Daniel was just bluffing. In order to extract one’s soul and peer into their thoughts, a death mage would have to be at least above grade-8 to just barely do it. Daniel was just a grade-5 death mage. He had methods to torture a person’s soul, but he would not be able to obtain any accurate information.
The two prisoners were clueless about magic, so they believed Daniel’s words. If they held out but the enemy still managed to acquire information, then they were simply troubling themselves. Even if Daniel did not frighten them, the two scouts would have also pissed their pants due to dozens of mages surrounding them.
At once, the two men divulged Nash’s strategy to Daniel, causing him to furrow his eyebrows. His path was obstructed by the fort, and he would have to climb over the mountains in order to get to the border. One or two people might be able to slip through. With five-hundred men and all the military supplies, they would have to make a detour of thousands of miles to find a less arduous route.
“Sir, since these people are blocking the viscountess, why do we not invade the city so that the viscountess’ army can pass through easily?” The one speaking from the sidelines was Gurney. The battle this time around was under his command, Daniel was just rendering some aid. He had eliminated all forty people while only some of his men were injured. This greatly bolstered Gurney’s confidence. The other party were the regular soldiers from the Qin Empire, not some measly bandits.
Those scouts had actually died wrongfully. No marching army would bring along a few chariots of arrows. Gurney’s soldiers fired their arrows as if they did not cost any money, they did not even bother doing close melee with the scouts. In fact, Gurney only deployed two-hundred men. Since they had a weapon advantage, the few groups of scouts were totally overpowered. Had it been close combat, it would already be impressive if two of Gurney’s men died in order to kill one scout.
Daniel was thinking one step ahead of Gurney. He was thinking if Saleen would be implicated if they attacked the empire’s army. Daniel could simply leave after killing the scouts, the other party would not be able to find out anything. If he invaded the city, it would be an entirely different issue.
“Sir, are you worried about Holy Rock City?” Gurney was actually a very intelligent man. He would not cling onto Saleen, bent on rising through the ranks in the army otherwise.
“Yes. Attacking the empire’s city is a very big burden.”
“Sir, this city used to belong to Phoenix. I feel that Holy Rock City has lost control of the nobles here, otherwise Phoenix wouldn’t have been in so much chaos already.”
“You don’t know anything.” Daniel rolled his eyes at Gurney. At this moment, Daniel had bound his future to Saleen’s, he did not want to create any irreversible damage.
Gurney was not fearful either, he simply told Daniel directly, “Sir, I don’t know how a noble will think. In the world of pirates, the captain will not stay captain for long if he cannot protect his people, no matter the reason.”
“Hmm?” Daniel was very astonished to be hearing a skinny pirate discuss the affairs of a state, and even using his own background as an analogy. Then Daniel said, “What do you mean by that?”
“No matter what conflicts the viscountess has with Holy Rock City, she will remain a member of the imperial family. Now that Holy Rock City is doing something like this to their family member, the local nobles will definitely be like pirates, with doubts growing in their minds. Since Holy Rock City can turn against its own people, then who will be able protect the interest of the nobles?”
“Oh yes!” Daniel was enlightened as he himself was a noble. He immediately understood after listening to Gurney’s explanation.
Back then, the Tanggulasi imperial family sold him out to the Holy See. Naturally, he would not be loyal to the imperial family. When he was on the run, there were some unfamiliar nobles who came to his aid. That happened because of the reason Gurney was explaining.
Since the imperial family could betray Daniel because of the Holy See, then they could also do it to other people in the future.
“There are five-thousand enemies, while we are only five-hundred men.” Daniel was not so conceited to think that he could battle ten times the number of enemies. The other party also had mages, though there were not as many as Daniel had. As long as mages were present, they would be able to neutralize his advantage and use their numbers to gain victory.
Daniel had witnessed a regular army in action before, and he knew the pirates were no match for them. The higher the number of quality soldiers groomed, the greater the offensive power. A five-thousand strong army was a massive force anywhere. Daniel only had five-hundred people. The barbarians could not even execute a battle order properly yet, not to mention the pirates.
“Sir, that city has a magic tower in the west, while we are in the east. The control range of a magic tower isn’t so far. As long as we can enter the city, we can use the magic chariots to set their camp on fire and burn it to the ground.”
Originally, Fort Strand was not a military city, there were a number of civilians in the past. These deployed soldiers had constructed their barracks independently. If the magic chariots charged in and released fire magic, the outcome would indeed be horrifying. Even if there were mages in the camp, they could do nothing as well.
Two magic chariots coupled with Daniel and Francis would be able to resist a grade-7 sorcerer already.
“Mm, that sounds good, but the problem is the way into the city.”
“Sir, after killing these scouts, the other party will definitely leave the city to investigate. Since this terrain is narrow, we can lay an ambush first and kill those people. We can then change into their clothes afterwards. The magic chariots will wait one mile from the city. Once the disguised soldiers seize the city gates, we will charge in immediately.”
Gurney’s idea was fraught with peril. If the enemy deployed too little soldiers, then the difficulty of seizing the city gates would be too high. Gurney was in it for the fortune, he could care less. When being a pirate, one could only make money by putting their life on the line.
Daniel did not know Gurney’s true intentions, he was actually in awe of his courage. After casting the Disturbance Spell to make the two prisoners unconscious, Daniel and Francis began preparing their spells.
In the tents west of the city, Lex’s soldiers had begun preparing for the invasion of the city. Lex had brought along chariots too. Since the journey was protracted, her chariots were stored in the God’s Ring, so they had to be assembled now. This four-wheeled chariot could carry a mini magic trebuchet. A mini magic trebuchet was used to suppress the enemy’s archers, it could not destroy the city walls.
A huge quantity of war puppets were activated before being distributed to the low grade mages. If such a puppet was not controlled by a mage, its strength would almost be equivalent to that of a skeleton soldier. It would have a higher resistance to physical attacks. The main function of these puppets was to protect the soldiers and to push the heavy appliances to the city door so that the city door could be broken.
If the enemy was bent on defending the city door by blocking it, the puppets could still climb over the walls so as to exhaust the enemy’s arrows.
Of course, if Lex had those large war puppets, then there would not be so much trouble. She simply needed to let the heavy cavalry charge ahead alongside the war puppets. Once the puppets destroyed the city gate tower, the heavy cavalry would be able to slaughter their way in.
The production of war puppets in Holy Rock City was almost completed. It was not known whether they would be deployed to Loulan, or to solve the problem in Lianyun City.
Before the battle, the soldiers still had to organize the weapons. In fact, the weapons of some commanders would have to be blessed by magic first in order to achieve maximum effect. The steel crossbows needed to be greased, while the horses needed to be fed with special food. The horses could not eat too much, otherwise their physical strength would be hampered. The steel armor plates had to be inspected individually. A large portion of a piece of Qin armor was interwoven with leather straps. These straps were prone to wear-and-tear. If they broke on the battlefield, the soldier would be in grave danger. Before some imperative war, the commanders might even issue new leather straps to allow the soldiers to re-chain the armor plates.
If a string weapon was used for long durations, it would experience abrasion. More often than not, it would not affect the weapon’s usage. If there were any unexpected fractures, the bowstring would get damaged though. Some soldiers wore gloves which were equipped with steel claws. In the event that the city door would not budge, the magic trebuchets would bust a cavity in the city walls. Then, the soldiers would use their steel claws to ascend the walls. Before an invasion, the protective layer of grease on the steel claws needed to be removed before undergoing sharpening.
An army with more than ten-thousand people would definitely have large trebuchets. A large trebuchet was not portable, however. They needed to be assembled within five miles of the city walls, which was also the range of the enemy’s trebuchets. Currently, the soldiers were busy crafting makeshift wooden shields, in case they got hit by any stray rock fragments.
There were a variety of trebuchets. A certain type could fire a huge quantity of small rocks, hundreds of them in one shot. These small rocks could not destroy a large structure, but they were lethal against infantrymen. No matter how strong a person was, his bone would get smashed, and he would no longer be able to fight.
In the vicinity of the camp’s walls, hundreds of crossbowman stared at the skies vigilantly. If the enemy’s flying puppets flew over at this point in time, they needed to be shot down. News of the imminent invasion would be exposed otherwise.
Every single soldier was busy doing some pre-battle preparations. Even though they were some trivial matters, it allowed a soldier to slowly gather his concentration. This was a method of raising one’s offensive power. The mercenaries also had similar rituals, just that they were not as professional as a regular force.
For example that five-hundred soldiers on the east side of Fort Strand. If Lex was given a chance to evaluate them, she would regard them as a motley crowd. Without the skeleton warhorses, Lex could finish them off within thirty minutes using just half her manpower.
The battlefield was not for comparing an individual’s courage, it was testing the coordination between soldiers. The barbarians were individually powerful, but on the battlefield, they would pale in comparison to a normal soldier. That was also the reason why the barbarians declined, as they could never organize a powerful army.
A glare soared across the sky. Lex suddenly opened her eyes while she was meditating in the tent. She was momentarily astounded, then she said, “They…”
“Viscountess, what is it?” Narnia asked.
“A battle has erupted on the east’s city door. Daniel that scumbag has decided to attack earlier!” Lex spewed a vulgarity by accident. She quickly realized that her people had not yet climbed over the mountains. Daniel was initiating an attack because he did not know about Lex’s plan yet.
Was that not seeking death? Five-hundred men were attacking a city with five-thousand men in it. The situation should have been in reverse.
That being said, Lex could not leave Daniel in the lurch. Those five-hundred men were groomed by Saleen. The least she could do was to cooperate, otherwise the five-hundred men might all get killed.
A soldier entered immediately. With a murderous look in her eyes, Lex said, “Deploy the ninth and tenth emblem groups to attack Fort Strand.”