Release that Witch Chapter 379
"Keep your hands steady. Insert the bullets into the cartridge one at a time!"
"Your teammates at the front need you to act quickly. Otherwise, you'll give the enemy the chance to approach and kill you!"
"Don't look at other places. Stay focused on the job in your hands!"
"As long as your teammates are still shooting, you just keep on reloading!"
In the First Army's military camp, Lord Brian was loudly urging the new recruits to practice, and Nail was one of them.
He was not newly recruited, but instead a veteran in the First Army. After the Militia defeated the demonic beasts under the leadership of His Highness, he joined the army at Iron Head's strong recommendation. In Iron Head's words, it was much more promising to carry a flintlock to fight and protect His Highness and Miss Nana than to spend the rest of his life mining in the pit.
Not long after Nail joined the Militia, they were reorganized into the First Army. Guided by Prince Roland and Lord Iron Axe, the army in which he served defeated not only demonic beasts but also great nobles whom he used to regard as unbeatable. They overthrew Duke Ryan and even prevented the troops of Timothy, the new king, from setting foot in Border Town. After those battles, Nail was promoted to a team leader in the Flintlock Squad.
However, according to the First Army's tradition, whenever a large number of new recruits came, some veterans would be chosen to join the newly formed platoon. They would live and eat together with the new recruits and accompany them in practices, as their instructors. When knowing he was chosen for this instructor job, Nail was at first not willing to take it. He was just reluctant to leave the front line and his familiar battle companions, but thinking of the veterans who had helped him when he was a new recruit in the Militia, he had no choice but to accept this task.
At that time, the instructor in his squad had been Lord Brian, who now was the commander of the First Battalion in the Flintlock Squad.
Nail hoped that one day, he would be someone like Lord Brian, wearing a medal bestowed by His Highness and giving commands to nearly a thousand soldiers. Iron Head was right. "This job is far more promising than operating a steam engine in front of a mining pit."
"My lord, how long do we have to continue with this practice?" A young man in his platoon grumbled. "It's still snowing."
"Keep practicing until you can finish the reloading in about half a minute with your eyes closed," Nail stopped in front of him and said. "You're Haimon, right? Remember to say 'Report' before you speak. That's a rule in the First Army! "
"Report," shouted a little man next to Haimon, with his hands filling the loader all the time, "do we have eggs for dinner tonight?"
Hearing this question, many soldiers in the platoon started to lick their lips.
Nail could not help but grin. He understood aside from the two weeks' strict military training, sufficient food supply was also an important factor to keep these new soldiers from the Northern and the Southern Territory well disciplined even on such a snowy day. They had oatmeal and salty dried meat for every meal, and sometimes a piece of pickled fish or even an egg. Yet eggs were only provided after a battle against demonic beasts or a field training.
"Well, you'd better ask demonic beasts whether or not they're coming to Border Town today." Nail shrugged. "What's your name?"
"Al Bitter, my lord," answered the little man.
"It takes you almost half a day to insert one bullet. My next-door neighbor, an old lady, is far more nimble than you," Nail suddenly stopped smiling and said seriously. "If you can't improve when today's training is over, I'll cancel your share of oatmeal and meat, let alone the eggs!"
The new soldiers immediately lowered their heads and focused. No one wanted to be punished like that.
Just at the moment, the bell on the city wall tolled rapidly.
Demonic beasts were coming.
"Stop practicing!" Brian shouted, "Instructors lead your men into the city wall area. Get ready to fight!"
"Have you heard it?" Nail urged. "Carry your ammunition, everyone. Line up and go up to the top of the city wall, as what you did in the training. Our position is the fourth section of the city wall. Move quickly!"
"The new soldiers now do get a chance to have eggs for dinner tonight." Nail thought in secret.
After arriving at their position, Nail saw the Flintlock Squad was ready. Seeing the dark shadows gradually approaching, he calmly did the last fire check and instructed his men to mount the guns upon the wall piers.
Nail somehow felt a little disappointed. He himself could have given those beasts a hard strike with his revolving rifle.
The bullets were filled into the loaders one by one and then put at handy places that the soldiers at the front could easily reach. There were one to two people responsible for loading behind each veteran. If necessary, the veterans could fire five bullets in a shot. The new weapons were much more powerful than previously-used flintlocks.
"Look! Here comes the witches!" Haimon whispered.
"They're so... pretty." Al Bitter murmured. "Before I came here, I only heard about them via the church and thought they were ugly and dreadful."
"That's the only thing you've noticed?" Haimon grunted. "Don't you remember the witch carrying a big sword? The girl could chop and kill demonic hybrids. Oh! If only I had powers like that."
"If it's truly the power of demons..."
"Shut up!" Nailed shouted loudly. "Miss Nana is also a witch. You think she's a demon?" Then he lowered his voice and said, "Miss Nana is our town's angel. The power she has is the power of gods, understood? If you dare say anything like that in front of any veteran in the First Army, I promise you'll be beaten up really badly. Now focus on the reloading. It's not practice!"
After shouting at the two gabby guys, he cast a glance at the coming demonic beasts, "They look almost the same as the ones that have come before. It appears to be a short battle... Wait, what's that?"
There seemed to be a giant figure among the dark shadows, something like a tortoiseshell Siege Beast, but it seemed much bigger and faster.
When it came closer, Nail could not help but stare at it. It was a super giant demonic beast that he had never ever seen! Its huge tusks were almost thicker than a human's body, like sickles sticking straight up. Its four legs looked like pillars of rock, kicking up layers of snow mists. At each step of its running, the earth beneath its feet trembled. The city walls of more than four meters in height was even lower than its jaw. If the beast ran into the wall, this mud wall would probably crack into pieces.
There was no doubt that flintclocks had very limited influence on such a giant monster, but only the big equipment of the artillerymen was able to stop it! The new culverins mounted upon the sixth section of the city walls were the most powerful artillery equipment they had.
At that moment, the new recruits started to scream in fright, "Good God. Look! What's that?"
"Gods have mercy on us. Is it a demon from the Hell?"
"Close your mouth and focus on what you should do!" Nail swallowed the lump in the throat and looked at the new cannons at the sixth section of the city wall. The barrel, which reflected the silver light, slowly turned around and projected in the direction of the giant monster.
Then bright flames were shot into the air, and the cannons thundered and boomed!