"What's the situation, Aslak?" asked Sir Peder seriously. "Good." Replied Aslak in a jolly tone. He handed the spy glass to Sir Peder and let him took a glimpse of the garrison of Colonel Reggie's. This garrison was far more heavily guarded than they've imagined it to be, but luck was favoring them. Just like what the Captain of the first checkpost told them, the garrison was indeed weakly manned. They were currently 200 yards away from the garrison and they could only spot a handful of soldiers. There were even no patrols in and around the garrison, which severely decreased the chances of Aslak and Sir Peder's forces to be discovered.
Sir Peder smiled broadly as he watched through the spy glass. "Are we good to go?" asked Aslak in a jolly tone. He was itching to resolve his duty and head towards the docks to take care of harder foes. "Yes," nodded Sir Peder.
Both of them ordered their forces jointly and slowly and steadily took over the end of the market. They residents of the market were extremely welcoming and with just a little bit of persuasion, Sir Peder and Aslak's forces were able to move forward by sneaking into the houses and shops. They took up positions according to the plan with Aslak's forces taking the overviews and lookouts and Sir Peder's forces taking the best assaulting locations.
They were waited patiently as both Aslak and Sir Peder were discussing about the best way to infiltrate. They had to change their plans a bit because the structure of the barrack had changed immensely from what it was.
The barrack was like an extremely small fortress with a 3-meter-tall granite wall, a meter-wide rampart and a pretty small moat around it. The moat wasn't filled with spikes or water, instead it was filled with black sticky mud or quagmire. This was one of the most primitive way of using moat and also one of the most effective against Knight charge as the heavy weight of the Knight armor would easily stop the charge and sink them to the bottom. Along with the moat, there were watch towers, made completely of granite and wood was located at the corners. There were such towers at every intersection of walls and provided a very good advantage over the enemies, but it was completely wasted as most of them were empty and unmanned. There was even a drawbridge which connected the barrack with the road, over the moat. It had thick steel chains and seemed very efficient and sturdy, just like the bridge. Unfortunately, it didn't have a proper gate like that of a Castle and the drawbridge itself served as the gate.
Aslak and Peder silently judged the garrison as they formulated a viable plan in their heads. It was true that the barracks had changed, but everything was for the good. After all, both Aslak and Sir Peder had complete faith in their abilities and their soldier's prowess to take over the barrack even when the enemy was the army of the great Lord Hendrickson's.
Suddenly the chains of the drawbridge started to move and the drawbridge started to descend. Almost immediately the attention of Aslak and Sir Peder was piqued and they focused on what was leaving or entering the barrack. To their surprise, it was the rest of the cavalry, which was stationed in the barrack. All of them were dressed in heavy steel armor and looked like steel fortresses themselves, but thankfully their numbers were very small. There was only 30-40 Knights and they didn't even radiate Battle Qi, which meant that they were simple soldiers, even newbies wearing heavy armors.
"Damn! They had something like this too!!" Sir Peder said without a hint of displeasure but Aslak thought otherwise. He smiled maliciously and replied, "Found an opening!!"
"What?" asked Sir Peder but Aslak ignored him, instead he turned to Perri and said seriously, "Bring me the Battle Bows immediately. Do not tarry."
"Yessir!" Perri nodded his head and dashed away to bring the Battle Bow. A Battle Bow is a much bigger version of a War Bow and also uses arrows whose length, weight, dimensions and structure vary largely between a simple arrow and a bolt of a catapult. These bows are extremely difficult to use and their practical use is only seen during training, to train the muscle strength of Battle Experts training in archery. The Battle Bows of the Dean household are named the Dawson Bows, after its tremendous strength, which could rival a part of the Dawson cannon.
Until the Battle Bows arrived, both Aslak and Sir Peder stared intently at the cavalry formation. Unlike the first time, this cavalry leaving this time was formed in a column formation and what was more interesting was that the leader of the contingent was placed directly in the middle of the formation.
"Cowardly act, but effective." Said Aslak with a slight smile on his face.
Aslak had nearly missed him if he had not noticed the sparkly golden insignia he was wearing. This insignia was the symbol of a Captain in the ranks of Hendrickson's army. All the captains in the previous checkposts, all had one such insignia but most had carefully stacked them away before going to bed with other girls.
"Coward!!" cursed Sir Peder at the Captain, "Now we can't get to him directly."
"Oh! Yes, we can." Replied Aslak with a smile. "How?" asked Sir Peder. Aslak smirked and replied, "A man might not get to him but an arrow can. And I've the strongest arrow stashed up for him."
"Are you going to use the Battle Arrow to kill him? isn't it a bit too extravagant for a puny cowardly Captain?" said Peder.
Aslak shook his head. "Yes and no. I assure you that he will get an arrow, true, but won't be the first one. I want him to suffer and see his men die, before he dies."
