Vol. 8: Chapter 06: Setback

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Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly

Past chapter editing progress: V2C1

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Take your seats,” I told my officers, “I’ll be right with you.”

Then I hurried to finish reading the rest of the letters as the officers waited patiently right beside me.

“I summoned you all here because I’ve received orders from the military headquarter.” I eyed around the people, “Heads up now, the former supreme commander Carl Ulysses had gone back to his home country and the ones who are in control of the military affairs are the last ones we wanna see: the temple bastards.”

Before the stunning looks on the officers eased, I unfolded the orders from the PUF headquarter.

“This is the order, and as the commander of the PUF 9th Legion, I’m obligated and responsible to read it to you. Of course, those who were killed in action can pass.”

The officers made a burst of laughter because more than half of them were already ‘dead’ as planned. Likewise, my soldiers have suffered more than 60% ‘casualties’.

“Now order!” My eyes swept the crowd, then the laughter immediately calmed.

“To Commander of the 9th Legion, Knight of Protoss, Mr. Cohen Kheda,

We were shocked to learn you operation results in the far end of the enemy land, the entire headquarters were utterly gratified! During the War, you and your troops have fought heroically. The 9th Legion’s bravery and courage are highly praised by the whole Protoss United Forces! The Light Temple hereby give commendation to reward Cohen Kheda as well as his fortyish officers. The 9th Legion has won its name as the PUF’s favorite legion…”

I stopped here and raised my eyes and said, “You hear that? You’re all part of it!”

The officers chuckled, including the ‘KIA’ officers, whose laughters disclosed a sense of subtlety.

“Now into the business, you listen well!” I continued.

“… as for the 9th Legion’s severe casualties, the military headquarters moans deeply their death. The Light Temple has held a solemn evocation ceremony. We wish the dead soldiers’ souls will rest in peace.”

“This is to say,” I raised my eyes again and said, “the dead have earned none. You’ve died for nothing!”

This time, the officers’ chuckle revealed a sense of bitterness.

“… as for Ser Cohen Kheda’s troop replenish demand, since the frontline battle is going on intensely, the united forces headquarter has no backup soldiers to offer…”

“… we sincerely wish the 9th Legion will carry forward your courage and live through the hardship! The Light Temple and the PUF headquarter hope you will carry on and take your victory to a new level!”

I added, “This is to say, they want the 9th Legion to keep fighting and keep dying. They want to hear the news that we are all killed!”

“Now to the most important one.” I chuckled and continued reading.

“… the military headquarter has formulated a new combat plan in the past few days. We believe once the plan is carried successfully, the Asmodian United Forces will soon be completely vanquished. The key of the plan lies in you!”

“… the 9th Legion must advance into Asmodian backland and create an impetus in order to contain more AUF troops! Our PUF forces will work in concert with you and assault the enemies in separate directions. The enemy main force must be annihilated on the Protoss/Asmodian Line!””

No matter the reader or the listener, they were all bitterly disappointed at such an order!

“… the Light Temple and the headquarter all expect another victory from the 9th Legion! The entire Protoss Alliance is eagerly looking forward to your victorious return! We would only hope all the 9th Legion troops to weld your faith into swords, transform your blood into armors and fight courageously to create a new glorious triumph! On your returning day, the headquarter will greet your mighty troops from hundreds of miles away!”

“We would only hope all the 9th Legion troops to weld your faith into swords, transform your blood into armors. We would only hope all the 9th Legion troops to weld your faith into swords, transform your blood into armors!” I grinned coldly and repeated this sentence, “Only the dumbasses from the temple could write such an order!”

I cannot read such disgusting words any longer so I dropped the paper and stamped harshly on it, then I asked, “You all hear that, loud and clear?”

The officers nodded silently.

“How despicable!” Carlos picked the paper up and read it thoroughly again then talked, “Sir, the end signature is Prince Carl Ulysses!”

“Clearly, those dead pigs want us to die.” I sat down, “What do you think, you all? How should we reply? I need your opinions.”

“Sir, we’ll follow your idea!” An officer said, “You’re our leader nevertheless. We’re not paid by the temple!”

“Yeah, a few day earlier I couldn’t understand boss’ intention to report so many casualties.” Another officer said, “Now I get it, if we let the headquarter know that we’re still at our full strength, they’ll probably want us to capture the AUF supreme commander!”

“You’re right! The PUF has only so many troops left. I doubt they can even initiate another battle!”

“No, not really.” I interrupted them, “PUF still hasn’t deployed its special forces. Besides, I think the headquarter must have a large army in reserve. The total number of the final war might exceed a million!”

“Ah?”

“You didn’t see that coming, do you? One more thing,” I grinned, “it’s the first time the temple clique has total control over the military headquarter. How could they not work hard? Just wait and watch, by the time, not only they’ll deploy backup troops, they probably will involve the Protoss race to help the war!”

“The Protoss race? So I guess our business here is done?”

“No way. As long as the 9th Legion is not distinctive, they will order us to keep fighting!” I said, “What we can do now is to fight another few battles then tell the headquarter that we’re completely depleted. Then we could just disappear as if we’re wiped out!”

“So why not just skip the battle and report zero.” An officer asked.

“Stupid you!” I knocked his head, “Since we have our intelligence system, don’t you think the temple has theirs? If they don’t see any battles going on here and we are still reporting casualties… the temple is indeed full of stupid pigs but they’re not that stupid!”

“Oh!” He rubbed his head and said, “I get it, sir!”

“So, sir,” Carlos asked, “how should the General Staff draw the combat plan?”

“Let’s do a tryout by fight a few battles.” I rubbed my forehead, “Since we’re getting little information from other channels, we shall feel about it in the real war. I’ll lead the troops!”

“Yes, sir!”

“Everyone!” I said seriously, “You all should know the seriousness about what I told you today. It must not be let out!”

“Sir, yes, sir!”

“Prepare yourself and pacify your soldiers and officers, then…” I glanced the crowd, “I’ll take you home!”

“Yes, sir!”

“Dismissed!” I hinted, “I’m a poor Viceroy, lunch is not included in the meeting!”

All chuckled again.

As the officers have left. I sunk into thoughts at the map.

Bloody Guildford! Why would he build the camps so close to each other? He virtually laid the Cammish land into squared farms. If my troops wanted to initiate an assault, I’ll have to raid through several blockades! How was I supposed to do that?”

As my eyes landed on a piece of forest, wait! It was such a huge forest and it spread through several Cammish province. Now Camp was…

Hmm, I shall take advantage of this forest!

“Carlos!” I yelled.

“Sir!”

“Scramble the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th guarding troops and the 21st field regiment! Get them ready to depart!” I said, “Kit them with forest gears. Bring 2 mage squadrons and a recon group! I’ll lead. We’re moving out in 3 hours.”

“Sir, yes, sir!”

“And work out something here! No accident shall happen to the rest men!”

“Yes, sir!”

As soon as the night fell, I set out with my troops. We marched carefully. Things have changed. The good days as thousands of soldiers to travel across a province have gone.

The 5 regiments of 100, 000 -ish men moved like thieves. We hid our traces into the darkness. By midnight, we’ve penetrated the forest in separate teams. I did not have a predetermined operation objective as we were going out to search for one.

The four guarding troops among all had the most astonishing combat power. They were the ultimate ace in the 9th Legion.

The Imperial Guarding Troop, namely a troop under my direct command, were picked and trained by myself. The troop consisted of all strong and smart soldiers. The troop’s officers were even better, second to none. All IGT soldiers were equipped with extendable war blades. Half of them were provided with enhanced crossbows, the other half were with war bows. In conclusion, their combat effectiveness is utterly dreadful.

The 21st field battle regiment was a tough and tensile troop. During the previous combats, they’ve outperformed in no matter long-ranged raid or enemy seduction. During the operation to induce the Cammish second prince, it was this very regiment that safeguarded the rear troops. They even successfully lured the second prince to the targeted location without a single casualty.

The two mage squadrons were even more impressive because they have been recently resupplied with new gears. Now the guys wore wooden spell-resist armor and held unified wands.

The wooden spell-resist armor had certain defensive power against physical damages, though the real application of such armors was to defend magical attacks. The armor itself was able to form various middle-level enchantments of several properties. There were 5 rare crystal gems came from Dark Forest mines embedded on the chest part on each wooden armor. The gems can not only reduce the consumption when the user released spells but were also able to enhance the spell effectiveness.

The same gems were also embedded on the incredible ivy wands. Due to a wand’s capability to continuously increase the user’s magical power in large scale, the addition of the gems made the mages to be able to release low-level magics without chanting!

I took pains to save my money one coin at a time in order to kit the mages with new gears. I even poured in my pocket money! Imagine a glorious Protoss Knight with only several silver coins in his pocket when he was out shopping. Now I’d rush out to rob if I see anyone counting money.

Fortunately, the mage squadrons consisted of all grand elves. Most of them were beautiful females who were very eye-pleasing during the days. I did not take advantage of them. I planned to but I was unable to because when a beautiful elf looked at you with her blinking eyes, the man would have a tendency to feel ashamed and flee. But I guessed it must be some sort of magic. When my magic resistance skill improved, the ladies will be sure to fall into my place.

Because the soldiers were traveling through a forest, no one rode a horse. Led by scouts, we established a temporary camp in the deep forest after two days. At that time, the other side of the woods was already taken over by the Asmodian troops.

The remaining job was to send out my scouts. I’ve given them orders to peek the enemy situation on the edge of the forest in order to search for opportunities. We were not camping here, we were here to trick or treat!

Opportunities were everywhere in this world if one knew how to discover them. After countless investigations, we found three large timber yards located on the forest peripheral. Fleets of lumbers were transported to other places to build new Asmodian camps.

I certainly wouldn’t let such a valuable chance to slip away so my troops marched to visit them on that very day.

After marching for a whole night, we arrived in the early morning. The soldiers were in insidious position. I took a few officers to investigate the terrain. Since it will be the first assault operation after the enemy changed their commander, I needed to win.

We hid on a short hill beside a timber yard and examined the situation downward. The yard was full of lumberjacks. They were probably recruited from the villages nearby.

“Sir, there!” A guiding scout hinted, “They don’t have many guarding troops.”

I looked over. There were roughly 2 Asmodian battalions at a number of a thousand.

“What race are they?” I asked, “Looks fluffy.”

“All werewolves.” The scout said, “They are very rapid in action.”

“A fleet of two battalions.” I pondered, “To encircle and attack, one regiment would suffice to do the job!”

“Sir, when do we attack?”

“No hurry. We have to make sure before the act.” I said slowly, “How are the situations of the other two yards?”

“The same, basically.” The scout leader said, “They also don’t have many guards like here.”

“Good, go big or go home!” I said, “We’ll destroy all three!”

Thus under my unified command, my troops assaulted all three timber yards at dawn two days later. Unexpectedly, all the guards, as well as the lumberjacks, acted splendidly: they fled exceptionally quickly!

As my soldiers initiated the assault, those enemy soldiers dropped their stuff without even thinking! Thousands of werewolves just fell on their four legs then ran as if they were chased by a demon. The first moment saw them turning their bottoms at us, the next moment we saw dozens of afterimages standing at where they were, which has made my men at a loss of what to do.

The AUF army law was sternly strict. If a soldier deserted the battle, him as well as his family, will be executed. Obviously, they were ordered to do so. Fortunately,  my junior and senior officers were not rookies anymore. They immediately ordered a cease-pursuit once they saw the ill situation. Thus they quickly retreated into the forest after they destroyed the lumberyards, which spared their fate to be ambushed.

But I was still startled with cold sweat. Afterward, an unbearable flame of fury started burning within my chest. Very well, Guildford. Since you wanted to play with me, I will play it to the bone!

The rest days saw me leading 5 regiments contending with the AUF forces. As I kept assaulting the enemy’s lumber yards and quarries, several hundred men in the teams of ten were deployed to ambush Guildford’s patrol riders. All of the above were small scale attacks. So when Guildford’s sizable reinforcements arrived, they had only the chance to say goodbye to our backs.

Guildford clearly was not prepared for such a battle style, I was not satisfied with the outcomes we have achieved so far either. Yes, we did not suffer a considerable loss since the beginning, but we could only cause minor troubles to Guildford under his solid strategy. For me or Guildford, the battles were like playing jokes and they were shameful! It was like we were playing games instead of fighting a war.

Whenever my men yelled and charged into the Asmodian work sites, the enemy watchmen will make an earthshaking yelling. Then all will drop whatever in their hands and turn tail, leaving my men smiling bitterly at the enemy’s back. Since timbers or stones meant no use for me, I could do nothing but to retreat. A moment later, sure enough, a dark mass of AUF infantries will kick back. Hence it was our turn to run and theirs to chase.

As the routine went on, the soldiers of both parties were very familiar with each other, because they can recognize the opponents’ backs!

Since the enemies troops knew how fast my soldiers could run, they could always keep us at a safe distance.

Looking back at my soldiers, I could regularly see them counting their fingers: as the last finger curled, thousands of AUF troops will appear on the horizon. They were so much more obedient than home pets.

Guildford and I tried our best to break through the other’s defend and end this farce. But what made me angry was that we almost found the other’s weakness at the same time.

As I led my troops and night-assaulted one of Guildford’s weak-defended camp in the back, Guild heartlessly ordered to burn the forest where I hid my troops. I almost became a Peking duck!

How dare he burn such a vast forest!

When I was retreating with my troops, I looked back at the dark-red night sky, the depression almost made me cry. Faced with such an aged turtle, I had no place to set my anger free. He was like a mass of dirt on my face that made me feel disgusting and smothering.

“Well, Guildford. I’M NOT DONE WITH YOU!”

This chapter was originally published on Wuxianation, any despicable reposts or copies without proper citings are strictly prohibited.

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