a solemn expression. He brandished his sword and pointed it toward the shield wall on top of the hill.
“Who would break down that shield wall for me?”
At that moment, Tayloff had been thrilled to the extreme.
Who knows if it was due to the feelings of romanticism of his bard blood or if it was due to the royal aura exuding out from King William…
At any rate, Tayloff felt the blood in his body boiling feverishly. He wanted nothing more than to charge forward to give his all for the King that he had given his allegiance to!
The poor fellow did not know that the reason for this was because, during breakfast, he had taken two bowls of the broth spiked with Merlin’s ‘concoction’.
Tayloff felt a fire coursing through his entire body. It was as though there was an endless amount of strength coursing through him!
Hearing King William’s words, Tayloff roared out loudly and charged forward!
“My King, please allow this faithful servant of yours, Tayloff to split open a path to victory for you!”
At this point in time, Tayloff’s blood had gone up to his head. Looking at the distant shield wall formed by the London armies, he was seemingly unafraid in the slightest. Rather, he felt that it was a form of stepping stone for him to make contributions!
King William stared straight at Tayloff and spoke out in a majestic voice.
“My most courageous servant, Tayloff! I will grant you the honour to be the first to assault the enemy!”
The blood in Tayloff’s body gushed forth explosively!
He roared out and grabbed hold of a lance from one of the squires. Then, he raised it up high.
Tayloff charged out from within the ranks of the Norman armies. He single-handedly rode out toward the hills!
Chen Xiaolian was flabbergasted!
“This… what is he up to? A single medieval general going commando?”
“This is a traditional action.” Bei Tai who had some knowledge about military matters sighed.
The moment Tayloff rode out singlehandedly, a portion of the enemy shield wall was lowered and a warhorse galloped out. Seated atop the warhorse was a Knight wearing iron armour.
Clearly, this was a Knight Officer under Harold’s command.
This Knight Officer had a spear in one hand and King Harold’s banner in the other. He raised the banner up high, eliciting the cheers and cries from the soldiers.
Next, this knight threw the royal banner up to the sky. Then, he bent his body close to his horse and charged down the hill!
The two Knights charged out from their respective armies and formation as they urged their horses toward each other!
As a standard Knight from France, Tayloff had immediately lowered his body and held tightly onto his lance. The winds slipping through the holes of his visor were seemingly incapable of distracting him.
Tayloff’s eyes were staring intently at the incoming Knight! He felt as though the blood boiling within his body was about to explode out from his head!
Chen Xiaolian who was within the Norman armies watched as the two Knights made contact!
Tayloff dodged away from the enemy’s lance. At the same time, Tayloff’s lance slammed directly onto the other Knight’s chest!
The sharp lance had the momentum of the charging horse behind it and the poor Knight who had taken the strike from the lance was immediately thrown off!
The iron can flew out like a piece of paper. After flying some distance away, he landed with a crash.
A huge and bloody hole could be seen on his chest, the armour at that area had been punched through!
There was no need for Chen Xiaolian to investigate to know that the Knight had died.
Tayloff finally straightened his posture as he sat upon his horse.
He released a loud roar and tossed away the lance that had been deformed by the heavy impact from earlier. Then, he pulled out his knight sword and pointed it toward the sky.
The Norman armies burst into a thunderous cheer!
Tayloff violently pulled down his helmet and tossed it away. His hair billowed in the wind as he brandished his sword with all his might.
“Long live King William!!!”
Tayloff’s eyes were red and he shouted out a few times. Then, he suddenly turned his horse to charge toward the London armies situated above the hill – alone!
Chen Xiaolian was dumbstruck!
He thought that Tayloff was marching to his death!
What he did now know was that this was a tradition!
The Knight charging the formation!
The Knight who was left standing would have proven his courage. At the same time, his behaviour became a symbol of military courage among everyone!
Finally, he would charge toward the enemy formation. This was considered one of the highest forms of courage!
When that happened, the enemy could not use arrows to stop this solitary attack and kill off this charging Knight.
Otherwise, it would be considered as an act of cowardice! If the commander were to order the attack, his side’s morale would be greatly affected!
“Tayloff won! Odo, Robert! Charge!” King William shouted loudly.
Tayloff charged up the hill alone. As his warhorse galloped up the hill, his speed became noticeably slower. As for the armies from London, they remained standing above the hill as they silently watched the Knight advance toward them, charging toward their shield wall!
Nobody released any arrow at all!
It was as though everyone was silently waiting for that moment of glory to occur.
The Norman armies began making their move. Their infantry soldiers marched forward while the mounted soldiers spread out from the two flanks and rode forward.
In the vanguard position was Tayloff who rode alone. By now, he had arrived before the shield wall erected by the soldiers of London.
While he was quickly moving together with the main army, Chen Xiaolian kept his eyes upon Tayloff.
He watched as Tayloff’s warhorse slammed into the shield wall! Although the warhorse’s speed had been reduced due to its charge up the hill, the force behind it was still sufficient to knock the shield away!
Tayloff who was seated above the horse bravely rode forward. He brandished his sword vigorously as he savagely cut down two spears before him. He also unleashed a strike to cut open the head of a shield-wielding soldier!
However, two axes quickly cleaved over, cutting off the legs of his warhorse. The warhorse neighed as it fell and Tayloff fell off the horse!
At the same time, swords and spears stabbed forward from both left and right toward him…
That was the last time Chen Xiaolian saw Tayloff!
The shield that he knocked aside was quickly replaced by another and Tayloff was surrounded behind the shields…
That was the last cry from Tayloff.
A thunderous sound of footsteps rumbled out.
The Norman armies’ formation kept moving forward!
The infantry soldiers broke into a trot. Chen Xiaolian noted that King William’s brother, Robert was leading the charge!
The fellow urged his horse forward swiftly. Behind him were tens of mounted soldiers of the Norman armies.
They took the vanguard position and quickly rushed up the hill.
It was then that the London armies released their arrows.
The number of arrows shot out was sparse and seemingly small in number.
The sparse number of arrows was incapable of effectively blunting the advance of the Norman armies!
The soldiers began to roar!
The sound of the horns came more quickly.
“For the King!”
The vanguard team shouted out those words!
The great army suddenly accelerated its pace! A trot became an all-out run!
The teams of soldiers swept up the hill like waves.
Standing in face of this wave was the shield wall of the London armies!