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Volume 3: Chapter 233 – A Scathing Counterattack (1/5)
“We’ve finally driven them to a corner.”
The humans watched as the goblins scurried from the forest and quickly picked themselves to fix their formation. Valdor the Holy Knight said that line as if he was trying to confirm what he was seeing was real.
Just as Crown Prince Ishtar had planned, they set fire to the forest the goblins ran into. The goblins caught up in the smoke fled from the opposite direction of the burning forest, but they still somehow managed to gather under their flags and assume formation.
If the eastern division army were to attack here they would surely come out victorious. But Valdor did not approve of that. His objective was not the death of these goblins but a meritorious war service for Crown Prince Ishtar. Of course there would be little point in setting fire to the forest if they hadn’t surrounded it first. There was little point in killing the fleeing goblins.
Although it was also their objective to crush the goblin forces of the Western Region, it was only by executing their operation perfectly that they would be able to send off the dead. Valdor surrounded the forest before setting fire to it. If the goblins ran toward them, they would wipe them out.
But when they set fire to the forest, at almost the same time, the goblins seemed to have decided to abandon the forest. The goblins gave up fleeing, and immediately gathered under a flag after exiting the forest. Although crude, they were able to assume formation.
When Valdor saw that, he intentionally allowed them time to complete their formation.
Everything was for Ishtar’s sake.
If Valdor were to break through the goblins with only the eastern division army while they were reassuming formation, naturally, the merit would fall to him. If that were to happen, then there would be no point to chasing the goblins this far.
Unless he allowed Ishtar to wipe out the goblins himself, there was no point to any of this.
“You’re certain there are no ambushes in the forests to the sides?”
Valdor turned away from the formation of the goblins and wondered what the goblins’ purpose here could be. They have been running all this time, so there should be a reason.
It could be an ambush or perhaps a trap.
But the land here was not fit for traps, and the scouts he sent reported that there were no pitfalls or any such obstructions here.
He considered there might be an ambush, so even though they had little time, he sent out scouts to surround the forests. If there were a lot of goblins hiding in the forests, then the scouts should naturally be able to notice them.
From the last battle at the Battle of Cromshtock (Camp), Valdor knew that the goblins specialized in digging holes. As such, it was possible that they might be hiding in a hole somewhere…
“The forests were dense, but we confirmed no goblin presence there.”
“I see. What of traces of the ground being dug?”
“We searched for those too just to be safe, but there weren’t any. Not even a little bit…”
If the goblins had dug out holes, then naturally, there should have been some soil left. Even if he had sent his scouts out in a hurry, there should be no place to hide soil in such a dense forest crawling with vegetation.
“Alright. I understand the situation now.”
If the scouts were saying the same thing after sending them out three times, then there must be no goblins indeed. And even if there were, the holy knight, Jize, was with them too. It shouldn’t be difficult supporting two fronts. Moreover, they also had the elite of the kingdom with them, the Kingdom Magic Corps.
As long as the goblins themselves don’t have a large-scale mage unit, then the kingdom magic corps will gain plenty of merits in this battle.
“The imperial guards are in position.”
After the messenger reported that, Valdor quietly closed his eyes and calmed himself down.
“…This is the end. Bring down the hammer of justice on these monsters that torment us!”
At Valdor’s behest, the eastern army marched, and the rest of the human forces followed suit.
“Hurry! The third squad is late!”
Shumea commanded as she wiped her cheeks covered in soot.
“Shumea-dono, the demihumans and the Ganra Archers are in position.”
The general of the Bow and Arrow Army (Fanzel), Ra Gilmi Fishiga the Hero of Ganra, called out to Shumea, who was at the center, ordering the human platoons to get into formation.
That soot-covered face slackened a little, and she smiled.
“Sorry, I’m not used to battle, so it might take a while.”
“Pale-dono also said that you don’t have to push yourself too much. You originally weren’t a part of the border guards. It can’t be helped.”
When Gilmi said that nonchalantly, Shumea raised her beautiful brows in surprise.
“So goblins can even console people now? This is a new discovery.”
“I was just saying the truth.”
While they were idly talking, the army finished getting into formation. Their formation was a Double-Row Formation. From the start, their objective was defense. Facing the enemy at the front lines, were the orcs, the goblins, and the humans. In the second row were the archers of Ganra and the demihumans.
This was a formation that was meant to stop the enemy and then counterattack. The Ganra Tribe was at the center, while the demihumans were at the flanks.
“It’s precisely because the situation is like this that I’ll say it clearly now. Don’t expect too much from my men.”
“Understood. But that’s precisely why they’ve been split to the flanks. The orcs and Gi Zu-dono’s platoon at the center should be able to stop the enemy somehow.”
What they were scared of was the enemy trying to break through behind the holy knights. So long as they could defend against that, then even the weak border guards should be able to endure.