“Your Majesty, it appears that nobody will attack us.”
I stood here until the sun went down, when we ran out of energy. The sun couldn’t relieve us of the cold air in the North. The sky had started to turn dark. All I could see now was a vague black fortress, which was our simply constructed wooden walls that we just made, and also our current camp.
We didn’t have the time to build a complete fortress yet, because we had too many things to do today. Building the simple fortress was the best we could manage.
The cannon formation now lost its purpose. If they couldn’t be watched over, both we and the enemy would be at high risk of being blown up. Initially, I wanted to create fireworks out of them, but it didn’t seem possible now.
I said to the messenger next to me, “Have the cannon team prepare. Transport them through the night.”
Philes looked at the fire torches and the bonfire. He asked, “Do you intend to cross over now, then, Your Majesty? It looks like safe now. Nobody has come over; our scouts have also reported no anthropoid activity sightings nearby. Perhaps the anthropoids do not intend to attack us.”
“Ah, we’ll cross during the day tomorrow.”
I shook out my cloak, and then looked at the people still crowding on the bridge. I elaborated, “It takes time to transport cannons. Let’s not cross over and cause chaos yet. It’s also dangerous for us to cross the bridges at night. We’ll cross at daytime. If you don’t locate any anthropoids, then there’s no need to strengthen our defences. Our soldiers are likely tired today, so let them have a good rest, tonight. We’ll advance tomorrow during the day.”
Philes nodded. He then turned around to pass down my orders.
I looked at Tanya, who sat next to me. I bent over at the waist and stroked her head, “Tanya, what do you think? You understand the anthropoids better than I do. Do you think we’re safe now?”
“I don’t know.”
Tanya looked toward the other side. Bored, she sniffled as she kicked her feet, “I do not know if we are safe or not. I am here right now, and I do not have a scout team to go out there with me. I do not know if there are anthropoids nearby just by looking, either. However, if the scouts have reported so, then we should be safe. The anthropoids are brainless, after all.”
Ling Yue, who was next to me, frowned unhappily, but she didn’t say anything.
Ling Yue and Tanya had a poor relationship. Tanya’s family was killed by plundering anthropoids. She wanted revenge; she resented every anthropoid, including Ling Yue who suffered an ill fate as she did. Tanya had no sympathy for her.
Other than Ling Yue, the other person Tanya disliked most had to be Freya. I didn’t know why they disliked each other, but they were full of hostility for each other upon first meeting.
Ling Yue didn’t say anything. She just looked to the other side and softly said, “I never imagined that the North would’ve fallen to this state. I thought that they’d obtained power, but they haven’t fulfilled their duty at all. I would be consoled if I got to saw the races unite… but by the looks of things as they are now, the North really has completely fallen.”
“That’s good news to us, however. I’ll be able to send my men over without any casualties, and you can destroy the four races without any negative sentiments.”
I smiled, and then turned around. I knocked on the ground with my sword and went on, “All right. Everyone, it appears our first day here is over. Nobody is hurt, and there are no turbulences. I hope things continue this way. Now we can go back to have a meal and sl-…”
A sound resembling an avalanche suddenly came from our northern direction before I could finish. I quickly spun around to look in the direction of the North, but I couldn’t see anything in the darkness.
It sounded as though there was something rolling toward our camp. I saw the men around the fire jump up and pick up their weapons before rushing over in its direction. The sentries on the wooden walls threw a large number of fire potions, lighting up the oil inside the ditch in front of the camp.
Only then did I finally see clearly what had happened. It was large snowdrift coming toward us, but it wasn’t an avalanche. At most, it was snowdrift rolling toward us slowly.
I let out a breath of relief. It seemed it was just a minor avalanche. I was glad it wasn’t an enemy attack.
The soldiers let out sighs of relief. They had reloaded their guns and prepared for battle. They then turned around, but then I suddenly noticed that something stood up from the snowdrift…
‘Snow can’t stand up!’
I cried out, but it was too late. It wasn’t snowdrift, but a disguise. White silhouettes popped up from the snow. They pushed the snow into the ditch, putting out the fire in the ditch. The white silhouettes roared as they charged toward our camp. A light jump was all it took for them to vault over the ditch after which they immediately rushed to our timber walls. They didn’t have any technique. They simply jumped up onto our walls. All of them were as light as cats. Our timber walls were child’s play to them.
I mentioned it before. In a long distance fight, I could take down the anthropoids without any casualties, but I couldn’t say the same for close-quarters combat.
The anthropoids in the snowdrift came out similarly to the soldiers that poured out of the Trojan horse and entered Troy. They roared as they swung their weapons. They didn’t have spears, but that didn’t affect them, since spears hampered movement when fighting in close quarters and in densely packed zones. The soldiers weren’t the stupid anthropoids; all of them were oddly strong and extremely agile.
Behind them were more white silhouettes that jumped out from the snow. They leapt up high and rushed into our camp that was already in disarray. Metal reflected the flames, while gunfire and cries before death transmitted into my ears.
“Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!!!!!”
I thundered as I watched the chaos below ensue, I clenched my fists tightly, yet couldn’t do anything. The soldiers were evidently shocked by the anthropoids’ random assault. A fight between two races is bound to not end nicely. Behind my soldiers was a bottomless cliff. With the anthropoids pushing and squeezing, the anthropoids in front of my soldiers appeared to them as death gods that were here for their lives.
“Damned humans!! Piss off back to your lands!!”
I heard angry shouts from anthropoids amidst all the shouting.
“Reform the ranks! Reform the ranks, idiots!! The enemies number few! The enemies number few! Hold the lines! We just need to recover from the chaos!!”
I grabbed the rifle to my side, took aim at a white silhouette and pulled the trigger.
That was just the initial chaos. We just needed to hang in there for a bit, and then we’d be able to push them back. They only had so many men, so they had no hope of driving us back!
Our generals shouted over the ruckus to reform our ranks. The platoon stationed at the rear of the fortress, finally returned to the front. Our normal soldiers retreated to the rear and raised their guns.
‘Once our formation is formed, we’ll kill as many as they have to offer!’
A strange horn sound then suddenly came from between the valleys. I lingered for a moment, as I had no idea what the sound meant. The anthropoids in our camp clearly knew, though.
They immediately stopped in their tracks, and then began to take turns covering each other to swiftly disappear into the darkness.
Our soldiers opened fire, but nobody knew if we hit our targets or not. I couldn’t see them any longer. They were akin to phantoms.
‘They acted far too swiftly! This group of anthropoids were far too nimble!’
I wore on a cold and stern expression. I threw the gun away. I looked at the fortress now in a sea of flames and coldly asked, “Do you know which race that was?”
Ling Yue looked at me with a hint of fear and timidly answered, “They should be the personal guard unit of the panther race. Their commander is Marvel… If their race leader is personally leading them, then…”
I repeated the name, and then ruthlessly slapped myself across the face.
‘I was too careless this time.’