TL: Scheduled chapters still misfiring.
Chapter 153 – Final assault, Blockade of Wolves
Brendel did not know what his allies were thinking of him.
He merely led them forward with each passing second. The slaughter of the wolves made time seem to stretch. The Centaurs’ armors were stained red with fresh blood, from the Winter Wolves, their own, as well as their allies, with each layer stacking on top of their bright silver armors. The several hundred men walked beside a frozen narrow mountain stream.
Two high cliffs were on each side covering half the sky, with a narrow exit at the end of their vision.
The Blockade of Wolves.
There was another white wave rushing at them. More than a thousand wolves poured out from the exit, and the large Winter Direwolves raised their upper bodies towards the sky and howled. White fur expanded against the wind and made them all the more fearsome. The ground rumbled as the wolves split into three groups. Snow was agitated like boiling water as large claws dug into the ground. It was as though a trident was hurled towards the group of Centaurs.
But the wolves in the center slowed down, while the wolves on either side bolted across the forest trees, appearing as though they were jaws closing on each end as they attempted to surround their preys.
Quinn raised his hand, and the Tree Elves shot their arrows. The time for them to draw, aim, and shoot took no more than two seconds. Their actions were as natural, quick, and were used to firing at will. Hardly anyone shot at the same target and the volley of arrows was more like scattered raindrops across the flanking wolves.
The wolves on both sides were struck and rolled across the ground, not moving any longer, but the numbers allowed them to succeed in advancing. They were close enough to threaten them.
“They are certainly much harder to deal with compared to the Black Wolves!” Brendel cut down a Winter Wolf as it lunged at him. He exhaled in a sigh, and the white mist that escaped his lips was released into the sky.
The Centaurs’ left flank was exposed. He had no choice but to order a company of Fireclaw Lizardmen to move from their position jump into the fray. They charged out from one side of the forest and clashed against the Winter Wolves.
“Ser Brendel!” Quinn yelled, giving the command back to the youth.
“Fire where my arrow is!” Brendel roared in response. “Then charge in with me!”
A single arrow flew across the sky and struck a Winter Direwolf’s head. The Centaurs joined in the ranged attack with the Tree Elves and concentrated on the monsters in front of them. The first three rows of wolves crashed and rolled on the ground uncontrollably, while the others leaped over their comrades’ corpses like an overflowing dam.
The Centaurs and the army of Winter Wolves in the front rushed towards each other, destined to crash into each other. At the same time, the flanking Winter Wolves finally managed to enclose Brendel and his allies in a circle, and they began running towards them.
The distance to the Blockade of Wolves was less than a mile. It was the final push. The number of Winter Wolves was increasing rapidly and there was no time to waste.
Brendel glanced at Wydall, and the latter nodded with a solemn expression. The Centaur Elder places his right hand across his heart as a salute and suddenly raised his lance, accelerating to move ahead of the army. Quinn gave a signal, and the Tree Elves alighted from the Centaurs’ backs.
“Warriors of the Goddess Nia!” He bellowed.
Fists drummed against chests. The Centaurs galloped after Wydall as they raised their lances high up in the air, hooves trampling heavily across the ground. Very soon, their movements echoed as one.
Brendel’s men stared at them in amazement.
Under Wydall’s lead, the Centaurs were forming a formation that was like an arrowhead.
Austin directed his knights to the right flank, guarding the Tree Elves who were exposed from the Winter Wolves, but they were momentarily distracted by the Centaurs and subconsciously uttered words of blessings for their comrades-in-arms.
They were all soldiers and understood what the centaurs were attempting to do.
But Winter Direwolves in the opposing direction howled once, and one section of the Winter Wolves copied the same formation that the Centaurs made.
“……What….. How……. cunning!” Amandina rode on one of the centaurs when the resistance of the wolves was not strong, but got off and paced herself with Scarlett’s protection when the battle started. She was out of breath.
“Tree Elves of the Green Tower, pave the way for our glorious allies!” Quinn pointed with his longbow.
