Chapter 99: A worshipped little skeleton
“Elder Calvin, has the village been discovered by forest trolls?” Han Shuo’s face turned grave as he turned towards Calvin, asking him in a solemn tone.
“Han, why are you suddenly asking such questions? There have been quite a few encounters with the forest trolls recently in the past couple of days, but even we don’t know if they’ve discovered something.” Calvin first started and then explained.
According to the field of vision coverage from the original demons, Han Shuo discovered that the current amount of forest trolls present numbered around five or six hundred this time. There were forest trolls, warriors, hunters, and priests. They all advanced in an orderly fashion, and coordinated with each other in exceedingly reasonable ways. This indicated that this batch of forest trolls must surely come from a strong faction. Five to six hundred forest trolls grouped with the right amount of troll hunters and priests would make for a sizeable force.
There were only 50 or 60 dwarves who were strong enough to participate in this battle within the village. Add to that Han Shuo and a few elves, their strength was completely subpar to that of the forest trolls’. This made Han Shuo understand that it would truly be tough to tide over this time’s danger.
“Five to six hundred forest trolls are headed in this direction. It looks like your village has truly been exposed.” Han Shuo sighed lowly and slowly revealed the truth.
Benedict had listened to Han Shuo’s words with some disbelief, but the group of dwarves that Calvin was leading immediately panicked upon hearing that five to six hundred forest trolls were headed their way. They were at a loss of what to do and proposed wild plans.
“What to do, what should we do?” An iron mallet waved in Bennett’s hands as he gave a glance at the female and children behind him, appearing very worried and resigned.
The dwarves weren’t a race that was cowardly and afraid of danger, but they couldn’t be irresponsible towards their females and children. When danger arrived, their first thought would be how to protect the women and children.
“Chief Calvin, I know that your village is hidden within a mountain valley. Are there any other ways of leaving the valley? No matter how suitable the valley is as a place to reside, I think we need to evacuate as quickly as possible. We’ll be hard pressed to fight against five to six hundred forest trolls.” Han Shuo tried persuading.
Calvin’s brow was knit tightly as he appeared quite anxious. After thinking for a while, he spoke to Bennett first. “Go assemble all the villagers and have them pack their belongings and prepare to leave from the rear side of the mountain valley. We’ll stay back and see if we can bring some retribution to these villains.”
Bennett immediately left with Calvin’s orders, calling out continuously towards the small houses in the back of the village, exhorting all the villagers to pick up rations and weapons, and to temporarily leave everything else behind.
At this moment, the two dwarves, who had been standing guard outside, finally rushed in with looks of panic, they started yelling out loudly before arriving where the chief stood, “Bad news! Terrible news! A lot of forest trolls are headed our way. They’re everywhere within the shrubbery!”
Benedict had been a bit hesitant, but no longer doubted Han Shuo’s words now. The group of elves, with Benedict as their leader, all unsheathed their weapons and wiped them down with calm expressions. Benedict held the bow behind his back in his hand, appearing ready for combat at any time.
“The forest trolls are the natural rival of us elves. I’d like them to taste of our power this time.” Benedict didn’t display any signs of fright and rather spoke with eagerness.
By this time, Bennett had already finished giving the dwarves behind him their orders. Utilizing his original demons. Han Shuo discovered that the forest trolls were indeed headed towards the mouth of the village. He looked back involuntarily at the dwarves around him and said to them, “I think we should block off the narrow passageway that leads to the village at this time, and endeavor to buy time for the women and children to leave first.”
Han Shuo nodded at Calvin when he said these words and took a few steps forward to the mouth of the village. Benedict hesitated and indicated his intentions to the elves, and followed behind Han Shuo, heading for the entrance to the village.
Up until now, Han Shuo could basically be certain that these forest trolls were aiming for the dwarves. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have all appeared here by such coincidence. The five hundred or so forest trolls had already started searching through the nearby shrubbery beneath the yells of the particularly stocky forest troll, searching for the entrance to the dwarves’ village.
According to how the situation was developing, the shrubs and leaves covering the village entrance wouldn’t be able to conceal it for much longer. Han Shuo didn’t become panicked after arriving here and recited a portion of magical incantation. Several skeletal warriors and two bulky zombie warriors appeared in front of him.
“We should take this time to set up some simple traps. The entrance to the village will surely be discovered, but it’s not spacious enough here, so we can take advantage of this to create some trouble for them,” Han Shuo said calmly when these dark creatures appeared.
The skeletal warriors and zombies immediately started digging traps under Han Shuo’s command. The zombie warriors possessed strong bodies and were in charge of moving rocks over long the distances to block the path. The dwarves had set up some traps here to begin with, Han Shuo merely added a few more measures. The dwarves also all mobilized themselves to help Han Shuo set up.
“Necromancy magic is the most disgusting magic, to think that you, human, are an evil necromancer!” Benedict seemed to abhor the appearance of the skeletal and zombie warriors as he complained.
Han Shuo was completely unmoved by Benedict’s complaints and only concerned himself with setting up the traps. When Han Shuo felt that all was pretty much in readiness, he took out a few crossbows from his space ring and distributed them to the dwarves around him. He then directed them to retreat to the rear and disperse themselves within the strong growth of trees and shrubs.
The dwarves were masters of forging weapons, but the complex bows didn’t need superb crafting skills, rather required precise designs and thought instead. The firing range and power of a crossbow was exceedingly high, and was one of the most outstanding inventions created by humans in recent years. Their drawbacks were that they were too heavy and that the frequency of firing wasn’t that quick. Every crossbow needed a small amount of time to reload after firing, unlike how a bow and arrow, which could be quickly reloaded.
