“Your majesty, the rest station up ahead has been occupied……”
“We’ll take it from them then.”
I looked at the scout in front of me irritably. I pushed him aside and pulled my handgun out from my back. I looked at Philes behind me and commanded. “Philes, you take half the men to attack them from the left-wing. Shusia, you take a third of the men, circle around the right-wing and flank them from the rear. Everyone else, attack them head-on with me. Take over the rest-station as fast as possible, understood?”
Philes and Shusia nodded. Lorana looked at the rest station, laughed and said. “They look like Socina City’s exploration group. Your majesty, are you seriously going to attack them? If you reveal your identity to them, you might be able to get their assistance.”
“I took a massive detour just to avoid letting Socina’s people know of my plans so it wouldn’t make sense for me to reveal my plans. Luna isn’t in a good condition. I don’t have time to talk about shaking hands or working together with them. Just kill all of them and take over the rest station. I won’t risk my Luna’s life.”
I clenched my teeth and looked at Luna inside the Earth Dragon carriage behind me taking weak breaths. Luna’s condition got worse and worse during the journey. I originally thought she got a heat stroke so I didn’t think too much of it, but she wasn’t suffering from a heat stroke. Elves require mana to live. I’m aware of that. I almost died before because of a mana dissolving agent. Luna’s body had been damaged already. If the royal capital wasn’t so close to the elven lands, she wouldn’t have survived in the royal capital.
Moreover, I was providing her with a large volume of mana monthly every full-night moon, but she hadn’t had her mana stores replenished for months. Now she’s come to the desert where mana is scarce so she’ll die if her mana isn’t replenished. I calculated so many things but forgot to factor that in. I brought Luna along so that I wouldn’t be tormented on the full-moon night. Luna must’ve been aware of her condition. She knew her condition yet still risked her life to come here while I was completely oblivious.
I can’t let Luna become a second Mera! Mera didn’t say anything to me at the time so I personally killed her in the end. If I lose Luna this time because she didn’t say anything to me, I won’t be able to forgive my obtuse self.
I was completely bloody oblivious!
I rode up to the dune, left a few men behind to guard the Earth Dragon carriage behind then turned around to look at my soldiers. I pointed to the next rest-station and loudly said. “Everyone, can you see the next rest station yet? Can you see the people inside? Yes, we have no grudges between us. We have never even met each other before. If we were in another place and not the desert, we might have been able to drink together at night. However, we are in the desert right now and my personal servant’s life is in peril. I must take over that rest station. So please lock away your sympathy. In this forbidden area where life and death hangs in the balance, our enemies will be the only ones who die!”
The soldiers exchanged glances with each other, then nodded and responded loudly. “Roger! Your majesty!”
Our position was a little higher than the rest station, empowering us with a fiercer charge since we were coming down from higher ground. It’s just that the horses couldn’t gallop as well as usual due to the sand in the desert. As such, we were slower than when running across plains, and I therefore had to control the vanguard’s distance more carefully or else the enemy would be prepared for us.
Normally, a cavalry vanguard would start with small steps and gradually speed up before reaching top-speed right before reaching their target and charge into the enemy. If the charge is initiated from too far away, not only will the personnel but the horses would also be tired, thereby reducing the impact of the charge.
It looked like the enemy was prepared. I organised an excellent cavalry vanguard formation. I noticed the people inside shouting and calling out to their companions as they picked up their guns and blocked out path in front.
I noticed the right-wing and left-wing attacking groups. While they spotted our cavalry flanking them in the wide-open terrain the desert is, there’s nothing they can do. It’s too late for them to mount their steeds. My right-wing platoon had already reached their rear. My battle-steeds are among the best of a hundred selected from the royal family’s stable. Run-of-the-mill horses can’t compare to my steeds.
It appears they never expected us to appear behind them. They were still living their lives when they arrived just now. Their guards had only gotten into place. Their foot-soldiers were our targets to kill in the desert.
They weren’t a small group by any means. I saw a cavalry team come out from inside the rest station charge toward Philes platoon attacking them from the left. Another team of cavalries waited for us in their area. If we charge straight over, we’ll run into their foot-soldiers’ bayonet formation and be faced with their cavalry charging back at us. I must admit that they’re a trained team.
