Release that Witch Chapter 446
Unlike the other big cities that were set in the suburbs of farmlands, the towering city wall of the Stronghold encircled both the residential area and a portion of the farmlands. It was built to defend against human beings, and not demonic beasts. However, even if the city was under siege, Stronghold would still flourish and be able to supply its people.
As such, the outer wall of Longsong Stronghold was split where the river divided the two sections of the city. Between the divide in the walls hung several massive chains which were the width of a man's arm. If an enemy decided to attack from the river, the hemp cords holding the heavy chains would be cut and send them crashing into the water to stop the enemy below.
Fortunately, the inner land of the Western Region had rarely been attacked by any fleets. So, these cables had almost never come into use, and would not this time either. Out on the water, Roland's fleet pushed through the storm. Around twilight, they were able to see the silhouette of the fortress in the distance. Strands of the beacon's fire could be seen flashing above the city, slashing through the inkiness of the ever gradually darkening sky.
"The enemies have already reached the lord's castle and there are some militias fighting with the guards at the north gate of the city wall. It looks like they can't hold up any longer." Lightning, who had carefully investigated the situation in the city, continued giving her detailed report to the prince, "There are around 200 people attacking the castle. The first round of attacks failed. The enemies have weapons similar to our flintlocks, but they look completely different."
"Is Petrov alright?" Roland inquired, showing concern. Roland currently cared most about the safety of his agent.
"He's fine, other than being a little frightened. But... "
"His family was killed," Lightning answered, her mouth twitching. "His Excellency Petrov warned his father and asked him to get to the castle. However, his other family members were taken as hostages, including the Countess. They were being held by the four families in exchange for surrender and subsequently they were executed one by one." The little girl paused for a moment before continuing, "I took an opportunity to fly into the castle to tell him that you would be coming soon and he had only one request."
Roland nodded and asked, "What is it?"
"Blood for blood."
There was an unwritten rule among nobles where people with bestowed titles were exempt from being murdered in times of battle. In the case of the family of Earl Honeysuckle, most of his loved ones had been honored with a knighthood. However, the four families had betrayed that rule. Not only did they hate the Honeysuckle Family because of the benefits of Roldan's support but they were also being driven by a new political power.
Ayt heard the sound of footsteps below the city wall.
He raised the flintlock numbly, aiming it at the dark hole below. This was the only path to climb up the city wall from within. There had been several rounds of attacks since the enemies captured the city gate, but they were still not able to seize the northern part of the city wall.
The battle started yesterday at noon and had yet to cease. He hadn't expected to be standing in the cold, brisk wind for so long. After watching his supporting comrades fall one by one into pools of blood, all he could focus on was fighting.
"Are they coming again?" Seeing a long-barrelled gun pop up next to him, Ayt tilted his head to the side and found that it was his unit leader, Bronzehill.
"I could hear them," Ayt replied feebly, "but I have no idea how many there are in the darkness."
"They don't know how many of us are left either," Bronzehill comforted him.
"So... how many are left?"
Bronzehill answered after a moment's hesitation, "Only five. Raven just took his last breath."
"And we probably won't see the sun tomorrow," Ayt said bitterly. After the initial feelings of fear and panic, he then became numb. It was this experience that helped him finally understand what his instructor had meant when he said, "Only a real battle will quickly make you a man." However, this did not make the current situation any better. Out of the three units, there were only five people left. Even if the enemies didn't make it up the wall, they would likely die from starvation or exposure to cold. "Can we still surrender?"
"Surrender?" Bronzehill snorted. "Didn't you hear what they were yelling? 'Kill the rebels!' There's nothing but death ahead. We'd better take down as many as possible while we can."
Ayt knew the unit leader was right. Many captured soldiers from the Second Army were beheaded. They were not nobles, and nobody would pay a ransom. But... he just hated the idea of dying up here.
The instructor had told them about how happy life in Border Town was and promised that once the Months of the Demons had passed, soldiers who did well in the Second Army would be transferred to the First Army and receive free housing there. There was plenty of food in Border Town, as well as running water and a heating system that could warm up a whole room without ignition...
"Here they come!" Bronzehill suddenly shouted while pulling the trigger. In the muzzle flash, Ayt could see the figure of the enemy revealed in the darkness. Six or seven people were creeping slowly up along the wall, holding up their shields. He even caught a glimpse of the terror in their eyes.
The unit leader missed his target, fortunately, he was already pointing the gun in the right direction.
He aimed at the fleeting figure and fired again.
There was the muffled sound of a bullet hitting a wooden shield, and then a shriek, followed by the sound of a heavy object rolling down the stairs. Realizing that they had been exposed, the rest of the enemies rushed to the opening recklessly.
Bronzehill was struggling to reload his gun, but his frozen hands hindered the process, slowing him greatly. Ayt jumped back from the open pit and groped frantically for his gunpowder sack. His heart sank when he found it empty and he realized that he had already used it all.
According to his training, now was the time to use the bayonets.
He pulled out the bayonet and struggled to attach the knife to the front of his gun. Clenching his teeth in frustration, he finally got it to attach and lifted it just in time as the enemy breached the hole and rushed at him.
Instantly firing, Bronzehill took the first man down, but there was a second close on his heels and this one managed to slide a sword into Bronzehill's chest.
Ayt was stunned and his training took over. He mechanically thrust his bayonet in futility, only striking the enemy's shield. The enemy easily kicked him to the ground, disarming him completely.
Am I really going to die here?
Looking up at the night sky in despair, he noticed a dark figure above him.
He normally wouldn't notice something so dark against the inky sky that night, but the shadow was close and rapidly getting closer still. It plummeted towards him like a collapsed curtain made of night.
Ayt's eyes bulged as the shadow became more defined and he realized it was a giant beast!
This was a beast only found in nightmares. Its huge crimson mouth was gaping, head larger than a bull's, and giant wings that almost covered the entire length of the city wall.
The giant beast descended right in front of Ayt, crushing the enemies who just surfaced from the opening.
It released a thunderous growl that was loud enough to wake the dead!