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Volume 4: Chapter 280 – Prelude to the Battle of Bandigam (3/3)
After confirming that there were no objections from the volunteer soldiers, the Margrave’s army, or the Iron Bull Knights, Gerald asked Eleanor again.
“Are you sure? Your forces have yet to recover, no?”
Gerald asked and Eleanor nodded.
“…I see. In that case, I will contact the empire’s army myself. This meeting is thus concluded.”
As Gulland, Rasdil, and Gerald left the room, Judith gently rested her hand on Eleanor’s shoulder and whispered by her ears.
“That’s a big role to play, but god is an ally to those ever faithful. As long as you believe in god, the path will reveal itself.”
Then Judith sent a sharp glance to Yuan, who was behind Eleanor.
“And you need to support her properly, Yuan El Farran! Remember that you need to repay the gratitude of the last generation as well!”
Seeing Yuan bow his head quietly, Judith too left the room.
“…You think I’m stupid, don’t you? That I’m a child with no sense. That I’m needlessly throwing my soldiers into danger!”
As Yuan quietly bowed his head, Eleanor yelled with a voice that trembled slightly.
“…I have been asked by my lord to support you, Eleanor-sama. You are an important person to the thirteen families of the east. Please proceed as you please. We will serve you even at the cost of our lives.”
“In that case, let’s go. I’m counting on you, vice-commander.”
“…As you will.”
The next day, the strike team departed for the mountainous region. Waiting for them were the Felduk, who’ve turned a part of the mountainous region into a defensive position, and the Gaidga Tribe, who have been impatiently waiting for their arrival.
A stone passed by them overhead and landed behind them, giving rise to clouds of dust.
“3rd Company! Advance!”
Eleanor commanded the soldiers lying face-down and covered in mud and sweat. Despite the stones flying here and there, Eleanor stood up to swing her command baton.
Running at the head of their soldiers was none other than her second-in-command, Yuan.
“Enemy fire! Barriers!”
When he saw a cloud of arrows approaching, he immediately gave the order to deploy spells, while he himself took out his shield and advanced further. But what awaited them beyond the rain of arrows were the southern goblins donned in iron.
At Gu Long’s command, fist-sized rocks were launched through slingshots toward the holy knights. With the terrain sloped as it was, the goblins had the high ground.
Because of that the stones were further accelerated by gravity and those hit by them would not be able to avoid being knocked out. However, the wall of shields erected by the holy knights were able to block most of the stones.
But that wasn’t the end. As the holy knights approached, the goblins became able to use the shorter-ranged weapons as well. Gi Gu had given his soldiers the new weapons that could be forged with Elfa’s light but strong iron.
Gi Gu was a goblin supremacist, but he was still open-minded enough to use anything he judged useful. Even if it was invented by a human.
The large shields wielded by Gu Long’s forces in the front lines was made with the same material as those of Elfa’s elite Iron Bull Knights. Spears rained down on the holy knights once again.
“Again! Raise your shields and barriers!”
At Yuan’s command, the holy knights once again raised their shields, but Gu Tough’s forces suddenly dropped thick logs and giant stones at them. When Gu Tough, who had both battle slaves and southern goblins under his command, saw that the stones had little effect on them, he decided to make use of the slope to attack.
Under the lead of Gi Gu Verbena, the three sibling goblin commanders and the other middle-grade commanders became more flexible and could now adapt to the changes in the battlefield. If the general was the brain that gave out the orders, then the middle-grade commanders made up the spine that moved the army. Being able to accomplish that was the reason why Felduk could become so strong.
In fact, it was because of that that Felduk, which boasted the biggest army within the goblin army, was believed to be the strongest army as well.
Try as the holy knights might to raise their shields and erect barriers, and even if they could endure the rain of stones and arrows, their bodies themselves could not hold against the weight of the stones and logs that threatened to crush them.
“Run! Dodge! Don’t let those hit you!”
Yuan gave out those commands as loud as he could, but it was only thanks to the extraordinary ability of each holy knight that they could respond to them. But even then, they could not avoid incurring some casualties.
Regardless, Yuan’s forces were able to overcome the stones and logs that fell toward them, and most of the holy knights displayed their individual skills as they endured the attacks of the goblins.
In the first place, it was difficult to attack a higher ground.
If you take too long, the enemy will attack, and if you hurry, you’ll run out of stamina. Despite that the third company of holy knights attacked the goblins because they had to lure them out.
Felduk raised their large shields to prepare for the attacks coming at them from below.
Not only was their general excellent and the mid-grade commanders supporting him excellent, but the soldiers fighting were brave and obedient as well. In a sense, that was an army that could be called ideal, and Yuan had to lead his holy knights against it.
“Fire Bullets! Shoot!”
With his shield raised, Yuan advanced toward the goblins above the small hill, while giving orders to the holy knights under him. The holy knights were skilled in both magic and martial arts. That’s why they could be revered as both a shield and a sword of the church.
The holy knights raised their staves and shot out fire bullets into the front lines of Felduk.
The lines quickly turned into a toothless comb and the soldiers behind had to quickly close the gap, but that gave enough time for Yuan to encroach into their lines. And by swinging his sword everywhere, the wound on the lines of the goblins grew bigger.
“Fire Bullets! Shoot!”
The holy knights focused their fire bullets around Yuan.
Some of them even landed right next to Yuan and gave rise to pillars of flame.
But Yuan continued to cut open a path and go even deeper.
“I’ll do it!”
Though it was Felduk that allowed the holy knights to bite into their ranks, they had more layers than any other goblin army. One of the three sibling goblin commanders stood before Yuan to block his path.
With a halberd in one hand and a shield in the other, Gu Big faced off against Yuan.
Though not as much as the subordinates under Gi Go Amatsuki the Sword Saint, the goblin siblings have still been trained thoroughly under Gi Gu Verbena. And the sharpness of the stroke drawn by his halberd would not be inferior to a holy knight’s.
After clashing several times, Yuan turned his back on Gu Big and retreated.
“Are you running!?”
When Yuan returned to his forces, he began retreating with the holy knights.
“Chase them! Don’t let the enemy escape!”
When Yuan heard the cries of the goblins that began to descend from the hill, he knew that he’d succeeded in his role.
“…Now, all that’s left is to find out whether I get to keep my life or not!”
As he cut down an enemy in his path, Yuan ran down the hill.