Book 3, Chapter 140

Hunt

Most nobles revered martial skill, especially amongst their youth. A large number of the youngsters present met the level requirement, something Richard hadn’t actually expected. That last condition was thus used to limit the number of those in attendance to the children of powerful families or those who were first in line for a fiefdom. Most others would only be considered knights in training until they attained that position.

The only one in the group who didn’t meet all of the requirements was Viscount Zim. His level 6 strength was nothing amongst them, but with a saint as a guardian he was far beyond the rest anyway.

Every noble present had excellent equipment, with at least two pieces of superior-grade equipment. Thus, although their numbers were lacking, they would have no problem facing off against an enemy several times their size. Outside of their weapons and armour, even their mounts were varied and powerful. They ranged from armoured warhorses and magic deer to firestep oxen and even a black scaled tiger. These unique creatures were an important factor in the nobles’ battle might, the tiger in particular so imposing that no others dared to get close.

However, when Richard appeared atop a unicorn, all these nobles who had never seen a divine beast before were left staring with their eyes as big as saucers. A unicorn was a sacred beast rarer than dragons!

Richard surveyed these nobles once and raised his voice, “We have two objectives on this hunt. One is to eliminate that wretched caravan, while the other is to remove any potential thorn from the Iron Triangle Empire in our path.

“If you wish to fight alongside me, you only need to do one thing. Do you see that fellow?” he pointed at a knight in crimson armour who dismounted and stepped out of the ranks. This was an elite humanoid knight, expression as blank as any other drone’s, “All you have to do is follow him. If he doesn’t move, you won’t move. If he charges somewhere, you’ll follow him in the attack. That is all.”

“Lord Richard!” a youthful voice rang out, “How big is the army you are planning to bring? Let us level those bastards!”

“300.” Richard’s answer left the battle cry stuck in the noble’s throat.

Having said all this, Richard spurred on his mount and galloped towards the outskirts of Bluewater. The nobles followed behind him, but they were starting to have misgivings about his power. He wanted to eliminate a 1,500-man caravan and multiple Iron Triangle strongholds with just three hundred men? This was madness! However, there was no turning back. Even if it was for their honour as nobles, they could not withdraw.

The cavalry had been waiting outside the city for a long time. The nobles of the Sequoia Kingdom had long since been exposed to Richard’s elites, but when they saw these knights they all gasped! All 300 were armed with enchanted equipment, glimmering with magic light from head to toe. Did every one of these soldiers have superior-grade magic equipment?

Many eyes immediately fixated on the weapons of the knights. These soldiers all wielded long halberds, a class of weapon that rarely appeared because of how difficult it was to control. Every halberd was flickering with magic light; they were all superior-grade!

The cavalry spurred on their horses the moment they saw Richard, joining behind his followers. Seeing them pass by one after the other, many nobles with keen senses suddenly shivered; these soldiers had no trace of vitality at all!

Only after they had passed did the crimson-armoured knight spur on his own horse, following the group. The young nobles immediately urged on their mounts, forming a clamorous army.

None of them had expected the first stretch of the journey to last an entire day. By the time it was night, the army was already 500 kilometres away from Bluewater! When Richard finally reined in his unicorn and ordered them to rest, the young nobles all fell off their horses. Many simply lay on the ground, unwilling to even move a finger. They might have had great strength, but their endurance could not match up to that of Richard and his followers. Of course, they couldn’t compare to the purpose-built battle drones of the broodmother either.

Richard wandered randomly amongst the nobles who were all over the place, “You have two hours to rest and prepare for battle. The enemy camp is ten kilometres away.”

“What?” “We’re going to fight?”

The noble youths all wailed and caused a ruckus, many just staying on the ground and calling for their guards to massage their feet. Only a few propped themselves up, preparing for battle. Most of the latter group had been a part of the Bloodstained Highway project, with Zim being the leader in terms of enthusiasm, “Which enemy?!”

“Earl Lambert’s caravan,” Richard answered.

“Great, let’s wipe them out!” Zim was extremely excited, on the verge of jumping up and down. The youths who couldn’t even stand exchanged glances, a unanimous glare settling on the plump viscount. This fellow had been on the verge of death after only the first hundred kilometres of the journey, after which he shifted on to Tammy’s shoulders for the rest. However, because of his status, none of the others dared to say anything.

