Chapter 331: So what if I tricked you!
Bandits from the four large bandit groups had gathered on the plains six miles away from Brettel City, and were slowly making their way towards the city.
These bandit groups were vastly different from the small bandit groups that hid between Brettel City and Seamist City. Among these groups, the smallest, the Bloodtooth Bandits, had more than two thousand people. The largest Greenfire Bandits had more than six thousand people, and was double the size of the city guard of Brettel City by itself.
These large bandit groups were the same as the Redbeard Bandits, a harbinger of disaster that frequently visited and looted the seven duchies, spelling doom for every city they descended upon. Wherever they went within the seven duchies, the cities that were robbed were swept clean. As the seven duchies were constantly warring with each other and there were many mountains and hills to hide in around the seven duchies, these bandits were like fish in water, becoming parasites that were thoroughly hated by the seven duchies.
In contrast to the typical bandit groups, these bandits were well-equipped. Some former military officers from the seven duchies were actually amongst them. They decided to bring their men out to the plains when they’d run afoul of the nobility in their own duchy or had committed some dire crime.
These people had military backgrounds. Although they had become bandits, their discipline and combat knowledge had not decreased one bit. After becoming bandits, they used the wealth and equipment that they plundered for soldiers and warhorses. This resulted in their equipment and combat strength being on par with the official armies of the seven duchies.
This time around, the four bandit groups heading towards Brettel City were the Greenfire Bandits, the Battleaxe Bandits, the Flying Dragon Bandits, and the Bloodtooth Bandits. The Battleaxe Bandits and the Flying Dragon Bandits had four thousand and three thousand men respectively. They had excellent equipment and were experienced and bloodthirsty people.
Currently, the leaders of the four bandit groups was walking in the center of his troops, still discussing the plans for their attack on Brettel City.
“Does Brettel City really have the wealth that you mentioned? I visited the city just half a year ago. Apart from stones, there weren’t any other valuables. The brothers who made the trip with me didn’t gain anything!” Bloodtooth’s leader Lance asked skeptically.
Lance had only joined this time because the other three had personally invited him. He had planned on pillaging a small town in the Helon Duchy. If he hadn’t understood that the other three were even greedier than him, Lance definitely wouldn’t have agreed to join them on this raid of Brettel City.
“Brettel City is different from before. The new city lord is said to be extremely wealthy. The magic cannons owned by the Helon Duchy sissies were seized. There are rumors that Helen Tina was even raped by the city lord. Damn it, that wench Helen Tina is one of the well known beauties in the seven duchies and is also grand duke. Who would have thought that she would actually be sullied by the new city lord!” Leader Bynam of the Battleaxe Bandits was a brute that stood over two meters tall. He had an enormous battle axe strapped on his back that was a meter and fifty centimeters long. What exposed skin could be seen showed that he was as hairy as an orc.
“Lance, I’ve received definitive information that Brettel City is definitely different from before. Just the six magic cannons alone are already worth six hundred thousand gold. There’s also the wealth of the governor and merchants. Brettel City currently has at least one million gold.” Greenfire’s leader Fass explained to Lance.
Fass had once been a high ranking officer of the Narsen Duchy, and had a decent reputation in the ever raging conflict between the seven duchies. However, he had been dismissed for wantonly slaughtering captives in battle. When Fass received this news, he led his men and transitioned to being bandit mercenaries. By transitioning from a high ranking officer to a bandit, Fass was even more in his element, expanding the Greenfire Bandits to their current size of six thousand men, no longer restricted by anyone.
Of the four bandit groups, Fass’ Greenfire Bandits were not only the largest in number, but they were also the strongest in combat. After all, Fass had a military background and was extremely skilled in leading and training his men.
Hearing Fass’ explanation, the eyes of other bandit leaders, including the silent, malicious looking Flying Dragon Bandits’ leader Afie, shone with greed. One million gold was a large amount in anyone’s eyes. If even the dukes of the seven duchies knew of this, they would’ve possibly come on the raid as well, not to mention these bandits!
