Chapter 333 The Defense Battle at the New City Wall
In that instant, the sound of the bells echoed. It was as if the emotions of the entire camp had been roused.
Van’er rushed out of the tent. Along with the stream of people, he rushed to the top of the wall with hurried steps and took his combat position. This series of maneuvers had already been rehearsed countless times. Even without someone to command them, everyone was aware of what they should do next.
It was the same as the Month of Demons last year. Under a state of alert, only a small patrol team would be assigned to each segment of the wall as two or three soldiers were enough to deal with the scattered demonic beasts. Only when the lookout post detects a large scale attack from the demonic beasts would an alarm be rung.
In the horizon, a shadow was approaching. Van’er did a rough calculation of the enemy’s numbers and found that they numbered around a thousand. If this happened a year ago, what followed would absolutely be a bout of arduous fighting. Back then, as a pikeman responsible for buying some time so the Firearms team could reload, it was necessary for him to take turns rotating with a member that was in reserve. Only by doing that, would he be able to persist to the very end.
But now, the strength of this small town had already undergone an earth-shaking change.
Cat’s claw removed the cover on the cannon and shook off the snow that had been collecting on it, while Rodney inspected every inch of the artillery’s barrel. After confirming there was no foreign matters inside, he began to load it with gunpowder. Although the current city walls were altered and made using a pile of mud bricks, its height and width had been increased to a certain extent. In addition, a shelling platform was set up every hundred meters, causing its defensive ability, as well as firepower, to improve greatly.
The width of the passageway allowed four people to fit through it side by side. During a battle, the first row would consist of soldiers from the firearms team, while the second row would then be recruits who would load up the guns. The latter group was responsible for putting bullets into the cylinder of a gun, then handing it over to the regular soldiers ahead of them.
“They just never get bored of this, do they?” Rodney yawned. “When the Month of the Demons arrives each year, all of them run towards this place like a bunch of lunatics. Even if they succeeded in attacking such a small town, they wouldn’t get any sort of benefits from it, right?”
“Well, they’re here just in time for us to hone our skills.” Horatio said with a smile. “Compared to immobile wooden targets, it’s more interesting to shoot at demonic beasts.”
“Speaking of target shooting, I recently heard an interesting rumor that had something to do with us, the gunner team.” Jop said with a mysterious expression.
“What sort of rumor is that?”
“From what I heard the people in other gunner groups say, the people that were able to hit their targets accurately would be incorporated into an elite gunner team, where they would undertake new tasks.” He paused for a moment. “Do any of you here have any more insider knowledge about this?”
“An elite gunner team?”
“How could it be possible for us to know more when even you, who proclaims yourself as experienced and knowledgeable about matters is clueless about it?”
“I bet it’s a cock and bull story made up by some bored person.”
Within the gunner group, only Van’er was silent. After listening to Jop’s words, he couldn’t help but furrow his brows. Someone had actually treated this matter as flaunt-worthy material and blabbered it out?
Sir Iron-axe had previously looked for him a week before and told him that His Royal Highness had intended to develop a new type of artillery. It would be completely different from the field gun they were currently using and would also not be dispatched for use in the First Army. Instead, it would be installed aboard a ship, turning it into a warship that was capable of long distance attacks. The operators of the new artillery gun would be undertaken by the most outstanding members of the gunner team. If one wishes to be a member, they could send their application to Iron Axe.
It went without saying that Iron Axe agreed without the slightest hesitation. This was evidently a chance for him to advance a step further in the army. According to what Iron Axe said, His Royal Highness had an extremely high expectation towards this new branch of the army, to the point that it was possible for it to break away from the First Army and become a brand new army. If one is able to perform great feats, the new warships manufactured in the future would be named using that person’s name too.
It was such a honor! If there were a warship named Van’er, he would be perfectly contented for the rest of his life. Recalling his origins, he was just an odd-job labourer in the mines, yet had always posed as someone extraordinary. In the end, Van’er was not able to save even his brother’s life when he was in the slums of the stronghold. However, the current him no longer required to flaunt about anything. There was no need to worry about food or drinks in the army while the uniforms were thick and warm; Even when he returned to the district, the surrounding neighbours would greet him as well.
All of these changes were brought about by His Royal Highness.
When he recalled his decision to join the militia for an egg at that time, he felt it was simply the smartest choice he had made in his life.
Besides that, Iron-axe had also inquired whether he had any suitable candidates he wished to recommend and that he could apply together with them when the time comes. In other words, it was possible for all of these youngsters to receive a life-changing opportunity, but since their personalities were still too energetic, it would be better to wait til they settled down first. Moreover, if they happen to lay down a big accomplishment, wouldn’t the warships have to be called Jop, and Cat’s claw too? Those names were simply horrendous to the ears…If it were the names Rodney or Nelson, then it could still be taken into consideration.
As for the matter of someone leaking out this information to their subordinates out of impulse, he still had to report and explain to Iron Axe. After all, it had been explained very clearly in their regulation class that any news of the First Army shouldn’t be spread without permission unless clearly requested to by the higher ups.
“Stop making such a racket. I want all of you to bring your attention back to the battlefield.” Van’er coughed twice, breaking off the discussion within the gunner’s members. “Do not forget what Sir Iron Axe had repeatedly emphasized in class. Any lapses made could probably bring about an unsalvageable defeat.”
“Understood!” Everyone spoke in unison.
As the killing rate of iron balls was extremely low, when dealing with packs of demonic beasts, canister shells were used to fire at them once they approach. At the moment when the sinister-looking wolves took the lead and crossed past the 100 meter line, the bombardment began.
Heatwaves swirled the snow underneath the gun muzzle, the gigantic boom shook Van’er’s eardrums to the point that it hurt. In the distance, a black bloody mist suddenly rose and a field of demonic beasts instantly collapsed. No matter if it was a species of a boar or a bear, the pelts on their bodies were not sufficient to withstand the close quarter bombardment of iron pellets.
“There’s a huge one over there.” Cat’s claw pointed to the left ahead of him. “It’s a redskin wolf!’
A group of people nimbly moved the gun carriage and adjusted the muzzle, pointing it to the direction of the target. They then reloaded and fired it once more. In theory, it wasn’t necessary to aim while using the canister shells. As long as it was fired while facing ahead, it would always mow down a large number of enemies. Furthermore, as the newly constructed clay walls were taller than the stone walls, there was also no way for the wolves to be of threat to the people at the top of the wall. They would only be practicing their target shooting if they preemptively attacked nimble beasts like that, that’s all.
Next in line would finally be the firearm team that had been restraining themselves for a long time. In order to ensure a higher hit rate, they would always wait for them to come close to 50 meters before opening fire.
The sound of the revolver rifles weren’t as unified as that time with the flintlocks. Rather, it was crowded together and continuous. On the top of the city wall, a wave of white smoke began to float upwards while the overpowering smell of gunsmoke wafted over, causing Van’er to uncontrollably sneeze.
“This bunch of morons. Even though their might is unacceptably weak, when they fire in unison, the smoke coming out from their rifles is much more overpowering than anything else.” Jop said while grumbling.
“But ultimately, it is still the artillery which will decide the outcome of the war.” Rodney expressed his approval.
“It’s the same when we’re dealing with knights, and would probably be the same when dealing with demonic beasts as well.“
At this moment, a brief and hurried bell toll began to sound from the direction of the lookout post. This was the warning that a hybrid species of demonic beasts had been sighted.
Van’er squinted his eyes and looked ahead, only to see two massive shadows slowly making its way forward within the mist. From the looks of its size, it should be a siege beast that possessed a thick carapace.
“What did you say was coming earlier?” The corners of his mouth rose. “It’s now time for us to show off our worth, switch to solid tipped ammunition.”
In order to deal with enemies that had comparatively high defensive capabilities, the munitions factory had developed a new type of artillery shell that was capable of penetrating the carapace of an enemy at a range of roughly 200 meters. If the attack on the wolf-like demonic beasts was considered a warm-up exercise, the one at present would be considered the real deal.
“I want everyone to do a good job of it.” Van’er clapped his hand and said, “We will show the other gunner teams who the most skilled artillerymen are.”
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