“Crossbowmen and mages, fire in unison at the enemy knights!”
“Fire as many shots as you can at their horses! Turn them into porcupines!”
“Deus, protect us!”
Many arrows and magic spells soared into the sky with these shouts, then plummeted down toward the enemy knights.
Between 80-90% of the more than ten thousand arrows were deflected by the horse’s armor and the knights’ iron armor.
Nevertheless, some arrows found their mark, penetrating the flesh of horses and men, causing some horses to collapse or thrash in pain.
When one horse rolled on the ground, the disturbance caused a few knights to become momentarily entangled or fall, leading to greater damage.
“Good. Let’s kill them all like this!”
“Just a bit more effort! The rest will be handled by those on the ground behind us!”
“Fire even one more shot! Kill more!”
As the barrage of magic and arrows continued, the number of knights, initially over 10,000, gradually dwindled.
Watching their formation, splendor, and even speed diminish, I thought that if we continued to reduce their momentum like this, the infantry alone could adequately block their charges several times over.
“Those bastards who condemned our innocent Francois Republic to excommunication and called us heretics!”
“Don’t take prisoners except for those with stars! Kill them all!”
“Montjoie Saint Denis! Long live the great Francois Republic!”
The distance between the enemy’s 10,000 knights and us had narrowed to just about 100 meters. A collision was anticipated in about 50 seconds.
“All units, fire in unison! Aim directly and shoot straight!”
“Completely break through their vanguard, and then run!”
“Shoot your arrows, and then run! Run so fast your feet don’t touch the ground!”
Upon hearing that, I, too, ran at full speed back to where the 12th Brigade was positioned, about 20 meters away.
Moreover, countless arrows launched from the crossbows struck the knights charging from the enemy vanguard.
Their warhorses rolled on the ground, hit by arrows and magic, while those who fell from them died instantly with broken necks or spines.
Crying for help, they shouted loudly to their comrades,
“Stop, you maniacs! Stop! Do you plan to trample over our own men too?”
“Duck! Duck if you want to live!”
“Change course! Or avoid it altogether!”
However, it seemed that Duke Balua, the enemy commander, and his knights were not fools.
They knew that changing course or slowing down to save a few allies would lead to more sacrifices.
Important-looking individuals pointed their lances toward the Reich Empire’s army and shouted,
“Saint Denis will witness your deaths! Die for the cause!”
“Long live Francois! Long live the great Francois Republic! A million cheers for the heroes sacrificing for Francois!”
“I, Count Savoy, will not forget your noble sacrifice!”
They intended to trample even the fallen knights who were screaming for help.
It was a horrifying scene, but we couldn’t just stand by and watch helplessly.
“All of the 12th Brigade! Plant your spears in the ground and brace yourselves with full strength for the enemy’s charge! After receiving the charge, change formation to a right diagonal and target their flanks.”
In Hattin Forest, there had been enough space to place infantry on the left, right, and center, allowing for direct arrow fire at the sides of the knights.
On the current battlefield, aside from our brigade, other brigades and divisions were swarming, leaving no space to position long-range attackers next to the infantry.
Therefore, as a last resort, we and other units would receive the enemy’s charge in the center, and when possible, our infantry positioned on the left flank would change formation to diagonal and target the flanks.
Confirming my thoughts, the sound of bugles and rising flags signaled to receive the charge, and my left flank received orders to strike the enemy’s right side.
Then, from our left in the center, the sound of both armies colliding, accompanied by the enemy’s cries, reached our ears.
The enemy knights, clad in silver armor and wielding lances, charged towards our position.
“Trample and kill the damned Reich Empire’s trash that treats the Pope like their dog!”
“Kill every single one! Crush them into mincemeat and skewer them with your lances!”
“Long live the Francois Republic! Long live the great Republic!”
Even though we had successfully repelled and defeated such lance-wielding enemies several times before.
Perhaps due to a deeply ingrained survival instinct, my heart raced as if it might burst from tension.
But doesn’t a true man face danger with a smile instead of worry?
“We’ll send those idiots who lost to us in Hattin Forest right to your side! Gather all you excommunicated fools and play together in hell!”
Then, just before the collision, the non-commissioned officers and officers shouted loudly.
“Everyone, brace for impact!”
“Don’t close your eyes. Look straight ahead!”
“If you spear a horse, pull it out immediately!”
A few seconds later, with a loud crash, the enemy knights collided with my infantrymen, and the soldiers in the front line of our brigade, perhaps due to their experience in fighting knights multiple times before, managed to duck as much as possible before colliding with the knights, reducing the area they could be attacked, avoiding being speared, and being able to stab their pikes into the horses’ necks or chests.
The horses of the Francois knights either reared up, spewing hot blood, or died on the spot.
Furthermore, a significant number of knights riding them were either directly stabbed by spears or fell off the rearing horses and died.
In reality, our brigade fought extremely well in this collision.
But just like how gold coins on the ground only become yours if you pick them up and put them in your wallet, it only made sense to take the lives of the knights left half-defenseless due to their halted charge.
“Deus has protected us! Kill those heretic knights!”
“We don’t need spears to fight knights. Put them down, take up maces, daggers, and poleaxes!”
“Those with poleaxes, break their skulls at the front! Those with maces, strike wildly! And those with daggers, stab them in the throat!”
We quickly exploited the gap before their footsteps ceased, and they recovered from the confusion caused by their failed charge.
In groups of three, a soldier with a poleaxe would strike down on the head, causing the enemy knights to lose consciousness.
A soldier with a mace would swiftly attack the helmet, and as the knight staggered from several blows to the head, another would seize the moment to stab through the armor gaps.
This combination was only possible for senior soldiers above the rank of sergeant if there had been no formal and group training…
“Crazy bastards, why are you hitting my head?”
“My arm! My arm!”
“Draw your swords and fight back! The sword is the longest, so it’s best for this.”
For the Imperial army, trained incessantly in spear tactics and in using proper movements for such coordinated combat, these maneuvers were not particularly difficult.
“One leave pass for each of your necks! A leave pass for each!”
“The priest said that for every heretic bastard we kill, there will be a great reward in heaven! So, we must kill these bastards!”
“Kill one more before they regain their senses! They will surely return.”
Thus, we hammered away at the left flank of the enemy, killing their knights one by one, and noticed that other units were fighting in the same manner.
After about five minutes of close combat, Duke Balua seemed to realize that this charge would not break our infantry.
“Prepare for the second charge! Prepare for the second charge! Knights, retreat!”
“We’ll look forward to next time! Anticipate the next battle!”
“To the great Saint Denis, we will dedicate our victory in the next charge!”
The knights of the Francois Republic then turned their horses to flee as fast as they could.
Our crossbowmen and mages seized this opportunity, unleashing their attacks in an attempt to kill even more of them.
Furthermore, it appeared that Commander Patton judged that the enemy knights could no longer maintain their focus.
The 6,000 knights under his command veered to the left to pierce the flanks of the Francois infantry, initiating their sortie.
“Damn it, now all we can do is pray that our infantry withstands the knights’ charge and wins.”
It sounded simple, but in practice, it was incredibly difficult.
📢 New! Donation Section - Support early translations!
👀 Seeking Korean Translators - Get paid per chapter!
Enjoying the series? Leave a rating or review on Novel Updates.
⚠️ Do not post a spoiler without a spoiler tag ⚠️
<spoiler>INSERT YOUR TEXT</spoiler>