Book 3, Chapter 152

Showdown

Gangdor stopped in the middle of his blustering, realising that a fight with a Faelor saint could end either way. His epic axe could drink the blood of the enemy, but the same held true either way. Although he liked boasting, he wasn’t one to shoot his own mouth off.

Richard couldn’t help but laugh, “The only one of us who can destroy a saint alone is Waterflower. You’re still not that powerful.”

Gangdor scratched his head in embarrassment, “Am I… Am I in too much of a hurry to prove myself?”

Richard just shook his head, “You’re not even in the same conversation when it comes to runes. This… how do I put it… You can’t make up for it yet. The Guide of Secrets is my best accomplishment to date, but it’s a seven rune set. You don’t have so many positions on your body, and your carrying capacity isn’t comparable to hers.”

“Then forget it,” the brute replied resentfully, “Hmph! Bullying a little girl isn’t so great anyway. I’ll fight you next time, Tiramisu!”

“Deal!” The ogre laughed, “I’ll fight you when I get my second head. Don’t worry, it won’t be long!”

Gangdor was dumbstruck for a while, and all that followed was a curse, “Damn you!”

“Alright, get serious! All of you will be in charge of your own planes in the future, so take the opportunity to learn to lead. Why am I letting them go?” Richard pointed at the 3,000 men in the distance, “That fish is too small!”

Richard was on the constant retreat over the next few days, seemingly afraid of the powerful vanguard of the alliance. However, this meant Jack’s troops didn’t get any glamorous fights. Although Richard’s army had quite a few footsoldiers, their speed left the grand mage flabbergasted. No matter what methods they thought up, the Mage Association’s troops just couldn’t catch up to his forces.

The only plausible way was to have the cavalry break away from the main army and strike alone.

However, this proposal immediately caused a dispute amongst those in charge. The lieutenant of the royal knights was firm in his decision not to divide the troops, bringing up countless instances where Richard had punished such stupidity. He argued that it was all a scheme to divide their army so Richard could dance around them.

On the other hand, Jack coldly threw a stack of papers in the lieutenant’s face, “We have 7,000 cavalrymen, and Richard has less than 6,000 soldiers combined in his main army. Do you really think 7000 men and 2,000 royal knights won’t be able to beat 6,000 footsoldiers? Even a fool can see our absolute advantage in forces. You’re saying you can’t even win this, was your brain eaten by pigs?”

The lieutenant was level 17, and the humiliation turned his resolute face red and then purple. He suppressed his fury as best he could, but his voice still held an uncontrollable tremble within it, “The problem isn’t the ratio of forces, it’s the likelihood of a trap. Richard is definitely hoping for us to split up our forces.”

“Fine, then tell me this. Where is his trap?” Jack questioned overbearingly.

“Richard wants to split our army apart, focusing his most powerful troops to surround and annihilate our cavalry.”

Jack laughed in an exaggerated manner, “Do you really think he is some god of war? Take a look before saying anything else!”

The lieutenant picked up the papers Jack had thrown over, scanning through it. Listed out on it was Richard’s current military situation in an extremely detailed manner, the only exclusions being the recent set of humanoid knights from the broodmother who hadn’t shown up in Bluewater at all. After the army came information about basically all of Richard’s followers, including name, class, and level. Then there were the mages and clerics, but with their individual levels not being amazing the only detail was the number at each level.

Based on this alone, Richard really wasn’t much to fear. The only powerhouse worth looking at was Rolf, but this was a familiar name within the Sequoia Kingdom that was acknowledged to be rather weak for a saint. Viscount Zim and Countess Katrina would be a little more troubling, but that was only because of their status. They just had to be left alive.

Richard’s soldiers had all been slaves only a few months ago. How much power could a slave army even have?

“Do you see it, my saint vice-general? Are your 7,000 cavalrymen and 2,000 royal knights not enough to deal with 5,000 former slaves? I really wonder how you became a saint. Is it that you fellows are only heroes on the stomachs of your women, that you don’t even dare to square up for a fight against slaves?” Jack’s words were scathing.

