Chapter 193: Clash of the Heroes (1)

“Iron Wall Unit, to the front!’

“Yes, Sir!”

Those blocking Siegfried’s way was an infantry unit that was completely different from before. Similar to a knight, they were armored in a thick sheet of metal, and carried large tower shields but only had one short gladius sword as their weapon.

With overlapping shields, they were blocking his path.

‘They’re like the heavy infantry from the ancient times. You’re gonna stop me with this?’

Siegfried paused for a moment.

In the past, about 1,000 years ago, there had been a heavy infantry unit, just like the ones in front of his eyes, that had conquered the continent. They had prioritized defense as they built a solid wall with their shields while destroying enemies by attacking them with arrows from the back. 

However, with the advent of the knight, this type of fighting had disappeared. No matter how much a soldier strengthened his defense, a soldier was still a soldier. They had no chance of stopping a charging knight. And with the emergence of Experts and Masters, the formation of such heavily armed infantry troops completely disappeared into the background. 

So why was it appearing in front of his eyes right now?

‘I don’t know what he’s up to, but let’s destroy them first.’

Siegfried swung his sword without hesitation. No matter how heavy their armor was, it was nothing in front of a Master’s Aura.

“I’ll wipe you out!”

Siegfried swung his Aura Blade vigorously and struck the shields of the heavy infantry. And…

CLANG!

“Guh…”

Keugh…”

The results were surprising. While a couple of men fell and some lost their shields, none of them had died. They had survived a Master’s blow.

“How could this…”

Siegfried wanted to pretend it never happened. No matter how thick the armor of a heavy infantryman was, an infantry was still an infantry. In other words, there was a limit to how much help improving the armor could be if a person’s individual skills did not support it. This was common sense. But clearly, what he believed was common sense had failed him. How could an infantryman survive a Master’s attack? That was impossible.

“Advance! Move forward slowly!”

The heavy infantry even picked themselves up, reorganized, and slowly moved forward as if they planned to push Siegfried away.

“How…”

***

The Iron Wall Unit. 

Alongside the special archer unit that utilized the composite bow, Milton had also created a special unit. The armor this unit wore wasn’t just simple steel, but tungsten. It was much stronger than normal steel and lighter than anything else. Because it was made out of tungsten, even if the soldiers wore armor made out of plate mail that covered the entire body, the weight of it was similar to armor made out of leather. In addition, not only the armor, but the tower shields they held were also made out of tungsten.

Because each soldier had been armed with tungsten, each soldier had cost a considerable amount of money, however, the results were certainly remarkable. Their defense power had increased by several times, and their mobility was very unlike that of heavy infantrymen. 

Milton called this heavy infantry unit the Iron Wall Unit and trained them in collective tactics thoroughly. Fifty percent of the results on the battlefields were determined by the fights between the infantry. In other words, if the infantry was strong, then the chances of winning in a head-on confrontation would increase significantly. 

In fact, the effect of them was being revealed now. The Iron Wall Unit stopped the Ghost Groups 4 and 5 that Siegfried was leading. This was an achievement that could not be achieved by mobilizing a squad of knights. Honestly, if he had sent out the Iron Wall Unit to the frontline from the start, there would have been fewer soldiers who suffered damage.

However, Milton wanted to completely finish Siegfried this time, that was why he hadn’t. As long as Siegfried didn’t know of the existence of the Iron Wall Unit, he was no different than a fish who had nibbled on the bait. In fact, wasn’t Siegfried struggling to break through the second line of defense right now when he had easily destroyed the first?

“Foolish…”

But, Siegfried wasn’t a pushover. He gritted his teeth and concentrated his Aura Blade on his sword. Previously, he hadn’t swung his blade very hard and conserved much of his strength. He had only put in about 20% of his strength.

Whooooosh

But this time, it was different. The sword vibrated violently as it was filled with Siegfried’s Aura, and once it was filled to the brim, the Aura surrounding it turned the sword incandescent. Siegfried clenched his teeth and struck again.

“Let’s see if you can survive this.”

It was a powerful blow. Once again, the infantrymen gritted their teeth and prepared themselves by overlapping their shields.

CLAAANG!

“Gugh!”

“Ugh…”

The sword and the shields collided. However, the results were different this time. No matter how much the heavy infantry might boast about their solid defense barrier, it was nothing in the face of a Master who had put all his strength into the blow. Their shields were ripped apart and their armor destroyed. The soldiers of the Iron Wall Unit fell bleeding from their chests.

But…

“Fill in the battlelines!”

“Overlap the shields. Don’t leave a single gap, not even for a needle to come through!”

“Yes, Sir!”

As soon as there was a gap, the Iron Wall Unit regrouped and filled it in. 

“Damn…”

Siegfried realized the situation wasn’t favorable for him. He didn’t know why, but he felt that the unidentified heavy infantry’s defense was extraordinary. Even he, a Master, would need to put in all his strength in order to push away that blow. The problem was, if he did that, he wouldn’t be able to fight for long.

Even if you were a Master, there was a limit to how much Aura he could use. That’s why, regardless whether they were a Master or an Expert, most people didn’t put in a lot of power when they fought against ordinary soldiers. If they didn’t control themselves like that, they would get exhausted too quickly. 

