“We’ve finally driven them to a corner . ”
The humans watched as the goblins scurried from the forest and quickly picked themselves to fix their formation . Valdor the Holy Knight said that line as if he was trying to confirm what he was seeing was real .
Just as Crown Prince Ishtar had planned, they set fire to the forest the goblins ran into . The goblins caught up in the smoke fled from the opposite direction of the burning forest, but they still somehow managed to gather under their flags and assume formation .
If the eastern division army were to attack here they would surely come out victorious . But Valdor did not approve of that . His objective was not the death of these goblins but a meritorious war service for Crown Prince Ishtar . Of course there would be little point in setting fire to the forest if they hadn’t surrounded it first . There was little point in killing the fleeing goblins .
Although it was also their objective to crush the goblin forces of the Western Region, it was only by executing their operation perfectly that they would be able to send off the dead . Valdor surrounded the forest before setting fire to it . If the goblins ran toward them, they would wipe them out .
But when they set fire to the forest, at almost the same time, the goblins seemed to have decided to abandon the forest . The goblins gave up fleeing, and immediately gathered under a flag after exiting the forest . Although crude, they were able to assume formation .
When Valdor saw that, he intentionally allowed them time to complete their formation .
Everything was for Ishtar’s sake .
If Valdor were to break through the goblins with only the eastern division army while they were reassuming formation, naturally, the merit would fall to him . If that were to happen, then there would be no point to chasing the goblins this far .
Unless he allowed Ishtar to wipe out the goblins himself, there was no point to any of this .
“You’re certain there are no ambushes in the forests to the sides?”
Valdor turned away from the formation of the goblins and wondered what the goblins’ purpose here could be . They have been running all this time, so there should be a reason .
It could be an ambush or perhaps a trap .
But the land here was not fit for traps, and the scouts he sent reported that there were no pitfalls or any such obstructions here .
He considered there might be an ambush, so even though they had little time, he sent out scouts to surround the forests . If there were a lot of goblins hiding in the forests, then the scouts should naturally be able to notice them .
From the last battle at the Battle of Cromshtock (Camp), Valdor knew that the goblins specialized in digging holes . As such, it was possible that they might be hiding in a hole somewhere…
“The forests were dense, but we confirmed no goblin presence there . ”
“I see . What of traces of the ground being dug?”
“We searched for those too just to be safe, but there weren’t any . Not even a little bit…”
If the goblins had dug out holes, then naturally, there should have been some soil left . Even if he had sent his scouts out in a hurry, there should be no place to hide soil in such a dense forest crawling with vegetation .
“Alright . I understand the situation now . ”
If the scouts were saying the same thing after sending them out three times, then there must be no goblins indeed . And even if there were, the holy knight, Jize, was with them too . It shouldn’t be difficult supporting two fronts . Moreover, they also had the elite of the kingdom with them, the Kingdom Magic Corps .
As long as the goblins themselves don’t have a large-scale mage unit, then the kingdom magic corps will gain plenty of merits in this battle .
“The imperial guards are in position . ”
After the messenger reported that, Valdor quietly closed his eyes and calmed himself down .
“…This is the end . Bring down the hammer of justice on these monsters that torment us!”
At Valdor’s behest, the eastern army marched, and the rest of the human forces followed suit .
“Hurry! The third squad is late!”
Shumea commanded as she wiped her cheeks covered in soot .
“Shumedono, the demihumans and the Ganra Archers are in position . ”
The general of the Bow and Arrow Army (Fanzel), Ra Gilmi Fishiga the Hero of Ganra, called out to Shumea, who was at the center, ordering the human platoons to get into formation .
“Ahh, Gilmi-dono . ”
That soot-covered face slackened a little, and she smiled .
“Sorry, I’m not used to battle, so it might take a while . ”
“Pale-dono also said that you don’t have to push yourself too much . You originally weren’t a part of the border guards . It can’t be helped . ”
When Gilmi said that nonchalantly, Shumea raised her beautiful brows in surprise .
