Chapter 2: The Jackalan’s Ambush

Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio  Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio

The Jackalans were the most common humanoid race found in the Nahrin Desert.

They once had a massive population that stretched across the Nahrin Desert to the Senwaya Range. During the many years the dukedom was at war with other dukedoms, the Jackalans had taken advantage of the situation and invaded the dukedom’s northern lands. They remained a solid threat to the dukedom for nearly three years.

They were considered as a disgusting inflammation that seemed to spread all the way to the central regions.

When the Dukedom of Leo was done warring against the other dukedoms, they immediately sought to purge the Jackalans from their lands.

The massive purge lasted for a year.

The Jackalan Tribes, which behaved as if they had reached paradise when they first invaded the dukedom, were quickly crushed by the retaliation.

The Jackalans had no high-grade weapons or armor, which meant that they were no match for the human forces.

The Jackalans were easily killed by the cavalry units, which were highly regarded by the Dukedom of Leo and a source of great pride.

It was said that the number of chopped Jackalan heads 10 years ago was enough to line both sides of the road.

The brutal purge quickly spiraled to become an all-out genocide, stretching from the northern border of the dukedom into the southern parts of the Nahrin Desert. The main Jackalan Tribes, which had greater numbers, almost became extinct from the genocide.

Any surviving Jackalan Tribes moved into the desert north of the dukedom in fear.

There were still some scattered pockets of them left.

There were quite a number of Jackalan Tribes within the Senwaya Range, which was evident from how the northern villages of the dukedom were sporadically raided by Jackalans.

As for the southern parts of the Nahrin Desert, the Jackalan numbers likely spiked from having gained a 10-year respite.

There’s no going back now.

Kant wetted his parched, cracked lips. His expression was filled with resolve.

He was determined to build his village after making the arduous journey through the desert. With the system’s Kingdom of Swadia as his cheat, he was determined not to fall into a state of having absolutely nothing.

The dunes, which were recently discussed, were right in front of them. That was where they were about to set up camp.

The plan was to set up tents in the shade behind the dune.

“Alright, you people, get busy!”

The knights were still under Rowan’s command. He went on to carry out his arrangements for them. “Search the perimeter thoroughly. I don’t want any Jackalan or beast chewing up my innards while I’m asleep!”

The 20 knights immediately spread out after receiving his orders.

However, some hardly bothered with the task they had been given. They had been marching for six days and not seen any Jackalans around.

As such, the knights were not very thorough with their search. After confirming that there was nothing out of the ordinary within the vicinity of the dunes, they all returned to set up tents so they could get some much-needed rest.

“Get the tents up.”

Kant arranged for the peasants to get to work as well.

The three carriages included supplies to set up camp. There were more than a dozen tents, as well as sticks and ropes for erecting them.

Some of the peasants were quickly digging into the sand with their sickles. They were removing sand about 11 inches down from the surface, revealing the cooler layers underneath.

That was one of the tricks of living in the desert. Lying down inside the sand enabled them to escape the heat.

It was a technique employed by the Jackalans surviving in the desert, which was picked up by the soldiers of the Dukedom of Leo. The technique was, in turn, recorded by scholars in the books they wrote.

Before Kant ventured into the desert, he had looked up all kinds of books on the Nahrin Desert and thoroughly read them.

Twenty tents were set up over the recently dug holes in the sand. The tents were erected with sticks and fixed in place with ropes. All 51 people in the entourage were able to have a good rest within the camp, as well as the 27 horses.

“I’ll leave the rest to you, Rowan.”

Kant stood before his small tent and sighed a breath of relief.

The hardest part of the work needed to set up camp had been completed. Rowan nodded in reply. “Yes, Your Lordship.”

The work after required feeding and watering the horses. People were also assigned to prepare lunch and distribute water throughout the day to everyone present. While the job was relatively easy, it had to be taken seriously. No one was better suited for the job than Rowan, who was careful and steadfast.

The tents blocked the sun, and the shallow holes brought coolness from the earth.

Kant spread out a linen sheet and laid down. He felt as if all the exhaustion from the difficult journey was disappearing.

It might actually be best to have a pint of lager at such a moment, he thought.

Kant closed his eyes and sighed. I wonder when I can start living easily again.

He was, at the moment, at the stage of starting from scratch.

Lager was basically a luxury at such times. There was no way he could have drunk some anyway. No trade caravans traveled to the Oasis Lookout to sell cheap liquor to their fief.

After all, they were in the Nahrin Desert.

It was a barren wasteland where no humans were usually found.

Kant Shook his head and stopped thinking about it.

He sniffed for a bit and smelled the fragrance of food from outside the tent.

It was lunchtime. Just as Kant was preparing to take a nap in the hole, the familiar chime of the System Prompt woke him up.

A dialog box appeared on his retina at the same time.

[Ding… Side Quest assigned]

[Side Quest: The Jackalans’ Ambush]

[Reward: Date Palm Trees x 20 (Ripe)]

[Introduction: The smell of cooking attracted a group of Jackalans with a keen sense of smell. You need to annihilate them.]

Kant immediately rose from his hole.

He looked determined since it was a side quest from the system, which was assigned irregularly and at no set time.

However, such a side quest from the system did verify something important.

There was a group of Jackalans with unknown numbers preparing for an ambush around the dunes where they were camping. Furthermore, the Jackalans had found them and were ready to strike at any moment.

We’ve been careless!

Kant was exasperated by the knights’ inability to properly scout. Given how he had no command over them, there was no way he could have given them orders.

He swiftly walked out of his tent. There were more than a dozen peasants still preparing lunch outside.

As for the knights assigned by the dukedom to escort them, they were all burrowed in their tents and holes. There was not so much as a scout found anywhere outside of the tents. They had very much let their guards down.

Kant frowned hard at the situation.

If it had not been for the System Prompt, those Jackalans would have probably gotten right beside the tents and remained unseen.

He did not make a big deal out of it.

Kant came to the side of the carriage and found his box.

Within it were a light crossbow and a quiver with 20 short, thick iron bolts.

He needed to be the one who discovered the Jackalans. Otherwise, there was no way he could explain how he knew the Jackalans were about to attack. Despite being somewhat of a scholar, he was certainly not a mage who possessed mystical powers.

Along with three Swadian Peasants, he swiftly walked to the top of the dunes above their campsite.

He cautiously squatted as he scanned his surroundings.

“Over there. I found them.”

A peasant noticed them first. He continued to speak in a subdued voice as he pointed northward, “Look, Jackalans. Many of them.”

“Yeah.” Kant nodded.

Approximately half of a mile north of the dunes where they were camping, they were about 50 Jackalans wearing ragged clothing and snooping about. They laid low as if they were out hunting.

Actually, they were hunting. After all, human meat was often found on the menu of some of the more brutal Jackalans.

“Fall back. Wake everyone up and prepare for combat.”

Kant slowly backed away while remaining in a squatting position. Although he still looked very serious, his expression had considerably lightened.

From the looks of it, more than 50 Jackalans seemed like a lot. They were almost equal to Kant’s entourage.

In actual fact, they were not all that much of a threat.

All 20 of the dukedom’s knights, who were still resting in their tents in the sand, would have been able to quickly take care of the Jackalans. Furthermore, they would have done so without incurring huge losses.

Seasoned knights with ample training could have easily dealt with those primitive humanoid races.

Kant quickly ran down the dune as he held onto his light crossbow. He said, “Captain Rowan, we’re in trouble. Please get everyone to prepare for combat. About 50 Jackalans are about to ambush our camp.”

“Jackalans?”

Captain Rowan sounded rather surprised.

The 20 knights in their tents quickly grabbed their weapons and emerged with stern expressions. When they scanned the surrounding dunes, they did not find anything out of the ordinary.

Rowan did not doubt Kant and asked, “Your Lordship, where are they?”

“Over there, and they’ll hit us real soon,” Kant said as he pointed north of the dunes.

“Get on your horses and get ready to fight.”

Rowan gritted his teeth and glared at the knights behind him. He quickly berated them. “Damn it, you four will spend the night polishing everyone’s boots. I told you to scout the area, yet you missed that many Jackalans out there.”

The four knights looked glum, but they did not retort.

It had truly been their mistake. The four of them were tasked with scouting to the north.

“Your Lordship, I apologize for the matter, but we will deal with the Jackalans.”

Rowan led the knights to mount their horses. They all took their lances and longswords along. He turned to Kant and seriously said, “We will all deploy, so we probably will not be able to cover for you. Please be careful, Your Lordship.”

“No problem.” Kant nodded.

The knights were never meant for defense. They would head out and hit the Jackalans head-on.

Once an ambush was discovered, the element of surprise was gone.

Seeing the 20 knights, led by Rowan, quickly go up the dunes and head north, Kant gave his orders. “Everyone, prepare for combat. Follow my lead.”

“Understood!”

The 30 Swadian Peasants unanimously responded.

While their main job was to work in the fields, they were no strangers to combat.

Their specially modified sickles were mounted on 6-foot-5-inch staffs, making long scythes that resembled halberds. The weapons were capable of stabbing and slashing. Although they seemed unwieldy, they were weapons capable of dealing massive damage.

Furthermore, the 30 Swadian Peasants held their long scythes and went into two square formations.

After this battle, some of them were likely to get an upgrade.

Kant took the Swadian Peasants to the top of the dunes.

Approximately 650 feet away, the 20 dukedom knights were thrusting their lances, which were over 6 feet long, and charging without fear at the ragtag band of Jackalans.

“Glory to the Dukedom of Leo!”

The knights shouted their motto as the warhorses beneath them galloped at high speeds.

Although the sand limited their absolute speed, the charge of the knights caught the Jackalans by surprise.

The Jackalans were the dominant beings in the Nahrin Desert. That emboldened them enough to sneak up to the place where they smelled something nice, even though they had no idea who they would be up against.

When they saw the ones charging down the dunes were human knights, all of them began to scatter in fear.

The slaughter from 10 years ago was still fresh in their memories.

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