Book 6, Chapter 160

A War Of Wealth(2)

Tiramisu roared as he collided with the Silversword cavalry. His own momentum was paused for a moment, but in exchange more than a dozen cavalrymen were sent flying away. Fouen’s attempt to stop the flank completely backfired, with his own soldiers pausing and giving time for a hundred javelins to crash into them.

The placement of the javelins was extremely precise, avoiding Tiramisu completely as though it had been rehearsed a hundred times. Explosions of energy and gunpowder blew over from all directions, and as the ogre advanced one could see horses flying into the sky.

He suddenly growled in the midst of his advance, stopping to lift Tenton up high and slam it down towards the ground. The horses nearby all stumbled, and even those warriors who had fallen before crumbled to the ground. With a single blow, every enemy within twenty metres had been brought down. He continued to move forward, crimson energy building up around his hammer before he swung it in a wide arc, sending a crescent of pure power hurtling towards the enemies. Two rows of cavalrymen were cut apart, while a third was left mutilated; another twenty metres had been cleared out.

The rune knights, shadowspears, and regular knights turned into a torrent that gushed from either side of the ogre, destroying the splintered cavalrymen that were left behind. The few hundred soldiers that still survived immediately began to flee in all directions.

Richard chose not to pursue the escaping enemies, instead reorganising his formation and pointing at Viscount Fouen, “Frontal assault! Kill the man in purple first!”

The armies had just collided, but the rune knights took out another volley of javelins and threw them into the sky. Fifty glows appeared in Fouen’s eyes; even though none of them seemed to have tracking magic on them, he was certain that he would die. The Viscount screamed and turned around, fleeing as fast as he could. Many of the nobles and generals concentrated in the area did the same.

This was the last straw.

Richard was in no hurry at all, calmly splitting off a hundred men including himself to chase Fouen and the rest of the fleeing cavalry while the rest of his men wiped out the broken army. The chase continued from dusk to dawn, and by the end of it all Richard had chased him all the way to Swordwind City. There were only a dozen men left by this point, and even though Richard only had a hundred himself the Viscount wouldn’t dare to turn around even in range of the city’s defences.

Richard’s remaining forces gathered around him by dusk. A few dozen of his normal knights had been injured, while about a dozen were dead, but in exchange 3,000 enemies had met their demise while many more were severely injured. Late in the night, he mobilised his forces to intercept reinforcements from a branch family; all 3,000 men there were defeated, while the Baron himself was taken prisoner.

Over the following week, Richard’s army was like a ghost as it disappeared and appeared in the Silversword lands, completely decimating Fenlier’s forces. Seven battles and 30,000 defeated soldiers later, he had captured three cities where he resupplied and had his troops rest. The entire Silversword territory had become his backyard, the Earl himself stuck in the defence of Swordwind City while the rest of the territory suffered violent attacks everywhere. There were tens of lords in the area, but they were now cowering in fear as they prayed that Richard wouldn’t find them first.

……

From Richard’s arrival to the destruction of the Silversword territory all took only a single week; there simply wasn’t enough time for others to react. When they received the report asking for help, most families were still discussing the matter by the time Richard had achieved dominance.

In a forest about 200 kilometres from the Silversword territory. A few messengers and scouts rushed through the woods to come upon an army camp with no flag and no crest, the head messenger jumping off his horse and rushing to the command tent to pass the information he had just received.

Within the tent, a gruff-looking man looked over the letter several times and crossed out several points on the map, “Outside of Swordwind City itself, all of the Silversword cities have been defeated.”

The half-dozen officers within the camp gasped, one of them asking incredulously, “Only a week! Didn’t Richard have a thousand cavalrymen at most?”

The general shook his head, “That isn’t just any cavalry. They’re all elites, and they have 50 rune knights and 200 shadowspears.”

“The Silversword Family also has 30 rune knights, how could it be so bad?”

“Were they killed?”

“It’s possible. Charging through 3,000 enemies shouldn’t be hard for such a force.”

“Yes, they must have cut right through and assaulted the rune knights first. Once they were flanked on all sides, the infantry must have broken formation.”

“Those rune knights of the Silversword Family don’t know what to do…”

The officers talked a lot, guessing at Richard’s tactics in battle. They were surprisingly accurate with their guesses, making it clear that they were experienced. However, the general looked at the map and suddenly sighed, pointing at Swordwind City, “Fenlier turtled up with all of his rune knights and elite guards. He’s scared of his city being destroyed. Bah, Richard’s shadowspears are known as rune knight killers; of course the coward decides to hide.”

One of the officers looked at the map that was littered with crosses, frowning, “My Lord, do we still enter as planned? It seems like Richard has a means of scouting we don’t know; it’s impossible for regular scouts to have found every one of these forces. It’s very likely that we will encounter his army before we enter Swordwind City.”

A cold glint flashed across the general’s eyes as he stared at the map in silence. All of the officers felt their own blood burning as they looked at his gaze. Richard had risen like a meteor in the past few years, not only stabilising the Archeron family but also turning from a runecrafting apprentice to the royal runemaster who superseded even Lunor. He was now a grand runemaster, and was also famous as an outstanding general. He had single-handedly decimated the Schumpeter Family and brought the Mensas to their knees, forcing the Josephs to seek peace while the Wellinburg Family abandoned their alliance to become neutral. He had overwhelmed the legend of the Archeron goddess of war, and many were studying his prior battles to learn how he could achieve such precise command of his troops. Fighting a war against him was a temptation for every good general.

This unidentifiable army had a total of 3,000 soldiers in a good balance of all roles. There were less than ten rune knights, but most of them were capable officers in their own right. The general was seriously considering the possibility of taking a fight with Richard, but even he had to concede that he actually had the weaker hand. While he outnumbered Richard three to one, his forces weren’t nearly as elite; even Richard’s mounts were leagues better than his. He was actually at a slight disadvantage, but he was still eager to try. Many of the officers were filled with such expectations as well; this was obviously not a mercenary army.

A long time later, the general sighed, “Now isn’t the time. Since Fenlier is so disappointing, he can’t blame us. Order the retreat, we should leave by the morning.”

The order was quickly passed down, and the officers went off to make their own arrangements. When the general was the only one left in the command tent, he stared at the map and slammed his fist into a nearby pole, “Motherfucker!”

He really didn’t want to let Richard go.

……

Over the past week, the central hall in Swordwind Castle had always been crowded with every important person in the city. New reports filtered in from time to time and their map was updated accordingly, but every time it was about reinforcements being broken and cities overcome. There was no lack of knights and barons being taken prisoner either.

The command centre in the top floor of the castle was where the true core members of the family were gathered. Fenlier had a more detailed map here, and his eyebrows were locked together with his silver hair a little messy. In times of peace, this would never have been acceptable.

The command centre wasn’t big, but it seemed rather empty. At least two-thirds of those qualified to be here were absent, half of them in Richard’s hands and the other half huddled in their territories while praying the devil wouldn’t target them.

“How many men do we have now?” This was a question Fenlier asked every day.

A young general spoke up, “30 rune knights, 120 silversword knights, 150 heavy cavalrymen, and 6,000 footsoldiers, my Lord.‘

The numbers seemed to give Fenlier courage as he sighed and nodded, “Thank the Dragon. Is there any news of the reinforcements?”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: OMA

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA