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Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Early the next morning, the recruits woke up with the horn. Led by Shawn, they tidied up and set off for the hills in the north of the city accompanying the few veterans Keane Hill had left.
Although they had been training for two months, the gap between recruits and veterans was still obvious. It wasn’t so obvious when they walked a quick march in the military camp. At this moment, when they marched out of the city, the veterans had a much lighter and steadier pace than the recruits. There wasn’t any trace of fear on the veterans’ faces. They were all full of confidence and had a high morale.
These veterans had been fierce and aggressive since before the volunteers had joined. Many of them had been even hooligans and fighters before they had joined the army. They were happy to hear anything about fights. It was their style. As long as there was a reward, a big fight would be welcomed. Even if there was no reward at all, they would fight when they were bored just for entertainment.
During this period of time, they had been patrolling with Ryder. Ryder was better at martial arts than them, so they didn’t dare to fight in front of him. Thus, since this group of energetic people hadn’t fought for months, they became eager to fight. They were all in high spirits knowing that they were going to exterminate the Grey Gnomes. Their eyes showed bloodthirst and aggression, and they couldn’t wait to vent their destructive desires that had been pent up for several months.
Of course, it was because the Grey Gnomes were weak. If they were going to fight powerful creatures, such as ogres or Bear Gnomes, they wouldn’t have been as excited.
They could take a victory over the Grey Gnomes for granted, but to fight with ogres would be to risk their lives…
Affected by the veterans, the recruits also had more courage. Looking at the well-maintained armor in the carriage next to them, they held their weapons in their hands tightly. Listening to the unconcerned laughter of the veterans, they naturally became more confident.
This was the advantage to the veterans leading the recruits. As long as the veterans weren’t all killed, they could help lead the recruits, which made it faster to rebuild troops again.
Crick had spent enough money on training of the recruits, so they were well fed and warmly dressed and also had enough training every day. They were not only well disciplined, but also in good physical condition, which was the most important in modern and contemporary armies.
In Crick’s view, although they still weren’t strong enough, much weaker than the veterans, they still represented the direction of development for a future army. As for the veterans, they could either go further, to the level of senior adventurers, and become specialized elites, or they could be phased out and assigned to the countryside as captains of the military.
That wasn’t bad. The bravery and power of the veterans could effectively inspire and lead militias. When the territory had enough manpower and material resources in the future, it would be more convenient to train militias.
As the troops slowly left the city, Crick saw a horse galloping away, Rena on its back.
He couldn’t help smiling and became more confident of that day’s victory.
In order to preserve the strength of the soldiers, the troops didn’t march fast. They came to the foot of the mountain just before noon.
Instead of rushing up the hill, Crick let the soldiers stop to have lunch and recover their strength. He took out a simple map he had drawn earlier and discussed it with Ryder and Shawn.
“I arranged for some adventurers to lure the Grey Gnomes to the curve of the river.” He pointed to the map and said, “The terrain is open here and suitable for us to fight at.”
Ryder and Shawn didn’t know this beforehand, but they couldn’t help smiling at each other upon hearing that.
“I was thinking that it wouldn’t be convenient to use Two-Handed Spears in the woods, and that our array would be limited by the space. I thought we could only fight slowly with the advantage of armor. However, sir, you’ve figured it out!” Shawn laughed and said, “There’s no way back for the Gnomes in the open terrain. If I still couldn’t win, I would just jump into the river and die.”
“It’s favorable for archers to fight in such open terrain.” Ryder said, “There are armored spear soldiers in front to hold down the position, and I’ll be behind with my archers to make sure that no Grey Gnomes can escape.”
He talked about it with ease, not taking the twenty to thirty Grey Gnomes seriously.
That wasn’t due to pride. With his strength, even he alone could wipe out a tribe of hundreds of Gnomes. The reason for leading such a large scale army was nothing more than training his soldiers.
Crick had brought the veterans for two reasons. First, for safety, in case these inexperienced recruits made some errors when it mattered. Second, he needed a reason to ask Ryder to come along with them.
To be honest, having a high-ranking master on the team made him rest more assured, not to mention that this master was an excellent archer who could shoot three arrows in a flash. With Ryder in the troops, he could make sure that nothing went wrong and avoid any casualties.
The Keane Hill wouldn’t suffer any casualties now!
To prepare for the coming fight, the soldiers didn’t eat much. They just had a little bread and drank some cold water that had been boiled beforehand. After a while, they stood up again, moved their bodies, and waited for the order to move.
After a while, a horse galloped up and stopped beside the troops. Rena jumped off the horse and smiled, although she looked a little unnatural. She said, “The mission has been completed. I set up a trap by announcing that a hunting wolf was killed by a passing adventurer. The Gnomes are coming out and heading for the river.”
Crick also laughed, waving his hand to order the troops to march again.
He wasn’t worried that Rena would deceive him. In her character attributes, he could see the degree of favor she had for him had risen from sixty to sixty-five.
Although Rena seemed to have something on her mind, it didn’t matter. Who didn’t have secrets?
As long as tasks could be completed well, what was the problem with having a secret?
When the troops set out, they no longer marched slowly, but ran in a hurry. They took the back roads and entered in between the mountain and the river.
At this time, a chaotic scene could be seen in the open space around the curve of the river. Rena had done a wonderful job. She had found a sheep and a wolf. At first sight, the sheep seemed to have been killed by the wolf. The wound forged by the senior adventurer might not have deceived her colleagues, but it was enough to deceive these Gnomes. The wolf had been killed by a sword to its head and body at different places. With the horseshoe mark next to it, it looked like the wolf had hunted a sheep and then been killed by a passing adventurer. The adventurer had to have been so skilled in martial arts that he killed the wolf with a sword without even getting off of their horse.
Rena wasn’t a fighting adventurer, but no matter how bad at fighting she was, her combat profession of level 10 shouldn’t have been taken for granted. A wolf was not a threat to her at all.
In fact, she could have tried to exterminate the Grey Gnomes by herself, but it would have been a little risky. If Crick had offered more money, she wouldn’t have minded taking a risk.
But Crick was not a foolish spender…
After occupying the favorable terrain, the recruits were busy putting on armor. They were heavily armored soldiers, and their armor had to be worn on the battlefield, otherwise… A suit of armor weighed more than forty pounds, so it was absolutely impossible to fight for a long time in such a suit.
But heavy armor also had its advantages. The fact that it was heavy meant that it could provide a strong defense. When these recruits put on the heavy armor neatly, then put on a barrel-like helmet, they immediately became a moving steel fortress. Thirty such steel fortresses were drawn into a huge arc. Holding almost nine-foot-long long spears with both hands, they marched fiercely…
Although the soldiers couldn’t understand the Gnomes’ language, their reaction was clear. When they saw dozens of steel fortresses armed with horrible long spears, chanting slogans—’One, two, one,’ in order to keep the ranks in order—coming slowly toward them, they were all shocked and froze. The soldiers could even see a Gnome with bleeding flesh in his mouth making a strange cry. His mouth was so long that they wondered if his chin would dislocate and the flesh in his mouth would naturally fall out.
The Grey Gnomes weren’t very smart. Crick could see at a glance that they were all stupid, with the highest intelligence never beyond 9, but even if they were that dumb, they knew that there was no way out now, their only option to fight to the end.
A tall Grey Gnome quickly picked up a bow and arrows from the ground. He bent the bow and shot an arrow at the recruits.
The arrow whistled to the chest of a recruit and bounced off the solid metal armor, leaving only a shallow trace on it.
Then several other Grey Gnome archers started shooting arrows, but their performances weren’t better than that of their peer. Facing heavily armed soldiers with their heads covered in barrel helmets, ordinary wooden bows and dental arrows didn’t pose a threat at all.
The rest of the Gnomes also picked up weapons. Most of them chose spears, but a few of them took big sticks. They screamed angrily and rushed towards the recruits.
Faced with these ugly monsters rushing at them, the recruits’ neat footsteps were suddenly disturbed. Shawn, who followed the troops, immediately shouted “calm,” but failed to calm them down.
Just then, behind them came a roar. It was Crick.
The recruits immediately and subconsciously stood at attention, and the chaotic ranks were restored to order. Shawn was relieved and hastily ordered soldiers to hold up their spears, put on an offensive posture, and proceed slowly according to his orders, continuing to reduce the movement space for the Gnomes.
The following scene was really a bit tragic. The charging Gnomes bumped into the forest of spears, and no one could reach the recruits alive. Their light grey, green, and reddish blood sprayed all over the ground and onto the recruits’ bodies.
The recruits immediately became flustered again, but this time, Shawn had a good command of the rhythm and led them to regain order and move on with his shouts and orders.
The failed Gnomes had nowhere to go, so they turned back and jumped into the river. At this moment, it was time for the veterans under Ryder to fight. Most of them knew how to use bows and arrows. Even those who didn’t know how could pick up the rocks near the river and throw them. There was even a slinger. Under all kinds of long-range attacks, the slow-moving Gnomes in the river didn’t even reach the other side alive, and soon became corpses accompanied by waves of blood in the river.
It was interesting that there was one Gnome hiding in a pile of corpses on the bank of the river, pretending it had died. This fellow was seen at a glance by Crick. He pointed at it with one finger, and the Gnome was stabbed by several recruits until it died.
Twenty-seven Grey Gnomes had been wiped out in this battle, and none of the recruits led by Keane had been killed or injured!
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