The lieutenant’s entire face twitched; he had no idea how he managed to endure the urge to punch Jack’s face. He didn’t actually know how ambitious Jack was. The grand mage’s primary desire was to show off in this battle, changing his red robes to dark gold.

He had paid an enormous price to get the position of general of the allied armies. It wasn’t just a formality; as long as he won, Leon promised to make him vice-chairman after wresting control from Theodore.

The lieutenant’s hands trembled in speechlessness. There truly was no way to lose given the information on this piece of paper, but if battles were won based on numbers alone even a pig could be a general. However, he knew exactly why he was participating in this war in his ‘own’ capacity. He could ignore Jack, but given such an obvious advantage in strength he couldn’t explain himself to his true master if he still refused to send out the troops.

Jack pulled out a map and marked down a part of it, “I’ve made the calculations. As long as we mobilise the entire cavalry, we’ll be able to catch up to Richard’s main forces in this region. The land is flat for a dozen kilometres in all directions, so even if he plans to ambush us we will have a minimum of three hours to react. Is that not enough for you to wipe out 5,000 slaves?”

The lieutenant could not refute, but his instincts kept yelling that things would not be so simple. How could Richard be able to defeat Salwyn with fewer troops if he didn’t have his ways? This was SALWYN! The Prince would be able to crush the Mage Association before they even knew what was going on!

Jack jabbed at the map, “That’s it! Gather all the cavalry, we pursue at full force! Eliminate Richard’s main forces at the Sunset Plains; even if he sets up an ambush, we can destroy his main army and gobble up the rest. That should teach him!”

The nobles present in the meeting all cheered and parroted the grand mage’s decision. The course had been set.

……

The very next day, the allied army gathered all 7,000 cavalrymen and began to pursue Richard’s troops in full force. However, the first contact wasn’t as simple as imagined. It took them a full day’s chase to close a gap of a few dozen kilometres, and by the time they were anywhere close it was already night. After an entire day’s charge, the allied soldiers were all out of stamina. Although Jack was anxious for a fight, he still had to rest and just send a squad of scouts to keep track of Richard’s men.

What Jack couldn’t see was a few battalions moving to surround them in the night. These men arrived at predetermined locations and set up camp to rest, while the main forces moved a dozen kilometres away and began to recuperate as well.

Looking from a bird’s eye view, one could see that Richard’s flanks were like sharp spears pointed at the Sunset Plains. This battlefield hadn’t been Jack’s choice to make.

……

The seventh day of the second month of summer was fated to be the most important in the Sequoia Kingdom’s history. The Mage Association’s soldiers finally caught up to Richard’s army at the Sunset Plains, and he finally gave up on running and organised his men to fight despite the numerical disadvantage.

A thousand metres away, Jack couldn’t help but lick his dry lips in excitement, telling the lieutenant, “Attack! Take this chance to defeat them!”

Although he hated the grand mage, the lieutenant had no choice but to go all out. He waved his hand and a thousand royal knights broke out of the army, slowly charging towards Richard’s front line.

Richard smiled from atop his unicorn, “They’re actually using their most powerful elites from the start. Looks like this fight will be easier than I expected.”

The distance was quickly reduced to a mere 300 metres. These 1,000 knights were all elites above level 7, the lances in their hands seven metres long and a hundred kilograms in weight. A full-power attack from these weapons could poke a hole through heavy infantry with tower shields!

However, when they approached the 100-metre point, Richard’s heavy infantry suddenly scattered. A few hundred light infantrymen charged to the front and half-knelt on the ground, pointing strange weapons with bowl-sized muzzles at the incoming charge.

“Dwarven muskets! Why are there so many?!” Jack’s pupils shrank, but as well-read as he was he immediately shook his head, “It’s fine, guns aren’t strong enough to break through the armour of the royal knights.”

However, the lieutenant did not think the same. The moment he saw hundreds of guns, his expression darkened. He immediately rushed to the front lines and yelled at the top of his lungs, having the second wave of knights rush out.

Hundreds of explosions rang out at the same time, spewing smoke and fire everywhere. Only a few dozen royal knights were shot off their horses, but the loud rumble startled all their warhorses.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Pei

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA