Chapter 200: At the Gates of Meichi Castle (3)

Upon arriving at Meichi Castle, Milton first checked its condition. Fortunately, the castle was in good condition.

‘Considering what a mess the country is in right now, the castle’s in pretty good shape.’

Milton had worried a lot because if a castle is not steadily maintained, then it would quickly become weak. But thankfully, Meichi Castle was fine. Its walls were strong and the moat was deep. Since it was such an important base, it seemed like they didn’t neglect it.

‘I can fight with this.’

The very next day.

Although it was a day later than Milton, Siegfried arrived at Meichi Castle.

“As expected, he’s camped here.”

“It is the best location to defend the Capital of the Valence Kingdom, sir.”

Meichi Castle was on the road leading to the Capital of the Valence Kingdom. Of course, they didn’t have to use only this road to get to the capital, there were other roads that led there. However, since those roads were narrow and were too much of a detour, it wasn’t suitable to take while attacking. And there was the fact that even if they took other roads, if they didn’t deal with the soldiers in the Meichi Castle, then there was the possibility that those soldiers would attack them while they were attacking the Capital. In the attackers’ view, that base couldn’t be ignored.

Meichi Castle was called the ‘Country’s Gate.’ Usually, by the time a capital was established in a country, there would be a couple of fortified cities near it. For the Valence Kingdom, that was Meichi Castle. 

Naturally, Siegfried had expected that this place would be the final battle. That was why he had prepared something in advance.

“Is that ready?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Good. We start as soon as we finish deploying the troops.”

While sending envoys to each other to signal the start of the battle was a ritual of war, Siegfried completely ignored it. He immediately began the siege.

“Entire army, advance forward!”

“Waaaaaaaaahh!!”

“Long live the Republic!”

The 50,000 Republican troops led by Siegfried launched their attack.

***

“So the enemy’s coming. Are all the composite bow archers in place?”

“Yes, sir. They’re all placed on top of the walls, sir.”

“Good. Hit them as they enter within range.”

“Yes, sir!”

Milton’s order was immediately delivered to the archers on the walls. The composite bows already had a long range, but with the advantage given to them by the walls’ height, their attack range would increase even further.

As soon as the enemy approached, arrows poured down from the top of the walls.

“Fire! Don’t let a single one of them stay alive!”

“There’s no need to save arrows. There’s plenty, so keep shooting!”

At their commander’s order, the archers continued to diligently fire the arrows.

***

“Lift up your shields!”

“Protect your head! You won’t die even if you get hit everywhere else! If you don’t want to die, protect your head!”

The Republican commanders pushed their soldiers through the rain of arrows.

Arrows were a staple weapon of a siege. On top of that, the enemy had recently gotten a new weapon, a composite bow, with extraordinary range.

Siegfried had prepared very well knowing all that. He had prepared for the arrows by giving his men a makeshift shield against the downpour of arrows by overlapping two regular shields. Thanks to that, they were holding on quite well. But...

“Guh!”

Keugh… My should…”

That didn’t mean there weren’t any damages.

Just like an umbrella didn’t stop your body or legs from getting wet, just because they were holding a shield didn’t mean they could completely block all the arrows. Many of the soldiers were struck all over their bodies with arrows and groaned in pain. But their commanders didn’t allow them to lower their shields and continued to push them forward without letting them stop.

“Do not stop! If you stop, you’ll become a target for the enemy!”

Even amongst the commanders who were encouraging their troops, some of them had arrows sticking out of their bodies. But they couldn’t stop here. No matter what it took, they had to drag their troops to the foot of the walls. 

***

“Aren’t they approaching a bit too foolishly?”

Milton spoke as he watched the overall situation from on top of the walls.

“Is there a problem, sir?”

“Um… Even though they know there will be casualties, they’re still foolishly and stubbornly approaching. He’s not like that.”

In Milton’s eyes, Siegfried was someone who fought thoroughly and efficiently. But even knowing how his troops would be hurt, he was still pushing his men forward. Something was odd about it. Even if the soldiers got to the wall, the Meichi Castle had a fairly deep moat. That meant it would be difficult for them to use ladders or grappling hooks to go over the wall.

“What is he planning… huh?”

At that moment, Milton saw they were dragging a wagon covered in canvas.

It was a pretty big wagon, but even with it covered in canvas, it still looked a bit familiar.

“... Surely not?”

Milton suddenly looked urgent as he turned towards a lieutenant.

“Tell the composite bow archers to shoot a fire arrow at the enemy’s covered wagon. Don’t let it approach the walls.”

Milton’s orders were delivered immediately.

But by then, some of the wagons had already reached the moat. And when the Republican soldiers took off the canvas, inside was…

“Huh?”

“That’s?”

The soldiers were started. All the Lester Kingdom’s soldiers knew what it was. It was a siege ladder, something that had been developed by Milton during his territory wars and had been officially adopted as a siege weapon by the Lester Kingdom once it was proved to be useful.

“Isn’t that ours?”

“Those Republican bastards are copying us.”

“Don’t you have any pride, you bastards!”

The soldiers and the knights all shouted and yelled at the Republicans.

***

“How ridiculous, did you think you guys monopolized it?”

A Republican officer jeered right back at the Lester Kingdom’s men before turning to his men.

“Straighten out the ladder! Lean it on the enemy’s walls!”

“Yes, sir!”

Then, the ladder straightened out from the wagon until it was leaning against the top of the Meichi Castle walls.

Bang! Bang!

“Damn it. It touched it in one go.”

