Titan Beneath the Heavens
Chapter 119: Fourteenth Episode: Chapter 1
Chapter 119: Fourteenth Episode: Chapter 1
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Prodigies don't grow on trees like wild fruits. For example, Toby Ryan Creech was born into nobility as a viscount, but he realized really soon his talent lies not in household management, but performance. He likes entertaining people and seeing how people just take in his characters and the situation these characters were in.
The banquet had entered its peak hours. Slowly, the servers struggled to keep up with providing fresh glasses of the drinks. Deiss Kingdom was famous for being the origin of beer, so even though beer was the cheapest drink in the world, the Deiss people was so proud of it, they served it in a royal banquet.
Alcohol numbs, and it also makes people wild. Some of the less restrained nobles invited the equally unabashed ladies to the dance floor, moving flirtatiously, seductively. The tempo of the music changed, and elegance was substituted with passion, urging everyone to start looking for a partner, to start piling themselves into the crowd of uninhibited effrontery.
The main hall of the Lombardy Castle couldn't possibly fit all the guests, so the Royal Household arranged for the orchestra and picnic seats on the hill on the right side of the castle. It seemed every country follows this rule tacitly. The ones drinking in the hall were always the top nobles in the capital, and the lesser nobles would always be seated outside.
Ricky conversed with a few of the ladies, who, by the way, were always the best choice for a cover. Usually, men would only talk to people they're familiar with. To learn about a stranger, they would have to ask the women. Ricky's classy appearance and witty banters quickly led these less cultured Deiss noblewomen to believing he was a special envoy from West Percy who was an old captain, as well as being trusted by the West Percian royals.
Showing off his disguised hand full of calluses, Ricky told stories of his "seafaring adventures", of the culture of another land. To satisfy the Deiss who loved war stories, he even described with detail several of the famous naval battles! To the landlocked Deiss, nothing is more exciting than navy and fleets! Even several Deiss generals gathered around Ricky. Obviously, the soldiers would only care about new, fresh ways to do battle.
"Normally, the battleships we talk about were the huge ships with sails. Whenever we meet enemies with a fleet of their own, we would go into formations most navy employ. Of course, the ranged attacks go first. In my country, our battleships were equipped with heavy crossbows and catapults, but usually these ranged attacks can only last for two or three rounds before we have to go melee. We'll crash into each others' bow, we'll use hooks to pull the enemies into water, and we'll raid the enemies' ships…"
"Mr. Envoy!" A Deiss officer interrupted Ricky. "Does your country not have those cannons on your ships? You know… The one the Titans were using."
Ricky shook his head, "The cannons the Titans were using were not stable enough, after your country had that battle with the Titans, the analysts of the land had been looking into the matter, but they only arrived at one conclusion. Even though the Titan's win was mostly because of their cannons, but the timing in which cannons appeared on the battlefield was still too early…"
At this point, Ricky noticed the crowd in front of him suddenly dispersed, even some of the dancing pairs went to the side. Ricky felt weird, but he soon saw the main reason this happened; Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette of Titan Empire sauntered into the main hall.
Ricky hid himself into the crowd. He heard whisperings, but the liar extraordinaire didn't care about these, he knew the operation has started, he's only questioning why Oscar would attract attentions now.
"Graceful Princess Opareal, ola… Excuse me, I meant Duchess Einsenstein, may I have the honor of having this dance with you?" Oscar bowed and extended his hand at Opareal who sat in the couch.
Princess Opareal Roulexberg sighed, she had no excuse to refuse.
With Princess Opareal's hand in his arm, Oscar signalled the conductor of the orchestra. "First Love, please!" He then turned to the Princess, "This is my favorite piece."
With the music that represented first love, the Princess twirled and turned around Oscar, whose hand supported her on her waist.
"You did this on purpose, didn't you?" As she faced Oscar, she asked accusingly.
Another spin, they faced each other once more.
"No, I'm just loyal to my favorites."
"I think you are mocking me!" Opareal's voice was soft, she knew everyone was staring at her.
"I think you're too sensitive. As a Duchess, this is not a good trait."
"Huh! You really are mocking me!"
"Why would I mock you? Is there a reason to? You said it yourself, we will play our own parts."
The pair slowly turned in the center of the dance floor. By this time the day before, they were exchanging their passion toward each other with the most intimate body language known to them, but by now, no one could tell if they have even a sliver of feelings toward each other.
