VOLUME 3: CHAPTER 164 – THE CLASH AT PIENA PLAINS III (1/2)
It doesn’t matter how skillful or valiant a general is, it is only when the Goblin King is leading that the goblins will be able to show their true power .
As if to prove that, the moment the Goblin King appeared, the gaze of the goblins changed across all classes .
“What’s the matter, Rashka? Had enough?” The Goblin King laughed fearlessly .
Rashka snorted as he picked himself up .
“Hah! The likes of these ain’t enough to make a fitting grave for the great Rashka!”
Rashka shook off the blood from his body and howled .
“Just watch! We’ll fix our formations quickly and catch up to you!” Rashka said .
“I’ll be waiting then!” The Goblin King replied .
As black flames covered Zweihander, the Goblin King commanded .
“Teach these humans the might of the goblins!”
Gi Jii, who was adjacent to the king, nodded .
“Fix the formation and match the king’s attack! Gi Ba, Gi Ah, Gi Ii! Don’t get left behind!”
The voice of the wounded Gi Gu, who was fighting nearby, also reached the king .
“The king has entered the fray…”
Gi Gu hit his wounded legs and forced his hazy consciousness sober .
“Think pain can stop me!? Think again! Go attack, you bastards! If we fall behind the king, we’ll be putting the position vanguard to shame!”
Gi Gu rebuked his subordinates as he moved toward the frontlines .
A human thrust out his spear toward Gi Gu, but Gi Gu cut it down and lopped off the human’s head with his long sword .
“We’ll redeem ourselves from yesterday’s defeat! Let these whoresons know the bitter taste of defeat!”
As Gi Gu drowned out the pain with his rage, he began attacking the enemy .
“Those who can’t move, stay at the back and wait for orders . Those who can shall ride with me to attack those chariots!”
The Paradua goblins had to retreat momentarily because of the mage-loaded chariots . In fact, the fangs and the centaurs also had to retreat . After the Paradua were able to fix their formation, they reentered the battlefield .
“We’ll cut open a path for the king! Don’t let the enemies near him!”
Gi Go Rax led the ‘wounded ones’ from black-tiger-back . He breathed in sync with his black tiger as he used his long arm to easily skewer the iron-armored humans .
“If you call yourselves the king’s imperial guards, then kill the human bastards even if you have to die with them!”
These goblins were all missing a limb or two . Normally, they would have been abandoned somewhere, but the king allowed them to continue fighting . Because of that these goblins felt much gratitude toward the king . With that gratitude and Gi Go’s command, they fearlessly threw their bodies into the fires of war .
They fought with such ferocity that it was almost comparable to the Gaidga .
“Open a path for the king! Expel the interlopers!”
Gi Za Zakuend and his platoon of druids shot water and wind bullets at the enemy .
Like that the goblins that were on the edge of death suddenly came back to life .
A cold sweat slid down Gowen’s back . “Impossible…”
The goblins that should have already reached their limits fought back with even greater strength .
This wasn’t the time to be crying foul; however, so Gowen grit his teeth and forced himself to accept reality .
After the goblins took back the initiative, the human formations began to collapse . That earlier decision to have the infantry advance has now become their worst enemy .
“I’m moving out! Just keep fighting like this!”
Gowen no longer had any tricks under his sleeves .
He had already played all of his cards, and none of the platoons had any strength left to spare .
That being the case, the only thing Gowen could do now was to send himself out .
The Goblin King was the one who revived the goblin army . If he could stop him, they might still be able to win this battle .
Having decided that, Gowen moved out .
“It’s not my field of expertise, but…”
Gowen drew his bow as he rode . His aim was the Goblin King at the head of the army .
Gowen released the bow, but the arrow was struck down by Gi Ga Rax .
“Think I’ll let you reach the king!?”
The knight class, Gi Ga Rax, blocked Gowen’s path .
Gowen clicked his tongue .
Gowen swung his spear from atop his horse, but it was blocked by Gi Ga, who was breathing as one with his black tiger .
The two warriors thrust their spear, twisted it, swept it . They drew out every bit of skill they had as they fought each other .
After clashing 30 times, their battle started affecting their surroundings .
The one panicking was Gowen .
He wanted to remove this goblin before him quickly, so he could quickly defeat that Goblin King . If not, there would be no hope for victory .
The more time he wasted with this goblin, the closer defeat inched in .
Gowen and Gi Gu were mostly equal skill-wise, though Gowen was a little better .
