Chapter 4: It’s Time To Use Town Portal Scroll
The battle came to a standstill and the squadron leader Klein became more and more anxious.
This development has far exceeded his expectations.
The operation this time was not something that went through the approval of battalion leader, Lord Wals, but his own decision. In fact, he took his own squad out in the name of daily patrols to raid this remote mountain village using the intelligence gathered by the informant.
He had hoped that the sudden raid this time would take out one of the supply bases of the rebel army, lure them out and deal them a serious blow. Even better if some of their important members were killed, so that he could acquire enough merits to leave that crappy Leimu City.
The former half of the plan had proceeded excellently but the latter half of the plan had deviated completely since a quarter of an hour ago.
The whistling sound of a greatsword came again. He also, once more, evaded the strike with his deft movements and launched three stabs using the chance when his opponent lost her center of gravity, but this opponent used the broad side of her sword to block the attacks over and over again before using an elegant side kick to dispel his thrust attempt. Their fists collided and Klein was forced to retreat.
This battle had been going on for nearly a quarter of an hour. Of course, he had not gone all out and his opponent was clearly the same.
As one of the best swordsmen in Leimu City, Klein believed his technique was above his opponent and the energy consumption was surely far less as well. Though a female, her strength far surpassed his. But if it was a one-on-one duel in the arena, he believed the wolfkin swordswoman holding the double-handed greatsword would inevitably fall into a disadvantageous situation due to her energy consumption. However, the opponent’s weapon was more applicable in such a battlefield which made the outcome hard to determine.
Meeting an opponent that could fight him on equal ground in this place made him slightly astonished.
She could not possibly be some unknown person!
This made Klein excited. The informant’s intelligence was obviously much more accurate than he expected. An unintentional hunt led him to capture such a big fish?
But in the next moment, four to five long spears stabbed at him from two sides. He was forced to backflip consecutively in order to dodge them.
The situation of the war had gradually worsened from the deadlock earlier while he was unaware. Even more wolfmen had rushed over but those stupid mastiffmen soldiers in his surroundings had already lost their fighting spirit. With the sudden increase of the wolfkin warriors that encircled them to more than four times their original numbers, the defense line they had maintained starts to crumble. This allowed even more wolfkin warriors to surround him.
Klein could not help getting angry at this.
He already had a guess as to who he was facing.
Although the information was scarce, the number of high-ranked females among the rebel army was only that much. The slender silver wolf girl in front of him fit the characteristics of one target. Klein was almost certain, she was one of the top-ranked bandit leaders on the wanted list of the duchy, Nina Lamus, one of the surviving members of the so-called royalty of the Silvermoon wolfkin and the most famous “Moon Lady”.
If not, it would be impossible to gather so many wolfkin warriors in this place!
The Grand Duke Santarx offered a bounty of fifty thousand Renal for her head. If he could catch her alive and send her to the bed of the grand duke who was known for his wide range of eccentric and perverted tendencies, that would become three hundred thousand Renal. Even if he killed her on the spot and brought her head back, Klein would still be able to skip past the battalion leader position and become the barony’s regiment leader. He might even get promoted to Sier and become one of the Baron’s direct subordinate and thus truly enter the upper class.
This was what he, the freak that suffered alienation from other half-elves due to his striking resemblance to a real elf, had always dreamt of.
However, with the gradual retreat of the mastiffmen, his chances for success became dimmer.
He continuously used his rapier tip to deflect the spear tips that chased after him and lured these impudent wolfmen to the line of battle at his side, but that wolf swordswoman used every chance she had to rush out from behind those wolfmen and cut down the soldiers together with their longsword whenever he jumped away.
The line of battle wavered in an instant.
What a violent wolf girl!
Klein rushed to the flank of the wolfmen and fell one of the wolfmen with a stab, but without waiting for his next move, the whistling sound came once again from behind him. He somersaulted with a single hand and avoided the fierce pursuit of that huge sword while increasing the distance between them.
If he knew that Nina Lamus would be here, he would not have brought only this much people! Even if he had to share the merits with Wals, he would definitely bring at least half of the regiment!
A company of one hundred and twenty people was more than capable of dealing with any normal situations but now, they had to face over five hundred wolfkin warriors!
The rapier in Klein’s hand shook and skillfully parried the spear of a wolfman on the right side, causing him to lose his balance and fell. Before the swordswoman managed to come here, his rapier moved like a viper and penetrated the left eye of the wolfman.
The rapier’s tip pierced through the eyeball and the feedback from the skull were transmitted to his hand, making Klein somewhat elated. Soon after, he nimbly drew out the rapier, dodged the indignant swordswoman’s strike and when he wanted to go on an attack again, even more long spears tried to stab him.
