Chapter 15: The Thick Stench of Blood

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

The news of an incoming enemy attack spread quickly. All those who had been fast asleep in the Oasis Lookout were now all wide awake. Their eyes might have still looked somewhat drowsy, but underneath that drowsiness was full readiness to fight.

They all hoped for a satisfying victory to prove their valiance.

Swadians never feared war.

The 10 Swadian Militia and 20 Swadian Recruits all stood ready with their spears as they gathered in the council hall.

Nothing seemed unusual in the tents. The 50 Swadian Peasants were standing ready for battle with their long scythes.

Everyone awaited Kant’s orders.

“Stay quiet.”

He did not give the order for them to emerge out of their buildings or tents.

He wanted them all to keep waiting.

He squatted on the Council Hall’s roof, narrowing his eyes as he peered at the dunes far away. He wore a sarcastic smirk as he quipped, “Maybe those ugly bastards know of only one such tactic, eh.”

Scattered shadows were seen moving on the dunes.

The bright moonlight shone all over the ground, which enabled them to vaguely see the beast-like heads and bodies of their would-be invaders.

Those were Jackalans.

“My Lord, we shall get to our horses.”

Six Desert Bandits were squatting right behind Kant.

The six of them wore harsh expressions as they eyed the approaching Jackalans.

“Be careful, and don’t alert anyone.”

Kant nodded, permitting them to leave.

He looked just as focused as everyone else. His eyes had nothing but seriousness in them. Not even he had expected just how tough the battle that night would be. The scale of victory weighing his odds did not seem to be in his favor.

There were simply too many Jackalans showing up at his door.

“Things don’t look good.”

As he stayed on guard, Kant calmed his breathing and kept his eyes focused on the faraway dunes.

While moonlight did not give them visibility like that of sunlight, everyone was still able to see what was over 300 feet away. Kant assessed that there were more than 300 Jackalans ready to attack them. He was even able to detect that there might be more Jackalans waiting to strike from behind the dunes.

At this point, things were not looking good.

The situation had taken a turn for the worse.

A militia member behind him seriously asked, “My Lord, what should we do?”

“We wait.”

Kant answered in a straightforward, affirmative manner.

He estimated that at least 500 Jackalans were sneaking up on them in the dark of night. The beasts outnumbered them at least five to one.

He only had 87 Swadians at his side, and 50 of them were peasants who did not specialize in combat. If he were to win this battle, he could not afford to rely on conventional strategies.

If all of his people took formations and fought the invaders head-on, he might have as well asked to be mowed down in a single charge.

Kant was not a fool.

So, he arranged for his troops to continue hiding.

He made it seem as if none of them had discovered anything.

“If only they were here now.”

Kant made a causal quip, seeking what bit of joy he could in the severe situation. He still ended sighing in exasperation.

The “They” he referred to meant Rowan’s men.

The 20 Dukedom of Leo knights working with six Desert Bandits and 80 infantry units would have enabled them to attack with the element of surprise on their side. It would have easily crushed the Jackalans sneakily coming at them.

They were cavalry units, so their formidable mobility would have brought a devastating force to bear in such a situation.

“Too bad none of them are here.”

He wiped his face and returned to his serious and alert state of mind.

Even without reinforcements, he and the Swadians still had to defend the oasis.

That oasis was now called Drondheim, which was the location of their village.

Just as Kant was about to raise his hand and give an order, a dialog box flickered on his retina.

A prompt from the system was heard.

[Ding… Main Quest assigned]

[Main Quest: Annihilate the enemy sneaking in the night.]

[Reward: Equipment for Swadian Militia: Hunting Crossbows]

[Introduction: It is late at night and cold winds blow across the sandy dunes. A massive number of enemies are gathering. All of them come with seething hatred. They intend to retake the oasis where their tribe once called home. For you, it will be a battle for survival.]

It was another quest from the system.

Kant was somewhat startled.

His pupils instantly contracted as he discovered that it was not the usual Side Quests that popped up now and again.

It was a Main Quest.

That was the second Main Quest Kant had encountered thus far.

The first was to build his village, which was accomplished the previous night.

Now, the system had assigned him another Main Quest just as he was about to deal with the ambush from the Jackalans in the dark of night.

You’re forcing my hand.

Kant licked his lips. His eyes were filled with exasperation.

With the assignment being a Main Quest, it meant that he had to see through to its completion one way or another. A new Main Quest was only possible if he completed the one he had just been given. Everything in the system was done step by step and interconnected.

There was a possibility of failing that main quest altogether.

Kant had no idea of the consequences of such a failure.

A loss meant that a link in the chain was broken, so the next link would not be able to connect properly.

There was something even more important.

If Kant were to lose in the ambush from the Jackalans, every single last man would end up dead.

