Second World - Chapter 901
Abdu looked at the sky and then at his army that lined up neatly. It was a fine day for a glorious battle. However, today they were not looking for a battle. It would be suicide if they tried to break into the fort with their numbers. Their scouts reported the enemy number stationed in the fort and hills looked to be more than half theirs. Even if most of the enemies were outworlders, it was still not a good odd for a siege battle.
Additionally, they had left behind their siege weapons. It was too cumbersome for their rear assault plan. They needed speed. The siege weapons were currently being transported to where the first army was by using the direct route.
Seeing everyone was ready, he didn't delay anymore. The faster they got to where the first army was, the earlier they could defeat the enemy, and the more time they would have to scour for supplies.
Abdu lifted his weapon which was a spear. The mounts rode by the orc army puffed and stomped their hooves on the ground, kicking up dirt. Most of the mounts were horses, some were large wolves or boars. These mounts were as eager as their riders.
Abdu pointed his weapon forward and then shouted, "CHARRGGEEE…!!!"
The army charged forward. On their way, they veered to the South. They knew about the enemies stationed on the northern hills. If they charged in between the fort and the hill, they would be attacked from both sides. Hence, they chose the side away from those hills. In this way, they only needed to endure bombardment from the fort.
As for why Jeanny didn't place troops on the southern side, it was because that side was bordered by steep mountains. It was impossible to camp there. They would have to camp in the open field beside the mountain cliff which would make them vulnerable to attacks.
"They didn't intend to fight!" Jeanny said after seeing the enemy's movement. 'Are they going to rush deeper into our territory and conduct guerilla warfare? This will prolong the war but in the end, they will be at a clear disadvantage when every human army starts hunting them down.'
John had considered this scenario to be unlikely but not impossible. Hence, they had prepared the hidden obstacles around the fort. It seemed that this unlikely scenario was coming into play.
"Prepare to move!" Jeanny commanded. They had been placing ranged attackers to the forefront for preparation of sending range attacks to support the fort. But the situation had changed, they now had to leave these hills to meet the opponents.
Abdu placed all his defensive units facing the north side as they charged because that will be the side facing the fort.
The fort started throwing their longest-ranged assaults once the orc army came into range. The attacks came in the form of stones shot by trebuchets. The stones were just normal ones, the fort here didn't have the special explosive ammo fort Themisphylae had.
The defensive units braced themselves from impact. Some mages among these defensive units cast their spells. Round energy umbrellas materialized above the army. The stones crashed onto these umbrellas. Some of the stones bounced off while some others destroyed the umbrellas and continued. The destroyed umbrellas were cast by weaker mages, so they were not as sturdy. But even for the ones that successfully deflected the stones, cracks were produced. After being hit by two to three stones, those umbrellas still shattered.
After going through the protective spells, the momentum of the stones was greatly reduced. Hence, the damage they produced was also weakened. But most importantly, the weakened stone didn't cause stun or knockback when they fell. Thus, the army continued to charge forward despite receiving damage.
When the army moved in closer, arrows and spells started raining on them. The defensive units put their large tower shield facing the fort. For the attacks coming from only one direction, it was an easy thing to defend against.
Everyone continued to charge forward without slowing down.
When their charge brought them right beside the fort, the steeds at the front-most line suddenly started to neigh or howl loudly. Their movement speed decelerated abruptly to a stop and their mounts vanished. Because of this, the ones that were rushing behind crashed into them. Many fell and were trampled by their comrades, suffering damage numbers continuously as the momentum of the army was too fast to stop.
Abdu was among the front line. He even rode with the defensive units that were the closest to the fort. He used his long spear to swat any attacks that came near. Sogora was nearby. He cast a spell that created a wind shield that deflected all incoming attacks within a large area.
Abdu, who was startled by the sudden halt in their charge, received a Stun effect all of a sudden. The large wolf he was riding was also forcefully unsummoned. He then received a notification that his movement speed was slowed. In his confusion, he looked down and noticed a tiny metallic thing on the ground, half covered by dirt. The metallic thing looked like four long spikes being welded together at one end. He picked the thing up and inspected it.
Caltrops (rare war tool)
Stun target for 3 seconds upon stepping and forcefully unsummon the mount.
Slow down movements to 30% of the original speed for 1 minute. After the 1-minute duration, movement speed will only recover to 60% for the next 5 minutes.
Cannot summon mounts throughout the slow duration.
Will break after hitting an enemy 3 times.
"Grrr…!" Abdu was trying his best to not bellow in fury. He crushed the caltrop in his hand.
"Sogora! Call your wind to reveal these caltrops. Jomo, call everyone to dismount and slow down!" Abdu commanded.
Sogora cast a high-level spell and a wide tempest was summoned. Sogora aimed the tempest to blow the ground in a wide area. Magicians then send their wide area spells to destroy the caltrop in front of them. However, by doing so, they ended up even slower, because they were now stopping and clearing the caltrops in front of them. All the while the attacks from the fort continued to rain down on them.
Seeing this, Abdu changed the approach again. He ordered everyone to continue charging forward without mount and follow the momentum of the ones at the front so they didn't crash into their comrades. Many casualties had occurred due to the sudden stop just now, mainly caused by their own trampling aided by the ranged attacks from the fort.
They continued onward with a controlled momentum. They were slowed by caltrops but they proceeded forward. All they need to was just keep a stable defense against the attacks from the fort.
"What's that?" One of the soldiers asked. His comrade looked to where he was pointing and saw a flame traveling along the ground.
Upon closer inspection, the flame was traveling along a rope. The rope came to what looked like a half-buried barrel in the ground. This barrel was seemingly revealed after Sogora's tempest blew away the dirt that covered it.
Abdu, who heard the commotion, turned in the direction of where they were looking at. When he saw the barrel, his eyes turned wide. He looked further and saw what looked like the tops of similar barrels strewn out all around the field.
"Stop that flame!" He uttered.
He wanted to go and do it himself but his position was too far, and the nearest soldiers were too slow to react to his command. The flame touched the barrel and a large explosion happened.
The arrangement of the war fires was as during the civil war. They were put in the range of one another's blast, so one explosion would trigger a chain explosion on the other war fires. With the army slowed down due to the caltrops, everyone was soon engulfed in a sea of flame. All the while, the ranged attacks from the fort never stopped.
"Continue forward…!!" Abdu bellowed. It was too late to pull back now. If they did, this march would become a defeat and it would significantly lower their morale.
Unlike the time during the forest burning, this time there were no trees to catch fire, so the flame would only last its intended three minutes duration. Additionally, without trees to block their vision, the soldiers here were not as lost as the ones trapped inside the forest fire. They still had a clear sense of direction. Hence, the impact was not as severe as during the civil war.
Still, with the slow effect from caltrops, the army would most likely suffer the full three minutes burning duration. Added with the harassment from the fort, the orcs were having the worst time simply trying to cross through. They hadn't even clashed with a single enemy yet. Many of the orcs were already both frustrated and demoralized. The only thing that kept them going was the voice of their Lord Chief, who kept on urging them to push forward.