As the music faded into its final refrain, Opareal lifted her head.
"I think… I will turn back on my words."
"You said you were leaving!"
"Are you stopping me?" Oscar smiled, the music stopped, but his hands were still around the Princess.
Opareal turned away suddenly. She knew not why she said what she said. It's not a bad thing if he'd left, at least she wouldn't need to worry about these petty feelings.
Oscar bent at his waist, leaving a kiss on the Deiss Princess's cheek. "Opareal, I will never forget how you look when you wore your wedding dress."
As he turned around and left, her eyes shone a undescribable brilliance, but as soon as he disappeared into the staircase, her brilliance faded, replaced by a sense of dreary. It was almost… cold.
"Milady, I am summoned." Marquis Harriens Van Rousted stood in front of the Princess.
"Send people to watch the Prince. I have a hunch… something bad may happen tonight."
Harriens was a little surprised.
"What are you standing there for?" Opareal Roulexberg glared at the commanding officer with impatience.
"Oh… Milady, I'm glad. You have made a right choice."
Opareal didn't react to Harriens' flattery, she chose to look away in disgust instead. She did make a choice, but even she doesn't know if her choice is a correct one.
Oscar climbed the stairs with the companionship of four knights and entered a wide corridor. It was dim, someone had extinguished the torches in the corridor, leaving only a yellow gas light at the corner of the staircase.
Oscar pursed his lips and slowed down, adjusting his breath frequency.
Suddenly, the young Prince turned unexpectedly, slamming his hand on the throat of the knight behind him. The dimness had him caught by surprise, and he fell down with a thud. The knight's comrade unsheathed his long sword, but everything happened so fast, he was too close with the Prince! Oscar tackled him with his elbow, while parrying the long sword with his other arm. Just like that, Oscar's elbow slammed into the second knight's abdomen, creating a dent on his armor. He couldn't even yelp before slowly sliding onto the ground.
The two other knight in front of Oscar joined the fight. One was brandishing a sword toward Oscar's neck, and the other had placed a warning whistle into his mouth.
Another silhouette fluttered in the darkness before the sword stopped in its track, its owner's face twisted in pain; the whistle didn't sound, a dagger had found its way into that knight's torso.
Doramy slowly let down the body in his arms and immediately gave the boy a big hug.
"Old pal! I can't believe it! You can still move?" Oscar almost laughed out loud.
"Of course, you brat! I'm still strong enough to beat you up, so don't you worry about me!"
Four bodies laid in the darkness, Oscar was curious about the stranger's silhouette, it wasn't Snowstorm, but his skills were good.
"Let me introduce him!" Doramy recognized the perplexed look on Oscar's face. "Shaw Curlink, another super assassin. His codename by the Morisette Dynasty is Black Devil."
"An imperial assassin?" Oscar was surprised, he never knew the Morisettes have their own assassins.
"Okay! This is no time to talk about these things!" Doramy picked up a long sword from one of the fallen knights and passed it to Oscar. "It's time to go!"
"Yes! It's time!" Marshal Vann Hewitt Alan nodded at his secretary-cum-adjutant, Colonel Payne Lubelly. It was 9 o'clock in the evening of Church's Year 797, 31st Day of the 10th Month, according to the battle plan, the winter attack against Deiss should be starting soon!
"Marshal, I don't understand, why do you want to conduct this battle by yourself?" Colonel Payne looked at Marshal Alan, puzzled.
Silver Fox's stare pierced through the veil of darkness between him and the enemy's land. He sighed. "Yaran people is a nation of fighters. The divine Roman Empire had utilized all of their military power before they were able to stop them and drive them back to the North. However, after so many years, the invasiveness and fighting spirit of the Yaran have not dwindled, instead, it grew stronger and stronger! This is why I have to stand in front of the army, our enemy is the Deiss who has the valor to fighting until the last man standing!"
"You mean… our advance would not go as smoothly as we thought it would?" A little startled, Colonel Payne asked. It would be his first experience on the battlefield. Even though both he and Marshal Alan were not on the vanguard, leading a troop still inspired a sense of panic in the officer who had never been on a battlefield.
"Our advance?" Alan shook his head. "Our advance would be met with the strongest counterattack from the Deiss. Like I said, they are not afraid of sacrificing, even though it is the last person available to fight."
"So… what do we do?"
