Volume 3: Chapter 201 – Retreating Battle 3 (2/3)
The mixed army of Pena that relied mostly on the clans went straight north. They obeyed the orders of the supreme commander, the knight-commander of the Blue Knights, Allen, and postured to pursue the goblins passing through the borderlands.
Clans that had many adventurers with skills like hunter and ranger – which made them ideal for finding the enemy – were picked out and given the task of scouting the enemy.
Those that could come back with good info would be rewarded handsomely, so the adventurers were eager to do their job.
In the past few days, Allen had gotten used to handling the mixed army.
As far as rewards went, honor and glory weren’t very appealing to the clans, but money and a safe place to rest were. Allen had to raise the monetary rewards in order to maintain morale and reward those with big achievements. But the reason he could do that was because the elder council had given their approval.
Allen himself had no idea what caused them to change their tune, but it was better to have money than none.
Allen threw all those coin at the clans, and they became much easier to handle.
Once, when Allen was looking for a clan to send out as a scout, the clan he recruited asked if there would be a special reward. That man was actually the reason why Allen changed the way he thought about the clans, for when Allen asked his aide to stop yelling at the man for his impudence and asked the man why he was fighting, the man looked at him with a dubious face and gave a simple answer.
‘To feed ourselves.’
When Allen heard that, he was deeply embarrassed.
Allen was also once a commoner. He was not wealthy by any means. Had he not met Aizas and were he not skilled in the sword, he would surely not be where he was today. He could be one of these adventurers who chose to walk the path of the sword to feed themselves.
That’s why he stopped in his tracks when he heard the clan leader’s simple answer. Fortunately, they had enough money to splurge. Using that money as the reward, he was able to successfully send out some scouts.
It was Allen’s suggestion to give a bigger reward to those who could give quick and accurate information. Word of that bonus quickly spread throughout the mixed army, and in no time at all, information had been collected. The speed at which they gathered info left even Allen in shock. It was almost as if all that talk about the mixed army being bad was a lie.
“The goblins are a day’s distance to the north, huh.”
As Allen held the map with one hand while riding his horse, he thought back to the previous battle.
The night was the hour of the monsters, so he had to think up a plan that would not go into the night.
“We’ll make use of the cavalry and do a hit and run strategy. Or if they go to us instead, we’ll have to intercept them.”
Allen wasn’t sure how the goblins would move, but then he remembered something. The villages in the border were empty. If so, then perhaps the goblins had taken hostages with them.
They tried a hit and run the last time, but the goblins were easily able to meet them. Given the current circumstances, it seemed only right to intercept the goblins, but the army Allen was leading now had some uncertain factors.
One was the lack of food and the other was the lack skill.
Although Pena had given them plenty of money, there was no telling how far they would have to chase the goblins who’ve abandoned the borderlands. In other words, Allen and his men had no idea how much food they would need.
Feeding 20,000 mouths needed a lot of food.
The other issue was due to the fact that they were a mixed army composed of soldiers and clans. As such, it was clear as day that the level of skill they had as an army was a lot lower than normal.
An army wasn’t strong because it’s full of strong soldiers. Rather, it was strong because the supreme commander is able to see everything, be it the bad habits of the commanders or the movements of each platoon. An army can only be strong when all of its parts are able to work together.
No matter how strong the clans were individually, without any time to coordinate everything, their current strength as an army was weak. An army like that would surely have a hard time intercepting the enemy.
Those were the two reasons that worried Allen, so in the end, Allen decided to take a proactive offensive position.
“Prepare for an attack in the night! They will surely come when night falls!”
Allen ordered half the army to remain alert in the night as he maneuvered the army into an offensive position.
Gold dangling before their eyes, the clans kept a watchful eye out even their break.
Inside the camp that was firmly defended, half the army kept a watchful eye.
As they gradually closed in on the goblins, when the distance between them and the goblins was only half a day, the attack came.
The black of the night shook as a howl that could shake courage itself bellowed.