Herald of Steel

Chapter 1066 Caltrop Field

Chapter 1066 Caltrop Field

Alexander's legionaries were of course observing their opposing side's misfortune from their perched ramparts and pallisades with relished glee.

The powerful initial charge that was meant to have shattered the defensive walls had unexpectedly lost all its steam even before it could begin, with the attacking men being now much more concerned about jumping and skipping in one leg in an attempt to try and lot step on these large, spiky traps than doing anything else.

And the chorus of short pained gasps and yelps that they let out each time they landed on these pointy metal thorns sounded like the sweetest music for the listening legionaries, many of whom laughed, joked, and even taunted the other side.

"Hahaha, go right! Go right! There are no traps there."

"No! It is on the left! Turn left."

"Idiot, my left, not yours."

"Don't listen to these fools. Go back! There are certainly no traps from where you came from… hahaha."

Like this, Alexander's men had quite a bit of fun and even managed to release some of the pent up stress.

But it was likely none of the Heeat family soldiers ever heard them, mostly because they were quite far away, and it was already very noisy all around.

You could not even properly hear what the person standing right next to you was saying half the time, much less the jeers of men you could not even see due to the night's darkness.

Never mind, most of the legionaries also spoke a completely different language.

Hence most of the Heeat soldiers were more preoccupied with extracting themselves from their current dilemma than engaging in a futile bantering debate with the other side.

And credit to them, they soon managed to, as these trained men performed exceptionally well under such trying conditions.

Being faced with such an unforeseen situation, even in the pitch black darkness of the night, after the initial shock, these men quickly managed to suppress their panic.

And with the help of their offers soon got their formation under control.

It was visibly apparent that these martinet men wielded great fear and respect within the ranks, as while the other men were crying and moaning,

"Ahhh! Who would do such a thing?"

"Clever bastards! Really got us."

"Maybe we should turn back! Attack in the morning?"

"Right! Then we can see better."

It was with one loud shout that all such cowardice talks were demolished, "Stop praising these snakes and straighten your back men! We are warriors! Under Lord Parker's direct command! So show a bit more spine, women!"

It was that last single word that truly got the men's attention, much more than the utterances of the name of their lord, or their call to duty.

Because it hurt. Perhaps many many more times than even the stinging, bleeding sensation in their foot.

No man would ever take being called a woman lying down, forget hot-blooded proud warriors like them.

So as soon as this remark managed to echo across the army, the soldiers suddenly stopped moving, halting their march altogether until the whole thing could be hashed out.

And the act immediately produced results, as much to their unexpected surprise they found that the pain had dramatically decreased.

This was because with the men no longer pushing and shoving, each could take their time to safely place their feet on the ground without skewering themselves, thus most of the injured men managed to shift their weight onto their other uninjured leg or even the large shield.

Then they began to clear the ground by simply shuffling and sweeping their feet, thus moving the caltrops to the side of the streets.

Some of the clever men even used their shields to do the same thing, thus covering a much bigger area and clearing the section faster.

All the while Alexander's men sat like ducks watching the enemy undo their first layer of defense, and doing nothing about it.

This was a real shame because if they had combined this caltrop trap with a withering arrow fire from all directions, employing the new crossbows or even the lethal Instant bow, it would have proved a fantastic combination, one that would have pinned the men to the ground, and left their shield as their sole refuse.

This would have denied the soldiers the ability to move about so freely, thus turning their progress into a crawl and making the endeavor of extricating themselves magnitudes harder.

Hence, such a tactic would have made the whole thing a completely different story, and not the breezy, walk in the park like it was now.

In fact, a very apt modern simile of the current situation could be found by studying the case of the minefields.

Which. while deadly by itself, if was not properly defended, would be more of an inconvenience than an actual threat. Gêt the latest ch𝒂pters on n𝒐velbin(.)com

Mine rollers, breaching charges, and even hand grenades could be used to denote them and thus open up a safe passage for the attackers to traverse through.

However, if these deadly fields were properly supported by artillery, mortar fire and helicopter gunships, it would be a whole different equation.

Then you could not just send in your breaching equipment willy nilly because they would be the first thing to be targeted by every gun within the vicinity, looking to destroy it with the utmost prejudice.

So it would only be then the truly deadly effects of minefields would reveal themselves.

Likewise, if Alexander had placed some of his archers in the surrounding houses, and let them shoot to their heart's content, the first layer of the defenses would have been even stronger.

And to do this he would not have even needed to employ too many men- about 50 men or only 1% of his force would have been more than sufficient.

Because all they would be required to do would be to fire from a position of advantage into a gathered clump of men, thus turning the entire thing like a turkey shoot.

And best yet, to Lord Parker's men, the entire thing would feel like the arrows were appearing out of thin air because the archers hidden in the absolute darkness of night would be invisible to their eyes.

However, none of these great ideas were implemented by the defending side.

Due to a variety of reasons.

One was because Alexander simply forgot! The man had too many things to do, and the time to do them in too short, only a few hours at best, so even this obvious move skipped his mind.

As did the minds of so many other brilliant officers, who too were swamped with numerous other obligations.

And then there was the logistics of being able to carry out such a move.

Surely if Alexander were to try and do this, he would have to move the inhabitants somewhere else first.

Which was not only a great pain, but would also of course alert the enemy without a shred of a doubt. And that risked ruining the whole plan.

And lastly, if these archers were put in these houses, they would have found themselves outside of the defensive lines and Alexander did not want that.

All these reasons worked together to produce their absence and thus the first layer of defense proved to be relatively tepid, one which was relatively easily bypassed once the shock factor wore off.

And with the 'caltrop field' clear, the soldiers quickly got into formation and just like planned, lumbered towards the rows of ditches with haste, their swelling numbers making the earth shake as if in trepidation.

Seeing this, Alexander's officers were too quick to get their men in battle formations, shouting,

"Archers! Ready yourselves! They are coming."

"Swords out! Shields locked together! Do not falter!"

"Stand your ground and let them attack. They will tire themselves out quickly."

"Be brave men! Haven't you heard how these chickens were crying out just now? There are more women than men there. After we beat them, we will be sure to gift them some nice skirts, hahaha,"

This last officer, named Kazid was considered an especially good commander even when compared to all the good officers of this elite legion, both loved and respected by his men.

And the reason was readily apparent.

The talented man had a great sense of what the soldiers were thinking at the moment, as in the case of now.

Sensing a thick tension gripping every soldier right before the start of this conflict, he lightened the mood with his humorous jokes, making all the surrounding men chuckle and their hearts feel relieved.

Fighting at night was always more stressful for the men due to the limited visibility as well as the various superstitions that surrounded this foreboding time.

Such as the very famous saying that killing a man at night would cause him to rise up as an evil spirit and come to visit you later, strangling you in your sleep.

Which might have well been started by a ruler to prevent murder by scaring the populace, but inadvertently led to this.

Anyway, as the legionaries readied themselves, the Heeat family soldiers closed in, and after withstanding a barrage of arrows and then a shower of javelin, the two sides soon began to exchange steel with steel.

Let us say no to Original! Don't take part in a crime! Don't patronize thieves!

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