Chapter 57: Killing and robbing
A dust cloud formed in the distance as dull footfalls sounded in everyone’s heart like a dull drum. A row of gleaming longswords first came into view, followed one by one by the sight of the strong orcs’ bodies straddled atop their giant wolf mounts.
These orc wolf riders had obviously already gone through a round of looting. The bags on the giant wolves beneath them were bulging at the seams. It looked like the shops in the town of Drol had surely been raided until not even a single shingle remained.
Perhaps it was because the wolf riders were carrying too many spoils of war, but the speed of the giant wolves beneath had obviously been affected. This was why Beacher and the others, who were riding spindly battlesteeds, had been able to make it here.
Behind the giant rock, Han Shuo gripped a tough and powerful crossbow, calmly focusing at the most stalwart orc who was leading the group. On his side, Fanny was also holding a crossbow and constantly changed the direction she was aiming at, resolute light sparkling in her eyes. It looked like when faced with death, Fanny also knew to steel her heart.
Lisa’s hands were empty, but she, along with all the other students, had large boulders next to them. These boulders had been placed appropriately by Han Shuo earlier. All they needed was a strong push to send them rolling, and they were sure to wreak havoc and devastation that was even more frightening than the crossbows.
Accompanied by the howls of the giant wolves, a column of more than ten wolf riders were as swift as the wind and quick as lightning as they finally appeared at the entrance of the passageway. Their speed was ferociously fast and they hadn’t expected that an ambush would be sprung on them. They all swung their longswords and yelled out wildly, spurring on the giant wolves and rushing over.
“Awoo awoo awoo.”
Some of the leading wolves had their front legs suddenly checked by the tripwires as their front legs buckled and lost balance. They emitted desolate howls as the four wolf riders, carried forward by their momentum, suddenly flew off the backs of their giant wolves.
The four orcs waved their arms wildly as they uncontrollably landed directly into the acid bog in front, landing with resounding, dull sounds.
The four orcs, who had landed in the acid bog, also emitted ghastly screams similar to their giant wolves. As they wailed like ghosts and howled like wolves, it was as if acid had been poured on their strong bodies. Their flesh, blood, hair, and even their clothes were all turned into bloody water and flowed quickly into the acid bog. The four orc wolf riders had turned into four enormous skeletons within the span of a brief moment.
These four orc wolf riders were only the first ones to be so unlucky. Three more wolf riders behind them were unable to stop their charge in time and also flew into the acid bog. They too turned into three skeletons in the blink of an eye.
“This acid bog is worthy of the title of advanced necromancy alright. Master Fanny, you’re amazing! You must teach me this magic when we make it back to the Academy!” Han Shuo said in low excitement to Fanny upon seeing that the acid bog was so malicious.
However, he suddenly realized that Fanny’s face was ghastly white after he’d finished speaking and noticed that her gaze towards the acid bog wasn’t quite right. He used his body to bump into Fanny and asked again, “Master Fanny, is everything alright?”
Fanny abruptly recollected her senses after being bumped by Han Shuo and said frantically, “No, nothing. This is the first time I’ve tried casting this acid bog magic ever since I mastered it and I really hadn’t thought that this magic would be so pernicious.”
Just as Han Shuo and Fanny were talking, the ten or so orc wolf riders had all crashed into each other in chaos and confusion because the front had abruptly hauled on the reins, stopping their giant wolves, whereas the wolf riders in the back couldn’t halt their charge. A few orcs fell off their giant wolves due to the impact.
But this way, the tripwires and the acid bog lost their purpose. The orcs attempted to regain their footing and formation as they called out in the din of voices and in the midst extremely crowded panic.
At this moment, Han Shuo suddenly gathered his strength and roared out loudly.
Lisa and the others had already busily sharpened their weapons and were itching for action. When they heard Han Shuo’s shout, they too yelled out raucously as they pushed the giant boulders beside them down the hill. More than ten boulders leveraged a momentum that had an imposing manner, which flared up at the skies, and alternately rolled or flew down at the orc wolf riders below, accompanied by enormous rumbling sounds.
Suddenly, the orc wolf riders, who had been the hunters, became the prey instead. Those rolling, large boulders became murder weapons that took lives and swiftly reaped the lives of the orcs. The orcs were already crowded like sardines and hadn’t had the chance to properly reorganize their formation again. Faced with the descent of giant boulders, they immediately paid a heavy price.
Four giant rocks rained down on them and directly smashed six orcs, and their giant wolf steeds, into a blood mess. The rest of the large boulders followed the downhill slope of the hill with a ferocious momentum. When they crashed into the wolf riders, strings of agonized shouts and wails sounded out.
When this wave of giant rocks had finished, another fifteen wolf riders had died immediately. Another ten or so had been drawn into the chaos and suffered injuries of varying magnitudes. As these orcs screamed out in panic and fright, they suddenly discovered that the way back was also blocked off by large rocks. Many figures suddenly revealed themselves on the sides of the hill slopes afterwards and were accompanied by curses and volleys of crossbow bolts and magic attacks.
