Release that Witch - Chapter 609: Entering the Battlefield
“Alright. It seems it was not them that kindled the beacon, but some others.” Soli punched the desk angrily, and then burst into laughter. “Are they deliberately teasing us or provoking Holy City to wage a war?”
“The specific reason is not clear. But Milord, one Rat’s testimony is interesting.” The chief justice pointed to the report. “I deliberately wrote it on the last page.”
Soli turned the report to the last page and hastily skimmed through it. “Two weeks ago, people set a barrier on the road beneath Coldwind Ridge, forbidding anyone to go to the Impassable Mountain Range, but allowing people to leave there?”
“Exactly. The Rat had planned to take his chance in Deepvalley Town, but he saw some merchants who should have headed for Hermes were stopped by soldiers.”
“It seems the lord really didn’t do this,” Soli thought. “Wait a moment… two weeks ago? When was the last time the group of pedlers who sold grain appeared?”
“Three days ago.”
The archbishop’s face instantly clouded over. “That’s to say, those pedlers were allowed to pass the Impassable Mountain Range which was alleged to be inaccessible?
The answer was clear as daylight.
“They’re accomplices,” the chief justice said, “at least they look like so.”
“How many were guarding the barrier?”
“The Rat only dared to take a quick glance from afar. He estimated there were several hundreds of them.”
“As long as we spot their weak point, we’re fine,” Soli Daal stood up and said, “Order the Judgement Army to gather here right away!”
“Milord, do you intend to go down the hill?” The chief justice was surprised, but he quickly explained. “Supreme Pontiff ordered us to station in Coldwind Ridge after seizing it, to ensure the road is clear and wait for the main army to come… If you want to inquire more about the situation, ask a small detachment to capture a few enemies for interrogation. That’ll be sufficient.
“Not only will I catch a few of them for interrogation, but I’ll also crush their barrier. This is the price they have to pay for making fun of Holy City.” Soli waved hand impatiently. “If we start off now, by the day after tomorrow I’ll be able to see their heads overhung above the city gate. This won’t affect the Holy City’s attacking plan, so His Holiness won’t blame us.”
“But if this is a trap the enemy set…”
“A trap?” Soli glanced at him. “I used to lead an army and attack Broken Tooth Castle of Kingdom of Wolfheart. It was a very tough battle. They took advantage of the geography and set up numerous traps. However, traps set up by commoners could only bring limited trouble to God’s Punishment Army. So, what a trap set up in the open field at the foot of a mountain can do to us? Any attempt to ambush God’s Punishment Army will be in vain. On the other hand, I kind of hope they have the courage to fight instead of fleeing.” The archbishop paused, and then said, “Now you’ve understood it. Go and do what I ordered.”
“… Yes, Milord!”
Looking at the back of the chief justice, Soli Daal sneered. “I’ll never pardon these blasphemers.”
“Is there a large troop taking off from Coldwind Ridge?” Iron Axe asked, looking at the fluffy pigeon which just flew into the tent.
“Around 1,000 soldiers, coo!” Maggie said while flapping her wings, “and there are no vehicles shipping grains or a militia. They’re all armored. Some of them are carrying big shields and short spears, coo!”
“Big shields?” Iron Axe said in surprise, “How big are they?”
“Um…” Maggie looked at Iron Axe while tilting her head. “About the same size as yours, coo.”
“I see. Well done.” Iron Axe handed over the pigeon a piece of dried meat as usual, and then called for the guard who was standing outside of the door. “Ask Gun Battalion commander Brian and Artillery Battalion commander Van’er to come to my tent for a meeting. The enemy is in action.”
After hearing the information provided by the witches, Brian could not help frowning. “How can they come so soon? It takes two to three days for His Majesty to reach Deepvalley Town. The Longsong Cannons aren’t in place yet…”
“The church indeed reacted faster than we’ve expected, but whether His Majesty is here or not, we need to stick to our posts and never step back,” Iron Axe calmly said, “and no matter what, the enemy mustn’t cross our defensive line at the foot of the mountain.”
“Yes!” Brain and Van’er said in unison.
“Good. Here is my battle arrangement.” Iron Axe licked his lips. “It’ll take the enemy at least one day to arrive at the foot of the mountain, which gives us enough time to prepare. We have over 2,000 pieces of God’s Stones of Retaliation. Assign them to as many soldiers as possible at the front rows. The machine gunners need more protection than anyone else, so they must wear God’s Stones too.” He roughly explained the plan he’d been conceiving. “In addition, I’ll arrange 10 good gunners and a machine gun team to protect Miss Sylvie. They’ll follow Miss Silvie’s instructions based on her investigation of the scene to take care of the enemies who pose greater threats. Other soldiers will act in accordance with the instructions set out during the maneuver.
“I have a question,” Van’er said in hesitation. “In the enemy’s team, can the soldiers carrying big shields be…”
“They’re most likely God’s Punishment Army.” Iron Axe nodded. “Judging from Miss Maggie’s description, commoners won’t be able to march carrying shields of such a size.”
“Can a bullet penetrate it?” asked Brian.
“We won’t know it unless we try,” Iron Axe answered without hesitation. “If a flintlock can’t harm the enemy effectively, your people just try to stop the God’s Punishment Army marching forward and leave them to the artillery to take care of.
“Eventually you have to rely on the artillery to solve the problem,” Van’er said smilingly. “Leave it to me, Your Excellency.”
Two days later, Danny jumped into a trench in the early morning, holding his beloved rifle.
According to the instructions yesterday, he quickly came to his spot—the right wing of a trench in the center of the battlefield. The shrubs and bushes in the surrounding areas had all been cut, leaving an open space for him to overview the entire battlefield and aim precisely.
Danny picked up a few stones from the ground, created a small rack on the side of the trench, put his rifle on the rack, and aimed at the front.
Through the sights, Danny saw dews suspending on leaves above the ground, a spider clinging to a wire fence, a red clay road full of horseshoe prints, and the Impassable Mountain Range at a distance.
An excellent sniping position.
He opened the bolt, pushed the first bullet into the chamber, and waited for enemies to appear.
As a hunter, Danny had always been patient.
Since he joined the Militia in response to His Majesty’s conscription, he had participated in a series of battles, such as the defense battle in the Months of Demons, the operation` against the Duke of Longsong Stronghold, the attack of King’s City, etc. The weapon he used had updated from flintlock to the newest bolt rifle. In terms of combat experience, he must be one of the most experienced soldiers in the First Army. If he had not insisted on staying at the front, he would have been most likely an officer of the Gun Battalion only second to Sir Brian.
Compared with commanding others, he preferred the feeling of hunting a prey.
Ever since the day he laid hands on a flintlock, he had deeply been in love with such a weapon.
It was handy and powerful. One only needed to have a good eyesight and a little bit of gift to master it.
Holding a gun in hands, Danny could feel the power surging from the bottom of his heart.