Peder narrowed his eyes. He didn't argue or talk back to Aslak, instead spied on the happenings outside the barracks. The cavalry stood in place and waited patiently for the drawbridge to close before starting the march. It was then that Perri brought back the two Battle Bows and a quiver of long Battle Arrows. He handed it to Aslak and excused himself away after getting the next order from him.
"Get ready to attack. Fire after I give out the second signal."
"What's the signal?" he asked but Aslak simply smiled. "You will understand."
The drawbridge started to ascend with a metallic sound. Sir Pruin was overlooking its closer. He was that cowardly Captain who was situated right at the middle of the cavalry. He was also the Commander of the barracks and was the second-hand of Colonel Reggie. He was informed by Reggie about the changing tides and was told to be very careful. Colonel Pruin had a cautious and showed to the world that he was cowardly, but in reality, he was very cunning and hot-headed. Every morning, he would take a small puny cavalry force around the City to search for any signs of disturbance and would mercilessly quell any and all signs of uprising, without a hint of humanity. Unfortunately, today proved to be quite different than the rest.
As per the orders of the Colonel Reggie and the Naval Colonel Henry, it was decided to move most of the soldiers to the docks. This had decreased the manpower of the barrack, making it very vulnerable. But he still had his confidence on the destructive prowess of his soldiers and the cowardly nature of the Lady of the Dean household.
He looked at the ascending drawbridge and when it was halfway up, he smirked and turned forward, but right then, a blue hued projectile streaked across the bright, red morning sky and struck violently with the chains.
Within moments, the strong chain of the drawbridge cracked and snapped into two. The projectile, which was a big Battle Arrow pierced the granite wall behind and stuck rigidly on it. Almost immediately, Sir Pruin's heart started beating like a drum and adrenaline rush kicked in.
"ENEMY!!!!!!!!!!" he screamed at the top of his lungs and turned towards the drawbridge, which was hanging loosely on one chain. The ascension of the drawbridge was slowed, as the engineers were afraid of increasing the tension on the single chain and have it broken because of their impatience.
"WHERE DID IT COME FROM?!!!!" Colonel Pruin screamed but no one answered. Nobody knew or saw it coming. Sir Pruin felt that it came from somewhere from the market in the opposite section of the market, but even he wasn't sure. He, therefore, faced the market and stared intently for any kind of movement, while making time for the engineers to pull the bridge up. He ordered his men to be ready to charge, but he was again misled.
Another Battle Arrow streaked through the sky, a normal one with no hue but this one came from the farther end of the market. It violently banged against the remaining chain and cracked it immensely.
Cha! Cha! Cha! Bang!!!
It didn't break immediately but it was inevitable. The few bits of steel which was still holding the bridge snapped one by one. The bridge, without its support and with the help of gravity fell like a dead man on the ground. Colonel Pruin's heart blazed in anger and he and his contingent turned to gallop towards the edge of the market but right when they were going to charge, a shout of wrath erupted from within the market where they were looking previously.
Sir Pruin was shocked for a second time, but he didn't let shock muggle his string of command. At once he ordered his knights to change direction and charge at the incoming enemies, but it was already too late.
In real, medieval battlefields, victory or defeat is decided through a series of very small and minute decisions. For example, a siege can result in total loss for the defenders if even one of the engineers was sleeping or being less careful. Even when the soldiers aren't fed for a single day, the tides of the battles can change. It can also change due to rain, hail, a small miscalculation or overconfidence. A small mistake, rather than a big one, is all it takes to turn the tides of the battles. And the same thing has happened with Colonel Pruin, as he found himself right in the middle of a dense arrays of pikes and lances.
20 minutes had already passed since the battle has started and for Colonel Pruin, these 20 minutes were the worst time of his life.
"Halt!! Halt!" he shouted unceasingly as he commanded his horse from being poked to death by the large pikes. His back was completely covered in cold sweat as he saw his men die by either being poked or being trampled to death after being unhorsed.
"Retreat!!!" he finally ordered, as he pulled his horse back. He continuously cursed at those two archers, who were using Battle Bows and were continuously hunting down his knights but soon, he was again disheartened.
A large horn sounded behind him, which inevitably attracted his attention. He looked back and saw soldiers erupting from the barracks with spears and swords in hands and rushing towards the battlefield in complete disarray. It was evident that there was no Commander or leader commanding them.
"Holy sh*t..." Colonel Pruin muttered silently as all of his thoughts turned into mush. He was doomed and he knew it.
"Motherf*cker!! What the hell happened to Johnson!!!" cursed Pruin but there was no one to answer him. When he turned back to the battlefield, he was again shocked to see his most loyal friend and his second-in-command, fall to his death by being unhorsed.
"NOOOOO!!!!" he shouted in agony. His heart wrecked open as he saw his best friend being poked to death by the pikes but his muscle memory and his instinct of staying alive, told him otherwise.
"I will skin all of you alive!!" he cursed silently and turned back to the rest of his now small contingent of cavalry and said in a rough tone, "Retreat to the barracks!!!"
"But Sir," objected one of the new knights, "Their numbers are far smaller than our infantry. We can beat them!" he was one of the few new talented Knight, although conscripted from Cainshire.
Colonel Pruin grinded his teeth and whispered a few curses at him, but then replied in a commanding tone, "Fine! If you wanna go, go take the charge yourself. Idiot!!! Ha!!"
He ignored any further words from his contingent and hurried towards the fortified walls of the barracks. His armored horse, which was a beast in itself, mowed any and all who came infront of him. Infact, he in anger, even attacked his own soldiers to make way for himself. He headed straight for the drawbridge.
The more he narrowed the distance between him and the barrack, the lesser the intensity of the shouts of agony and war became and the more his confidence of living through this debacle became. But ... battlefield is where The Unknown resides.
Right when Colonel Pruin was about to step onto the drawbridge, a Battle Arrow, with its massive strength pierced right through his hand and into his ribs. The arrow pierced steel, meat, steel, steel and then meat again. The power of the arrow was unimaginable even for Colonel Pruin. Shock and weakness engulfed him but he wasn't some puny soldier picked up from the farms. He was a full-fledged Knight and a Colonel at that. His will is nothing like others. So, he gritted his teeth, clutched the long shaft of the arrow, which was protruding from his arm and snapped it.
He pulled his arm out and trudged his horse to move forward at the fastest speed, but his fate was already sealed a long time ago.
Another Battle Arrow, with a blue hue this time streaked across the crimson-blue sky of the morning and pierced him right through backplate, heart and through his breastplate. Shock again befell him and this time, his will gave out. He stared blankly at the arrow and at it's mysterious blue hue. A vague memory bubbled through his mind and then it hit him. He knew this archery.
The coldest poison of archery.
The moment the name of the archery bubbled in his head, his mind blackened out.
Colonel Pruin fell off his horse and them tumbled off the bridge, into the quagmire. Air bubbles burst beside him as he was slowly sucked into it. He looked helplessly as his horse raced into the barracks like a crazed beast and further disrupt the already disrupted command.
But he wasn't dead. He was still living and breathing. and if there's life, there's hope.
His already dismayed heart lighted up with a new flame.
"Yaaarrghh!!" he screamed with his entire might and pulled himself up. The sinking stopped and was soon reversed. He clutched the edge of the drawbridge and stabilized himself.
"Ha... haha.... Hahaha!!" he laughed as if he just conquered the biggest objective of his life, but soon, his entire face froze.
A thunderous shout erupted through the battlefield which froze each and every one fighting.
"CHARGE TO HELLL!!!!!!"
"CHARGE TO HELLL!!!!!"
All of a sudden, the tide of the battle was overturned by a hundred fully-armored Knights. They came in five different groups of twenty knights each from five different directions and cut into the enemy ranks like hot knife in butter. Wielding halberds and lances, they reaped the lives of their enemies like grim reapers of hell. Even the remaining ten or so enemy knights were hacked into pieces by the horde of knights.
But the most gallant and valorous Knight among them all, was a young Knight Captain who led the 3rd group of knights from the northeastern road. His cries of war and curses rang through the entire battlefield as he harvested each and all the lives of people who came across him. His armor was the shiniest of all.
Soon, the entire frontline of Colonel Pruin's soldiers crumpled and most retreated back into the barracks, while some remained to stall the cavalry, which was practically a wastage of lives, since not many people can outrun a cavalry. The cavalry slaughtered them and moved forward to harvest more lives. But then a new obstacle emerged.
The barracks gate had been fortified with granite slabs and bags of sands.
This halted the advance of Cainhorn armies but before anyone knowing, the battle had already finished. More 300 people have lost their lives during the clashing and the barracks was only left with a meagre force of 100 or 200 to defend. Most of these soldiers were conscripts from Cainshire and they were very reluctant to fight. But they still took defensive positions on the ramparts of the fortified barracks and picked up bows and aimed at the cavalry, under the command of a new commander.
The cavalry too, dauntingly, lined up infront of the barracks. Their white steel-armored horses and long Knight armors emanated a deadly aura of violence as they continuously spouted curses at the traitors. They were only waiting for the infantry to move up and clear the blockade so that they could infiltrate the barracks and kill to their hearts content. But the commanders of the infantry army had no such intention.
"What is going on here?" asked Sir Peder as he marched puffing with wrath.
"Calm down, Sir. Its alright." Sighed Aslak from the side, but it was completely not okay. The charge of the cavalry was as much a shock to them as it was to their enemies. They had once nearly shot their own cavalry in shock.
A few of the knights recognized Sir Peder and Aslak and immediately called for their leader. Soon, a burly man with a haughty moustache and broad shoulders rode out of the lineup in his large white steed. He rode calmly to Sir Peder and Aslak and dismounted from his steed. He bowed down slightly and gave out a normal knightly courtesy greeting and said in a jolly voice, "How do you do, Peder?!! And you too, Aslak? Surprised seeing me here, ain't you?!!"
"Not at all, Pena!" said Sir Peder, gritting his teeth.