We looked like a light cavalry unit to them. A light cavalry unit not even wearing armour can’t charge right into a foot-soldier attack formation.
However, my cavalry isn’t a group of light cavalry. Their primary weapon isn’t the elven sword at their belt but the repeated-firing Spencer rifle in their hands!
“Move fast! Charge!”
The horses’ gallops kicked up a dense fog of sand. Lorana charged in front of me and deliberately slowed down until I moved into the centre of the formation. The guards from all sides swiftly gathered around me to put me in the centre of the formation.
Lorana began to speed up and said. “We’ll be done for if our commander dies.”
I smiled helplessly and said. “I hope that none of you die.”
“We’re already prepared for that.”
I noticed that the soldiers behind me all had red faces like they were bleeding. No it wasn’t because of the sun but their tension and excitement. This was the first time my guard-unit was charging an enemy formation since their formation. The violent elves from last time didn’t even count as appetisers. This was the first time my guard-unit was charging an organised formation of foot-soldiers and a cavalry unit. This is our first official battle!
This wasn’t a rehearsal or training session. This time, bullets were going to wound them if they got hit and they might even die. But hitting an enemy meant they could receive a reward. Those who killed several enemies were going to be acknowledged. This was the moment they had been waiting for and at the same time, scared of! This was the moment they got to realise their purpose as soldiers!
This was a demonstration of courage and life. This was the explanation of the most perfect opportunity in their lives!
The troops moved into a straight-horizontal line and formed a shooting formation.
Gunfire rang out loudly like typhoons on the left wing. It wasn’t just a one-off sound as guns went off like waves to the shore immediately after the first. I saw the enemies charging toward our left-wing get utterly defeated by our cavalry on the left-wing. The distance between the two cavalry units were no more than ten-metres. When the first row fired at the enemy, their formation crumbled. Those who survived the first wave were scared-stiff in place by the sound of repeated shots. And before they could react, the cavalry with their swords drawn had slashed them off their horses.
That’s right. I didn’t command them to charge but to open fire. Despite our Spencer rifles having a slightly short range, they had a longer range than the enemy foot-soldiers’ rifles. The enemy fired back after we fired out first wave. However, as we split our formation up, we didn’t suffer any casualties, but I heard something zip right past my ear. The enemy cavalry thought we were still reloading so they tapped their horses and charged forth. I watched their cavalry charge back at us. If we had single-shot guns, there’s no way we wouldn’t even had the chance to put our guns away and draw our swords at this point. Unfortunately for them, our guns were still loaded!
*Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!!*
I felt like the world was spinning. Gun sounds rang out from every direction around me. The smell of smoke made it virtually impossible for me to breathe. The cavalry team that charged back at our left-wing also faced the same consequences. They were virtually annihilated by our repeated-firing rifles at close range. The large area in the desert was filled with the stench of blood spurting in into air like flowers blooming eloquently. The sound of blood falling pit-pat onto the sand made the stench of blood more and more prominent.
My ears were filled with the despair, fear, shock, pity and sad cries of humans, and the sound of horses neighing right before dying. The smell of blood sat on the tip of my nose. The smell of blood and smoke was so prominent in the air you couldn’t possibly wave it away. The desert was covered in the smell of blood. The sound of the horse hooves hitting the ground made you think they were marching in a swamp. What the horses kicked up was no longer yellow sand but blood and bits of flesh.
The cavalry tossed their guns aside, drew their swords and charged toward the foot-soldiers that hadn’t finished equipping themselves. However, our right-wing came around and completely surrounded them in the centre.
I had no plans of taking prisoners. I don’t have the resources to entertain them, so I ignored the pleas of the foot-soldiers, pretending I didn’t hear them and allowing my cavalry to trample them.
My personal Dragoon unit’s first battle had come to an end. We lost one man and fifty guns. We annihilated all eighty equipped explorers. We seized a large volume of resources and supplies……
After that, on the first page of the first Dragoon unit’s battle history was the record of their battle under the bright-hot sun and sea of sand……