The commander of the Kingdom’s right wing restricted the soldiers from pursuing the retreating enemy, and gave out the order to prepare for the enemy cavalries that will eventually come.
「Shields take front, hurry! Spearmen get in position! 」
Following the orders of the commander, the soldiers took out huge shields and lined the front. Rather than shields, they are more like small walls operated by four soldiers.
Stabbing into the ground with spikes at the bottom of the shield, they formed the foundation of tough defense. With three huge spikes that is designed to skewer any foes that rush in from the front, it was too offensive oriented to be called a shield.
With a line of them firmly aligned, the archers took position behind them, and even soldiers responsible for stabbing spears between the shields could be seen waiting.
Even if the enemy cavalries are riding unknown beasts, there’s no need to worry if they have prepared this much. They were only able to prepare this much because they knew about it in advance.
The shields can obstruct the cavalries’ momentum, and the arrows and spears can deal damage while they are stuck. It will be an easy victory against cavalries.
The main unit from the center is already en route here, even the Kingdom’s cavalries that had stayed behind should be on their way here to attack the enemy’s cavalries from the right side.
「Hear me! Our role is to stop the enemy cavalries’ rush and maintain the frontline until reinforcements arrive! Hold on no matter what! 」
An order from the acting commander was shouted, the soldiers had already arrived at their predetermined formation.
「They are here! The enemies! 」
There was a cavalry unit riding in a straight line towards them. The obvious unfamiliar silhouette even from afar was evident that they aren’t normal cavalries.
They are riding on beasts like horse but aren’t. Although their shape looks quite similar to a normal horse, their appearance does not. The hoofs, the side of their body, the mane and their back are all covered in feathers. The feathers on its side were especially large, it gave off an impression of a bird rather than a land-based beast.
Although he was surprised at the appearances of the unknown beasts, the commander immediately regained himself and called out the next order.
「Ready the arrows! 」
Following the order, the archers taking cover behind the shields drawn their bow. The soldiers that held up the shields, and the soldiers that held the long spear between them were all tensed.
Just as the enemy entered the effective range, the commander shouted the command of releasing the arrows. Along with the sound of wind being cut, few hundreds of arrows flew through the air.
The moment when the arrows followed a parabolic and landed on the enemy rider’s vanguard――or the moment they all thought would, the arrows stuck to the ground unexpectedly.
「Follow up with a second volley! 」
Sensing a little discomfort at the fact that the first volley didn’t reach the enemy, the commander didn’t halt but gave the order for another volley. The enemy speed might not be as fast as they thought. The commander arrived at such a conclusion.
He might’ve overestimated the capabilities of the unfamiliar mounts that overwhelmed the Kingdom in the first battle.
But that thought immediately vanished. Even the follow up second volley stabbed into the ground just as the first volley did.
It was a distance obviously in range for the arrows unlike the first volley. As expected, the commander was suspect at the situation. It might be his imagination, but he felt like the arrows suddenly lost their momentum in their trajectory.
When the third volley similarly stuck the ground in front of the enemies unnaturally, the suspect became conviction.
「A defensive spell huh! 」
The commander that had realized the unnatural trajectory of the arrows gave out orders of preparing for close quarters instead of firing more useless arrows.
「Assault the stopped cavalries in group of three! Don’t let them get through the shields! 」
The cavalries had already crossed a wide distance, they will definitely reach within a minute.
The soldiers that held up the shields swallowed their breath. Even when so, the distance between them shrunk.
The enemy cavalries that had already sighted the Kingdom’s formation didn’t show any signs of stopping.
Will the cavalries momentum prevail, or the shields and spears.
The soldiers holding the shields tensed their body, the tip of the spear tilted slight upwards from being horizontal.
The prelude of the moment when they will inevitably clash, the moment when the Kingdom’s soldiers felt their breath stop.
Something unbelievable happened.
The commander that lost his words was looking at the sky. There it were, the figures of the cavalries leaping above them with the blue sky as the background.
Just before they collided with the shielders frontally, the enemy cavalries with their unfamiliar mounts jumped over them.
Of course, any normal mounts would have only been able to jump a few meters across. As for the height, even higher than a person would be an excellent mount. But the mounts the enemy rode on overturned their common sense, it was literally flying across them.
Showing an unnatural trajectory unthinkable of a leap, the cavalries went above the shields, far out of reach of the spears, and landed straight in the middle of the Kingdom army.
Unlike the front that had shields lined up and spears readied, the back didn’t have any soldiers that are prepared against cavalries.
