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Tl Note: Sorry, guys. Jiggly missed a chapter. Here it is. Also, thanks to haroune601 for pointing it out.
Volume 3: Chapter 234 – A Bitter Reversal (1/3)
Regardless of whether the soldiers simply died out or scattered about, the imperial guards meant to protect the royal family now numbered only 200. After Germion Kingdom was defeated at the Battle of Three Forests (Rakushuto), they headed back to the eight fortresses of the west while cowering from the goblins chasing them from behind.
Half a day after the battle, Jize took his southern army to serve as the shield during the retreat of the crown prince, but that was an act akin to standing in the way of a muddy stream with nothing but the strength of a human. After gaining momentum, the goblin forces swallowed the forces of the holy knight and pursued after the imperial guards.
The crown prince didn’t even have time to contact Valdor the Holy Knight, who was busy fighting at the front lines, before being forced to retreat.
“There is a river ahead. Shall we rest for a bit?” The exhausted officer asked.
The crown prince nodded. “I’ll leave it to you.”
The officer was relieved from the bottom of his heart to hear that. To that, Ishtar could only internally apologize. He was tired too. In fact, everyone was. He imagined it was probably the soldiers exhausted from the battle who rested as he arrived to the riverbank and looked toward the direction of the three forests they fled from.
Even now it felt like he was seeing a bad dream. But the pain from the arrow wound on his left arm made it clear that this was not a dream.
Despite taking two of the proud holy knights of the kingdom, they lost to the goblins’ surprise attack. Even he, the crown prince, just barely escaped with his life. From here on, the country was likely to teeter on the brink of destruction.
When he thought of that, he couldn’t help but feel apologetic to his grandfather.
He had lost. Throughly.
It was a difficult reality to accept, but the moment he arrives at the capital, an even realer taste of reality was sure to bite him. But despite that he had no choice but to come back alive. Even if others might reprimand him or criticize him, Ishtar was the crown prince. He knew precisely how heavy the responsibility of that title was, so he knew that he had to come back alive.
“Lizard men are attacking!”
As the resting soldiers screamed, the crown prince turned to the river.
“Prepare to intercept! Don’t panic! Take your shields and defend against the enemy’s attacks!”
At the crown prince’s behest, the imperial guards obeyed.
“We have to return alive! Return alive to Germion Kingdom!”
The imperial guards responded to the crown prince and orderly fought back against the lizard man attack. When they found themselves before the camp of the goblins they had broken through earlier and saw the flag they should have raised there, they inadvertently groaned.
The flag of Germion Kingdom had been taken away and replaced with the flag of the Soar to Freedom (Elks Clan). When they saw the minotaurs and the goblins in high spirits, they did not think they could break through at all.
“So it’s come to this…”
No one knew who said those words, but the soldiers began sitting one after another because of them.
Ishtar tried to get them back on their feet, but to these men who had lost all morale, there was no way standing up again.
“We’ll go around and move through the north!”
The crown prince exhaled. He swore in his heart not to die.
It didn’t take long after they resolved themselves for them to retreat at full speed. The moment the army of Germion Kingdom entered deep into the Western Region and its nobles army and mage army were destroyed, its defeat was guaranteed.
Although the dependable holy knight, Jize, was keeping Rashka at bay and the holy knight, Valdor, was holding on against the fierce attacks of Gi Gu Verbena’s Axe and Sword Army (Felduk), they were already at the end of their ropes.
The bow and arrow army (Fanzel) that forced the crown prince’s imperial guards to retreat and the border defense unit attacked the southern army together. Although the southern army was somehow able to stop Gi Jii Yubu’s regiol and the Gaidga Tribe, they were still being attacked from three directions, and in the end, they couldn’t even flee as their formations crumbled.
Next was the remnants of the mage army.
Their situation was even worse, as the great momentum of the goblins left them with little room to resist, and they had no choice but to be trampled over in the blink of an eye. One by one, starting from the nearest one, the forces of Germion Kingdom’s army were slowly devoured by the goblins.
The elite eastern division army were no exception.
Try as Valdor the Holy Knight to take command of the army, it was not an easy thing to go against the flow once started.
“…Retreat. I will take the rearguard along with the 1st Platoon. All forces retreat to the north.”
Valdor himself stood at the rear, but that order of his was betrayed by the quick defeat of the imperial guards in the hands of the border defense unit. After Gi Jii Yubu’s regiol quickly forced the imperial guards and the southern army to collapse, they turned around and blocked the path of the eastern division army.
Despite being a holy knight, Valdor already had his hands full just defending one front. What more now that he was being attacked from four different directions? Perhaps, if Valdor alone ran, he might have been able to make it, but the soldiers of the eastern division were men he himself had trained. He could not afford to abandon them. In the end, the eastern division army was surrounded.
Gi Gu Verbena’s subordinates surrounded them so tightly that not even ants could escape.