Release that Witch Chapter 872
In the end, these huge rock cannons never managed to fire for the second time.
The Duke had built these six tall firing platforms within the city walls to provide a clear view for the cannons and the mangonels. As long as the platforms were higher than the walls, no enemies will be able to escape the weapons' firing range.
It should have been a sound strategy, for such a commanding view would not only improve the accuracy and the range of projectiles, but it would also provide overwhelming pressure to the besiegers.
But faced with the might of Roland's army, these imposing platforms served no other purpose other than being live target practice for the opposing army's cannons.
These fifteen minutes felt like an eternity for Wilion.
The thunderous sounds of explosions never ceased on top of the wall.
Just as Wilion's men finally managed to load the snow powder, a cannonball from the enemy landed on the platform right next to them.
At that moment, it was as if a radiant sun emerged on the platform, growing in size as it engulfed the huge rock cannon as well as over the 20 unfortunate men who were by its side. The blazing flame then spread out in all directions, and the shockwave swept throughout the city. Dust clouds rose up and blew everywhere.
A large chunk of bronze was blown away by the explosion and crashed onto the stone wall of another platform before falling directly on top of a group of workers who were transporting rocks. The weak and fragile human bodies were instantly pulverized into a cloud of red mist. The bronze chunk rolled twice after it hit the ground, running over those who were lucky enough to survive the initial crash, leaving a thick trail of flesh and blood behind. The victims who only had their limbs scrunched still lingered on with their last breath of life, letting out agonizing cries, hoping for the mercy of a quicker death.
However, Wilion's attention quickly moved away from the tragic scene below.
The lookout tower upon which Wilion and the nobles were standing on equally stood out in the enemy's line of sight, and since the enemy's first barrage turned the city wall ablaze, those nobles no longer dared to watch on and immediately evacuated. This was obviously the best move, as the enemy's rate of fire was far beyond their expectations. It took the enemy no more than 30 seconds to reload, and each shot was more accurate than the last, turning the areas near the city wall into no-man's land.
At first, the fireballs were only impacted the outside of the city, but soon they started to go off within the walls. The explosions engulfed the tall platforms and the city gate. The air inside the city was dense with smoke, cannonball fragments, and dirt, while the constant blasts combined with sounds of wailing made the situation in the city resemble a scene from hell.
By the time the enemy stopped firing, the six platforms had been completely destroyed, and the city gate was breached.
The Duke's men should have, as had been planned, immediately put down the iron barriers or lowered the heavy stone gates to block the passage and prepared to hold the line. But after witnessing such horrifying firepower, it was impossible to continue to have them stand their ground. The flames spread everywhere as it followed the oily liquid, and charred bodies began to litter the city wall. Even if someone had managed to survive the downpour of fire and explosions, their courage would have already been thoroughly crushed. As for the civilians who were hastily drafted? They were simply out of the question.
Those who were still capable of escaping were long gone, abandoning the rest who were either frightened out of their wits or severely wounded.
Although Wilion had thought of the possibility of defeat, he did not expect it to happen so quickly.
Their defense line crumbled before they even had a chance to touch the enemy. "What... has Roland been doing in the past two years?" He could not help but wonder.
"My lord, there's... no way for us to fight back..."
"We'd better surrender."
"Indeed my lord. Surrendering does not mean we are giving up forever. There will always be other opportunities as long as we stay alive."
"He's right. We could bide our time and rebuild our forces as long as they stay in the Eastern Region."
"Even King Timothy wouldn't blame you if he was here. You've done your best, and the enemy was just too overwhelming."
Wilion remained silent for a moment, before turning to look at Galina.
The woman's face was streaked with two black marks, and part of her hair had been burned by the flame when she had tried to block a burning beam that crashed down to protect Wilion during their evacuation. Even so, her eye shone with the same kind of brightness that she has always had, without the slightest trace of frustration or embarrassment. "I'm at your command, my lord," She said.
The Duke took a deep breath before saying, "You all should surrender."
"My lord... What about you?"
"I did not prepare for these two years just so that I can surrender in the end," Wilion said slowly. "I will have Roland understand that his almighty army cannot conquer everything, and I need to show him that King Timothy's feudatories are not all cowards who would bow beneath a tyrant. Galina, where are my knights?"
"They're all standing by in the second ambush area," Chief Knight said decisively.
"There's no need for an ambush. summon them to the city gate." Wilion gave the command. "Viscount Ariburke, disable all the previously placed traps."
"Disable them? But why?" the nobles asked in surprise.
"Those simple tricks aren't going to help us hold back the enemy. We might as well let them in and confront them fair and square. Things have already come this far, and someone has to face the consequences." The Duke had not expected himself to be so calm in his final moments. However, what he was going to do would be recorded down in the annals of history, and he would then be able to face His Majesty with pride.
Half an hour later, Roland's army finally showed outside at the city gate. A small team was first sent in to remove the debris blocking the entrance and also to take control of both sides of the city gate before the main force marched into the castle. As soon as they entered the city, they started to set up a rough perimeter in the middle of the long street. Within a short amount of time, they finished their work and placed two peculiar flintlocks in front of the fortress.
Wilion no longer cared about what the enemy was doing. He softly flicked the reins and led the knights around the corner of the street and formed a single line across the street.
Seven knights and 15 squires—his last counterattack.
At this final moment, these warriors who dared to stand alongside him further convinced Wilion that the system of nobility was essential and superior.
Only the nobles who understand the meaning of loyalty, honor, and duty were brave enough to charge towards the enemy under such unfavorable odds.
Seeing more and more invaders gathering and preparing on the street, he pulled down the visor on his helm, held up his spear, and let out a long breath.
"We may have lost the battle today, but history will remember us. For our names will be recorded in verses and sang in songs. Muster your courage, stand strong, and fight until your last dying breath! Knights of House Berger, on me!"
Wilion flicked the reins and sent his destrier into a gallop and sped up in the long street, leading his men in this final charge.
Clouds of smoke and the lingering flames around them had perfectly painted the battlefield, forming a scene so serene that for a moment the Duke thought that he could ask for no better place than here to finally rest.
Soon he was halfway to the enemy, and he reached his top speed, but he did not hear the drum-like patter of the hooves that was supposed to come from behind him. As he looked back, Wilion was shocked. The over 20 men that started the charge with him now were now gone with the exception of Galina who rode close after him.
This street was not closed but intersected with many smaller roads and alleys. In that moment, Wilion understood what had happened.
He wanted to ask the knight who was charging fearlessly behind him, but when his eyes landed on Galina's eyes that were filled with meaning and emotion, it seemed as if nothing else mattered to him now.
An end like this seemed not too bad for him.
"At least I have you by my side."
Wilion laughed and pointed his spear towards the nearest enemy soldier.
Before a hailstorm of bullets rained upon him.