Chapter 110 Battle of Eagle City (Part 1)
Through the misty morning fog, Timothy Wimbledon could vaguely see some flags fluttering in the wind at the top of the city's towers that were in front of him.
He raised his gaze, trying to identify the emblem that was depicted on the banner. The sailboat with a crown pattern on top of a green foundation undoubtedly belonged to his sister, Garcia Wimbledon. It was the city's largest banner.
The second banner had a white background and the image of a snake twisting around a pagoda. This emblem belonged to the Bayer Family. When Timothy had first became aware of this flag, a feeling of contempt had risen up within his heart. But even after they coming and seeking refuge under the protection of the Queen of Clearwater, they still had enough pride that they'd hung their banner above the city, they were simply too brazen. Wait until I catch you, I will make you eat your own flag, Earl Bayer, he thought.
Finally, there was the Red Lion Tower, belonging to the equally shameless Sheet Family. Outwardly, Timothy appeared expressionless, but inside his heart, he had already condemned Elin Sheet to death. It was also the same for Toman Bayer. Of course, both of them would get their very own banner to eat.
"Sir Neiman, lift my banner, the banner of the Kingdom of Graycastle," Timothy ordered.
"As you command, Your Majesty." Agreed knight Linden, and then rushed in the direction of the troops behind them "Long live the King, raise the flag!”
The newly crowned king turned around and saw his banner being raised. The gray flag was waving in the wind. The black pattern on it looked stately and awe-inspiring, it had a huge tower with two crossed spears on both sides depicted on it. This was the emblem of the King of Graycastle.
"Under this banner, I will condemn all traitors for their crimes against the throne."
The moment Timothy received the news of Garcia's declaration of independence, he had immediately taken action to show her his answer – he had mobilized all of his troops together with the troops of the Eastern Duke, and given them the order to attack Eagle City. Although his self-confidence had clearly been shaken by Garcia's unexpectedly fast action. However, on the surface he seemed to remain calm, this greatly increased the faith that all his supporting minister had in him.
He needed nearly a month before his summoned vassals and their troops could be gathered. Then it had taken a week to get to the East, from there they again needed half a month to reach their destination.
It was only yesterday evening when the sun was already on its way down that Timothy had finally arrived in Eagle City. Fortunately, the Months of the Demons hadn't affected their march; the road to the South hadn't been blocked by the snow, his situation was almost the opposite of that in Border Town. The roads had became even stronger thanks to the cold temperature thereby allowing his carriages carrying the food and his soldiers to move faster than usual.
Timothy’s team was very large. The forces were put together mostly from his own guards, the Knights of King City and the special forces from the Duke of the Eastern Border, Duke Frances. Together they numbered six thousand men, divided into three battalions, of which a thousand men belonged to the well-trained and well-equipped rank of knights. According to the reliable intelligence he had been able to gather, he knew that the size of Garcia's troops was less than three thousand people, and most of them belonged to the rank of Clearwater Port’s free people. They were usually former farmers and businessmen who had just grabbed the nearest weapon they could reach. They would never realy be a threat to his genuine knights.
When his Finance Minister Sir Arthur Golddess had become aware of Timothy's battle plans, he had immediately raised objections. So shortly after the end of the Months of the Demons, the farming operation would become the highest priority, if the farmers were to be recruited into his troops, it would later affect the harvest.
Acknowledging this objection, Timothy didn't require his vassals to deploy their serfs, instead, they had to convene the freedmen in their territory and send them so that they could take over the responsibility for the delivery and logistic. As a result, even if they were to fight in the South, it wouldn't affect the harvest in the fall.
From Timothy’s perspective, no matter what he had to do, in the end, Garcia could not be allowed to stay in the south of his kingdom any longer.
Eagle City wasn't a well-developed city. After all, previously it was only a marketplace situated in the middle of the surrounding towns. But later, just less than a century ago, with the increase of its importance to the surrounding towns, it slowly developed into a city. Because of the previous Lord’s plans to further promote the importance of its market, he decided to not build any insurmountable walls.
How strong could an army of three thousand civilians together with the men from two Earls possibly be? So the sooner Timothy started his counter measures, the better were his odds for him to win. If he was to give her even a little breathing space, she would quickly take over the whole of the Southern territory, making it very difficult for him to push her back.
After a night's rest and a good meal, his troops were now ready to fight. The sun gradually turned from a weak orange into a ball of shining gold, dispersing the morning fog. Soon Timothy could see Eagle City's earth-colored walls – in the eyes of the new King, they didn't deserve to be called walls. At best, they could be called an earthen slope. From the bottom to the top of the slope, it was just a ramp. Even without a siege ladder, his troops would still be able to directly climb it on foot. Furthermore, the slope only had a height of one person and just enough thickness to accommodate one person on top of it. While this so-called wall was good enough to block refugees and bandits, it would never be able to stop his heavily armed soldiers.
It seemed the city walls were only very sparsely manned, apparently they weren’t ready to defend the wall.
"Your Majesty, the cavalry which was in charge of observing the South Gate have came back to report. They finally saw a group of men and horses moving." Reported knight Linden, who ran back to the King while leading his horse by hand.
Timothy turned in the direction of Duke Frances and said with a knowing look, "It looks like she wants to run."
Duke Frances took a careful look for himself and nodded, "That is most probably true, and can be considered a decisive action on her part. Eagle City isn't suitable for a siege, if she tried to defend this city with her troops, it will only become a clear victory for us."
"It turned out the same as you had expected during the combat meeting last night, she really did not expect us to react so fast," he laughed.
"We arrived at just the right time," Timothy said. "She was unable to move at night, even if she had wanted to."
"You are correct, a march during night-time is a big taboo. If she really had done it, and we then took the initiative to attack, her troops would easily collapse. And once the troops collapse during the night, they will seldom have the chance to gather again. Even if she was able to flee back to Clearwater Port, it would only be delaying the inevitable.
"So, my dear sister had to wait until the morning to order the troops to retreat." Timothy looked with satisfaction at the Castle of Eagle City, which seemed to be waiting for him to take it. It has to be hard on her, after all she has done, yet it didn't turn out as she expected.
Garcia was too fond of the symbolic status of Eagle City, and the possibilities she felt when she stationed troops here – when holding the mansion of the guardian of the southern border, it would indeed be easier to conquer the hearts of the southern nobility. But the benefits were also accompanied by its own risk. Timothy had intentionally sent a slow moving diversionary army along the way, while at the same time rushing with a division of cavalry to the East, without any infantry.
The needed rations were transported by cart, which were following them. When they arrived at the Duke’s mansion they took the rest of the cavalry with them. From there they bypassed Eagle City and neared the city from the opposite side. The first mission of the cavalry was to block all roads, reducing the ability for the spies to pass on messages.
But such big military activity was impossible to hide forever, Garcia should have gotten the news of their attack two to three days earlier than their actual approach. So that when they started their retreat this morning, it could be considered as a hasty move. Retreating from Eagle City to Clearwater would take one day on foot. So even if they ran on their two legs, Timothy could still easily overtake them with his thousand men strong cavalry unit and easily kill them, which would naturally lead to the collapse of her ridiculous armies.
Unfortunately, as long as she threw her three thousand troops away, Garcia still had a chance to escape from Timothy's clutches by leaving the city on her own by horse. Like this staying alive and returning to the Port of Clearwater wouldn't be difficult.
Even in the case that she was able to flee, I would still have ended this farce, he thought.
"Your Majesty, according to the previously drawn up plan we should separate now," said Duke Frances, "You will wait for me in the inner city after you bypassed the city and attacked from the South Gate, right? And if we run into strong resistance or get cut off we will take a detour."
"I still think it’s better if I attack from the southwest," Timothy answered, "For us knights, it isn’t easy to move in the narrow streets, and Garcia may also obstruct our troops from moving forward by blocking the streets with lots of debris. Even if we have to take a detour and fight into the night, we won’t let ourselves be prevented from chasing them down and slaughtering them.”
"Then I'm out, Your Majesty."
"Be careful," Timothy reminded him, " Even if Garcia didn’t leave any troops in the city, she could still have left behind many traps. In addition, be aware of the narrow streets, there might still be many people left in the houses. Only waiting for the right time to ambush you, so slay everyone you find, you can't leave any threat to your safety alive. "
"Ha ha ha," Duke Frances frankly laughed, "Your Majesty please rest assured, I have followed you father into many battles, I have personally cut off hundreds of heads and until now I have never been hurt." He waved with his hand and signaled the guard beside him to move, "Everyone, attack!"
The troops behind him got ready, split into several smaller formations that were under the leadership of other knights and started to move in the direction of Eagle city – the troops in the frontline were made up out of the freedmen, followed by the armored mercenaries, that were the main force in the siege. While the Duke’s knights were fully focused on his commands.
When the main force began to hit the walls, Timothy led the rest of the knights and their squires in the southwestern direction.
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