“Fass is indeed formidable, haha! One million gold! They want to defend that only relying on Brettel City’s defensive measures? We’ve really struck it rich this time.” Battleaxe’s Bynum laughed loudly, as if imagining limitless gold coins raining down on him.
Flying Dragon Bandit’s Afie looked at Bynum in disdain. What an idiot. If Brettel City was so easy to conquer, why hasn’t the equally brutal and greedy Fass already taken all the gold for himself? He’d even kindly invited them to share the spoils.
Of the four bandit leaders, although Fass was brutal, greedy, and had outstanding military strategy, he wasn’t a ruthless or scheming person. On the other hand, Flying Dragon’s Afie had the nickname of “Vicious Dragon”, referring to his vicious personality and his tendency to use despicable, insidious tricks.
When Fass mentioned the one million gold, Graves thought for a moment and secretly decided that he definitely shouldn’t be the main offense after reaching Brettel City, at least not until after analyzing the situation. If not, he could easily lose all of his hard earned capital.
With the temptation and desire for gold, the four bandit groups marched slowly towards Brettel City’s city walls dressed in their respective colors.
Tall and broad city walls stood before them, not a single hole could be seen on the repaired city walls. From the outside, Brettel City seemed to have a tight, sturdy defense.
“Wow. Brettel City has changed a lot, I remember when i was here previously, the city gate was riddled with holes. The walls weren’t as high as they are now either. We could easily break into the city at that time. We definitely didn’t encounter such a strong resistance. Looks like Brettel City is definitely different now.” Lance couldn’t help but exclaim as he raised his head and gazed at Brettel City.
“Eh? Fass, where are the magic cannons you mentioned?” Battleaxe’s leader Bynum firmly remembered the cannons were worth six hundred thousand gold. He wasn’t fazed by the destructive power of the cannons. Instead, he was pondering how to exchange the magic cannons for glittering gold coins after obtaining them. Bynum felt a delightful sense of satisfaction every time he imagined being drowned in gold.
Faus was riding on a tall warhorse and didn’t immediately respond to Bynum’s question. Instead, he started ordering the Greenfire bandits to line up in formation, preparing to engage in battle at any moment. Only when the Greenfire bandits were in formation did Fass gaze at the city walls, realizing that there really seemed to be no magic cannons on top of the city walls.
Frowning as he thought for a moment, Fass replied, “The magic cannons are definitely in Brettel City. Just keep focusing on that. Brettel City has four city walls, our four groups will each take one city gate. Follow our previous arrangement. Once you see my signal, we will all attack Brettel City together.”
“Brettel City’s city guard only has three thousand soldiers. A city gate will at most have a thousand soldiers defending it. You have all heard of their combat strength. As long as you spread your troops out when attacking, the magic cannons would not be able to deal a heavy blow. Also, the magic cannons need to be reloaded with magic ores. There is also a delay after every cannon blast. They could possibly be lacking in magic ores as well, therefore, there is no need to fear them.”
“Our four sides only need to break through one of the walls. Brettel City will be ours based on our strength. There might be a few casualties this time around. However, think about the one million gold, the glittering gold that is piled up in the governor’s mansion. It’s impossible to obtain that without any sacrifice.”
Bynum rubbed his hands and said excitedly, “I’m itching to begin!”
“That’s good. Leave the main gate to us. The three of you decide amongst yourselves who to attack which gate. ’ll send the signal to begin the attack in two hours. Whoever first breaks into the city will get 40% of the gold.” Fass said with a low voice.
This was the plan that was previously agreed on, everyone had no objections. Hence, the other three bandit groups left in their respective directions after a short discussion. On the way to their selected city gate, “Vicious Dragon” Afie ordered his men, “Take note of the other three city gates. You are to immediately send a signal to me when any of them has broken through.”
“Relax boss, we all know what needs to be done.” One of the bandits nodded, leaving stealthily with the rest of them. They had already known of their leader’s sinister personality and were already used to such situations.
