Book 3, Chapter 96

Surprise Attack

For the three churches to have rushed over without trying to figure out the nature and origin of the Eternal Dragon, they were clearly in dire straits. Beggars could not be choosers.

Still, this was help that basically fell from the sky; Richard welcomed it with open arms. Although the clerics they could send over weren’t too powerful at support, they could still cast lesser healing spells.

The Direwolf Duke was his first wedge into this plane, and these goddesses could be counted as the second. Those like Rolf and Kellac who were now bound to the dragon or others like Devon who were in strong alliances with him were the third, a category that was now bolstered by all the nobles participating in the Bloodstained Highway project. As long as he didn’t make any big mistakes, Richard was sure few powers in Faelor were capable of driving him out.

Richard thus watched on with a smile as Faylen and Flowsand talked. In his eyes, these three priests were growing cuter and cuter; in order to promote the alliance, they had even brought a batch of precious materials as well as dozens of clerics and hundreds of paladins. At his request, the three priests even agreed to hand over complete command of their troops.

All they had obtained in return for such a large price was a non-exclusive right to preach on Richard’s lands. Richard’s gains far overwhelmed any potential costs.

However, as someone who came from Norland he did not understand that faith was the foundation of everything in Faelor. In the hundreds of millennia since the plane had been born, the various gods had fought without rest. Even gods of the same faction sabotaged each other. As time crawled on slowly, countless new gods had risen up even as hordes of old gods fell. Thus, cultivating faith was the most important goal of the three churches.

Richard had originally been seated peacefully, listening to the priests chatting, but his expression suddenly changed. He stood up with an ashen face, causing the priests to look at him in surprise.

He took a deep breath, suppressing his agitation as best as he could to try and maintain a calm tone, “Distinguished priests, I am overjoyed that we have reached an agreement on the alliance. Unfortunately, I am afraid the time when I call upon your strengths has come much earlier than I expected. Enemies have already appeared outside the city; war is upon us. The battle will begin in half an hour at most!”

“What?!” Faylen was shocked, “Enemies? Who?”

“The Iron Triangle Empire. Esteemed priests, if you are willing to stand by me from this day forth, then hand me your clerics and paladins; give me full control. There is still some time to leave if you are unwilling to participate in this battle, but there isn’t much.”

Faylen’s face immediately shifted through a myriad of expressions. She hesitated for a moment, but eventually she clenched her teeth, “Alright! We will join the battle, you have our men!”

Her decisiveness surprised Richard a little, but he immediately smiled, “You have my gratitude. I guarantee you will not regret this decision!” 

Having said that, he quickly left the meeting room. Flowsand led the three priests towards the barracks, beginning to organise all the new clerics. The priests themselves were acceptable at best, and their clerics were far too weak. They could only be put to some use if they were grouped properly. Flowsand and Richard knew each other well; when she saw him lose his calm so obviously, she knew this would be a tough battle.

……

Richard had already started issuing telepathic commands even while asking the priests if they would join the battle. The atmosphere in the camp was boiling by the time he left his residence, soldiers quickly donning armour as they constantly streamed out of their tents and assembled on the field.

The soldiers had all been resting, but they had been given a sudden command to prepare for war in five minutes. That wasn’t even enough time for a knight to wear his armour! Still, Richard’s authority had been drilled into them; regardless of whether they would be able to make it these soldiers started moving the moment they got the order. The entire camp was thrown into chaos in an instant, the knights looking for their squires while the squires were searching for the horses.

However, some teams had formed a neat formation on the field within a mere two minutes. These were Richard’s humanoid warriors, their reaction speed unparalleled.

Olar rushed over to him the moment he stepped out of the courtyard, shouting from afar, “What is it, my Lord? Who’s coming, and how many?”

Richard’s expression grew ugly. “The Iron Triangle Empire! They’re less than ten kilometres away, with at least 30,000 men! Inform Rolf and the others right away, mobilise every soldier you can! No matter what, we need to stop them outside the city!”

“30,000!” Olar was shocked. He didn’t dare disobey, immediately spurring his horse on and charging into the depths of the city. It was only a few minutes before the city-wide alarm rang out, the rhythmless mourn of the bells spreading throughout Bluewater!

A moment later, the entire oasis city had erupted. By this time, one could already see red smoke on the horizon. The earth had begun rumbling lightly as countless ironclad knights charged out of the cloud of smoke, rushing towards the oasis. Behind this grey current was a seemingly endless formation of infantry.

It was only then that this large army started raising its banners one by one. If one understood the hierarchy of the Iron Triangle Army, they could tell that this was two legions of knights alongside two entire divisions of infantry!

A few huge bats flew out from Bluewater, circling above the encroaching army; they occasionally clashed with the bald eagles native to the Bloodstained Lands.

Tens of thousands of footsoldiers marched forward at an unbelievable speed, accompanied by elite knights that escorted a few luxurious carriages. This was Salwyn’s command carriage; the Prince was currently atop the carriage roof, observing Bluewater Oasis through a pair of binoculars. He watched as his army rushed towards Bluewater like a group of wolves and tigers, unable to hide his confident smile.

He handed the binoculars to a beautiful assistant, “The enemy is already a mess. It seems like they did not anticipate my arrival at all.”

There were more than ten generals on either side of the carriage, one of whom immediately showered Salwyn with compliments, “Your Highness deploys troops like a god! This time, you will definitely capture that Richard fellow!”

Salwyn suddenly shook his head, “It might not be that easy. Don’t get too careless.”

The group of generals all disagreed, feeling like he was being overly cautious. This was a rare sight from the prince.

For the sake of this sudden decision to strike at Bluewater directly, the army had travelled day and night. They wiped out anyone who could leak information along the way, appearing right outside the oasis within a mere two days!

Although the soldiers were already exhausted, Bluewater was a place where many powers gathered. There was originally no city wall, with the current one only set up temporarily after the catastrophe that was Sinclair swept through the Bloodstained Lands. 30,000 elites were facing off against ten thousand men that Richard had cobbled together from various places; if they still couldn’t win, these generals felt like they might as well go commit suicide.

Salwyn truly had been unpredictable. Richard had not expected him to refuse the wait, actually rushing hundreds of kilometres to catch him unprepared!

Outside of lunatics like Sinclair, few would attack political minefields like Bluewater. However, this advantage now posed a hidden danger; although most of the forces in the city were already allied to Richard, he was left with no choice but to guard against those who would take advantage of his predicament.

The Goddess of Luck still favoured Richard; if not for a bat discovering Salwyn’s army on its patrol, he might only have discovered the attack once the enemy was at his gates. The retreat from Flintstone Forest had only been a diversion created to fool him!

One of Salwyn’s generals suddenly pointed up at the sky, “Your Highness, those things are actually bats! How could there be bats flying around in the day?”

Salwyn looked at the sky through his binoculars for a moment, “Indeed! Those aren’t ordinary bats, most likely a mage’s familiars. However, this number… No matter, knock them down for me! The death of one’s familiars will deal a heavy blow to the mage.”

Two of the generals took off the huge bows that hung on their horses, bursting forth with saint-level energy as they sent sharp arrows flying into the sky! The bats fell down one after the other, only the largest of the lot reacting quickly enough to fly up and avoid certain death. That bat continued to climb higher, eventually reaching a kilometre up in the sky. Not even a tracking arrow could threaten it anymore, but in exchange it didn’t have too clear a view of the battlefield either.

Some guards collected the fallen bodies and delivered them to Salwyn. The prince checked them repeatedly, but he could not discover anything.

……

Bluewater City was completely chaotic. Countless people were running around everywhere, the roads filled with carriages. People were constantly receiving the news and trying to escape from the oasis city. Although there would be nothing to protect them in the Bloodstained Lands, the vast and complicated terrain was a defence unto itself. Once they escaped, even an army that was 100,000 strong would not be able to find them.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Pei

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA