Chapter 1404: War Steeds
Translator: Sean88888 Editor: Elkassar1
Sauron’s powerful magic veiled the sky and obscured the sun so as to prevent the Orcs and Trolls from being hurt by the sunlight. The colour tone of the entire world seemed dark and gloomy.
However, at the tip of the triangle of the Rohirrim cavalry’s tidal wave-like charge, the riders were covered in a faint layer of golden light, as if the sun had penetrated through the gloom to shine on them. Their morale and fighting spirit felt as bright as the sun, piercing through all the obstacles in front of them, changing the colour of the great river and mountains!
Witnessing such unrestrainable power, the contestants who positioned themselves close behind the main force of the Orc army suddenly had a bad premonition, some even having the impulse to retreat. The faces of Zi and Reef were grave as they turned to Sheyan. They now felt that his decision to position their party so far back was truly a wise move.
“How did you know that the Rohirrim cavalry would be so powerful, brother?” asked Sanzi curiously.
Contestants who specialised in close combat were definitely not few in numbers, yet they had not had many chances to display their talents in this war so far, so they had long run out of patience. Now that there was a rare chance for a close combat battle with the Rohirrim cavalry, they naturally could not wait to vent all their frustrations; it was just human nature. However, Sheyan had instead fought back his desire and calmly hid at the back. It was hard to believe that he would do so without good reasons.
Seeing the expectant eyes of the party, Sheyan could only smile and shrug. “If I tell you that I never expected the Rohirrim cavalry to be so strong, will you believe me?”
“Look at my middle finger…”
“Of course not.”
“I fart in your general direction.”
Against their collective protests, Sheyan could only sigh helplessly. “I’m telling the truth. I didn’t expect this. I only thought that we shouldn’t waste our stamina and effort on a battle of this level, because the battle that awaits us after this will be ten times worse…”
“Ten times worse? You mean when we breach the city?” Aldaris could not help but ask, finally giving in to his curiosity.
Sheyan only sighed and smiled without answering. At present, all he could do was push the overall situation in the direction he desired. Whether the situation would really develop according to his will still depended on one crucial aspect, so he dared not confirm it yet. To tell them after doing something and succeeding was always better than to tell them before doing it.
While Party Ace were chatting and joking around, the Rohirrim cavalry were starting to enter the area laid with traps. The frontmost riders were glowing with a dazzling blue light, which was an effect of the ‘Wind’s Grace’ spell. Under the effect of the spell, the horses lightly jumped and galloped in between the traps, to the contestants’ amazement. Although the occasional horses would be injured from time to time, there were far fewer injuries than initially expected.
Next, the cavalry pierced through the Orc slaves and labourers like a hot knife through butter!
The Orc slaves and labourers soon routed. They ran back and actually collided into the formation of the Orc army’s main force, sending them into disarray! The so-called first and second line of defence provided no more resistance than a sheet of paper!
Only the third line of defence made up of the main force managed to pressure the Rohirrim cavalry. The cavalry finally slowed down, but they merely slowed down. This means that the contestants’ initial plan of fighting against a bunch of scattered, exhausted cavalry was way too naive!
What they were facing now were a bunch of organised cavalry that were still charging forward with great momentum!
From above, it looked as if a massive torrent of cavalry had rushed into a sea of Orcs ahead!! Theoretically speaking, the torrent should have scattered and dispersed in the sea, but it actually kept pushing forward relentlessly, parting the sea of Orcs! Such fierce momentum!
When the cavalry was still passing through the trap area, Sheyan was already gasping in surprise. Even though he had expected a harsh battle, he never expected the Rohirrim cavalry to be so terrifyingly strong!
When Sheyan saw the cavalry cut through the Orc slaves and labourers like they were tofu, he told Sanzi, “We probably have to reveal another of our card today, Sanzi.”
“Which one? You mean Kulutego?” asked Sanzi in surprise.
All this while, Kulutego had been masquerading as a mysterious, masked earth mage. Although others could discover that he was a creature under Sanzi’s control, they all thought that he was just a powerful earth mage, and that he specialised in support.
Sheyan nodded decisively. “Yeah. And I even suspect that Kulutego might not actually be able to stop them even if he goes all out. I might have to show myself.”
