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Volume 3: Chapter 249 – Battle of Gilgimel Plains II (3/3)
“The enemy has prepared a three-layered formation to receive our attack. Their cavalry is their main force; hence, they plan to receive our attack with their footmen, and then wipe us out using their cavalry.”
“That’s a fairly straightforward formation for the famed War Princess.”
“Generals only really resort to original tactics when they are at a disadvantage. She probably believes she can defeat us just by relying on the orthodox strategies.”
When Pale said that, the goblins participating in the war council became angry.
“Naturally we will show her that she’s mistaken.”
“But of course,” Gi Gu laughed, his canine teeth showing.
“Gi Gu-dono will take his army and assume a half-circle formation. The king’s cavalry will serve as the center of the middle guard, Zaurosh-dono’s cavalry will accompany them at the center, and the archers will be positioned at the rear guard adjacent to Felduk.
“Hmm… So you want to break through the center.”
Pale nodded to the Goblin King’s words.
“Yes. This is a plan the Ripper Knight used before.”
The strategy used by Sivara the Ripper Knight.
“As such, Gi Gu-dono’s ability to serve as the vanguard will be indispensable. Can you do it?”
“Who do you think you’re talking to?”
Gi Gu smiled fiercely.
“We will break through the enemy’s footmen and archers, and then immediately turn the cavalry around. As the enemy cavalry tries to take us from the flanks, we will wipe them out from the back.”
The Goblin King and the rest of the people gathered here were like students listening to a teacher answer a question. They all nodded.
“After breaking open the center, Felduk will form a circle to protect the archers. Afterwards, our cavalry shall wipe out the enemy while the elves cancel their ranged attacks with elven magic.”
This plan of using Felduk as a shield, while the cavalry was to be used as the sword was easy for the goblins to comprehend. The high-ranking goblins nodded.
After Pale finished explaining the gist of her plan, the iron-legged messenger dispatched by Gi Ga Rax finally reached her.
“Aransain and Zailduk are fighting the Kushunora!”
The messenger’s voice resounded throughout the war council.
“…We’ve been had?” Pale muttered to herself anxiously.
“But even then, our army couldn’t possibly lose!” The Goblin King said.
Pale looked up to the king in surprise, but the king only glanced at her before turning to the goblins and humans gathered in the war council and addressing them.
“Just as Pale has planned, the enemy now matches our numbers. We have never before lost to an army of the same size.”
“We will do as the king wills. The traitor Kushunoras also need to be bathed in blood.”
Gi Gu agreed, and the Goblin King nodded.
“First, let us break through the enemy before us. Everything else will come after that.”
The Goblin King turned to the messenger and gave him permission to rest, then he turned to Pale and told her to have Aransain go around the west.
“We’ll have Gi Jii and Zailduk wage the siege battle with the Kushunora, but Aransain is to rendezvous with the western army as quickly as they can.”
“This order shall be passed on.”
Aransain would need at least four days to rendezvous with them regardless how fast they were.
In this sensitive situation where a battle could start at any moment, four days was too long.
“Your Majesty, when shall we start the battle?”
“We’ll have to start it whether we like it or not when the enemy makes their move, but until then, we’ll wait for Aransain! Do not let your guard down!”
As the Goblin King’s retainers all bowed simultaneously, he dismissed them.
“Do you think we can hold for four days?” The Goblin King asked.
“…I don’t think the enemy will wait that long,” Pale replied.
The Goblin King silently closed his eyes and felt admiration for the War Princess’ yet unfolding schemes. But at the same time, he felt the desire to fight burn within him.
The following day, on the morning of the first day of the Month of Drago, the holy army of the Holy Shushunu Kingdom made their move, and the War at Gilgimel Plains, one of the turning points in the War Princess Battle, commenced.
“Ojousama, your orders.”
At the sound of her feeble aide’s voice, a full-armored Blanche quietly lifted up one of her arms.
At the sound of the Assistant Officer’s voice, the lower commanders also passed the command.
The footmen making their slow advance were drafted from various countries. The main force that was the cavalry showed no signs of moving.
In response, the goblins too made their move. As Gi Gu led Felduk to advance into a half-circle formation, the Goblin King ordered him to advance.
“Send a messenger to Gi Gu Verbena.”
The messenger soldiers mostly made up of Paradua goblins shot forth like an arrow from Pale to wade through the battlefield and deliver a message to Gi Gu.
“I have received His Majesty’s orders!”
Gi Gu, who had drawn his sword and axe, turned to his subordinates and commanded them with a bellow.
