Book 2, Chapter 27

A Sudden Attack

Richard spread out a map on the table, pointing to a small town, “This is Joven, the target of our attack.”

Unlike Osfa, Joven was quite large and prosperous. It connected many towns in the mountains to the Baron’s castle, making it a hub for materials like wood, ore, and hide. The town’s position also made it a supply point for adventurers that many preferred to Osfa.

With a total of more than 500 families and 2000 citizens, the town had many shops. Adventurers could easily find the supplies they needed here, with everything from blacksmiths to goldsmiths. The only building missing was a church, but the only one in the barony was in its capital.

That was one grand building, built to prove Baron Forza’s devotion. It was as expensive to build and maintain churches as they were big, however, so the baron wouldn’t be able to afford a second in his territory.

Joven was also Sir Kojo’s fief. He normally lived in a large estate outside the town, with a training camp for his soldiers being nearby. The thirty-odd elite warriors under his command were normally stationed in that camp.

However, that camp was now deserted, with the only ones there now being a few of his younger retainers. All of the warriors had followed their lord on an expedition to kill the invaders, but none had returned.

As a result, the knight’s manor had been packed densely these past few days. There were a lot of guards, with frenetic, lost people all over. These guards had only been training for a short while, not even considered normal soldiers. However, with the loss of their elites they had no choice but to call on the militia from the farmlands to make up for the guard posts.

The few escapees from the second battle had returned a few days ago, bringing news of their loss. The bad news had spread like wildfire in a drought-ridden grassland, spreading quickly across the entire barony. Even Menta and Hubert had been killed, so the fate of their expedition was obvious.

Nobody could predict when the demons from another plane would appear, so some of the branch families had already started packing, prepared to flee. Their actions were a result of excess panic, however; most were calm. They weren’t all that far from the capital, and the baron’s troops were still there. The Church of Valour wouldn’t ignore these intruders either, and Baron Forza still had Earl Jayleon backing him, one of the three earls of the duchy. Thus, despite the panic and disturbance the people of Joven would be able to survive another night.

Joven was about forty kilometres away from the mountain range. Since there were many mercenaries and adventurers moving through the cities, and with the occasional rebellion from those in the mountains, there was a wall surrounding the town. Kojo’s estate had its own defences as well.

A fast shadow appeared before Joven as night fell, quietly circling the town before vaulting over the three-metre-tall walls without issue. It quickly appeared once more at Kojo’s estate, wandering around and examining the terrain and defences under the cover of the night. The militia on the arrow towers didn’t even notice the new presence, letting the intruder examine key areas before leaving in the dark.

One hour later, a sizeable troop quietly appeared on the outskirts of the town. Richard looked into the distance through the darkness of the night, faintly able to see Joven’s outline. He waited patiently, and Olar soon emerged from the darkness to whisper, “There’s about fifty militia in Joven, Master, weak and poorly armed. However, there are many adventurers in the town with a small mercenary troop that total another fifty as well. Those people are far better than the militia. I felt like some of them were over level 6, but I didn’t dare approach them.

“There were many men at Kojo’s manor, but they’re just the militia. However, the training camp isn’t far away, with almost thirty retainers there and an equal number of hired help. If needed, they’d be able to form a troop themselves.

“What about the warhorses?” Richard voiced his main concern.

“The warhorses are concentrated around the estate and the training camp, about twenty in each with all of excellent quality.”

Richard was quite satisfied with that information. He confirmed things with the map once more, before pointing at the prisoners they’d brought along, “They were good at leading the way, give them some weapons!”

Medium Rare took a sack of weapons and shields off his back, passing them to five of the captive warriors. Everyone was given a sword and a small, round wooden shield.

These five warriors had been born commoners, with little loyalty to their lord. Under the threat of death, they chose to serve. Their head was familiar with the lay of the land, which was why Richard’s forces had managed to make it to the outskirts of Joven undetected.

Richard had only brought along three of his knights this time, armed with shield and axe. The remaining four had been left at the base, tasked with guarding the prisoners who refused to capitulate. Everyone else had followed him into the attack.

“The estate first!” The troop went under the cover of the darkness once more under Richard’s orders, prowling towards Kojo’s manor. Between the many contrasting silhouettes were the profiles of three oddly shaped beasts.

The main entrance to Kojo’s manor was tightly sealed, with only a small area before it lit up by some lamps. There was an archer in each of the two towers guarding the gate, behind the cover of the walls to scan through the darkness regularly. Although it was early into the summer, it was extremely cold that night. The wind was especially strong so far high, making the two soldiers stationed there suffer.

One of them was already curled up, his worn-out armour was like a steel plate that was immersed in water. He was cursing at the weather under his breath, but just as he wanted to start moving he heard an extremely soft noise.

The sentry immediately stood up, on his guard as he looked over the wall. However, Richard had already entered the tower like a ghost, covering his mouth with one hand as he sent a dagger through the man’s back. The sentry struggled and twitched for a while, but soon grew motionless. On the other side, Olar had struck the archer down like a shadow, having him collapse immediately.

Seeing that Olar had already defeated the other guard, Richard conveniently cast an elementary magic flame. It was extremely striking in the darkness, prompting many murderous silhouettes to rush out of the darkness as they pounced upon the manor. Olar leapt in as well, watching Waterflower break the lock with the Shepherd of Eternal Rest and use her strength to slowly pry the heavy doors apart.

The patrolling militia discovered the gates opening, but by then it was too late. Warning whistles, screams, and alarms rang out, and the entire manor delved into chaos!

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: YT

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA