Release that Witch Chapter 449
When Roland walked into the messy castle, Petrov and Earl Hull were kneeling down on one knee in the center of the hall, awaiting his arrival.
All the bodies on the floor had been removed, but the smell of the blood lingered. The pieces of broken furnishings and weapons could be seen everywhere; he could almost imagine the killing-scenes between the two parties in the battle for the castle.
"Rise." Roland walked towards Petrov, bending over to hold his shoulders.
"Yes," Petrov said in a choked voice, "Your Highness, you are finally here."
"You did a good job," Roland said with a heavy voice, "the four big families will pay a heavy price for this, and the murderers shall be brought to justice."
"I didn't guard Longsong Stronghold well..."
"You did your best. It's not your fault." Roland sighed. Petrov was not a ruler of war. This was evident from the seizure of the previous city by the light cavalry and the rebellion of the nobilities this time. He was good at managing the territory, proficient in trading, and skilled in capturing opportunities, but he was not a Machiavellian. He was definitely not an expert at fighting and plotting. If it wasn't for the Second Army that was stationed in the castle in accordance with the emergency measure, he wouldn't have been able to hold more than two days.
However, that did not mean Petrov Hull was not a good manager. If he was not good at war, he should be assigned to a territory without any war. Roland preferred operators with a business mind to those with fighting talents.
"I believe there must have been an inducement for this riot," Roland looked at everyone around him. "This is a downright conspiracy. The enemy seeks to subvert the order of Western Region in order to obtain benefits that don't belong to them."
The scene quieted down. Everyone, including both the armed soldiers of the First Army and the wounded knights behind Petrov, had their gazes on His Highness.
"They have committed a felony for this, murdering the nobility and killing the civilians. After the war, we'll see that many people have lost their families, and many houses will have been looted. But their conspiracy didn't succeed in the end. It was your unyielding resistance that prevented Stronghold from falling into a greater tragedy. Your performance was heroic and your willpower was laudable!"
The knights slightly lifted their chests without realizing it.
"However, the war isn't over yet. These rebels are fleeing in panic, and it's time for us to seek our revenge! I swear no matter where the enemies are hiding, they won't escape the coming trial, be it in the territories of the four families... or King's City!" Roland paused and said categorically, "The culprits who caused the rebellion are bound to be punished too! The blood you shed... will not be in vain!"
"Long live, Your Highness!" The surviving knights and soldiers of the Second Army also began to kneel.
Soon, everyone was kneeling on one knee with their upper body upright, right hand on the chest, shouting the slogan in unison.
"Long live, Your Highness!"
After comforting the people at the scene, Roland summoned Petrov, Van'er, Brian, and Iron Axe into the study on the third floor of the castle, which was the only place that had not been invaded. All the furnishings were basically intact. Roland knew that he would probably have to spend the next few days there.
The first thing he had to do was to understand the situation regarding the battlefield within the city. He looked at Iron Axe, and the latter reported immediately, "The witches have seized back the northern gate and the eastern gate which was once occupied by the four families. The First Army is eliminating the rebels within the city under Miss Sylvie's guidance. The order of the city should be restored by tomorrow morning."
"What about the casualties?"
"A total of six people were injured so far, and all of them are from the rifle battalion, but they’ve been treated and cured by Miss Nana."
"What about the Second Army? Has it been counted?"
"Not yet... But according to the latest news, there are more casualties." Brian hesitated. "Both of the platoons sent to support the city wall have been defeated, and they haven't been gathered so far. Out of the 50 soldiers who were sent to defend the castle, 11 were killed, and almost none of the soldiers patrolling on the city wall survived."
Roland nodded. The militancy of this era was not as high, enabling the 100 people to persist for two days. The defensive party tended to have the bigger advantages, especially when the enemy lacked effective assault weapons. If the other party wasn't using firearms, the Lord's castle could not be broken through with only the flesh and blood of the mercenary and guards. This was fully taken into account during the design of this building to prevent enemy attack.
At this thought, he instructed Iron Axe, "Show me some of the rebels’ firearms."
Roland was really concerned about the new hot weapons of this era. Although this day was expected to come sooner or later since the birth of the snow powder, the development speed of Timothy really surprised him.
After seeing the actual objects, Roland quickly understood why the enemies could build the weapons in a fairly short time.
These long tubes could not be called flintlock in the sense that they had no trigger and percussion device, and they were nothing more than metal tubes with a hole at each end. It was deeper at one end for loading gunpowder and bullets and had a needle-like hole at the end for ignition. The other end was shallower and could be used as the handle after inserting a bamboo stick or a wooden pole.
It was very similar to the prototype of the firearm, structure-wise.
The loading process of this primitive firearm was the same as that of the flintlock, but the launch was more troublesome. It required a gunman to hold the wooden pole under his armpit and ignite the gunpowder with the hand on the other side. Due to the limitation caused by the holding position, it was impossible to aim accurately and could only be roughly pointed straight ahead while shooting.
But it was still undoubtedly a hot weapon. Putting aside all the inconveniences, its launch principle was completely consistent with the flintlock. Its barrel and projectile were almost the same as those of the latter’s, so the power was far greater than crossbow bolts. If shot, the armor of knights would not hold the attack.
Timothy's efforts on the customization could obviously be seen from the unique look of each firearm. Some were made of rolled-steel with clear thumping traces left on the body of the pipe, while some were molded by wrought copper and looked smooth. Considering they were simply testing products to assist the four families, the firearm used by Timothy himself should be better.
However... even the best firearm was merely a firearm.
The King's City had no chance of winning as soon as the launch of the spring attack began. They would be unable to face the Western Region army armed with revolving rifles, bolt rifles, and HMGs (heavy machine gun).
Roland shifted his gaze back to the four of them and said, "The First Army will be recovering the suburban territories of Longsong Stronghold one by one from tomorrow onwards. Any nobility who resists can be put to death on the spot. I hope the entire Western Region will be unified after this week."
"Yes, Your Highness!" The four of them answered in unison.