Chapter 261: Machines of War
While the Crusaders rushed towards the capital of the Siban Empire to assist them in the coming war, Wan Qiao was rushing back to meet up with Hui Yue. The leader who was not just wasting time doing nothing.
Although his greatest strength was the fact that his army was composed of highly skilled cultivators, Hui Yue knew very well that strength alone could be overcome by tactics and machinery. Looking at the forest where they were currently located, Hui Yue contemplated for some time before he stood up and started examining the wood in front of him.
Although this forest was fairly small, only big enough to conceal his army, the trees were clearly ancient. Their trunks were thick, and the wood was strong. Creating war machines from these trees would make them very sturdy, and Hui Yue went through the entire forest examining the trees. If Wan Qiao returned with no information about the army using massive machinery then Hui Yue, in turn, would not bother creating machines of his own. But if she returned with news of devastating weaponry or machinery then he too would use his knowledge to create some machines of his own within this small forest; he would take advantage of these centuries old trees that were given to him.
“It is not like we are in a rush to meet the other army,” Hui Yue mumbled to himself as a smile appeared on his lips. He knew that Wan Qiao was incapable of truly acting stealthily so he also assumed that her investigation would be carried out from the sky, and knowing that she did not try to conceal herself, the enemy army would definitely notice her. This would put them on high alert, and make them ready to receive an attack at any moment. At the same time, it ensured that Hui Yue would not be traveling from their location anytime soon. This in itself should give Hui Yue the time he needed to create the machinery he was thinking about.
After a few days, it was a certainty that the army would send out scouts of their own. These scouts would be flying on magical beasts, and although they would be far from flying at Wan Qiao’s speed, they should still be able to find Hui Yue and his army within a few days. This set the limit that they could stay within the small forest for about week or so. Contemplating, he wondered if he should start making the machinery already or if he should wait for Wan Qiao’s return. If the opponents truly were without war machinery then it would be serious overkill, but, although the beasts were clueless when it came to war, it was obvious that an empire would never be as weak as a kingdom filled with beasts.
“You seem to be in deep thought,” A chuckling voice sounded from above as a shadow jumped down from the treetops. Hui Yue had not sensed anyone above and instantly knew that whoever it was, the person was definitely far stronger than him. He did not panic, nor did he fear that this person was someone sent after him because he instantly recognized the voice as Wan Qiao’s. Knowing that she returned, the young man felt his heart beating more rapidly than before. He felt elated and relaxed; it was as though this woman was someone who would always support him, and having her back made him feel like their army was whole again. Hui Yue relied on Wan Qiao’s abilities to tie up at least two, if not three, Saint ranked experts. This would allow him to use experts at other places.
“So what did you see?” He finally asked with a smile on his face. But as the question left his lips, Wan Qiao’s expression turned sullen, and she started grinding her teeth slightly.
“You were right to train our soldiers,” She said with a sigh after having thought r for some time, “Not only are they more than four times larger than us, they also happen to be in possession of some rather dreadful weapons which could prove dangerous to any expert below the Saint level. They have massive crossbows which can shoot at an astonishing speed and with such force that it could easily kill an Emperor.” Hearing this, Hui Yue could not help but frown. He had vastly underestimated the weaponry the other army had at their disposal, and he sighed once more as he started calling forth all the information he had about warfare and machinery of war from his mind.
Weaponry such as guns and other items requiring explosives were not an option, so he turned to Roman warfare. Standing still for some time while he called forth all his knowledge, he then quickly removed a pen and some paper from a storage stone on which he started making the blueprints for various machinery.
“Where are they located?” He asked absentminded as he drew one line after another on the paper. Wan Qiao, who was staring at the drawing which quickly took shape in front of her, had to hear the question twice before she started to answer, “They are stationed right outside the capital. There is a large flat plain, and the army is spread as far as I could see. I imagine they are using the tactics you already guessed, trying to overrun us with numbers.”
Hui Yue nodded once more as he returned to the drawings. One had been finished, and another was being created. Time flowed by as Hui Yue created six different blueprints; blueprints he wanted to be created. If the army was outside the city wall, then he was certain that a portion of the army, most likely the strongest troops, were inside the walls. They should be ready to seal it shut and turn the battle into a siege of the city.
“I need all the Saints here A.S.A.P.!” Hui Yue said with a low voice, but somehow all the Saints heard the words, and within moments all of them were standing next to the young man.
