The Kingdom of the Black Sun(Alrodena Kingdom) gathered what they needed for their retreat and orderly retreated, but the enemy caught up to them when they reached Fort Bandigam.
That was possible because the hero, Ativ’s, forces chased after them with all of their strength without rest regardless of if it was day or night. Their main force was made up of the Iron Bull Knights and the third company of the holy knights under Eleanor’s command. A cavalry personally led by the hero was also with them.
Moreover, one of the hero’s vanguards, the girl turned saint, could open the gate of another world, allowing them to give chase at a speed otherwise impossible.
In comparison, though Alrodena’s morale remained high, their forces were already half destroyed. Gi Ga Rax’s Tiger and Spear Army(Aransain), the Goblin King’s imperial guards, and Gi Gu Verbena’s Axe and Sword Army(Felduk) were no exceptions.
Moreover, Ra Gilmi Fishiga’s Bow and Arrow Army(Fanzel) had to allocate half of their forces to support the other armies, so they were even weaker than the half-destroyed Felduk. But among the four generals, the army worst off was The Twin-Headed Beast and Axe Army(Zeilduk) due to the divine beasts and needing to use their monster beasts to create an opportunity for their retreat.
Yet amidst all that, Pale Symphoria the prime minster managed to take control of the army in place of the Goblin King. That was partly due to the Goblin King yet being asleep, and because she was recognized by the four generals as the person most capable of protecting the entire army from the enemy’s pursuit.
Even the goblin supremacist, Gi Gu Verbena, had to accept that he was inferior to her in a battle consisting of armies of many races.
But even Pale wasn’t all powerful.
A move as strange as opening an otherworldly gate to get ahead of them was something she could only deal with ad hoc. However, that did not mean that she was incompetent, as she was able to repel the attackers one way or another without suffering extensive damage.
In this situation where the enemy could appear from anywhere, somehow someway, she succeeded in minimizing their losses by predicting where the enemy would attack based on the areas easy to attack and placing traps where possible.
But even then, there was no preventing the slowing of their retreat.
Fanzel fought hard to remove their foes, but in the end, perhaps it didn’t even matter, for Gi Go Amatsuki soon saw a large cloud of dust gathering from behind them. He reported the matter to Gi Go Amatsuki and the Gaidga Tribe, who were the assault forces moving at their flanks.
At the same time, they entrusted their rear to Gu Long Ferun’s swordsmen while the main force retreated. He was one of the three southern goblins that Gi Gu Verbena trusted. Gu Tough Duen and Gu Big Rueh have also evolved to become noble class goblins themselves.
It was a role that Pale pointed out and Gi Gi agreed to; a role that would stop the attack of the enemy. In other words, Gu Long would stop the enemy’s attack, while the swordsmen and the Gaidga Tribe would attack the enemy from the flanks. Meanwhile, the main force and rearguard would retreat.
They would leave behind the two strongest forces after the imperial guards despite their platoon size and turn to Felduk’s tenacious command that has allowed them to flee from the jaws of death many times now.
Gi Gu himself said that he would stand at the rear, but Pale had to stop him.
“If ability is the question, then it is only natural that I be the one to lead!”
Or so Gi Gu claimed, but Pale insisted that he did not.
“Who’s going to lead Felduk without you!?”
Should Gi Gu Verbena be injured, recovering the war front will prove to be a difficult ordeal. Nay, in fact, it was likely that Felduk would not be able to exhibit their strength when they fight the hero’s army once again. So long as that risk remained, Pale would never accept positioning Gi Gu in the rear.
In the end, the three brothers under Gi Gu had to mediate, and they all eventually agreed to leave the Gu Long Ferun.
This was the most powerful line up Alrodena could muster without the Goblin King, but the pressure behind the approaching army of the hero was not normal. It was not only the girls that the hero had turned into saints. Some of the defeated remnants of Altigand also came to possess power that they could’ve otherwise only attained after many years of training.
The price for that power was to become the vanguard of the hero. The forces of Alrodena were not without sympathy for them, but there was no changing the fact that they were enemies with superhuman strength attacking them.
Rasdir, the commander of the Iron Bull Knights, Eleanor, the leader of a holy knight company, and her aide, Yuan El Farran, all manifested powers of the saint, but there were large differences between them. Yuan and Eleanor were confused by the power that welled out from within them, or perhaps, they remembered being confused, but in Rasdir’s case, he had already completely entrusted himself to the will of the hero.
His Iron Bull Knights suffered grave casualties because of Rashka and Gi Za’s surprise attacks. Moreover, they were already half destroyed because of the last battle. Rasdir needed strength to restore his country; hence, the hero’s power could only be absolute.
“I can see them. The cavalry will stop them. Heavy footmen, ready your spears and follow me!”
His knowledge from his days as knight commander remained, but the power overflowing from him has already devoured his own consciousness, and now, he single-mindedly advanced without regard for his own army’s losses.
The Iron Bull Knights started extending from the army, but even that didn’t stop Rasdir. As though his forces were a part of himself, Rasdir ordered his knights, that knew no fatigue, onward.
In comparison, Gu Long Ferun’s strategy was simple.
A concentrated attack at Rasdir, who overeagerly led his army from in front. Moreover, they piled several layers on their formation to receive the attack of the enemy.
The casualties from these succeeding attacks were bound to be enormous. Partly because it was difficult to command the army in this situation, and partly because having their backs turned to the enemy increased their casualties. But after coming here, Pale’s decision and Ra Gilmi Fishiga’s preparation proved effective.
The morale of the goblins remained high, and they reorganized themselves with such order one would not think they were in the middle of a retreat.
“Rouse yourselves, my siblings! The time to gather ourselves and strike back at the enemy has come!”
The southern goblins have already become the main force in Gi Gu Verbena’s Felduk, and among them stood at the top the three sibling goblins. In the past, these goblins, that had longer arms and shorter stature compared to other goblins, would flee to the trees at the sight of a powerful foe, but now, they were the main force of the most influential Felduk. Above all, Gi Gu’s appearance made it so that they never had to worry about food again.
It was such a simple thing, but that simple thing was the reason they were so loyal.
To the southern goblins, there was ‘the great Gi Gu Verbena,’ and Gi Gu himself educated them.
‘We are the ones worthy to lead the continent! That’s why there’s no need to fear sacrifice. So long as our king lives, the continent is ours to rule!’
That brought them pride. Surely, their descendants would reign supreme over the land and live even better lives than them. Such thoughts was something that could be observed from all of Alrodena, but it was a particularly strong sentiment among the Felduk and the Thousand-Demon Army(Sazanorga).
That’s why Alrodena’s forces could fight such a fierce battle of retreat with high morale and order.
“They’re coming. Swordsmen, charge!!”
At Gu Long’s behest, the goblins in the frontmost line raised up their shields and brandished their swords to attack the approaching enemy.