“Nina Lamus!?” he shouted while deftly evading and countering. “Why let our subordinates bleed for no reason? Let us simply settle this problem with honor! You and me, a one-on-one fair duel!”
The answer given by the opponent was even more longspears and swords.
“Coward! Are you even qualified to be royalty? Where’s your honor?” he deliberately jeered in a loud voice but she did not change her course of action. These words did not work out as he expected, not only did she not stood out to battle him one-on-one, even more furious wolfmen were attracted. He was forced to backpedal a few steps and escape the battlefront to their own battle line.
“When you guys slaughtered the old and the feeble and surrounded the ones who fell behind with ten times the number of soldiers, where was your honor?”
The swordswoman called Nina finally stopped pressing forward. She stabbed the two-handed greatsword into the ground in front of her, quickly tied her silver hair that became disheveled from the previous battle into a ponytail, then raised the greatsword once again.
“When you all torment the widows and the young girls, where was your so-called honor!? You despicable, shameless, depraved, vulgar trash! You are not qualified to utter the word honor!”
Her words clearly incited the rage of those mountain people. A wolfman by her side howled all of a sudden, then other howling sounds occurred and spread in all directions which made the mastiffmen panicked.
A bunch of useless things!
As the empire’s standing army, even if just as a barony’s garrison troops, they were actually scared of mere mountain people!
Klein scolded them in his heart.
However, the opponent had clearly admitted the name he had called out. This made him slightly fell into ecstasy.
Even if the whole company was sacrificed here, as long as he escaped, three hundred thousand Renal worth of intelligence ought to persuade Wals that greedy and short-sighted half-elf to dispatch the whole regiment to eradicate this entire mountain area. As long as he could catch this bandit leader back, this merit would offset this small mistake.
The Baron who stayed at the imperial capital all year long would not care for the lives of these filthy beasts, the same could be said for half-elf governor. Although Wals would attempt to humiliate him once again, this was only another test of patience for him.
The slums outside the city of Leimu and Sier have so many dogkin willing to become soldiers. So long as he could obtain the head of this wolf girl named Nina, there would be no problem whatsoever..
“Where’s Nager!?” Klein suddenly recalled this subordinate. Before these wolfmen launched their surprise attack, he had acted according to Klein’s order to pick a few wolf girls to be displayed in the center of the village so that those wolfmen who hid themselves in the surrounding forest would be lured out to their death while at the same time, avoiding disadvantageous combat in the unfamiliar forest. But he had never expected that they would creep into the village during their most relaxing period and launch a surprise attack.
Since the battle had already started, the previous arrangements had become meaningless. But in this kind of disadvantageous situation, those wolf girls could be used as hostages to coerce these attackers into hesitation.
Perhaps the opportunity lied in that very fact?
“Let Nager bring out those wolf girls!” he grabbed one of the subordinates and said. “Faster!”
Their defense line had already been pushed to around the leftover houses of the village in order to withstand the arrows and javelins from the wolfmen, which was not far from the house that locked up the wolf girls. Both sides made the most of this momentary gap to stimulate their morale and prepare for the next fight. At this time, the soldier that had been assigned by Klein brought back news that made him flew into a rage.
Nager died, not only that, the team he brought with him all died a violent death and the wolf girls all disappeared.
“Bastard!” Klein bellowed in rage.
This kind of thing unexpectedly happened right under his nose? Nager, that incompetent fool deserved to die a thousand death!
Given the current situation, he had to think of his escape now.
“How many war wolves are left?” he asked another junior captain.
“Nine!” he answered quickly. “But most of them sustain injuries!”
“How many are uninjured?”
This team under Klein originally had twenty war wolves. These beasts were usually fed with the dead bodies of slaves or commoners who were killed by torture. Sometimes, the wolf cavalry would let them attack the villages that owed taxes or those merchant caravans without any background in order to maintain their vicious and aggressive nature. Such beasts were far less effective than any horses on the plains, but they had far more combat power and mobility than any mount on the mountains and forests.
Compared to these mastiffmen soldiers, the loss of these war wolves pained Klein more.
The other party obviously knew about this too. Their first attack happened at the place where these war wolves were gathered. At least thirty bows and a great number of javelins focused their attacks and dealt serious injuries to these beasts. Then, a great number of wolfmen holding longspears appeared at their surroundings and caused heavy damage to these beasts that relied on their instincts to engage in combat after losing the knights that commanded them.
If not for this, the impact of twenty-five charging war wolves could defeat ten times the number of soldiers.
Klein immediately nodded his head.
“Get both of them here, later you are in charge of leading the troops to break out of the encirclement on the north side!”
This junior captain understood his meaning right away.
“Lord Klein!?” his voice quivered.
“Only when I go back alive, can I find a way avenge you guys. Your family will also be able to get their pension. If I die here, according to the military law, you all will also die and you will also not get anything!” Klein stated like it was a matter of course. “This is the only way now.”
The junior captain and the surrounding mastiffmen went into silence. Soon, they nodded.
“Please do not forget about us, Lord…”
“I remember all your names clearly, rest assured,” Klein said.
The elves’ promise to their vassal races was one of the things that should not be trusted the most in this whole continent, second only to the slave traders’ consciences and half-elves perfectly replicated this point. But at this very moment, the mastiffmen had no other choice but to force themselves to believe him.
The empire’s military laws were quite lenient towards elves and half-elves but for other vassal races, it was extremely cruel. If their leading officer perished in a fight, the guards must all die. For the lowest level soldiers like them that numbered only this much, if their leading officer died, unless they could defeat the enemy troops and received enough merits, they would all be executed even if they went back alive. Their family members would also be judged guilty by association.
They did not even dare to commit desertion because once their identity was confirmed, their family would all be put to death. The best outcome would be enslavement.
This news quickly spread among those remaining mastiffmen that still had fighting strength and the air of despair filled the atmosphere. More and more wolfmen rushed over here, their numbers had exceeded them by more than five times. Yet at this time, the district captain that brought them here, Klein had decided to throw them away!
However, Klein did not care. The difference in bloodlines and the cruelty of military laws had long determined the difference in their fate. It also determined their non-existent courage to oppose. They were not like the proud and unbending wolfkins that hid in the mountain and forest that sometimes rebelled and sometimes surrendered. The dogkins had adhered to the elves and became lowly cannon fodders since thousands of years ago. They were good at bullying other races but for the elves and half-elves, obedience had been etched into their very soul.
A mastiffman started to bark towards the sky. A few seconds later, all the mastiffmen began to madly barked in despair. Soon after, under the leadership of that junior captain, the remaining mastiffmen soldiers raised their weapons and charged towards the north where the enemies numbered the highest.
A bloody battle broke out immediately. When the mastiffmen entered the battle with the determination to die, this narrow area had become the constraint for the wolfmen’s advantage in numbers.
The female swordswoman was forced to grab her greatsword and head towards the place where the battle was the fiercest and directly smashed two leading mastiffmen flying back and crashed into their comrades behind. Still, this merely slowed down the mastiffmen’s attacks somewhat. All the mastiffmen soldiers were attacking madly without any care for their injuries and deaths. In just a short amount of time, more than thirty wolfkin warriors and ten mastiffmen soldiers died.
The standard equipment for the mastiffmen was superior to the wolfmen’s. When their violent nature thoroughly erupted, the wolfmen who had five times their numbers were scattered apart by their charge all of a sudden.
But this result did not make Klein happy, instead, he was dissatisfied.
“If this momentum and courage had appeared earlier, I would have caught the Moon Lady!” he said in disdain while urging the war wolf. “A bunch of trash!”
He spurred the two war wolves and rushed out of the battlefield at the fastest speed, crossed over the wolfmen’s defensive line that had fallen apart, made some chaos and killings in the crowd of people, shook off his pursuers that tried to surround him and followed the nearest trail.
Klein waved a longspear, sliced a reckless wolfman’s throat and stabbed another wolfman to his death. For someone who possessed an elf bloodline and went through rigorous training, this kind of technique was too easy.
The killing slightly eased his anger and made him laughed out loud. Suddenly, he saw a war wolf with a saddle on its back that obviously ran away from the battle, tearing apart something, just ahead of him.
Soon, he came near that war wolf and it lifted up its head out of habit. At this moment, Klein saw that it was stepping on a slightly familiar body. Strangely, he was supposed to have been torn apart for a long period of time, yet there were no obvious wounds.
What was happening here?
He quickly swept past this half-elf of unknown origin but a few seconds later, he urged the war wolf to run back here.
The wolfmen were quickly approaching him. They did not leave him much time to flee.
Yet Klein stared at the body that obviously still had signs of life, his mind churning.
Anything abnormal would have its own value. Although he had no idea what it was, his instinct was telling him that this might be the chance to turn around the effect brought about by the failure this time.
He gave an order to the other war wolf. It hesitated for a moment before it ran back and bit the body of this half-elf and held it in its mouth. Then, it ran while following behind Klein.
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