War Of Attrition
Was the enemy trying to win using her army? Endor felt that such a thing was hard to believe. When someone as powerful as the Dragon Mage existed amongst their ranks, how would they even think of attacking Emerald City with the troops alone?
He massaged his head repeatedly. Even though his hair was already half white, every strand still straight like a steel fibre. A single touch of his firm hair would normally boost his confidence, but no such thing was happening today.
This was the exact situation Endor didn’t want to see. His army was inferior to the Archerons; if they lost, the Archeron soldiers would rush into the city. That would be the end!
Although these warriors didn’t pose much of a threat to him personally, they could still attack the magic towers. Given the limited space in the towers, the warriors would overwhelm his mages with sheer numbers alone. And the moment he lost the assistance of the towers, he would have to escape immediately. The slightest of hesitation and he wouldn’t be able to escape from Lina’s clutches.
The Dragon Mage was powerful beyond her level.
A hazy glow fell down from the sky, enveloping all of Emerald City. The three magic towers were now operating at full capacity, reducing the might of any spells in their domain by one or two grades.
The Archeron troops had already entered the range of the towers. However, looking at the scattered troops of the enemy, Endor hesitated to launch the attacks. The enemy was moving slowly and strangely; the scattered soldiers would be ground up by the combined bulk of his troops, but if the towers were activated a single attack would only cover three squads at best. These elementary towers had limited mana pools; the precious attacks could only be used at crucial points.
It was at this time that Lina finally flew into the sky. This left Endor even more hesitant to allow the towers to fire at will. Past experience told him now was the exact time that she would cause chaos with a barrage of spells.
“Maximise antimagic fields!” Endor yelled, unsheathing his two-handed sword before jumping up the wall. Before the order had even rung out the mages in the towers had swiftly expanded the boundaries of the magic suppression domains, also increasing their might.
Lina’s hands spread open, but just as she was about to start a chant Richard’s voice rang out from below, “Wait, don’t initiate the attack. Just stay there!”
The Dragon Mage was surprised. She did not understand why Richard gave her that order, but she still listened and stopped her attack, remaining floating in the air.
Within a minute of this strange deadlock, Endor’s face had changed. This boosted magic suppression domain consumed lots of mana, but instead of the Dragon Mage it was the army that changed formation and swiftly gathered together, charging straight towards the city. A powerful saint who was more than fifty years old with countless battles under his belt was left at a loss.
There was a dire need to stop these attacking forces, but he couldn’t afford to move. The towers couldn’t waste their attacks either; besides, switching to attack mode would require some time. The absolute worst part was that they couldn’t decide which region to focus the suppression on until Lina attacked. Even though the Dragon Mage could be considered restrained right now, floating silently in the air, there was no way of guessing her target until the moment she attacked.
Endor’s heart was beating faster and faster, impatience washing over him as he almost initiated the attack himself. However, those few moments of hesitation were enough to land him in great danger. Seeing Richard’s troops already heading towards a large gap in the city wall, he finally yelled helplessly, “All soldiers, prepare for the attack!”
Several companies of soldiers rushed towards the gap, trying to block the Archeron army. Both sides were immediately caught up in an intense battle!
The weak cleric on the Archeron side was casting spell after divine spell in an attempt to help. As for the rebel army, they didn’t have any clerics in the battle. The Schumpeters had lost all their clerics in Gaton’s assault. The norm in planar wars was to wipe out or banish all of the enemy priests.
“Companies 3-10, retreat 20 metres. Companies 1,2,10-14, commence your attack!” The ten or so soldiers in the core formation of the army started bellowing loudly, raising their signal flags as well as using voice amplification magic to pass the orders to all the companies in a flash.
The centre of the army slowly retreated, while the two flanks moved forward in a killing spree. Both sides already locked in combat, the warriors were fighting in close quarters. The change in formation immediately pulled the rebel troops out of the gap in the wall, leading them into a three-pronged attack wherein a massacre ensued.
Lina felt like she finally had a good opportunity to attack. “Richard!” she yelled out.
“Don’t move!” Richard replied sternly, continuing to bark out orders, “Companies 3-10, hold positions. 3,5,7,9, forward… Pull back… 6, 10, forward… Pull back…”
Already possessing superior numbers, the Archeron army followed Richard’s orders to surround the rebels. A few companies charged forward at a time, showing their might in a swift, fierce killing before retreating.
The scene was repeated over and over again, Richard’s army grinding away at the Schumpeter lives like a millstone. The 400 archers continued to burn through the enemies, wiping out the soldiers on the walls as well as any enemy offensives. They didn’t directly help the infantry, but their presence ensured that the rebels didn’t dare to gather in a defensive formation. The volleys were precise and powerful, discouraging any close formations. The magic suppression domains did not help against these longbowmen.
“Richard!” Lina shouted, but her plea was once again met with a “Wait!”
With the Dragon Mage unmoving, Endor and the primary magic tower were locked down as well. Unable to keep up the domain eternally, the other two towers were already attacking sporadically. However, the main forces of the two sides were already in a melee so the magical attacks weren’t all that useful.
Floating in the sky, the Dragon Mage was obviously unhappy. On the other hand, Endor was sweating profusely. His face betrayed his struggle; whether they moved to attack or not, this was going to be a difficult task. He had to act fast, or it would be too late.
Richard’s commandership was exceedingly accurate, able to pinpoint the most chaotic zones to attack to leave the Schumpeters bloody and wounded. The rebels were quickly losing numbers; if this went on, it would only be a matter of time before they were completely defeated. Even now, the fearsome Dragon Mage in the sky hadn’t acted yet. Nobody knew when her terrible showers of flame would drop from the sky.