VOLUME 2: CHAPTER 92 - CAVALRY
Class King; Ruler
Possessed Skills Ruler of the Demon Children of Chaos; Defiant Soul; World Devouring Howl; Swordsmanship A-; Dominator; King's Soul; Ruler's Wisdom III; Household of the Gods; One-Eyed Snake's Evil Eye; The King's Dance at the Edge of Death; Magic Manipulation; Soul of the Berserk King; Third Impact (The Third Chant); Instinct; Blessing of the Underworld Goddess
Divine Protection Goddess of the Underworld (Altesia)
Attributes Darkness; Death
Subordinate Beasts High Kobold Hasu (Lv1); Gastra (Lv20); Cynthia (Lv20); Orc King (Bui) (Lv40)
Abnormal Status Blessing of the One-Eyed Snake; Protection of the Twin-Headed Snake
I swept with the long sword in my hand.
That elven maiden dampened the mood a bit, but with the humans no longer able to stand united, the war was coming to an end.
I don't know about the others' situation, but as far as this place here is concerned, the humans have been scattered. Some of them fight, while others run.
As I hunted the crowd of confused humans, I looked around me.
The other goblins should be coming now if everything went well.
As I thought that and looked ahead, I smacked my lips.
"Of course, it wouldn't be that easy."
A group of humans headed my way as they tried to leave the forest. I brandished my black-flame clad sword and faced them.
One of them came thrusting with a spear. I cut him down, then threw him away. In no time at all, those who followed him all turned into corpses.
Each time I stirred up a blood bath among the humans, power would come gushing forth from the depths of my body. The air felt thicker, and it felt like no matter how much I moved, my body wouldn't tire. Like that I swung my sword and cut down the enemy. The trees of the forest rustled. The grass growing from the land, the thorny vines blocking the human, the leaves of the many branches above me... they all rustled as the wind passed, and each time the wind blew, it felt like something was supporting me.
The wind blowing from the forest gathered around me then scattered to the four directions.
I don't really understand, but it's not a bad feeling. I swung my sword as Instinct dictated, and I turned the humans into a sea of death. The corpses for the isles, the blood for the waters. Steam rose as fresh blood splattered onto my burning body.
Whenever I would look down at the humans, they would back away. When I took a breather for just one moment, the trace of white breath coming from my mouth rose up to the heavens.
"U, Uwaaaah!" Finally, one of the humans screamed and ran, and then the rest followed suit. My blade mercilessly penetrated their defenseless backs.
Though still in the embrace of the night god, rays of sunlight shone as the cavalry watched from outside the forest. Of the many soldiers outside the forest, the one responsible for the cavalry was Gowen's most trusted retainer, Corseo. He had served Gowen for many years now, and the long time spent in battle has left deep wrinkles upon his face. He was a taciturn man. So much so that it was said he would not laugh in the presence of the younger soldiers, but they respected him all the same.
The morning dew greeted the plains.
The place they were standing upon now was also once part of the Forest of Darkness. But under their orders, they had cut down monsters, and were cut down in turn, all to expand their land and open a path to a blessed land.
Corseo sat within a simple tent meant only to endure the cold of the night as he ate a simple meal and glared at the forest.
"How is it, Commander?" The young soldier who acted as a messenger said as he brought medicine to the taciturn commander. The medicine the messenger brought was something akin to tea. By drying Shigeru leaves and boiling them in hot water, then drinking them, one could increase the flow of blood, improving one's health. That was one of the so-called blessings of the forest.
The man who pioneered that tea was none other than the respected knight and feudal lord, Gowen Ranid, who himself was currently risking his life in the forest.
"We might have recovered the saint, but don't let your guard down just yet. Have everyone be ready to sortie out any time."
The saint, Reshia Fel Zeal. The girl who received the oldest name in the tower, Fel Zeal, and the title of 'Saint'. At first glance she appears to be no different from your average girl, but her face and figure and even the way she moved was unusually refined. Despite that, when Corseo saw her tearful face, he couldn't help but find her pitiful.
