Release that Witch Chapter 870
The sounds of brass trumpets came from afar and broke the silence of the noon. The birds in the courtyard stopped tweeting, which seemed like an omen. At this moment, this hall in the castle looked solemn and dull.
Duke Wilion Berger knew that it was the time for the decisive battle.
He moved his eyes from the portrait of the former king Timothy to a set of delicate full armor, which was inherited from his grandfather. He had repeatedly patched and polished it. Each piece of it was soaked with grease which formed something like a skin on its surface.
His family's motto engraved on the right arm armor read "Undying loyalty".
In this set of armor, he had caught the rebellious old duke alive on the battlefield in a rain of arrows. For this brilliant achievement, Timothy had bestowed on him the title of Lord of the Eastern Region.
Although Timothy was gone, the duty of a lord would not be interrupted by this incident.
He made up his mind to keep his honor.
"My lord, Prince Roland's army is approaching Valencia. They didn't carry any big firearm with them." A servant walked into the hall and reported to him.
"Good." Wilion nodded. "Tell the others to get ready. I'll come over very soon."
He took off his coat and walked to the armor. "Help me put on the armor," he said to his Chief Knight, Galina.
"Yes." She rolled up her sleeves and started to help him change his clothes. Her hands were rough and calloused but now moved slowly and gently whilst removing his clothes. It was hard to believe that these hands could also hold a spear to penetrate armor and stab her enemies on the battlefield.
Whenever he saw her killing whilst in combat, he would be enchanted by that scene.
"Do you... regret it?"
"Of course not, my lord," Galina replied calmly. "The moment you decided to make me your Chief Knight, I made up my mind to stay with you forever. No matter what happens, I'll do my duty."
"But this time, the enemy is stronger than ever. If it's possible—" The duke was interrupted by the belt suddenly tightening around his waist.
"So why did you refuse to ally with King of Dawn, if you think that our opponent is that strong. You even openly kicked his messenger out of Valencia. When the envoy sent this information back to Dawn, the king must have blamed you for being unable to appreciate a favor."
"Tut, I highly doubt whether the City of Glow is able to resist the attack of Prince Roland's troops, and Appen Moya really crossed the line to ask me to provide him harbors and permanent military bases." Wilion curled his lips in contempt. "Is there any difference between him and Roland Wimbledon? The former king granted me the Eastern Region. If I had promised Appen, I would have failed my king."
"So my answer is still the same," Galina said without any hesitation. "The Berger family is not alone in rating loyalty as the top quality, so my lord, please don't say that anymore. It's an insult to me."
Wilion fell silent. A moment later, he said, "Unfortunately, most nobles have forgotten this point... I see, let's go to war together. Although the enemy is powerful, I won't let them seize Valencia easily. I've been waiting for this battle for a long time."
"Yes, my lord." The female knight smiled.
"Bale!" He shouted out his Clerk's name. "Come here!"
Soon, a bald middle-aged man came into the hall. "My lord, what can I do for you?"
"Write down what I say. After a whole night's rest, the kingslayer Roland Wimbledon's minions plan to officially launch an attack at Valencia today. Duke of Valencia, Wilion Berger, determines to defeat them in the name of the former king, and his brave, loyal Chief Knight, Galina Wynne decides to go with him to the battle with resolution. May the deities bless them." Willy paused. "Surely... if you think this record seems too subjective, you can omit the last sentence."
Bale nodded while rapidly noting down what the duke said on his notebook with a charcoal pen. "I think that it'll be alright if I write down the last sentence, my lord. There's no absolutely objective record in this world. Since I'm Clerk of Valencia, it'll be totally acceptable if my favor goes to this city. This is also a part of the reality."
"So keep it there, but no matter what happens next, you have to faithfully record the outcome of the war, understand?" Willy emphasized. "It's your mission to record the reason and the whole process of this war."
"Please be assured, my lord." The Clerk bowed. "I'll let the people remember this event."
Without a word, Wilion picked up his steel sword hanging on the wall and went out of his castle without looking back.
When the duke and his Chief Knight climbed up to the lookout tower on top of the city wall, the bonfire had already been lit up. Oil was boiling in the pot and emitted a pungent smell. The duke's soldiers were busy going up and down, mounting stones and logs on the city wall.
He had known from the war in the king's city that Roland's most powerful firearm in a siege battle was a snow powder weapon called cannon which could shoot much farther than a mangonel. Unfortunately, Timothy had been unable to produce a similar weapon to compete with it to the day when the city had fallen. But on that day, the former king had managed to send his right-hand man to give the duke the formula for making snow powder and the design and manufacturing process of the weapon. Timothy's purpose was self-evident.
Wilion had invested a lot in this new weapon and meanwhile had also found many weak points in this kind of firearms. First, it was very heavy and needed to be placed on a flat ground to give full play to its strength. Second, it was slow to set up and thus this assembling process needed to be covered by flintlocks. In general, it was more a defensive weapon than an offensive one.
He had done everything in his power to get well-prepared for this war. He had thickened the city wall and installed barbs on it. He had also sent his men to destruct all the roads in the suburb and make all the farmland marshland by flooding them with water from the river. He had erected many hidden stumps in the Sanwan River, making it hard for any big inland river ship to travel in this waterway. These measures he had adapted had totally changed this place in the past two years. Now, it was inconvenient to carry any heavy thing into the city using manpower, let alone carriages drawn by horses.
These war preparations cost him dearly. Without convenient connections to the other places, this city of trade could not be prosperous anymore. The destruction of the farmland had led to a sharp reduction in the population. However, the duke firmly believed his measures were correct, as now he could not find any cannon in the approaching enemy troops.
They must have realized that they could never drag their cannons here if they did not build a road first.
Next, it was time for a tough battle.
Though Roland's soldiers were equipped with highly efficient flintlocks, they could not hide themselves at the foot of the wall or climb up this wall with barbs on the surface. Furthermore, the duke had set four mangonels and two cannons in the city, which could hit target 1000 steps away. Now it was difficult to tell who was winning.
"They're coming," Galina warned.
A group of soldiers dressed in brown stepped out of the enemy troops, steadily heading toward the gate of the city. They did not move very fast but their steps were exceptionally firm. Soon they seemed to be unable to stay in formation on the muddy ground and then split into groups of two or three, starting to work in the fields like old farmers. They carried on their backs dark gray long spears and barrels as thick as thighs. The duke thought that something so light was obviously not a kind of cannon.
Wilion estimated the distance, raised a red flag and waved it to the soldiers behind him.
"Huge rock cannon, fire!"