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Volume 4: Chapter 295 – Zu Ved (2/5)
Like a swarm of ants crawling over the earth, the swarm of humans moved for Fort Bandigam. The spears and swords in their hands sparkled, each noisily asserting itself in the sunlight rising from the east.
It was currently the height of summer, yet the morning temperature remained cool and the clear air laid bare the horizon. There was something to the sight of all of those enemies marching for them from beyond the horizon that overwhelmed Ved. But even that was only for a moment. He quickly renewed his spirit, smiled fearlessly, then informed Gi Zu of their defensive situation.
“They’ve almost reached our traps,” Ved said.
“Aim for the vanguard,” Gi Zu said.
In Sazanorga, it was Ved who took care of the practical side of the army. Gi Zu would usually just point the army to a general direction.
That was true whether they fought monsters or humans. But that didn’t mean that Gi Zu couldn’t do anything. He learned from the Goblin King and always took responsibility.
An overwhelming number of enemies lay before them. Yet the goblins under him continued to burn with fighting spirit. Perhaps, it was a kind of charisma he possessed that lit such a fire in them.
At Gi Zu’s behest, logs were sent tumbling down for the hero’s army. With the exception of the Ganra tribe led by Ra Gilmi Fishiga and the war slaves of the
They were unskilled with their hands, and they struggled to use bows. They could only make simple traps, but that was precisely why they were effective against an enemy trying to brute force their way through.
“They took those traps head on.”
“There’s too many of them, so they can’t even try to dodge.”
Gi Zu frowned when he saw the enemy charge straight for the pitfalls they dug. Just as Ved said, it was indeed a good thing for the enemy to fall for their trap. It was a trap they prepared, after all. So they ought to at least do their part in whittling away at the enemy’s overwhelming numbers, no matter how little.
Though Gi Zu may have said that it would do for them to simply take down 300 men each, that was actually close to impossible. At the very least, the enemy before them was not something they could defeat fair and square.
From the way the enemy trampled over their allies that fell for their pitfalls, Gi Zu could not help but feel that their morale was abnormally high.
The soldiers of Sazanorga threw stones and wood from their ramparts at the top of the slope, which have been oiled as per Gi Za Zakuend’s advice.
The enemy desperately tried to climb up but could not, allowing them to whittle away at their numbers as much as they pleased. Fort Bandigam was surrounded by high walls, but they rebuilt only a part of it to direct the enemy to this path.
Under Gi Za Zakuend’s skills, the mountainous region behind Fort Bandigam was transformed into a solid defensive position. Pale, who had been disheartened by Rashka’s death, did give some advice but few changes were made.
Pale held the record for holding off bigger armies, so the fact that she could change little about Gi Za Zakuend’s arrangements spoke volumes of his skill. And it was the goblins of Sazanorga that were carrying out Gi Za’s plans.
With just 1,000 soldiers, they would stop an army of 300,000 soldiers. Gi Za did not send Gi Zu to undertake such a ridiculous mission without any plans.
What Gi Za and Gi Zu were trying to do was merely to delay the enemy. They would weaken the enemy while gradually retreating, then rendezvous with the main force. There were many factors to take into consideration, but they were by no means planning on crushing the enemy’s 300,000. They just needed to buy time.
Of course, Gi Zu wasn’t so foolish as to say right from the start that they would be retreating, as doing so would affect morale. But even without that, Ved and the other pillars of Sazanorga could figure out as much from their priority of buying time, bringing the question then to ‘how long they could persist.’ Gi Za and Pale racked their heads, and their estimates were that Gi Zu would be able to hold for a month at most.
However, that estimate was about to be overturned.
For there was no semblance of leadership for the 300,000 soldiers attacking Fort Bandigam. Their mad charge forced a groan out of Gi Zu.
They had no regard for their comrades in arms, be they caught in pitfall or wood or stone. They trampled over them with no exception as they desperately sought to climb up the slope, only to trample too over those that slipped from the oil.
And neither did their equipment garner praise, besides their weapons, anyway.
Most of them were not even with the simplest leather armor, their numbers made up not only of men but also of women with messy hair and even the elderly. Just that alone spoke volumes of the abnormality of their army.
Ved too became confused.
The enemy showed no signs of stopping. Just what was it that they believed in? What was it that compelled them? They, who ran at them with voices strained, rushing madly as though they could not die quicker. Did they not fear for their life?
When that thought crossed Ved’s mind, he shook his head.
Until now, all the humans that they’ve fought, whether they were good or evil, were humane. But it seemed that might not be the case with Altigand. Ved shuddered.
“Fire. Let’s set them on fire.”
When Gi Zu heard Ved say that, he felt that it would be necessary for him to make an appearance in the front lines. If Ved, his second-in-command, was intimidated, then his other subordinates must be too.
“I’ll be going out too.”
Just the sight of Gi Zu in the front lines would bolster Sazanorga’s morale.
“What’s the matter!? Don’t tell me you’re scared by something on this level!?”
Gi Zu’s voice resounded loud and clear, and the goblins that have been swallowed by the abnormality of their enemy turned to their ‘pops’ with a startled look. Just by Gi Zu being there full of confidence as usual was enough to change their terrified looks into leisurely smiles.
There was nothing to fear. Because just like usual, their pops was here to watch over them.
Gi Zu went around the battlefield to encourage his soldiers, then he climbed up a spire and looked over the whole battlefield again.
“This won’t last a month.”
Gi Zu muttered, and Ved nodded. It wasn’t until late into the night that the battle ended. The humans persistently attacked even in the night despite having eyes unsuited for it. They fought by continuously changing their forces, but Sazanorga managed to hold.
But while there were no casualties on their side, the fatigue was great. And they couldn’t help but be gloomy when they thought of how the same thing would repeat itself tomorrow.
“Let’s split our forces into two.”
Sazanorga would replace a few of their soldiers everyday. Gi Zu was being considerate and trying to lessen the load on his soldiers, but this turned out to be half a failure and half a success.
As a fortress, Bandigam could accommodate 5,000 soldiers. 1,000 soldiers was already considered small, so it was even harder to defend the fort with just 500. Though they managed to mitigate their fatigue, they gradually started piling up on the damage.
Five days later when the damage was starting to get bad, Gi Zu started considering retreating from Fort Bandigam. Gi Zu’s forces threw everything they had at the enemy, while the enemy took everything on without a care.
As a result, the resources that they’ve stored up in Bandigam were quickly being depleted.
“We’ll retreat to the mountainous region in the dead of the night.”
“Two hours later.”
Wide awake, Gi Zu looked down toward the unfolding darkness, while Ved nodded and quietly went to wake up his men.
“Two months and 25 days left, huh…”
The thought of needing to risk his life once more brought a smile to Gi Zu’s lips.
Gi Zu’s Sazanorga gathered everyone in the dark, and they opened the damaged gate. Sazanorga stifled even the slightest voice as they ran. The goblins could see in the night, that’s why they could move in the dark with perfect coordination.
They quietly took down the enemy and ran without letting even their breath make sound. For the first time they were bathed in blood, but the enemy was large, about 300,000 large in fact, so they could not help themselves but take a long time to respond.
Gi Zu took advantage of that to break through their encirclement and retreat into the mountainous region with barely any resistance.