‘What now? Should I retreat? It’s not too late to do so. No, I can’t. I’m in too deep now.’

In the end, Siegfried could only grit his teeth. If it was impossible for him to retreat, then the only thing he could do was to go forward. Thankfully, if the enemy was working to encircle them, that meant the enemy’s center would have to be thinner and weaker. 

“Follow after me! We’re going to cut down the enemy!”

“Waaaaaah!”

“Commander Siegfried is invincible!”

“Charge! Chargeeeee!”

The Republican soldiers were greatly encouraged when Siegfried shouted for aggression even in a hopeless situation like this. One way or another, the Republican Army was cutting the Lester Army in half as they advanced forward. It was no wonder that the Republican soldiers thought they were winning.

‘We MUST break through.’

Siegfried clenched his jaw and pulled up his Aura. The morale of his soldiers had risen now, but if he gave up, everything would be over. Therefore, without holding back, he made a powerful attack. 

“If you don’t want to die, leave!”

Siegfried bellowed as he rushed forward to destroy the Iron Wall Unit. 

***

“So he’s not going to retreat with his army? As expected, what good judgement.”

From the back, Milton nodded at Siegfried’s actions.

In fact, if Siegfried felt troubled by the Iron Wall Unit and retreated with his army, then it would have been a much better situation for Milton. The Iron Wall Unit had strong defensive capabilities, but they were also highly mobile due to the light weight of the tungsten. In other words, they could eat away at the rear of the retreating enemy. And if the archers used their composite bows to attack while the heavy infantry was attacking from the rear, then it would cause enormous damage to the enemy. And even if Siegfried sacrificed his soldiers and escaped, then Milton could have personally led his Southern Knights and blocked his enemy’s path first. That’s because the Destroyers that the Southern Knights rode were much faster than the enemy’s horse. In the end, Siegfried’s retreat would have failed and the situation would only have gotten worse.

But, Siegfried chose to advance forward. As long as he didn’t stop moving, the soldiers could continue to focus on the battle. Even if it was the same battle, the morale of the soldiers as they advanced towards the enemy was completely different from the morale of the soldiers as they ran away from the enemy. On top of that, Siegfried was personally at the frontline, making it seem like they were winning as he fought against the Iron Wall troops.

“Yup, a genius sure is a genius. But Siegfried, since you’re so smart, I guess you should know what’ll be waiting for you once you break through that iron wall?”

Just as Milton finished talking to himself, Siegfried finally cut through the Iron Wall Unit and broke past the encirclement. 

“We will pierce through the enemy! Do not stop!”

Shouting, Siegfried rushed forward. Following him were the Ghost Groups 4 and 5, and following them were the Republican soldiers. However, in the process of breaking through, they had suffered tremendous damage and had lost a significant number of troops.

“God damnit…”

Siegfried clenched his teeth when he checked the condition of his men. Even if he led the charge and broke through the encirclement and raised the morale of his troops, there was a limit. Many soldiers had been killed in the process of breaking through the encirclement, and the Ghosts, his most cherished unit, were also clearly showing signs of fatigue. While it had been Siegfried who had created a hole in the encirclement at the front, it had been the Ghosts who had widened that hole so it could not be blocked again. In order for them to fulfill that role, they had had to drink the elixir. And now, they were slowly reaching the time limit of it.

Realizing that his troops were a complete mess due to fatigue and injuries, Siegfried tried to take them and withdraw. However…

“Southern Knights! Charge!”

“Waaaaaah!”

“Destroy the Republic!”

“Follow the Grand Duke!”

Milton was personally leading his knights towards Siegfried.

“Damn it. It’s one hardship after another[1].”

Siegfried gritted his teeth as he looked at Milton rushing towards him. 

He had already realized it. The unusual heavy infantry was extremely strong, but it wasn’t like a Master such as himself couldn’t break through. If he, the enemy, could realize it after fighting a bit, then wouldn’t Milton and his allies also know? It was obvious that the enemy, Milton, had created a plan on the premise that the encirclement would be broken.

And just as Siegfried had thought, Milton Forrest was charging towards him as if Milton had been waiting for him to break through the encirclement.

‘The rumors say that he’s also a Master? Then what should I do? Retreat? Or advance?’

It was only a short moment, but Siegfried thought quickly. However, he soon realized.

‘Damn it, do I not even have a choice?’

The Southern Knights, including Milton, all rode on Destroyers. It would be impossible for Siegfried and his men to avoid them and retreat. In that case, there was only one thing they could do.

‘We’ll fight them head-on and kill that bastard. That’ll reverse this situation.’

There was no other way than this.

“Ghosts! You will follow me! The other commanders will lead their men and keep the enemy in check!”

Having given them instructions, Siegfried charged towards Milton who was rushing towards him. As they rushed towards each other, they lifted their swords so that it was horizontal to the ground, all without taking their eyes off the other.

Finally, the moment they faced each other…

“Siegfried!”

“Milton Forrest!”

They aimed at each other’s necks and attacked.

Milton Forrest and Siegfried.

The two arch enemies who ruled this era faced each other with their swords once again on the battlefield. 


1. The raws has it as ‘산 넘어 산이군’ which is directly translated to ‘it’s mountain after mountain’ but I decided to translate the meaning of it instead.

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