NEW FACEBOOK PAGE: Please follow https://www.facebook.com/lordwujizun/ for updates on news and releases. It’ll be where I provide updates if the website is inaccessible for whatever reason. Guys… You guys are nuts lol. The website got dropped again for exceeding daily traffic allowance, yes, that’s AFTER I’ve gone and increased the bandwidth. I posted the full explanation from their technicians on the Facebook page, check it out. It’s only been 4 hours… I legitimately don’t have the funds for the next upgrade up.
I scanned the Black Forest carefully for the first time.
I can now see why this place is called the “Black Forest”. The forest is covered with huge trees which are easily close to one-hundred metres tall. You would need several people to surround a tree trunk. The lush leaves overlay one another almost blocking out the son entirely. The dead branches and leaves covering the floor have been left there for ages. Water bubbles formed in the ground as the horses tread along. All the rock faces were covered in moss, so even the horses slipped if they weren’t careful.
The air carried a wet and stinky stench. This place would be heaven for microbes and decomposed things. Sunlight would never reach the floors of the forest unless it was winter. Catching some sunlight every now and then was like finding new land to me.
The small animals in the forest moved in-and-out of the branches as they watched us uninvited guests with curiosity. It was still early morning and since there was no sunlight, it was freezing in the forest. I took everything but the climate into consideration. I moved forward slowly on my horse. The elves around me didn’t look bothered by the climate.
Only I was feeling cold!
I sent five scouts go find the location of the Earth Dragons as our main force made its way towards the canyon. Our unit comprised of about one-hundred men and the three horse carriages behind us. The elders were only able to manufacture three ballistae due to the time constraint. But the worst part was that they hadn’t made any arrows. Given the circumstances, I grabbed all the spears that they originally prepared to use for the arrows. As long as they fit into the magazines, I grabbed them.
Consequently, our ammunition was very limited. It might’ve been enough if we were using ballistae which fired arrows one-by-one, but I added a burst fire device, which would make it like a rifle, except fired by a machine. By my estimations, we only have enough for one burst. If that’s how it plays out, then we’ll have to kill the remaining Earth Dragons with our own hands.
We couldn’t move fast because our horse carriages would likely flip if we tried to move fast along the paths covered with moss. To add to it, we hadn’t explored the paths before either. That said, our timing was pretty good. The Earth Dragons had begun grouping up, but they hadn’t advanced on our city yet. According to the map, the canyon was just ahead, and we should be able to circle around to the two sides of the canyon. I stretched my hand out to order everyone to stop.
“Ballistae unit, go right. Circle around to the other side of the canyon. The high priests are here, right? Alright, could you please slowly make your way leftwards? Once you find the narrowest part of the canyon, please take a look at the rocks on both sides. If you can’t knock them down in one attack, please knock them loose. Lucia, come with me.”
I brought two high priests from the palace with me this time, both of whom seemed very impressive. They look older than the eight elders. Upon hearing about this campaign, they offered to personally support me. I should use them as exemplary examples to show those eight elders what being responsible means. There’s a reason why you eight can’t become high priests. Your efforts to uphold morals are insufficient.
My plan was straight-forward, lure them out with a decoy and then spring on them. My plan was to use the bait drug to lure them out and into the canyon. From there, we would blow up this side of the rock face to block-off their escape route, and then fire at them with the ballistae from the other side. The plan was to kill them all using the ballistae, but in case that didn’t work out, we were going to personally kill them with the spears ourselves. If we got separated, I’d dig holes and fill them with spikes. That was sure to get them.
I only had one-hundred men, but I think it’ll be an easy task for them since elves can use magic.
The only question left was who was going to go and lure the Earth Dragons out. To be safe, I needed them to get close to the dragons’ den, spread the drug on their own body and then run back. That was the most dangerous task, because as I said, they run faster than horses. Further, the fact that we were in a forest and that the floor surface was extremely slippery meant that the steeds were bound to move slower, so the chances of getting crushed by a dragon were much greater.
I originally intended to spread the drug among all of us, and use a chain-system where one person would put it on themselves, lure them out, run for their life towards us, pass it on to the next person, and repeat the process like a relay until the dragons were where we wanted them. But if I did that, then the scent wouldn’t be strong enough to lure enough of them. So the best option was to have one person go and lure the hordes of Earth Dragons. Said person would have to either be an extremely skilled equestrian or be fast enough to outrun the Earth Dragons.
