Translator: Kell | Editor: Ryunakama
Normally, after taking out about thirty percent of an enemy’s forces, the army would start crumbling and would not be able to mount a proper resistance. Yet even with around forty percent of their forces lost, the Cardinal’s troops still fought back. At this point, we couldn’t count on them crumbling at all.
But I already expected this to happen. Since the Count’s army was still surrounded at all sides, our main force had no choice but to continue to fight. Which is why we’re going to use a different squad to break through this deadlock.
“Assault and Annihilation Squad, are you ready?!”
“Sir!” answered a part of the army.
Staying near the center of the circular formation, they hadn’t participated at all in the battle. As their name suggested, it was a unit formed to attack and eradicate the enemies we couldn’t kill through long-range attacks.
As soon as I gave my order, the assault and annihilation squad slipped through the formation and rushed straight towards the Cardinal’s army. Leaving the ironclad defense made them a great target for the enemy.
Long-range attacks—loaded with resentment from being unable to deal damage to us—rained down on the unit.
Still they continued their onward charge, not even slowing down, as though they could clearly see the arrows and magic spells being thrown at them.
And then the long-range attacks landed. The arrows of the Cardinal army’s elites hit the squad—and bounced off.
Unlike the circular formation of the rest of the Count’s army, they were not protected by any protective spell. Instead they were using self-defensive Skills unique to close-combat job classes. In other words, they were deflecting the enemy’s attacks using their very own bodies.
Of course, even though they had excellent defensive Skills, they still felt pain when an arrow hit them. Skills are not that great that one doesn’t even feel pain after being hit by arrows made of steel or fire magic. It was their iron will that kept them fueled, gave them the energy to forge onward.
Enemy Mages cast a spell, creating a wall of flame. It doesn’t burn anyone directly, but is designed to keep enemies at bay. No one in their right mind would ever think of charging head first into a wall of fire that exceeded a thousand degrees in temperature. They would definitely choose a different route first.
Unfortunately for the enemy, the assault squad was not exactly in their right mind. Ignoring the wall of fire, the unit dove straight into the enemy forces.
“Wh-What the hell?!”
“What in the world are these guys?!”
The squad ran up to the Cardinal’s terrified and confused soldiers. What happened next was no doubt an actual “annihilation.”
Cardinal Georgis mostly rounded up troops that were experts in long-range warfare, as he was intent on destroying us from a continuous bombardment from afar. There was no way that such people could respond properly to an assault unit that was mainly composed of close-combat fighters.
The Cardinal’s army’s proficiency no longer mattered. Our fighters didn’t even bother dodging arrows, so how in the world would they fight such people?
“Of course they’d be confused,” I muttered.
Watching the success of our assault unit, I felt a little sorry for the enemy.
There was a reason for their extraordinary morale. Most of the people who belonged to that unit were those who harbored a strong grudge against the Cardinal.
Of course, every one with inferior classes had more or less a grudge against Cardinal Georgis, but their case was different. Most of them had lost their loved ones and families. With no place left to belong, they fled to Count Meigis’ domain.
The number of volunteers for the assault squad was more than ten times the number I expected. However, for our strategy to work, we couldn’t assign a lot of people to it. So I decided to conduct an examination and picked the best ones among them.
It’s not that we chose people who had a grudge against the Cardinal. War is brutal. You cannot let yourself be swayed by strong emotions such as grudge. I let everyone take the examination, fair and square.
But upon looking at the results, most of those who remained were those who held a grudge against Georgis. Perhaps what made them stand out was not their skills, but their mental strength.
The arrows and magic spells were nothing compared to the pain and suffering they had endured. I never experienced what they went through firsthand, but I could sense the intensity of their feelings during the training. That’s why they could just rush straight in, ignoring the attacks that were pouring down on them.
“Looks like we know who has the upper hand right now.”
About forty percent of Cardinal Georgis’ army still remained. Talking about their numbers alone, they were eight times as many as Count Meigis’ army. Even so, the Cardinal’s army no longer had the strength left to fight back.
Count Meigis’s long-range strike force had already stopped attacking, conserving arrows and mana. They left the rest to the assaut squad instead.
There weren’t many more attacks raining down on our troops. Cardinal Georgis’s long-range assault force had been partially annihilated, so they no longer had enough firepower to attack.
The assault and annihilation squad were still continuing their onslaught. Most of them had close-combat job classes—classes that did not require arrows or mana to fight. As long as they did not run out of energy, they could continue to fight as long as they want.
If the situation continues as it is, Cardinal Georgis’ army will literally be wiped out before long. But Cardinal Georgis’ army still had some firepower left. And it should be almost time for them to bring out the big guns.