Afie didn’t want his Flying Dragon Bandits to actually test out how strong the Brettel City defenses were. Furthermore, Afie was afraid Fass had deliberately invited them to be cannon fodder. He was taking careful precautions against Fass in case Brettel City had any powerful artillery. In this way, Graves would still consider whether or not he needed to follow Fass’ plans.
The temptation of a million gold was indeed huge. However, Graves naturally would retreat without hesitation if he wouldn’t be able to survive to enjoy it. He didn’t care about Fass’ arrangements. Only by preserving his own strength would there be more opportunities to gain wealth. If he recklessly squandered his capital, it definitely wouldn’t be worth it.
Han Shuo, Dorcas, Faulke, Dick, and the rest had just exited the city lord’s mansion after a discussion in Brettel City. Han Shuo, Dorcas, and Faulke headed towards one of the city gates, while Dick, Chester and Fabian headed towards another city gate.
The remaining yin demon floated around, eavesdropping on every conversation that the four bandit groups had. The weapons with heavy firepower on the high city walls were all temporarily hidden. The sparse soldiers on top of the city wall were only equipped with bows and crossbows, attentively watching the bandit groups that were a distance away.
Of the four city gates, the main gate that Han Shuo went to had the fewest soldiers and weapons. There were only three hundred soldiers and not a single magic cannon located here. However, he had to face the Greenfire Bandits’ six thousand members. The Greenfire Bandits were the strongest and were also the main force behind this attack.
“Bryan, do you feel confident?” Little Fatty Jack’s voice trembled, a bit hesitant compared to normal as he looked at the dense mass of bandits in the distance.
End of Part 1 of the chapter
Jack had come over at Han Shuo’s request. He had already told Jack before that, “Join me in seeing this battle through. If you are willing to stay after the battle ends, I’ll agree to appoint you as Brettel City’s finance minister.”
When Jack heard Han Shuo’s words, he agreed without hesitation. However, as he currently stood on the tall, broad city walls, seeing the well-equipped, vicious-looking bandits, his heart quailed.
“Why, are you afraid?” Han Shuo chuckled as he poked fun at Jack.
Valiantly puffing out his chest, Jack shouted as if reassuring himself more rather than answering the question, “What’s there to be afraid of?! I’m just a little nervous since this is my first time. Not to mention, even if I stay in Brettel City, I will only be a finance minister. It’s not like I need to go to battle. What should I be afraid of?”
“Very good, if you are able to continue watching to the end of the battle, still have just as strong a resolve then, I guarantee you will be able to win over that noble girl Jessica.” Han Shuo laughed as he spoke.
Once he heard Han Shuo mention Jessica, Little Fatty Jack’s eyes became a little downcast, but was immediately replaced by a look of determination. Nodding his head gravely, Jack clenched his fist while looking at Han Shuo, “Bryan, although I can’t become a knight, I can definitely still become a noble!”
Smiling slightly without reply, Han Shuo observed the Greenfire Bandits in the distance. They were currently using simple wooden frames to form a tall wooden tower, ten mages of various aptitudes were slowly climbing up the tower with the aid of the other bandits.
The strongest of the mages was a lightning archmage. The rest were all minor mages from other majors. The rarity of mages made them highly valued in any country throughout the continent. Their value differed accordingly based on the difference in strength. It was said that the Greenfire Bandits kidnapped the lightning archmage’s family and was threatening him with his family’s lives. If not, no archmage would be willing to be a lowly bandit’s accomplice.
The equipment of the mages on the wooden tower were rather uncommon though. Not only were their magic robes exceptionally beautiful, they each held a valuable magic staffs. It looked like Fass had really invested quite a bit into them. That made sense, considering the impact mages had on a battle. If a bandit group boasted of a mage, their strength would naturally greatly increase. Furthermore, it was also a sign of status to a bandit leader for his troop to have a mage.
The wooden tower was six hundred meters from Han Shuo, with some wheels at the bottom of the tower that could be pushed. A few bandits equipped with shields also climbed onto the tower, protecting the valuable mages from all directions so that they could unleash their magic without distraction. Once the battle truly started, the tower could be pushed nearer to the city wall by using the wheels. This would allow the mages to better rain their spells down onto Brettel City.
