Chapter 138 – Piercing through the siege
============ Druids’ POV ============
While Wydall had led his subordinates to reach Brendel’s camp, the Druids launched a formal attack to break the siege. War horns rang out in the darkness, causing countless birds to fly out and many factions to look at the Druids’ march.
It was as though a slumbering dragon had woken up with a roar; its voice clear and melodious that made the forest tremble.
More than a thousand Druids and Tree Elves poured out in response to the war horns. These allied forces wore robes made out of reeds, forming a line of green that severed the wolves’ charge.
More than a hundred Ents woke up from their sleep under the Druids’ summoning magic, and these giant trees that reached several meters high smashed into the wolves with their feet. They then lowered their body and swatted the black wolves the size of cows with their immense hands. Once they entered the battlefield, the black wolves that poured out like a flood were suddenly halted.
The summoning magic was a fourth-circle spell. While these Ents could not compare with a real Treant, they were classified as intermediate Silver-rankers, which were more than enough to handle the monsters.
But the Druids who could summon them were elite Druids within the Blackthorn council, and they planned to stay in the area until Brendel succeeded in entering his destination, making it clear that the Druids were determined to support him by risking their lives.
While the Ents were indeed powerful, they were really shields for the Tree Elves. The latter was natural sharpshooters that shot twice as fast as a human, and they used longbows that were much harder to pull. Even the most untalented soldier was able to shoot twenty-five arrows in one minute. It was a frightening storm of arrows, especially when the projectiles were made from Ironbark. While the wolves were fast and powerful, their defenses were considered weak for a monster, and it ended in a massacre.
With just two volleys of arrows, the wolves’ left flank immediately lost its shape and they began to scatter.
The Alpha Wolves howled when they realized the sudden loss, commanding the scattered wolves and notifying the wolf that lorded over them—
Howls echoed throughout the forest to echo the Alpha Wolves’ cry, and the tyrant that hid in the deepest area amongst the wolves raised its head and answered.
It was an ear-piercing bellow that could be heard everywhere in the Dark Forest. Hundreds of Alpha Wolves began to move at the same time, making the wolves that followed them change their directions.
The original movements of the wolves were to directly charge into the area, but now they moved in the shape of a large spiral, turning slowly and changing the shape of the battlefield.
=========== Brendel’s POV ============
The Calamity of Wolves was spawning around the entire Loop of Trade Winds. The wolves that entered the Green Tower’s outer areas were merely the vanguard of the wolves.
[If there are no unexpected changes, there are twelve hordes of wolves for the first wave of attack. I can’t remember the exact numbers, but there are at least two medium-sized groups that have approximately five hundred wolves.]
The first wave was the weakest amongst the Calamity of Wolves, but Brendel did not take it lightly. There were thousands of wolves led by the Alpha Wolves, and each mature Black Wolf had the strength of a peak Iron-ranker. More than half of the Blackthorn council’s Druids had not even reached that level, let alone numbers.
[The biggest advantage the Green Tower has is the Fire Seed’s protection. The flames emanating from it are strong and stable, and it suppresses the monsters’ levels by 15. The Druids should be able to hold out for days. The area we are in also has a Fire seed, but it’s much weaker in comparison. Once we leave this area to go to the Loop of Trade Wind, it will be much harder.]
Brendel’s plan was simple.
The first wave of wolves and the second wave of wolves were nearly apart by ten hours. He needed to break the first wave and reach the Loop of Trade Winds before the next night. The Druids had agreed to lend their assistance to create a distraction—
Brendel did not waste any time while the Druids had the attention of the Alpha Wolves. He tasked his men and the newly-join centaurs and carved out a bloody path.
The group of ambassadors had no choice but to follow him from behind because Austin failed to persuade ‘Lord Firburh’. There was no choice. Twenty-odd guards were insufficient for them to break through the siege and return to their camp. The Centaurs and Tree Elves that appeared were unlikely to escort them back.
[These damned barbarians are completely ignoring our status as Aouine’s ambassadors…… But at least the people from Kirrlutz are also ignored.]
Dolant was originally making a din and wanted to get Brendel to send them back, but a group of wolves came close enough to frighten him. He stumbled and quickly ran back to his guards and did not think about making this suggestion again. The three youths from Kirrlutz were forced back once again to Brendel’s camp when the Centaurs drove out the wolves. They called out to the centaurs later on and asked if they could be sent back to their camps, but they were ignored.
Calling the Centaurs and Tree Elves’ attitudes towards Brendel polite was an understatement. Quinn and Wydall agreed to let Brendel command them after a few moments.
Things quickly turned out to be difficult.
Brendel’s tactical explanations initially made it an easy task for the Centaurs to make a path, but as they reached the eastern side of the Wall of Flowers, the Spiny Ridge, there was a gradual change.
“Look over there!” He heard a certain familiar voice that was grating to his ears.
[The trio from Kirrlutz. Not foolish enough to try and leave for their camp on their own. What a pity. I might be able to absolve myself from any responsibilities if they died there and then, but now I have to ensure their safety.]
He looked over to where Faena was pointing. He thought it might have been a naive aristocrat’s exaggeration, but he did not expect to see something noteworthy. Amongst the stream of black wolves, there were a few abnormal ones that were much bigger leading the pack.
[Dire Wolves! Six of them are close to us, with five in the back. Shit, eleven mini-bosses. Something’s wrong— Did I predict wrongly, and the Warg is actually nearby us?]
He immediately scanned his surroundings, trying to find out if there was a Warg. Logically, if there were so many mini-bosses that appeared, a Warg must be commanding them. But he clearly heard the Warg howling from far away, with the wolves around it responding.
Still, he did not discover the Warg’s unique presence even after several attempts. With 25 OZ worth of perception, even if it was during the night, there were no blind spots over hundreds of meters.
“Elder Wydall!” He shouted, unwilling to let things go.
The Centaur Elder was just piercing a wolf’s skull with his lance, but he immediately turned towards Brendel with questioning eyes.
“Left side, Lord-class Black Wolves, do you see it?” Brendel shouted with a pointed finger.
Wydall nodded immediately. Even though it was his first time experiencing such an outbreak of wolves, he was the highest ranking officer amongst the Centaurs and had a vast combat experience, and he quickly understood Brendel’s description.
“What about them?” He asked.
“Let your men back away a little,” Brendel ordered. He needed to observe the Dire Wolves’ reactions, and it would be good if he discovered the Warg’s position.
Even though Wydall was puzzled over Brendel’s sudden command, he did not ask about it and immediately whistled. The hundred-odd centaurs instantly changed their formations and gathered next to Brendel’s side.
The youths under Brendel’s command exclaimed in surprise. It was the first time they saw the Tree Elves and Centaurs, and these two races only existed as allies to humans in bardic tales. The orderly change in their formation was indeed swift, but it only made their lord more mysterious because he could issue orders to them so easily.
“Lord-class black wolves, what a funny description. Does he mean that the wolves are able to act like aristocrats?” Faena giggled.
Brendel’s ears caught that remark, and he whipped his head to glare at her with the words ‘shut up!’ written on his face.
Faena’s temper rose up. There was no one in the Kirrlutz Empire who dared to be so rude to her! But she quickly knitted her brows in shock as she remembered what Brendel did a while ago, and she forced back her words of insult.
“Hmph, what an evil man.” She could only mumble to herself in frustration.
Naturally, her voice was so soft that even Brendel could hardly hear it with his high perception.