Silver Fox turned to his herald officer. "Inform Duke Steinberger and his Wolfriders to kill every single person with a weapon after they occupied the enemy's camp. Captives… are optional."
The herald officer turned his horse around and headed straight to the black forest under the moon.
The black forest was quiet with only the occasional neighing. A cloak of darkness shrouded over the forest and the uneven ground outside of its area. Looking northward from the edge of the forest, a massive military encampment was set up. With thousands of fire source, they lit up the area with their starry glow like a fire pit.
All of a sudden, torches lit up on the clearing near the edge of the forest one by one, like the stars that appeared in the night sky. Light and shadow of the torches congregated into a luminous river of light, flowing through the land with he low rumbles of the horns and the order of the officers. Mist transformed the edge of the forest into a foggy veil, leading the river of fire through the plains and hills, disappearing into the trough at points, marching through the highlands at others.
Finally, the fiery stream collided with the firepit as the cold breeze brought about the smell of war. Equines neighs, passionate screams, smokescreens, all of these were sent into the forest by the wind, which were then soothed and deadened in the midst of the dense leaves and branches.
"Infantry forward!" Alan recited his order swiftly.
Almost immediately, from behind the Marshal, shouts rang through the woods as footfalls thumped the ground. The cling-clangs of shields and weapons sent the birds flying, as well as waking the whole area up. There was no fire, no orders from commanders from this troop as the Titan Infantry fell into their neat battle formation. The warriors were ready to throw themselves into the battlefield, into the massacre, into the infernal hell.
Right now, the Second Encampment of the Deiss Southern Border Defense was hell. This was the largest encampment on the south of the Deiss Kingdom, placed by the Supreme Command of Deiss. There were six divisions and three border brigades stationed all year long. The encampment was built on a hill with soil, stones and hard wood, forming a simple but effective wall. The wall's about six meters tall, and was reinforced with steel bars and iron chains on the inside. A spiked fence was erected outside the wall before the trench. The whole encampment was about 1,100 meters in length and 600 meters in width. It's like a rectangular city located at the northern entrance of the black forest, Devari Valley. It kept watch over the border, observing the Titans on the opposite. This surveillance had faded into the history, however, and the Titans were standing almost face-to-face with the Deiss Warriors with less than thirty meters between them.
The Wolfriders was one of the legendary troops of House Steinberger. These soldiers had developed a variety of tactics and formations based on the forest terrain, as well as superb horse-riding techniques. Currently, the Wolfriders were starting their harassment on their enemy with different types of whistling. With a loose formation, they kept up a raid against the wall with burning arrows and javelins. They were like wolves, always teasing their enemies, drawing their attention. Whenever the enemy archers were going to attack, there would be a new batch of knights taking over, taking down the archers who were just targets on the wall.
"Retreat! Retreat! Archers off the wall! Now!" The Camp Commander-in-Chief ordered while the Deiss Warriors shifted from inside the camp. The melee soldiers concealed themselves in various foxholes, the archers retreated from the wall and formed a tight formation in the empty space in the encampment.
"Distance three hundred, front-right thirty degrees, a team of cavalry heading toward two o'clock." A soldier from the watchtower reported.
The commander of the Deiss Bowmen matrix turned to his men, "Archers, distance three hundred, front-right toward two o'clock, elevation seventy, fire!"
With this order, a rain of arrows was unleashed from within the fire pit! The flame brightened the dark fletching which flew into the night sky. Soon, a team of assaulting Wolfriders started to quiver as their torches tremored with the falling arrows, knocking bodies off of their horses interspersed with sparks of fire.
"Prepare the catapult! Depth six hundred, aim at one o'clock, elevation angle zero!"
The Titan observer accurately calculated the position of the enemy's camp, and passed on their instructions, to which the operators adjust the angles of their machines to. They turned the winch to tighten the rope and lower the arm. When that's done, the Titan fighters lit the oiled boulders, causing the darkness to be expelled by blazing fireballs.
"Scatter out! Boulders…" The Deiss observer turned and yelled at the archer phalanx, but a louder boom ended his attempt to warn them. A flaming boulder dragged its fiery tail, hitting the watchtower like an unstoppable meteor. The hardwood building was demolished in an instant! The explosion brought upon torn bodies and wood splinters as the Deiss Warriors on the clearing watched with hopelessness the meteor that was descending upon their heads!