Zi was quite shocked to hear that. “These cavalry are that powerful?”
Sheyan’s eyes narrowed. “I knew the cavalry are going to be powerful, but … the people on our side seemed to have forgotten something. If our people can set out to intercept Aragon and Theoden, then the enemy can also send their people to intercept our reinforcements!”
Hearing Sheyan’s analysis, Ronnie immediately sucked in a cold breath.”Our reinforcements…. You mean, the Haradrim who control the Oliphaunts might arrive late?”
Sheyan nodded. “That’s right. This means that the powerful cavalry of Rohan will probably cause a devastating blow to the Orc army before the Oliphaunt army of the Haradrim arrive. By then, King Theoden might have already met up with the Minas Tirith defenders! The city has enough supplies to replenish theirs, while King Theoden can add his archers and wounded to the city garrison!”
While Sheyan spoke, Kulutego had started using his biological power. The ground in front of them slowly rose until it formed several thick stone walls that criss-crossed each other. The stone walls were each about ten metres long. They were not very high – only about three metres – but they were also more than three metres thick.
These stone walls could never hope to contain the charging cavalry like a tidal barrage containing the tide, but the cavalry were, after all, not armoured forces, and their horses were intelligent creatures. Under the effect of training and the encouragement of their riders, they would stride fiercely over the enemies without any hesitation, but they would not be so stupid as to try to run over a stone wall with their bodies.
Therefore, these seemingly disorderly stone walls could actually force the cavalry host to split up to their left and right, like reef parting a strong wave. At the very least, they would slow down the cavalry’s charge.
After depleting his biological powers, Kulutego growled in a low voice and expanded like he was being inflated. He quickly turned from a thin, lanky man wrapped in a tawny robe into a thick, burly giant. When the transformation concluded, Kulutego had become a horrible two-headed monster that was more than four metres tall. His skin was brown and black in colour. His muscles were solid, and on the skin wrapping the muscles were whirlpool-like battle marks!
A feeling of supreme majesty emanated from Kulutego. This was the natural pressure that a superior creature gave off to inferior ones. Kulutego bent down and inserted his left hand deep into the earth, almost up to his shoulder.
His posture was like that of a fisherman catching fish in the river with bare hands. When he pulled out his hand, the ground started shaking violently. In Kulutego’s muscular left arm was a giant rock club that was red at the tip. Crimson magma still dripped down from it!
Almost all the contestants who had not been attacked yet were now staring in Party Ace’s direction. Gasps could be heard when they sensed Kulutego formidable power. No one had expected Party Ace to have such an amazing card up their sleeve!
Some were even secretly getting wary. A legendary creature as powerful as that had almost reached the peak of a Temperer’s strength. It would definitely cause no less destruction than a heavy trebuchet when storming the city, yet the leader of Party Ace had actually resisted for so long the temptation to play this card that could have reaped them a large amount of benefits. They were shocked at how coolly calculating he was!
By now, the Rohirrim cavalry had penetrated through the Orc army and had even broken through the contestant parties. They were rushing over like a raging tide. Fortunately, Sheyan had chosen a good spot which had ingeniously avoided their direct line of advancement; Party Ace was situated somewhere to the edge of the left tip of the cavalry army’s arrowhead formation. In this position, the chances of encountering the elites were very low, and the pressure should be the lightest.
But even so, when Sheyan stood atop the thick stone walls and saw the host of cavalry dashing over, he could still feel the fierceness and sharpness of their charge. As long as the host of cavalry was still charging in an organised formation, those who laid eyes on them would feel as if they were a single entity. They gave off an overwhelming pressure, as if each soldier had to brace the fierce impact of 8000 charging cavalry by himself!
However, when the galloping cavalry reached a distance of nearly 50 metres from Kulutego, their war steeds started rearing up and neighing in fear one after another. They had obviously sensed the threat of a horrifying creature. Despite all the magical buffs bestowed upon the horses, they were still strongly affected after entering Kulutego’s sphere of influence.
Party Ace naturally would not miss the opportunity. Zi’s ‘Force.Collision Wall’, Aldaris’ ‘Psionic Storm’, and various other attacks engulfed the cavalry. Riders fell from their horses one after another. The riders in front were halted, but those behind could not slow down, so the cavalrymen in the front immediately became the obstacles of the rear. They ended up being ruthlessly trampled on! The cavalry must be fierce and merciless in order to charge forward on the battlefield!
Kulutego’s oppressive pressure was not all-domineering. Under the cavalry host’s terrible momentum, no matter how frightened the horses were, they had no choice but to move forward along with the flow. At such times, the solid stone walls – or more precisely, stone barricades – Kulutego had painstakingly made became very useful.
It was almost impossible for the cavalry to break down the granite barricades that were more than three metres tall and almost four metres thick, and thus, they were very effective in containing the cavalry. Meanwhile, Party Ace could just wait for the enemy to come to them in the open spaces between the barricades.
Of course, the contestants of the dark side were no fools. This was not a difficult method. If Sheyan could figure it out, so could others. Building a few stone walls did not require much MP from their earth mages.
Yes, building a few stone walls was not difficult; it was just that, after the Rohirrim cavalry had spread out, they extended several kilometres long. Considering the scale of the army, a few stone walls here and there were of little use to the overall situation. More importantly, there were also some powerful figures among the Rohirrim cavalry. These kinds of stone walls may be able to stop horses, but the generals and high ranking officers could easily tear the walls apart with their skills and abilities.
Soon, a thick green fog rose over the area Party Ace was fighting in. Sheyan was faithfully sticking to his role as a support, throwing around his mixes. Ronnie was like a fish in water, seizing opportunities in the chaos. Occasionally, a scarlet light would flash, and the life of a Rohirrim rider would be lost.
Suddenly, a Rohirrim rider pulled his steed’s rein to slow it down and came towards them around the stone walls.
Even the ordinary cavalry among the Rohirrim riders had a strong personal style. Their horses were actually covered in leather armour, which could effectively defend against arrows. Of course, the senior officers would make barding out of slightly heavier metal scales. A wooden shield inlaid with iron and painted with the emblem of the Rohirrim royal family hung from the cavalrymen’s left saddle. The weapons they used were mainly a javelin for long range and an axe or a sword for short-range.
The cavalrymen wore heavy protection on their upper body – a metal helmet and a hard leather armour, inlaid with metal at the heart and other vital parts, were the standard – but in order to avoid putting additional weight on the horses, the protection of their lower body was not as strong.
When the cavalryman saw Party Ace, he instinctively urged his horse to speed up, but he was instantly hit by a strong invisible wall. Tears and snot ran down his face, while his mount let out a shrill neigh of agony.
Then, although his eyes were crammed shut in pain, he could smell the filthy stench of a Troll approaching him. The cavalryman instinctively held up his shield and barely blocked a smash from Big-Nose’s chain mace in time. However, the sturdy shield shattered into pieces! His steed stumbled back unsteadily.
The cavalryman felt his whole body go numb from the impact, but a sharp pain came from below his ribs. He was horrified to find that all his strength seemed to be seeping out from that spot! He saw from the corner of his eye a ghastly figure retreating rapidly, leaving behind a flash of blood-red trail. The cavalryman, knowing that he was already on the verge of death, summoned the last bit of his courage to give the enemies one final blow, but a streak of blue lightning descended from the sky, taking away the remainder of his life!
This was the method Party Ace came up with to kill the enemy in an almost assembly line-like process. First, Zi would use her long-range attack to stop the enemy from gaining momentum. Then, the savage Troll would break down the enemy’s defence, and when the enemy was at his most vulnerable, Ronnie would go straight for the enemy’s vitals, making full use of his high attack power. Finally, in order to prevent the enemy from getting one last hit in before he died, Aldaris would finish him with a long-range attack.
Because the Trolls had to hit the hardest, their job was the most tiring, so the three of them would take turns.
A plan like this could be described with three words:
Ruthless, mechanical, and efficient.
That was the plan Sheyan came up with to reap lives and rewards. He also had himself, Reef, Kulutego, Reef’s servant No. 7, Ramtas, and the other two Trolls standing by in case of emergency. It would be enough to deal with any unforeseen circumstances, including being backstabbed by their own allies. Therefore, under his command, Party Ace were rapidly harvesting the lives of the Rohirrim cavalry that came to them, like a meat grinder grinding meat. These cavalrymen gave a very generous amount of contribution points, to Sheyan’s surprise. An ordinary cavalryman actually provided 10 to 15 contribution points!
An ordinary Rohirrim cavalryman was equivalent to more than ten ordinary Minas Tirith foot soldiers? The ratio sounded terribly high, but considering the current dire situation of the war, it was actually pretty reasonable. Even with the dark side completely prepared for them, the 8000 Rohirrim cavalry managed to turn the 150,000-strong Orc army into a chaotic mess, so even if the combat power of the 8000 cavalry was not as high as the 150,000 Orc troops, it was not far behind.
But what if 80,000 ordinary foot soldiers confronted 150,000 fully prepared troops of the Orc army? They would not achieve the same result, that was for sure. In fact, they would only have one outcome, and that was to be completely annihilated!
And that was why a reward of 10 to 15 contribution points for each Rohirrim cavalryman was not exceptionally high. Think of how risky it was to rush up to the torrent of steel and blood to bite off a piece of their meat.
In less than ten minutes, the grounds around Party Ace were already strewn with as many as thirty-four cavalrymen corpses. The strong stench of blood roused the barbaric bloodlust in the Trolls that were in full metal armours. While growling excitedly, they dragged the horse corpses over and started feasting on them, eating the meat and drinking the blood. It was an especially gory sight.
But Sheyan noticed that some of the wounds on their bodies were rapidly recovering while they ate. These monsters were indeed natural-born soldiers, able to heal themselves with their spoils. With this ability, as long as they survived and could find enough food, they could recover their combat power very quickly.
Perhaps noticing that the attacking forces here had been halted, a cavalry officer in chain mail rushed over. The officer was one size larger than a regular cavalryman and wore a symbolic gray cloak on his back. But more importantly, he had a horn at his waist and following behind him were more than ten cavalrymen who were obviously more elite than usual.
Sheyan’s eyes lit up when he saw the horn. Through prior investigation, he had found out that King Theoden should have in his possession at least two legendary equipment.
The first was his sword, the ‘Herugrim’. The sword itself was simple and unadorned. Its scabbard was clasped with gold and set with green gems. Because the sword was tempered in dragon blood, it had a great intimidation effect on all kinds of creatures.
The second was, of course, the Great Horn that made its appearance earlier.
After the Great Horn was blown, more than a hundred smaller horns would follow, so that the power of the Great Horn could cover the entire army. The fact that this cavalry officer possessed one of the smaller horns must mean that he was a prominent figure within the army.
Having reached the place, the cavalry officer took a very cautious approach. He and his subordinates readied their bows from quite a distance away and rained down arrows on the enemies in a high arc. This happened to hit Party Ace’s weakness. After the death of Brother Black, long-range attack had been their shortcoming.
Moreover, because the arrows were launched in a high arc, they successfully evaded the obstruction of the stone walls. Kulutego in particular was hit by more than ten arrows in a row. The arrowheads were specially made and could even pierce the skin of the Oliphaunts. Kulutego instantly roared in pain.
Sheyan exchanged a glance with Reef. There was no need for words. They had cooperated for a long time and had gone through multiple life-and-death situations together. With a nod of their heads, they understood each other’s intention!
Having suffered immense pain, Kulutego growled furiously, and a huge burning stone appeared in his hand. He hurled it at the cavalry squad.
The burning rock flew forward with great momentum. It broke into several pieces and scattered, instantly striking several elite cavalrymen down from their horses. The cavalrymen screamed in pain and could not help showing looks of fear on their faces.
The cavalry officer had reacted very quickly. The moment he saw the burning stone flying towards them, he immediately made the most correct response. He was on a horse, and obviously, horses moved backwards as fast as turtles crawled, so he could only move forward. He instantly lied low on his horse’s back and kicked the horse’s belly. The horse shot forward.
Since he was escaping from a life-threatening situation, he naturally rode as fast as he could. However, he still remained very cautious – he only charged less than forty metres ahead. Because he had kept his distance from the stone walls before, he was still more than thirty metres away from the enemies. However, he suddenly had a bad premonition. He tried to steer his horse away, but before he could do that, he saw a burly, shield-wielding man hold out his right hand towards himself.