If every single unit died in combat, the Oasis Lookout would be retaken by the Jackalan Tribe. That meant Drondheim would be destroyed.

Even if there were Main Quests from there on out, they would have nothing to do with Kant.

Nothing else mattered if he ended up dead.

Some years later, people in the Dukedom of Leo would have learned of the tragedy. A few of them might have shed tears upon learning about it. In all likelihood, the tragedy would have turned into a topic discussed over dinner. After people raved about it for several days, everything would return to normal, with Kant eventually being forgotten.

To hell with that!

Kant clenched his fists and looked rather brutal.

This was a battle that he was unable to afford to lose. He had to win, even if the victory came with a high cost.

“Get ready.”

Kant retreated and left the roof for the first floor of the Council Hall.

The 10 Swadian Militia and 20 Swadian Recruits were waiting with their spears in hand. These people consisted of his main force. They were the key to winning the battle.

“My Lord.”

The soldiers looked determined. They were ready to die in battle if need be.

“Very well.” Kant nodded, finding the morale to be impressively high.

He asked, “How are things out there?”

A militia member in charge of scouting immediately reported, “The Jackalans are gathering at the dunes. So far, it is estimated that there are 500 of them.”

Kant frowned.

The reported was just as he expected, yet the weight on his shoulders felt even heavier than before.

There were 500 Jackalans. That was a number close to that of the previous tribe that took over the oasis.

“How could there be so many of them?”

Kant was feeling doubtful.

When 20 knights ambushed the tribe with 30 Swadians in tow, they had done severe damage to the Jackalan Tribe that had taken over the Oasis Lookout. There were about 300 Jackalans killed back then, and less than 100 had been able to escape.

However, the number of Jackalans appearing at the moment had reached 500.

That surprised Kant quite a bit. It also greatly angered him.

This meant that there was another Jackalan Tribe somewhere out there.

“They are attacking!”

Just when Kant was frowning and thinking, a militia member at the door made the announcement. His words made the air in the council hall instantly feel heavier.

Sounds of gulping and teeth gnashing were heard.

All of the Swadian soldiers held onto their spears and took deep breaths, awaiting Kant’s orders. They were willing to charge outside the hall and form tight formations to take on the enemies outside at a moment’s notice.

“Quiet! Stay quiet!”

However, Kant remained quiet. In a severe tone, he eventually said, “Don’t rush. Victory will be ours.”

He walked briskly to the wooden door.

Through the cracks of the door, Kant was able to clearly see the dark silhouettes of the Jackalans on the dunes bearing onto the oasis.

It was apparent that the Jackalans were unaware that the target of their ambush had discovered them.

The Jackalans continued to slowly sneak up on them.

It was just like how wolf packs snuck up on their prey. They laid low for a while before suddenly charging when they got close enough, attempting to kill their prey and reaping a tasty meal within the shortest amount of time possible.

However, if said prey were to discover them and retaliate, things turned out differently.

The soldiers in the Council Hall, the peasants in the tents, and the cavalry units in the lair were all waiting to strike.

The stalkers were discovered.

The ambush was no longer an ambush. It was now a quick retaliation.

Precisely put, it was a counter-ambush.

Bang.

Kant kicked the wooden door and charged outside the Council Hall with his light crossbow.

The 500 Jackalans, who were still laying low and approaching, looked very startled since they had gotten within 98 feet from the council hall. None of them expected someone would suddenly kick the door open.

Zoom.

The light crossbow fired. A sharp, heavy iron bolt shot through the air, appearing within the ranks of the Jackalans 98 feet away.

The tip of the bolt tore through the hide of a Jackalan and lodged in its abdomen, splitting up the internal organs within and causing massive internal bleeding. That Jackalan fell to the ground with its hands covering its abdominal wound while its eyes became bloodshot.

“For Swadia, charge!”

Kant’s voice was heard roaring throughout the Oasis Lookout. While he was not being overly loud, his voice still sounded thunderous.

“All hail Swadia!”

Massive responses were heard. The 30 soldiers with spears in their hands quickly emerged from the council hall. They extended their two 3-foot-long spears and formed neat formations, charging quickly at the stunned Jackalans.

There were also all of the 50 Swadian Peasants.

All of them raised their long scythes and followed at the flanks of the 30 infantry units.

The steps they took suggested that they were jogging. They turned into the ones initiating an ambush, slaughtering the Jackalans sneaking on them.

“Kill them all!”

Kant put the light crossbow behind his back and took out his short sword. He advanced along with the infantry units.

The 98 feet was not that big of a distance. Reloading his crossbow would have taken too much time. It was better to deal with the threat using his short sword. Besides, none of the Jackalans were wearing armor capable of withstanding hits from metal weapons.

The stench of blood instantly thickened.

The Swadians were already fighting up close and personal with the Jackalans.

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