The archers screamed in fear and agony in response to the meteor crashing into the crowd. It rolled and crushed many bodies, before drawing a drain filled with flesh and blood, broken shields, and snapped bows.
Another boulder came! Its landing deviated from calculations and found its way into a resthouse in the camp. Shrieks and the sound of the building falling apart started simultaneously! As more and more fire arrows and boulders found their marks, a camp-wide fire started breaking out, the Deiss Warriors were busy trying to extinguish the spreading fire, but screams from the other side of the wall forced them to stop what they were doing.
"Infantry! The Titans are attacking!"
"Archers!" The Commander-in-Chief of the Second Camp wiped his ashy face and went up the wall!
"Archers spread out on the wall, spearmen, chain warriors, swordsmen, axe warriors, greatswordsmen come up here, handle the oil, the rolling woods, and stones!"
Once they've gotten their orders, the Deiss Warriors almost lunged forward together, filling in the spaces on the wall, they will not yield even one standing space to their enemy.
The Commander-in-Chief watched as the Titan troops came into light. Battering rams, siege towers, ladder units, archers, pikemen, infantry! The Commander-in-Chief felt a little lightheaded, he didn't know how much longer his camp can withstand the attacks, nor could he predict if his country behind him would be lost.
"Stop!" Shaw Curlink made a hand gesture, there was footsteps shuffling in front. Both Black Devil and the King of Sins hid into a side path each, and Oscar stood right in the middle of the corridor. Before he was exposed, he's still a guest of the castle, and he could sneak a stab to the person if needed.
The footsteps vanished at the corner, even Black Devil and the King of Sins hesitated from checking it out. Oscar, however, couldn't wait, and turned at the corner.
"No one?" Oscar was slightly astonished with his discovery, "How can there be no one?"
Black Devil and Doramy came out of their hiding place. The corridor was indeed empty! In that exact moment, a silhouette dropped down from the ceiling. Oscar turned around, drawing his sword, as if he knew this would happen! Black Devil shifted to the side, his sword pointing at the enemy's chest.
After a single exchange of the weapons, Oscar gawked at Doramy who swiped his sword aside!
"My lord! He's Left Hand! Wystan! Oh God of Light, you almost killed him!"
Facing the former Brother Balance, Wystan opened his arms, this was his first meeting with little Oscar after he escaped from the prison! The delinquent of yesteryear had grown into an adult, this pleased Wystan greatly.
"What brings you here?" Oscar finally recognized the silhouette in front of him, after six years, he was still surprised by him.
"My man! This is not time to talk about all these!" Left Hand unrolled a piece of map. "Here's where we are, Sarlat the Stinking Hedgehog is here, there are two other people right here. There are eight knights on guard, we'll have a bit of problems afterward!"
"Hey! Who are you? What are you doing there?" The sound came from the other end of the corridor. Black Devil shielded Oscar behind him and simultaneously flung a throwing knife that embedded itself into the knight's throat. The knight collapsed against the wall, silent and dead.
"We need to hurry!" Oscar clutched his sword.
Left Hand was leading the way, the King of Sins Doramy guarding the rear, Black Demon was still in front of Oscar, shielding him. Left Hand turned into a staircase, and the area widened. It was the corridor toward the top of the castle. There were several rooms on the circular corridor, and below the ceiling on top of them were the noisy guests of the feast.
Oscar and the others moved cautiously against the wall. If anyone from below looked up, they would've seen them. A door suddenly opened in front of Left Hand, and a Deiss soldier led a Miss out of the room, grinning.
Surprised, the officer looked at Oscar, and looked at the fully armored intruders with dark faces. Instinctively, he stepped back while pushing his female acquaintance aside, and drew his sword.
Left Hand didn't allow this poor unfortunate soldier wait for too long. He leapt at the wall, using its counterforce to rebound himself and gave the soldier a solid kick on the back of his head!
Left Hand might have used excessive strength on his attack, as the soldier's body was lifted off the ground and slammed against the fence, which promptly broke, and fell straight to the ground.
A muffled boom resounded in the hall as blood and brain pulp splattered everywhere. Music stopped abruptly, cueing a pin-drop silence for a good few seconds. Ladies started screaming! The cacophony of screams was followed by furious roars of the Deiss knights and thumping footsteps at the staircase. The men swarmed upstairs, especially the soldiers who already had their swords in hand. As people looked upstairs, they easily spotted the Titan Prince.
