Vol. 9.5: Chapter 11: Baham

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Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]fter losing 6 more supplement soldiers, Samgha was able to carry their 4 aerial ladders down the clay city wall and saw the end of the last arrow rain.

“50 steps crosswise, now!” Anemia had spotted a weakly-defended place on the wall, “Set them all!”

“Puff! Puff! Puff! Puff!” Four dull sounds signaling the wooden ladders impact the clay-made wall, stirring dust.

“Attack!” Anemia picked up a dead soldier to shield his head and face, and he rushed upward by the ladder. Since the wall was low and the ladder was extended, the instructions have explicitly said the ladder should be as flat instead of built steep, some flexible-paced scouting soldiers were able to run on it rather than climbing.

Once Anemia stepped onto the wall, he tossed the dead body onto an enemy archer who locked onto him. As Anemia was about to finish the archer for good, right there and then charged a PUF orc soldier. Thus the two opposing barbarians engaged closely in a violent combat.

“Emergency in the 7th defensive line! Incoming enemies!” The archer yelled hoarsely. He dropped his bow, drew a war saber and targeted Simon who came next. Such a petty archer could actually master the art of saber. He was talented and fierce. Simon, who also used a saber, could only equal the match!

Scarlet, Ranger and the rest arrived at the same time. They were able to defend one side of the wall. Just as Rut and Fallen were trying to extend the dominance, their enemies were no cowards as they fought back violently. In the meanwhile, PUF archers in a few hundred steps away fired arrows, resulting in at least half the death of the siege troops who were about to get onto the ladder.

But in other directions, more ladders were successfully placed. PUFs were taken by surprise. More AUF soldiers made themselves onto the wall.

“Expand the dominance!” Anemia yelled. His opponent was exceptionally tough. Though filled will wounds and Fallen stabbed him with a dagger, the orc just kept Anemia where he was. As the two stabilized themselves, their weapons once again clashed. The ones aside were not even able to help.

Ranger dropped his bow as he puked a scolding word. A shield, a long sword, that was all he needed to join the melee combat. Scarlet and he worked back to back with their lives to finally pushed the battle line forward for a dozen steps. On the other hand, Anemia and Fallen chopped that orc down the wall with a fierce slash.

Once the chaos started, PUF sent in their reinforcements. Once more, PUF troopers showed, Ranger began to sweat.

The newcomer was a short man. Judging by his rank, he’s not an everyday soldier, but definitely not an officer either. The short man came with a few more soldiers to support the fight on the wall. He lept from 10 steps away and crossed everybody else and turned a fierce whirl. Thus an AUF soldier was kicked off the wall!

On impact, Ranger clearly heard that soldier’s bone cracking. The dead one bounced into the air, his head dangled powerlessly.

“Danger!” Ranger yelled to warn the others. Without thinking, his long sword thrust over to the short man.

“TING!” The short PUF soldier’s sword tip hit Ranger’s sword body. The enemy’s sword then tilted and flashed onto Ranger’s chest.

Ranger tried to shield; however, that man retracted his sword and landed on Ranger’s shield like a bolt of flash. The powerful impact pushed Ranger several steps back and slump. It was suffocating.

The very enemy was calm. His eyes glinted. Luckily, Scarlet took over the fight, or Ranger would be left here lifelessly.

The situation didn’t get any better. As the enemies’ counter strike became fiercer, their offensive spell attack came as well. Two enemy elf warlocks were floating above the inner city wall. Bolts of lightning slashed over like they had natural eyes. Thus dark smokes and burning smell gradually rose.

“Retreat – fall back!” Anemia rolled aside to dodge a bolt of dangerous lightning. He yelled out this never-before yelled order. The rest Samgha members were trained to never question a commander’s order. Thus all of them flipped off the wall. Those who didn’t react timely were immediately made into burning charcoal.

AUF troops were pushed down from the once-taken enemy wall. It was already depressing. What was more sorrowful was that when retreating, a lance shot by an enemy on the wall pierce Baham’s chest.

Baham’s mouth was wide open. He didn’t cry or say a word. He was terrified then dropped toward his camp direction and fell. The lance that killed him was still swaying in the wind.

Samgha was able to snatch Baham’s body back in the arrow rain. Like a crazy man, Claypool applied every recovery magic on Baham. But when they were back to the camp, Baham, who kept biting his under lip, closed his eyes. Claypool cried so hard that his voice turned hoarse. He chanted tens of hundreds recovery spells on Baham’s cold body. Finally, he dropped weakly on the ground, pulling his hair, slapping his face.

Back in the Samgha tent, the night sunk into an unprecedented sorrow. The rookies sat around Baham’s body, tears dried. Samgha, this squadron of heroes who only bring pain to enemies was trapped in misery.

Baham was an obedient soldier. Since he joined Samgha, he’s been biting his lips, and he was never wounded. To show his loyalty to his lover, he wouldn’t even talk much with the mage physicians. But now, he’s never able to marry the clan chief’s daughter.

“Lieutenant Baham is dead.” Anemia stood by the door. His pale face was even scarier by the flash of the torches. Anemia declared quietly to the rookies, “We still have some time. Tidy his body. Put him on the uniform.”

“BAHAM!” Fallen jumped over to his dead companion’s bedside. How gravelly the little werewolf cried that his voice shifted.

“Now, everyone, this is war. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow. And we cannot hope for anything.” Anemia clenched his fists, though he was holding himself, still, his voice pitched, “Your friends might die, your teammates might die. Countless men have died. But there are more fights tomorrow. You have to live!”

Thus Samgha packed Baham’s belongings, buried his body on a hillside right beside the camp. Before closing the tomb, Fallen placed tons of wildflowers on Baham’s body.

Fallen wiped a few residual tears, “I’ll avenge you, B!”

It was also wished by all Samgha members.

Tonight, a sleepless night.

On Baham’s death night, AUF’s command HQ issued a ceasefire and deployed their large-scale siege weapons to the frontier in a single line. But the enemies in the clay city, God knew what scheme they’ve been pulling. Drumbeats and horn blowings came in the middle of the night. AUF outside the city was terribly disturbed.

As the sun slowly rose, fog gathered. It was the 10th day of the siege.

AUF set a dense formation down the city. What was in the front were long-ranged siege machinery. During the 10 days, AUF’s logistics factory build thousands of such weapons.

In the chilly morning breeze, the drumbeats once again resounded in the city. No one knew what were those god-forsaken PUFs thinking.

As the HQ issued the order, the first siege weapons were initiated. Arrows and flying rocks towards the clay city almost shaded the sky. As the machinery cranked, AUF soldiers cheered. The stones were issuing considerable damage to the clay wall that had brought AUF so much shame. As the earth-shattering impact resounded, the clay wall was shortened gradually. Yellow dust stirred.

An hour of constant rock attack has made that city wall dilapidated. Then dozens of whistling curved arrow went upward. Hence the front slave army started marching forward, driven by the supervising officers.

The following attack went so smooth. One can say that PUF had no counterstrike or defense of any kind. The slave soldiers marched, set up ladders, climbed onto the wall and finally showed semaphore. The scene has dramatically confused everyone behind.

It was too easy!? So then, how to count for the death during the past 10 days? So many friendly soldiers just died for nothing?

The development of the following situation was even more bizarre.

The slaves divided into 2 groups and started fighting themselves on the wall. It began as plain yellings, then it became fist fight. And eventually, it turned into a melee fight with blades and swords. As more slaves fell off the wall, crying, army supervisors began firing their crossbows toward the wall top. The situation was in a general turmoil.

Hence the catapults were fired up; rocks once again were tossed toward the clay wall, destroying the wall as well as the slaves on it. In one moment, the slaves’ crying for mercy echoed in the clay city air. However, AUF answered with more troops and archers.

The rookies threw their curious looks toward Anemia, Anemia gazed back with the same questionable eyes.

As multiple spots on the wall collapsed, the rest slave army as the head, the front AUF soldiers have finally charged into the city. The following troops also started moving. Soon after that, the moving stopped.

Only after the AUFs crossed the wall did they realized what came next were millions of traps. One after another, slaves’ bodies and rocks were all but everywhere.

The following fight was not to be taken lightly. AUF paid huge to enter the clay city and its front troops then marched into a maze-like bastion as well as PUF’s ultimate trap.

Samgha was among the troops that marched into the clay city. Although the rookies behaved fiercely, likewise, Samgha has fallen into enemy’s trap.

In the clay city, PUF had the geographical advantage, and upon the edge, they’ve built the labyrinthic bastion. They’ve had 9 days to make it. And in this end battle, such a maze has finally exerted its unbelievable power.

The rookies have never seen such a battleground. In fact, none of the generals, soldiers as well as anyone in the Asmodian United Forces have ever seen such a thing.

Between short walls, AUFs were continuously kept on the run and ended up being divided into chunks, swallowed and eliminated. From morning to noon, the most they’ve done was pushing the battlefront forward for half a mile. And this half mile of battlefront was not completely dominated. They never knew when there’ll be enemy soldiers who appeared out of nowhere that could kill them.

AUF has moved its commanding center to the top of the clay city wall. More special forces were deployed. AUF had gained a slight advantage. Breaching speed in several sectors evidently accelerated. However, at this moment, the thrusting Samgha members encountered a remarkably intrepid enemy squad.

The engagement occurred in a narrow tunnel.

Samgha’s supplements were already nowhere to be found. Currently, Samgha’s attachment was an unknown squad. Nevertheless, it was a chaotic fight. No matter who, just fight forward. As for the enemy squad, an orc was leading a team of men mixed of soldiers from several races. Ranger even spotted a ragged AUF slave soldier who surrendered earlier among the enemies.

On encounter, none of the parties had prepared for this. But none of them hesitated. All just started fighting.

Anemia seized a crucial moment. He initiated his fierce attack on the orc leader. The rest rookies followed so they just fought whoever they saw first. During such a moment, one more enemy killed meant one less enemy for friends. In a split second, cursing words, profanities, screams echoed with the clash sounds of metals, lances, daggers; swords movements repeated; sparks and blood splashed in this narrow space.

The first one to kill an enemy was Fallen; he cut his opponent’s throat with a dagger. Scarlet managed to chop one of his opponent’s arm as well. Likewise, AUF soldiers who came with Samgha also had dozens of casualties. This encounter ended in the enemy’s retreat and a tunnel of splashed fresh blood.

Ranger returned from the chase. Commander Anemia was down. His leg was severely damaged by enemy’s axes. Claypool was shot for several times because he was trying to protect his commander. Anemia was the soul of Samgha and Claypool was the only one who can heal. But currently, these two cannot move a finger.

“I… I can’t.” Anemia made a bitter smile then tried to move his broken leg. Before he was carried away, he trusted Ranger as Samgha’s substitute commander, “We will win. I wait for you all back there.”

“Rest assured.” Ranger nodded firmly, “I’ll bring everyone back safely!”

As the 2 wounded Samgha members were delivered down the wall for treatment, Anemia put Claypool on the carriage before himself.

“Your wound is more severe.” Anemia said, “You first and they’ll come for me very soon.”

“Sir!” Claypool tried to raise his weak hand, “I’ll see you later.”

Just after Claypool’s carriage exited the city, the sky went dark. Usually, the sky wouldn’t be so black at noon, it was apparently PUF’s magic!

The marching Samgha Squadron immediately stopped. Tensely, Ranger arranged defense job in the shortest time. However, PUF’s target was obviously not the ones in the city. It was the breached wall!

In the darkness, AUF’s commanding center was taken down by a team of PUF’s break-out soldiers.

The enemies marched onward like tides. They were trying to break out the wall!

Though severely wounded, Anemia managed to stand up against the wall. He shifted step by step by the breach then once again, raised his giant sword and chopped down on the enemies that rushed over to him. Anemia fought until the last drop of his blood left his body.

In the violent fight, Anemia’s roar passed far far away.

Even Claypool heard Anemia’s roar in the carriage. As soon as the earth-shattering sound disappeared, PUF troops showed up in Claypool’s vision. The man knew that his commander has died. Claypool was never a brave man. However, at this moment, his body started to shiver. Claypool bounced out of the carriage as a whole, yelling ‘CECILIA!’ while charging toward the enemies with bare hands, disregarding the blood-stained bandage chipped apart or the healed wounds burst apart.

Carriages full of wounded soldiers were all over the outer city. As countless dying AUF soldiers were inspired by Claypool, all but none jumped back to the battlefield with their dying breath and poured to the breach points on the wall, yelling ‘CECILIA!”. Countless flesh and bones have blocked the enemies. By dying, they were able to earn more precious time for more reinforcements.

When the sky cleared up, the situation completely reversed. It was no longer a battle, it was the most primal slaughter. Only the ones being slaughtered have become AUFs.

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