Regressor of the Fallen Family (Novel) Chapter 22 - 23 - 24

Note: The Novel Will Be Corrected Until Chapter 105, After That Chapter It Will Be All MTL

C22 - 23 - 24

Chapter 22: “Into Battle!”

Booooom.

As the long trumpet call rippled through the air, the gates opened and the armored cavalry, led by the knights of the Maclaine family, charged forth from the castle.

53 knights.

Over 550 cavalrymen, not drafted soldiers but regulars, and apprentice knights.

And nearly 5,000 draftees.

In total, an army exceeding 5,000 in number.

Three days after the declaration of war, the Maclaine territory had summoned a force beyond its limits.

Among the conscripts, there were even young lads whose cheeks were still downy with soft fuzz.

Moreover, a quarter of the draftees lacked proper equipment, brandishing spears and clad in hastily assembled wooden armor.

It was no exaggeration to say they had merely filled a quota.

“We have no choice. If the invaders wager their fate, we too must mobilize everything we have.”

Padric tried to justify the excessive drafting and forced his gaze upwards to the sky.

Riding a giant black steed, much larger than the average warhorse, and clad in a helmet with a red plume, he was at the very front, waving his hand.

“Waaaaah!”

The people of the territory cheered at the sight, but underneath the forced cheers, their expressions were filled with anxiety.

“The enemy?”

“They have entered within a day’s journey.”

“We’ll encounter them by half a day then.”

“Yes.”

Tension laced the conversation between Padric and Hainkel.

Despite their inner unrest, their faces were calm as they looked back at the territory’s people.

It was a feigned front to assuage the troops and the people’s anxiety.

However, that calm facade dissipated not long after they left the gate.

“Where did Logan go?”

“…He left at dawn with the mercenaries.”

“Why?”

“I’m not quite sure…”

“What?!”

Padric’s face contorted at Hainkel’s reply.

“Why didn’t you stop him?”

“Command over the mercenaries falls under the young master. And…”

“He showed some diligence lately, is that it?”

“…”

“You’ve gotten lax, Hainkel.”

“My apologies.”

As Hainkel hurriedly bowed his head, Padric sighed deeply.

“Sigh… People don’t change easily after all.”

“Hm?”

Hainkel looked puzzled at the sudden lament, but Padric wasn’t blaming him.

“Seems like I placed false hope in Logan.”

“…!”

“Likely he’s fled. Exclude him from the forces.”

Padric’s resolute tone made Hainkel lift his head.

Despite a short time, the Crown Prince he trained with didn’t seem like someone who would flee.

But before he could say anything, someone next to Padric erupted.

“That’s impossible!”

The boy barely older than his own gear objected vehemently, his eyes blazing red.

“My brother would never do that!”

Ronian recalled the image of his brother who visited him during training not long ago.

– Not yet, not yet. You still can’t control it.

Pondering over his brother’s disappointed sigh, his brother had demonstrated an astonishing skill, even to the inexperienced Ronian.

A secret technique shown by none other, not even their father.

– I will teach you soon as well. Let’s save our family together.

Ever since, it had been clear his brother sensed a looming bad atmosphere.

Such a brother wouldn’t abandon his family and flee.

“My brother was already anticipating the war. There’s no way he would…”

Ronian, as if fighting his own battle, raised his voice to defend Logan.

But Padric’s expression only twisted further at the sight of his youngest.

“Ronian. Stop defending Logan. The fact remains he is not here.”

“No! That can’t be, my brother wouldn’t just run away!”

Ronian’s big voice filled the area, stirring more murmurs.

“Did the Crown Prince desert?”

“So the rumor was true?”

“The lord’s son?”

Whispers buzzed.

As the soldiers’ mood soured, Padric bellowed at Ronian.

“Regardless, he is not here now! He has missed the battle upon which our family’s fate hangs! If that is not desertion, then what is?!”

“……”

Unable to rebut, Ronian hardened his face in frustration.

Padric looked at him and spoke in an icy tone.

“Nobility must fulfill their duties to be true nobles. One who shirks their fundamental obligations deserves not the privileges of nobility!”

The basic duty of nobility was to protect their people from external threats.

For the knightly Maclaine house, it was of paramount importance.

Padric grasped Ronian’s shoulder as he declared,

“You must now fulfill your brother’s role as well. Do not waver!”

Meeting his father’s fierce eyes, Ronian could only nod weakly.

Padric turned away with a sigh, his heart heavy.

It wasn’t pleasant to treat his own son as if he were nothing.

But the rapidly plummeting morale of the soldiers, evident as they whispered amongst themselves, made any such feelings a luxury.

‘Maybe I should have expelled him then.’

He regretted giving credence to obedience that was perhaps feigned.

Even with the memory of his late wife haunting him, he should have been harsher.

Then, before this gloomy war, perhaps the soldier’s spirits would have been higher…

“No, no.”

Padric shook his head, throwing away the weak thought.

A knight on the eve of war has no business indulging in such sentiments.

Clenching his jaw, the bitter taste of blood sharpened his mind.

‘Yes…’

His own actions, the strength of his forces—none of that mattered now.

“We must win.”

That was his greatest purpose in life, to protect the family.

The resolve became fighting spirit, elevating Padric’s aura inexorably higher.

Bleeding from his bitten lip as he resolved for victory, the lord.

“We will win! We must!”

His energy and willpower radiated outwards.

“Yes!”

Sensing the shift in the air, Padric hollered with conviction.

“Advance at full speed!”

* * * Boom. Boom. Boom.

The enemy moved in perfect unity to the resonating drumbeats.

Just the sight of their vast numbers, in better formation than the allies, demoralized Padric’s soldiers.

Moreover…

“The Crown Prince deserted, they say.”

“Shh!”

“Careful, such words can cause trouble! It’s just a rumor!”

“What rumor? Just look. Can you see that redhead anywhere?”

Unintentionally, another rumor regarding Logan gnawed at the soldiers’ courage.

Still, there were those who didn’t believe it, who defiantly rebutted.

“Shut it! Our lord would never do such a thing!”

“What’s with him?”

“That’s the rogue’s attendant.”

“Why’s a noble’s attendant here?”

“We all need to lend a hand. Can’t you see the difference in our strength?”

Amidst Rick’s impassioned cries, the morale of their troops continued to drop rapidly.

“Why must we…”

“Can we even win?”

“No, can we survive…”

An anxious murmur spread virus-like when Padric unsheathed his sword and bellowed with the force of thunder,

“Do not fear! Victory is ours!”

At once, the knights lifted their blades, and a keen aura burst forth around the knightly orders.

Especially the higher-ranked knights like Padric, exuding strength visible enough that it could be seen affecting the surroundings.

Their intangible power soothed the fearful soldiers, instilling an unseen courage.

Soon after, chants thundered from various points within the Maclaine lines.

“Waaaaah!”

Their cries rivaled the enemy’s fervor, uplifting each other.

The previous unease was visibly reduced.

‘This should be fine.’

Padric had boosted the allies’ morale by flaunting his own strength.

And the fact that the enemy did not respond, even seeing that, was a hopeful sign.

‘Surely, they have no higher-ranking knights.’

Padric comforted himself as he kept a watchful eye on the enemies.

Before long, the opposing armies converged, not even 1 km apart.

“I’ll cut down Baron Maclaine and avenge my great-grandfather’s grudge! Let the descendants of sinners extend their necks and meet my blade!”

Blonde middle-aged Haman Teslon strode forward in the enemy ranks, his sword brandished high with bravado.

Padric stepped forward from the Maclaine lines in response.

“Good! I’ll accept that blade! Let’s test our mettle, knight against knight!”

His voice resonated across the plains, filled with vigor and confidence, further boosting the allies’ morale.

Unlike Padric, who stepped out alone, Haman Teslon went deeper into their lines.

Soon, a hundred armored knights, spurred forth to the front of the formation.

“My knights are my blade. Let’s see you take them on, Padric Maclaine.”

Haman Teslon’s voice echoed from the rear, and Padric smirked in return.

“Don’t have the guts to face me alone? How shamefully you hide brings heat to my face!”

Laughter erupted throughout Maclaine ranks at the call.

As morale soared, Padric wasted no time in again raising his voice.

“Let’s smash those flunkies of a cowardly lord!”

His sword pointed toward the enemy.

“Charge!”

And thus the war began.

* * * ‘We break the vanguard!’

Padric, leading the front, spurred his horse forward ferociously.

With their forces at an absolute numerical disadvantage, his role was crucial.

He had to break through the vanguard, disrupting the enemy knights to have any chance of victory.

Thus, he poured all his strength into that first lance charge, determined to utterly crush at least two or three knights.

The power of his steed enhanced through the Force, his lance, increasingly radiant with red energy…

Thud, thud, thud.

The enemy encampment fast approached, fully-armored knights and their vanguard locking eyes with Padric.

‘Huh? Shields?’

Whether the primary weapon was a spear, the base of any charge was the lance.

Nothing was better suited for focusing destructive power into a single point through sheer acceleration.

Of course, there was no reason to stick to a lance if one could wield another weapon effectively.

But Padric had not expected the vanguard to meet his lance with a shield raised.

‘To think you can withstand my charge? How dare?!’

Rage surged, amplifying Padric’s fighting spirit.

Woooom.

He intended to obliterate the knight and pierce the ones following.

Boom!

The battlefield erupted with a deafening noise.

Yet, the outcome was far from what Padric anticipated.

“Gah!”

Wincing from the pain in his wrist, Padric pulled back his horse.

The impact was diffused in all directions by his superior Force control, but a sharp pain spread through his lance arm, the shock reaching his mount.

Though he minimized the impact, had it been any stronger, his stout horse’s legs would’ve buckled.

The adversary wasn’t unscathed either.

The rival horse couldn’t withstand the shock and collapsed, the leading knight bleeding beneath his helm.

Surely the wounds were not light, but the shock was evident on Padric’s face.

‘He blocked it?!’

A self-satisfied smile was evident on the mouth of the now-grounded knight, despite the streaming blood.

“Kugh. You live up to your reputation, Baron. To be in this state despite being so prepared.”

The knight’s insolence stirred Padric’s ire further; he couldn’t afford to be hobbled here.

“Damn it!”

“Pair up and take him down! Crush them all!”

“Do you think they can?!”

The halted advance of the Maclaine knights, now outnumbered two-to-one, began to show as they were pushed back by the enemy’s knights.

‘This can’t be. We can’t let this happen!’

He envisioned the adverse future unfolding before his eyes.

If he was held back, and consequently the knightly order stalled…

The already outnumbered main forces would be easily crushed by the enemy cavalry.

Even with the knightly order as their core, it spelled impending defeat.

As Padric’s mind conjured images of the knights trapped, hunted, the worst-case scenario became starkly clear.

“I refuse!”

Desperation turned to rage, unleashing a whirlwind slash.

However…

Boom!

Padric’s sword was thwarted once more as two more knights intercepted him with a great sword and spear respectively.

“Baron, you’ll be entertaining us.”

The first knight, too, wiping the blood from his chin, unsheathed his long sword.

Realizing his peril, a cold shiver ran down Padric’s inflamed mind.

The words of the knight with the shield echoed again.

“…So it is you three who were prepared for me?”

Padric’s voice was icy, instability creeping in.

“How do you like it?”

The original knight jeered with a sly smirk.

Padric glared back.

‘An upper-rank knight. To think there was one…’

Despite the immaturity, it was no doubt an upper-tier knight.

That explained how he could withstand Padric’s charge.

Now understanding why Haman Teslon was so boldly unworried, the realization came far too painfully late.

‘The other three are at least mid-rank knights.’

Despair shadowed Padric’s face beneath his helm.

‘If I’m blocked, the knightly order is too, and if they are…’

Outnumbered as they were, the main forces would be overwhelmed.

With the image of the knightly order falling victim to a pincer attack, a ghastly ordeal, Padric felt his spirits sink.

“I cannot allow it!”

Seething from the despair, he swung his blade with vehement anger.

But…

---------------------

Episode 23 “The Lord Has Been Blocked!”

Beside Patrick, the knight Heinikel, who was charging forward, widened his eyes in surprise at the unexpected sight.

It was not important that his charge had seriously injured one of the enemy knights.

To penetrate the enemy lines, which were twice their number, the presence of the head of the family was essential.

To advance in this situation would be nothing but a suicide mission.

He gritted his teeth, turned his horse around, and attacked another knight, but even that was not easy.

Clang!

The moment his attack was blocked, he saw two enemy knights closing in on him from both sides.

The rest of the knights were in a similar situation.

“Shift to defensive stance! Stay close together! The opportunity will come!”

There were no knights among the enemies who could block their lord. They would definitely find a breakthrough.

It was a command based on that sole expectation, but soon after, an unbelievable scene unfolded before his eyes as five of the enemy knights pressured their lord.

The worst possible future he didn’t even want to think about appeared before Heinikel’s eyes.

‘Are we losing… in this war?’

With a sense of impending defeat clouding his mind, the aged knight Heinikel had to battle his own despair first.

* * *

The process of the knights being pushed back was clearly visible to the infantrymen following behind.

Even if they could not see each individual knight’s movements, it was clear that their side’s charge was blocked and the entire formation was being pushed back.

The steps of the soldiers grew heavy without them realizing.

Gradually, the madness of the battlefield died down, only to be replaced by creeping fear.

And Rick was falling behind the most.

‘Ugh…’

Working within the manor as much as he did, he knew the situation of the war better than the average soldier.

And the more he realized, the more terrifying it got.

‘If the head of the family gets blocked, we will definitely lose…’

Naturally, his footsteps grew even heavier, and that’s when something happened that chilled him to the bone.

Patapatapat.

“Aaaahhhh!”

“Arrggh!”

“Gurk!”

Suddenly, the soldiers marching in front of Rick collapsed in unison.

A surprise shower of arrows.

An arrow fell right in front of Rick’s nose.

He felt a shiver run down his spine thinking about how, if he had taken just one more step, that arrow would have pierced his head.

‘Uh!’

Frozen by fear that seized his whole body, Rick was pushed forward involitarily by the movement of his allies from behind.

“Ah, no…”

His tongue was paralyzed with fear, and even if it moved, there was nothing he could do.

Looking around, he saw soldiers walking with steps as heavy as his, their faces pale with fear.

Probably, his own face was not much different from theirs.

‘No, no, no!’

Despite Rick’s panicked mind, the infantrymen steadily advanced with fear clearly written on their faces.

Moments later, they inevitably collided with the enemy at the front line.

Clang! Clang! Boom!

Amidst the cacophony of metallic sounds filling the battlefield, soldiers swung their weapons at each other in desperate combat.

“Die!”

“You die first, you bastard!”

It was only for a moment that the front line forces clashed fiercely, soon the Maclaine camp began to be pushed back gradually.

Lowered morale, insufficient numbers of troops.

It was a natural outcome given the unfavorable circumstances.

And it wasn’t long before this difference resulted in a massacre.


The first line to break was, unfortunately, directly in front of Rick.

“Aaaahhhh!”

“My arm, my arm!”

“S-Save me!”

The son of the baker, young John’s arm was sliced off, and the shepherd Derek’s heart was pierced through.

Peelps, a tenant farmer, had his throat cleanly cut, though his expression was too contorted in pain to call it a peaceful death.

Faces all too familiar to Rick fell to the ground, drenched in blood.

And there were other familiar faces falling one after the other.

“Aaaahhhh!”

As the front line collapsed and the sudden chaos ensued, Rick felt as if death was right before his eyes.

Even as he screamed, his body froze in place; but then suddenly, a spear thrust towards him.

“Ah!”

In a moment of survival instinct overpowering fear, he narrowly managed to evade.

A spear cut through the air where his head had been just a moment ago.

As he brushed the chills from his chest, the shaft of the spear had already struck Rick’s head.

“Die!”

Thud.

“Urk!”

Above the tumbling Rick, an enemy soldier with a contorted face like a demon raised his spear.

“Ah!”

Thunk.

Rick screamed and rolled aside just as the spear plunged into the ground.

He managed to dodge once, but the onslaught didn’t end there.

“Die! Die! Die!”

Thump. Thump. Thump.

Rick had no choice but to roll desperately to avoid death.

“Aaaahhhh!”

Although he was sure he had never seen that face before, the man frenziedly drove down his spear as if they were sworn enemies, which made him feel resentful.

Thunk.

Just then, the enemy’s spear stopped abruptly due to a slightly odd sound.

“Get up quickly! Take up your spear!”

An ally helped him up.

The face looked somewhat familiar, but Rick’s dazed mind couldn’t recall who it was.

One thing was certain: this person had saved him.

He was the benefactor who had dealt with the madman.

“Th-Thank you…”

Thunk.

But before he could even finish his gratitude, the benefactor was pierced through the neck.

“Ghrk. Guk.”

The benefactor collapsed with a grotesque cry, clutching the arrow that had penetrated his neck, reaching out to Rick as if to blame him, which sent shivers down his spine.

“Heeek!”

Rick let out a bizarre sound and collapsed to the ground.

“I must, I must run. I have to escape…”

Overwhelmed by that one thought, he stumbled back and then suddenly took off running.

But his flight didn’t last long.

“Whaaa!”

“Aaaahhhh!”

Screams and shouts filled the area; Rick, who had just come to his senses, stood still as if spellbound and looked around with vacant eyes.

Before he knew it, enemy soldiers had filled his field of vision.

‘Surrounded? We’re, we’re losing? Is this how I die? All of us?’

Even to his unstrategic eye, it looked like there was no chance of winning.

“No, no. I’m going to live. I’ll survive!”

Despite the fear, Rick dove back into the ranks, looking perhaps for some respite toward the rear.

But then.

“Whaaa!”

“Charge!”

Behind Rick, cavalrymen who had circled around the battlefield were already slaughtering the rear soldiers.

“Aaaahhhh!”

“Behind, behind!”

“It’s the enemy!”

The charge from above the horses cut down both spear and man, shattering bodies like toys.

“Oh, oh? No, that’s not supposed to happen…”

Cornered and without an escape, Rick’s legs shook like quivering aspen.

* * *

Roaaaar!

The sound of two great swords colliding was too deafening to believe it came from mere metal.

Of the two who caused this roar, one staggered while the other immediately lunged at his foe.

However, Patrick, the victor of this clash, did not look pleased because he foresaw what would come next, a sequence he had grown all too familiar with.

Indeed, as soon the staggering enemy began to recover, a spear and a longsword leapt out from either side.

Then, attacks from two more came from his rear, aiming at him with a longsword and a short spear, forcing Patrick to give up the chance he had almost secured.

“Damn you! Have you no pride as knights!”

Patrick screamed, but he knew all too well that what he was saying was pointless.

The enemy’s response was nothing but ridicule.

“What are you blabbering about?”

“Ignore him. It’s just a desperate struggle before death.”

“You bastards! Even so, against an experienced high-ranking kni…Ack!”

As Patrick brandished his sword with desperate rage in his bloodshot eyes, he aimed for an opening.

Kwaang!

But while his sword strike was intercepted by one of the skilled men, the others lunged at him from all sides.

Sssk.

Another superficial wound was added to his collection.

It was the same pattern repeated yet Patrick had no way out.

Clash! Clash! Boom!

The relentless assault turned like gears in an endless cycle.

It was clear these men had trained together intensively to coordinate against a stronger foe.

No, they had been trained from the start to capture Patrick.

“Persistent bastards…”

As he muttered with a growling voice, a way out from this trap seemed non-existent.

‘Even if I escape… it’s already too late.’

The knights of Maclaine, though vastly outnumbered, were just managing to hold their ground, but the regular infantry were overwhelmingly outmatched.

The cavalry in the rear attempted to outflank the enemy, but the enemy cavalry had not only done the same but were already on the attack.

“Aaaahhhh.”

The pained cries of soldiers, or rather, of his fief’s people, pierced Patrick’s heart like daggers.

A lump formed in his throat.

No matter how much he racked his brain, he could not think of a viable solution.

The feeble willpower that he managed to muster amidst despair was quickly undeterred by his increasing injuries and the groans of his comrades engulfing the battlefield.

His wavering heart ushered cowardly thoughts.

‘That’s right. Logan, you fled well. At least preserve the lineage of our family.’

Sssk.

“Argh!”

“A baron’s getting tired!”

“Let’s finish him!”

A fleeting thought had brought about injury.

“These fiends…”

Crunch.

As the feeling of despair invaded his mind, what was left was stubborn defiance.

Patrick grasped his sword for perhaps the last time as he ignited his vestige of fighting spirit…

But then, a sound threatening to break even that slender hope reached his ears.

Thud-thud-thud-thud.

‘Cavalry?’

The sound of horse hooves from the enemy forces’ tail end charging towards him resounded through the earth.

Though not numerous, the sound was enough to dampen his final spirit of resistance.

‘Did they have more forces?’

But then, a sight he could hardly believe made Patrick doubt his eyes.

Patapatapat.

“Aaaahhhh!”

The enemy’s rear was thrown into disarray by the cavalry that recklessly tore through it, along with the horses that toppled.

‘Our allies?’

As Patrick saw a young man with red hair fluttering in the lead of the cavalry brigade, similar to his own.

“Logan?!”

In Patrick’s wavering vision, an unbelievable scene was unfolding.

* * *

In the forest behind the battlefield.

Shortly after Teslon’s army had passed, a few hundred cavalrymen who had followed the mountain path to the enemy’s rear had been hiding with perfect timing.

Despite being silent as death, concealed in the wood, the start of the battle had them whisper softly.

“Not yet, wait.”

Watching his father Patrick Maclaine’s attack being blocked and grimacing in frustration, Logan still firmly commanded.

‘Like this… did he fall to those wretches.’

Information from his past life surfaced, stirring his emotions, but it was still not the time.

Logan remained coldly focused, controlling himself as he kept a close eye on the situation.

Even as the knights were pushed back, quickly surrounded and outnumbered, he maintained his composure.

“Hmm.”

“Logan sir? Should we attack now?”

“No, not yet.”

While a small number of knights were unable to hold as they should, this was apparent when a lower rank knight had his charging lance miss and was hit from both sides by two spears.

“That grub! Damn it!”

He had been one of the few knights who had recently begun to cozy up to him.

The image of the man giving him a water bottle with a smile was still fresh in Logan’s mind.

“Logan sir, are you alright?”

“…Yes, I’m fine.”

Despite his voice seething with suppressed fury sounding anything but fine, Kai remained silent, his trust in his young employer’s tactical sense solidified by their successful ambush.

But as the infantry clashed and the lines broke, he had to speak up once more.

“Logan sir, even now… Isn’t it the time?”

“Not yet, not yet.”

Blood dribbled down from Logan’s tightly clenched lips.

He too was filled with desire to charge at any moment, maintaining his sanity with such grueling self-control.

Even if it were faces of strangers, the sight would have been painful, but many of the falling soldiers were familiar.

The gardener Cob, who helped them maintain at least a modicum of noble dignity in their barren fiefdom, fell with an arrow through his eye.

Lio, the servant who had just begun to greet him with a smile, saw Cob fall and dodged in alarm, only to have his throat cut by an enemy blade and collapsed.

The perspective granted by his Posthaste ability made the sight all the more piercing and agonizing.

Logan forcibly averted his gaze from the hellscape, concentrating on the movements of the targets he had identified.

‘Not yet, is it still not time?’

Waiting any longer risked the possibility that, even if they won the war, his house’s power would be far from intact.

As Logan’s dilemma deepened, his awaited target, the enemy’s cavalry, finally reached the location he had anticipated.

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The screams from the rear of their troops acted as the signal.

“Now!”

Unleashing the fury he had contained, Logan spurred his horse forward.

Finally, over three hundred cavalrymen thundered from the forest, surging toward the battlefield.

--------------------------

Chapter 24

“It’s nearly over.”

Harman Teslon smiled as the battlefield unfolded just as expected. The overwhelming difference in troop numbers, combined with the strategies that had been meticulously prepared, everything aligned perfectly.

Among them, the highlight was undoubtedly the presence of the high-ranking knight, Raul, who successfully blocked Patrick McLean.

‘I did well not to announce it.’

Whether a high-ranking knight exists or how many are there.

That was the greatest standard that divided an order of medium-ranking knights from high-ranking knights.

In the current era, the military power of the nobility was measured by the number of knights and their ranks.

The presence of a high-ranking knight was directly linked to the prestige of a noble, and while ordinary lords boasted instead of hiding, they usually did not bother to conceal their presence.

‘But it’s better to hide them for times like this.’

His eyes gleamed with satisfaction as he watched the knights pushing Patrick McLean back.

Then he saw the infantry’s encirclement taking shape and the cavalry seizing the enemy’s rear, and he clenched his fist tightly.

Moreover, the enemy infantry was completely trapped by the interference of the allied archers.

“It’s finished!”

Harman Teslon was certain of the war’s victory.

‘Now, just need to smash Patrick and conquer the McLean Castle. After that, hah, nothing else is needed.’

As he indulged in this comfortable and blissful imagination for a moment, an unusual noise came from the rear.

Thump, thump, thump, thump.

“Cavalry has appeared in the rear! About three hundred horsemen!”

“Cavalry? Did the McLean household have more elites?”

It was natural for the earl to think that way.

In the current era, cavalrymen, who usually underwent knight training, were a high-end military unit.

In fact, aside from the order of knights or even rarer mages, they were the elite of the elite.

But…

“They’re not wearing full plate armor. They don’t have lances either! Wearing leather armor, the only weapon they have is a small crossbow, and they’re loaded with wooden boxes. They don’t seem like regular McLean troops.”

“Crossbows?”

Is that the weapon used by hunters?

With that remark, the earl scoffed, shedding any tension.

“Order a portion of the rear troops and archers to shoot them down. If they’re not elite troops, they’re just rabble.”

The earl gave a logical instruction, and his deputy accepted it as a matter of course.

But shortly after, the earl witnessed a scene that shattered his common sense.

Ratatat!

“Aaargh!”

With spread screams, dozens, no, close to hundreds of soldiers were dropping like flies.

“What on earth is that? Dammit! Stop them! Stop those damn bastards right now!”

