Wuxiaworld > Release that Witch > Chapter 873: Nobles and Prisoners

Chapter 873: Nobles and Prisoners

Chapter 873: Nobles and Prisoners
Translator: TransN Editor: TransN

As Iron Axe entered the once proud city of Valencia, he was surprised by the devastation that the new weapon had wrought, but he did not let this emotion show on his face.

Even though he had participated in many drills with the mortar, witnessing these weapons in a live battle was a completely different experience.

It was unfathomable how this mobile device that can be easily carried by a group of five people could cause such havoc even with just a limited number of rounds.

He knew that the mortar's rate of fire was much faster than the previous field artillery, and he knew that they can cause large-scale destruction if dozens of them were to fire at once. But it seemed that he had much underestimated this new weapon now that he witnessed it in action.

Even though a single shot of the mortar cannot compare to that of a Longsong Cannon in sheer firepower, the mortar was easier to control, more mobile, and could be transported without the witches' help. Furthermore, its shooting trajectory allows it to attack enemies who are hiding behind walls. With sufficient ammunition, the weapon could give the enemy a barrage so devastating that even the highly disciplined First Army might not be able to withstand if they were the ones on the receiving end instead.

"No... it is only normal to flee under this circumstance. Who wouldn't piss themselves if a rain of fire were to descend upon them?"

Iron Axe finally understood the confidence His Majesty had shown when he threw all those seemingly sophisticated field artillery back into the Furnace Area. To be honest, those weapons that shot out solid rounds at the enemy seemed useless compared to the mortar.

Well, in the end, probably only King Roland could afford such a firearm in the entire Graycastle.

It was said that each shell cost around three to four gold royals, so what the First Army used earlier by bombarding the city with hundreds of shells was as good as throwing away solid gold. Moreover, the shrapnel used by the Longsong Cannons were far more expensive. By the time they confronted demons, will the gold royals in the Neverwinter's coffer be enough to sustain the First Army until the end of the Battle of Divine Will?

Fortunately, he did not need to worry about this problem.

That hard nut was for Barov to crack, as for the army, their only obligation was to obtain victory for His Majesty.

Iron Axe and his men passed through the long street that was filled with the smoke of gunpowder.

They soon arrived at the center of the city square, where the First Army had rounded up all the surrendered nobles.

Iron Axe's eyes moved over the captives whose appearances were in complete shambles. Before he could say anything, a nobleman stood out and said, "I'm Shipbay Lord, Earl Kasyn. May I ask where King Roland is?"

Valencia was built on a piece of land that was surrounded by water, and many nobles had named their lands with bays and beaches. Iron Axe dimly remembered that Shipbay was a large piece of land sandwiched by Valencia and Seawindshire. A family that held such a superior place should have been admired and awed by his subjects. However, at this moment, the nobleman's raised chin and pretentious manner looked ridiculous to Iron Axe. "His Majesty is too busy to handle the business in the East Region. He entrusted me with full responsibility over this front." he answered.

"You?" Earl Kasyn frowned.

"Is he joking? He is obviously not a person from Graycastle."

"Roland Wimbledon would let a man from the Sand Nation manage his army?"

"How could he not personally lead his army on an expedition as large as this? Was he not afraid that his men would scatter and flee?"

Shipbay Lord was not the only one in doubt. The other nobles were also questioning the new king's decision.

"His Excellency Iron Axe is without a doubt the commander-in-chief of the Eastern Front Army. We can all testify," Lieutenant Bearpaw could not help but cry out.

"Eastern Front Army? What's that?" Kasyn asked.

"It is the army sent to recover the Eastern Region, of course—"

"Bearpaw!" Iron Axe interrupted sharply. The lieutenant, suddenly aware of his mistake, hastily covered his mouth with one hand.

Lady Edith was right. Even though His Majesty was hell-bent on having the nobles relinquish all their feudal power and abolishing nobility once and for all, those nobles still had an influence on the people. Bearpaw, who used to be a hunter, might not look servile in front of the group of nobles but he was obviously affected by these nobles' titles, or he would never have made such a basic mistake.

It seems only Iron Axe can maintain indifference in front of these highborn.

Iron Axe then said in a low voice, "Believe it or not, the truth won't change. Why are you the one asking the questions? Where is the Duke of Valencia? Isn't he the person in charge of the Eastern Region?"

"The Duke has sacrificed himself in the battle," Kasyn shook his head with a look of grief. "He insisted on leading the knights in a head-on charge. We couldn't stop him."

"So the rider who was riddled with bullets was the Duke!" Iron Axe raised his eyebrow. "He's definitely qualified to be called a warrior." He looked at the nobles who was still armored and asked, "But my men only reported two defenders. Where's the so-called knightage? How could it be that there's only one knight serving the Warden of the Eastern Region?"

"Well, this..." Kasyn was speechless for a moment.

"Stop concerning yourself over those irrelevancies. Now that we know you're the head of the army, we will just tell you our request." Another nobleman stood out and said, "We would surrender and serve Roland Wimbledon only if he meets us personally, or if His Majesty is too busy to be here, we could also send messengers to him."

"And you are?"

"I'm Viscount Ariburke," he said impatiently, "Till then, we hope to be treated properly. If it's a ransom you want, simply say the amount."

"But what you've done is treason," Iron Axe said, emotionless. "Even your titles won't spare you from a trial."

"First of all, Duke Wilion Berger was the one who committed treason, and he has already paid for it. We didn't ask to be here, and according to the law, our crimes should be less severe."

"Exactly, we're not his feudatory, but we're just under his jurisdiction." Kasyn seemed to have come to and echoed, "Secondly, His Majesty should be the one giving us the final verdict. Don't tell me you are planning to sentence us yourself?"

It did not take long before Iron Axe realized why those defeated nobles still put on airs. When they noticed that Roland Wimbledon was not here himself, they became less interested in negotiating. It was common practice for the punishment of the defeated to be given out by the King. In their opinion, the so-called sentence was less of a punishment but more of a business transaction. In general, those who failed to pay up would be eliminated, and those who could pay would be able to get off relatively scot-free.

It was probably not their first time facing a defeat, so these nobles were confident that they could offer up something of interest to the King as ransom.

Unfortunately, the King Iron Axe served is no ordinary noble.

Iron Axe shrugged before saying. "You're right. I don't have the authority. But be as it may, you are still traitors who have committed treason. Before His Majesty reaches a decision, I will have to detain you until my King has summoned you."

"How long will it take?" Shipbay Earl said unpleasantly. "And just as we said before, we haven't done anything that could be called betrayal in the eyes of the law unless you can show us some concrete proof."

"At most a month considering the speed of carrier pigeon." Iron Axe gave a rare laugh, ignoring the Earl's second half of the sentence. "Rest assured, the food and clothing will all be up to the standards that you deserve."

Late at night two days later, Bearpaw, panic-stricken, dashed into Iron Axe's tent.

"Something happened, my lord! The castle's dungeon is on fire!"