“So goblins can even console people now? This is a new discovery . ”
“I was just saying the truth . ”
While they were idly talking, the army finished getting into formation . Their formation was a Double-Row Formation . From the start, their objective was defense . Facing the enemy at the front lines, were the orcs, the goblins, and the humans . In the second row were the archers of Ganra and the demihumans .
This was a formation that was meant to stop the enemy and then counterattack . The Ganra Tribe was at the center, while the demihumans were at the flanks .
“It’s precisely because the situation is like this that I’ll say it clearly now . Don’t expect too much from my men . ”
“Understood . But that’s precisely why they’ve been split to the flanks . The orcs and Gi Zu-dono’s platoon at the center should be able to stop the enemy somehow . ”
What they were scared of was the enemy trying to break through behind the holy knights . So long as they could defend against that, then even the weak border guards should be able to endure .
“I… suppose . Anyway, let’s send the demihumans now . If they can, I’d like for them to disturb the enemy with their mobility . If we just sit here and wait for the holy knights to attack, I don’t think I’ll be able to watch . ”
“I’ll leave it to you then . ”
“Just leave it to this oneesan . ”
Shumea said as she showed off her biceps . Gilmi nodded and went back to the Ganra Tribe he led .
“Now then, Ms . Pale . Show me this plan working . ”
As Shumea fearlessly laughed, she ordered the demihumans to advance .
“You don’t have to force yourselves . Just stop the enemy from moving!”
An order was sent to the demihumans that were running at the flanks through Gilmi, and the chiefs of the centaurs and the werewolves gave their approval .
The eastern division army of Germion Kingdom equipped themselves with half cone-shaped shields that were about as tall as their soldiers were . The demihumans approached them, and the centaurs shot their arrows from a great distance . It was a strategy that made use of their specialty, which was archery on horseback, so they tried to get around the enemy as they shot their bows .
“Second platoon of the left wing! Fish Scales Formation!”
The eastern army changed their formation while running, but under Valdor’s command, they were perfectly coordinated . The arrows of the centaurs could easily penetrate even iron, but because of the half cone shape of the eastern army’s shields, there was little room for the arrows to stick themselves into . The soldiers needed only to tilt their shields a little and they would easily be able to deflect the arrows .
“Send a messenger to the mages! Tell them to cover us!”
While the eastern army were deflecting the attacks of the demihumans, a barrage of fire spells from the mages covered for them .
“KU… Distance yourselves from the enemy!”
Because of the mages’ fire spells, the chief of the centaurs, Tianos, ordered his tribe members to stop attacking and retreat . The same was true for the fangs . In order to avoid the fire bullets of the enemy mages, they had to assume a wide attacking formation, but when they approached the eastern army and spears were thrown at them, they had no choice but to literally run with their tails between their legs .
“We wouldn’t have lost if we were fighting up close! Damn it!”
When the rain of fire bullets were followed with spears, the attack formation of the fangs were sent into disarray . They had originally assumed a wide formation . So when spears were thrown at them after the rain of fire, the spears were not thrown against a pack of werewolves but individuals due to how big the space between them was . As expected, Mido, who has experienced many battles realized that the formation was no good, so he steered the army into a different direction . As such, Mido had to retreat temporarily to fix his army’s formation .
After the national army of Germion Kingdom easily repelled the demihumans, they resumed their advance with the eastern division army at the lead . Behind the eastern division army followed the nobles’ army, the mage army, the imperial guards, and the southern army . They prepared to charge into the goblin forces .
“We’ll break through them in one fell swoop . Cry out, warriors of the east!”
The eastern division army ignored the demihumans that came to suppress them from the sides and ran madly for the enemy’s main force .
As the national army of Germion Kingdom approached, the archers of Ganra aimed their bows at the sky and shot . Countless dead birds wielding iron beaks fell upon the ground .
“Raise your shields! Cover your heads! Mages!”
Despite that, the eastern division army showed no signs of stopping . The moment they raised their shields above their heads, the support fire of the mages came raining down on the goblins . Their attacks fell from right atop them . It was as if meteorites were raining from the sky .