“We need to create our own machinery of war,” He said seriously. “This forest which we are hiding within has the perfect trees to create such things, and although the humans will notice us, it is unavoidable. We need to build these machines well, but we are in a bit of a hurry. I need your help.” He continued, and then he brought forth the eight different blueprints he had and laid them down on a tree stump in front of them.
“This war is not going to be as simple as I expected,” He said with a serious voice. “It will be split into two parts. The first will be the battle against the masses. Where we are likely to take heavy losses since they have far more experts than us. Although almost all are of a lower rank, they are ready to give their lives to take a King with them to the Netherworld.”
“After that, it’ll turn into a siege of the city. We will try to siege the walls of their city and then take over the capital. This is where we will meet their strongest experts. We need to be prepared for it.”
“I have created blueprints for certain weaponry that we need to construct as soon as possible. This is a ramp. It is used as a massive shield for the beasts as they inch closer to the wall, ensuring that the arrows do not rain down upon them. It is very simple to make, but I want them to be four meters by three meters!”
“This is a catapult. We can use it before and during the siege. We will need ten catapults. Lord Pan, I expect you and your army to create them.” Hearing this, Lord Pan nodded his head and accepted the blueprints; his eyes were shining with interest as he looked it through.
“This is a ballista!” Hui Yue continued, “Wan Qiao I need your army to create ten ballistae. We can also use these throughout the war. They are very important, and we will need ten of them.” Hearing this, Wan Qiao nodded her head with a serious expression, and she swiftly left, ready to give the orders to her guards.
“This is a tower! This is crucial for the siege. Not all beasts are capable of flying to the walls, or jumping all the way up there, and they will be able to ascend the walls by using the tower. We will need four towers in total.” This was given to another expert who left as swiftly as the other two. Everyone so far was filled with excitement and astonishment. They had never heard about these weapons before, and after making them they were going to be even more assured of winning this war.
Hui Yue did the same with a testudo, a gallery, an onager, and springalds. These were all weaponry created by the Roman army, and Hui Yue knew just how useful they had been. Creating these weapons would increase their chances of winning and within moments, the entire forest was filled with sounds of trees falling. Soldiers were following the blueprints, and the machines he ordered to be built were being assembled.
It had been one day since Wan Qiao left the capital flying at her maximum speed to return to Hui Yue, and the young man assumed that they would have a maximum of a week before the army sent out scouts of their own. As a matter of fact, Hui Yue did not mind if the machines were noticed as they would be exposed as soon as they moved towards the army, but he did want to be able to create them in peace. If they were to see them creating these weapons, it was likely that scouts would do their best to harass them during their work, or in other ways delay their building speed. This would annoy both the beasts and Hui Yue.
While the entire army was busy building under the firm eye of all the Saints, Hui Yue was seated on a treestump creating small items that would probably be useful later on. These small items were anything from small smokescreen inscriptions to barbed wire that he neatly placed within other inscription rolls.
Hui Yue had an affinity for Metal, making it possible for him to create inscriptions; however, he had never spent much time on this particular affinity. Due to this, he was only able to make small, almost harmless, inscriptions. Although others might consider it harmless, Hui Yue knew that a smokescreen could be very useful for a beast horde. Although they would be unable to see, beasts had much keener senses than humans, and they could rely on either smell or hearing to locate their targets, while the humans, although having enhanced senses due to being experts, would still be at a disadvantage.
The next few days went by in a blur as everyone was busy building the many machines that Hui Yue ordered them to. The Saints oversaw all the work while Hui Yue created one inscription after another. Although the inscriptions were all low level, he still managed to sync more and more with the element he had never synced with before. As the days went by, he started creating stronger and stronger inscriptions some contained his blue fire while others contained his elemental flame.
Soon the days had gone by and what started out as a forest now looked like a military camp. There were no longer any trees around, instead one machine after another was towering into the air. Some of which were being dragged by experts who had assumed their original forms. Satisfied, Hui Yue looked at the army, and he noticed a few dots in the sky. Dots that were flying their way swiftly.
Knowing perfectly well these were the enemy’s scouts who had just appeared; Hui Yue grinned as he once more glanced out over his army. “Just in time,” He said satisfied as he found a drum within his storage stone and started hitting it rhythmically. As soon as the drum resounded across the now empty plains, the many experts, all of whom looked around with alert and vigilant eyes, saw the dots in the sky. Some of them took their original shapes and flew high into the sky ready to meet the scouts while the rest quickly gathered and stood in formation; everyone stood in front of the machinery, and all of them were teeming with energy excited for their first meeting with the human army.