The Tree Elves who was targeting the wolves attacking from the flanks picked out a special projectile from their quivers.
“The Arrows of Life!”
“Strong wind to the east!”
“Draw at two hundred feet, aim at hundred-fifty feet, loose!”
The archers released their bowstrings at the same time, and a light vibration echoed in everyone’s ears. Black shadows flew into the sky like a flock of birds. The arrows that were imbued with magic reached their peak and descended downwards to hunt for their preys, striking and killing the wolves as they were unerringly nailed down to the ground. Countless wolves were mowed down as though the reaper of death swung his scythe.
The formation of the charging Winter Wolves was disrupted, but there was no time for them to change. They could only leap over their fallen brethren and collide into the charging Centaurs.
Dull impacts could be as hard muscles rammed into steel armor. The Centaurs’ charge slowed and the white sea of wolves swallowed them. The silver line was no more as it was dismantled by the wolves.
Until a violent explosion hurled the throng of wolves back in all directions.
Brendel suddenly appeared out of nowhere, and he caused the tidal wave of wolves to halt. The Centaurs’ charge began to move again.
“Formation reset!” He raised his sword and stood in front of them. The formation looked like it was becoming an arrowhead again. Morale reached its highest point. “Our charge cannot be stopped! The Warrior’s Road is right before us! Vanquish the foes who dare to deny our victory!”
The declaration was answered with mighty roars. Blood coursed through their minds as hearts pumped harder with every road. Brendel shut his eyes.
[An unstoppable charge, is the romance of a warrior!]
And when he opened his eyes he activated his Charge ability; a comet descended into the battlefield.
A trail of white light followed the youth as he tore into the wolves single-handedly. Each swing caused his clothes to flutter with elegance, followed by sliced flesh and raining blood. A silver needle pierced into the wolves and expanded on both sides, forcing the wolves to part as though a shockwave threw them back.
Because his charge was so quick, the magic from Halran Gaia occurred only after Brendel finished cutting down his foes. The earth seemed like it was breaking apart behind Brendel. Sharp rocks shot out from the ground and extended to the sky, preventing the Winter Wolves from filling in the sudden cavity that he created.
The Tree Elves did not stagger behind.
“Warriors of the forest, hinder our enemies!” Quinn pointed to their rear and flanks. Countless vines emerged from the ground, breaking apart ice and rock, and a bubble was created around their allies. The Tree Elves put away their bows on their backs and drew out their slender hunting swords, forming a thin line of defense.
When Brendel finished creating his opening, he turned around to see Wydall leading his men and cutting down any stray wolves that he missed. The youth suddenly retreated back and went past the Centaur Elder. A Winter Wolf that pounced towards the latter was immediately cut into two, with its large head severed from its body as the blood spurted out, and Wydall looked at Brendel’s back to give a light grunt of thanks.
Scarlett and Kodan led the youths safely into the opening. Ropar and his Lizardmen joined in with Austin’s knights and did so as well.
Brendel went back and forth the battlefield, smashing away several Winter Wolves with the White Raven Sword Arte, and when he looked around to survey his surroundings, he realized they had gone past the Blockade of Wolves.
The space in front of them was an open field.
[We made it!]
He took a deep breath and looked back. Scarlett and Kodan were on the left and right respectively, allowing his men, the Tree Elves, Aouine’s knights and Fireclaw Lizardmen to pass the blockade. However, when he looked for the Centaurs, he was dismayed to discover their numbers had dwindled down to less than half.
At some point in time, they went back to guard the rear and flanks to minimize the casualties to the rest of them from Wydall’s orders. When the final man amongst them crossed the narrow exit, the Centaur Chieftain and his men raised his lance and stood there.
The Centaurs created a wall to seal off the exit.
With their lives.
“Wydall!” The youth was startled. This was not his original plan.
The Centaur Elder turned back momentarily and made a gesture. The humans did not understand them, but Brendel did.
The denizens of the forest would understand.
“We are the children of the forest—”
Brendel’s pupils shook and he held his breath.