16 Battle of Alm 1
The four sub-armies had separated. Golden Lions had set west, while the Blood Raven and Snakes headed east. As for Drake and his immaculate soldiers, they travelled the whole night towards the North.
Alm was a beautiful valley. Mountains surrounded Alm like natural walls, and the roads were paved with high-quality rocks. Flowers grew on the soil, and the fertile lands were often used to grow Black Flowers, a crop that was used to make oil.
Merchants coming from the South had to pass by Alm, some sort of Check Point in which they had to pay a heavy fee, a place that couldn't be avoided since there was only one safe trading route leading to the Frey Territory's capital: Kallian City.
Drake was aiming at this place for several reasons. By taking down Alm, the authority of the Viscount in the South of his territory would greatly decrease. Furthermore, the nephew of the Viscount himself, Paul Frey, was stationed there as the overseer, also known as the Brave Knight.
Paul Frey's tales of heroic battles against battles were fairly popular within taverns and cities. It was a sort of propaganda that increased the popularity of the Frey Household, which appeased the angry populace.
However, Drake knew the truth. Paul Frey, the supposedly brave knight, was nothing but a coward who had more experience in brothels and taverns than war. The guy was a waste, similar to Drake's own older brother, who was nowhere to be seen even when his father came back injured from an expedition.
There were no defensive buildings in Alm. And yet, Drake's scouts reported more than 200 soldiers protecting the 'Brave Knight' and occupying this check point. From a distance, Drake could see about a hundred tents, unprotected. The smell of grilled food, vine and other liquors as well as music was omnipresent.
It was extremely early in the morning, as the sun had yet to be seen. And yet, the soldiers of Alm seemed unaware of the Moonlight Household's hostility. It wasn't very surprising. News of a successful yet costly expedition from the Viscount Allan Moonlight had reached their eyes, and the only possible threat were a hundred immaculate led by a 15-years-old boy acting as a knight.
To the Viscount Frey's men, Drake was akin to a joke, playing war.
Drake was never merciful. He never planned on declaring war openly. He wanted to use whatever advantage he possessed to deal with his enemies. He wasn't moved by pure loyalty to his household. Drake had his own interest in stakes: Knight-level spearmanship, wealth, and more importantly, knight-level breathing techniques that would solve his growth rate issue.
"IMMACULATE, PREPARE YOURSELF TO CHARGE!"
Heavy cavalrymen are so called to distinguish themselves from the light cavalry forces. It is not the job of heavy cavalry to pursue enemies. It is their lot to use their speed and weight directly against enemies, battering them into breaking by shock of impact. To this end, they are usually armed with fearsome heavy swords that are quite capable of skewering a man or carving him in two. This role often means that heavy cavalry is held as a reserve by a wise general, so that they can be used to batter a hole in a critically weakened part of an enemy line.
Drake completely didn't abide by the norm, bringing a heavy cavalry to utterly massacre his enemies, still enjoying the festivities.
Each one of his immaculate soldiers was wearing a heavy armour capable of absorbing up to 4 degrees of damage, equipped with two spears and a shield of the highest quality, made of Black Iron, sturdier than the norm, and more lethal to enemies. They were the results of talented blacksmiths working for months on these gears. Now, they all ended up in Drake's hands. As for the Darkalion horses, it was impossible to find better mounts in the whole region.
As the sounds of horses galloping approached the camp, some soldiers became aware of the attack.
"DRAW YOUR SWORDS! WE'RE BEING ATTACKED"
Panic, shock and fear descended on the Frey Soldiers' party.
The sky was still dark, and their bodies were dull from all the alcohol, women and food. Fortunately, their instincts woke them up. They were facing an unknown number of enemies, but judging from the sounds, it seemed like it was a cavalry, either light or heavy cavalry.
"TONIGHT WE HUNT"
Nevertheless, the Frey soldiers reacted too slowly, and Drake's cavalry arrived before they could fully prepare a defensive line.
Drake analysed the battlefield. The enemies were in poor condition, and his cavalry was in peak condition. Seeing the chaotic ranks of the enemies, Drake was grinning.
Drawing his sword, Drake made the first blood, cutting through the two soldiers who seemed to have a higher rank than others, judging by their high-quality armour and crossbows.
[Frey Soldier – Human Male
Age – 28 years. Rank: ø
Status – Drunk, dull (-15% in attributes, -30% reflexes)
Strength – 1.2 | Dexterity – 1.1 | Constitution – 0.8 | Internal Energy – 0.7
The biochip only confirmed his suspicions. No matter how Drake looked at it, the enemy soldiers were barely above average commoners. They were most likely newly trained soldiers, with no proper skills to speak of or actual foundations making them dangerous on a battlefield. Adding to that their drunk and dull status, they didn't pose a threat at all.
