Book 3, Chapter 71

Grit And Steel

Two hours had passed by the time Odom’s main cavalry finally caught sight of Richard. The camp had obviously been set up recently, the bonfires not yet lit. Both sides were already aware of the other’s position, and Richard’s troops had made camp slightly uphill as they finished their preparations.

When he saw the surprising discipline of Richard’s troops as well as their superior arms, the corner of Odom’s eye started twitching. His arrogance did not imply complacency; he naturally understood the situation in front of him. This battle would be harder than he had imagined.

Richard was surprised at the sight of Odom’s troops. “Weren’t there 2,000 men from Earl Layton in Twilight Castle?” he asked, “Why are there only 700.”

Kellac looked closely at the opposing troops, “They’re being led by Sir Odom, a powerful saint. It seems like he’s brought all his cavalry, plus two great mages and priests.”

Some of the huge bats were flying in the sky. It was strange to see bats in the daytime, but with all of his focus on the opponent Odom didn’t notice that they weren’t some kind of bird. One of the bats had already scouted the backup army from Sir Hogan. Even though the footsoldiers were moving quickly, they were still more than thirty kilometres from the battlefield.

“They want to try and beat me with just this many men?” Richard’s expression was strange.

Kellac had never seen Richard command a battle, but he was familiar with noble armies. He made a quick assessment of each side’s power, growing solemn, “Sir Richard, I fear this battle will not end well for us.”

Richard put on a faint smile, “Just you watch.”

Having said that, he pointed towards Odom before turning his palm towards the floor and gliding it across his throat.

All saints had powerful perception. Only a thousand metres away, Odom could clearly see Richard’s act of provocation. He let out two heavy huffs, cracking all of his joints. His crouched horse sensed its master’s anger and grew reckless, constantly kicking its steel hooves into the ground.

Odom took out an enormous three-headed flail from his saddle, raising it up high.

Thirty heavy cavalrymen, a hundred-strong elite cavalry, three hundred Golden Eagles and three hundred light cavalrymen all entered formation. The warhorses let out several hot breaths, their owner’s gripping tightly onto the weapons in their hands.

“KILL THEM ALL!” Odom finally bellowed. His own dark figure was swift as he led by example, several companies charging out behind him.

The ground started shaking. Seeing a few hundred armoured warriors rush towards them, even Kellac’s face changed.

The Demon Hunting Spears truly were elite warriors, but just as Odom had said they could not compare to the discipline and order of formal soldiers. Being farsighted and experienced, Kellac was well aware of this fact. The might of these charging soldiers could not be broken easily.

“Is Odom really level 16? It’s too far away, I can’t cast any detection spells,” Richard asked unexpectedly.

“He truly is a saint!” Kellac emphasised. The most powerful warrior on Richard’s side was only level 13.

“Merely a saint,” Richard responded, raising his staff and turning to face Kellac, “Don’t forget to cast War Construct on Gangdor later.”

The heavy cavalrymen had already converged into a current of steel, only a few hundred metres away from Richard’s troops. They laid their lances flat, charging at full speed.

A resounding warsong suddenly broke out amongst Richard’s troops, a melody of death, gold, and steel! This was a new song Olar had started using ever since he hit level 11, a grade higher than the original elven warsong.

The barbarian warriors at the front felt their blood boil. They roared a thunderous war-cry into the sky, forcefully slamming their heavy shields into the ground and supporting them with their shoulders. Those behind them placed heavy steel pikes into the ground, placing their shields over their heads before supporting those in front. This multiplied their resistance to the opponents’ attacks. Those all the way in the back lifted their spears through the shield wall, striking forth.

The humanoid drones clutched tightly at their axes, backs ramrod straight. These drones were built for battle, unfamiliar with fear itself.

Io slowly walked forward with a radiant smile, speaking in divine tongue what sounded like a gospel song. It was resonant and glorious, golden light flying forth with every wave of the staff in his hand. Every beam was enough to cover thirty to forty warriors, and in a flash the few hundred in the four front rows were buffed with enhanced willpower, strength, and divine armour.

