Second World - Chapter 902
A simple passing by the side of the fort turned into a struggling journey through fire and bombardment. By the time the flame dispersed, the orcs at the front finally passed through the backline of the fortress. However, the caltrop's effect was still there, hence most of their front troops still couldn't summon their mounts.
Even though the caltrops broke after getting trampled three times, the ones affected were the ones at the front. Even if the back army could still move normally and use their mounts, they couldn't charge ahead. They had to adjust to the speed of the front army. Otherwise, they would crash into the front army and cause chaos like the first time they were hit by the caltrops on the field. Thus, the overall speed of the army slowed down as if the entire army was under the effect of the caltrops.
Abdu looked at the state of his army. These troops were disciplined enough that they didn't lose their cool under these unexpected circumstances, thus limiting their loss. They also drank recovery potions to counteract the loss of HP from the flame. Still, they were not in a good shape. Many basic soldiers and outworlders perished. Elite soldiers suffered heavily but they still survived.
However, the fact that they had to use their recovery potions already meant that they would have a lower supply when it came to the important battle against the dragon army. They still had enough supplies due to not fighting much yet, but what they had was still limited.
Abdu gritted his teeth. Those cunning humans, did they place such traps expecting them to charge through?
When finally, the six minutes duration of the caltrops expired, the front line could finally resummon their steeds. They did so and their speed picked up again.
As they did, they heard war cries from the side. They turned and saw a large army coming from the direction of the hills. The fortress' door also opened and another army poured forth.
There was a split second when Abdu considered charging for the fort, but he dismissed it soon. The enemy could easily close the door again. The army that came out should only be a portion of the ones guarding the fort.
"Ignore them, charge forward!" Abdu yelled. Their objective was not to fight this army here.
Even so, their speed and momentum had greatly weakened due to the caltrops. Hence their backline still got caught by the charging human army.
Abdu made an unwilling decision by sacrificing a portion of his backline to hold down the enemy while most of his army continued onward. The backline orc soldiers didn't even flinch when they received the order. They went ahead and clashed with the humans, trying to buy as much time for their comrades.
The players on the backline, on the other hand, mostly ignored the order and continued forward following the main army. They didn't think the war contribution points from following this order to worth getting killed for certain.
Abdu made a rough estimation while they marched. They might have lost around 30,000 natives and 70,000 outworlders from this charge. This already included the ones he had left behind to block the enemy army. Their current total of 400,000 troops should still be enough to make a difference when they worked together with the first army to hit the enemy's army from two fronts.
Still, losing all these soldiers without taking even one enemy down was a truly frustrating feeling. Abdu looked back at the human army that was still blocked by his loyal soldiers. He returned his attention to the front. Never mind, once they defeated the human army facing the first army, all would be worth it.
Commander Armstrong, who led the troops from the fortress, came and met with Jeanny who was fighting the orc soldiers left behind to hold them back. Jeanny was fighting a level 58 special elite orc.
Armstrong came from the side and sliced the orc's legs with his greatsword. The orc fell from the sneak attack. Armstrong lifted his left hand, which was equipped with an unusually large gauntlet. The gauntlet shone bright red. The red light formed a giant fist which Armstrong slammed to the ground where the orc was laying. The ground sunk from the force of the impact followed by cracks that spread out.
The orc on the ground was close to death but was still alive. Jeanny's spear struck his head and ended his life.
"Thanks for the assist," Jeanny said.
"I don't see that you need it, but I figure you should hurry," Armstrong replied. He understood the outworlder's need for exp hence he had controlled his attack to not kill the orc.
"Go!" Armstrong uttered. He then turned to Uvira who was nearby, "Protect her!"
"Yes, commander," Uvira replied.
John's plan if Verremor's army charged through Slaughterer Plains, was to keep on their tail and harass them. However, they couldn't leave the fort here unoccupied. The force that Abdu brought seemed to be half of their entire force. They were not sure where the other half was. Hence, they had to leave a force to defend the fort just in case.
Jeanny looked at Abdu's army in the distance. Armstrong was right. If they delayed, Abdu's army would be out of sight soon. She summoned her steed and issued the order to pursue. The orcs that stayed behind were thinning. They couldn't block the entire army. Hence, Jeanny charged through them and chased after Abdu's force.
Jeanny had taken everyone that was stationed on the hills, leaving only Armstrong's force to continue defending the fort.
They rode at maximum speed. They couldn't let the orc army out of sight. John predicted that the most likely thing the orcs would do if they charged through without occupying the fort was spread out once they were deep enough into Themisphere's territory. They would be aiming for guerilla warfare while razing for supplies.
However, Jeanny saw them make a turn and follow along the side of the mountain range.
'They are not heading deeper into the country?' Jeanny thought questioningly after seeing the enemy's movement.
The orc continued to follow along the mountain range. There was no sign that they would be changing direction.
In her bewilderment, she sent a message to John.
"What is it? We are about to face a very desperate battle soon. Can't talk much," John gave her a reply.
Jeanny sent her a summary of what had happened, asking him what she should do.
"In which direction are they heading?" John asked.
"North. They keep following the side of the mountain range," Jeanny replied.
There was a brief pause before Jeanny heard from John again. "You have to catch up and stop them," John said.
"How? They are running at full speed. The best we can do is keep on their tail. Do you know what they are planning?"
"They are going to hit the Dragon army," John answered. "Desperate move. I guess our messing with their supply line is effective if they become that desperate. Still, this desperate move can turn the tide. If the dragon army is besieged from two opposite sides, they will be in great trouble. The reason those native armies can fight for weeks with controlled losses is due to their high HP. The ones who have lost HP can retreat to the back to recover while the reserves take over. If they are hit at the back as well, they won't have any place to retreat to, they will have to continue fighting. This will increase casualties significantly."
"We are chasing this sneak army. We can hit the back of this sneak army as well. They will be besieged from two sides by us and the dragon army as well. They will have the same predicament."
"The sneak army will, but so is the dragon army. If they sacrifice this sneak army to annihilate our dragon army, which one do you think is the heavier loss? Do you think your troops can take on Verremor's first army once we lose the dragon army? With how desperate they are at this moment, they will fight with all their strength. In my estimation, the dragon army will be badly wounded even if they are not annihilated if you allow this sneak army to reach them."
"I will send a message to Armstrong to ask him to send a message to the dragon army so they can prepare."
"You can do that. But even if they know of the coming attack, they will still be in trouble. If they set up their formation to defend their back, their front will be weakened. Against an equally strong force, this can cause an opening that can be exploited by Verremor's first army."
"So, what do you suggest?" Jeanny asked.
"Stop that sneak army from reaching the dragon army. I gotta go now, our battle here is about to start," John cut the message.
'Damn it! How do you suggest we do that?' Jeanny thought with exasperation. The enemy was running at the same speed as them. Additionally, their number was only about half the enemy. She wasn't sure they could do much even if they caught up.
She did what she could first. She sent a message to Viral Cora who stayed back at the fort with Commander Armstrong. She asked Cora to inform Armstrong about John's theory and to send a message transmission to the dragon army that an enemy force might be heading to their rear.
"Something wrong?" Selena, who was riding beside her, asked.
Jeanny told her about their predicament.
"That is indeed a problem," Selena said. She couldn't offer any possible solution. Some of them who rode super-rare grade steeds might be able to speed up and catch up with the army they were chasing. But there were only a few of them with such steeds. They won't be able to do much.
"My Jackal Crews can intercept them," Regim, who was also riding nearby, said.