Milton frowned as he looked at it.

While the Meichi Castle walls were strong, it wasn’t very high. Because of that, even though the Republicans had set the siege ladder from across the moat, the ladder had still reached the top of the walls.

“Southern Knights, get ready! Don’t let the enemies get on top of the walls!”

At Milton’s orders, the Southern Knights who had been waiting in front of the gates immediately went to the top of the walls[1]

And so, a fierce battle between the Republican soldiers trying to climb up the walls and the Lester Kingdom’s soldiers trying to push them off began.

“Die! Die you dogs of the kingdom!”

“Fall off, you Republican bastards!”

It was a fierce battle filled with shouts and blood everywhere.

***

“It’s working out better than expected. And to think he thought of this when he was just a lord of a territory. That’s pretty impressive.”

Siegfried nodded as he watched his soldiers scaling the walls. 

You might have already expected, but Siegfried had been the one to acquire the siege ladder for the Republicans. While he had been scrutinizing Milton’s actions, he had heard about a new weapon Milton had utilized during the past territory wars he had participated in during his time as a lord of an estate. Using that information, Siegfried had immediately begun to research it. Once he realized that it was much more useful than he had thought, he promptly ‘adopted’ it. 

In the process of adopting it, he had made some improvements to make it more durable and longer. In terms of performance, the Republican’s copied siege ladder was far better than those of the Lester Kingdom. And because of that, the ladders were leaning everywhere against the Meichi Castle, and the soldiers were engaged in fierce battles all over the castle walls.

While the Republicans hadn’t been able to fully get on top of the walls, the number of arrows flying down at them from the walls have noticeably decreased. Until now, everything had gone as Siegfried expected.

“Sir, is it alright if we don’t go up?”

Jake spoke up from behind Siegfried.

He was currently not a part of the attack. No, not only Jake, but the entire Ghost Force was waiting in the back.

Usually, people would use their most elite soldiers to scale the enemy walls using the siege ladders in order to occupy the walls, but Siegfried had kept behind his strongest unit, the Ghosts.

“Wait. It’s not time yet.”

Siegfried ordered Jake to wait as he calmly observed the situation on the wall. 

The soldiers had gone up, but it seemed like they couldn’t push their enemies off the walls.

“So he immediately sent in the knights.”

Siegfried had experienced the high level of Milton’s Southern Knights before.

‘If he sent in the knights instead of the heavy infantry with their strong defense, then that means he’s wary of me sending in the Ghosts. Yeup, it’s not time yet.’

There is a saying in the military book.No matter how strong the attack is, its effect is halved if it is read by the enemy.

But Siegfried was looking at it differently. No matter how ordinary the attack was, if you attacked when the enemy wasn’t expecting it, then the effect of it is doubled.

The Ghosts were the secret weapon that Siegfried held. There had been an unexpected amount of troops lost during this war, but he couldn’t continue to meaninglessly use up his troops like this.

‘This isn’t just a simple siege. This is a battle of tricks between Milton and I, and I have never lost in a fight like this before.’

Siegfried slowly began to lure Milton onto his palm.

***

“Is he saving his Ghosts?”

As the fight continued to drag on, Milton had an inkling of what was going on.

Siegfried was saving his strength.

‘Those Ghosts use an elixir to strengthen themselves, so it makes sense to keep them behind.’

The question was, where was Siegfried planning to use that saved power?

Currently, Milton had stationed the Southern Knights on top of the walls and as a precaution, stationed the Iron Wall Unit in front of the gates. If he had followed an orthodox strategy, he would have placed the Iron Wall Unit with their strong defense and mobility on the walls while having the knights standby in front of the gates.

However, he thought the Iron Wall Unit wouldn’t be enough to deal with the Ghosts and had placed the Southern Knights there instead. The defensive strength of the Iron Wall Unit only came from the strength and hardness of the stainless steel armor. The individual infantryman’s skill was just slightly better than that of an ordinary soldier. While the Iron Wall Unit might have been able to use a solidly dense formation on flat ground to deal with the Ghosts, they wouldn’t be able to deal with the Ghosts on the narrow walls.

But if Siegfried didn’t use the Ghosts, then it would be alright to station the Iron Wall Unit on the walls and have the Southern Knights take a break. While the Southern Knights didn’t consume large amounts of energy as the Ghosts did when they used the elixir, the Southern Knights were also human. They had limits to their physical strength and energy, so it was better to have them conserve their energy as much as possible.

‘What should I do? Should I switch them?’

Milton began to get worried, but he soon shook his head.

‘You never know when that Siegfried bastard would send the Ghosts up to the castle walls. It’d be dangerous to remove the Southern Knights carelessly.’

In the end, Milton continued the battle with the Southern Knights on the walls. And in order to alleviate the fatigue of the Knights even a little, Milton picked up his sword as well and began to deal with the Republican soldiers himself. 

“Attack the ladders with the long spears! Don’t let them climb over the walls!’

Milton dealt with the Republican soldiers on the walls as he personally destroyed the siege ladders. While it was sturdy, it was no match against a Master’s Aura Blade.

Clang!

“Ughhh!”

“I’m falling!!”

As Milton began to destroy the siege ladders, the Republican soldiers fell to the ground screaming.

‘I’ll just deal with them like this.’

And so, Milton wandered around the castle wall pushing off the Republican soldiers. 


1. 뛰어 올라왔다 the raws has it has ‘jumped uptop the walls’ but I didn’t think the Southern Knights would be able to jump that high.

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