Chapter 48 Assembly
While Roland, full of interest, was talking about implementing a fair trading system, the sound of distant horns could be heard!
The patrol team would only blow the horn in the case that they couldn’t cope with the current situation, alerting the town to assemble soldiers.
Roland and Carter looked at each other surprised, and then immediately walked out of the castle backyard, where the guards already had already prepared horses. Roland directly mounted his horse and rode with Carter and his men in the direction of the walls.
When they arrived at the wall, they saw that all members of the militia had already climbed up the wall and had taken their places, setting up a forest of pikes. Seeing this gave Roland a feeling of relief – the eggs hadn’t been a waste after all.
Looking North-West, Roland could see a group of black shadows approaching Border Town. He reckoned that their numbers were over twenty.
Iron Axe left his defending position and trotted over. After giving a salute he said, "Your Highness, this group of demonic beasts nearing us seem to be slightly strange."
"Strange? Are you saying that they would normally not act as a group?"
"That’s not it," Iron Axe explained, "if they were to pack animals before the fall, then they would still retain that habit - such as the wolf species. But this kind of species doesn’t belong to this kind, they normally wouldn’t act this way, they seem to be on a mission. Earlier the hunters had already seen the beasts killing each other."
The demonic beasts were only a mutation of their former kind, their actions would mostly be similar to their original habits, but at the same time their desires would become stronger. In a sense, the intelligence of a demonic beast was lower than that of a wild animal, because of their manic temper they even crossed dangerous areas that they would normally never cross.
Roland carefully observed the group of demonic beasts. He could see really big and small beasts and could distinguish at least two different kind of beasts, one kind wolf and the other bison. Species which would normally kill each other had suddenly learnt that they had to work together to accomplish something.
Because they still had to pass through some obstacles and traps set up by Iron Axe, they slowly crowded together in front of the center of the city wall.
Van'er felt his hands become damp with sweat, his grip holding the pike had become somewhat slippery. Taking advantage of the fact that no one was looking at him, he secretly wiped his hands on his clothes.
The Hunter Captain repeatedly said, "You have to relax; take deep breaths." Van’er repeatedly tried to do this but still could not stop his accelerated heartbeat. He had already lived in the West for more than a decade, and he had always heard of the evil doings of the demonic beasts. Since the beginning of the Months of the Demons, the occasionally arriving demonic beasts were all shot down by the hunter squads, so he slowly lost his fear of the demonic beasts. He even thought of himself as a brave and battle-hardened soldier, but today, facing so many demonic beasts for the first time, Van’er’s legs still trembled.
He reminded himself that he was chosen by His Highness as a vice captain, so Van’er tried to show a calm appearance, and kept the defense position.
The group of demonic beasts was now close enough that he could make out their appearances. Running in the front was one demonic beast of the bison species. On its head it had two arm-thick horns, it looked just like a black ram. The hair growing on its back seemed to cover it tightly like a cloak. When it was only thirty feet away from the wall, Van’er could feel the ground trembling. He licked his dry lips, and waited for the Captain to issue the command to thrust.
Then a loud bang could be heard.
The bison demonic beast actually didn’t reduce its speed, but hit its head straight against the wall, totally crushing its head and splashing black blood everywhere, painting the wall black.
Van’er didn’t even have the time to breathe, the bison was immediately followed by two wolves which jumped up off of the dead bison’s back.
Hearing the Captain’s command, Van’er subconsciously thrust out with his pike - even though the wolf species wasn’t rushing toward him. The effect of this thrust was clearly not as good as their thrusts during their training. Some thrust their pikes many times in succession, and some people who saw the wolves jump thrust their pikes only once, while others did not react for a long time even after hearing the command.
As a result, only one wolf was driven back and the other jumped through a gap in the pike forest and landed on the wall.
"Keep the formation!" yelled the Captain once more.
Although Van’er would have liked to turn into a bird and look at the situation where the wolf had jumped on the wall, Iron Axe had emphasized many times during their training that when something broke through and came behind the front row, taking their attention, the front would turn into the most dangerous area. So he stared straight at the next group of attacking beasts with his eyes, and gripped the pike as strongly as he could.
The elite hunter squad was clearly better trained than the normal militia.
Even before the wolf had landed, the hunters had already pulled out their cutlasses. Iron Axe was the quickest of all. He jumped directly in front of the wolf, only one step away, raised the butt of his gun, and firmly smashed it on the wolf’s waist, hitting the wolf when it was still in the air so that it span many times in the air.
Whether it was the strength or the defense, after the demonic beasts’ mutation both were significantly improved. Such an attack clearly had not caused too much damage to it. The wolf could still stand up immediately after its crash, and bare its sharp teeth.
Unfortunately for the wolf, Iron Axe’s muzzle had already arrived at its head.
Bang! – the demonic beast’s skull exploded and its brain matter flew everywhere. Without its brain, the wolf took one frail step backwards and collapsed while twitching.
"The beast is dead, continue to hold your positions!"
"My stomach ah -!" Someone loudly screamed in despair.
Van’er could see it in his peripheral vision. He saw a comrade leaning against the wall, tightly clutching his stomach, with blood-stained hands.
"His intestines are flowing out."
"The other wolf had rushed the wall up again and had clawed directly at him!"
"Help me …"
"Damn, someone take out some cloth to press down on the wound!"
It was a chaotic scene, other demonic beasts, like a wild boar, also rushed towards the wall. Despite its rough skin and flesh, the boar was so close that it had become a hedgehog due to the crossbow arrows shot by the hunters.
"Everybody don’t panic!" Roland thought, If Nightingale were here, she could have saved them from some trouble. Then he shouted, "Have you already forgotten what you learned during your training? How do you treat injured people? Handle it according the regulations!"
Hearing the prince’s shout, Van’er immediately woke up and remembered his duty. As a Vice Captain responsible for a segment of the wall’s defense he was responsible for organizing a rescue whenever someone was injured.
He ordered two of his subordinates, "You two, hurry and carry him towards the medical center, quickly!"
According to their previous experiences, the subordinates belived that this person would not survive. However, His Royal Highness had once said, it’s one thing to do something and not be successful, but doing nothing is forbidden! As a Vice Captain of the militia, Van’er needed to give priority to the implementation of orders and regulations.
When the wounded comrade was carried away, order was finally restored on the wall. This wave of demonic beasts was seemingly large, but only a few could threaten the members of the militia on the wall.
The hunters shot the rest of the demonic beasts down one by one. Seeing this, Van’er could finally breathe relieved. Even though the whole battle had only lasted half an hour, he felt empty, and had no strength left.
However, at this moment, the person responsible for lookout of the demonic beasts shouted again, "My God, what is that ...?!"
Van’er could also see the new beasts.
Although it was still a long distance away from the wall, its outline was still clearly visible. This beast was really a monster! Van’er swore, even if ten oxen were piled up in front of this monster, they couldn’t compare.
Only the experienced Iron Axe could immediately identify the newcomer.
He had to take a deep breath to calm himself down. There was no doubt that this was a hybrid species, the militia was in trouble.
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