Lucia therefore volunteered to play that role. Lucia was a great candidate. She had the buffs provided by the wind elves, she could control the direction the wind blew to ensure the scent reached all the Earth Dragons, she didn’t require a steed, she had the agility to move freely through the forest, and she could leap off the trees so she wouldn’t have to worry about getting stomped on by the Dragons. She was the perfect candidate no matter how you look at it.
But, I still had my qualms.
If she slipped up, she’d be a goner. The memory of my comrades’ corpses who got stomped on are still clear in my mind. I still haven’t forgotten the look of despair and pain on their faces when the dragons stomped on them. And that time, they weren’t carrying the bait drug. This time they were all going to target Lucia. Should she slip-up, that’d be the end of her.
I was hesitant. I couldn’t decide if I should get Lucia go. She was the best candidate, but I couldn’t stand the thought of her life being in danger.
The two of us rode our horses up to the mountain peak. There were no trees at the peak. Standing on the rocks at the peak, we finally saw the canyon in its entirety. It was a long and narrow canyon. Given that it was so narrow, lining up the three ballistae would be enough to block up the exit. Based on the size of the Earth Dragons, I reckon only two would be able to squeeze past.
It wasn’t ideal because once the Earth Dragons in the front row die, the ones in the back will use their corpses as shields to move forward, which would cost us lots of arrows. And if the Earth Dragons got close enough, then we’d only be able to stab the corpses directly in front of us.
In other words, I need to fight them in a space where they can be lined up in rows of four. The centre of the canyon was wider. The canyon was narrow at the ends and wider at the centre. I originally intended to block off the exits, but looking at it now, we have no choice but to kill them at the centre. The dragons won’t be able to always use the corpses to move forward if we engage them in the centre.
Once we lure them in, we can split up into smaller units to take them on or force our way forward on horseback in a Macedonian Phalanx formation. However, based on the physiques of elves, I’d surmise that it would be easy to break our formation… The frustrating problem was that I didn’t have any alternative solutions. I could only pray that my imperial palace guards are strong enough to hold them back.
Lucia gazed the far into the distance as she rode beside me. She didn’t wear any expression and looked like she was half-asleep, but I knew she was deep in her own thoughts. She was thinking about how to return from the Earth Dragons’ den. I never promised to let her act as the bait, but she insisted on it.
A soldier approached me on my left, and said: “Your highness, the ballistae have been set up.”
“Change of plans. Move the ballistae to this area where it’s wider, and set them slightly behind this area.”
“We’ve also located a good spot to seal the exit.”
That was the elder’s voice which was carried to me by the wind. Using magic to communicate sure is efficient. I nodded. Now, there was just one last thing to do… Enter the dragons’ den and lure them out.
Lucia tightened her grip on the rein of her horse, turned around to face me, and said: “Please hand me the bottle, your highness. I’ll go now.”
“That method is a little dangerous. Give me a moment to see if I can come up with a better plan… For example, sprinkling it on the floor or something…”
No, that wouldn’t work. There’s not enough of the drug. I’ve only got one tiny bottle, not a big barrel worth. Come to think of it, if I actually did have a big barrel worth of it… The city walls would probably have been destroyed already. I frowned and racked my brains. What’s another way to lure them out without using someone as bait?
Nothing comes to mind…
“Reporting! The Earth Dragons have begun to move! They’re moving towards the capital!”
It wasn’t long before all the scouts I sent out came reporting back to me in their loud voices. To be honest, we’re just responding to the best of our abilities as circumstances arise, and right now, I don’t have the luxury of time to think. We either use the chain-system where one person attracts them, then as they gas-out, the next person takes over in a relay fashion, or Lucia does a solo-run.
While I was hesitating, a sudden gust of wind blew against my side. My horse panicked and almost threw me off. I tightened my grip on the rein instinctively to prevent myself from falling, and just as I managed to regain my balance, a blurry shadow flashed past me from behind.
My entire body turned cold.
