Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly
Readers editing work of previous chapters will be corrected within the week, I cannot express enough my gratitude.
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As Asmodian United Forces’ long-ranged catapults kept on firing, waves after waves giant stones kept smashing on the body of the clay city wall. Among the dull sounds, wall debris bounced and rose.
“How astonishing. They’ve made such many powerful machineries!” Carlos, who’s been standing beside Cohen, recalled that he had rejected abandoning the wall. He instantly went sweaty.
“There aren’t many resources around the clay city, where did they find so many rocks?”
“They’ve got adequate manpower, which is a plus to find some petty stones.” Cohen replied, “They have half an hour to keep the rocks coming before the fog dissipates. We should be doing our pre-war mobilization now.”
“Yes, sir!” Carlos replied. He had put on his best outfit today, “I’ve gotten everything ready!”
Cohen nodded then handed over the commanding post to Carlos. He then exited the commanding center with a few staff officers and headed toward the wall behind the city. The pathway there was surrounded by traps.
Seeing Cohen has gone onto the wall, Gardena sounded his master drum once again. After 3 successive strikes of the leading drum, a section named Perception under chapter Sunrise rose. It was a rhythm to summon the clansman to listen to the clan leaders’ arrangements for the day. And it was also the first thing for the refugees to do each day after they woke up.
As of today, things have changed.
Through the thin mist, the refugees who crowded under the wall first saw a giant army flag. It was a flag symbolizing the Dark City troops. And it was moving slowly. Under the fire-colored, gold thread-decorated piece of cloth, stood Cohen Kheda with a suit of whole-body silver armor and a black steel saber on his waist. He was walking on the wall with a few mighty generals. Several chief leaders of the 36 tribes were following him with their clans’ banners.
As the team of men stood still on the wall, the drumbeats stopped.
During the usual days, Chief Gardena was the one who’s supposed to talk first, though Cohen Kheda stepped forward today.
“I AM the supreme commander of the PUFs’ 9th Legion, commander in chief of the Swabian Dark City, Knight of Protoss, Major Cohen Kheda!” Cohen’s eyes were firm, and his carefully-combed hair was flashing under the morning sunlight, “Today, I’ll be hosting your morning routine!”
“DONG DONG DONG DONG!” After a blast of rapid drumbeats, dozens of power voices neatly roared, “O HOIHO! HEIGH-YO!”
All the refugees down the wall neatly made a ‘eh’ sound. Such drumbeats and roars that just occurred should only be utilized when playing the Hunt chapter! Abusing the rhythm meant disobeying the tradition. How could neither chiefs not stop it?
“Don’t you be surprised.” Cohen Kheda’s voice clearly reached everyone’s ears, “It is I who altered your Ten Chapters.”
An uproar burst among the tribe crowd.
“My Lord, that’s the tribe’s heritage!”
“Sabotaging the tradition will suffer the wrath from the heaven!”
“SILENCE!” Cohen’s roar shattered several hundred thousands of the refugees’ heart thanks to the acoustic magic spell, “In such a moment and you’re talking about traditions and wrath of heaven? Your situation is no better than suffering from the damn god’s punishment! What’s going on in your brains?”
“Are you thinking that something passed down by your ancestors are not to be changed, am I right? And I, Cohen Kheda does not have the right to break your tradition! You’re wondering why your chiefs didn’t stop me, correct?” Cohen’s words were imposing even given the distance between, “I’m telling you now, Cohen Kheda is bound to change the chapters!”
“Take a good look at yourselves, living here generations after generations of your traditions while being slaughtered like games by both alliances! Any nobilities are free to kill your for fun as long as it makes them happy. Any armies are free to rape your wives and daughters at their will!” Cohen raised a hand then shot it to the people down the wall, “And the reason? Is it just because the Gods have abandoned you or you’re born cheap that you keep running and never have resisted? Has anyone of you asked why!? Haven’t you!?”
“Now, you tell me. Who has ever defined you as cheap races? What stopped you from fighting? What made you run away from home?” Cohen promptly directed a finger to the vast sky, “It’s your music! And your traditions! Currently, since you have nowhere to run and no place to hide, it’s your call whether to live or die. Wrath of heaven, humph, today, I’m changing this damn music, and I will break out with my men!”
Down the wall, countless eyes started interchanging information and ideas since the beginning of Cohen Kheda’s speech. Then slowly, whispers became dull hummings. Cohen could tell that the refugees were astonished by his statement.
A while later until the crowd calmed, Cohen Kheda continued without hustle.
“Indeed, I’m faced with numeric AUF armies. My soldiers were from commoners not long ago, like you do. Once they were too afraid to resist! And now, under my command, my army has held in this place for dozens of days! Thousands of AUF troops have returned from defeats! I’ve proven the power to fight!”
“Look at the bodies on your left. They died protecting you. You who lived, can you face these dead soldiers and tell them you still wanna run? Look at the injured on your right; they shed their blood in order to protect you. If you’re able to treat their wounds, take care of them, share your limited food, why can’t you pick up a weapon and protect them instead? What difference does it make?” Cohen’s voice became louder and sharp, “YOU TELL ME! TELL ME! TELL ME!”
“From this moment forward, I will never waste a single soldier’s life for the sake of yours! I’m not a saint. You have 2 options: follow me or stay here! Those who choose to follow, I’ll let you join my Dark City. They’ll be well fed and supplied! I won’t give a damn to those who choose to stay.”
The refugees went speechless. But Cohen could spot a sense of complication in their eyes.
“Today will be my final battle with the enemies. For sure, I will win, then my troopers and I will leave, and the enemy’s bodies will be under my feet. As for you gutless feces, feel free to stay here and rot! Feel free to hand over your women to the AUFs! Feel free to let them cut your heads.” Cohen’s arrogant bearing showed as he spoke, “I’ll only take those who choose to fight instead of those fucking cowards!”
“My banner is here! Look at me, look at how I win!” Having said that, Cohen went down the wall without a single extra sound or glimpse.
The fire-colored army banner shook twice then rooted on the wall firmly. A few beams of sunlight traveled through the mist then were deflected by the golden decors on the flag, blinking every refugee’s eyes.
A moment later, a tribe banner with a black background and blue flowerets also shook twice and landed beside Cohen’s banner.
“Heptech Tribe chooses to fight! We hereby join Dark City, Swabia!” The one who held the banner was a hoary-haired aged man, “All Heptech men, gather your weapons, move forward! Protect your wives and children!”
A storm of uproar once again burst! All the young and the prime of lives of the Heptarchy tribe came to the front.
“Toukichi Tribe chooses to fight! We hereby join Dark City, Swabia!” One more banner moved forward, “All Toukichi men, approach!”
Like throwing a giant stone into a still tarn, the shocking ripple spread across the big crowd.
“Bazaar Tribe chooses to fight!”
”Yarning chooses to fight!”
“Dercedes chooses to fight!”
As the tribe banners ceaselessly plugged on both sides of the giant army banner, many old and grey voices started vowing their oaths.
Commanded by the tribe chief and the patriarchs, groups of adult men gathered their wooden sticks, line throwers and blowguns down the wall. They were directed by Cohen’s acting sergeants and formed neat matrix then entered the bastion in the city. Now the 9th Legion soldiers and the refugee men were standing shoulder by shoulder together.
Everyone was informed that if they were able to obey the orders, they will survive. The banners of Cohen and the tribes were there. As long as the banners did not move, Commander Cohen will not abandon them.
Those flags were planted at every corner in the clay city. Dozens of mixed colored clothes rose as the refugees discovered that they’ve never looked this brilliant, colorful and dignified.
The sun almost showed itself as the mist has completed dissipated. Within the several hours of the AUF’s constant catapult attack, the clay city wall was on the edge of collapsing. Its average height has downsized by half.
“What’s the situation?” Cohen entered the commanding center as he inquired Carlos.
“Nothing special. The enemies are about to attack. Our troops are in position.” Carlos answered, “Sir, that was quite a spectacular pre-war mobilization!”
“En.” Cohen gave a neutral sound then landed his sight on the wall.
At the same time in the AUF formation, their striking armies have been mobilized as well. The soldiers were stretching their bodies as the orderlies ran up and front. Less than half of the catapults behind them were scrapped due to the rapid launching procedure.
“Sir, we’re ready!” An AUF staff officer made his final briefing to the lieutenant general.
“A… attack!” The drumbeats that happened earlier recalled the lieutenant general’s bad memories which distorted his facial muscle. The ‘attack’ order was pushed hard from his lips.
The final battle occurred in such a condition.
As dozens of whistling arrows took away and flew above the AUF troops, their forward ranks made the action.
Thousands of siege vehicles of various shapes were advancing among an army consisted of as many as 50, 000 slaves. These cumbersome pieces of machinery groaned as the men behind pushed slowly onward the clay city. Around them were a dense dark mass of slaves as well as a considerable amount of army supervisors.
Slowly, they’ve closed their distance to the perimeter where PUF archers shotted them during the earlier attacks. The AUF catapults have seized attacking as well.
“Sir, we’re having zero enemy activity!” An orderly came running into the AUF commanding center. The commanders already caught the situation despite the soldier’s report.
“What’s going on? Zero activity?” Lieutenant General’s head was on the edge of explosion, “We’re undoubtedly within their firing range. They did not even use their catapults!”
AUF’s purpose was actually simple: by utilizing an army of slaves, the primary battle legions behind will have the chance to ready the siege weapons. If they were lucky, the slaves might be able to reach into the clay city.
Right behind the slaves was the 27th Legion. Likewise, they were all-out. Their mission was to seize control of the clay city wall during the first several waves of the attacks.
Then came the group of a mix of the AUF 28th Legion and a mass of extra slaves. The 28th’s mission was to infect their influence far into the inner city up until they capture the city’s rear structures after the 27th Legion took hold of the city wall. For the extremely combat-effective soldiers in the 28th Legion, mixing slaves among them was a potential method to cover. The special force members within can even exert their deadly powers between the streets in the city.
After, came the 26th Legion. After breaching both the front and the rear wall, this legion of light cavalries was able to march straight in then spread to kill the leftovers in the hope that the war will come to an end sooner.
At last, they’ve dedicated 2 slave armies to clean the battlefield and collect war trophies.
To be fair, in order to implement the tactic, Asmodian United Forces have made a tremendous effort.
AUFs soldiers and officers have been dreaming themselves killing enemies like heroes; some fast-brainers even reached the awarding ceremony. However, their much-anticipated enemies just stopped making a sound at this point. Wasn’t it a huge slap in the face?
Not to mention the forsaken drumbeats last night, the noise had exhausted their mages’ mana, officers’ throats, even, they had kept hundreds of thousands of soldiers waiting for the entire latter night.
“Could it be their scheme?” An idea struck Lieutenant General, then an order burst from his mouth, “Front troops, speed up and start marching!”
50, 000 slaves thus roared, and the light siege ladders climbed onto the wall top in almost seconds. During the rapid march, AUFs’ formation started to get messy. Like a scampered horde of beasts, they were pressing up onto the wall.
“Sir, it looks like they’ve depleted their supplies.” Looking at the ladders upon the wall, a staff officer beside the lieutenant general gave a relieving breathe, “They really had nothing left giving that they cannot even hold their only wall.”
Lieutenant General did not make a sound. Lips tucked, his blinking eyes were on the slave soldiers that were climbing the ladders.
“They’ve gone up!” The staff officer yelled while pointing at the wall.
The first AUF soldier that climbed onto the wall was a slave bannerman. Currently, he was walking on the half-collapsed wall, the banner was in his hand, waving. He roared crazily that he cannot believe he went on, unharmed. This man was as faint as in a dream.
An increasing number of slave soldiers emerged from downward. Moments later, the entire wall was taken over by the slave mass.
“Terrific!” Lieutenant General abruptly roared. Although he considered himself as an elegant nobleman, he could not help but feel superb. Even his roaring revealed a sense of boldness.
On the other hand, as the amount of enemy on the wall multiplied, Carlos started growing anxiety despite the fact that his boss was as calm as usual.
“Sir…” Carlos lowered his voice, “we’re shooting them down, aren’t we?”
As the slaves that climbed onto the wall multiplied, less space was there for them to land their feet. These demeaning adults were essentially marked as army expendables without many qualified armors and weapons. Driven by the army supervisors, all they needed to do was to make sure they were not going to the wrong direction. No one has ever considered training them or allocating officers for them, neither were they taught to deal with a particular situation like this. Now the slaves had no choice but to remain on the wall. Not one of them dared to ask nor be given an order.
As the last inch of space was filled, the following slaves were still climbing by the supervisors’ order. Thus a large number of the first climbers were pushed and dropped down into PUFs’ traps because the stairs and other methods to safely go up and down the wall have already been demolished by the PUFs.
No army in the world could march the Phantom Legion’s civil engineering ability. The traps along the wall were both deep and wide. The sound of screamings even bounced back when the AUF slaves fell.
Those who dropped died right away. Thus the slaves who were already on the wall started to get annoyed by their comrades backward. There were no supervisors with them on the wall, hence to keep them from falling, they began refusing more followups to reach the top. Nevertheless, the ones climbing had army supervisors behind them, they had to get up. Therefore, the whole slave legion divided into 2 parties by a collapsing wall.
As long as they were beyond the supervisors’ firing range, these slave soldiers had no sense of discipline.
The ones on the wall roared, “Oi, get off, we’re full here!”
The ones down the wall, being pointed by a sharp arrow behind them, roared with reddened eyes, “Get the fuck down, you!”
“Don’t you dare!” The upper ones raised his weapon, “I will cut you, I will…”
“Cut your mother fucker!” The lower one stabbed up without hesitation.
It started as a simple quarreling, then developed into small fights; finally, the situation has become a huge fight after a screaming burst out. The slaves on the wall started stabbing the ones downward with their weapons, the lower ones tried hard to kill their way on. It was actually a wall defending battle within the AUFs’ own army.
If they had enough ranked officers or the soldiers had enough training to respond to emergencies, or there were no supervisors that caused the mass hysteria, none of this would have happened.
But it happened anyway.
Because of the incident on the wall, the AUFs’ commanding center sunk into a muddle. Lieutenant General was furious, his subordinates were in an uproar. Since the number of slaves was decided by the previously determined PUFs’ resistance ability, the slaves, as planned, were supposed to die out when the AUFs’ followup army arrived. But the slaves were killing themselves on the wall now.
Reformatting was not an option since withdrawing the slaves that were already on the wall will demoralize the other armies, giving the soldiers did not sleep well last night. However, if the enemies attack now, the chaotic slaves will become AUFs’ very head of the formation
Lieutenant General gnashed then made a cruel decision.
“Proceed with the attack. Kill everything that stops them!” At the order, dozens of orderlies on their horses carried Lieutenant General’s order and dissipated.
The mass of army supervisors marched forward and started shooting crossbows. The catapults behind once again launched more giant stones.
The target was the messy slave soldiers on the clay city wall.
As blood spilled, flesh splashed, dead ghosts were all but everywhere.
“DONG! DONG! DONG! DONG!” The most hateful drumbeats sounded again at this moment!”
“DONG! DONG! DONG! DONG!” Hundreds of giant drums sounded at the same time. The rhythm was precisely chapter Sadness from the vagabonds’ rhythm. The melody was strikingly sorrowful in such a bloodstained situation.
“Damn that drum! DAMN THAT DRUM!” The beats irritated the supreme commander of this Asmodian confederate army. Blue veins on his forehead pumped, he yelled, “KILL THEM, KILL THEM ALL!”
The 27th Legion has arrived. Their archers have marched across the siege vehicles. They formed a neat line then joined slaughtering their own friendly slave army.
Forced by the PUFs’ traps in from of them as well as the deadly bows behind, the slaves on the wall tried to weep, but they shed no tears. Many cried and jumped off the wall and killed by the traps. More of them turned to the AUFs commanding center direction, begged to the officers behind them for mercy.
However, the stones that came flying were on the rise, the arrow waves quickened.
In the chaos, the crying seemed to have materialized and forged itself into a huge hammer that struck everybody’s heard. Even the murderous AUF main battle legion become weaker in front of such a massacre.
Not long after, sounds on the clay city wall extinguished.
Save for a few who remained down the wall, the rest of the slaves of 50, 000 died on their own people.
“CARRY ON! CARRY ON!” A man’s hoarse voice was still echoing in the AUFs commanding center, “Tear down that damn wall!”
This chapter was originally published on Wuxianation, any despicable reposts or copies without proper citings are strictly prohibited.