Chapter 452: The Unification
Translator: TransN Editor: TransN
The rebelling nobles were powerless against the First Army, and it only took a round of firing in every confrontation to decide the victor. The First Army didn't even need to change cartridges before their enemies dispersed and ran away with their tails between their legs. Moreover, the enemies usually didn't even put up a fight, and the First Army only had to pursue and capture them.
Iron Axe cleared through one territory per day and quickly conquered the regions governed by the Elk, Wolf, and Wild Rose families. However, when the troops reached the Maple Leaf territory, they began slowing down.
They encountered some unexpected issues.
"Damn it. This is no different from Stronghold." Brian stared at the Earl's looming castle and spat angrily. "It's protected by a moat!"
"Was anyone hurt in the past round of attacks?" asked Iron Axe coldly.
"Two unlucky men were wounded, one in the arm and the other in the back while retreating, but it doesn't seem serious," said Brian, frowning. "The soldiers were at a great disadvantage because they were shooting upwards from the ground, so even if the enemies only had bows and bolts, they could still contend with us."
Iron Axe knew that Brian was right. No one had expected the Earl of the Maple Leaf Family to have a castle built like a tower which was supported by mountains and cliffs. The streams from the Impassable Mountain Range were led into a five-meter-wide ditch that formed a small moat surrounding the castle. Since the water was constantly flowing, although there were blocks of floating ice and snow, the moat was not frozen solid. The gate was the only entrance into the tower, so in order to reach it, they had to cross the bridge, where the enemy's force was most concentrated.
There were no concealments around the Earl's castle, only plains of snow, so standing on the higher ground made up for the enemies' disadvantage of using crossbow bolts. After two rounds of probing attacks, the First Army only shot down three or four people and suffered many casualties themselves.
"I wish we'd brought cannons with us," said Brian bitterly. "If we shot a few cannonballs at their gate, they would surrender in no time."
"It's too bad that the troops can't bring them here because it's too far from Stronghold, and the snow's too deep." Iron Axe glanced at the sky. "Let's call it a day and arrange for the troops to set up camp."
The territory of the Maple Leaf Family was northwest of Longsong Stronghold, next to Impassable Mountain Range, and it lay on the border of the Western Region. Simply walking here took almost a day, and the uncleared snow on the paths made it impossible to transport a 12-pound field artillery.
According to reports, the Maple Leaf Family barely contributed to the rebellion, and even the Earl himself didn't participate. This meant that their resources and power were all intact and stored in this guarded tower, making it very difficult to deal with without siege weapons.
At night, bonfires were lit in the camp's tents.
"What should we do tomorrow?" Brian asked, tossing wood into the fire pit. "Order the soldiers to rush against the rain of arrows? As long as we can blast through that damn steel door, they're done for."
"But the First Army would also lose dozens of soldiers." Iron Axe shook his head and didn't answer. If he were still in the Iron Sand City, he would gladly sacrifice hundreds of soldiers to complete his mission without feeling regretful. However, after he came to the Western Region, he felt somewhat protective of the soldiers whom he watched improve and whom His Highness Roland put so much effort into.
After a long pause, he sighed. "Let's use the witches."
Brian was shocked. "The witches?"
Iron Axe didn't want to do this either. He remembered the prince had once told him that a decent army should be able to complete its mission independently at all times. However, this was not important at the moment. In order to reach their goal of uniting the Western Region in a week and to minimize casualties, he was willing to give up his pride.
Also, His Highness also said that a good general accounted for his soldiers' lives.
"Send a messenger and tell the prince that we're in trouble and need Miss Maggie's help." He ordered.
The next morning, Maggie and Lightning came to the camp. "What happened?"
Iron Axe coughed and explained his dilemma. "The enemies are mainly concentrated at the top of the tower, so rifles can do little damage to them. There's also a steel door blocking the entrance, so the First Army can't get close enough to place explosives. We can only rely on you to open the gates."
"We've got this," the little girl said, patting her chest.
Throwing explosives was a familiar task to them, and they were even trained with the First Army in the small town. Iron Axe nodded and immediately arranged the soldiers to begin the last attack—even if the explosives didn't have the desired effect, they would at least scare the enemies and give themselves enough time to break through the steel door.
"Are you fighting as well?" Brian watched surprisedly as Iron Axe strapped a rifle to his back and stuffed a few cartridges of bullets into his belt.
"Rather than say 'charge for me', say 'charge with me'." Iron Axe smiled. "His Highness always said this."
When the two men led their soldiers into the charging position, Maggie's figure appeared in the sky.
She transformed into a giant beast and charged towards the tower, her claws grabbing a bag of the new explosives. Everyone witnessed this stunning scene and the First Army erupted in cheers, while the side on top of the tower descended into chaos. The mercenaries and guards of the Maple Family all turned their crossbow bolts around and began shooting at the beast with no avail.
Meanwhile, Maggie finished collecting her strength, flapped her wings forcefully, rose rapidly into the air, and released the bag. The bag of explosives shot towards the top of the tower like a cannonball...
Iron Axe felt his surroundings go quiet, and then he saw a glaring ball of fire rise from the top of the tower. Suddenly, the earth began to shake! The entire world seemed to be trembling, and huge columns of smoke shot up through the snow. A heat wave struck him in the face, forcing him to stumble back a few steps with his ears ringing.
This is... the power of God!
Iron Axe couldn't help but recall the first time when he witnessed His Highness' gunpowder test, but the explosion this time was much more powerful. Even standing almost a hundred meters away, he could feel the scalding heat of the fire ball. As for the enemies close to God's Punishment at the top of the tower, their fates were all easily imaginable.
He quietly prayed to the Three Gods, raised his rifle high, and shouted, "For His Highness the prince, First Army, charge!"
"For His Highness!" The soldiers echoed his words and swarmed to the Earl's castle.
This time... no one dared to stop them.
When Iron Axe returned to Longsong Stronghold, it was already the sixth night.
The entire Western Region was finally under Roland's control.
Please go to https://www.novelupdates.cc/Release-that-Witch/
to read the latest chapters for free