“Crude and barbaric orcs! Die! All of you!” On the other side, Irene, from the light major, had stood up on the side of the hill and cursed in a low voice with a face full of disgust. She began chanting light magic afterwards and started attacking the orcs with Beacher. It looks like they had finally found a target to vent their frustrations on after facing such relentless pursuit from the wolf riders.
At this moment, there were still thirty of so orc wolf riders who were still alive in the passageway. However, these wolf riders had to face the various magic attacks from the two sides of the hills. Wielding his crossbow, Han Shuo would shoot calmly as soon as he’d focused on an orc. As long as those orcs were hit by Han Shuo’s crossbow bolt, they would still fall down in the short term, even if they hadn’t suffered a hit to a vital organ. They would never stand up again.
“Eh? How come the orcs that you’ve hit all never stand up again, even if they’ve only suffered a grazing shot? The ones I’ve hit, as long as I haven’t hit a crucial part, suffer only minor discomfort?” On the side, Fanny creased her brow and asked in confusion after observing the situation for a bit.
“Heh heh, that’s a given. I took some time earlier to sprinkle some poison dust on my quiver of crossbow bolts. They’re absolutely done for if even a tiny bit gets on them!” Han Shuo accurately shot and killed another orc and explained faintly, as if nothing was amiss.
Fanny started when she heard his words, and then angrily pointed at Han Shuo, saying viciously, “You, you’re a bit despicable alright. Where did you learn such evil methods? We can’t use poisoned arrows even if two countries fight… this is an unwritten rule of the Profound Continent.”
Shrugging, Han Shuo said diffidently, “This is a fight between life and death. Being despicable has nothing to do with it. Killing them with the lowest price possible is the correct way, you adhere too stubbornly to outdated rules and ideas!”
“Yes, Bryan is right. These damned orcs burned, killed, looted, and raided in the town of Drol. They take advantage of us every winter to raid along the borders of the Empire. There’s no need to talk about any rules with them.” Off on the side, Lisa suddenly interjected at this moment, obviously siding with Han Shuo’s methods.
“Hmph, you two brats are both lily-livered. No wonder you’ve become close. Bryan, I’ll let it go this time. You can’t tell anyone what you’ve done once you return to the Empire, and you can’t do so in the future. Otherwise, if anyone finds out, they’re sure to send armed forces to suppress you.” Fanny rolled her eyes at both of them and suddenly admonished them severely.
Han Shuo understood Fanny’s good intentions. The poison powder sold in the town of Drol were all for the purpose of being used against the savage and violent magical creatures in the Dark Forest. Ordinarily, no one would dare use it against enemies like this in broad daylight.
However, Han Shuo only listened to Fanny’s reminders and was still quite disdaining internally. If it came down to the wire and his life was endangered, he would certainly still throw caution to the winds and use even more despicable methods.
Under the attacks of crossbow bolts and various magics, the remaining orc wolf riders could only use their crossbows to attack the ambushers on the sides of the hills. However, Han Shuo and the others had fully occupied the advantage of land and numbers. Under the continual onslaught of attacks, the orc wolf riders fell one by one into puddles of blood, obviously dead as a doornail.
When there were only five wolf riders left, they finally started to be afraid. The giant wolves were unable to climb past the giant rocks, so the orcs jumped down from the giant wolves, even giving up all the resources in the bags on the wolves’ bodies. They started retreating without a care for anything else.
“Oh no, they’re getting away. If they escape, there are sure to be more wolf riders that come by. Everyone chase after them!” Han Shuo’s facial expression changed drastically upon seeing this situation and hastily yelled loudly, but his body remained where it was standing.
Everyone panicked after Han Shuo had spoken and rushed down from the slope, frantically chasing the fleeing orcs. The three warriors, that had been hiding, ran the fastest, racing down the rocky slope like they were on flat ground. They sped quickly after them, with a group of mages following them. Beacher was at the head as well as Gene, Bach, and some other necromancy students. They all raised their staffs and ran out.
Just as Fanny poked out tentatively with her body and was about to run out from behind the giant rock, Han Shuo suddenly reached out and abruptly wrapped his arm around Fanny’s waist in a hug. He asked in a low voice, “It’s so dangerous, why are you going?”
Fanny’s slender waist was suddenly wrapped by Han Shuo’s arm, causing her entire body to go numb. She turned her head to see that the other necromancy students, who were also about to walk out, were all looking oddly at her, particularly Lisa, she seemed to be repressing anger.
Fanny blanked and grew agitated when she recollected her wits. A red blush flew onto her face and she began struggling fiercely, saying angrily, “What are you doing, hurry and let go of me. Why are you holding me back?”
“They won’t miss us, and don’t we have more important things to do right now?” Han Shuo released his grasp and chuckled.
“What else could be more important?” Fanny and the others all asked, perplexed.
“Collect the spoils of war! The resources in those bags on the giant wolves are all dazzling gold coins when brought to a city in the Empire!” Han Shuo laughed heartily as his body had already quickly dashed down from the mountain.
Fanny, Lisa and the others were dumbfounded. They lost their hesitation when they saw that a couple other smart strangers were likewise rushing downhill. They all cried out happily and ran to the fallen wolf riders to collect the spoils of war, with nary a thought for their composure or demeanor.