Unfortunately, Gi Ga Rax, who has gone back from hell, was extremely tenacious, causing Gowen to panic even more .
“Damn you! Nu!?”
“The enemy commander!? In that case, fall prey to my winds!”
In his one moment of panic, Gi Za invoked his wind spell and shot him .
Gowen managed to repel it with a swing of his spear, but Gi Ga Rax managed to take advantage of that to graze his shoulder .
It was only a graze, but that was still an attack from a knight-class goblin . The strength behind that simple graze was enough to dismount Gowen .
Gi Ji Arsil, the assassin, slithered in from the shadows to take Gowen from behind .
Gi Ji’s dagger struck out from the shadows toward Gowen’s neck .
“That sort of trick won’t fly, monster!”
In response, Gowen immediately drew his long sword and repelled Gi Ji .
Gi Ji clicked his tongue as he quietly vanished into the shadows .
Gowen, now dismounted with a long sword in hand, stared wordlessly at Gi Ga, who was still mounted on his black tiger . They quietly searched each other for an opening .
The first one to move was Gowen .
He ran up to Gi Ga with his long sword in one hand . He moved so fast it was almost as if he were leaping .
In response, Gi Ga reflexively struck out his spear .
“What!?” Gi Ga cried out in surprise .
Gowen deflected Gi Ga’s spear and landed a blow on Gi Ga’s black tiger, then he left Gi Ga in the dust and ran toward the king .
When Gi Ji Arsil saw Gowen running for the king, he tried to attack him from behind, but Gowen swung his sword at him without even looking .
Gi Ji somehow managed to block with his dagger, but half of it was broken from that one attack, leaving it unusable .
“Shit!” Gi Ji spat .
It was rare for the goblin to cuss, but with that, he had no choice but to withdraw and look for a different prey .
He was still somewhat calm as he withdrew for he did not really believe that the king was in any danger . The king couldn’t possibly lose, after all .
Gowen ran madly for the Goblin King . He did not stop even as he cut down the goblins that blocked his way .
“…I’ve found you! Goblin King!”
Gowen was already covered in wounds by the time he reached the Goblin King, yet his spirits remained high . Like a lion he vigorously leaped for the Goblin King and stood between him and the human soldiers .
“You won’t be doing as you please anymore!”
Blood dripped from Gowen’s long sword as he challenged the Goblin King .
“Leave this one to me! The rest of you kill everyone else!” The Goblin King gave orders as he stared at the figure blocking his path and wielded Flamberge .
The two leaders were about to fight in a duel, but even then the war around them did not cease .
In one sense, the order the king just handed out was exactly what Gowen feared the most .
Black flames burned on the Goblin King’s great sword .
“I won’t let you!”
Even in this situation Gowen believed that they could win as long as he could subjugate the Goblin King .
Also, while the king may have ordered the goblins not to touch him, that order probably wouldn’t hold in the case he could actually defeat him .
Gowen needed to end this battle quickly, or else he would only find himself in the worst possible situation: him alone in the middle of enemy forces .
If a quick victory wasn’t possible, then it would be best for him to just retreat with the army . Dying here now would only disadvantage humanity .
Gowen ran as he brandished his sword .
In response, the Goblin King swung his great sword . His sword was long enough to be a spear as far as humans were concerned, but he was able to easily swing it with one hand .
The Goblin King slashed with his sword down toward Gowen .
A powerful wind blew as the sword descended . It was a slash brimming with speed and power, any human hit by it would surely be cut in half .
But Gowen dodged that attack with the smallest movement possible without either breaking his posture or slowing down . As Gowen approached the Goblin King in an instant, the Goblin King swung his great from the side .
The human soldiers in front of the goblin king cried when they saw the strength behind that attack .
But Gowen stopped that attack with the guard of his sword . It wasn’t just their bodies that were different, the weapons they used were different too .
Gowen had no choice but to get up close and personal with the king . By doing so, he was able to mitigate most of the strength behind that earlier swing .
A numb feeling still managed to penetrate Gowen, but he ignored it as his lips curved into a smile .
This close range was Gowen’s domain .
Gowen’s long sword tore the Goblin King’s armor, causing blood to spurt .
The Goblin King clicked his tongue and swung his great sword in response, but Gowen was able to nimbly get out of the way .
Unfortunately, not even goblins could slash behind them .
Gowen was able to retreat precisely because he went around the king .
Gowen attacked once more, but it was too shallow .
