Chapter 41 The appearing of the first demonic beasts
As Brian had said, once it began to snow in Border Town, it would not stop soon.
In one night, the town had been covered in a layer of white glaze. During the early morning, the snowfall had eased off. Only a few snowflakes occasionally dropped from the sky, but the weather was still gray. When he thought about how he would not see the sun for several months, Roland thought the idea was still a bit inconceivable.
This was simply illogical, he thought, though it was already very weird that magic was a common thing in this world. However, how could demonic beasts have an impact on the sky? Unfortunately, he didn’t have any weather satellites to look at this world’s cloud formations.
Walking on the road in the direction of the western city wall, Carter couldn’t help but exclaim, “The town is deserted, there were still a bunch of people who followed the nobles who withdrew!”
“That’s good, at least they will not hold us back.” answered Roland as his breath fogged up in the cold air, “I have arranged for Barov to hold a census during the winter.”
“What is a census?”
“It is a statistic produced from going door to door, counting the number of people who stayed behind, asking them for their names and what kind of a job they have. All of this will then be registered.” Roland explained, “As a result, during the war we will know how many human resources we can deploy, and after the war, pension can be implemented quickly and efficiently. “
“Uh… What?” Carter blinked confusedly and then laughed, “Your Highness, you are really not the same as before.”
“In the past you would say something, and I wouldn’t understand it. You would do some unfathomable and mysterious things, but after all, they did not confirm with the identity of the prince. And now…” Carter paused and seemed to consider his next words, “whether it was those strange training regulations or the novelties of the alchemic workshop, the results were surprisingly effective. Perhaps this is what my grandfather meant when he said, ‘extraordinary people are extraordinary, because they can always see possibilities which ordinary people overlook’. I have a feeling that there really is a possibility for you to become King.”
“…Yeah,” suddenly Roland got a warm feeling within his heart. Is there any better feeling than when other people recognize your hard work? For a short time, he felt full of strength and felt that the gray sky wasn’t as depressing as it was before.
As the prince arrived at the wall, the militia, who had already cleared away all the snow, bowed to pay their respects.
Roland thought that they should also learn to salute, and he asked “How was the situation last night?”
“There were no traces of demonic beasts,” replied Iron Axe, “Your Highness, according to past experiences, we will still have a relatively stable time period after the first snowfall. During this period, the number of normal animals is still be larger than the number of demonic beasts, and if there are demonic beasts they will be of the weaker species. “
Roland nodded, “You still have to continue to be vigilant.”
The regional rear walls had been transformed into barracks, so if there was no danger, most people could stay in the camp to rest and save energy. Roland implemented a rotation system, taking into account the low winter temperatures. Each team would only need to perform two hours of patrolling before they would be replaced.
All these measures were set by Roland. He had asked Brian how it was in Longsong Stronghold and learned that they had no rotation system against the demonic beasts. The new recruits would be assigned to watch the movements of the demonic beasts and had to stay on watch the whole day. So consequently they would slack off, to the point that situations where soldiers deserted would occur. During the winter there were twenty to thirty people who were hanged because of dereliction of duty or violation of military orders.
If they found traces of demonic beasts, it would become a mess because they didn’t assign people to their own defense sectors. Thinking of the level of the art of war during this time, Roland already had a clear understanding of it. They paid extreme attention to personal honor and valor, and even emphasized plundering. Even knights would be in the front lines when charging into a city, nevertheless they didn’t need to plunder too much.
Roland once more patrolled along the wall and saw that everything seemed to be going smoothly, but Roland found out that he had ignored a problem.
That was the roadblocks.
These obstructions were currently still clearly visible and would lead the demonic beasts towards the right section of the wall, but if what Brian said was true and the snow would fall for two to three months without any interruption, it could come to the point that the demonic beasts wouldn’t see any obstructions and would attack all of the six-hundred yard long wall. His militia force was clearly too small to attend to such a large battlefield.
Sending soldiers down to clear the snow was a bad idea, because a few species like the demonic wolves were extremely agile, so he would definitely lose soldiers.
Perhaps he would have to rely on the power of the witches.
For example, he could let Nightingale take Anna out of the city to melt the snow with her fire and then sneak back – just like how she had brought Nana in and out of the Pine Family’s home.
At this point, he heard a call from an observer on his left side.
“Look in front!”
Roland and Carter both looked towards the position the observer had referred to. There, a group of small shadows crawled out from the snow, moving slowly in the direction of the wall.
The hunter who was in control of this defense section turned to Roland and asked, “Your Highness, you say whether or not…”
“Handle the situation according to the former drills, so judge the situation for yourself to determine whether you should blow the horn,” Roland ordered, “at this point, you are more experienced than me.”
The soldier hesitated, but he eventually pulled the string off his crossbow, and stood further down the wall to observe.
Roland nodded his head in satisfaction. For now, when the number of demonic beasts that would attack Border Town was still unknown, it would be most important to maintain order on the wall . After all, they could quickly organize their defense according to the steps drilled into them from before.
Gradually, the shadows came closer to the wall. When they were 50 yards away from the wall, Roland was finally able to clearly make out their appearances.
Probably a variant of foxes?
Their fur was grayish black and their eyes were red. When they were at the walls they were panting heavily.
“It looks like it wasn’t long ago that they were turned into demonic beasts. They aren’t a threat,” said Iron Axe while aiming with his bow.
“You mean they were infected by the Breath of Hell which was expulsed in the West?”
“It doesn’t happen only in the West,” Carter came over and answered, “the Gates of Hell can open anywhere in the mountains, there is no place safe from it in the mountains. In the North, there is an especially large path which is often under the attack of the demonic beasts. There, it seems that a part of the never ending Impassible Mountain range was cut off. For more than a decade, this path was the main direction of attack from demonic beasts.”
The maniac monsters only lingered for a short moment at the base of the wall before they raised their heads and released grim growls towards the crowd on the wall while preparing to leap. However, Iron Axe released his bowstring, and his sharp arrow accurately penetrated the neck of one of the demonic beasts, firmly nailing it to the ground.
Roland noted that the blood which flowed out from the beast was black.
It was the same kind of erosion for the demonic beasts and witches, but why could the witches still save their consciousness and be saved after their awakenings, when the animals would always turn into maniacs while their bodies mutated? If I have the opportunity, I need to go and take a look behind the Mountain of Despair, thought Roland. In the Prince’s memory, it was a place where no human being could set foot, it was the place where the Gates of Hell opened. However, because no one had ever visited it, most of the knowledge of it came from ancient books, and he had no way to verify the rumors, so he had some doubts about the Gates of Hell.