Chapter 68 part 2 Kekkan
Editor: Amaranth, Superposhposh
Note: We will use the word Caribou Rider instead of Caribou Cavalryman
In order for a cavalry unit to form an effective lethal technique, they had to arrange into a strong formation and use its impact to their advantage! With the army in panic-mode while being chased and attacked by enemies who were on their tails, they didn’t have the opportunity to rest. If they stopped, the Odin infantries surrounding them would sweep over them like a wave; but, even if they kept going, they wouldn’t be able to throw off the chasing caribou riders.
The caribou riders chasing after them resembled a knife, slowly slicing the Byzantine Cavalry formation layer by layer!
On a distant hillside stood a tall figure covered by a giant, leather cloak. Behind him was a large chair made of animal bones, with a thick layer of black fur covering it.
This person had the typical physique of an Odin. His broad shoulders matched well with his majestic stature, which was filled with explosive strength. He wore a gray fur coat and a bear skull on his head, and instead of a weapon, in his hand was a small flag.
His skin was fair and smooth, unlike the typical Odin’s rough skin. He appeared to be pale and weak, possessing a pair of rare blue eyes, which were firmly fixed on the distant mountain where the battle was commencing.
Dozens of Odin warriors, each with a height of over two meters, lined up behind him. Each wore thick bearskins and chest armor on their breast, with axes hanging from their belt. Their hair was extremely dense and long, which were made into numerous small braids. As all Odins knew, only the “Mad Axe Warriors” had such an appearance!
The leading Odin retreated his gaze, his mouth revealing a shallow, disdainful smile.
“Hmph, the famous Rhodelia Cavalry is surprisingly mediocre.”
He smiled lightly, and suddenly stretched out his arms, of which black iron hoops were attached. A piercing eagle’s cry could suddenly be heard from afar, before a gray-feathered scouting eagle appeared, landing on the Odin’s arm.
The Odin stretched out his finger and gently patted the eagle’s head, immediately taking out a piece of bloody meat from his pocket, and bringing it into the eagle’s beak.
“Oh……Adrick and his men and should be arriving by now……Hehe.”
There was pride mixed with a smile in his eyes, but before he could finish gloating, he suddenly heard rapid hoof beats approaching.
A caribou rider rushed over from a dozen of meters away before jumping down. He stumbled on the floor and immediately prostrated on the ground.
“What happened?” This Odin frowned.
The caribou rider was a tall man with a powerful build, but at this moment fear was written all over his face as continued to shiver, “Honorable Kikkan, yo-your younger b-brother……”
Kikkan curiously raised his eyebrow, “What about him?”
“Your younger brother was killed in battle! He died in the hands of a Byzantine cavalryman……We, we tried to chase down the killer, but……”
After finishing his sentence, the Rider shut his mouth after seeing Kikkan’s smoldering eyes looking down upon him. Kikkan had a sharp glint in his eye, which radiated a frightening aura!
The caribou rider’s body trembled violently – remembering that such an important figure unexpectedly died among his unit in battle, he only feared……
This rider was fearful in his heart, but the expected raging anger didn’t appear.
After staying silent for a while, Kikkan’s expression immediately showed hints of a strange smile.
“Oh……My dear brother, he died in battle? Oh, this is actually interesting news. For us soldiers of Odin, dying on a battlefield can be considered a rare honor.”
These words didn’t have any anger in them, and instead there were hints of gentleness and feminine charm – because of this, the riders who were familiar with Lord Kikkan felt their hearts going cold!!
Seeing that Lord Kikkan’s expression was getting gentler and more amicable, the rider prostrated deeper on the floor while not daring to lift his head. His body was trembling as if he was extremely ill.
At corner of Kikkan’s mouth hung a smile as he casually teased the scouting eagle on his arm with his finger. As if he was talking to himself, he said, “Ah, a son died, my honored father the great Emperor will certainly burst out in anger like a thunderstorm……Ei, this news will bring sadness to our people.”
Although his mouth was saying it like that, there was a warm smile on his face who could he claim that he was feeling the slightest sorrow?
“……Luckily, my father the Emperor has more than 20 sons. If one or two died, I am sure it won’t be too much of deal.”
These last few words could be seen as treason, and the rider wished that he was deaf at this moment. If these treacherous words were heard by him, he only feared that Lord Kekkan would certainly tie up loose ends……
After a moment of silence, Kekkan took a deep breath, instantly replacing the gentle expression with cold killing intent.
“I command you……Raise the blood flag. I must avenge my dear brother……Afterwards, write a letter to home and report this saddening news.” Pausing for a moment, his eyes flashed in a strange way, “In any case, one of my brothers died, so I must take a stance. This will be my first time personally leading an army, and I can’t mess things up.”
Kevin and Butler finally brought their men out of the lowlands, and after exiting the valley, the area finally widened. Both were wounded everywhere on their bodies, and Kevin’s claw hammer had been long been lost on the battlefield. Now, he was wielding a standard issue cavalry longsword. However, Butler was leaning against horse, as he was already unable to support himself. His back was slashed up by a Rider, and his armor was cracked. This cut almost cost his life.
Once they broke through the valley, Kevin immediately felt excited. There was no Odin infantry blocking them in the front, and the Byzantine Cavalry was much faster than the Odin Riders. Therefore, they could rely on their speed to throw off their pursuers, and after reorganizing their formation, they could organize a counter-attack! This would allow them to let those Odin caribou riders taste the might of the Byzantine Cavalry!
The Cavalry had always been Byzantine’s strongest force!!
Kevin, who was beaten with his hands and feet tied together, was full of anger. However, what made him even angrier was that once they ran out of this canyon, the caribou rider unit following them immediately stopped their chase, before quickly retreating. They actually turned around and retreated back in the canyon!
These, these bastards! When did the Odins became so cunning?!
Just when they were finally able to stop and reorganize their formation, after making a head count both Butler and Kevin almost coughed blood at the scene!
The thirst legion and Kevin’s reinforcement with everyone put together there were barely 600 people who had made it out alive!
In other words, the hit and run tactic that their opponent used was sly and annoying but it was very effective! This kind of entanglement tactic, cost Byzantine over half of their men!
The third legion was completely crippled after this battle! They were unable to create a formation and display the combat strength of a legion for all the following battles, and could only wait for their reconstruction again after the war.
Butler was bleeding in his heart. As the commander of third legion, all these cavalrymen were personally recruited and trained by him. After losing more than 70% of their military strength, how could he not be overcome by grief?
It could said that if the Odin’s plan was to swallow the third legion, then their goal was mostly achieved. Out of the 2000 cavalrymen from the third legion, only less than 500 were able to make it out alive. They lost 70% of their forces, and those who managed to come out alive were all wounded. Only around 300 people were still capable of fighting.
In this war, although the third legion wasn’t annihilated, they were effectively crippled.
Butler’s face was now devoid of any trace of heroism. It was as if he aged 20 years while leaning against his horse’s back. Blood dribbled out of the corner of his mouth as he stubbornly clenched his teeth.
Kevin’s heart was also full of sorrow while looking at the remnant of this force……
(It was too bizarre. The Odins’ fighting style was completely different compared to the past. Previously, the Odins were the symbol of barbaric and courageous people. They excelled at frontal attacks in battle, and wouldn’t lure the enemy into traps nor besiege them while overwhelming them with reinforcements. Moreover, they certainly haven’t ever used such sly tactics as stubbornly entangling themselves with the enemy!)
Apart from that, the most important thing which didn’t give Kevin and Butler peace in their minds was that:
The army in front of them, although they were 20,000 men strong however, from the quality point of view they weren’t Odin’s elite troops and were just an ordinary second tier army. Regardless of battle efficiency or each individual fighting abilities they were far below the standard of Odin’s elite!
It wasn’t as if the 13th Cavalry Army never suffered heavy defeat in the hand of the Odins, but that was only to the Hasting’s elite army. However, this time, they unexpectedly suffered such a heavy blow from a single ordinary army of Odin Odin army……
Both of them had been in the army for a long time and were war veteran. They could approximately estimate that the losses of the Odins this time was about 3000 to 4000 men.
In proportion to their losses, it wasn’t too grim.
However, let’s not forget that they were one of Byzantine Empire’s most elite armies!! Furthermore, they were the most-powerful unit, the cavalry!!
“Fuck, the Odins actually learned how to use the terrain and even strategies ……Was the general of the opposite force Hasting?” Kevin fiercely spat a mouthful blood on the ground.
“It’s not.” Butler’s face was full of grief, “It’s not like we never saw Hasting’s black flag Army. If they changed the commanding generals, then with Hasting’s prestige in Odin Empire, it should be absolutely impossible for him to be downgraded enough to command a regular army. The only explanation is, another powerful military general appeared in Odin!”
Pausing for a moment, although this veteran was beaten half dead, he still clenched his teeth to issue an order.
Since those Odin didn’t continue their pursuit, then they had not need to immediately retreat. They fortified themselves in this position while sending out a messenger and waiting for the main force to catch up before joining them.
“Wait until the general arrives with our men. We’ll hit them with everything we got!”
Shaar didn’t dare to walk on the main road, and seemed to have returned to his days of hunting and surviving in the wild of the mountain’s forest. Cautiously sneaking around on the complex hillside, he deliberately made big circles, careful to not leave any tracks. He made a roundabout for more than ten miles, and quietly closed in the prior predetermined location.
Around noon, Shaar finally arrived at this valley and because he skilfully avoided the main road he didn’t encounter Kevin’s force which was fortified south of the valley, waiting for reinforcements. He closed in from the right side and quickly approached the right side of the mountain slope.
When he approached the forest, Shaar heard faint voices behind him. From his experience, the dull, messy hoof beats the resounded clearly did not belong the Byzantines. Like a monkey, he immediately fled up into a tree before seeing a squad caribou riders slowly passing.
After seeing the opposite party’s number, Shaar didn’t dare to breathe, with the fear of revealing his location.
Afterwards, he curled up on the trunk and quietly shrunk his body. Hearing a loud voice coming from the forest, he saw one squad after another of Odin’s army emerging from the forest and lining up just outside of the woods…..
Shaar, who was still hiding in the trees, suddenly had his retreat cut off.