Many of the human mages excelled at fire magic . Because of that their fire magic developed and they were able to create an environment that allowed them to perfect their mastery of the fire . Naturally, that would allow for a higher average skill regarding fire spells among human mages compared to the mages of the other races . Although these human mages were using only the normal fire spell that shot in a straight line, they were able to make that normal spell curve from the sky toward the orc and the goblins .
Because of this it was possible for them to support the eastern army more effectively . As the fire bullets shot above the eastern army in the lead, they rained down on the goblins and orcs that were holding tightly to their shields .
“Endure! If anyone breaks formation, I’ll kill him myself!”
Thanks to Gi Zu and Ved screaming, they were somehow able to minimize casualties, but now, the eastern army was right in front of them .
The goblins and orcs were prepared for this impact, and now, it came just as they expected . The charging humans raised up their shields as they threw themselves at the goblins . The humans rammed their whole body along with their shields against the horde of monsters, causing the goblins and orcs to be pushed back, their legs leaving a mark on the ground .
Immediately after the two armies clashed, the battle switched to a melee . The eastern army was equipped with long swords that excelled in close combat . They were using a type of double-edged sword that was made shorter than usual . An eastern sword known as Spatha . The spatha excelled in thrusting more than cutting, and the soldiers of the eastern division used them to thrust turns top and bottom as they attacked the goblins .
Such tactics made the goblins and the orcs struggle . They had originally not received much training when fighting up close like this while packed so tightly . They had to clump up so tightly in order to defend against the spells, but now, they couldn’t move as much, and their weapons were also ill-fit, given that they were wielding long spears .
As a result, the line of battle was gradually being pushed back .
Fortunately, Valdor the Holy Knight didn’t appear in the front lines because he expected they would have the advantage in this battle . The monster forces gradually began to collapse . Valdor’s goal was mainly to pressure the goblins, and then wait for the crown prince’s imperial guards to finish them off .
“…It’s going well for now . ”
The demihumans were keeping the flanks in check, so the line of battle collided at the center . The eastern division army were pushing into the enemy where the lines collided . Gradually, the flanks were able to shake off the demihumans’ attacks and the eastern division army was able to start pushing the enemy there as well . The resistance of the demihumans were clearly weaker than that of the orcs and the goblins .
But just as Valdor saw victory dangling before his eyes, a messenger from the back came to him screaming .
“Goblins appeared in the forest! There’s roughly 4,000 of them!”
Valdor muttered as he shook a little .
How did the goblins deceive the scouts and appear within the forest? The reason is because the goblins there were Gi Gu Verbena’s southern goblins . It was true that the scouts went into the dimly lit forest looking for goblins on land . It was also true that they searched both above and below the ground .
But these goblins hid themselves atop the trees . By hiding above the heads of the scouts inside a forest that was dark even in the day, the goblins were successfully able to hide themselves from the scouts .
On top of that they even borrowed some of the elves to manipulate the forest and make it harder for others to see through their camouflage . Thanks to their magic, the goblins hiding atop the thick trees were able to successfully conceal themselves .
“So it’s finally my turn . Still, I really can’t find myself liking treetops . Why do the Ganra and those guys like to live in these places so much?”
Rashka the Chief of the Gaidga carried his blue-silver steel (srilana) club on top of his shoulders as he asked that question to the Gi Jii Yubu beside him, who was currently giving orders to his own subordinates .
“After we put so much effort bringing you and your people up the trees, that’s what’s bothering you?”
Gi Jii replied in astonishment . The ends of Rashka’s mouth twisted .
“It can’t be helped . I’ve never needed to climb until now . ”
“That’s true for us too, but… Anyway, Gi Gu-dono’s army has already began their charge . We have to hurry too or we might not be able to get the result my lord seeks . ”
“What an impatient goblin . If we’re going to be hunting, then we might as well aim for the best or there’s no point to it . And as far as the best prey go, that should be obvious . ”
Rashka fiercely smiled as he looked over the battlefield .
The Axe and Sword (Felduk) army led by Gi Gu Verbena was fiercely charging toward the side of Germion Kingdom . They numbered approximately 3,000 .
