Chapter 81 — The Bone Crusher Tribe
A Legendary stormlord—she was the first person with a Legendary profession Soran had seen since coming to this world. Gloria was powerful, but she was still only a high-grade witch and was considerably far from reaching the Realm of Legends. The Legendary stormlord in front of his eyes was a female warrior from the tropical rainforests who worshipped the God of Storms. Similar to the deity they worshipped, the female warriors there were brutal and warlike. They also despised men and only saw them as tools for reproduction.
Some people chose to call them Amazons, but the female warriors were not the only 'Amazons.’ The term actually applied to just about all intelligent beings living in the tropical rainforest region. It was a place very similar to the Underdark in terms of how the inhabitants there ruled their tribes. Female drows who lived in the Underdark used oppressive measures to control their tribes, and humans, centaurs, naga sirens, and some other creatures living in the tropical rainforest region did the same. They were all matriarchal tribes that centered around women, be it hunting, fighting battles, or defending their territories. Males there were mere appendages and had low status.
Due to their dangerous living environment, intelligent beings living in the tropical region were all powerful combatants. Their total population was less than a percent of that of the Southern Principality, but their combat force was miles ahead of the entire southern region. If they had not broken up into countless tribes, ruling all the way from the rainforests to the coastal regions would have been a simple task.
"Ogres!" The female warrior held up her war spear and roared. It was a voice filled to the brim with rage, almost like a bucket of gunpowder going off. Her voice shook everyone's eardrums.
"Take your tribe and leave! Or else, I shall slaughter every one of you."
The two-headed ogre showed no fear even while standing in front of a Legendary stormlord. It took a war flag that depicted creepy skulls from its subordinates. The flag pole probably weighed a few hundred pounds, but the two-headed ogre easily held it with one hand and stabbed it dozens of centimeters into the ground.
The ogres began to gather and were now visible to the human camp. They were around 2.4 meters tall, weighed over five hundred pounds, and had fat all over their bodies. However, they were not chubby, but instead looked even more brawny and fearsome. Their stomachs especially were covered with a lot of fat and meat, but that did not stop their well-trained abs from showing.
The two-headed ogre was taller than other ogres, reaching over three meters in height and looking almost like a relatively small giant. The one that spoke was its left head, the right one staying silent for the time being. Both heads were covered in deep blue face paint that extended all the way to its chest, and it had runes that seemed to be tattooed onto its arms. It wore a beastskin cape.
The two-headed ogre straightened the war flag, and the ogres behind him roared all together as though they were on drugs. It had not cast any spells, but the ogres behind it all had bloodshot eyes, and their veins bulged as their muscles swelled. The war drums produced even more noise as the ogres swung their weapons and roared. They all seemed to be extremely hyper, awaiting the battle with eager anticipation.
The two-headed ogre glared at the Whiterun army while standing next to the war flag. Despite being a wizard, it had not even considered staying in the rear.
"The Bone Crusher Tribe's war flag has already been planted on this land! Let war show us who the rightful owner of this land shall be!"
Dom! Dom! Dom!
The sound of war drums resounded throughout the plains. The ogres took out their whips and began whipping the Ironspike boars. Twenty of these boars led the charge toward the human army; it was quite a spectacle to see half-ton beasts charging at full speed. Ironspike boars were mutated beasts that fed on minerals, which was why their skin was so tough and why sharp spikes grew on their backs, making them great for charging at enemies. Enslaved gnolls and lizardmen followed behind the boars, with the ogres being the last to charge.
"Formation! Heavy arbalists!"
A warrior covered in full platemail armor ordered the Whiterun soldiers in a loud, firm voice. The soldiers obeyed his command and began to disperse in an orderly manner. Rows of heavy infantry emerged from the rear, each wearing at least chainmail armor. Steel shields and swords hung on their backs and waists respectively, and they held heavy crossbows. After getting into position, they began loading their crossbows.
Each row consisted of thirty heavy infantry separated by five meters from the next row. The rows in their three-meter-deep formation were staggered to close all gaps, completing their defensive formation.
Most people had to reload heavy crossbows by holding the crossbow in place with their legs due to the high draw weight, but the heavy infantry easily loaded the weapons with only their hands. They aimed their crossbows at the charging monsters but did not fire, awaiting orders from their commander.
"Third Cavalry Squad, prepare to engage!"
Heavy cavalry adorned in knight armor gathered. They lowered their helmet visors and patted their horses to soothe them, then held up their four-meter-long lances. They formed rows three meters apart, each with ten people. These horsemen were all at least Grade 2 warriors, with some of them being even as strong as Grade 3 warriors despite not having actually reached that grade themselves.
Thirty or so golems gathered, stomping over from the flanks to the center. They formed a concave arrangement, looking almost like a pocket. On the sides were the adventurers who were to cover the flanks. The wizards began casting Shield and Mage Armor on themselves. It was still not yet time for them engage in combat; the first wave was simply cannon fodder.
"Warsong of Bravery!"
An uplifting warsong could be heard. A divine bard dressed in a white cloak appeared. It was an advanced profession of Bard and required the person to also multiprofession in Priest. Along with his song, everyone in the human camp was fired up. The priests who came along with the army began to cast Bless on the warriors; it could remove their fears temporarily and dampen their sense of pain.
Other soldiers loaded the dozen or so arcuballista and aimed the projectiles, which were each as thick as a human arm, at the approaching monsters.
The monsters closed the distance gradually. When the two sides were three hundred meters apart, the officer swung his sword and yelled, "Fire!"
Thud! Thud! Thud!
The arcuballista projectiles punctured the Ironspike boars with ease, opening gushing wounds on their bodies as they tumbled to their deaths. The heavy infantry also fired their heavy crossbows, dropping plenty of lizardmen and gnolls in an instant. They calmly reloaded and fired again, repeating three more times before they lowered their crossbows and took out their shields and swords for the close-range battle to come.
The light infantry in the rear continued firing their crossbows. The enslaved monsters fell one after another, most of them dead before even reaching the one-hundred-meter mark. However, some of the Ironspike boars were still charging recklessly at the human army despite having countless bolts dangling from their bodies. When the boars were fifty meters away, the heavy infantry spread out and created an opening in their formation deliberately, letting the boars run through the hole. The moment the beasts entered, the soldiers closed in and stabbed their longswords into the beasts' necks.
Some of the boars continued charging despite having wounds on their necks, but the heavy infantry simply ignored them and got back into their initial formation. They held their shields in front of their bodies, prepared their longswords, and faced the charging ogres.
"Support! Kill the boars!"
The adventurers began attacking the Ironspike boars that made it through the first line of defense. They were beasts after all, thus they only charged in a straight line, making their path predictable. The adventurers fired their ranged weapons at the boars, with most of the shots landing on the boars. Soran shot a boar in the head, netting him 500 Slaughter EXP.
Gigantic golems shook the ground as they walked forward to intercept the ogres. When the two parties were roughly seventy meters apart, the ogre warriors bent their bodies and threw their spears toward the heavy infantry.
“Evade!” the commander shouted.
“Protection from Ranged Attacks!”
Dozens of spears struck the energy field, shattering it in an instant. Eight heavy infantry failed to dodge the rain of spears, and five of them died right on the spot. The other three blocked the spears with their shields and were forced to the ground, but they scurried back up onto their feet quickly. Their steel shields were well forged, thus they would not die as long as they blocked the spears, but it would still hurt their arms and bodies, making it slightly inconvenient to fight.
Ogres holding hundred-pound-weapons were already close, just fifty meters away from the heavy infantry. They roared and swung their weapons, their skin gradually turning bright red.
—Transmute Rock to Mud!
Wizards and priests started to cast spells consecutively. They were not attack spells, but rather spells aimed to control the enemy and buff allies. The heavy infantry had increased speed and strength after being buffed by Haste and Strength, but the durations of these spells were only in the magnitude of minutes. Even Grade 3 wizards could only cast buffs that lasted for fifteen minutes or so.
Grease and Web worked poorly against ogres. They were so heavy that the grease could not make them slip, and they simply broke out of the webs entangling them in no time. Their charge was unaffected by these two spells.
When their distance reduced to thirty meters, the ogres further accelerated to full speed. They held their spiked maces up high, then swung at the humans in front.
The sounds of blocking rang throughout the rows of heavy infantry. They stood firm on their feet and blocked the ogres' first attacks.
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