The war he thought was already decided started to flow in an unexpected direction.

* * *

The mercenaries dashed out swiftly. Nothing stood in their way.

They spotted something being prepared by the enemies, but by now, the distance had already closed significantly.

‘I’ll kill you all, damn rats.’

The distance between the enemy’s rear and the mercenaries was about 400 meters.

With a war bow, which was a standard among archers, even with the best firing angle, that distance was beyond the range of a parabolic shot.

However, there was no hesitation in Logan’s command.

“Fire!”

Chachachak.

Every mercenary moved in unison, aiming at the enemy.

“Fire!”

Logan’s crossbow fired first.

The bolt, gleaming with a faint golden hue, penetrated the head of the rearmost soldier.

Hundreds of bolts poured out like a storm after, turning Teslon soldiers into a beehive.

“Aaargh!”

“What the—what is this?”

“What’s flying at us?!”

“From that distance?”

Something unexpected that flew in, piercing the bodies of their comrades mercilessly.

The few soldiers who survived turned pale.

“It must be magic!”

The scream of someone confused by the unidentified attack caused even more chaos in the Teslon camp.

“Magician ambush in the rear!”

It was a ridiculous mistake, but the ensuing motion of the enemies only amplified the mistake.

Thump, thump, thump, thump.

“Line charge!”

Neeigh!

The mercenaries who were plunging toward the rear sharply turned right, heading towards the north.

“Aim for the archers first!”

At the command, the mercenaries aimed their crossbows to the left.

Squick.

314 repeating crossbows aimed in unison at their respective targets.

“Kill them all!”

The long-suppressed anger erupted like a volcano, and the vengeance-packed crossbows rained down on the enemies.

Papapapak.

“Aaargh!”

“Arrows! It’s arrows!”

“Counter! Counter-fire!”

“Shoot the bows!”

Desperate voices rang out, and the longbowmen shot their arrows into the air, but their hastily aimed shots felled no one, landing uselessly.

Even if aimed well, it wouldn’t matter.

Logan’s mercenaries maintained a distance of over 300 meters from the battlefield, crossing the north.

While they crossed, they continued to rain down shot after shot at the enemy’s rear.

Under Kai’s training, they skillfully maintained a distance the enemy arrows couldn’t reach, all the while.

“Run for it!”

“Where to?!”

“Forward, let’s move forward!”

“You’re mad! There’s a battlefield in front!”

Without proper engagement, they were simply slaughtered.

From the far rear, soldiers began deserting, breaking the formation, creating a current that swept across the battlefield.

Even those clueless about the situation were swept up by the turmoil and began deserting.

And the impact of their actions was immediate.

“Cavalry! Redirect the cavalry! Catch them!”

If they fail to catch them, it’ll be the end.

Struggling to hold on to his wits in what felt like a nightmare, Harman Teslon shouted.

No matter how pressing the situation, he couldn’t spare the knights.

A fight between power users could end in an instant with a single gap shown.

So for now, the best option was to redirect the cavalry assaulting the McLean camp’s rear.

The deputy beside him waved the flags frantically to send the signal, and soon, the enemy’s rear cavalry started breaking away from the formation and turning around.

“By all means! They must be annihilated!”

The deputy nodded furiously, waving the flags as if mad in place of sending the detailed commands, hoping at least the urgency would be conveyed.

And the cavalry, at least in terms of speed, splendidly met that hope.

“Eeya!”

Thump, thump, thump, thump.

As the Teslon cavalry charged like the wind, their shining armor was each more flamboyant than the last, but lighter and thinner than that of a knight’s, reducing their protective capability.

However, the light armor reduced the burden on the horses, marking it as the best equipment for cavalry shock troopers.

And now, the benefits of light armor were being fully demonstrated by the Teslon cavalry.

The time it took for them, who had been slaughtering the McLean troops at the rear of the battlefield, to wrap around and head for Logan’s mercenaries was a mere ten minutes.

That’s how agilely they moved.

But even as a thousand-strong force of Teslon cavalry closed in at a frightening speed, Logan didn’t even blink an eye.

Instead, he welcomed the enemies with a smile tinged with murderous intent.

“They’ve come of their own accord.”

Grit.

Watching his pre-planned primary targets rushing to their own death, Logan ground his teeth.

He’d waited until those silver flies got far enough away before even starting to crumble their rear.

During that time, how many of his fellow countrymen had died?

Logan was ready to unleash his accumulated rage upon them, multiplied several times over.

