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Volume 4: Chapter 283 – The Borders Fall (3/3)
As the Goblin King called out to Zu Ved, who was covered in wounds all over from protecting the gate, he walked toward Bandigam to conquer it once and for all.
Gi Zu, who had set fire to the nest of the wyverns, killed the enemy soldiers that gathered as soon as he saw them.
“Kill them all, this war tonight is for us!”
As Gi Zu bellowed loudly, the humans literally fell as soon as they met him and his forces. He spun his spear and beat down the soldiers that tried to extinguish the flames. Those that wielded weapons, those that did not, none were spared, and they all fell prey to the fierce Sazanorga.
Behind them was the burning nest of the wyverns and the wyverns writhing in pain. As the greatest weapon against the goblins burned right before them, impatience spurred the Bandigam soldiers to fight, only to fall prey to the Sazanorga.
Until now, Gi Zu could only watch Rashka gather one achievement after another, but now, he too could finally gain merit. And all that pent up stress spurred him on like the great flames that raged behind him.
“How did they get in?” Gulland asked.
“I don’t know. By the time we knew it, the gates were open,” a soldier reported.
As Gulland clicked his tongue, he knew that the fortress was already gone. Anxious gazes poured onto him, but all he could do now was to take out his great sword and order a retreat.
“Open the southern and northern gates, let the people and the soldiers escape! The enemy will come from the west.”
The goblins were logical and simple. Rather than go around and attack from the east, they would much rather attack from the west that was close to their base.
“Y-Yes! As you command!”
It was an order given partly from intuition, but when the information of the battlefield was a mess, there were many cases when one had to make a gamble. Especially, in a situation where one has been taken by surprise.
“Save as many as you can, even if it’s just one person more!” Gulland said.
Rasdir took the Iron Bull Knights and ran up to Gulland.
“We’re escaping. What about you?”
“We’re escaping too. Damn it all! Go west. I have some connections in Berkel.”
Gulland said, and despite the frown on Rasdir, he thanked him.
“I’ll surely repay this debt.”
Rasdir had to feed the people of the late Elfa. He wasn’t like Gulland, who could afford to just lead the margrave’s army. If the fortress were to fall, naturally, it was the people that would be exposed to danger.
Gulland had the soldier with the most discerning eye among the margrave’s army accompany Rasdir, then he started for the west.
The next person to appear before him was the commander of the third company of holy knights. Some of the volunteer soldiers were there too. With Eleanor and Yuan at the lead, they made their resolve and rendezvoused with Gulland.
“We’ll stop them here. Gulland-dono, lead the margrave’s army and the volunteer soldiers and escape.”
Clad in the white armor, characteristic of the holy knights of the church, Yuan told Gulland to flee, and Eleanor too nodded.
But Gulland’s lips only twisted as he rejected their proposal. Eleanor’s eyes opened wide in surprise.
“As I said before, I will do as I please.”
“Save the talk, little girl.”
Being treated like a little girl made Eleanor frown, but Yuan whispered at her, and she quietly nodded.
“In that case, allow us to accompany you, hero, Gulland.”
Gulland snorted and laughed, and as he saw Felduk approach, the fierce smile on him grew deeper.
“Hey, Yuan. If you’re going to call yourself a holy knight, then at the very least there is something you need to accomplish first no matter the cost. Do you know what that is?”
As Gulland’s gaze moved from Eleanor to Yuan, that gaze grew sharper.
As Gulland turned his back to them, he faced Felduk.
As he raised up the Great Sword of Blue Lightning, mana gathered around it. As it devoured the air, it blew up a cloud of dust and smoke, wounding ts way up toward the heavens.
The gathered mana clad onto the sword, and the sword descended onto the approaching goblins, transforming into a violent wind that lashed out as a whirling tornado, giving rise to many casualties among their enemies.
“Survive and protect those that you must protect. That’s the condition to become a holy knight.”
‘In that sense, we are all failures as holy knights,’ Gulland seemed to say as he swung his great sword with his cheeks twisted in self-mockery.
“Here stands the man that stole your king’s treasure! Come, goblins!”
As Gulland advanced, the margrave’s army and Eleanor’s forces accompanied him to attack the weakened Felduk.
But no matter how hard a fight Gulland fought, the situation could not be changed.
And in the end, the troops stationed at Fort Bandigam could not withstand Felduk’s offensive in the night, and they had no choice but to flee eastward through the gates that Gulland had opened.
When the sun had risen, Fort Bandigam fell completely, and Alrodena occupied it. The refugees made up of nearly 30,000 military and civilian personnel were almost all of the people that resided in Bandigam.
They headed for either the port city of Yerkshire to the north or the border city of Berkel to the south, but by the time they finally arrived at their destination, the flags of the cities they so desperately toiled to reach were those of
“But that’s impossible… Just how?”
During the siege, the Goblin King had secretly mobilized the two armies, Aransain and Zeilduk, that were originally positioned for the Wyvern Knights.
The two armies rushed, and in the blink of an eye, they were able to take the two cities. Now, even the borderlands were dyed in the colors of Alrodena.
Some of the refugees that were originally heading for one of these two cities finally couldn’t take it and dropped out. They had walked all that distance without any decent grub, only to be rewarded by this? Despair itself seemed to dye them.
Most of the refugees could only leave those people behind as they changed their destination to the east.
Altigand’s main force should be headed for the west. Eleanor encouraged the civilians and the soldiers, and they hurried to the east. At that time, the refugees numbered 20,000.
The Alrodena army gave chase, and with Aransain that occupied Yerkshire, the Zeilduk that took down Berkel, and the Felduk and Sazanorga that took down Bandigam – with all those prominent generals – the Goblin King headed east.
In the late spring of the 5th year of the King’s Calendar, the Goblin King led Alrodena to point their blade at Altigand’s throat.