Release that Witch Chapter 1033
Brian walked out of the tent and saw the victorious soldiers return one after another.
Compared to how they had looked when they had marched for war, they now looked no better than a bunch of refugees. They were all ragged and covered in blood. It was obvious that they had just returned from a fierce battle.
The number of casualties was astonishing. Out of the 2,000 soldiers that left, less than half were walking. All the horses and camels had been used to carry the wounded. Together with a few captured enemy soldiers, the group looked so beaten-up that it did not look like a well-trained army at all.
Nevertheless, their spirits were high. Everybody was excited about the victory.
This was literally the first time that the small tribes were able to defeat the big clans of Iron Sand City!
Brian knew this past battle had made those hunters true soldiers.
He was more pleased to see that the ambush team, although battered and dishevelled, had followed his instructions that no soldier should abandon his weapons under any circumstances.
Most of their water sacks and ration bags were gone, and some had even lost one of their shoes, but all of them still had their guns and swords.
The First Army could not be stationed in the Southern Territory to protect Sand Nations forever. They must be able to carry out Graycastle's policies among their tribesmen by themselves. Brian knew the King of Graycastle wanted more than a simple implementation.
He wanted more soldiers, more Mojins to participate in the Battle of Divine Will.
Now, these people were qualified to move on to the next step.
Brian turned around in satisfaction and nodded at Jodel, "Tell me the details of the battle."
It was a pretty straightforward battle, although it was full of errors and accidents. The initial plan was that the 2,000 strong army should be divided into two groups. One would sneak into Silver Stream Oasis and advance to the north during the night to make an impression that they were planning to attack the saline land, while the other would wait for the enemy in an uninhabited oasis at the end of the Silver Stream so that they could launch an ambush.
Provoked by the smaller tribes, the Wildwave and Cut Bone Clans had soon dispatched an infantry of more than 800 people to pursue the "traitors". Although there were many "traitors", the two clans had not taken them seriously. In their opinion, this group were even weaker than the watchdogs.
As the battle had progressed, the enemy had soon been lured into the ambush. Everything had gone well up to this point.
The "baits" were supposed to dismount and yield. They should have found an opportunity to disperse the horses once the enemy had dismounted as well. Then the ambush squad would have launched their attack. However, the group responsible for blocking the retreating path had set the fire too early. As the road had been ablaze, the enemy had realized something had gone wrong and started to retreat. Had they not prepared a large amount of blackwater beforehand, the enemy would have probably escaped.
The battle then turned to chaos. The "baits" had drawn out their swords and flung themselves at the enemy, and so had the ambush team. Many people had used the flintlock just once, completely forgetting the loading and firing skills they had learned during training. In the end, they had resorted to their traditional combat method: a hand-to-hand fight.
Like Brian had said, the people of the Sand Nation had weapons other than flintlocks. With the horses neighing and fires sizzling in the air, the withering, small oasis had become the location where the two parties had started an intense, life-and-death struggle. One moment a soldier had lunged at a horserider, and the next a horse had trampled a man. When two people tussled, teeth could also be a lethal weapon.
The small tribes also had warriors. Since the people of the Sand Nation had started to learn how to cope with the harsh living conditions from the moment they had been born, almost everyone that had survived the venom of sandworms or scorpions possessed excellent combat skills. Indeed, there was no large difference between a member from a big clan and one from a small stribe in terms of individual physical strength.
What those small tribes lacked was resources. Inadequate resources limited their ability to reproduce and expand. No warrior could defeat ten people at a time, no matter how strong he was. As long as the tribes remained small in size, it would be impossible for them to compete with the big clans.
But now, they had what they needed.
All the soldiers were from the ten Silver River Clans. Since everyone shared the same food, wore the same clothes, slept on the same bed, and received the same training, they did not have to fight for resources. Now what they needed was simply the courage and determination to challenge the big clans in Iron Sand City.
The massacre of the small tribes committed by the Wildwave and Cut Bone Clans had encouraged them to stand up for themselves.
The battle had lasted all night.
The Sand Nation army had gained a tough victory.
By the time the fires were quenched, the oasis was covered with blackened wood. Since all the trees were gone, the sand would soon drain the little water around this area, and Silver Stream would shrink further, exposing more oases to wind deflation.
But the people of the Sand Nation would survive.
The battle preluded the eventual disppearance of the oases, but it also pointed out the direction in which the people of the Sand Nation should head.
After hearing Jodel's report, Brian walked up slowly to the returning soldiers.
"Good job! You should be proud of yourselves because you protected your people! This is a victory belonging to you, so you have the right to decide on how to deal with these captives."
Brian pointed toward the captured warriors from the big clans.
"Kill! Kill them!"
"Sir, they killed my family!"
"They should pay for that!"
Brian's eyes met with the anxious ones of the people of the Sand Nation. He gave them a casual wave and they immediately understood what to do.
With clanks and clatters, numerous swords were drawn out from their scabbards.
Blood blossomed and soaked the coarse sand beneath their feet. The soldiers' morale had reached its peak!
"But Iron Sand City still poses a threat to us. The Wildwave and Cut Bone Clans will still dispatch their troops to the interior of Siver Stream, so your tribesmen are still exposed to danger," Brian proclaimed. "The chief has granted you the right to permanently live in the oasis, but the traitors attempt to ruin everything! Tell me, what should you do?"
"Take Iron Sand City and drive them out of Blackwater Swamp!"
"Let them know the consequence of betraying the chief!"
"Commander, some of my friends are still in the oasis. Please allow them to join us!"
"And also my... my sisters!"
Guelz and Thuram stepped a few paces back involuntarily, shocked at the soldiers' reactions.
Brian looked in the direction of Neverwinter.
"Your Majesy, we've shed the traitors' blood, and I hope this will be a nice present for your coronation. The Mojins who used to only care about themselves have started to work together. I believe that sooner or later, you will be able to take over Iron Sand City."
But this was just the beginning.
"The entire Southernmost Region will eventually become a part of your territory. There will be nobody on this desert to challenge your authority."
I hope you like my gift.