"What did you do?" Doramy suppressed his urge to slash at his troublemaking old pal.
"I was surprised!" Left Hand shrugged, explaining.
Oscar shook his head, it seems the escape wouldn't go too well. He turned toward the acquaintance of the dead soldier. "Lady, don't worry, we won't hurt you!"
"You can speak Deiss?" Doramy asked, impressed.
"I never said I can't!" Oscar grinned. However, a few arrows started to plant themselves in the wall just centimeters away from Oscar. Seeing the Deiss Warriors from the corridor, the four of them exchanged looks. Wordlessly, they turned around together and fled, as if they were hares running back home.
As the hall descended into chaos, Ricky wormed his way across, avoiding the crowd that way fleeing outward, and entered the balcony facing the riverbank. The liar extraordinaire procured a tube of fireworks from his clothes, placed it on the stone stairs on the balcony, lit it, and left quickly.
"The signal!" The captain of Venetian Gypsy yelled. His ship crew immediately started moving, opening all the windows of the first level, exposing a black-bodied cannon aiming straight at the Lombardy Castle.
Aeolia grasped onto the rail tightly, her other hand comparing the map with the location the fireworks was released. "Front-left of the fireworks, around forty meters away is the main entrance of the castle, aim there! Don't let people leave, chase them back into the castle!"
The crew of Venetian Gypsy examined and adjusted the cannon's angle. They had never known there are such terrifying weapons in the world before they were trained by House Sukhoi!
The Deiss knights tried hard to maintain the order of the scene. The feast was over, and the guards searched for the killer, even some soldier left behind to help. The women were asked to leave the hall. Everyone was discussing loudly amongst themselves, while the knights led them toward the exit.
"Where are you going?" A knight stopped a hulking man.
Little Godot didn't say anything. The beer barrel on his shoulder was like a mallet, it's just nice to use as his toy. Little Godot didn't understand Deiss language, so he raised the barrel and slammed at the busybody.
A loud noise alerted the Deiss Warriors in the building. They rushed to open the steel doorbolted shut from the inside, only to see Godot's huge footprint stamped on the door. Godot was standing there, satisfied to see the Deiss Warriors falling like flies behind it.
Godot had entered the building behind the steel door before the Deiss Warriors realized what happened. They trampled on the bodies that were crushed by the gate and charged at the weaponless hulk with piercing yells. Little Godot lifted the door beside his feet, and slammed into the building. As a result, a whole column of Deiss Warriors were pushed against the wall. Little Godot straightened up the door and pressed against them with all his might, a few of the less fortunate ones started vomiting blood.
Looking downward from the winch, there were people in every nook and corner. Little Godot was pleased by his impeccable timing to arrive, so he picked up a huge warhammer and swung at the steel chain controlling the gate, causing the drawbridge to slam onto the ground. Some of the knights who wasn't able to escape were pierced through by the spikes on the gate, some other were completely pummeled into earth.
Screeches of pain echoed from the entrance to the castle, the injured were moaning and the nobles who witnessed fled.
The Deiss Warriors who were patrolling on the wall of the castle finally noticed something was wrong in the main building, but before they get a chance to react, a booming sound came from the massive ship with the West Percy flag. A blast of air and smoke centered on the front of the ship, and an incredibly speedy comet was embedded on the clearing in front of the castle.
A bombardment! This is a bombardment! The horrified Deiss nobles fell into chaos, fleeing in splattering blood and flesh. The drawbridge couldn't be opened, so the crowd finally made their way back into the castle before the second wave of attack came. The tinnitus that came with the bomb was still ringing in their ears, and everyone was just staring at the explosions from inside, eyes wide. Of course, the wide-eyed ones were only the soldiers, the gents and ladies had all hid themselves into any holes they could squeeze into, even under the table.
Princess Opareal Roulexberg's face was pale, she and her husband appeared in front of everyone. Seeing the future ruler of the country, these people who had just experienced a calamity finally calmed down.
"Retreat from the back door, you should be able to follow the path to the area where your carriages can be found. Let the Royal Knights accompany you when you leave." Immediately, the Princess led the way as the others followed noisily.
"Your Highness… L- look!" A knight who were in charge of the back door stopped them and pointed at the vineyard not far from there with a shaky finger. It was no longer a place with cool breeze at night. Fire had spurred in several locations, and it had grew into the size of a prairie fire due to the wind. The flame consumed the wooden racks, and was slowly slithering its way toward the castle accompanied with its scorching heat.