「Wh- How!? 」
Crushed by the sudden landing mounts, blown away, they were like branches and leaves scattered by the wind.
「No way……, impossible……」
At the unexpectedness of the event, the commander stood there dumbfounded. He didn’t think it was possible for them to leap so high and far and bite straight into their rear.
That was akin to stabbing right into their vulnerable abdomen. Although they made the perfect preparation against any cavalries, all of that went down the drains.
A huge chaos overtook the surroundings. With the frontliners that had braced themselves for the cavalries confused as to what to do, and the ones right in the middle of their formation ran chaotically in all directions against the overwhelming power of the cavalries. Chaos call upon more chaos, it was already a situation beyond saving.
There is no longer any resemblance to an army which is said to be formed with order. It was a scene akin to a ferocious predator thrown into a bunch of weak herbivores.
The Kingdom right wing couldn’t even serve half the role of stopping the enemy cavalries, they had totally turned into mere preys.
「Eeey! We have the numbers! Surround them! 」
The panic order from the commander came, it was even skeptical if it reached the soldiers’ ears. The situation turned for the worse.
「The enemy left wing is turning around! 」
The enemy’s left wing that was retreating turned around and attacked. They are taking the chance of the chaos as the cavalries were eating the Kingdom from inside out.
With the chaos in the rear with the cavalries, and the front being pushed back by the enemy’s left wing, they were sandwiched between two forces.
「Commander, it’s dangerous here! We must retreat now! 」
「Where can we even retreat! They are on both sides――Guh! 」
The commander who was retorting against a subordinate took an arrow to his neck and collapsed. The right wing that had lost its commander couldn’t stand back up from the turmoil and only decreased in numbers as the Empire continued their attacks.
The Empire’s cavalries that scattered the entire right wing of the Kingdom――The flying horse cavalry of the San Rojeul Monarchy――continued their assault with a fierce momentum.
They simply trampled on all of the infantries around them, without a single regard to any kind of formation that the right wing attempted to counter them with.
「The rest will probably be cleaned up by the Imperial forces. We will advance and rush into the enemy’s headquarters! 」
The commander of the flying horse cavalry gave out orders. They probably didn’t expect to so easily break through the enemy’s right wing. The cavalries’ path is a field with no one around.
Where they are aiming is the headquarters where all the strategists and the general are at.
The role of the cavalry unit is to destroy the chain of command completely, cause chaos from behind, and also assert the overwhelming power of the San Rojeul Monarchy.
The war this time can only be won thanks to the feats of the flying horse cavalry. They had to make sure the Empire knew and acknowledged it.
「Those Kingdom soldiers, they look like sitting ducks! 」
One of the cavalries riding along with the commander said so without hiding his joy.
「Hahaha, precisely! It was a brilliant surprise for those that didn’t know the defensive wind and leaping ability of our flying horses! 」
Unlike the Kingdom, these people are well aware of the flying horses brought from the San Rojeul Monarchy are different from ordinary horses.
Just like its name, they can leap high and far that it feels like they are flying through the sky, as for arrows that are light and prone to wind, their defensive wind could easily neutralize them.
If they wanted to stop the flying horses, they would have needed to prepare a ten-meter-high fence and thirty meters wide trench. And rather than arrows, they should’ve prepared catapult.
Of course, that knowledge isn’t known by the Kingdom. They didn’t expect the least that flying horses are creatures that have more than excellent leaping abilities.
「Well, it wouldn’t go so well next time around though! 」
This kind of surprise attack would only work the first time around. Leaving aside the defensive wind, the leaping ability of flying horses should be now well known by the Kingdom.
In the next battle, they wouldn’t be able to leap over the vanguards so easily.
「Will there actually be a next time though? 」
The Empire aims to finish off the Kingdom this time. If it continues as expected, the Kingdom will lose most of their combatants. If so, just as his subordinate said, there won’t be a next time.
「……That depends on our performance then. 」
The commander of the flying horse cavalry clouded over his words.
「Stop the idle chatter. The enemy headquarters is in sight! They shouldn’t have known that their right wing had been penetrated! Don’t give them a chance to breath! Medals to whoever that catches the enemy general or any royalty-looking person! 」
With the headquarters in sight, the entire cavalry unit responded to the commander energetically. Although the Kingdom should be able to see them as well now, they should be still unsure about whether they are friendlies or not and is waiting for decisions from their upper officers.
That delay in action will be life-threatening in such a war, the commander knew it by experience.
「Though, there’s no reason we can lose. 」
Muttering in a soft voice inaudible to his subordinates, he was wearing a ferocious grin as he commanded all the cavalrymen to assault.