The Silvermoon shined its light down towards the realm of man, indifferent of all the ongoing conflict in the world as usual.
At that particular night during the 8th month, the cool night breeze took away the scorching heat of the day, causing most to feel exceedingly refreshed.
It had already been eight days since Baron Camorra's departure and it was currently the fifth day of Lorist's expedition to defeat Wildnorth Town.
Within a small forest roughly 200 meters away from the town, Lorist could be seen leaning against a thick yew tree looking towards the moon with a long wooden stick placed beside him.
Hausky and Jim arrived at Lorist's side and looked at the distant town before they focused their gazes on the wooden stick.
"Milord, can you really get up the wall using this wooden stick?" Jim asked with a whisper, already unable to restrain his curiosity.
Lorist nodded and said, "I can. You guys should start moving as well after I get up on the walls. Are you all ready?"
Hausky patted on his metal breastplate and said, "Don't worry milord, we won't disappoint you."
"Why can't we act together? Isn't it better that way?" Jim asked.
"The more people at one time, the easier it is for them to discover us. Just wait for me to get up the walls and cause some trouble first. By then, the guards will have their attentions focused on me, which means you guys will have a much better chance getting up there alive instead of being struck down midway."
"Milord, thank you..." Hausky said in a touched voice.
"Hey, why is a big guy like you crying? How shameful..." said Lorist as he laughed.
"It's not shameful at all. Milord, we're willing to do anything for you. Seriously, not only do you not look down on us mercenaries, you've always treated us fairly. If it were the other nobles, they would've asked us to be the first to attack the town and fill the moat while they remain in safety and enjoy the spectacle..."
"To be honest, I've never given it much thought..." said Lorist as he shook his head. "I believe that mercenaries like you are definitely very experienced and far stronger than the soldiers of my newly-formed units. That was why I had planned to use your crew as shock troops to rush into the battlefield and seize a sudden victory by the time my forces are at their limits. I've never expected that the garrison force would be so cunning and cause so many casualties among our men though, so I have no choice but to use you guys right now."
"Milord, we're doing this of our own wills. Not only have you prepared double-layered metal armor for us, you're even going into battle yourself. It's an honor for us mercenaries to go into battle with someone like you..." exclaimed Hausky passionately while Jim nodded nonstop beside him.
"Milord, look at the sky..." Patt reminded.
A large dark cloud gradually moved into place and obscured the light coming from the moon, blanketing the ground below with a veil of near complete darkness.
"Let's get ready, Patt," said Lorist as he grabbed one end of the wooden stick.
"Yes," said Patt as he grabbed the other end of the stick.
By the time the Silvermoon was completely blocked off by the cloud, Lorist and Patt ran forward with one at the front and the other at the back out of the forest. They passed through the plains, crossed the main path and quickly made their way to the bottom of the walls of Wildnorth Town.
Lorist didn't slow down at all and when he saw the wall right in front of his eyes, he suddenly leaped upwards and stepped quickly with his feet firmly planted onto the surface of the wall. Borrowing Patt's forward charge momentum, he held on to the stick tightly as it was gradually pushed vertically upwards and seemed like he was running up the walls in a gravity-defying manner all the way up there.
On the corridor of the wall, a few of the garrison guards were chatting. "The moonlight was just blocked by that huge cloud. Can someone toss a few torches down there to see if there are any movements? We must be careful to not let the enemy get up here..."
"Oh, come on... Their casualties yesterday was so huge that I doubt they'd even dare to mount another surprise attack..."
"I'm just afraid that they don't know when to quit. Come on, don't be so lazy. How much effort does it take to toss a torch down there anyway..."
At that moment, Lorist descended from mid-air and landed on the side of the wall just as he had planned. With a few flashes of his sword, the five garrison soldiers instantly had their throats slit with some of them even wearing expressions of disbelief.
"Enemy attack! An enemy is on the wall!" A loud cracked voice called out loudly and broke the silence of the night.
Torches were rapidly lit within the town and slowly turned it into a shining beacon of light. Children were frightened awake from the commotion and their cries could be heard from afar as the sounds of the gong signalling for the people to gather reverberated around the area before a numerous swords and spears meshed into a chaotic mess of screams and shouts.
"Over there!" Someone quickly saw Lorist standing on the corridor.
Swoosh! Swoosh! Countless arrows flew in the darkness towards Lorist...
After ducking, Lorist moved a couple of steps to his side while laying low onto the floor while the spot where he originally stood become laden with passing arrows. However, the stream of arrows did not last long as right after that, Lorist had already rushed straight towards the attacking garrison soldiers and started slaughtering away.
"Kill!" Four spears lashed out towards Lorist in a fashion similar to that of attacking poisonous snakes.
"Ah..." Two garrison soldiers fell to the ground while holding their injuries while Lorist's sword found its way to the left shoulder of another one and emerged from his right rib. By the time Lorist pulled out his sword, that soldier's innards leaked out from the gaping hole that just created, causing him to cry out in agony before he stopped breathing altogether.
One other soldier was stabbed in the chest by Lorist and writhed in pain on the ground. However, his comrades behind him merely pushed forward and trampled him all over, causing him to promptly lose his life.
Bending backwards all of a sudden, Lorist managed to dodge the four pikes that barely passed by above him.
Clang! With the passing of Lorist's sword, the four pikes broke and the soldiers holding them felt a shudder from their hands. Stunned, they looked at their broken pikes and before they could react, they noticed the silhouette rush towards them followed by a glint from a blade in the corner of their eyes. Everything turned black for the soldiers before they felt a wound open up in their bodies. A stream of intense pain assailed their minds before they all lost consciousness.
"Kill" This time, the attacker was a Silver ranked knight who rushed at Lorist with a bright blade glow radiating from his sword. As Lorist spun around, he thrusted out his longsword into the left eye of the Silver ranked knight.
"Get into the wave charging formation!" shouted a person from not far away.
"That voice is familiar..." mumbled Lorist as he blocked an incoming pike with his sword and slit two garrison soldiers' throats right after.
"Kill..." This time, eight pikes were headed Lorist's way with four coming from above and the other below, not allowing Lorist any way to dodge by jumping or ducking.
However, Lorist merely stepped back and used his right leg to kick a pike on the ground towards the soldiers in front of him. The airborne pike found its way into the chest of one of the soldiers and caused him to drop his pike and fall to the ground as he clutched the one that had just pierced his abdomen tightly while crying out in pain. Lorist moved like an agile fish swimming in the ocean and entered the opening created by the soldier who had dropped his pike...
The remaining seven soldiers all fell onto the ground one by one.
"Attack from his front and back! Pay attention to the distance of the two groups! Get closer..." said that voice again.
"That is Malte's voice... It's that damned squad captain of the Mollin Family..." mused Lorist the moment he recognized who that voice had belonged to. Enraged, he scooped up the pikes on the ground and tossed them in the direction of the voice, causing pained shrieks to surface once again.
"Kill..." This time, another group of garrison soldiers rushed towards Lorist from one direction with another group rushing towards him in the other.
At that moment, a shadow jumped off the walls. Jim's voice rang out. "Milord, we managed to get up..."
Another two silhouettes could be seen getting atop the walls as well.
"You guys take care of that side. Let me handle this spot," instructed Lorist before he sheathed his longsword in the scabbard on his back. Following that, he took one of the pikes on the ground and rushed towards the garrison soldiers in front of him. The distinct sounds of slaughter continued to resound through the night...
"There's people down there! They're coming up!" A panicked garrison soldier said as he noticed the mercenaries who were currently climbing up the walls.
"Don't panic! Throw some oil jars and have the bowmen shoot some fire arrows downwards!" roared Malte once again. "Brothers, this is our home! Our ancestors have toiled for 200 years to build up Wildnorth Town! Our parents, our wives and our children live here! For them, we will fight!"
More and more garrison soldiers rushed up the walls...
"Sol, now I'm the bad guy..." Lorist said in a pissed voice as he lashed out without mercy with his pike in quick succession, causing one garrison soldier after another to collapse into the river of blood that was beneath them. But, after one was killed, two more soldiers rushed forward to replace the fallen one. There was no end to their numbers.
An injured garrison soldier slowly crawled his way to Lorist's feet and tightly clasped on Lorist's left leg. Pulling his pike back, Lorist stabbed harshly towards that soldier's head and instantly shattered his skull and spilled his brains. However, the soldier's death grip didn't loosen at all.
"Sol..." Lorist kicked his left leg out twice, but he wasn't able to shake the body off. The rest of the garrison soldiers present no longer cared about escaping alive and only wanted to give Lorist at least one stab before they would die satisfied. Some of the soldiers even held hard onto the pike that Lorist had pierced them with so that their comrades could avenge their deaths. The remaining ones who rushed towards Lorist were all willing to perish alongside him.
Lorist could only drag the body that was caught onto his left leg with him as he retreated. Hausky's voice rang out from behind him, "Milord, we're at our limits..."
Lorist stabbed two garrison soldiers before he took a peek to his back. Surprised, he noticed that that only 4 to 5 of the original 10 plus mercenaries that he thought had come up to the walls remained after only a short time of fighting. Jim was fully drenched in blood and breathing raggedly while Hausky was holding an unconscious bleeding mercenary. In front of him were two other mercenaries who were fending off the attacks of the garrison soldiers.
"What happened to the rest? Why are they not up there?" Lorist asked.
"They couldn't get up. One of the siege ladders had already been set aflame and there are bowmen guarding some other sides of the wall. Anyone we send up die before he reaches the top..." said Jim while breathing harshly.
Just as Lorist was about to say something, he suddenly noticed that the skies were getting brighter. The Silvermoon had once again returned to its full brilliance and shed its light onto the ground below.
Given that he had killed so many garrison soldiers, bodies could be seen scattered all over the ground and the blood that had pooled up submerged part of his feet. The incoming garrison soldiers were also stunned at the number of bodies on the ground. Given that the moonlight had been blocked out just now, most of the soldiers just realized the true terror of the scene before them as well as the fact that many of them had been stepping on the corpses of their comrades.
Lorist stepped hard on the body that was stuck to his leg to break its arm before he finally managed to free himself from its grasp. Looking at the distant archers, Lorist said, "Please hold on for a little more. I will go kill the archers over there so that the people beneath the walls can make their way up here..."
Before he finished saying what he wanted, Lorist felt a chill down his spine as he flattened himself onto the ground to duck. Feeling the three gusts of air whoosh past above him, Lorist heard the delayed echoes of the three bowstrings followed by a loud crash as a crenel on the wall near him got smashed into smithereens, causing the debris of stones and rocks to shower all over him.
"Agh!" The gigantic ballista bolt struck the two mercenaries who were holding up their shields to defend against the garrison troops and sent them falling down from the walls.
Three ballista bolts were fired in total with the first passing by Lorist's head by a hair's breadth, another shattering one of the crenels of the wall, and the last one killing the two mercenaries who were standing behind Lorist. Had Lorist been later in the slightest to duck, he would've been killed as well.
"Kill!" The morale of the garrison troops who were fighting the mercenaries soared as they continued to rush over.
Lorist sprung back up from the ground and brandished his pike as he charged into the midst of battle, resulting in even more terrified moans of pain as the mercenaries gradually fell dead one after another.
After eliminating that group of garrison soldiers, Lorist turned to face the direction where the ballista bolts came from, only to see an 80-meter-tall platform in the middle of the town that wasn't there before. On top of it were the three ballistas as well as tens of other men who were busy loading it.
"You guys, retreat! Fast!" shouted Lorist.
Jim was the first to descend the wall by sliding down the siege ladder, followed by Hausky and the hurt comrade he was carrying.
"Shoot him..." Malte's voice once again rang out.
With a somersault, Lorist clasped the wooden stick that was laid against the walls with both of his legs and slid downwards with his back to the ground before he let go when he was about 2 meters in the air and landed safely. Patt quickly rushed over and used a large shield to cover Lorist and grabbed the wooden stick with his other hand before he ran. Just after the both of them ran tens of meters from the walls, the shield that Patt held up had already been struck with numerous arrows.
In the end, 13 mercenaries died with 21 others injured from the battle, effectively halving the battle prowess of their crew. Lorist grinded his teeth with rage from his depressing failure to occupy the walls. He didn't even fathom that the town had set up three ballistas on a platform so far away from the walls which posed such a huge threat for him and his forces, allowing the Wildnorth Town garrison to be able to successfully fend off the attackers and successfully defending the town.
After a night of bloodshed, Lorist felt more tired than ever and went to rest right away.
During the 7th day of the expedition, Lorist once again attacked the walls on Wildnorth Town. On that day, the fog thick fog in the area managed to reduce the line of sight of the garrison soldiers and provided cover for Lorist and Patt to once again use the wooden stick method to ascend the walls.
This time, Lorist attacked alone with no one else following him apart from Patt who was standing by beneath the walls. Lorist's aim was to rampage and kill as much as he could to terrify the soldiers of the town. He believed that after he did that a couple of more times, their forces would eventually crumble and weaken and allow all his forces to easily take over the town later.
After massacring away on the walls, Lorist was once again forced to escape after the ballistas were loaded. However, he wasn't disappointed with the results as he had managed to kill up to 200 soldiers on that run while he remained completely uninjured. After a few more runs, victory will be ours.
However, something had happened up on the walls at that time which Lorist didn't pay too much heed to. An old white-haired man leaped towards Lorist barehanded and screamed for him to pay for the death of his son. Lorist didn't kill him because he couldn't bear to. The old man had coincidentally been on his way to bring some food for his precious son who was on duty, just in time with Lorist's assault. In the end, the son of that man died from fulfilling his duty, causing the old man to enter a maddened frenzy and lashing out at Lorist with everything he had in his disposal including his teeth. Lorist had no choice but to knock him unconscious.
On the 9th day of the expedition, Lorist once again attacked the walls. But what surprised Patt was that Lorist had went down from the walls the moment he reached the top. Enraged, Lorist cursed at how shameless the people of Wildnorth Town were for letting the defenseless old people, womenfolk and children offer their lives on the wall.
Before Patt could react to what Lorist just said, he noticed many white-haired old people, women and children looking downwards from the edge of the walls while cursing out harshly at Lorist and shouting for him to pay for the lives of their family members that he had taken.
Lorist could only escape without any results along with Patt.
Perplexed, Patt asked, "Milord, these are all family members of traitors. Why didn't you just kill them off?"
"Sol, if it were you, could you do it?" Lorist said as he looked at Patt. "Why don't I send you up there then to kill them off in my place? We are warriors, not murderers or executioners. Warriors are all prepared for the possibility of death the moment they step onto the battlefield. However, if I were to kill these defenseless people, I would definitely find it hard to sleep when the night comes. Even if they are family members of traitors, we must also have a line we must not cross. They are people after all, not livestock!"
"Then, how would we attack the walls again?"
"Let's go back first. There must be a way if we think hard enough."