Chapter 281 Redwater River Ambush (Part 2)
Compared with Lotus who could only survey the scene from an elevated and distant position, Sylvie’s view was much more vivid.
Through the thick walls of the soil houses, she could see the soldiers busy themselves in an orderly manner, everyone was repeating the same single motion, but all seven to eight people became one complex whole and moved like clouds and flowing water. The paper bags and iron balls stacked at the back of the compartment, were continuously fed into a thick and robust iron pipe, which then erupted with the sound of thunder.
Taking a closer look, Sylvie noticed that the soldiers first lit a rope that was at the end of the iron pipe. The jumping sparks then entered the interior of the pipe and directly ignited the previously loaded paper bag. In the following split second the light became so bright that she was unable to bear keeping her eyes open, the sparks quickly expanded into an orange-red fireball, filling every room in the pipe. With no further place left for it to go, the still growing flame then pushed against the iron ball, ejecting it outward as if a giant hand had thrown it out!
Within the blink of an eye, the iron ball turned into a shadow rushing in a straight line towards the ship sailing on the river. Its strength was so great, that it directly drilled through the planks leaving a fist sized hole in the side. Although its speed slowed down a lot the iron ball’s power could still not be underestimated. When it hit one enemy that was trying to climb out of the cabin it immediately tore him in two.
It was Sylvie’s first time witnessing such a scene – that without the blade of a sharp knife or the edge of a sword, depending on just one of those plumb iron balls, it was possible to tear a person in two.
Due to witnessing the scene from too close, it even felt as if the blood and guts had splashed all over herself. The still not stopped iron ball then hit several more people, not only cutting off their four limbs but also shattering their heads. For a moment, the cabin was full of flowing filthy blood, and red and white internal organs.
Sylvie suddenly felt her stomach rolling over and over, and stomach acid came rushing straight along her throat.
“Blergh…” The scene in the hold of the ship suddenly faded – under her chaotical emotional state she was no longer able to keep on using her ability. Sylvie forcefully interrupted the connection to her Eye of Truth giving up to the impulse to throw up instead.
“What happened?” Lotus was startled, so she immediately came over to support her then worriedly asked, “Are you okay?”
The Prince also noticing her discomfort turned around and handed her a handkerchief, “If you think it is too bloody, then don’t look at it. At least don’t use your ability to look at it from a close range. For now, first go and take a break.”
“Thank you…” Sylvie took the handkerchief and wiped her mouth. “I’m all right.”
This is probably the “incredible invention” Maggie and Lightning had spoken of, but back then we hadn’t listened enough to it or we didn’t pay any attention to it. After all, without personally witnessing it, such an incredible weapon is really hard to imagine.
She once more looked towards the battlefield, to see that Timothy’s fleet had begun approaching both shores – apparently, they have already noticed by now, that this kind of violent wind and rainstorm is coming from the soil houses at the shores that are disguised as earth slopes. However, the other side still isn’t aware that the military fortification arranged by His Highness Roland has far more to offer than that.
Comparatively far away from the V-shaped line of defense, were some more bunkers that were hidden with vines and weeds. Which had a length exactly the same as the length of the fleet column. If they landed at any point, they would just fall into another pincer attack laid out for them from the beginning, the only way to avoid this would have been if they had turned the bow around and withdrew without even the slightest hesitation.
The soldiers in the bunkers were all holding identical long and round iron instruments, these didn’t shoot out round iron balls but rather a single sharp but tailless arrowhead. It didn’t seem as if it had the same unstoppable power as the iron balls, but when it hit the target, it still turned any armor useless before drilling deep into the flesh of a person’s body.
Sylvie guessed that the enemy had planned to launch a counterattack after going ashore and lining up, however, the soldiers within the bunkers never even gave them the opportunity to do so – just as with the previous attack, they also didn’t need to show their faces this time. Instead, they aimed at the target with their weapons, easily pulled the trigger, then sent off a rain of arrowheads; similar to a summer storm splashing down on the enemy.
Confronted with this kind of rapid-fire, without even being able to swing their own weapons, the enemy was unable to resist for long before the frontlines totally fell apart. The people who had already left the ship all turned around, wanting to return aboard, while the people still aboard were waiting for the others to flee. The body of the ships substantially began to sway, until the gangplank was no longer able support their weight and fell into the water drowning many of them, while some other people trying to climb the wall of the ship were also killed off, which turned the whole scene into utter chaos.