“Advance soldiers. We shall cut open a path for our king!”
Gu Naga (Long), Gu Tough, and Gu Big bellowed out along with the rest of the intermediate commanders to encourage their soldiers. Some of them used the war drums recommended by Gi Go to signal the advance of the army.
At the sound of the drums, the soldiers wielding shields and axes stepped forward. Behind them were the soldiers wielding stone slings. Further toward the back, were the druids of the south, already chanting.
If they attacked from outside the range of the enemy, they would naturally incur fewer casualties.
Gi Gu had searched for a way to allow the normal goblins to attack from a distance despite not being able to use bows. Even if they couldn’t attack consecutively, as long as they could attack from outside the enemy’s range, the damage they could inflict on them mentally and physically would be great.
Inspired by the catapults of the humans, Gi Gu established a projectile-based platoon (Slow) and widened his tactics. He’d originally wanted to use this platoon alongside the anti-cavalry palisade to fight off the enemy cavalry, but they were still plenty effective against the approaching footmen.
After all, stones flying at high speed were extremely lethal. Moreover, the druids of the south, though few in number, were not under Gi Za Zakuend and were under his command. Because of that he was able to gather the functions of multiple armies under his army.
This was a battle formation made possible because he was capable enough to conquer the southern lands and make the goblins living there obey him.
When Gi Gu had ascertained that the enemy footmen were near enough, he raised his voice and had the drums beat. As the rhythm of the war drums changed, the footmen stopped their advance and lined up their shields, then the stone throwers from behind used their slings to launch stones, flooding the ranks of the spear-wielding footmen of the enemy forces.
As the rhythm of the war drums changed once more, Gi Gu gave orders to the three sibling goblins in charge of the front lines.
“Stop throwing stones! Take out your swords!”
At Gu Naga Ferun’s order, the projectile platoon (slow) changed their weapons in anticipation of a close-up battle. This was the same strategy once exhibited by the hero of Pena, Allen. Even if the frontmost forces could not do it, Gi Gu adopted the strategy as he believed it should be feasible for the second and third lines.
“Raise your shields!”
Gu Tough Duen and Gu Big Rueh raised their voice. The spears used by the goblins were all big, and were built with wood reinforced by iron.
The scariest part about long spears is their length.
That was also the case for Gi Jii Yubu’s regiol, and the way he had his soldiers gather together and advance with their spears lined up was just like a hedgehog running with its spines standing on end. Devoted to the concept of ‘attacking the enemy from a place they can’t reach’, he had a preference for even longer spears.
There was another way to use long spears other than thrusting with it. And that was to smash with it. Line up the spears, raise them up, and smash! With the centrifugal force bolstered by the length of the spear, the resulting power would be no different from a descending club.
As strong as goblin warriors may be, charging in without a plan would only result in their defeat. Moreover, the long spear soldiers of Gi Jii Yubu also had the anti-cavalry palisade, making them a versatile branch of the goblin forces.
The Goblin King had his four generals each adopt their personal color. Aransain was a cavalry army that focused on speed, Felduk was a monster army that focused on soldiers that could handle monster beasts, Fanzel was a mixed army, and Felduk was an army that revolved around the goblins’ heightened physical abilities compared to the humans.
With the exception of the battle slaves, Felduk had a greater ratio of goblins in its ranks compared to the other three armies. It was because of that that Gi Gu Verbena’s pursuit of the goblins’ possibilities resulted in the strengthening of his army.
The footmen of the enemy wielding long spears simultaneously raised up their weapons. When Gu Tough Duen and Gu Big Rueh saw that, they called out once more.
An exceedingly simple order. The goblins at the frontmost lines positioned their shields high enough to touch their shoulder pads, preparing them to receive the spears descending from above.
As the goblins endured the impact of the spears, a commander cried out.
With a shout, the goblins passed through the spears that struck them earlier and they entered the fray. The southern goblins were shorter than normal goblins but had longer arms.
Having a smaller body meant that there were fewer places to be attacked. Because of that when confronting the long spearmen of the enemy, there was a high chance that they would choose to suppress them by overwhelming them.
Of course there were enemies that stabbed at them, but these long spearmen were from the coalition army; hence, their morale varied and they also weren’t that well coordinated.
So long as the goblins were able to close the distance enough, the battle would greatly favor the goblins with their long swords, as intercepting an enemy right at your face with a long spear wasn’t an easy task.
Aransain wouldn’t arrive until a day later.
Like this the battle at Gilgimel Plains began during the attack of the goblins.