Chapter 280 Redwater River Ambush (Part 1)
The enemy’s fleet took longer to reach the fork in the Redwater River than expected, instead of late morning it was already afternoon of the fourth day when the ten sailing ships slowly appeared at the end of their field of view.
Receiving this news, Van’er forwarded it to the sixth compartment, turned to the artillery team he was responsible for and gave the order for them to prepare to shoot, then returned to his shooting position.
"Where is the enemy?" Rodney asked while opening the window’s cover plate to look around.
"They are at least still several hundred meters away from us," Cat’s Claw, in charge of observing the signal flags murmured while he looked through the sky window. "I can’t even see their shadows, there are too many weeds on the roof."
Each compartment, in addition to the shooting window, also came with a second window at the top of the wall. After climbing the two steps staircase made of earth, it was possible to see the situation on the Redwater River through the window.
"Speaking of the weeds, the ability of the green hair witch is simply inconceivable," Jop said while wiping away some of the cannon’s rust marks. "Wherever she goes, grass grows to be as long and as thin as her hair. After completely covering the bunkers, they now look completely like ordinary soil hills, there is no difference between the two.
"What green hair witch?" Van’er said beratingly, "That’s Miss Leaves. At the time, when we confronted the Duke’s Knight for the first time, she helped us by planting the vines on both sides of the forest, making it impossible for the Knights to bypass us. Otherwise, they could have gone around us through the wood and attacked us from behind.”
"With their magic, what kind of witch is ordinary?" Rodney asked while he shrugged his shoulders, "One can build those bunkers within one night, the other covers the ground with vines and weeds, one can fly freely in the sky, and one can even change into a giant dove, these are things no mortal could ever do.”
"If I have to choose, the most amazing one is Miss Nana," Cat’s Claw’s voice was full of longing and expectation, "I do not know if it is an honor to be wounded nowadays. As long as you’re wounded, then you can see her from close range, maybe even hear some comforting words from her.”
"For my benefit, pay careful attention to the enemy’s position!" Van’er snapped, "If any of you dare to talk any more rubbish, I will punish you with cleaning the toilet when we return!"
Hearing the threat, Cat’s Claw stick out his tongue, and then turned his body around to explore the outside situation.
The artillery captain sighed in his heart; nowadays these guys have lost their sense of tension, they weren’t like a few months ago where their hands and feet trembled at the beginning of the battle. He couldn’t say if this changes were good or bad, he always felt that some of them held too much contempt towards the opponent, but he also couldn’t severely reprimand his men, because he was in no way better than them. Since he had become a soldier of His Royal Highness, Van’er’s understanding of battle had undergone changes as great as the difference between sky and earth: The seemingly bloody and cruel fights, no longer had anything to do with your personal strength, skill, and courage. They now only needed repetitive drills to learn all of the necessary steps by heart. Ready themselves according to the rules, meet the enemy according to those rules and open fire according to the rules was equivalent to winning.
Especially when Border Town had to withstand the attack of the new King’s Militia, the opponent obviously had astonishing strength, a fierce spirit, and didn’t show any fear of death, just like humanoid beasts. But the fight only lasted for half an hour. When it was time to clear the battlefield, he discovered that he didn’t feel even the slightest trace of fatigue, as if he had only gone through a warm-up exercise before his training, yet they had already exterminated the enemy.
In this way, will there be a day when they will fight wars over distances where they couldn’t even see the enemy’s face? Will they be able to wipe out the enemy thousands of miles away just by operating some metallic machines?
Just when Van’er got lost in his own world, he was drawn back by Cat’s Claw's warning shout.
"I see the enemy!"
"Fill in the ammunition!" Van’er ordered with a firm voice while shaking his head, pushing all of the distracting thoughts to the back of his head.
The people within the compartment suddenly became busy; they had already gone through the following steps so many times, that they could now fill the cachet and artillery shell into the chamber even if their eyes were closed. Under the circumstances that they didn’t need to reset the cannon into the starting position or to adjust the shooting angle, the artillery group could easily shoot once every twenty breaths.
His Highness Roland and Iron Axe had already planned and put the strategy for the battle long ago. Moreover, it was similar to Border Town’s previous defense battle, so Van’er could fluently recite it from memory. Therefore, the moment they saw Miss Lightning wave the red flag, they immediately tore down the window’s cover plate and opened fire. The two cannons nearest to the river bank were filled with bullet canisters intended to wipe out the deck, while the rest of the cannons bombarded the hold of the ships with their solid shells.
He calmly waited for the arrival of the red signal.
Lotus no longer needed an observation mirror to keep a lookout, she could see that the fleet of the Fake King had already neared the ambush place.
Compared to the three-masted or four-masted seafaring sailing ships, these ships were notably much slimmer, had no tall rigging or fences, and with their low hull, they looked as if they were at the same level of the river. In addition to their bulging sails, they were also pushed forward by sailors on both sides of their decks, who were slowly pulling the helms in their hands.
Even now, His Royal Highness still hadn’t issued any new orders.
She could not help but become somewhat anxious; standing at their observation point located at the top of a high hill. Even though they could overlook the whole battlefield from here, it was still far away from the river. Without Lightning or Maggie by His Highness’ side, sending new instructions to each team would waste a lot of time, and even if they were only a little late, Lotus was afraid that there wouldn’t be enough time to stop the fleet from passing through the Redwater River fork.
Seeing that the leading sailboat was about to pass by the soil houses, Lotus couldn’t help but want to open her mouth to inquire, but at that very moment, a loud bang suddenly rolled over the river. As if this were the signal to attack, more than a dozen thick smoke clouds mixed with a blazing flame came spouting out of the soil house, sending an unending oppressive and earth trembling sound across.
In the end, what exactly had happened?
When Lotus turned her eyes back to the river, she could hardly believe what she was seeing, She didn’t see any fight between knights or mercenaries, however, on the deck of the first sailboat, it looked like a boiling pot had just exploded. Wood chips, disabled limbs, and severed arms splashed everywhere in all directions. More than half of the scullers had been killed or injured in a flash, and as the bloody mist cleared up, it had smeared the deck a bloody red.
After losing half of its moving force, the speed of the vessel quickly slowed down, while the thundering explosion sound hadn’t stopped for even the slightest moment. Not long after, several shadows cut the tall mast at the center of the ship in half; it shook twice before falling to the ground with a loud bang, burying two knights who had just climbed out of the cabin under it.
The sailboat was pushed by the water current and slowly began receding, while the other ships fanned out while trying to avoid it. After hearing the cacophony of sounds, lots of people rushed out from within the hold of the ship, only to helplessly look at the leading ship which had already sunken into hell, seemingly not knowing what they should do anymore.
Then the horrible attack fell on the second ship.
The bloody mist emerging from the now crowded deck became even more raging, and Lotus could see, that after another round of rolling thunder, those enemies who originally stood nearest to the river bank had been completely broken apart and had given birth to many scarlet red empty spots. Those people who were still alive, gave out heartbreaking screams as they tried to push their intestines back into their body. While other lucky survivors immediately jumped into the river to try and escape, no longer willing to spend another breath in the hell on top of the deck.
Finally, Lotus understood what His Highness had meant when he said that they would not be able to get through, but... how had his men been able to do this?
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