“Deus protects us! Long live Deus! Long live His Majesty the Emperor! Long live the Reich Empire!”
“Having repelled the charge, it’s as good as our victory!”
“No need to fear. We, protected by Deus, will win!”
The soldiers and junior officers, celebrating their success in repelling the charge of over 10,000 knights, were jubilant, as if their morale had pierced the heavens.
However, the situation felt terrifying to me, and my anxiety had more than doubled since before the war started.
One might ask why I speak such nonsense after successfully blocking their attack.
Due to the charge of nearly 10,000 knights, many of our defensive structures had collapsed.
Additionally, our unit, positioned not in the center but on the left flank, where the impact of the knights’ charge was less severe, suffered fewer casualties.
Nonetheless, we were exhausted from withstanding the charge of a significant number of knights.
In the next charge, some soldiers would undoubtedly falter due to their reduced strength.
Unless Duke Balua was very foolish, he would probably use the failure of the first attack to wrongly claim that our infantry was defeated by their brave charge. This would raise the spirits of the Francois knights and encourage them to attack again.
Thus, there was no guarantee that we could easily repel the second charge as we did the first.
It could be extremely difficult to resist, or in the worst case, our infantry could be completely annihilated if the center was breached.
“It’s too early to celebrate victory! Thousands of powerful knights still remain among the enemy! Everyone, stay alert!”
Upon hearing this, the soldiers of our brigade calmed their excitement and regained focus. Commanders of other units, though a bit slower in assessing the situation than me, eventually drew their swords and shouted loudly.
“The war is not over yet! If you don’t want to die, regroup! Regroup!”
“Change the formation and move the wounded to safety! Leave the dead where they are! There’s no time for that now!”
“Those with broken spears take the spears of the fallen soldiers nearby. If that’s not possible, go to the rear, get a spear, and return to the formation!”
This regrouping alone put the enemy knights at a significant disadvantage, as they now faced the daunting task of breaking through our reformed defenses.
Given the situation, it would be a strain for our brigade, including other units, to withstand another charge of nearly 10,000 lances.
Contemplating the best course of action under the circumstances, I hurried to where our unit’s mages were and spoke to them.
“Lieutenant Colonel Denis, immediately mobilize the mages under the brigade to cast Water Ball or mud magic on the slope of this hill to make it as slippery as possible.”
“Understood. But it seems it won’t make much difference unless other units do the same.”
“I’m a brigade commander now, too. I’ll send messengers to other brigade and division commanders to ask for cooperation, so hurry up!”
During the initial charge, we didn’t set up obvious traps, fearing Duke Balua would circumvent them with his knights, so the infantry didn’t prepare at that level.
Now, the Francois Republic knights, having achieved some success in their first charge, would surely trust their abilities and charge again.
“Crossbowmen, since the enemy will charge again, go to the rear and prepare arrows! We need more arrows to rain down on them!”
After saying that, I sent messengers to other high-ranking officers to seek cooperation and started turning the entire slope of the hill into a muddy mess.
Simultaneously, I requested the staff officer in the rear to position 1,000 dismounted knights in the front line.
After about 30 minutes of preparation, we started hearing the sound of horses galloping from the front.
“Glory to the Francois Republic! Knights, let’s stake our lives and decide the battle this time!”
“Long live the great Francois Republic! Long live the nation of the people! Long live the revolution!”
“Let’s trample and kill the imperial pigs who disturbed the Republic!”
Simultaneously, the mages and crossbowmen on the hill fervently fired magic and arrows.
“Die, damned Francois bastards!”
“Excommunicated heretics talk too much! Just die!”
“We need to shoot even more arrows!”
As before, the crossbowmen and mages struck a final blow and fled when the distance to the knights narrowed to about 100 meters.
I ordered the 30 dismounted knights and infantry to position themselves around me.
“Dismounted knights, enter the formation right now! And after withstanding the knights’ charge, you lead a simultaneous counter-attack!”
Technically, I had no authority to command them as they belonged to other units, but in the military, rank was the foremost priority.
Upon hearing my order, the dismounted knights immediately took up their pikes and entered the ranks of the infantry, preparing for intense combat.
At that moment, 10,000 enemy knights, as before, seemed to attempt a wedge formation breakthrough at the central position.
“From the center, the sound of horses trampling through the mud spread wider and louder.”
“Everyone, brace for impact!”
Shortly after that call, knights wielding lances approached us.
5 meters, 3 meters, 1 meter, and then came a snapping sound, screams of people and horses, and splatters of blood and flesh.
“My arm! My arm!!”
“My leg!! Aaagh!”
“Save me, damn it! Save me!!!”
This time, too, more of the enemy died than us, but our infantry also suffered from fatigue due to the first lance charge.
Some soldiers couldn’t properly pierce the horses with their spears due to the recoil, bouncing off like basketballs and meeting their deaths.
“Damn, save the people!”
As a result, both our infantry and the Francois knights’ formations were completely shattered…
The number of soldiers who died in this clash must have been significant.
But this chaos in the formation meant that Duke Balua had no chance to focus on the knights commanded by Commander Patton.
It also meant that it became much easier for us to penetrate the enemy’s inner ranks since their knights couldn’t form a proper formation.
At the same time, Duke Balua couldn’t possibly continue the insane act of charging through the infantry formations waiting in formation.
“Beat the enemy before they dismount! Form groups of three and charge straight to the center! There, you’ll find their high-ranking officers!”
My soldiers responded to this, but their voices were somewhat weary due to having withstood two lance charges.
“Hooray for the Brigade Commander! Long live the Reich Empire!”
“Let’s smash the enemy knights’ helmets!”
“Discard your spears! Take up maces, swords, or poleaxes! It’s time for a festival!”
Then, our dismounted knights took the lead, rushing to kill any disoriented knights dismounting from their horses as quickly as possible.
From the center of the brigade, I continued to survey the surroundings, imagining the current state of the battle in my mind.
The infantry around me had all discarded their spears and were fiercely fighting the enemy knights with single-handed weapons or two-handed swords.
If it had been a one-on-one fight, we would have certainly lost all ten times against the knights in heavy iron armor with their superior combat skills.
But by grouping together in three or more and managing to coordinate somehow, we were able to fight more or less evenly.
“Heretic knight scum, die!”
“Even in iron armor, you cower like cowards! So typical of Francois!”
“Die! Die! Die!!”
Gradually, we broke through the enemy lines and advanced further into their ranks.
“Battalions 1, 2, and 3, rotate with 4, 5, and 6! Dismounted knights, continue to hold the front and block the enemy knights! We must clear a path to the center at all costs!”
While saying this, I loudly commanded the standard-bearer behind me.
“Tell the rear units to follow our brigade! We’ll receive support from the brigades in the second and third rows to widen the gap among the enemy knights! Raise the flag!”
After saying that, I turned around and saw units quickly running from behind to comply with my request.
Our unit thus slowly defeated the enemy knights and advanced.
Before long, I began to see the flags of high-ranking individuals ahead.
“Just a little further, and we can win! Fight with all your might!”
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