This was the battle priest’s debut in battle. The imposing splendour and vigour left even Kellac, a former great priest of Faelor, in awe.

However, Richard was growing increasingly irritated with the fellow.

Fifty metres remaining…

Amongst those at the front of the charge, Odom felt his heart slowly sinking. The warsong and the spells made his heart tremble; compared to the clerics of the opponent, those behind him seemed to be complete idiots. They had spent half a day to bless the horses and men, but that had only come up to a single effect!

He himself only had three spells cast on him, comparable to an ordinary barbarian in the opposing camp. However, there were hundreds of barbarians on the other side.

Thirty metres remaining…

He suddenly felt the ground tremble harder than it already was. His peripheral vision caught a batch of heavily armoured soldiers charging out from the forest nearby, their speed making it clear that they were all level 9 at minimum. This was only a smidgen away from qualifying to become a knight, elites amongst elites. However, why were these men only footsoldiers? Even if they were heavy infantry, what kind of foolish commander would make footsoldiers of such powerful soldiers?

Odom could no longer restrain his anger. Outside of his cruelty and short temper, he was actually a skilled leader of troops. Be it his personal ability or his commandership, he was better than Hogan in every way. A single glance at the soldiers streaming out of the forest made his heart ache. At least they were decently equipped.

However, the very next moment he realised something was wrong. A sudden sense of danger surged in his heart, one that he could not suppress. These elite soldiers were mimicking his path. If the light cavalry in the back was cut off, it would be a disaster! All of his hair stood erect as he raised his three-headed flail, bellowing thunderously, “CHARGE!”

The only chance for them to survive now was to rush forward and chisel through Richard’s troops!

However, a powerful bolt of lightning suddenly fell upon him from the sky. Even with spell barriers protecting him, Odom was struck hard by the lightning. He seemed to exhaust most of his strength for it, but immediately shook it off and continued the charge. Most of the hair on his head and face was smoking now, an overwhelming dizziness almost knocking him off his horse.

Richard inched his own horse forward, raising the Twin of Destiny high above his head. The fallen angel wing seemed to curl up, the entire staff body bursting with light at the seams as it showcased the full might of a legendary weapon!

Boosted by the Twin of Destiny, the grade 6 lightning spell had almost knocked the unprepared Odom off his horse. A few bursts of static still lingered nearby, leaving Odom’s personal guard on the brink of collapse. This spell was nearly at grade 7 strength, and was enhanced by a chain lightning effect.

Richard decided that he would be the star of this battle, spurring his horse on as he raced back and forth. His staff was twirling constantly, several flashes of lightning raining down from the sky in a vicious attack on Odom’s troops. His might was truly frightening.

Still, despite his face being charred, Odom gritted his teeth and dashed through the last ten metres without falling off his horse. His energy even spread out to protect those closest to him, putting the might of a saint on full display.

Richard’s face turned gloomy… Not managing to knock Odom off his horse meant not managing to snatch the glory from Io. The battle priest was far too prominent, but he had already used Blaze. Any further and he would need to rely on Outburst from Flowsand, but that was not a wise choice in the current situation.

Richard knew he was losing his calm. The lightning spells weren’t the most appropriate choice earlier; that would have been Nature’s Beckon. A bunch of direbears amidst the heavy cavalry would destroy the enemy formation, cutting their power down to a third.

The last five metres!

Odom bellowed once more, the flail in the air finally landing on the shield wall. The three heads shattered the shields of three barbarians, wood and steel shattering as the large bodies of the barbarians flew into the sky. Blood spurted everywhere from their caved-in chests.

The flail was knocked back so hard that Odom’s horse neighed loudly and slowed down. Gangdor— fortified by numerous magic and divine spells— immediately charged out of the formation as he shot towards Odom like a meteor!

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA