The soldiers dashed inside the city, sabers, swords and spears high up in the air as they charged like an unstoppable torrent.
On top of the battlements cries mixed with screams as orders from the top was in disarray and chaos.
With the red haired man unconscious on the other side of the battlements, chaos filled the city.
The families hiding in their houses prays to their Gods and some hides in the dark corner of their house hoping that the invading soldiers will not come in and terrorize their homes.
Fear and anxiety filled their hearts. Ragar shouted
‘KILL ALL THE SOLDIERS THAT DO NOT SURRENDER!!’ His shouts filled the entire front gate and the battlements as he slash his sabers to one of the incoming defending soldiers.
Bloods sprayed and limbs were scattered as the pushing force of Ragar soldiers crush any resistance in the road heading to the city castle.
The gongs of wars were beaten and its sound could even drown the screams and cries and Ragar soldiers advance like they were following the beats of the gong.
‘Press forward!’ one of the officers of the city shouted but his shout was futile as his soldiers were gripped in fear.
On the front, Arial blood soaked in red was slashing left and right leaving a wake of destruction and gores as any soldiers that entered the radius of his glaive was turned into mincemeat.
With his blood soaked figure jumping and running around cutting of head and splitting people bodies into half, fear pervaded the entire defense line.
Ragar then shouted his voice pierce through the sound of battles and slashing ordering his soldiers
‘AYE!’ They responded, their eyes glints with murderousness.
And then running with their fastest speed they collide themselves with the defense line breaking it almost immediately.
They were like a hammer slammed down onto fragile glass.
The shield of Ragar army has a protruding horn in front of the shield and is not only used for defense but also for ramming defense line.
This is one of the innovations of shield that Arial brought to Shadowlands mimicking the shield of Zettelian soldiers.
In the Empire they already have implemented this on their soldiers.
As they collide themselves with the defense line it was like the soldiers of the city was being skewered as the long protruding sharp thorn pierces their stomach, head, and thighs and screams reverberated through the front gate.
‘Push forward!’ Ragar shouted as they moved forward to meet another line of defense.
From the top the arches began trying to organize themselves and planning a counterattack aiming at the back of Ragar rear position
Arial who has proceeded forward immediately saw this maneuver.
But Arial smiles as he could feel the shaking of the earth.
‘The sound and this feeling’ Arial said to himself.
‘Cavalry’ he said smiling mischievously.
‘Castile is near.’ And Arial shouted to Ragar transmitting his military order.
‘Ragar, move around them and open a path!’ Arial immediately shouted, his shouts move above the dins and chaos of the battle.
Ragar nodded from afar as he fell down another enemy soldiers, his uniforms was blood soaked and immediately relay the orders.
Ragar soldiers is as fierce as tiger and thus were puzzled with Ragar orders as it seems they could crush this second defense line in a mere moments but Ragar charisma and commanding presence is enough to deter them from disobeying as they quickly retreated in an orderly manner and went around the second defense line.
The officer that is leading the second defense line saw this and immediately shouted
‘They have retired. This is our chance. Press forward!’ They moved forward in high morale as they saw an opportunity.
Arial seeing the state of battle and the tides of battle favoring his side immediately jump towards the stairwells leading to the battlements.
Running up through the spiraling staircases, he killed all those that try to stop his ascent to the battlement on top.
Blood stained the staircase and the walls as he arrived at the battlements.
Appearing in crimson, with his hand holding a large glaive that seem to be able to cut apart anything in the world, Arial shouted on top of the battlements
‘SURRENDER AND YOU WOULD BE SPARED!!’ he shouted. His word echoes with wrath and boundless imperious will.
The normal soldiers almost unconsciously kneel but one of the officers shouted
‘HAH! The Three Kingdoms will not fall to you invaders from Outside! We will die fighting!’
This officer was high in will, six feet tall, with bushy beard and large physique, his face is extremely valiant and brave.
And he possess a high charisma that is able to keep his men from faltering as evidence by the way their eyes shine again with will and determination.
‘ATTACK! Prove our worthiness as one of the inhabitants of the Shadowlands!’ Arial looking at that man shakes his head in regret.
‘Such valiant officer!’ He remarked.
‘If only that man worked under him!’ He lamented.
It is truly a waste to kill this person. Arial did not expect to see many talents here in the Shadowlands.
It is now evident to Arial that while the people of the Thirteen Tribes are primitive, the people of the Shadowlands on the other hand possess many similarities to many ruling dynasties of other continent, possessing their nobility, code of conducts and talents not inferior to the people of other continent.
An undiscovered talent in an unknown region of an unknown continent.
He only sighed before thrusting his glaive forward and wind swirls around his glaive and thunder exploded from the tip of his glaive shredding apart the soldiers in front of him into globules of blood.
‘DO NOT FEAR! CHARGE!’ the man with the bushy beard shouted and was the first one to jump in front and charge toward Arial.
Heh Arial snorted as soldiers poured out from right and left as Arial face the battlement might alone.
He swings his glaive like a celestial general beheading devil and Demons, blood dripping down from the battlements staircase rushing down like flood, the stench and smell of bloods and charred flesh were revolting.
The battlements right now was like the deepest parts of hell, as only screams of despair and wailing of pain echoes back and forth.
This battle today and the time it takes for Balhae to fall will surely made Arial to be called a great hero as his renown would surely spread thought all of the Three Kingdoms.
There is already the Scarlet General in Iathus and now a new hero emerges again in this chaotic and turbulent times for the Shadowlands.
The Shadowlands remain in balance with the Three Kingdoms for thousands of years, yet now that the dark fog covered everything outside the Shadowlands, only the Shadowlands were able to house life and as such chaos breeds.
Darkness reigns. And in time Light will come and be a beacon shining open a path to salvation.
Meanwhile on the ground as the second defense line was about to chase Ragar troop which is trying to pass them from a different direction the commanding officer suddenly halted his step.
An earth shaking sound entered the battlefield and then a shout pierce through the battlefield, jolting everyone into action.
‘Break the formation; trample them all under the hooves of our cavalry!’ A group of soldiers in horseback with bows behind their back and sabers and swords on their hand rushed from behind the open path.
The enemies officers pale in fright as he finally understand why Ragar open a path.
It was not to avoid clashing with them but to open a path for this cavalry.
Seeing such a massive cavalry entering the city, sword and saber being swung murderously, caused the enemy officers troops to suddenly panic and their resolve weakened.
Sixty thousand soldiers.
That is the soldiers that Balhae city possess. But fighting not even twenty thousand soldiers they already lost hope.
This is why Arial always said ‘In battles numbers is not as important as morale.’
After all even if the superior always stressed to the soldiers that their numbers exceed the enemy, in the end what matters was when that soldier face to face with death and unexpected circumstances.
Balhae city has never been breached but today it has.
That is an unexpected circumstances and that itself has already thrown the command in chaos.
Then the red hair man who presumably the strategist or high commanding officer of Balhae was incapacitated so the line of command from the top was broken.
That is another unexpected circumstance.
And now, a huge cavalry broke through the front gate and bringing death like a Devil horseman.
And the soldiers of Balhae now truly know what it felt like to face death face to face.
Rushing like a fast flood, the cavalry look like a natural disaster coming over to swallow them whole.
When that time comes, numbers will pale in comparison to their current situation. And their current situation is that they are encountering a rushing cavalry.
At this time what numbers come to mind? Nothing. Only the desire to survive. To run. To surrender. Or to fight.
At this time each man thinks for himself unless they are trained. This is why it is important to have a high morale.
Low morale lead to the army lien of defense easily broken.
And with Arial prowess in full display terrorizing the entire battlements alone on top of the city walls and Ragar army brutality the soldiers of the city has already wavered.
And now reinforcement came.
To those soldiers facing this calamity they could not see the sixty thousand soldiers that their superiors said to them.
They only see the enemy in front of them and only hears their own heartbeats pounding erratically as their mind tries to make a decision.
The pressure that General Castile is giving of as he leads his riders trampling and killing is like a general of millions of soldiers behind his back.
Even though only five thousand cavalry has managed to enter the city gate as the other will wait until more path is opened before they could enter, to those that is facing him right now, all they could see is horseman filling their entire periphery of vision.
Fear could make people see things and that is exactly what is happening right now. Some of the enemy officers are stunned in abject terror and disbelief.
Castile took his bow from his back and aims his arrows at the stunned officer who was about to chase Ragar rear and release his arrow.
His horses keep running through the open path, riding the flow of the earth.
Archery while on horseback, not many people is able to do this but those who do manage to learn it is appreciated by genius commanders.
His arrows sail through the thousands of people and before the enemy officer manages to understand the danger, the arrow lodged itself through his eyes and pierces his brain as he died instantly.
‘ARGHHHH!’ The soldiers beside the officers screamed in fear.
With this the second line of defense almost crumbled as their soldiers become lost
And then with a BANG sound the cavalry collided with the soldiers and leaving only meats beneath their horses hoof and blood marked hooves as they crashed with the third line of defense.
The Balhae troops morale collapsed on the first encounter. It was a one sided massacre. Ragar seeing this immediately shouted
Follow their path. We will guard the rear and protect General Castile! They made a turn and immediately positioned themselves behind the cavalry rear.
On top of the walls, Arial stand silently as he wipes the blood from his face as he looked at the corpse of his enemies sprawled across the battlement with none of them were spared.
None of them surrenders, so none of them were spared.
Expression of despair and fear is etched into their face, almost like they were experiencing something very terrifying before they die.
Then approaching one of the corpse Arial smiles bitterly.
The corpse has an intact body which is rare since many of the corpses on top of the battlements has either been cleaved into half or exploded into pieces of red meat.
Arial did not do such thing to this particular person because he respects the man bravery and commanding presence in the battle.
The man was the officer with the bushy beard. Arial crouched down and look at the person face. He was smiling.
‘People fear death. I’ve seen people begged, scream, cry and wail when facing death, yet you smile. To find such person like you is rare. In that last moment what did you see that you smile so widely?’
Arial said as he looks at that man smiling face like he was satisfied. Looking at the sky, it was like the man could embrace the sky without shame.
Arial then sigh as he shakes his head. A hero deserves a hero honour. After Arial take this city, he will not malign this person family.
They fight because they have different objectives and motives, that itself is not wrong. Arial did not think killing him was wrong.
He only thought it was a waste. If only they could see the same direction he is facing, how good would that be?
‘This city has lost’ Arial said as he slowly get up and look toward hiss soldier breaking though the defenses of the city almost as easily as they were sword cutting on dry branch twig.
With their commanders and officers killed and incapacitated, they have no one to order them and chaos reign in the battlefield making them easy pickings for Ragar and Castile.
Arial smiles as his white hair fluttered wildly. His snow white hair is now red, dripping blood trickles down from his hair.
It was like he was bathed in blood.
Arial know that the moment he got to open the gate, the fate of this city is sealed.
From the top he could see the Balhae troop is being repulsed. Those who surrendered and thrown their weapons to the ground were allowed to live .
And they do not touch the civilian homes.
Arial strictly forbidding it so much so he has handed down a military decree forbidding any of his soldiers to loot the civilians hiding in their homes.
Ragar was cutting people to pieces, while Castile trampled everything underneath the hooves of his horse, thousands were slain and endless men were captured.
The banner of the Dragon fluttered majestically amidst the battlefield, blaring red.
The din of shields and sword and thunder of battles, and Arial victory was assured.
People cheered and the General send their officers to receive their Lord in the battlements while they stormed the castle, the last bastion for the defenders.
Arial come down from the battlement in an unhurried manner.
When he arrived below the battlements, carriage was prepared for him and officers of the army were there beside the carriage waiting for him.
The officer kneels and presented a clean white cloth to Arial for Arial to wipe the blood on his armour.
Arial smiles scanning the officer with interest
‘Which General you serve?’ Arial asked the officer and the officer was jolted.
‘General Castile, my lord.’ He replied. Arial only nodded.
Looking at the luxurious carriage with four horses carrying the carriage Arial eyes glint with undertsanidng.
‘You are too ambitious’ Arial said calmly.
‘General Ragar is storming the castle, General Castile is rounding up the enemy soldiers and you come coming here to invite me to the castle.’ In his word there si amny underlying meanings.
‘General Castile sent me.’ The officer tries to reply though there is nervousness in his tone of voice.
‘Indeed’ Arial said not smiling nor as he angry.
The intention of this officer was evident by the way he prepared all of this for him.
If Arial was not experienced he might have thought nothing of this officer conduct and even might praise him but Arial has seen many people.
His court houses many different characters and this officer character while he could be said to be opportunistic he could also be called meticulous and knowing human relations.
For the soldiers the honor of being the first to storm the castle is a great honor but this man seems not interested in the battle and more interested in gauging his mood and pleasing him.
A born politician that is Arial estimation.
He didn’t think that even in the Thirteen Tribes there are people like him but this act did not make Arial angry, it only amused him.
‘No need for towel and no need for carriage’ Arial said as he swings his glaive and cut the huge carriage.
With one sharp swing the carriage explodes into bits as the four horses was startled and run forward.
Arial smiles as he jump to one of the horses immediately tighten his reins on that horse forcing the horse to stop.
Arial turn his horse around and look at the pale white face of that officers and he asked
‘What is your name, soldier?’ Hearing Arial question the officer finally regains himself and joy could be seen on his face.
‘My name is Lelanc Son of Lervine, my lord.’ Arial smiles and said
‘I will remember your name Lelanc Son of Lervine. You amuse me.’ Then Arial tossed something to Lelanc.
‘This is my token of authority. When you meet your General tell him that I promote you to one of my councilors. Report with Councilor Arun. Do not disappoint me!’
Saying this Arial squeezes the horse and rides towards the castle leaving Lelanc dumfounded.
Looking at the reliable back of his Great General he could not help but feel that he has changed his fate today.
Smiling he chase for one of the horses and rides it towards the castle, with dreams of reaching ever higher.
Meanwhile on the shore of Novus Gaia, a hundred warship stops in the middle of the ocean as they look disbelieving in the distance.
The most ferocious pirates Rehan Sang Wangsa, a Pirate Lord of the Sea, who have swear his fealty to Arakath look at the vast oceans in front of him.
‘WHERE THE HELL IS NOVUS GAIA!’ he shouted to his first mate and his cartographer and they all also show a puzzled and dumfounded expression.
‘How could a large continent just disappear!!’ he shouted again. This sends the fleet into a panic.
The Continent of Novus Gaia disappeared and talks of dark magic and curses began flying around all across the Sea with the Pirate Lords will all be convening a meeting in the Pirate Cove by the end of the year.
Rehan not knowing what to do now that an entire continent disappeared sent a messenger bird from Port of Ana Maria addressed to the King of Arakath and the Ruler of the Demonkind, Azrael Mournstar.
When the news arrived at Arakath King Azrael immediately summon the Three Heavenly Noble Protector to his Palace and convene in a secret meeting for seven days before ordering Rehan to instead fetch Mikael Devonhurst from the Azure Dragon Pirate.
Meanwhile on the Human Continent, with Seren sudden surrender, and the threats of Vernian on the North from Southern Tai and Northern Chu, Princess Adriana of Arrandy went to Hall of War asking the High Minister Leander Crom to help her.
He responded by shutting the Hall unless a foreign invasion happens to the empire, the Hall will not move.
With Lord Silas poisoning, the political landscape of Arrandy is in disarray while the Southron Lords are even more fervent in seating the First Princess onto the Throne of the Empire and wear the Imperial Mantle.
Great Renasia also moves by sending their navies to the Dark Sea as it is revealed that their Empress is also missing and fortifying their defensive position across the border from Seren as the tension between the two larger superpower empire is at an all-time high after Seren surrenders which used to be a buffer zone between Great Renasian and Eden.
After the news of Arial disappears in Eden was widespread, civil war erupted and now that Great Renasia is also missing a ruler, the people of the Burning Sun felt insecure as Seren suddenly surrenders at such timing.
The common people fear that Eden now possessing Seren would march their army across the Desert and invade Great Renasia.
With all of this problem, it was like darkness pervaded the entire world.
With uncertain futures and wavering present, the people have to keep moving forward to pave forward to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The world is after all a heartbreaking place.
Leave some comment. the second chapter for three week marathon before continuing back on SOH