Seeing her hometown all up in flames, Opareal bit her lower lip. She drew her husband's sword and pulled Harriens who was dressed like a commoner from the crowd.
"Great! You've finally appeared!" Opareal slashed the face of the commanding officer of her Land and Resource Bureau. "We're trapped here! Find the Titan Prince, and throw his head into the fire!"
Harriens couldn't care about the flashing pain on his face and dashed upstairs. Opareal turned her gaze from the sea of fire. She no longer had any feelings for O'Neil Andrew Morisette. Her nobles were looking to her for guidance, her soldiers were waiting for her instruction, she's the future ruler of Deiss, she could not bear to lose!
"Your Highness!" The husband faced his wife respectfully.
"Gather your men to put out the fire, and open up a path to lead the people to safety! Order the guards to attack the ship at the harbor, we have to make sure it sinks!"
Even before the Princess gave her order, the guards had already made their way to the ship. The Deiss Warriors attacked the mast and the sail with fire arrows, but the sailors had already cut the cable and hoisted up the anchor, maintaining about thirty meters away from the dock. These former pirates calmly returned fire at the enemies who pursued them in a boat.
Evading the enemy's slash, Oscar rolled on the ground and slashed at a knight's thigh, which connected. Doramy, with no immediate threat, took over Oscar's enemy as he prepared himself.
Oscar finally got to the door. He kicked it, but the door didn't budge one bit.
"Use my key, you blunt head!" Left Hand yelled as he caught a breath between slashing and parrying.
Oscar slapped his forehead, it was no wonder his throat kept itching, he'd forgotten about the universal key. Black Devil was behind Oscar, defending him against the attacks of three knights on his own. Oscar dislodged a string from his tooth, pulling it, and finally extracted the key from his esophagus.
Oscar opened the door while fighting the urge to throw up. He swore, he will never do this again!
Wellington Steinberger and Mendez Blane finally regained their freedom, but the euphoria did not last long, as numerous Deiss Warriors appeared from both sides of the corridor. Mendez lifted a table from the center of the room and roared as he charged against the gathering crowd. The Deiss Warriors were once again pushed into the stairwell at the end of the corridor. Oscar took the chance and saved Sarlat Drosha as well. The Paladin picked up a rapier the enemy dropped, and gave his old friends a knight's salute, placing the rapier on his chest.
"Hello everyone! I'm so grateful all of us get to meet again so soon!"
"Shut up!" A unanimous yell dampened the Paladin's enthusiasm.
Half an hour! It's been half an hour!
The Titan fighters had left many corpses on the walls of the Second Camp. The Deiss were really the most fearless of fighters. Even though the wall of the Second Camp was littered with holes and gaps, some of the Titans had already forced their way through the camp, the Deiss soldiers relied only on their unyielding will to fill the gaps with their dying bodies, and to force the Titans who made it on the wall into the burning trench. On the thousand-meter-long wall, there wasn't anywhere without killing, burning, yelling, or moaning.
Broken siege towers laid below the wall, the ground was full of corpses and used arrows. A team of Titan Knights raised their shield as black as obsidian again to launch an assault, but the Deiss disrupted their formation with rolling woods, as well as destroyed the wooden ladders with boulders. Only by stepping on their comrades' bodies can the Titans get close to the wall to pass the ladders to the frontline. The ladder finally hooked to the wall, and the Titans rushed forward, to which the Deiss responded with their own assault.
In every corner of the wall, there was a scene played out by itself. Soldiers on both sides cheered the others on with roaring voices, dueled with their lives, clashed among their bodies. Fire arrows were shot through the night sky painted with the reddish tint of blood and fire. Flaming boulders crashed into the enemy's zone, houses fell and burned, and people were resisting death with their broken bodies. Death was like a beast that could swallow them at any time, and it's still constantly receiving souls into its realm.
The fight at the entrance of the camp was the most intense. The Titans had already sacrificed four teams of rammers, and even though the fifth team had successfully rushed onto the hill with the help of the heavy armor guards, Deiss arrows were still occasionally taking their lives. The ram was only a sharply shaven thick log, it was place on a ten-wheeled cart. The Titans pushed the cart with all their might while the heavy armor guards protected them with their shields.
Fire had brightened the whole of the battlefield, especially the camp entrance. The fifth rammer team endured through the fire arrows, rolling woods, and boulders to move the cart, before putting every last bit of their strength in ramming the entrance gate. The Deiss behind that gate pushed against the steel gate with their bodies and shields. The door had started to dent and be bent out of shape, but they were still defending with every sliver of strength they could muster.
One heavily-armored Titan soldier stared fearfully at the top of the building. He yelled at his comrades at the steel gate.
"Retreat! Retreat! It's boiling oil! Boiling oil!"
The knights lifted their heads as the oil splashed at them liberally. Hot oil dispersed the Titan soldiers on both sides of the ram, but even though they could not see and their skin swelled from the boiling oil, the Titans turned their whining into power, pushing the ram as hard as they could, until finally, a break could be heard from the hardwood finally caving. The Deiss soldiers behind the door tumbled backward as they stared in awe the sharpened cylindrical log that appeared in place of the planked shut, iron-barred gate.
The Encampment Commander-in-Chief gave his final order to fling the torches at the gate. The rammers and the ram immediately caught fire. Flames danced wildly on the bodies of the Titans, who could only yelp and shriek. The gate soon started burning too, and the Commander-in-Chief stared at the whole scene with a sad look upon his face. The gate was irreparable, the Titans need only to attack once more before they could occupy the camp, so they could only light up the gate to delay their own demise, maybe this way… they would allow time for the injured soldiers to retreat.
Calmness slowly descended upon the battlefield as the Titans fell into their formation before the soon-to-fall gate. Finally, it collapsed with a loud crack, revealing the Deiss Warriors who were similarly, in their own formation on the other side of the gate.
A resounding neigh rang along a set of hasty gallop. A horse leaped over the burning, collapsed entrance with a knight on its back. A wolfrider pulled his excited mount back before the Deiss camp, then raised his dual-swords above his head in the shape of an "X".
Without warning, a shower of arrows rained into the camp as the Deiss Warriors frantically put up their shields.
"Destroy them!" Following the wolfrider's command, a team of knights wielding dual-swords charged into the entrance as other melee weapon users climbed through the wall, just as they thought! The Deiss soldiers were not scared, they similarly shouted with gusto. Under the leadership of their Commander-in-Chief, the Yaran Warriors received the attacks of the Titans!
They slashed on their left, then knocked on their right. They parried attacks from above, and avoided the axes swinging at their legs. It was a tangled fight, Oscar couldn't even tell the directions anymore.
Left Hand led the group to break through the enemies according to the map in his head, but as his strength dwindled, there were still two floors before they would arrive at the promised spot.
Oscar took a chance as he shot out a kick, sending a warrior tumbling back. Windows of opportunity like this are hard to come by, the Titan hero tackled his enemy without a care of his own life, and immediately sank his sword into his enemy's abdomen. Oscar yelled as loud as he could as he pushed against the body on his sword, forcing the warriors behind him to fall down the staircase. Another team of warriors charged at him from another direction. Oscar slashed at the nimble one in the front. He knew he had the physical advantage when he saw the warrior blocked his attack with difficulty, so he hacked three more times heavily, making the warrior with the mask fall backward into his teammate.
The Deiss Warriors supported the masked knight tumultuously, but Oscar's sword forced them back with a single side sweep. The Warriors jumped back into engagement without giving it a second thought, but Sarlat Drosha's rapier and Black Devil's dual blade came to the rescue, blocking them from reaching Oscar.
Turning toward the warrior who was struggling to get up, Oscar stomped on his chestplate. A splatter of blood spattered out from the mask. Oscar held his sword in a reverse hold, then quickly descended it! The tip of the sword had almost sank into the warrior's throat!
"Wait!" Einsenstein roared, which caught Oscar's attention.
The Titan Prince stopped his sword in time, just as it very nearly tasted the blood of the Deiss Warrior! He looked at Einsenstein, who looked pale as a ghost, as looked at the other Deiss Warriors who stopped attacking, then turned his sword to lift the warrior's mask away. He noticed, surprisingly, that it was a beautiful face underneath that mask, the enraged look in the eyes had a familiar gleam!
Oscar removed his foot from the armor and the helmet from the warrior's head, spilling silky strings of pale blonde hair onto the ground.
"Reela! Why did you…"
"Oscar! You destroyed my home!"<script>chaptererror();</script>