The general seemed extremely distressed to report the serious losses in terms of their mounts. Over forty of the heavy cavalry’s horses had been snatched, with a lot more dead or gravely injured. An initial headcount left them with only a hundred horses, with less than ten that could carry the heavy knights.
“WHAT?!” Viscount Zim shrieked, turning pale as if he was about to faint at any moment, “Only ten of my adorable, expensive horses are left? What’s going on?!”
Every heavy cavalier of the Viscount’s army had two elite warhorses assigned to them, the single greatest cost of building the heavy cavalry in the first place. If only ten such horses were remaining, that was a loss of tens of thousands of coins! How could he not feel heartbreak?
The general hung his head down low, not saying a word. He hadn’t said something: the enemy’s true goal with this ambush was likely the stable itself, not the Viscount. However, if he said this he knew the arrogant Highland Unicorn wouldn’t stand it. In order to wash off the disgrace, he would order the army to advance to a battle to the death with the people who had humiliated him.
The general knew Zim quite well. This information would lead the Viscount to strip him of command, leaving a bleak fate for the army. Richard’s forces had shown ferocity and tactical brilliance with this nightly attack, passing through them like a breeze to break them in a single strike. They dealt a heavy blow and fled into the distance, not wishing to fight further. The general wouldn’t dare underestimate an enemy like this, even if their numbers were less than half of the Viscount’s own. If Zim were to take command…
The general was already prepared to suffer through the tongue-lashing. Once the Viscount tired out, he would go to sleep. Everything would be forgotten the next day, and Zim would follow his suggestions. In the end, those warhorses and soldiers were only a loss of gold. That was the one thing the Viscount lacked the least, although he still felt his heart ache at the loss of even a few hundred coins.
However, once the storm passed the captain of the Viscount’s personal guard entered the camp. Seeing him, the general immediately turned grim. This fellow was tall, bold, and magnificent, but his level 10 strength was only so-so. The only reason he had the position of guard captain was that he was the Viscount’s cousin, and specialised in sucking up to the Viscount and tattling on others.
As expected, the first sentence from him was, “My Lord, the main target of the enemy’s ambush seems to have been our warhorses.”
The general felt things go dark in front of him.
“What did you say?!” Zim immediately shrieked, “In the eyes of those country bumpkins, I, with my incomparably noble blood and high status, don’t even match up to a group of BEASTS?!”
The captain looked pained, “It seems so, my Lord.”
“Those wretched bumpkins! Plebeians smelling of horse shit! I’ll definitely capture them myself, and cane every one for ten days before hanging them on display at my castle gates! I want everyone to see clearly the consequences of belittling and humiliating me! Tomorrow morning, the army is to move at full speed. I’ll destroy those peasants at their own dirt wall!”
Richard camped a mere ten kilometres away from Zim, an audacious move. However, given the upper hand they acquired that night, he had no fear of the Viscount pursuing them right away.
Marching in the night required one to be familiar with the terrain. Besides, even if Zim really could pursue then ten kilometres was far enough to expend half the stamina of the troops. What lay in wait then would be another ambush. The Bloodstained Lands were a place Richard was extremely familiar with, and he had many eyes in the form of wind wolves prowling in the night.
Richard stood on an elevation in the base, surveying the trickle of troops still returning to base. The night wind felt cool and comfortable, giving him the urge to cry out. He had grown used to controlling the battlefield, and was now extremely fond of having every detail within his grasp. Every engagement gave him more and more advantages, allowing him to defeat the enemy completely in a single move.
This was a feeling of control. It came from his blessings of truth and wisdom, but more importantly it came from influence.
The darkness behind him split in two, revealing Phaser’s silhouette. The girl’s aura had strengthened quite a bit, enough even to surprise him. A quick detection spell told him she had already reached level 3! The spoils of war may have been great that night, but it still shouldn’t have allowed her to advance so quickly.
Phaser was currently full of energy, able to use all her abilities. At level 3, she could fight head to head against level 6 warriors, and if the conditions were right— such as in the night or with a sneak attack— even level 10 warriors could die at her hand.
However, he still felt a slight aching feeling all over, as if he was being pierced by needles. This was the astute perception of his elven blood, indicating that this girl had the ability to pose a threat to him. This left him feeling confused; he was a level 11 mage, able to instantly cast a grade 3 shield that could withstand any attack from melee level 3 fighter. It also greatly reduced the damage from anyone level 10 or below. Despite all that, Phaser was still a threat?
He pondered the issue quietly, feeling that Phaser’s battle might did not quite match up with the broodmother’s description of her.
Right at this moment, the darkness began to flicker again, and Waterflower appeared at Richard’s other side. Her hands were on her blade the moment she appeared, a cold gaze levelled in Phaser’s direction.
Phaser seemed slightly startled, immediately retreating into the darkness. “Waterflower!” Richard scolded, “Don’t scare her!”
The young lady hummed, not saying a word as she disappeared into the night. Phaser didn’t slow her footsteps either, completely disappearing from his line of sight. Although the two had disappeared from sight, Richard could still use their soul links to identify them. The two had spread thirty metres apart with him at the centre, standing on each side. The three of them formed a straight line.
Richard had no idea what this situation was, but Waterflower had always stingy with her words, and there were even little changes in her expression. That hurried gaze he’d had on her just now did not allow him to discern anything from her face.
It was at this point that Flowsand walked over from the distance, seeming not to notice the strange atmosphere as she started reporting about the results of the ambush.
Given his two gifts, these numbers were already known to Richard. Still, he preferred that Flowsand verify them. The casualties and resulting change in power were left in her hands as well.
“Zim lost 150 men, with more than half his horses killed or injured. Only about a hundred of his horses are usable, while we obtained forty elite horses which can work as mounts for heavy cavalry. On our side, we sustained fifteen injuries and lost two desert warriors.”
These results could be called exemplary, but Richard had already experienced countless battles. This ambush to him was just more of the same, only the beginning of a longer war.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Ying
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA