Regressor of the Fallen Family chapter 24

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Chapter 24

“It’s nearly over.”

Haman Teslon smiled as the battlefield unfolded just as expected. The overwhelming difference in troop numbers, combined with the strategies that had been meticulously prepared, everything aligned perfectly.

Among them, the highlight was undoubtedly the presence of the high-grade knight, Raul, who successfully blocked Patrick McLaine.

‘I did well not to announce it.’

Whether a high-grade knight exists or how many are there.

That was the greatest standard that divided an order of medium-ranking knights from high-grade knights.

In the current era, the military power of the nobility was measured by the number of knights and their ranks.

The presence of a high-grade knight was directly linked to the prestige of a noble, and while ordinary lords boasted instead of hiding, they usually did not bother to conceal their presence.

‘But it’s better to hide them for times like this.’

His eyes gleamed with satisfaction as he watched the knights pushing Patrick McLaine back.

Then he saw the infantry’s encirclement taking shape and the cavalry seizing the enemy’s rear, and he clenched his fist tightly.

Moreover, the enemy infantry was completely trapped by the interference of the allied archers.

“It’s finished!”

Haman Teslon was certain of the war’s victory.

‘Now, just need to smash Patrick and conquer the McLaine Castle. After that, hah, nothing else is needed.’

As he indulged in this comfortable and blissful imagination for a moment, an unusual noise came from the rear.

Thump, thump, thump, thump.

“Cavalry has appeared in the rear! About three hundred horsemen!”

“Cavalry? Did the McLaine household have more elites?”

It was natural for the count to think that way.

In the current era, cavalrymen, who usually underwent knight training, were a high-end military unit.

In fact, aside from the order of knights or even rarer mages, they were the elite of the elite.

But…

“They’re not wearing full plate armor. They don’t have lances either! Wearing leather armor, the only weapon they have is a small crossbow, and they’re loaded with wooden boxes. They don’t seem like regular McLaine troops.”

“Crossbows?”

Is that the weapon used by hunters?

With that remark, the count scoffed, shedding any tension.

“Order a portion of the rear troops and archers to shoot them down. If they’re not elite troops, they’re just rabble.”

The count gave a logical instruction, and his deputy accepted it as a matter of course.

But shortly after, the count witnessed a scene that shattered his common sense.

Ratatat!

“Aaargh!”

With spread screams, dozens, no, close to hundreds of soldiers were dropping like flies.

“What on earth is that? Dammit! Stop them! Stop those damn bastards right now!”

The war he thought was already decided started to flow in an unexpected direction.

* * *

The mercenaries dashed out swiftly. Nothing stood in their way.

They spotted something being prepared by the enemies, but by now, the distance had already closed significantly.

‘I’ll kill you all, damn rats.’

The distance between the enemy’s rear and the mercenaries was about 400 meters.

With a war bow, which was a standard among archers, even with the best firing angle, that distance was beyond the range of a parabolic shot.

However, there was no hesitation in Logan’s command.

“Fire!”

Chachachak.

Every mercenary moved in unison, aiming at the enemy.

“Fire!”

Logan’s crossbow fired first.

The bolt, gleaming with a faint golden hue, penetrated the head of the rearmost soldier.

Hundreds of bolts poured out like a storm after, turning Teslon soldiers into a beehive.

“Aaargh!”

“What the—what is this?”

“What’s flying at us?!”

“From that distance?”

Something unexpected that flew in, piercing the bodies of their comrades mercilessly.

The few soldiers who survived turned pale.

“It must be magic!”

The scream of someone confused by the unidentified attack caused even more chaos in the Teslon camp.

“Magician ambush in the rear!”

It was a ridiculous mistake, but the ensuing motion of the enemies only amplified the mistake.

Thump, thump, thump, thump.

“Line charge!”

Neeigh!

The mercenaries who were plunging toward the rear sharply turned right, heading towards the north.

“Aim for the archers first!”

At the command, the mercenaries aimed their crossbows to the left.

Squick.

314 repeating crossbows aimed in unison at their respective targets.

“Kill them all!”

The long-suppressed anger erupted like a volcano, and the vengeance-packed crossbows rained down on the enemies.

Papapapak.

“Aaargh!”

“Arrows! It’s arrows!”

“Counter! Counter-fire!”

“Shoot the bows!”

Desperate voices rang out, and the longbowmen shot their arrows into the air, but their hastily aimed shots felled no one, landing uselessly.

Even if aimed well, it wouldn’t matter.

Logan’s mercenaries maintained a distance of over 300 meters from the battlefield, crossing the north.

While they crossed, they continued to rain down shot after shot at the enemy’s rear.

Under Kai’s training, they skillfully maintained a distance the enemy arrows couldn’t reach, all the while.

“Run for it!”

“Where to?!”

“Forward, let’s move forward!”

“You’re mad! There’s a battlefield in front!”

Without proper engagement, they were simply slaughtered.

From the far rear, soldiers began deserting, breaking the formation, creating a current that swept across the battlefield.

Even those clueless about the situation were swept up by the turmoil and began deserting.

And the impact of their actions was immediate.

“Cavalry! Redirect the cavalry! Catch them!”

If they fail to catch them, it’ll be the end.

Struggling to hold on to his wits in what felt like a nightmare, Haman Teslon shouted.

No matter how pressing the situation, he couldn’t spare the knights.

A fight between power users could end in an instant with a single gap shown.

So for now, the best option was to redirect the cavalry assaulting the McLaine camp’s rear.

The deputy beside him waved the flags frantically to send the signal, and soon, the enemy’s rear cavalry started breaking away from the formation and turning around.

“By all means! They must be annihilated!”

The deputy nodded furiously, waving the flags as if mad in place of sending the detailed commands, hoping at least the urgency would be conveyed.

And the cavalry, at least in terms of speed, splendidly met that hope.

“Hiyaa!”

Thump, thump, thump, thump.

As the Teslon cavalry charged like the wind, their shining armor was each more flamboyant than the last, but lighter and thinner than that of a knight’s, reducing their protective capability.

However, the light armor reduced the burden on the horses, marking it as the best equipment for cavalry shock troopers.

And now, the benefits of light armor were being fully demonstrated by the Teslon cavalry.

The time it took for them, who had been slaughtering the McLaine troops at the rear of the battlefield, to wrap around and head for Logan’s mercenaries was a mere ten minutes.

That’s how agilely they moved.

But even as a thousand-strong force of Teslon cavalry closed in at a frightening speed, Logan didn’t even blink an eye.

Instead, he welcomed the enemies with a smile tinged with murderous intent.

“They’ve come of their own accord.”

Grit.

Watching his pre-planned primary targets rushing to their own death, Logan ground his teeth.

He’d waited until those silver flies got far enough away before even starting to crumble their rear.

During that time, how many of his fellow countrymen had died?

Logan was ready to unleash his accumulated rage upon them, multiplied several times over.

“Now, move to the side! Flank maneuver!”

“Flank maneuver!”

With a chant followed by a second voice, the mercenary squad sharply adjusted directions.

The mercenaries, appearing to rush towards the battlefield, turned right to face the approaching enemy cavalry.

At that moment, the incoming chargers drew out shields from behind their backs.

‘Shields…’

The typical tactic to take down cavalry was to use a unit of archers.

Those archers, to counter them, would standardly equip themselves with a kite shield, large enough to tuck into the forearm and cover over half of the upper body.

Once they positioned the shields in front of them and slightly bending forward, their defense against frontal shots was solid.

But Logan was unfazed by their formation.

‘As expected…’

Logan gave an order with a smirk.

“Aim slightly down!”

“Slightly down!”

“Aim for the horses!”

Though confused, the mercenaries followed Logan’s command and soon realized his intent, grinning as cruelly as he did.

“Fire!”

With a sneer in his command, Logan gave the order and the bolts were released.

Neeigh!

A single volley saw dozens of front-line cavalrymen tumble from their horses.

“Aaargh!”

The cavalrymen following behind ended up flying through the air, tripped over their fallen comrades and mounts.

“Gasp!”

The shields might have been strong enough to block the bolts, but they couldn’t protect the horses from the arrows.

Moreover, if non-power users fell from their horses at full speed, the consequences were obvious.

Crack.

Either their necks snapped upon landing, or…

Crush!

They were ruthlessly trampled under the following horses’ hooves.

Logan coldly laughed at the spectacle before him.

“Idiots.”

Archery units that dealt with cavalry usually chose parabolic shots to maximize their range.

If cavalry got within about 100m, the typical effective range of a war bow, it was certain their own unit would be wiped out before they could aim properly, so they preferred to shoot from afar.

Naturally, cavalry’s tactic against arrows was to angle their shields slightly above their heads, offering protection against downward-striking arrows, covering both horse and rider.

They likely never imagined dealing with arrows shot directly at them from a range beyond 300m.

But Logan had no reason to give them any consideration.

“Keep firing! Aim for those who stand up even after falling off their horses!”

Among them, there were some almost as strong as knights, staggering to their feet after tumbling from their mounts and getting trampled by their peers.

They were graciously given another round of bolt showers in appreciation of their resilience.

“Aaargh!”

As the front line of cavalry was decimated by a hundred men and subsequent bolts further shattered their ranks, the rest could not maintain their column and scattered directionlessly.

It was unclear if the command unit at the front was fully coordinated as they were all floundering about without a clear direction.

“Horizontal charge!”

Watching the scattered enemies, Logan’s horse charged diagonally and the three hundred mercenaries followed suit.

“Protect the horses!”

Barely holding the line, Teslon’s cavalry again rushed straight at Logan and the mercenaries.

This time, they shielded their heads and those of their horses, angling the shield slightly to preserve the horses’ view while still guarding the vital parts of both rider and mount.

It was a demonstration of their well-trained capability.

However, Logan ordered without hesitation.

“Fire!”

Neeigh!

“Arggh!”

Despite Teslon cavalry’s response, the same tableau repeated as before.

A shield of such size could just about protect the horse’s head.

The bolts mercilessly exploited the gap left unavoidably open.

The formation crumbled, and as the area hit widened, almost two hundred horses tumbled in place.

Subsequently, a similar number of cavalry from behind took spills and the mercenaries’ onslaught did not cease. They kept firing bolts endlessly.

‘It ends like this.’

The faces of the surviving cavalrymen darkened rapidly.

In that short charge towards the enemy, almost half of their troops vanished.

As the absurd deaths of their comrades continued, fear began to overshadow their anger.

But it was too late to turn back now.

The remaining cavalrymen bit down and charged at the mercenaries, but…

“Fire!”

The enemy’s crossbows, with astounding speed, unleashed more lightning bolts.

“Arghh!”

This time, Teslon’s cavalry was reduced to fewer than the mercenaries.

From then on, the mercenaries did not target those who fell. They merely continued to pelt down the remaining horses.

The few survivors finally halted their charge and retreated, looking on in despair.

Teslon’s cavalry had already disintegrated.

The cavalry that had once swept the fields like the wind had now vanished, just as insubstantial.

Of course, some were not yet satisfied.

“young lord Logan! Some who get up even after falling must be quite powerful. If we leave them be…”

“Let them go! It’s better to use that time to save even a few of my soldiers, the people of my land!”

Logan’s mind was firm…

***

“Uh, what’s that! What on earth are those guys saying?” No one responded to the exclamation, which sounded like cursing. A chilling sensation ran down the spine. Everyone present felt that the atmosphere on the battlefield had completely changed.

However, the lord of the camp found it difficult to accept reality. “Our rear is being pierced!” “Soldiers are fleeing!” “At this rate, those guys might even… Don’t talk nonsense!” Knights wouldn’t fall to something like crossbows. Haman Teslon was certain of that.

“Turn the knights around! The enemy knights aren’t the problem. We need to deal with those guys first!” It was a belated order, and even if the order was given, there was no way the enemy knights would simply let them go. At the moment when the subordinate, who had to convey the almost suicidal order, weakly raised the flag, there was a scream-like cry.

“They’re moving this way!”

“What?!”

In response to the lieutenant’s frantic shout, chaos filled the mind of the lord, Jajak. “Move the knights to intercept them… No, before that, if I’m in danger…” After a brief internal struggle, Jajak tactically chose the worst option.

“Lower the flag! Hide among the soldiers. Secure an escape route!” Survival came first. Even as he practically gave up on the war, Haman Teslon busied himself with rationalizing his actions. From that moment on, the Teslon camp began to collapse mercilessly.

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