Once the wind settled, my stuff on the back of my horse was gone. I reached for my belt and found that the precious tiny bottle containing the bait drug inside the pocket of my belt was gone.
I just can’t stop Lucia.
I sighed as I looked into the distance and said my prayers. I hope Lucia returns safely.
I went around the small mountain and arrived at the canyon below where the three ballistae were set-up and aimed at the entrance. The elves were busy organising the spears, which are now arrows and slotting them into the magazines. Our limited ammunition made me shake my head. If I had another five days, I wouldn’t even need the imperial palace guards. I could just set up the ballistae at high-strategic points and rain down on the Earth Dragons with arrows. Plus, I’d have enough ammunition to annihilate them.
But by the looks of things, I think fighting the Earth Dragons head-on is unavoidable. By my estimation, our ammunition won’t last longer than a minute.
“Take a few men, head to the exit, dig deep holes and put some spears down there. Remember to cover it properly.”
After I passed down my orders, I moved the front of the ballistae and touched the wooden ballistae. This was actually the first time I’d seen it. They did a good job making them. They’re definitely up to standard, but I just can’t get used to Elves using a human invention. It’s a miracle they were able to understand my blueprints and produce them accordingly.
The captain of the imperial palace guards walked up to me and asked: “Is this alright, your highness?”
I shook my head and replied: “I can’t guarantee that we can kill them all with the ballistae. I need all of you to get into formation behind the ballistae. Form a formation like this: This place is relatively small, so have four spearmen kneel down in front, have the spearmen in the second row hold their spears on their shoulders…”
I crouched down and excitedly drew on the ground. Watch closely and learn properly. This is precious knowledge humanity accumulated from their battles thousands of years ago, you know? Do you know how bad-ass this stuff was back then? You elves are still too young and simple-minded…
The captain cut me off and asked: “So form a square-like spear formation, right?” He crouched down and finished drawing the part I had yet to finish…
I looked at him with a surprised look while he looked back with a helpless expression. It was like when a tutor tries to teach a student some advance materials, only to find out the student already knew it… I treated him like an idiot, and ended up making myself look stupid…
Fuck! This is awkward now…
I forgot that the elves have technology more advanced than during King Alexander’s rule, so of course they’d know battle formations and strategies from back then. I took them for idiots… They should know the Macedonian Pahalanx Formation as well. As long as they had good team work, they could pull it off. Elves must’ve created these formations themselves in the past.
The captain left to go and organise the formation. The imperial palace guards brought four-metre long spears with them this time. It’ll work out if they fight the Earth Dragons as if they were a cavalry unit. What I’m more worried about is whether or not the troops in the frontline will be able to defend against the Earth Dragons’ charge. The imperial palace guards may be strong, but they’re still elves after all, and elves have lean bodies compared to humans. I really worry if they’ll be able to withstand the charge of the dragons.
The last hole I asked to be dug was done, everybody else had finished with their preparations, and the scouts had returned one-by-one. Alright, all that’s left is Lucia. I wasn’t with Lucia, and walkie-talkies didn’t exist yet, so I had no idea what sort of situation Lucia was in. Did she find the enemies? Was she hurt? Was she scared? I didn’t know anything.
Lucia always had an “I don’t care” look on her regardless of what she was doing. She would probably sacrifice herself without any complaints if I asked her to. Was this her devotion to love or loyalty? Or was her courage a combination of the two?
Spears rose up one-by-one and a simple Macedonian Phalanx formation was formed. The imperial palace guards held their positions vigilantly as they waited for the Earth Dragons to come. Their eyes showed no hints of fear. Perhaps it was due to their battle experiences that allowed them to be so confident. They were silent and still as a rock, as though waiting for the moment the silence would break.
The relaxing smell of green vegetation in the air was replaced with the scent of metal, oil, and the silent tension of the men. We all watched the direction the enemy was going to come from silently. The entire canyon was silent… All that remained was a tense atmosphere that would make anyone nervous. I looked at my men and lifted my right hand up.
“Everyone, get ready. Don’t panic when the Earth Dragons appear. Wait for them to enter our range before firing!”
It was time… Time to finally open the curtain on our battle with these rampant creatures.
Thank you for all your generous donations, we have reached the goal, and I will now get to translating the bonus chapter.