Book 4, Chapter 91

Ascending The Hill

“The Josephs…” Richard smiled to himself, suddenly turning a little, “Raymond was your fiance?”

“Yes,” Rosie stated from behind him.

“Alright. Stay behind and don’t let him see you, it’ll affect his judgement.”

Rosie was extremely surprised by this, “Master, Raymond has strong feelings towards me. However, he holds no place in my heart. I can stand beside you and it might make him slip up.”

This time Richard turned completely, giving her a long look before bursting into a grin, “I’m not going to put you in that position, now or in the future. As for Raymond…” He narrowed his eyes, looking at the distant enemy, “It’s the lunatics I’m afraid of, not the good thinkers like him.”

Rosie didn’t completely understand his words, but she answered in an affirmative and retreated behind the two dukes. At the same time, the Norland soldiers automatically formed up without a need for Raymond’s instructions. Bloodlust began to weigh down the atmosphere.

Raymond suddenly went through another bout of coughing, the wrenching pain in his chest forcing him to his knees. By the time he managed to stand back up again, his handkerchief was completely dyed red! However, he smiled at the generals next to him, “Don’t worry. This is the only time that will happen this battle.”

The generals all went quiet.

He then turned to a grand mage, “Magister, I need your assistance. I need to rise into the sky and transmit my voice to Richard’s ears over there.”

The grand mage nodded, a wave of the staff covering Raymond’s body with a magical light as he slowly ascended into the air. “Richard!” a soft voice boomed through the battlefield.

“Raymond Joseph!” Richard appeared relaxed, seemingly with no intent of competing in volume as he transmitted his message directly. A hand stopped Olar from loosing his arrows; it was near impossible to hit at this distance, and Raymond’s accent implied he would be using Norland common. He was interested in what the man had to say.

“We finally meet on the planar battlefield,” Raymond said ruefully.

“You’re pretty lucky. A short while later and you would be no match for me. What, you finally decided on a direct battle after your schemes got your little brother killed?”

“Didn’t one of you Archerons die as well?” Raymond retaliated.

Richard burst into laughter, “An idiot that had the guts to follow your orders? Is losing dead weight even a loss?”

Raymond grinned, “I’m talking about the man called Gaton. I’m the one who trapped him on the Rosie Plane.”

A cold glint flashed in Richard’s eyes, “Even giants can trip over ants sometimes. It’s weird to hear that ant brag about it for its whole life, especially since that wasn’t a smart idea on your part.

“Thanks for that, by the way. It pushed me up to family head, and you’ll quickly realise that I’m a much worse enemy to have.”

Raymond nodded, “Good! I wasn’t wrong about you, you truly do qualify to be my enemy!”

Richard sighed, “You know what? A short time ago, I would have thought the same. But now… You, my enemy? More like just an… inconvenience.”

Gloom clouded Raymond’s face for a moment, but he suddenly regained his spirits and chuckled, turning around and speaking loudly, “Proud warriors of Norland, did you hear that? This fellow commanding a group of weak natives says we don’t even qualify to be his enemy!”

The Norlanders went deathly silent, but a dense bloodlust slowly began to rise into the sky. This wasn’t the first time these veterans had experienced planar war; there was no need to roar to scare the weaklings in front of them.

“Show me, then! Let’s see how annoying you bugs can be!” Richard showed an even more dazzling smile to his own huge army, “Everyone, these invaders wish for us to give up our home!”

The alliance immediately grew restless.

Richard turned around and snatched a warflag from one of the soldiers nearby, smashing it hard into the stone tower behind him, “IN MY NAME AS RICHARD ARCHERON, I VOW THAT I SHALL NOT TAKE A SINGLE STEP BEHIND THIS FLAG!”

His voice was amplified by magic, resonating through the battlefield. The allied forces immediately roared, blood rushing to their heads.

Raymond returned to the formation and spoke to the generals surrounding him, “We’ll never be able to return if we don’t get to the passage up ahead. Now is the time for us to defend the honour and dignity of Norland!”

The generals all bowed to Raymond and headed to other parts of the army. They would fight beside their soldiers. Raymond himself turned to the old grand mage next to him, “Magister, I’ll need your protection from here on out. I also need you to ensure my orders reach the ears of every soldier.”

“As you wish!” the old grand mage bowed slightly.

The Joseph youth then looked back at Richard in the distance, raising his right hand up high and dropping it forward. “NORLANDERS, ADVANCE!”

When the first row of heavily armed soldiers took a synchronised step forward, Richard suddenly felt a tremble within him. This battle could be much more difficult than he had anticipated.

It was 50,000 vs 9,000, more than a five to one difference, but flesh and blood would be spilt to determine the gap between the secondary and primary planes.

The Norland formation rolled over like a flood, levelling all obstructions in its path. Pillars, traps, fortifications, enemy soldiers, they were all smashed apart by the wave! The formation throbbed constantly, pulling back and striking out time and time again under Raymond’s guidance like a heavy hammer smashing into Faelor’s defence. Hundreds of magic arrows soared through the sky towards the peak of the hill, suppressing all the ranged attackers Richard had mustered. Although Raymond only had a few hundred of these mage-archers, the power and range of their arrows far overwhelmed the over 3,000 from Faelor despite the height disadvantage.

Raymond grinned slightly, all was going as planned. Richard had developed much faster in Faelor than expected, but there really hadn’t been enough time to bring forces from Norland over. His army was large enough to fight off the Faelorians despite the numerical disadvantage.

It seemed to take but an instant before the three defensive lines in front of the hill were levelled, thousands of soldiers turned into corpses in exchange for only a little more than a tenth of their number. Richard’s heart gradually quickened, but he did his best to stay calm. Raymond’s army was at the peak of its stamina and morale, the defence would be more powerful as time went on.

However, the Norlanders were far too quick in their advance. Richard was forced to send an order through his mind, causing a thrower underground to smash a metal platform apart. It then lit up a line of gunpowder that blazed in all directions, rushing through metal pipes buried into the walls.

*BOOM!* The earth suddenly trembled, waves of heat bursting out from underneath the advancing army. Intense explosions sent hundreds of Norlanders into the air, the sudden attack under their feet having no signs of large-scaled magic at all. The formation immediately descended into chaos.

The Faelorians’ morale rose immediately, but Richard actually shook his head on his platform. The powerhouses and experienced officers from Norland had sensed the shockwaves of the blast in time, so only a few hundred ordinary soldiers had been wounded in the attack. Although the rest were confused, Raymond could likely fix the chaos in a short time.

And indeed, quick commands from Raymond had the generals lead their subordinates to spread out and attack from all directions. The tight battle formation dispersed and started burrowing through Richard’s defences from everywhere. A few more throbs of the human tide and the confusion was already under control.

Yet another row of Faelor soldiers stood up behind the defensive wall, shooting with their dwarven guns. Thunderous gunshots suppressed all other sounds on the battlefield.

However, only a few dozen soldiers had fallen when the dust cleared. Heavy armour, tower shields, and powerful energy reserves greatly diminished the power of firearms. Thankfully, the Norland generals had to respect these unknown weapons and withdraw for a while to stabilise.

Seeing the hundreds of guns have no effect, Richard immediately turned grim. There would be no such thing as luck here; he had to use his trump card to defeat this opponent.

A quick mental order activated the troops that had flanked around the sides of the battlefield. Tens of thousands of soldiers suddenly burst out from all directions, surrounding Raymond’s army.

Raymond glanced behind him and immediately trembled. Rushing ahead was a battalion of nearly a thousand mounted humanoid knights. Even from a distance one could tell that their power, equipment, and energy far surpassed these natives. These soldiers were even better than most royal guards. Even in Norland, this battalion would be considered amongst the best of the best!

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA