Chapter 118 Chase (Part 2)
Even though Roland had let the First Army train for two times a day, he had never let them march during the night.
It was dangerous for an army to march during the night, they wouldn't be able to see the road, there was also the change that they could get attacked by wild animals or snakes, it was easy to get lost and if they used a torch they would become a natural target. So he had to wait until dawn the next day before he could let his army march, trailing the Duke’s forces.
In order to ensure the smooth succession of operations, the Prince decided to follow the First Army on the battlefield. Of course, compared with riding on a bumpy road and getting a sore bottom, he chose to rather take a ride on Little Town.
After half a month of training Hummingbird was now able to lighten and transport a twelve-pound cannon for a fixed distance. Roland also took into account that the heavier the object the longer was the enchanting longer the process would take so he arranged for her to begin with the transformation at dawn. He also had to take into consideration that the first cannon had to be enchanted for the longest, and the remaining cannons would be enchanted in a descending duration order to ensure that the four cannons would lose their enchanting as close together as possible.
Thanks to Hummingbird’s ability, Little Town was now capable of carrying four cannons in one go as well as the corresponding members of their artillery teams. The huge cement boat was now full of people – in addition to the artillery team and Roland, there were also Anna, Nightingale, Nana, Leaves, Echo, Hummingbird and Lord Pine on the boat. Lastly, there was also Wendy, she was responsible for providing the power and Brian acted as steering man.
It could be said, that with the exception of Scroll, Soraya, Lily and Mystery Moon, who were all witches who couldn’t fight, almost the whole nest had come out. Originally it hadn't been necessary for Anna to join them on the battlefield, but under the firm will shown in her eyes, Roland couldn't find it in his heart to let her stay behind in Border Town.
Six troops of the First Army’s gunner team were under the leadership of Carter and Iron Axe following the marks created by Lightning, who alone was responsible for keeping track of the enemy. This group of people was quietly marching behind the enemy, always keeping exactly outside of the scope of the enemy’s scouts. At the moment Lightning became aware of the enemy’s scouting activities, the army would immediately stop its forward motion. Along their road they were also able to capture a lot of scattered mercenaries and freedmen, but at the moment they weren’t able to deal with the surrender of the enemy. So they had no other choice than to disarm them, so now there were other guards who didn’t belong to the gunner team following together with them on the road.
This was Roland’s first time to guiding his “Army” on mission of conquest, he was standing on Little Town’s bow and feeling the morning breeze, while at the same moment also feeling enormously proud of his own success.
"What are you laughing at?" Anna suddenly appeared by his side, and was directly looking into his eyes she asked.
"Uhh..." Roland quickly put his smile away, "Nothing."
"Really?" She took out a handkerchief and gave it to him, "You have saliva on your face."
"..." Roland had the sudden impulse to jump into the water, "Thank you."
When Lighting reported about the enemy’s camp, the sun was already set. According to the information she gathered during her investigations, the enemy apparently showed the signs of walking away from a heavy defeat which resulted in the drop of their moral to the freezing point. When they set up their camp at dusk and sent their knights to scout, they couldn’t wait to end their investigation and return to the camp, out of fear of not finding their way back in the dark.
Roland's troops were stationed on the shore, two kilometers away from the Duke's army.
All along the road, they didn't meet with any enemies, so the plan to wipe out the enemy was already half way successful.
Now he only had to wait until the first light of the next day, and then while the enemy was still in the preparation phase their siege could begin.
This was Roland’s first time he was spending the night in the wild, and he was more inclined to sleep on Little Town than to meet all the reptiles which would run through the camp. The cannons parked on the ship and the inventory in the shed had already been emptied out and brought into the camp so that Little Town could become the temporary residence of the Prince. In addition to Roland, the other witches also stayed on board for overnight. The floor was covered by mattresses, and everyone was lying down shoulder to shoulder.
Roland wanted to show modesty, but in the end, the witches were much less concerned about this matter than he was. With the exception of Anna, they had all faced a lot of hardship during their life, fleeing from place to place, so sleeping in the wild had become common for them. Soon, everyone was able to fall asleep, only Roland and Anna had difficulties sleeping. The former was so used to a soft bed, that he had some difficulties adapting to the deck's hard surface, while the latter didn’t know what she should think, she ended up just turning to the side and watching Roland. However, when the Prince turned his head, Anna would always quickly close her eyes, pretending to be asleep, but in the moonlight, Roland could still see her eyelashes slightly jitter. If he wasn’t afraid that the others would wake up from the noise, Roland would really want to pinch the tip of Anna’s small nose, forcing her to open her eyes and then afterward hold her in his arms.
In this manner, they both ended up being unable to sleep for very long.
When the sky was still not light up, Roland began his plan to encircle the enemy’s camp: He divided his army of two hundred and seventy into two teams, each group of them would be supported by two cannons. One of them was sent to the rear of the Duke’s camp, around one kilometer down the Duke’s path. Lightning was still responsible for monitoring the Duke’s movements, but in addition to this, when the cannons were set in position, the little girl also had the instruction to inform Roland. The moment he received the signal, he would send Carter out together with the rest of the First Army to start storming the Duke’s camp.
To prevent the cement ship from drifting away from the correct route, Nightingale would step into her fog. After all, her black and white vision could also be used as night vision, so with her instructions, Brian was able to maneuver the ship as if it was the still the middle of the day.
This process had been repeatedly practiced, and now everyone was able to do their part even with closed eyes. Wendy was once more in charge of the powering the sails, under her effort it was almost as if Little Town had become highly ambitious. In merely one hour all the troops had been placed into their positions and Iron Axe had taken over command of the interception team. Seeing this, Lightning flew above Carter’s team, and showed them an orange flag.
At this point, the first lights of a new day could be seen.
And now the plan of encirclement and annihilation had finally stepped into its final part.
Since Carter’s team was only responsible for protecting the two cannons they didn’t need to move forward, so Echo was assigned to work under Iron Axe’s command. When Carter’s team reached the camp they quickly moved the cannons into position and directed them towards the enemy’s camp – at this moment most of the enemies were still sleeping.
With the typical roaring sound of the cannons, solid’s shells crashed into the enemy’s camp. This woke the knights and mercenaries who came rushing out from their tents, but they were already awaited by Carter’s team, who were all quietly standing there in formation. With their former day’s experience of defeat, no one even dared to challenge this seemingly thin line of defense, they only flocked together and tried to flee towards the East.
Directly into the arms of the already waiting Iron Axe.
When the enemy appeared his field of vision, the final stage for the moment of the Duke’s annihilation had been set in motion.
Echo began to play her music, and under the sound of her drums, the two neatly arranged lines started their move forward to the enemy - in order to put some pressure on the Duke, Iron Axe had to take the initiative to attack and intercept the Duke. If they just stuck to their former place, the enemy would likely spur their horses and bypass them then escape into the woods.
Duke Ryan had fallen into despair, he was unable to understand how the others were able to catch up and even overtake them.
Should I just confess my failure and surrender? He wondered what Roland Wimbledon would do to a Duke who dared to draw his sword and attack a member of the royal family. Would he imprison him, would he send him into exile, but more than likely he would just send him directly to the guillotine. No matter what, the future of Longsong Stronghold would certainly have nothing to do with him.
Seeing how the enemy had came closer step by step, as well as how from time to time the roaring sound and red fire of this fearful weapon would once more spread terror within his men, he knew if he didn’t flee at this moment, he would never again have the possibility to escape. He only had thirty people left, so this really was his last chance.
"They cannot stop us," the Duke shouted, "as long as we cross the road, they won’t be able to catch up with us, after all, they only have two legs, furthermore we are only half a day away from the stronghold!"
The Duke then began to push his mount forward, unfortunately, not everyone had such a desperate spirit as himself. In the end, except for his personal guards, only some other people followed his assault.
The Music stopped.
The other side stopped at exactly the same time, as well as standing in a neat line like a wall.
He then saw how the other side began to rise their strange sticks.
When there was only around one hundred steps remained between the Duke and the human wall, he could hear one banging sound following after another. He then felt a piercing pain in his chest and abdomen, giving him the feeling like he was hit by a warhammer. Then came paralysis and the feeling of helplessness. His body began to fall backward, finally falling down from his horse.
While falling, the Duke opened his mouth trying to say something, but no clear sound came out, he was only able to cough twice, then a strong sweetly smell entered his nose, and his throat was blocked by a sticky liquid. Then darkness began to surround him.
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