The soldiers raised the guns in their hands up high, looked to the valley in front and roared. I sat atop my horse as and looked at the fury on their face. I shouted, “Do you still remember the humiliation we suffered a few days ago? We suffered our first night raid. I cannot accept that sort of random defeat. It was our fault for being conceited that time, but that won’t happen this time. Show the barbarians of the North our true strength this time!”
“For the alliance!!”
“For the alliance!!”
The soldiers began to march, causing the entire valley to quake. The horses neighed as the men forced them to advance. They dragged cannons across the ice and snow to enter the valley.
I looked at the tall mountains on both sides of the valley. The two mountains were the most common snowy mountains in the North. At the top was a thick layer of snow. Below the lower layer of the snowy mountains were dead plants. The two mountains created a narrow space between them, so my army had no means of spreading out, thereby hampering my ability to use my numbers advantage.
The mountains on both sides were extremely steep. I didn’t rule out the possibility of a route allowing one to come down from above, but I couldn’t have my main force use it even if such a route did exist, since it was pointless to send a small team.
However, there was a benefit that we could derive from it. The panthers couldn’t attack us from the rear given those conditions. Of course, I didn’t believe that they would try and use a sneak attack on us with their small numbers. I wouldn’t wait anymore or alter my plan if they did launch a sneak attack. If they attacked us from the rear, I would just concentrate on capturing the wall.
The city doors Ling Yue spoke of finally appeared in front of us. The wall stunned me a bit. The wall was completely wrapped up with vines that resembled Japanese ivy.
I wasn’t sure if that was deliberate or if it was the work of nature. If it was just a simple door made of stone, I was certain that I could blow a hole in it with my cannons on the spot. However, I couldn’t be so certain when they had got plants and mud mixed together and reinforced with ice.
I saw an imposing panther standing behind the parapet of the city wall. He looked at us, and I waved my hand. My army behind me halted, and the horses stopped neighing. The footsteps echoing throughout the valley stopped, sending it into silence once again. The panther looked at me, and I looked back at him.
Ling Yue wasn’t next to me this time. She chose to leave, as we got closer and closer to Marvel, who was going to have a standoff with us. I didn’t know why she chose to leave, but I had no reason to refuse, since that was her decision.
I couldn’t actually see Marvel’s face clearly. I could only see that his physique was very burly. I didn’t think it’d be an exaggeration if I he ended up squashing Ling Yue to bits if he rubbed her. I couldn’t quite wrap my head around why she liked the guy, but for some reason, I really wanted to put a bullet in his furry head with a gun.
Philes handed me a long gun from behind. I grabbed it and aimed it at the panther at the top. The panther coldly looked at me without shouting anything or ducking its head. I fired at it without a word prior.
I had no intention of being chivalrous here.
‘If you’re not scared of me, fine, I’ll kill you with one shot. I’ll shoot you dead in one shot even if you want to fight fair and square.’
Alas, due to the excessively long distance from him, the bullet only hit the parapet and broke off a section of condensed mud.
Angry roars came from above the city walls. The panther looked at me coldly. His gaze was more condescending and ridiculing compared to before. I pursed my lips with annoyance.
‘This has nothing to do with honour or chivalry, does it? We’re enemies to begin with. It’s normal for me to shoot at you, isn’t it?’
I tossed the gun back to Philes; then I turned around and waved my hand as I commanded, “Artillerymen, prepare to fire!!”
The horns of the artillery squad from behind sounded out. The horses scattered. The personnel around the cannons ran back and forth, loading up the weapon created by humanity.
“Commander of the human army below!”
I heard someone fluent in the elven language call out from the city wall just as I turned around to leave. I looked back at the panther atop the wall. Marvel looked at me. Tone imposing, he shouted, “If you have any integrity and honour left in you, then don’t make my soldiers and yours suffer. Let’s do this, you and I will fight a duel down below. Whoever wins will get their way, what do you th-.”
My second shot hit his metal helmet, leading to everyone present exclaiming with surprise. He didn’t get injured, because I was truly too far away. Despite hitting its target, the bullet didn’t have enough power to pierce his helmet, instead, leaving just a small dent. I tossed the gun I took off Philes again back to him. I then looked back at Marvel and belted, “There is no need for any agreement between humans and anthropoids. I can get what I want once you’re dead anyway. You killed so many of our people in the South, and yet you expect me play chivalry games with you?”
“We didn’t kill them!”
“You anthropoids in the North raised your blades at us, so you must all die.”
I grabbed the gun Philes reloaded and handed me. I aimed at Marvel a third time, but he hesitated for a moment, and then swiftly ducked his head behind the wall. My soldiers broke out in laughter. They mocked the enemy commander who was afraid. I tossed the gun back to Philes, and then returned to the middle of the formation.
The cannons were ready, and the artillerymen were waiting for my order. I looked at the ladders we had finished preparing, in addition to the soldiers around the simply constructed ram. I raised my hand up high, pointed to the city wall in front and roared, “Soldiers, see that? See those murderers? I don’t need to say anymore, right?! You are the soldiers Her Majesty is proud of, and my most trusted warriors. Our enemy is right before us. Do I need to say anymore? Now… charge over there and attack! Attack!! For the alliance! For the alliance!!”
“For the alliance!! For revenge!!”
The soldiers roared in unison, and the cannons went off. The cannonballs exploded when they upon impact on the city walls. I looked at the mountains on both sides with a bit of concern, but our charge and the sound of the explosions didn’t affect the mountains.
It didn’t look like we’d cause an avalanche. The mountains seemed to be wrapped up with plants, after all, so they should be firm in place. The big pile of snow wasn’t meaningless, though.
Despite the cannons blowing off chunks of mud and shaking the walls, they remained rooted firmly in the ground. It sounded as though the cannons took out some enemies behind the walls, as well. It was be best if it killed several of them while at it.
I didn’t charge right away. Instead, I waited for my artillerymen to reload as many cannons as possible. I wasn’t sure if the Panthers would be scared of the situation, but I was certain that humans who were smothered with cannon fire for the first time were definitely so scared that they would scream their lungs out.
The cannons stopped. A good portion of the mud and plants on the walls had been blown off, revealing the simple blue colour beneath.
I drew my long sword and charged toward the city walls while roaring, “Charge!!!”
“For the alliance!!”