"OK then, let's roll."
On the morning of the 20th.
Once Jinga replied to Delos's call, Mashajain Knights began their march.
They're marching inside a forest. With horses in tow. It takes time. But there is no need to hurry. Their destination isn't too far away. In fact, they'd likely have a lot of spare time on their hands once they got there.
To the north of Aspora town is a sprawling meadow with a good view. Their destination is the forest to the west of this meadow.
The weather is quite fine today.
It's springtime, the forest is lush with greenery and blooming flowers all over.
Yet Lecan couldn't shake this feeling of restlessness.
He's got a feeling that something bad is going to go down.
"Sorry but could you scout ahead near the forest's edge."
"Didn't you know you were a worrywart. I gotcha, I'll go real quick and..."
A sound of an explosion suddenly could be heard whilst Daryra was speaking.
More explosion sounds resounded several times followed by shouts by a huge amount of people.
A combat had broken out.
(Who the heck decided.)
(The next raid gonna be tomorrow.)
It all went according to the enemy's plan.
By launching their offensive on the 13th, 15th, 17th and 19th, they whittled down Zaka Kingdom's forces.
If each battle decreased the number by 200, Zaka's side should lose 800 people by now.
On the other hand, Guido's side pretended to fool around during days where they didn't attack, inviting Zaka's side to let their guard down.
And once Zaka's side had grown accustomed to the schedule, Guido launched a surprise attack under pretense of relaxing around.
How they never attacked the town must have been part of their strategy as well.
The attack this time likely won't stop until they've eradicated every last opponents. Cutting deep into the town.
Jinga's voice resounded loud as if it was cutting through Lecan's inner thought process.
"Notify all units! The battle has begun. Hasten our march! But you must not lose your presence. Mobilize as planned. We shall keep heading north to our destination and out of the forest, true to our goal, eliminate the enemy! Advance!"
Jinga called Delos and Daryra.
"Leaving the forest right away would jeopardize our ambush. Yet it would take too long if we march as is. Lead us somewhere right next to the enemy's flank."
"Dang if yer' not asking for the impossible. But that's exactly my thing. Delos. I'm gonna head to forest outskirts and check out the battlefield."
"Got it. And I'll lead our good knights there."
Thus a hasty march began.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
It was utterly irritating to Lecan.
'Why aren't we going faster', dominated his thought.
But they're going through a forest on horseback. Naturally it won't be fast.
Lecan entertained the idea of breaking into the battlefield on his own but that would leave him out of the knights' aid. Manfrey had ordered Jinga to have a few elite knights accompany Lecan and open a path to the enemy's commander. Jinga had selected seven elite knights. He should bear with it for now.
One fortunate thing about this is, due to the all the noises from battle, their noisy march in the forest stays out of the enemy's attention.
The combat noises kept intensifying.
And just as Lecan's irritation reached its peak, Daryra came back.
"Here's your order, this point here is right next to the enemy."
"Good. Notify all commanders! Change course to the right. Assume your formation near the forest exit. And wait for my command to charge!"
Mashajain Knights consisting of 200 knights, 200 squires, 100 archers, 100 spearsmen moved through the forest till they got near the exit.
Lecan arrived earlier than anyone else and checked on the war progress from behind a cover.
The enemy dots displayed on <Life Detection> have red colors. Meaning they're humans. These beastmen may have beast-like appearances, but they're humans.
Jinga gave his next command.
"Knights and squires are to strike the enemy's base! Eliminate their supreme commander. Archers and spearsmen are to attack the forces assaulting Aspora from the flanks!"
Zaka Kingdom's forces consisting of knights and adventurers are holding the line in front of Aspora while a concentrated force of Guido Imperial Army fiercely assaulted them. There's a group of 50 people behind them staying out of the war. That must be the base. And if the enemy is truly taking the <Formation of Ishas> those 50 individuals must possess enough strength to match an army.
Army versus army, a clash between groups. The loser is the one that gets their line broken down. In these kinds of fights, once a crack has been formed on the formation, the enemy will flow in unhindered. Nothing can stop this inertia. Such is a fight between armies.
Once it's turned to that, intricate commands just won't work, nor will anyone listen.
The groups of people fighting in the center of the battlefield move like they're one being, they work together to crush the other group and look for the weak spot.
Lecan felt a stinging sensation on the back of his throat.
(Jinga! What are you doing.)
(We're all ready to charge out.)
(Our allies' defensive line's gonna get torn down if we don't move out now!)
It may look like the two forces are on equal grounds, but to Lecan's eyes, Guido Imperial Army is gradually pushing Zaka's side. On the receiving end, Zaka Forces just don't have the strength to repulse them. A crack is getting formed in the meantime. Once that happens, Zaka Army will collapse.
Lecan glared at the ongoing state of affairs with a burning gaze.
(Where's the order to attack?)
Lecan isn't the only one getting flustered.
Several knights pressed on Jinga.
"Your order sir!"
"Now's the time to!"
Most of the knights are begging him to issue the order to attack.
But Jinga kept his left hand gripping the rein atop his horse, and opened his right palm at those knights to check their rein. His figure is like that of an unwavering boulder.
That was when a unit in the rear line of Guido Imperial Army started their advance. This living group of people had inferred Zaka Army nearing their limit and moved out in an attempt to swallow them whole once and for all.
And this mobilization resulted in a gap forming between this unit and the unit behind them.
Jinga's eyes opened wide.
He drew his lustrous silver sword and pointed it straight ahead.
Jinga inhaled greatly before issuing a thunderous command.
"ALL UNITS MOVE OUT!!!"
Mashajain Knights flooded out of the forest like an arrow drawn to the limit and unleashed, charging straight ahead toward the enemy's base.
[Episode 54 Beastmen Empire] End/Next [Episode 55 Clash of Two Arch-Rivals]