She was young enough to be his daughter. Yet it was to such a young girl that such a solemn fate had been burdened. Just what was that god thinking giving her such a fate? He'd heard she had gone back safely despite having been kidnapped by the monsters, but...
"The holy knight, Master Gulland, is setting off for the capital. Shall we send them off?"
Corseo thought for a moment as he looked at the forest, then he shook his head.. "No need. It is enough to wish them a safe trip."
With this that girl's safety should be ensured. All that's left now are the soldiers that entered the forest.
Corseo didn't think the soldiers could possibly lose under Gowen's command, but things didn't seem to be going well according to the messenger that dropped by a few days ago.
"We should send them some materials again."
Horsemen could ride to and fro the cleared out road of the forest to send the necessary goods to the nearest village, yet there had been no news since last night.
Yuan and the young platoon leaders were tasked with the vanguard, while they, the cavalry, were tasked with watching the exit of the forest. It was a foolproof battle formation meant to secure the forest, yet for some reason, Corseo just couldn't rid himself of this strange unease.
He looked up at the flag of the feudal lord of the west. On it was a horizontally drawn long sword and above it a helmet. That was the crest of Gowen Ranid. Yet even as that glorious flag swayed with the wind, it seemed like clouds would come.
When Corseo looked up to the sky, it suddenly dawned on him that clouds had crept up over him cavalry without his knowing. The sword and the helmet swayed powerless against the blowing wind.
"Commander!" The horseman that left to scout the outskirts of the forest came back hurriedly to report to Corseo. Without even batting an eye for the usually necessary courtesies, the soldier took off his helmet and quickly spoke. "The attack force led by Lord Gowen has been destroyed by the monsters!"
"What!?" Lord Gowen!?" Corseo said angrily in shock.
The already pale soldier went even paler at Corseo's seemingly angry reaction. "Lord Gowen appears to be holding the line to allow the others to run away, but... There's no telling whether he's still alive. The soldier I received this info from also died immediately after. His wounds were just too much."
The severity of the situation made Corseo look up to the sky.
"...The surviving soldiers are headed here?"
"Due to an emergency situation, I am changing our mission. From here on the cavalry will head out to save the attack force! Gather everyone!"
Corseo didn't watch the soldier hastily leave as he muttered out the name of the knight he so respected, "Lord Gowen..."
There were two problems Corseo was facing now. One was saving the soldiers, and the other was dealing with the intercepting monsters.
Donning his armor, Corseo made his way through the cavalry as he mounted himself on his steed.
Once in the forest, the greatest advantage of the cavalry, mobility, will be greatly reduced. According to the report, there were hordes of monsters waiting for them in the forest, but exactly how many was a mystery. If they were fighting in the plains, the heavy cavalry would be able to handle even 300 monsters just fine, but the problem would begin once they entered the forest. They were on a rescue mission after all, so it was only a given that they would eventually have to enter the forest.
The forest will greatly hinder their movements. A hastily built road has been built, but it wasn't well-made. To the cavalry, the forest was essentially an execution ground made just for them, yet they would have to plunge into it if they were to save their fellow soldiers.
"Commander, First Battalion, Second Battalion, and the Third Battalion are good to go!" A young messenger said.
Corseo threw the flag at him. "Raise it."
The flag in which was drawn a sword and a helmet was raised high up to the sky.
"Hear me, men!"
Soldiers mounted and donned in heavy armor were lined up as Corseo pointed his sword right at them. Behind him the young messenger waved the flag.
"The force led by Lord Gowen has been destroyed by a great horde of monsters!"
The soldiers faltered at his words, but Corseo brought them back.
"So we must then, as a shield of the people, and as the sword of salvation for our brothers, risk our lives!"
The faltering soldiers were quickly silenced by Corseo's words.
"Those fearful of you, leave! Those who cling to their lives, leave!"
Corseo raised up his sword.
"We are the shield of the people!"
At Corseo's words, the heavy cavalry responded altogether.
"We are the shield of the people!" They said.
"We are the sword of the people!" Corseo said.
"We are the sword of the people!" They followed.
Corseo had no power over the sun, but the brilliance of his tempered sword struck through the clouds in the sky.
When Corseo saw that enough morale had been stirred, he gave out his orders. He sent out several men to contact the fief, while others he sent out to monitor the forest and scout.
Because the attack force was destroyed, they had no idea where the monsters or the surviving soldiers would be coming from, so reconnaissance would be necessary. Corseo left only 50 cavalries with him along the main road, while everyone else was sent to scout.
"Commander!" A soldier cried out as he pointed.
When Corseo turned to look at the direction the soldier was pointing at, what he saw was a monster he had never seen before. In some ways it certainly looked like a goblin, but it was huge.
That bellowing howl seemed to devour the very heavens and the earth itself.
"Where are our allies!?"
About 10 soldiers could be seen running from deep within the forest, but one of them was quickly killed when a spear came flying from behind, skewering that soldier as it entered him.
"Save us!" The soldiers cried for help as a sword clad in flames of black struck at them from behind to tear their armor apart like sheets of paper. Blood splattered and their corpses were crushed underfoot. Then another soldier running away was taken by the leg and then smashed into the ground.
*Squash, sounded the body as it met the earth and bloomed a red flower. Another soldier was thrown to the stem of that flower. And when a soldier tripped and tumbled, the monster's tail came whipping to crush him dead.
"U-Uwaah!?" A soldier cried out as he found himself tripping over a treeroot, but the only thing that greeted him next was the monster's fist. The soldiers squirmed as they screamed, yet the sword kept coming for their legs.
In no time at all, the 10 soldiers running were all turned into corpses... Or almost, at least. Two of them breathed yet, but it was only a matter of time before the monster would claim their lives.
By the time Corseo came to, his hands were gripping the reins of his horse tightly.
-We will lose if we go.
That monster knew that they couldn't fight properly inside the forest. That's why it was taking its time to kill those last two. It was observing how they would react.
"Commander! We have to save our allies!"
-I know, but if we go, we will surely lose.
Corseo's hands gripped his horse's reigns so hard they started shaking.
"No! I don't want to die! Save me!!!" That soldier crawled on the floor and cried out as he reached for the cavalry, but the sword clad in the flames of hell pierced him from behind.
"Commander!! We became soldiers to protect the people!" One of the soldiers around him said.
Corseo knew about that soldier and the others with him. Their families were killed by monsters. It's not an uncommon story, and in fact, at least half of the soldiers here had the same story. Corseo was like a father to them as he taught them sword-fighting, horseriding, and even the taste of liquor.
"We are a sword of salvation to our allies... right?" Corseo said.
"Yes!" The soldier responded.
Unsheathing his sword, Corseo pointed at the monster.
"-Charge! Save our allies!"
Corseo led 50 cavalries to subjugate the monster.
The soldiers involved in the initial raid are here, but the other goblins haven't caught up yet.
I guess it's not that easy.
But it can't be helped, it's not an easy battle after all. Besides, just because we have the advantage doesn't mean everything will go our way. That's just the sort of thing battle is.
I don't think they'd lose though...
The cavalry is getting closer.
I'll have to take them down here. The armor they're wearing has the same thickness as those armors made of iron and the weapon they're using has the brilliance of a lance.
Taking out the spear from the back of a soldier, I carried it on my other hand. A sword in one hand, a spear in the other. This'll be quick.
Clouds of dust stirred up as the horses' hooves beat against the ground. The white breath breathing out of their mouths left a trail of white as they galloped onwards, and their disheveled manes rustled wildly with their hastened gait. Mounted on each one of them was a soldier equipped with an iron armor and a lance in one hand, dazzling brilliantly, eager to pierce me. Their eyes bloodshot, when they opened their mouths, what came out was a ghastly cry that seemed like their very souls were being strained.
Shifting the center of gravity forward, I held my long sword in a low stance, while I held my spear over my shoulder with a backhand-grip.
As the humans cried out a battle cry that carried with it a considerable pressure, I bellowed back with my own.
Tl Note: Second chapter of the week.