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No Battle No Life - Volume 1 - Chapter 15

Published at 3rd of June 2016 06:51:21 PM


Chapter 15

Volume 1 Chapter 15: The hottest part of a flame is the outer part


25 minutes before ‘Smashing the Rock’ is executed, Fort Carré

“What a bunch of drunkards, to think they dare to party the whole night long even when they’re deep in enemy territory…”

— These troops weren’t about to be defeated by their enemy bullets but by their own fixation with alcohol . It’s a waste these troops aren’t mine…

Whilst stepping aside the Hungarian troops which lay scattered throughout the Fort, Tu began slowly making his way toward Karl’s temporary command room .

As he ridiculed the Hungarians in his heart, he kept up in his guard, just in case Karl’s emergency squad would pop up all of a sudden .

The emergency squad was Archduke Karl’s specially created squad and was first deployed in the battle between Russia and Austro-Hungary in the closed beta .

To prevent an enemy night raid, he had specially deployed several dozen of his personal guard to patrol his encampment apart from the usual patrol .

As these members were given their duties at the last minute, their passwords were different and it was difficult for spies to infiltrate them . This tactic became widely used after it was made known .

But emergency guards were only used when they were deep in enemy territory as it was far too complicated and there have been cases of friendly fire between guard patrols due to differing passwords .

— That really was a popular joke then .

But today was really special . It seemed like Karl completely did not think of Tu as a threat, even though they had not ever faced each other in the closed beta after all . Did this fellow really think he was invincible?

— Looks like I’ll have to teach him a lesson tonight .

Tu smiled and the tension receded somewhat from his face . He pulled on the white silk gloves and drew his breath before continuing to search using the light from the bonfires nearby .


Almost there, almost there, almost there . Karl’s flag was there! The flag wasn’t swaying due to a lack of wind tonight but Tu could still clearly see the sword on the flag .

— Just a bit more to victory!

“You lot! Halt!” Just as Tu was bursting with joy, a harsh commanding voice stopped him . Looks like the emergency guards were here after all .

“You lot, leave Lord Karl’s room immediately! Don’t interrupt his rest!”

Tu grew serious as he silently walked toward the speaker and moved his right hand toward the bow on his back while the troops behind him began moving their hands towards the swords at their waists .

“You lot! Have you grown tired of living after getting drunk! Looks like I’ll have to teach you the meaning of respect!” The leader of the emergency guards was by now hopping mad and had drawn his sword as he angrily stomped toward Tu . But as he walked closer, he began to feel that something was amiss .

“You…”

*Sou*…

— A single arrow tore through the silence of the night and buried itself deeply into the leader’s skull .

Looks like they can only join the stage early since they’ve been exposed!

“Ene…”

“Hu… Hu… Hu…” Tu heaved as he shot out 3 arrows in quick succession .

Tu’s troops quickly charged up and cleaned up the other emergency guards but Tu still heard the thing he did not want to the most .


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“Lord Karl!! … Ah!”

No matter how careful and quick they were, an emergency guard was still able to raise the alarm . Soon, other emergency guards would be here his plan to chop off the head would then fail completely .

Tu could not allow this to happen and quickly charged into Karl’s temporary command room .

— Karl, I’ll let you taste defeat!

Another 100 meters, 50, 30!

Faster! Faster!! Faster!!!

Tu kicked open the door to Karl’s temporary command room, whilst his troops kept Karl’s personal guard who were rushing over busy, and saw what he did not want to see most .

— The room was empty . There were maps haphazardly left all over the table and bottles of red wine left at the side . A chair fell over beside the table and a single boot was left behind unworn .

— All this told Tu that Karl had already left and he felt a massive setback .

“He runs really fast huh, as expected of the ace of the ‘Three Knights’!” Tu could only ridicule the person wasn’t here and took out 3 arrows as he turned and picked up the flag on the ground .

“Send out the orders, light the fires!”

After they quickly mopped up Karl’s personal guard, Tu’s troops swiftly set fire to several dozen tents under Tu’s orders .

Very quickly, Fort Carré’s armoury and stores were lit up as well following the signal, and pillars of flames shot up and lit the pitch black night sky as Tu’s troops continued to pour fuel onto the nearby tents which made the flames spread faster and faster .


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“The Frenchies are upon us! Archduke Karl has left us!”

“The Frenchies are upon us! We’re doomed!”

Tu’s troops then began to spread word that the French army had attacked using Austrian German– Though this was actually the truth, albeit slightly early .

The initial shock from awaking to see flames sprouting turned to terror as the troops that slept close to Karl’s room saw their General’s tent engulfed in flames, and they were soon cut down by masked enemies .

“Karl has escaped! The Frenchies have attacked us!”

The flames swallowed up many Austro-Hungarian troops while the lies spread by Tu’s troops shattered their morale as smoke filled their eyes and panicked shouts filled their ears .

Several officers frantically tried to restore order after they woke up but were overwhelmed by the chaos and all they could do was utter any and every vulgarity that ever existed in German while explosions that could be heard from miles away resounded throughout Fort Carré .

— This was the signal to attack .

“Go!” Tu’s troops followed the plan and quickly gathered at the exit of the underground secret tunnel in a very short time .

— They were now hiding from the cleansing by the impending cannonfire .

*Hong*!

Lannes’s first echelon of 125 guns began firing large caliber artillery shells that weighed several tons aimed at Fort Carré’s interior .

Many Austro-Hungarian troops were unable to hide in time and died to the explosion directly or had their organs shattered by the shockwave and fell into a pool of their own blood…

But the remaining Austro-Hungarian troops did not roll over and give up . Even though just one round of fire had passed, they persevered and rushed toward the eastern gate– That was the door to hope and life for them .

Usually, cannons would always require time for loading so using this time frame to escape was a wise choice and definitely possible but…

“Second echelon, fire!”

Lannes utilised a triple line tactic that overcame this weakness of the artillery by splitting the entire battalion into 3 echelons and having 1 echelon fire at any one time whilst the other 2 would load the guns .

(TL: This is basically like Nobunaga did with his flintlock battalions . )

This dramatically closed the gap between each round of fire and was effectively continuous fire– But this was limited only to heavy artillery and required the protection of infantry units so the artillery troops could concentrate on loading, unloading and firing .

*Hong*!

Yet another wave of cannonfire landed and Lannes’s troops reduced the Austro-Hungarian numbers dramatically once more before a third and fourth wave fell . So intense was the bombardment that even the earth shook!

In just several minutes, Fort Carré was subjected to bombardment by several dozen tons of steel and gunpowder, and the mighty unbreakable walls had already begun to collapse before ultimately shattering to the fourth wave which tore open a large hole in the southern walls .

To conserve gunpowder, Lannes halted at the fourth wave .

“Our turn now! For France! Charge!”

Almost simultaneously with the end of the fourth wave, Ney and the rest charged forth with their troops and were able to make it into the Fort with almost no resistance . The battle was now over…

 



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