Battle of the Fort (1)
The corpse wave quickly approached Fort Kesta. Even though they had traveled nonstop from the south, they were unfeeling and unfatigued. Instead, they almost seemed to be rushing impatiently to the fort in an attempt to engulf all living beings in the embrace of death.
"Fire arrows, light them up!" Alissanda yelled from the walls.
Countless embers rained down into the ocean of undead. As the corpses were squeezed too tightly together, quite a number of them lit up and spread the fire to the rest. Fire and sunlight were things undead feared the most and countless corpses struggled and flailed due to being set alight and lit many of their own near them as a result. The small embers slowly turned into a large flame.
Even though the first wave of fire arrows seemed effective on the corpses, not a single warrior was overjoyed. They all understood that the number of corpses that were set on fire was only the smallest of fractions of the Tide of Death. Even Alissanda hadn't counted on wiping out all the enemies there. They were outnumbered a few hundred times, after all. Even if they stood there passively and let the warriors kill them, it would be impossible to demand every warrior to cut off the heads of a few hundred undead. All they were trying to achieve was to stop the corpses in their tracks. As for how long they had to do it, nobody dared to ask that question. It was a pointless and despairing question.
A few of the gunpowder kegs placed near the fort were ignited. The explosion destroyed quite a number of corpses, but it was still an insignificant number.
An oddity made from a few corpses stacked together approached the gates. It was something so terrifying that words fell short in describing it. The mass was a heap of rotting flesh around four to five meters in height, with limbs, heads, necks and all sorts of organs seemingly growing out of it without any sense of order. Expressions of pain could be seen on the composite corpse. The heads let out cries of agony, demonic sounds that pushed any living being to the brink of their sanity. Without proper defenses, normal weaker humans would lose their minds from hearing the cries for a few short seconds.
A warm and striking sacred light flashed out of Fort Kesta's command tower. The clergy of the Church of the Bright Sun had acted. They were devotees of Pyro who had willingly come to put up some resistance against the Tide of Death. They focused their efforts and used a formation to channel their Breath. A high-order priest, with the help of a few other mid-order priests, channeled the brilliant light of the sun god to every corner of the fort. The warriors that basked in the sacred light felt their bodies lighten. The ominous feeling of death that weighed on their hearts were lifted.
"Praise the sacred light!" quite a number of warriors cried to thank the sun god for his protection. The warriors understood that without Pyro's help, the army wouldn't have lasted that long. While the magic tools and equipment the two magic academies provided were no less important, they still paled in comparison to the Church of the Bright Sun, who were the natural enemies of the undead.
Unlike the warriors, the undead creatures that got into contact with the light weakened considerably, with some even melting gradually. The ones that could stand the light were slowed. They roared as if they had been angered and launched their attack on the gates.
Quite a number of undead creatures were stomped flat by the giant mutant, which proceeded to ram the gates without stopping.
A few larger mutants that rammed onto the gate cried out in pain. The Church of the Bright Sun had used holy water to trace out a divine formation that would cause any corpse that touched the gates to burn. The few larger mutants attempted to back off, but even more of them came forwards from behind, ramming the poor fellows flat onto the gate and causing them to burn nonstop.
The rest of the mutants didn't care about the death throes of their comrades. They merely pushed against the gate like the other corpses from behind and attempted to push through will sheer force alone. The formation on the gates gradually dimmed and the surviving mutants continued to ram against the gates nonstop. But thanks to the reinforcement of the warriors, the gates held tight.
Rocks covered in flaming fuel were rolled down from the walls nonstop. No matter how many corpses came their way, they all died at the foot of Fort Kesta's walls. The battle had been going on for more than an hour and there wasn't a single casualty on the human side. But the more corpses that 'died', the more the human warriors would be weighed down. No matter how many were felled, the sea of moving corpses didn't wane in the slightest.
Eventually, the corpses on the bottom piled up more and more. The warriors gripped their weapons tight, knowing full well that the battle had only just begun.
When fighting the corpses that did not have any strategies or tactics, the empire's army would always start with little to no casualties. Their careful preparations and the advantages offered by their weapons allowed them to take out the corpses initially, but there were three reasons why a whole sea of corpses was so terrifying.
The first was their despairingly high numbers. Though the number of corpses the warriors could take out in the initial stages was rather staggering, it wasn't significant relative to the sheer masses that came.
Second, the corpses didn't know fatigue. A fight with a sea of corpses wasn't something that could be concluded in a day or two. The corpses could move on forever without rest and nothing short of eliminating all of them would be enough to end the battle.
Third, and the most terrifying part of fighting them, was how contagious they were. There was always a chance for a fallen warrior to rise again and turn against his comrades.
Those were the reasons why humans had never gained a single victory in a battle with the corpses at all. But today…
"Today, you shall not advance any further!" Alissanda yelled as he jumped to the wall where the concentration of the corpses was highest.
Bam! He landed in the midst of corpses like a human bomb. Through the countless battles, his sacred impetus had achieved the 19th stratum and a violent surge of it was enough to blow the rotting masses of flesh away.
"Warriors of the empire! I shall always stand ahead of you!" he roared.
"For the empire! For His Highness!" Quite a number of warriors jumped out of the walls as well into the rising piles of corpses. They roared and drew their weapons to engage the bumbling corpses in a melee.Previous Chapter Next Chapter