At the head of their army was Gi Gu Verbena, accompanied by noble and rare class goblins . The penetrating power of such an army easily tore through the back of the eastern division army and the nobles’ army that was about to attack Fanzel .
“Kill the enemy! Don’t leave even a single one of them alive! Kill them all!”
Just as the words Gi Gu howled dictated, Felduk mercilessly cut down the screaming humans . In the blink of an eye, they penetrated halfway into the enemy forces, then they spread their forces to both flanks to widen the opening . From thereon there were no lines or formations .
Only a chaotic battle that relied on one’s own strength .
But the goblins were overwhelmingly numerous . On top of that, being attacked at the sides was a painful thing for Germion Kingdom . In order to destroy Fanzel, Germion Kingdom had assumed a charging formation that left their flanks wide open .
As such, only the eastern division army could respond to the sudden charge of the goblins, but they were currently caught in a battle with Fanzel . Asking the nobles’ army to deal with the goblins was simply too cruel .
Felduk was like a heated iron rod plunged into a tub of butter . Of course, the nobles were the butter . The nobles’ army were destroyed as easily as the butter melted . Caught in that explosive power that was like a storm of winds, the humans found themselves sinking in a sea of blood .
Naturally, Valdor and Jize understood the situation .
“So, they wanted to split us apart…”
After confirming the situation, Jize ordered the southern army to go around the right flank of the imperial guards . It was a decision he made to protect the crown prince, but because of that Rashka of Gaidga noticed him from a distance .
“Oh, I found one . A worthy prey . ”
Gi Jii followed Rashka’s gaze inquisitively, and when he saw the platoons donned in extravagant armor, he understood .
“That should be the enemy leader that Pale-dono was talking about . ”
“Doesn’t it seem like they’re trying to hide something important? Alright! I’ve made up my mind! I’ll go for that!”
“Let’s go together . ”
The Gaidga Tribe’s 500 goblins and the regiol led by Gi Jii advanced for the imperial guards guards and the southern army protecting them . Meanwhile, the demihumans, who kept their distance and focused their attention on keeping the enemy at bay, was now starting to charge toward the hateful mage army .
“If we can just get near them, those guys are nothing! Onwards!”
At the behest of Mido, the Fang Tribe (Werewolf) fiercely ran for the mages . The mages were powerless against the pack of werewolves pouring in . They were beaten and trampled underfoot .
“…Let’s make the front smaller . 2nd and 3rd platoon, retreat!”
Valdor the Holy Knight, who was leading the eastern army that was currently pushing into Fanzel, felt that the odds of winning this battle had suddenly plummeted . But despite that, he still maintained the chain of command and looked for a way to win .
At this point in time, Germion Kingdom had been divided into three . But even without knowing the situation to that extent, Valdor, who was at the front lines, felt the overwhelming power of the enemy .
“The Enemy is ahead! Continue retreating!”
When the eastern division soldiers began to reduce the size of the front lines, Valdor noticed that the first line of Fanzel had started to retreat .
“1st Platoon, advance . Maintain the line while pushing the enemy! 2nd and 3rd platoon, turn around . Save the nobles’ army!”
Valdor sent half of the army around, but the might of the goblins approaching from behind was far beyond anything he could have imagined it to be . The attacking prowess of the goblins from behind was so overwhelming that it surpassed even the strength of the eastern division soldiers . The nobles’ army were already on the brink of destruction .
The Felduk that penetrated the nobles’ army from the flanks – the penetrating power of its front led by Gi Gu Verbena and the other high class goblins – tore a hole through their flanks .
“Gu Naga (Long), Big, Tough! Send some of the soldiers to support the demihumans! The rest follow me!”
Having read the situation of the battlefield, Gi Gu gave out those orders, and the Felduk that had overcome countless battles obeyed .
After sending a third of their forces to help the demihumans that were trampling over the mage army, Gi Gu led the rest of his subordinates to attack the eastern division soldiers . Felduk’s charge remained strong, and even the renowned elite eastern division soldiers did not have an easy time dealing with them .