Six hundred meters wasn’t an unsurpassable distance to the Demonslayer Edge wielding Han Shuo. Once the Demonslayer Edge flew out, the mages that were six hundred meters away would definitely be caught off guard, either dying or suffering severe injuries. However, the battle had yet to begin. It wasn’t wise for Han Shuo to unleash the Demonslayer Edge at this moment. Hence, he only watched as they completed the construction of the wooden tower, not acting rashly.
Once the wooden tower was finished, the bandits also pushed out four repeater ballistae. These ballistae had a shooting range of around five hundred meters and could amazingly shoot six penetrative crossbow bolts in a single load. Han Shuo had also purchased twenty of these from the Boozt Merchant Guild this time, with six of them hidden on the city walls right at this very moment. Han Shuo was naturally familiar with the piercing abilities of these carts.
“Jack, when the battle begins, don’t leave my side no matter what happens, and always stay within ten meters of me. I can guarantee your safety, but if you happen to be ten meters away, immediately lie down and climb within the city walls.” Han Shuo immediately turned towards little Fatty Jack when he realized that the bandits actually had crossbow carts, giving prudent instructions.
Jack became nervous again when he heard Han Shuo’s words and drew even closer. He was almost glued to Han Shuo’s side, saying with a cracked voice, “Don’t worry, I’ll follow you wherever you go.”
When the wooden tower and chariots were displayed, Fass haughtily steered his enormous warhorse forward, shouting loudly towards Han Shuo, “Brettel City Lord Bryan, you know the reason why us brothers have come. My brothers have survived under poor living conditions and have recently run out of food. We will leave you and your Brettel City alone if you give us a million gold coins.”
“Pitiful Mr. Fass, I deeply sympathise with your group’s misfortune. However, Brettel City’s poverty is also well known. The people in my city are lacking in food as well. I am really unable to bring out a million gold.” Han Shuo miserably lamented with a twisted expression.
His voice was neither loud nor soft, but both the faraway bandits, as well as the soldiers on the city wall, heard him clearly. Even the citizens within the city, who were closer to this location could hear him. Some of the braver citizens even exited their homes to see what was going on. There were even those who wanted to head to the city gate to investigate the happenings outside.
“How much can you cough up then?” Discerning from Han Shuo’s reply that there was still room to negotiate, Fass paused for a moment before replying loudly.
The current Brettel City walls didn’t have any holes. Although there were only a few soldiers on the imposing city walls, they were equipped with shiny new equipment. There were also rumours that Brettel City’s city lord, Bryan was a necromancer archmage himself. If they insisted on attacking, the Greenfire Bandits would definitely suffer losses. If they could gain a generous amount of gold without losing a single soldier, only a fool would choose the latter. Therefore, when Fass heard Han Shuo’s tone, he pondered for a moment before inquiring about Han Shuo’s bottom line.
“Uh, Mr Fass. How does one gold coin sound?” Han Shuo seriously thought for a moment before responding earnestly.
The city guards had been a bit nervous. They couldn’t resist laughing out loud after hearing Han Shuo’s reply. Even the citizens who heard the reply had an interesting look on their faces, thinking that this new city lord certainly had a nice sense of humor.
“You conniving bastard!” Fass exploded, he hadn’t been this angry in a long time. His subordinates also had unsightly expressions, wishing that they could rush over and tear Han Shuo and his men into pieces.
“Haha, so what if I tricked you! You won’t be getting a single gold coin today. Hehe. Who knows? You might even be leaving behind gold for my personal use! How dare you pathetic scum dare to steal from me? You obviously want to die. I’ll tell honestly you that I seized all of Redbeard Troda’s wealth. Along with the four hundred thousand gold coins from Helen Tina and the gold I own, Brettel City currently has more than one million gold coins. However, let’s see if you have the ability to obtain even a single coin. Stupid swine. Come at me!” Han Shuo laughed savagely, ridiculing Fass as if he was an idiot.
