Elite Gazzetta troops were walking through an old hidden passage that had not been touched by anyone for five hundred years. The village oracle, Ayuukas, from the village of the white clan, who was accompanying them as a guide, muttered in a quiet, yearning voice.
“Most of the remaining passages were destroyed… but this one seems to have remained untouched after all.”
“But why did they leave this single passage untouched? There has not been even a single trap here yet.”
“Because of this”
Ayuukas pointed at the floor before them, where the bones of a long dead evil beast laid scattered about, now but a testament of its former strength.
Successive generations of the Divine Parliament have been doing their best to search and destroy any remaining hidden tunnels that could compromise the safety of Patrucia Nost. However, it seemed that a pack of evil beats had settled in this passage as their den. The Divine Parliament of that time decided that they were suitable watchdogs and left the tunnel untouched.
“Even if they were evil beasts, they could not survive without food.”
Noticing the traces of cannibalism on the corpses, Ayuukas could only pray that they had found a better life in the other world.
In the ancient fortress, remodeled to be the living district, the central command and supporting institutions controlling the entirety of Nossentes was situated in a tower that was located in the royalty district.
The tower that once belonged to the white clan’s castle was the former symbol of the clan, it was a six-story tower that had a nearly cylindrical shape. The third floor of the tower was connected to the fortress section through four drawbridges. If these bridges were blocked, the entire governing structure of Nossentes would be paralyzed.
At the bottom of the tower, there was a well that allowed the people in the tower to have their own water source. The first and second floors were comprised of servant rooms, kitchens, and food storerooms. The third and fourth floors were used as barracks and stables, as well as used to house the military carriages.
The fifth floor housed the living quarters of the government staff, conference rooms, and guest rooms. The guest rooms, however, were reserved for royal guests, thus Fonclanc’s ambassador’s party, including the Darkness God Corps, did not have permission to enter it.
The stairs leading up to the sixth floor was unlike any other. Upon climbing them you would suddenly arrive in a vast garden. It was a so called sky garden. A dome that was built near the center of the garden was called the Divine Halls.
The tower had enough emergency supplies so that one hundred people could survive the siege for more than one month.
“The forces in the forest started moving according to the schedule.”
“Good, then… Let us start moving as well.”
Inside of the administrative district, Shinha was hiding behind the corner with his selected elite troops, the central tower being clearly visible before them.
Shinha left half of his original force behind at the Sea of Trees to support their retreat and to act as a diversion, and took the remaining troops along with him to infiltrate Patrucia Nost under the cover of the night. Presently, he was waiting for his chance to attack the central tower.
Divine parliament ministers usually did not leave the tower, however they were attending a dinner party for the Fonclanc’s ambassador tonight, and had left the tower heading towards the imperial district. Consequentially, the drawbridge that was usually raised up, was being left lowered, awaiting the return of the delegation.
Shinha spread his infiltration force around in such manner that they would be able to monitor all drawbridges of the central tower at all times. He then ordered Gazzetta’s army, hidden in the forest to the south to move, creating a distraction that would allow him to take the tower of the Divine Parliament.
Matching the timing with the departure of the Divine Parliament’s carriages, his group would attack the convoy, take the guards down in melee and enter the interior of the tower. Once inside they would lower the remaining drawbridges, allowing his remaining troops to charge in.
The entirety of the political body of Nossentes was concentrated within this tower. Thus, if the Divine Parliament was able to seclude themselves within the tower, even if Shinha was able to occupy the fortress (residential district) for some time, Nossentes’ military power would survive and would eventually isolate Shinha’s forces.
Although Gazzetta warriors held the edge over Nossentes’ knights in individual combat skills, the knights could utilize the mobility of their individual groups and would outmatch the white tribe soldiers’ tactic wise due to the free reign over the wind arts communications.
Thus, if Nossentes’ troops were able to draw the battle out long enough, they would gain a sizeable advantage over the infiltrators.
However, if the Divine Parliament and the central tower were to fall, Nossentes’ knights, used to the constant control of wind arts communications, would be reduced to nothing more than a disorderly mob.
From common soldier to commanding officer, in this army everyone excelled at precisely carrying out orders given from above. They have never received any training or experience on making their own decisions when met with unexpected circumstances. “Don’t think – move!” was the slogan that was drilled into them during training.
This was the reason that artless acted on these seemingly absurd guerilla tactics.
“Prime minister, was it really alright?”
“The matter of the Fonclanc’s ambassador? This is a state of emergency damn it!”
Having received an urgent report regarding the movement of Gazzetta’s troops, the Prime minister of the fire arts came to a stop. Despite saying that, he was snickering inside, as this news was a perfect opportunity for him to avoid the rather boring dinner party. He did not feel any stress because the skirmishes in the vicinity of the western forest were a common occurrence.
And still, it had been a long running custom for the Divine Parliament ministers to take cover in the central tower during such crises.
The carriage with the prime minister of the Divine Parliament was approaching the drawbridge that was usually guarded from both sides, when suddenly…
“GO GO GO, everyone move out!!!”
“?!! ENEMY ATTACK!”
All of the artless soldiers left their cover and in unison rushed towards the bridge. The defenders were stupefied for a brief moment by the attack, they had believed that it was impossible, but soon regained their senses and started taking up defensive stances. The two opposing sides clashed on the drawbridge.
Shinha stood on the vanguard of his troops and challenged the two – three times larger enemy to battle. The cavalry at the forest was commanded by one of his most trusted escorts (guards) that he had personally prepared for this task. (T.N. probably removing the last sentence or moving it to where the cavalry will be specifically referenced)
Nearly at the same time, five hundred strong White Sword Cavalry soldiers that had been gathered inside the western forest started advancing towards Patrucia Nost’s southern wall.
Defenders responded with divine arts and arrows, but the vanguard of the cavalry were equipped with shields. Using the shields to survive the defenders’ counter, the attacking army managed to maintain the pace.
When they approached the gate, the horsemen trampled Nossentes’ forces that were amassed in front of the gate. Because of this, footmen, following behind the cavalry, were able to quickly catch up to their vanguard. Soldiers who managed to penetrate into Nossentes’ knight’s ranks were trashing left and right with their swords and shields.
“Guah! This is not an ordinary attack. These guys are bent on breaking through the gate!”
“Where are the instructions from the Divine Parliament?! If we are not able to take control of the battle soon, the damage will be serious!”
Soldiers at the gates were acting on their standing orders to return fire towards the attackers. These orders did not cover the case of the Gazzetta army penetrating their ranks, mingling with their own troops, and forcing them into a hand to hand combat.
Their main strength was cooperation between multiple units. Therefore they usually employed tactics with long range covering fire with quick rotations between attack and defense between the multiple groups.
While Nossentes’ troops continued following standing orders and were continuing to engage the Gazzetta soldiers in front of the gate, they received a notice about a new attack at the eastern gate.
The scale of the attack was not known, however if Gazzetta mustered a similar force there, the eastern gate would not hold.
Gazzetta had infiltrated the city with spies who had stayed hidden for a long time for the sake of this one attack. They had successfully disrupted wind art communications, thus Nossentes’ knights response towards the attack on the central tower was delayed.
By severing communications, Gazzetta was attempting to split the defending troops between the eastern gate, the western gate, and the central tower. On top of blocking wind arts communications, Gazzetta’s troops inside Patrucia Nost have blocked the paths for messengers so the runners had a hard time arriving in time with the new orders.
“Hey, what are you doing?! Gazzetta’s troops are closing in! Don’t open the gate!”
Suddenly, the western gate slowly started to open. One of the commanders that were arguing between themselves noticed this and raised his voice at the knight, responsible for the gate lever.
The knight slowed down on what he was doing, however the way he held himself made commander remember something very ominous.
“You…? It can’t be!”
With a broad smile on his face the knight unsheathed his sword and taunted his ex-comrades.
A spy, who managed to slip amongst the knights during the chaos has opened the gate and allowed the Gazzetta army to invade Patrucia Nost. Once the troops had invaded, they started opening hidden passages one by one, allowing even more troops to flood the city.
The residential area inside the fortress was taken over in a flash. Nossentes’ troops started grouping up and retreating towards the royalty district. Only then did they realize that the central tower was the main target of this attack.
All of the bridges that were usually raised during the emergencies were now lowered. Knights that were usually defending the bridges were nowhere to be seen and the polished floor and pillars were soiled with blood, some of them even cracked. Torn cloth and pieces of armor were scattered around the place.
“What in the hell… is this…?”
The sight before their eyes was obvious – a battle had also happened here, however they had not received any notices regarding it. Standard protocol warranted that in case of a direct attack on the central tower, an army wide emergency was to be announced. In case of such an emergency troops were to abandon all other defenses and gather at the tower.
“I am Shinha Trueyard, the king of Gazzetta. We have taken control of the Divine Halls and captured the prime minister of the Divine Parliament. Nossentes now belongs to us!”
Shinha’s voice resounded over the entire city, reaching into every little alleyway of Patrucia Nost.