It was not able to fatally wound the Goblin King .
The red bear overcoat that the Goblin King wore was able to mitigate most of Gowen’s attack . When coupled with the damage Gowen incurred along the way, the remaining attack power was simply insufficient .
The Goblin King turned around and attacked Gowen . That attack had enough strength to completely lop off one’s arm from its roots, but Gowen managed to jump back in time, causing it to only leave a flesh wound .
Not wanting to give the Goblin King time to recover his stance, Gowen jumped back toward the king, then as he slipped through the Goblin King’s great sword, he thrust out his long sword for the Goblin King’s throat
Or at least that’s that Gowen intended, but unfortunately, before he could slip through the Goblin King’s great sword, the Goblin King forced his sword along the ground and slammed it into Gowen’s shoulder .
Due to being buried into the ground the attack barely had any cutting ability left, but it was still strong enough to break Gowen’s armor and reach his bones .
Gowen’s body sank as he came to a halt .
The Goblin King tried to finish him off, but Gowen took advantage of the period when the Goblin King raised his sword to aim for the Goblin King’s neck despite his broken shoulder .
But the one to cry was Gowen .
Gowen had gambled big in hopes of a swift victory, but unfortunately, it only led him closer to defeat .
Perhaps if his other arm were still functioning, things might have gone differently, but Gowen did not have the time to think about such things .
Gowen forced himself to send out that one thrust, but with his shoulder broken, he missed his mark and hit the Goblin King’s shoulder instead .
The Goblin King’s deciding attack descended right above Gowen’s head .
Gowen swiftly concluded that he would not make it were he to try and pull back his sword, so he abandoned his weapon and jumped back .
Black flames passed right in front of his eyes .
When he landed on the ground, he tumbled and fell .
He was not able to dodge that last attack perfectly, and a deep crimson permeated his clothes in the area from his chest to his stomach, while his consciousness momentarily lapsed .
“The enemy commander has been defeated! Drive away the humans!” The Goblin King raised his great sword and encouraged his soldiers .
The battle was leaning more and more toward the goblins .
Doubt filled the western human army . Gowen’s defeat to the Goblin King was a serious blow to their morale . The various platoons could only do their best to try and keep things under control .
When Gowen regained his consciousness he forced his quivering legs back up .
When the Goblin King saw that he approached the holy knight to finish him once and for all, but the spearmen that were quivering in fear just moments ago, found it in themselves to block the Goblin King .
“Protect Lord Gowen!” A platoon commander of the spearmen said .
The humans stepped forward even as they shook in fear .
The Goblin King sent their spears flying as he cut down one infantry after another, but the humans managed to take Gowen back .
Clicking his tongue, the Goblin King changed his plans .
The enemy commander was heavily wounded . It was time to collapse the enemy lines in one fell swoop .
Black flames burned on the Goblin King’s great sword as he bellowed out a howl . “We’re breaking through! All soldiers! After me!”
Any human that dared to stand before the Goblin King were preyed upon by his black burning great sword .
The Goblin King led the goblin army through the human soldiers like he was running through an empty field .
The humans were powerless before the ferocity of his monstrous charge .
The sight of the Goblin King smashing their spears and the great winds that blew with each swing of his great sword instilled great fear into the hearts of the humans .
Not to mention the soldiers that followed behind the Goblin King .
Gi Ga Rax rode on black-tiger-back to lead the imperial guards, while Gi Za Zakuend led the druids .
Like that a path was naturally created through the human army .
As the middle line completely collapsed, the battle swung completely toward the goblins’ favor .
The platoon commanders paled at the severity of Gowen’s wounds .
“…Ku!? What’s the situation?”
Despite his wounds Gowen still continued to lead the army .
“The goblins have broken through the middle line held by the infantry . At this rate…!” The messenger that had arrived spoke with a pained voice .
Gowen grit his teeth in regret . “Signal… the retreat . ”
He forced his hurting body to give instructions . “Have the left… wing go around the north, while the west wing goes… around the south . Is the cavalry… well?”
The platoon commander nodded . “Presently, the cavalry is attempting to take the enemy from behind, but with the demihumans—”
Gowen cut the report midway and gave out orders . “Have the cavalry… and the chariots… support the retreat . Tell the supply platoon… to abandon all cargo… The archers are to… exhaust their arrows while… the others retreat . After that… they should also retreat . ”
After breaking through the middle, the goblins would surely spread to the flanks next .
“In the worst case… At least have one of the flanks… retreat . ”
The platoon commanders could only nod at Gowen’s heartless decision . Though they were also commanders who led soldiers, they couldn’t argue Gowen’s decisions .
After Gowen finished giving orders, he passed out once more .
The platoon commanders nodded to each other with pale faces as they carried out Gowen’s orders .
“Call back the chariots, we’ll help Lord Gowen escape,” a platoon commander said .
The platoon commanders called back the chariots attacking Gi Gu, and had them bring Gowen away .
The magic platoon was left to support the retreating platoons .
“Retreat! Retreat!” A platoon commander said .
At that, the lines that the fearful soldiers have been defending until now crumbled in one fell swoop .
Gowen Ranid was a defensive person .
To retreat is harder than to advance, and to completely withdraw from battle is even more difficult .
Having the entire western army retreat without its commander, Gowen, was indeed not going to be easy .
Though the western army was able to retreat masterfully under Gi Gu’s nose in the last battle, that was only due to Gowen’s exceptional leadership skills .
The platoon commanders were no slouch themselves, but they did not have the ability to oversee the entire army like Gowen could .
As a result, the various platoons retreated individually instead of together .
Unfortunately, the goblins were not so kind as to leave that gaping hole alone .
Morale was at an all-time high due to the Goblin King leading, so when the goblins saw the human army retreating poorly, they pursued the various retreating platoons and hunted them like wolves preying upon sheep .
The running soldiers were struck down by spears and blown away by magic, while the fallen were skewered to ensure they were dead .
Of the goblins giving chase, the most zealous of them all was none other than the Man-Eater Snake, Gi Ba .
“After them! Don’t let even a single one escape!” Gi Ba inspired the normal goblins as he led them on a chase brimming with hate .
Every time the humans screamed and their blood bathed him, Gi Ba’s hate was satiated .
“More, kill, more! Kill them all!” Gi Ba was in a trance as he chased after the humans, but that mad chase eventually came to a halt .
“Goblin, die!” The cavalry that was tasked to support the retreating soldiers attacked Gi Ba, forcing him to grit his teeth as he helplessly watched the humans run .
The human cavalry only had 50 soldiers left, but they still supported their allies .
In the face of the cavalry’s spear, the goblins had no choice but to halt their pursuit .
Unfortunately, for the cavalry, that meant abandoning all hopes of escape .
That was because their decision to support the infantry ultimately led to Hal and his iron legs to catch up with them .
Originally, Hal was going after the chariots, but when he saw the cavalry attacking the pursuing goblins, he dropped the chariots and went for them instead .
“Damn it, it’s them again! At our heels right at the very end!” Though they stood at the edge of death, the human platoon commander encouraged his soldiers as he raised up his spear . “Kill them! Let this battle honor Lord Corseo! Let them know our cavalry is peerless on the plains!”
The entire cavalry cheered at the platoon commander’s words . Their faith in their young platoon commander was unwavering as they followed him from behind .
The cavalry lined up their spears as they ran after their commander .
Hal raised his spear when he saw that . “Brave warriors of Paradua! Stake your lives on your spear! Bring death upon all who impede our path!”
The Paradua riders cheered at Hal’s words, and they rode after him from behind .
The Paradua riders assumed a wedge-shape formation as they rode for the human cavalry .
As the two commanders clashed, the human commander grazed Hal by the side, but Hal reached the commander’s neck .
As Hal’s voice resounded, the riders of Paradua rode even fiercer, and they annihilated the human cavalry . This was the western human army’s last resistance, and from here on, the battle became one-sided .
As the demihumans watched the humans retreat from the blood-dyed plains, they cried out victory with tears in their eyes .
“We did it! We expelled the humans! Are you seeing this, Harid!” Mido of the fang tribe called out the name of that ancient hero as he looked up to the heavens with the rest of his pack .
“Daizos! Gurfia! This is your… UOoOO!” The chief of the centaurs, Tianos, could not finish his sentence . He could only cry at the heavens .
The battle that would later be known as the Battle of Piena Plains ended in the goblins’ victory .
The goblin casualties numbered 400, while the human casualties numbered 1000 .
It was indeed a hard-fought battle .
After the battle the heavily wounded Gowen retreated to the western capital, while the goblin army advanced toward the colonial city and the western capital .
Though the humans still controlled their territory, the rule of the Germion Kingdom was slowly being usurped by the goblins .
As the peaceful rays of the sun descended, the beginning of the month of Toura came .
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