Fass was truly indignant. He had never been this dismissed by others in all the years since he had left Narsen Duchy. Staring at the extremely arrogant young governor on the city wall, Fass had the urge to eat him alive. His men had similar feelings, their expressions steely as they started charging towards the city gates.
“Attack! Massacre everyone in the city!” Fass furiously gave the order as he charged towards Brettel City.
“Mass…. Massacre everyone?!” Jack became weak in the knees, almost paralyzed on the cold, marble floor.
The citizens had previously relaxed due to Han Shuo’s humor, but now sank into a bottomless abyss when they heard the words “Massacre everyone!”. Everyone’s eyes dimmed, at a loss of how to respond.
All along, although Brettel City had experienced the cruelty of war, they had never faced a bloody massacre. Otherwise, Brettel City would have long since become a ghost city. Although their valuables would be snatched, the citizens were still able to retain their lives.
Unless the attacker was a bloodthirsty devil or possesses endless hatred, the order to massacre everyone in the city was not easily given regardless of bandits looting or war between two countries. This was because it would mean effectively destroying everything in a city. That was the true meaning of creating rivers of blood and leaving nothing alive.
A person like this would usually be condemned by every country. One who dared to massacre a city would even be denounced and despised by even their own country, while the side who had a city massacred would spare no expense in getting their revenge. Although the seven duchies were entrenched in war, the act of razing a city was also extremely rare. It wasn’t something a normal person would dare to do.
The unaffiliated Fass could no longer stopper the anger raging in his heart in the face of Han Shuo’s arrogant provocation and utterly humiliating insults. This was why he’d given such a crazed order. He felt that only by sending everyone in Brettel City to their graves would he be able to cleanse the shame brought about by Han Shuo.
“Humph. Do you think you’ll be able to do so?” Han Shuo snorted. Turning towards the soldiers by his side, he said, “Bring out the catapults, let’s see how they die!”
Once the order to massacre the city was given, the green flame on the flags of the Greenfire Bandits were painted in blood red, forming blood red flames. The mages on the wooden tower were also slowly taxied towards Brettel City. The four crossbow carts were also loaded with bolts and pushed forward. Two thousand furious bandits, carrying the ladder hooks of climbing ladders started charging towards Han Shuo.
Chariots, crossbow carts, catapults, as well as fire oil, giant stones, and other city defense tools were rapidly hauled out from their hiding places by the hundreds of soldiers, and distributed to various locations along the vast city walls. However, the number of soldiers, as well as the number of chariots and crossbow cars were still limited. The wall, which could hold seven to eight thousand men, was only being defended by several hundred soldiers. It indeed seemed shamefully few.
“Kill!” The bandits had already charged over. The bandits who had been insulted hardened their hearts to kill everyone they saw in Brettel City. Fass was green in the face and hysterically bellowed, “The first brother who scales the city wall will be rewarded with a thousand gold!”
A large cloud of magical flames shot from Fass’ hand towards the sky. This was the prearranged signal between the four bandit groups. When the signal shone magnificently in the sky, that marked the official beginning of the battle.
The bandits had been deluded by gold and blinded by anger. They charged forward with reckless abandon. Han Shuo didn’t say a word as he calmly observed the situation, waiting for the bandits to enter their range. Only then did he give the order to the soldiers, who were so afraid that their palms were already sweaty, “Attack!”
The rumbling of chariots resounded through the entire city, spraying a tongue of flames towards the skies. The crossbow carts rapidly fired crossbow bolts, crashing into a crowd of bandits along with giant rocks from the catapults, instantly creating a grisly scene. The areas that were sprayed by the chariots experienced huge explosions. Limbs and heads streaming with blood rolled and bounced out from the monstrous dust clouds.
Giant rocks continued raining down, transforming all the bandits they touched into paste. The crossbow bolts whizzed past, strong penetrative power piercing through several bandits before stopping. The area in front of Brettel City had transformed instantly into a river of blood with countless corpses everywhere.