The two hours of wait were only enough for them to catch their breath. The knights only got off their horses and sat on the ground, getting some food and water to eat silently. Their food was quite simple, just large pieces of dried meat that was washed down with the water. Watching the kilograms of meat disappear down the knights’ throats, the noble youths looked disturbed.

……

Two hours later, Earl Lambert’s camp. It was silent amongst the caravan, most of the guards in dreamland. About 300 were on a nightly vigil, however, with even those who were asleep ready to fight if needed. Weapons were placed at an arm’s reach.

One of the sentinels suddenly felt the earth shaking slightly under his feet, the vibrations growing stronger with time. A row of dark figures appeared on the horizon, rapidly drawing closer to the camp.

“Cavalry attack!” a mournful cry rang through the night sky, but it quickly went silent. A halberd flew past the sentinel’s head, taking it off in one stroke!

Every knight was like a moving fortress, breaking down the rudimentary fence before charging straight to the centre of the camp. The cavalry then regrouped and charged in formation, killing as they pleased. The radiance from layers of magic and divine spells alone turned them into harvesters of life, the counterattack not able to even break through the enchanted armour.

One humanoid knight was suddenly sent flying back with his mount, an extremely powerful aura flaring up from the centre of the caravan where he had been headed. This caravan actually contained a saint hidden within!

The young nobles who were watching were rattled by the sight save for Zim, whose own bodyguard allowed him to remain confident.

However, just as the rays of energy started to sparkle in the night sky, the figures of Richard and his followers encircled the enemy saint. A bolt of lightning fell from the sky, clashing with the shining energy. What followed was a bombardment of explosive magic and divine spells, completely drowning out any energy the enemy tried to emit.

Richard and his followers then separated in all directions, continuing to kill all who dared to resist. A tall figure started swaying in the remains of the battlefield, collapsing with a thud.

Even Zim, who had experienced the meat grinder at Bluewater, couldn’t believe his own eyes. How was a saint killed so easily? How long had that battle taken, even a minute? Zim glanced at Tammy next to him, starting to think that this guard wasn’t as reliable as he had believed.

The battle ended very quickly. Those who didn’t know anything about tactics were still immersed in the terror of how Richard and his followers had encircled and killed the saint in an instant, while those who did were even more shocked by the knights. These soldiers were war machines, simple movements effective in maximising their equipment advantage. One could only feel despair in the face of such warriors.

An opponent of a similar level would have to muster all their strength into a head-on attack to even breach these knights’ armour. However, a single slash of the halberds would cut open anyone in one blow. Just a few dozen such soldiers would be terrifying enough, but there were 300! This was not a force that could be obstructed by even five times their number.

Not one of the knights died in battle; Richard’s extravagant clergy ensured that even a suicidal warrior wouldn’t have his wish fulfilled. The caravan’s guard was completely wiped out, the men either dead or imprisoned. All of the goods fell into Richard’s possession.

The young nobles and their guards were completely unharmed. They watched the entire battle from a thousand metres away, seeing Richard lead a massacre against several times his own number. They knew he was a stickler for military discipline; without the elite knight moving, these nobles didn’t dare to so much as twitch. Of course, there were some who didn’t possess that absolute obedience, but they were stopped by those who had participated in the Bloodstained Highway project. Although they hadn’t been there to see it personally, they had heard of the terrifying punch with which Richard had confirmed his position as general.

The next morning, Richard handed the caravan’s supplies to an army that had been rushed over from the Cracked Canyon before continuing northeast. They rushed a distance of 300 kilometres in one day, eliminating an Iron Triangle camp with 500 guards without rest. All of that camp’s guards had died in battle.

Spending most of the night resting, the army then charged another hundred kilometres and annihilated a 400-guard camp just before dawn. The troops then slowed down, heading for another slave camp…

Nine camps had been levelled in seven days, all along the borders of the Iron Triangle Empire and the Bloodstained Lands. 4,000 enemies had been killed, wiping out the Empire’s presence in the Bloodstained Lands.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA