Chapter 82 — Cavalry Charge
Ogres had a Monster Level of 5, making them already Grade 2 creatures the moment they were born. If they successfully obtained a combat profession, its level would stack with their Monster Level, making them even more powerful. As warriors, they might have been a lot less skilled and possessed cruder techniques than humans, but the ogres' overall combat prowess was still considerably higher than that of Whiterun's normal forces. The ogres' great innate Strength made them almost unstoppable as they barged around in Whiterun's defensive formation. Heavy infantry who were buffed by Strength could barely manage to hold on, but the rest of the army, especially the light infantry, was not so lucky.
The first line of defense started to get chaotic. The ogres that led the charge were falling one after another, with almost thirty of them dying from crossbow bolts, but it was Whiterun's turn to suffer casualties after the two armies literally collided. As the wizards could not cast buffs without limit, most of the buffs went to the more powerful heavy infantry, leaving the unbuffed light infantry vulnerable to the ogres' charge. Most of the unlucky light infantry who got hit by the ogres' spiked maces died right on the spot, with a sparse few only losing a limb or two.
"Hold your lines!" an army officer shouted and pointed his sword to the front. "Whiterun Elite Corps, attack!"
The second batch of heavy infantry marched to the front. They all wore full platemail armor, but they were not equipped with shields. Everyone held their own preferred weapons, most using more common weapons like two-handed swords and longswords, while some opted for more exotic weapons such as flails, spiked maces, or scythes. They were all Grade 3 warriors and did not require any buffs. The soldiers simply shouted as they intercepted the ogres.
Weapons clashed against one another. The elite heavy infantry blocked the ogres' attacks with ease and fought them head-on, meeting force with force. Despite wearing heavy full platemail armor, they still moved around agilely, evading the ogres’ powerful strikes while looking for openings. As they were all Grade 3 warriors, they had at least 5 free attribute points that had been allocated to Strength, making them on par with the ogres in that aspect. It was a pity there were only seventy to eighty of these elite warriors, but that was enough to stabilize the first line of defense, at least for now.
Soran shot a glance at the main battlefield while firing away with his crossbow from the sides. There were a few especially notable individuals. Everywhere they went was littered with ogre corpses. In just a few short minutes, a dozen ogres had already died under their swords. They were probably the only people who did not wear armor even in such a battle. With extraordinary speed and reflexes, they drew line after line with their swords in the air, landing critical hits on ogres one strike after another.
Grade 3 sword saints!
The most violent bunch among close-quarters combatants, sword saints were even more dangerous than fury warriors. They were like living slaughter machines. However, because they were extremely frail in terms of defense, six heavy infantry fought alongside them, covering their backs and flanks. If they let even one hit through, a sword saint would be dead for sure, given that they wore no armor at all.
Soran fired at another ogre. The bolt struck its eye and punctured its brain, killing it instantly. Just from killing a normal ogre warrior, he received 800 Slaughter EXP. If he could slay one of the elites, it would give him about as much EXP as the snake demon he had encountered a long while back.
An ogre officer in the back seemed to have noticed the sword saints and decided to take action. It took out a spear, roared, and threw it toward the sword saints. The iron spear cut through the sky, creating a whistling noise. Its impact killed five soldiers, and a sword saint who did not notice the spear until it was too late was severely injured in one thigh. Before anyone could rush in to help him, an ogre grinned and smashed the sword saint's head like a watermelon.
Strong, but also weak. In such a large-scale battle, sword saints were simply too eye catching. It was inevitable for them to become the enemy’s main targets.
Each ogre was equipped with three iron spears, most of which were gone after two volleys of spear throwing. The ogre officer growled and charged along with the elites with face paint, aiming for the wizards in the rear. As long as they made it through the first line of defense, they could throw their remaining spears at the flimsy spellcasters. Their defensive spells would not be enough to protect them from such powerful spear throws.
After activating Feral Bloodlust, ogres would almost lose their sanity completely. Apart from their own brethren, everything else would become targets. As they fought the heavy infantry, they broke up and spread into different directions. Though some attacked the light infantry, some of the ogres suddenly made an unpredictable move: since they could not breach the first line of defense, they turned toward the adventurers at the flanks.
The adventurers swore. Annoyed, they took out their weapons and intercepted the ogres attacking them.
The Legendary stormlord could no longer hold herself back. She took out a short spear and tossed it out toward the ogres. Along with a thunderous boom and lightning sparks, an ogre warrior died instantly.
She then dove into combat, her war spear flickering with lightning. Every strike killed an ogre, their heads falling one after another like she was harvesting wheat. All the wounds she caused were charred black due to her lightning. In just a blink of an eye, she killed eight ogres. She showed the clear difference in power between those who had reached the Realm of Legends and those who had not.
The sound of war drums beating could be heard once again. Ogre shamans roared and took out large wooden maces, then joined the fray. The two-headed ogre, who had stayed put the entire time thus far, also made his move. Both heads started chanting spells as it charged at the Legendary stormlord with a heavy war axe in its hands. The glow of magic covered its body, turning its skin stone-like and doubling its speed. It swung its hefty axe and split a heavy infantry trying to block the incoming attack in half.
The two-headed ogre's casting speed was far faster than human wizards’. It cast a fireball at the human light infantry, wreaking havoc in the formation. Even though they started to scatter as soon as they noticed the approaching fireball, a dozen or so soldiers still failed to evade it and were blown to the ground, half of them dead and the others half-dead. After empowering itself with Draconic Strength, the two-headed ogre's attacks could even bend and crack the steel shields the heavy infantry were using.
Only after the two-headed ogre finished casting its barrage of spells did the human wizards manage to do something about it. They together cast Counterspell on the ogre, forcibly dispersing the Greater Haste spell it was trying to cast. However, three of the human wizards turned pale and vomited blood afterward; it was the sign of Counterspell failure. Whenever Counterspell failed, the caster would receive great backlash. It was quite a surprise to the prideful wizards to learn that their Intelligence was lower than that of an ogre, even if it was a rare two-headed ogre wizard.
From the moment the two-headed ogre made its move, a hundred soldiers had been injured or killed.
"It shouldn't have a lot of filled spell slots left!"
Soran unsheathed his curved sword and cut the waist of a nearby ogre.
Wizards could only cast a limited amount of spells due to the limitation of spell slots; the two-headed ogre was no exception to this rule. It could indeed cast spells simultaneously, but that also meant that it expended its arsenal of spells at a much quicker rate.
Meanwhile, ogre warriors who had received buffs from their chief broke through the human line of defense and rushed at the wizards in the rear.
One after another, magical halos enshrouded the wizards' bodies, and they started hovering in the air. Fly could not last very long, with every point of the caster's spellcasting score equaling to one minute of flight. If the caster did not have abilities that boosted his spellcasting capabilities, his mobility would be decreased and cast time would be increased while flying. This was because the caster had to continuously make calculations in his mind in order to sustain flight.
Opportunities came and went quickly on the battlefield. The ogres noticed what the wizards were doing and started throwing their spears. The wizards in turn started evading using all sorts of maneuvers, with some casting multiple defensive spells, some simply dodging the spears by flying around, and some even teleporting away. Only two unlucky wizards died from the volley of spears. One of them was simply unable to avoid the spears, while the other was unlucky and was pierced through the chest the moment he materialized after teleporting backward.
The wizards finally made their offensive move. Each cast spells according to his own forte and attacked the frontmost ogres. Being hit by the barrage of spells, the ogres in front all collapsed to the ground. Those who did not take the full brunt of the spells continued to charge despite having their bodies charred and burnt. Even after receiving significant damage to their bodies, they still rushed in recklessly and swung their spiked maces with great strength.
Suddenly, the sounds of horses galloping and armor clanging could be heard. The Whiterun cavalry squad lowered their lances and charged from the flanks. The heavy infantry changed their tactics accordingly, aiming to throw the ogres into disarray in order to make them easy targets for the cavalry.
The horsemen stabbed their lances at the unsuspecting ogres. With the cavalry’s strength and momentum, their lances punctured through the ogres’ tough skin and embedded themselves into the ogres' torsos. The lances were designed to break into two halves after landing a hit, causing the front part to stay within the enemy to deal more damage over time. This design also prevented the horsemen from getting flung off their horses due to Newton’s laws of motion. If the lances did not all have a wooden section designed to break upon impact, the lancer would have to bear the same force applied to his target. That would surely send someone flying away despite wearing heavy armor. As such, lances were actually disposable weapons made to be used only once.
After their initial charge, the cavalry rushed past the ogres and turned back for a second charge. They dropped their lances and unsheathed their longswords, then commanded their steeds to gallop toward the ogres once again. The ogres swung their spiked maces, but many of them helplessly dropped their weapons before they could finish their swinging motion; their chests were opened and life seeped out of their bodies. The warhorses were quick, and the horsemen made use of their speed to land damaging slashes before the monsters could retaliate.
Even so, some ogres managed to hit the charging warhorses. Even though their weapons just barely grazed the horses, it was enough to make them tumble and fling their riders into the air. The trained cavalry remained unfazed, and the soldiers who were flung off their horses landed on the ground with their shields and longswords ready. It was time for round three.
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