“It’s time,” After waiting until this moment, the Prince put down his observation mirror, turned toward Iron Axe and ordered, “Take the reserve and clean up the battlefield, if the lead knights were lucky enough not to be killed during the battle, arrest as many as you can. I want to ask them some questions.”
“Yes,” Iron Axe answered as he saluted.
He then looked at Sylvie, “Go with Iron Axe and ensure that no one can slip away.”
Sylvie nodded, and followed after the First Army Commander as they moved away from the observation hill. She suddenly understood why His Royal Highness Roland would dare to openly protect the witches here in the corner of the mainland… With such a dominant force in his hands, it isn’t known whether the Church will be able to beat him even if they sent out their God’s Punishment Army. If Lady Tilly can also get her hands on these weapons, maybe there will come a day when us witches will be able to return to our homeland.
As he looked down at the paralyzed sailboats standing at the river shore, Roland finally let out a breath of relief.
The moment the enemy had decided to land and launch a counter attack was the moment they were fated to lose the battle – merely relying on poles and paddles to turn around the bow would have been a very slow process, even more so under a constant artillery attack which might have been the reason the opposition hadn’t turned around and withdrawn. They might have thought that instead of suffering a beating without the slightest chance to hit back, it would be better to hurriedly reach the shore so that they could organize the team for a counter offensive.
However, it would be difficult to completely sink a wooden sailboat by relying on the field cannons’ iron balls which weighed a mere 12 pounds. Even if the hull had been covered in holes, it still wouldn’t be enough damage and the ship would still remain floating. So, while they might have suffered heavy losses as they turned around, they would’ve at least have been able to save one or two of their ships, but, by choosing to land, their whole fleet was doomed to be wiped out.
Compared to the last surprise attack at Longsong Stronghold and Border Town’s defense battle, the enemy wasn’t even able to start an attack at all this time – the pills were usually controlled and held onto by the commander until it was time to attack. Therefore, they were unable to respond quickly enough when the ambush began.
It was not until evening that the work of cleaning up the battlefield finally came to an end.
By that time Iron Axe and a few personal guards had already entered the camp with two captives.
Even before Roland had the time to ask, one of them had already started shouting out loud: “I’m Knight Sznak. Your Highness, please allow me to write a letter to my family. They will certainly offer a rich ransom.”
“I am the second son of the Shield Family from the Northern Border, Elvin Shield. Your distinguished Highness,” the other immediately followed, “I am also willing to pay the ransom.”
“So… the present attack was led by you?” Roland asked as he raised his brow.
“Well, no. The captain was Sir Vincent, but he is dead now.” Knight Sznak twisted his body, “Your Highness, could you let your man untie my hands? I hope to receive the traditional treatment during the redeeming period.”
“I do not need a ransom,” the Prince said while shaking his head, “The target of your coming to the Western Territory, the plan, as well as the further intention of Timothy… Tell me everything you know, and I will probably give you what you deserve.”
“This… Please forgive me, I can’t tell you that,” Sir Sznak said after hesitating for a moment.
“I have already vowed my loyalty and devotion to His Majesty Timothy,” the young man of the Shield Family said, “This would be against my oath.”
“Then so be it,” Roland answered, not taking exception to it, “Take them away for now.”
After the guards had brought them away, Roland glanced towards Iron Axe and asked, “I heard that you served as the Patriarch’s guard during your stay in Iron Sand City, and that you are excellent at gathering intelligence through interrogation, is that right?”
“Yes, Your Royal Highness,” Iron Axe stated, “There are very few people who can hide information from me.”
“Well, I will give these two men to you for interrogation,” Roland turned to leave, “Your manner and methods are not limited, as long as you get enough information everything is acceptable.”
Iron Axe got shocked and began to say, “The ransom…”
“From the beginning, I have already said that I don’t need payment,” Roland coldly said, “When the questioning comes to an end, treat it as if they had fallen during battle.”
This is the what they deserve after oppressing and seizing commoners then coming to invade the Western Territory. He added within his heart.