Han Shuo’s body was strong, thus he could easily lift such heavy crossbows. Although the dwarves were diminutive in stature, their strength was also equal to Han Shuo’s, and so they too lifted the crossbows easily.
As Han Shuo and the dwarves stood ready to defend, a loud forest troll shout traveled in from the distance. The forest trolls then immediately cheered and rapidly approached with loud yells. Through the eyes of the original demons, Han Shuo knew that one of the forest trolls had already discovered the concealed entrance.
Indeed, the new forest troll leader gave orders in the forest troll language as more than a hundred forest trolls came charging over with weapons in hand. The troll warriors were in the vanguard, with hunters and priests following close behind, as they carefully and slowly attempted to brush away at the coverings.
Han Shuo roared lowly and didn’t wait for the forest trolls to walk through the entrance. The crossbow in his hand had already been fired, and the dwarves beside him also sent crossbow bolts whistling through the air.
Some of the forest trolls, that had just entered this area and hadn’t had the time to peel back the coverings, were sent flying by the enormous momentum behind the crossbow bolts. One of the forest trolls, that Han Shuo had hit, was pierced through by his crossbow bolt and nailed to a tree that was the width of two people.
“Look at the power of my magical arrow.” Benedict glanced disdainfully at Han Shuo and suddenly pulled back on his bowstring. Faint magical pulses came from the bow in his hand and the arrow suddenly began burning fiercely in mid air after it was shot out. When it landed amidst the forest trolls, it suddenly exploded ferociously with sparks. Ten or so forest trolls were struck by splash damage from the sparks and started burning, Three of them didn’t put the flames out in time and were swallowed by the spreading tongues of fire.
Han Shuo was truly surprised, he hadn’t expected the arrow to have such power and involuntarily looked askance at Benedict.
“Benedict, you shouldn’t waste such precious magical arrows on these cursed forest trolls. You know that these magical arrows are all very precious!” A female elf was a bit angry at seeing Benedict show off and lectured him.
Benedict stuck out his tongue and made a face when the female elf lectured him and then spoke self righteously to Han Shuo, “Did you see that just now? The magical arrows that have been imbued with magic from our elders have such strong power after being shot out with a magical bow. If those dwarf-forged weapons are modified by us, they will immediately turn into powerful magical weapons and bring lots of trouble to the forest trolls. You should give those weapons to us.”
It looked like the elf still hadn’t forgotten his duty, even now, and was still attempting to use his naive and laughable words to persuade Han Shuo. It was a pity that apart from flicking him a glance in the beginning, Han Shuo paid no more attention to him and only calmly gave a few orders to the dwarves around him.
After the first batch of forest trolls paid a heavy price in casualties, they were much more cautious the second time around. They first had the troll warriors approach, and then the priests added blessings on them, making their bodies more nimble and strong. The enhanced forest trolls immediately shoveled away the weeds at the entrance with great enthusiasm.
At this moment, the crossbows in Han Shuo’s and the dwarves’ hands continuously shot out across the tall grass, but whenever their crossbolts appeared, the long spears of the troll hunters would rake through the air, also falling on Han Shuo and the dwarves’ hiding place.
But because the crossbows had a longer firing range, this caused the forest trolls’ judgement of distance to be off the mark. The long spears fell in rows in front of the group, without causing any damage to them.
After paying the price of the lives of a few more troll warriors, the forest trolls finally cleared away the obstacles to the village entrance. With another loud yell, the forest trolls raised their weapons and charged in with large steps.
The traps set at the entrance to the village started displaying their lethality. The forest trolls out in front all fell into deep holes with sharp sticks in the bottom, and they lay there moaning in pain. The entrance to the village was finally overcome, but not without the mounting forest troll death toll and casualties.
“There are simply too many forest trolls, I think we should retreat.” Han Shuo looked at the village entrance thronging with forest trolls and understood that the difference between the two was simply too great. He shook his head and sighed.
Benedict also displayed his fright at this time and nodded in agreement with Han Shuo’s words. “Yes, I think we should retreat first and wait for me to go back to the tribe to alert our people. When our people arrive, these cursed villains will pay a painful price.”
When Han Shuo and Benedict said so, the ten or so dwarves around them seemed to be a bit dejected as they all laid down their weapons. One of them said, “The chief said that we should listen to Han. If Han wants us to retreat then we’ll retreat.”
Han Shuo smiled faintly upon hearing his words, “Since this is the case, then all of you should come back, otherwise we’ll be in big trouble.”
The dwarves, who had been bent on fighting to their deaths, all retreated to the back of the village in accordance with Han Shuo’s orders. The crossbows within their hands continued to fire. In the face of a densely packed forest troll advance, the crossbow bolts would all hit their targets, without needing to be aimed.
Upon seeing that the dwarves had already retreated, some of the dwarves also stood tactfully in the back. Han Shuo thought for a moment and summoned the little skeleton. He wanted to use the seven bone spurs on the little skeleton’s back to shed a last wave of blood and create some trouble for the forest trolls.
However, out of Han Shuo’s expectations, when the bone dagger wielding little skeleton appeared at the village entrance, he hadn’t even had the time to shoot out his bone spurs when the forest trolls in the very front all displayed very excited expressions. They laid down their weapons with a thud and bowed down to the little skeleton with highly raised hands, calling out continuously, “Datara, Datara, Datara…”
Han Shuo was flabbergasted and stunned where he stood. He didn’t know why the forest trolls were worshipping the little skeleton so faithfully.