After all, there was just simply too many of them . Fighting the 700 of the eastern division soldiers were Gi Gu’s 2,000 goblins . That was almost three times the numbers of the humans . Moreover, because the eastern division had to spilt their forces to deal with the Fanzel that they were fighting with at their front, the gap between their forces and the goblins became desperately big .
Sensing that his army was gradually being pushed by the waves of goblins, Valdor decided to appear in the front lines himself, but as soon as he did, he heard a scream coming from the 1st Platoon he sent to deal with Fanzel .
The reason Fanzel had retreated despite their allies turning the situation around was to prevent themselves from getting caught up in the attacks of the Ganra Archers . The rain of arrows that fell upon the eastern division soldiers, who were already barely hanging on against Gi Gu’s goblins, was no different from a merciless rain of death .
“Make them pay for everything they’ve done to us until now!”
Gi Zu’s subordinates attacked with great fury . And as if spurred on by them, even the heavily equipped orcs attacked the humans . Pressed on by both sides, Valdor gave out another set of orders .
“We’ll ward off the enemy’s attacks . After reversing the offensive, move to the right wing! 2nd and 3rd platoon, assume the Tortoise Shell Formation and move to the right wing!”
Valdor took out his twin swords – the very swords that gave him his title ‘Twin Swords’ – and leaped in front of the first platoon to deal with Fanzel .
The strength of the holy knights had left a kind of trauma to the orcs and the goblins because of Jize .
“Valdor the Holy Knight is here! Falter not and press on, brave warriors of the eastern division!”
Valdor’s twin swords met the attacking orcs and goblins, and in the blink of an eye, 10 corpses were piled up just like that .
After the offensive of Fanzel had weakened, Valdor fixed the formation of the 1st platoon . By working together with 2nd and 3rd platoon, they endured the attacks of Felduk and Fanzel .
As the eastern division army was somehow able to fix their formation and endure the attacks of the monsters, the holy knight, Jize, was caught up in a violent battle with a giant goblin .
“Rage, my wrath (Slash)!”
The black light shot from the club flashed through several soldiers and cut them down .
“KU . He can do that from that far away?”
Jize clicked his tongue as he was forced to run from the giant goblin . It would’ve been a different matter were he like Gowen who could neutralize magic, but as it stood now, he had no choice but to slowly close the distance between him and Rashka if he wanted to deal with Rashka’s ability to attack consecutively from a distance like that .
“Attack! The holy knight is mine to hunt, so go attack the others instead!”
At Rashka’s behest, the goblins of the Gaidga Tribe started attacking .
“My army will be going too then . May the fortunes of war be with you . ”
“HA . I don’t need you looking after me! A strong adversary is exactly what I’m looking for!”
After seeing Gi Jii’s army ignore the holy knight and leave, Rashka called out to the holy knight that approached him .
“So you are the rumored holy knight?”
“…You sure are big for a goblin . Are you the master of this horde?”
Rashka laughed .
“I am Rashka, Son of Mishka . The goblin who leads the strongest Gaidga Tribe! Now, human . Let us fight!”
“I can’t afford to waste time either . I am Jize the Holy Knight! Come!”
Rashka’s club clad in black light and Jize’s curved sword clashed . Jize was planning to dodge Rashka’s attack, but it was a lot faster than he expected . As a Lord Class goblin, Rashka’s attack was an extremely dangerous thing to receive even for the holy knight .
Jize understood that just from seeing one of his attacks, but it wasn’t easy to dodge it either . Jize had mobilized all of the healers to heal the cavalry . They didn’t have the leisure to heal Jize too . Because of that the wound he got from Gi Zu was still with him .
Another reason why he didn’t insist on receiving healing was because he was meant to fight at the back, and so he wanted to get the cavalry back on its feet as much as possible . Because of his wounds, Jize’s movements were a little slower than usual .
Rashka’s club crushed the earth and sent stone fragments flying .
“Clad me in the power of violence (Ra Gilion)!”
The club clad in black light crushed the ground and attacked Jize . Jize somehow managed to dodge it, but he clicked his tongue after glancing behind him a little .
The southern army was being pushed under the attack of the Gaidga Tribe . The enemy was attacking with a proper formation and were executing a pincer attack . Gi Jii Yubu’s regiol worked together with the merciless and savage Gaidga to spill the blood of the southern army .
“You sure are leisurely to be looking elsewhere!”
Rashka roared and swung his club . That attack of his crushed the ground once again .
Before the two holy knights knew it, they were caught in a predicament .
Fanzel was being pushed back just a while ago, but thanks to the support of the Ganra Tribe, the situation has turned around and now the goblins were in the offensive . The powerful vanguard consisting of Gi Zu, Bui, and the others advanced toward the eastern division army with the border guards and the Ganra Tribe, and suddenly, they were starting to approaching the imperial guards .
“Let’s show them our power! Take a huge detour to the left!”
The soldiers that volunteered to be border guards nodded to Shumea’s orders despite not understanding her intentions . When Shumea saw that, she nodded .
“What? Not too confident?”
“W-We’ve already gotten the advantage, so if we just leave the rest to the goblins and the orcs…”
Despite that negative opinion, Shumea continued to smile and nodded .
“It’s true that things will probably go well even if we leave things to the goblins and the orcs . But you know…”
The goblins were probably still beneath Shumea when it came to encouraging one’s own soldiers . Shumea did not pressure the soldiers with power, but instead spoke to them .
“You soldiers are strong! There’s no need for you to remain as mere border guards!”
The soldiers looked at each other half-believing-half-doubting, but Shumea cheerfully continued .
“The soldiers you have been fighting until now are the renowned elite of Germion Kingdom, the Eastern Division Army! Their commander is none other than Valdor the Holy Knight!”
”And,” Shumea said as she looked at the soldiers .
“We haven’t been fighting all this time just for show! It was because we defeated the noble soldiers and the regular army that we are standing here today! What do you think? Aren’t we awesome?”
Although still confused, a seed began to sprout within the soldiers, and they started to think that perhaps that actually be the case .
“Our next opponent is the renowned imperial guards! Now that things have reached this point, why don’t we make a name for ourselves that we can leave behind for our descendants!? Can you imagine what kind of stories we can tell our families when we come back home!? Every one of us would be a member of the border guards that defeated the number one nation of the west, the military country of Germion Kingdom!”
Every word Shumea spoke gradually changed the soldiers’ fear into hope .
“Well, I won’t tell you to push yourselves . But as for me, I’m going . There won’t be another opportunity like this! An opportunity to rise from being a mere slave to conquerors that defeated the crown prince of a kingdom! Raise your voices, soldiers! Who’s with me!?”
Suddenly, all the border guards cried out as if all that earlier weakness was nothing but a lie .
Gilmi’s Ganra Tribe covered the border guards led by Shumea for when Gilmi saw the border guards burning in high spirits because of her speech, he couldn’t help but open his eyes wide in shock . Thus, he commanded his subordinates .
“Kill any and all who get in their way!”
At Gilmi’s behest, the Ganra shot down anyone that tried to impede Shumea’s border guards and suppressed any platoon that tried to approach them .
Due to the support of the Ganra Tribe, the border guards that moved out met barely any obstacles and were able to quickly approach the imperial guards led by the crown prince . On the other side, the Gaidga Tribe and Gi Jii’s regiol pressured the southern army and hindered the movement of the imperial guards .
“Support them . We shall mark our victory in this battle!”
At the words of Gilmi the Hero of Ganra, the tribal goblins shot their arrows toward the imperial guards . While arrow was raining from the sky, Shumea’s border guards began their attack .
Shumea swung her short spear and skewered the imperial guards as she ran past them . Victory was already within reach . At Shumea’s behest, the border guards attacked the imperial guards with spirits high . When an arrow shot and injured the crown prince, the imperial guards were defeated .
The defeat of the imperial guards led by the crown prince decided the battle .
The victory of the goblins in this battle that would later come to be called the Battle of Three Forests (Rakushuto) that was fought mostly by the main forces of Fanzel and Germion Kingdom would make the decline of Germion Kingdom apparent for all to see .
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