The only reason they could be called soldiers was their gears. They were all wearing armours and shields.
On the side lines, the Immaculate soldiers were wreaking havoc on the Frey Soldiers. Each one of them possessed about two points of strength, high dexterity and advanced proficiency in Basic Immaculate Spearmanship.
Every few seconds, a thrust of an immaculate soldier would pierce a Frey soldier's throat or heart, ending their pitiful lives in a matter of seconds. As the battle went on, the number of Frey Soldiers was decreasing at a very fast rate.
The lethality of a heavy cavalry could be seen. Adding to their individual strength, the Immaculate soldiers made perfect use of the horses' speed. Even when the Frey Soldiers tried to block the incoming thrust, they would be impaled.
The Immaculate soldiers proceeded to successive charges. Each time, their enemy would either die or be gravely injured. And being injured meant death on a battlefield.
Meanwhile, Lewis only had one sword left, yet his achievements in the battle were not low. He had cut down twelve enemy soldiers already since the beginning of the battlefield. However, the enemy knight, Paul Frey, hit him in the leg, causing him to lose balance and fall on the ground.
Paul Frey might not be the hero who was depicted in tales and songs, but he was still a knight. His body has undergone a qualitative change, hence being much stronger than preparatory knights, not to mention that as a noble knight, he knew a sword art, though he had yet to master a knight killing technique.
Like all Frey heirs, Paul Frey wielded a spear, making it very difficult for Lewis to get out of his predicament.
Paul Frey didn't give him a chance, unleashing a flurry of spear thrusts that pierced Lewis' body over and over again. Experience enabled the latter to avoid lethal injuries, but as the cut multiplied, he felt his life escaping his grasp.
'At this rate, I am gonna bleed out!', Lewis was thinking, fearful and disappointed in his fate.
As a Frey Soldier saw the fight between Lewis and their lord Paul Frey, he rushed to accumulate merits. For Lewis to be surviving against a knight for so long, he sure was someone important to the enemies. Killing him meant earning a lot of merits. Hence, several soldiers rushed and tried to land a strike on the sturdy one-handed barbarian, Lewis.
Lewis was no pushover, however. As the three soldiers charged him, he parried the incoming spear thrust from the knight, and slashed three times in one second, each slash beheading the Frey soldiers.
His barbarian blood had made his body much stronger than what a preparatory knight could handle. This, in turn, enabled him to face a newly advanced knight like Paul Frey.
After a minute of continuous exchanges, however, the difference in attributes and skilled were obvious. Exhausted, injured, and crippled, Lewis was about to be killed. Unwilling to die, he stood up.
"GROW STRONG IN POWER"
This war cry, motto of the Moonlight Household, gave him strength. Energy revitalized his body…he was breaking through the knight realm.
Drake, who was watching the whole exchange from the side lines, while cutting the foes as if they were grass, intervened. He waited for Lewis to reach his limits and breakthrough. After living with Lewis for so long, he knew him better than Lewis himself. If it weren't for his phobia of war, his inferiority complex and his shattered conscience from the days of tortures he endured when he was captured, Lewis would have broken through the knight realm five years ago.
The Barbarian blood was especially thick in his body.
Sensing that Lewis was breaking through, Drake didn't hesitate to order his horse to rush towards Paul Frey.
A formation of four spearmen were preventing enemies from intervening in the duel, but Drake disregarded them, blocking the incoming thrusts with shield bashes and counter attacking with chops, which landed on their necks, torsos and eyes respectively. Three out of four would not live past the next hour with such severe injuries, while the last one would have to live the rest of his days as a blind man, should he survive this battle by some miracle.
When Drake arrived at range, he used his horse's speed and burned his internal energy to cast an Arclight chop. His blade illuminated the battlefield. Drake looked like a true noble.
As his war horse neared Paul Frey, the latter reacted swiftly. Sensing danger, he tried to block the attack, using a shield on a soldier wearing his blazon. However, upon impact, the shield exploded in dozens of pieces, while his arm was cut.
Drake didn't stop at this, cutting Paul Frey's second arm, ordering his horse to charge once again towards Paul Frey.
Paul Frey wasn't yielding. He threw throwing knives towards Drake and his war horse. Unfortunately, these throwing knives only dealt three to four degrees of damage, unable to pierce through his heavy armour or his horse's plate armour.
Eventually, Drake's sword halved Paul Frey's body.
Seeing their leader fall in battle, the moral of Frey soldiers, already low, reached the bottom line.
The twin elven girls were reaping lives as easily as cutting grass. Every few dozen seconds a head would fly after being cut by their elven swords which seemed faster than the wind itself. With such bringers of death, the moral of Frey Soldiers couldn't be any worse.
At some point, some started to throw away their weapons.
"Capture those who surrender, and kill those who resist", Drake ordered in cold blood.
It was time to savour victory.