“Now, move to the side! Flank maneuver!”

“Flank maneuver!”

With a chant followed by a second voice, the mercenary squad sharply adjusted directions.

The mercenaries, appearing to rush towards the battlefield, turned right to face the approaching enemy cavalry.

At that moment, the incoming chargers drew out shields from behind their backs.

‘Shields…’

The typical tactic to take down cavalry was to use a unit of archers.

Those archers, to counter them, would standardly equip themselves with a kite shield, large enough to tuck into the forearm and cover over half of the upper body.

Once they positioned the shields in front of them and slightly bending forward, their defense against frontal shots was solid.

But Logan was unfazed by their formation.

‘As expected…’

Logan gave an order with a smirk.

“Aim slightly down!”

“Slightly down!”

“Aim for the horses!”

Though confused, the mercenaries followed Logan’s command and soon realized his intent, grinning as cruelly as he did.

“Fire!”

With a sneer in his command, Logan gave the order and the bolts were released.

Neeigh!

A single volley saw dozens of front-line cavalrymen tumble from their horses.

“Aaargh!”

The cavalrymen following behind ended up flying through the air, tripped over their fallen comrades and mounts.

“Gasp!”

The shields might have been strong enough to block the bolts, but they couldn’t protect the horses from the arrows.

Moreover, if non-power users fell from their horses at full speed, the consequences were obvious.

Crack.

Either their necks snapped upon landing, or…

Crush!

They were ruthlessly trampled under the following horses’ hooves.

Logan coldly laughed at the spectacle before him.

“Idiots.”

Archery units that dealt with cavalry usually chose parabolic shots to maximize their range.

If cavalry got within about 100m, the typical effective range of a war bow, it was certain their own unit would be wiped out before they could aim properly, so they preferred to shoot from afar.

Naturally, cavalry’s tactic against arrows was to angle their shields slightly above their heads, offering protection against downward-striking arrows, covering both horse and rider.

They likely never imagined dealing with arrows shot directly at them from a range beyond 300m.

But Logan had no reason to give them any consideration.

“Keep firing! Aim for those who stand up even after falling off their horses!”

Among them, there were some almost as strong as knights, staggering to their feet after tumbling from their mounts and getting trampled by their peers.

They were graciously given another round of bolt showers in appreciation of their resilience.

“Aaargh!”

As the front line of cavalry was decimated by a hundred men and subsequent bolts further shattered their ranks, the rest could not maintain their column and scattered directionlessly.

It was unclear if the command unit at the front was fully coordinated as they were all floundering about without a clear direction.

“Horizontal charge!”

Watching the scattered enemies, Logan’s horse charged diagonally and the three hundred mercenaries followed suit.

“Protect the horses!”

Barely holding the line, Teslon’s cavalry again rushed straight at Logan and the mercenaries.

This time, they shielded their heads and those of their horses, angling the shield slightly to preserve the horses’ view while still guarding the vital parts of both rider and mount.

It was a demonstration of their well-trained capability.

However, Logan ordered without hesitation.

“Fire!”

Neeigh!

“Arggh!”

Despite Teslon cavalry’s response, the same tableau repeated as before.

A shield of such size could just about protect the horse’s head.

The bolts mercilessly exploited the gap left unavoidably open.

The formation crumbled, and as the area hit widened, almost two hundred horses tumbled in place.

Subsequently, a similar number of cavalry from behind took spills and the mercenaries’ onslaught did not cease. They kept firing bolts endlessly.

‘It ends like this.’

The faces of the surviving cavalrymen darkened rapidly.

In that short charge towards the enemy, almost half of their troops vanished.

As the absurd deaths of their comrades continued, fear began to overshadow their anger.

But it was too late to turn back now.

The remaining cavalrymen bit down and charged at the mercenaries, but…

“Fire!”

The enemy’s crossbows, with astounding speed, unleashed more lightning bolts.

“Arghh!”

This time, Teslon’s cavalry was reduced to fewer than the mercenaries.

From then on, the mercenaries did not target those who fell. They merely continued to pelt down the remaining horses.

The few survivors finally halted their charge and retreated, looking on in despair.

Teslon’s cavalry had already disintegrated.

The cavalry that had once swept the fields like the wind had now vanished, just as insubstantial.

Of course, some were not yet satisfied.

“Lord Logan! Some who get up even after falling must be quite powerful. If we leave them be…”

“Let them go! It’s better to use that time to save even a few of my soldiers, the people of my land!”

Logan’s…

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