Chapter 20. Got you, you little thing!
The Ants were masters of siege warfare, or more accurately, masters of wall climbing.
It was expected, seeing that the Ants were basically enlarged ants. Although they preferred to walk on two feet like humans, their foundations were ants. It was no effort to climb walls.
Therefore, the time that the ants took to climb the walls of Laputa was almost none at all.
‘If the ants climb the walls and make it over the edge, my Sovereign will win!’
Timothy watched and clenched his fists.
The current state of the battle was the 300 ants that were almost about to take over Laputa’s castle walls. If the ants were to safely climb the castle walls, the victory would belong to Kimura. Although the soldiers were well trained, there was no way a hundred troops would be able to hold off 300 ants. Ants were extremely strong and able to hold up 20 times its weight.
The ants that seemed as if they would make it over the castle walls at any minute, had to endure the humiliation of not even one making it over.
James ordered and the soldiers of Laputa made suspicious movements.
What the soldiers had in hand were not swords, spears, bows, or muskets. Instead, they carried buckets filled with an unknown liquid.
And the liquid in the buckets were letting off warm steam as if it was boiling up until just a moment ago.
“Is it hot water? Ants can deal with hot water…”
Timothy tilted his head and mumbled. Then, Lucia stepped forward and shook her head.
“Ah, it isn’t?”
“Yes, it isn’t. It is hot water, but there is no way we can win against the ants with just water.”
“Then, what is…”
“It is water infused with mint.”
Timothy’s face hardened.
“Ants do not like mint. The Ants are no exception. Of course, they probably will have more endurance against it, but they do not like it the same. We specially put a high concentration, so it will be effective. Look.”
Lucia pointed to the castle walls, where the battle was taking place.
“Here, drink some mint tea!”
“How dare you crawl up here!”
Kang Chul-In’s soldiers shouted and poured the mint infused water on the ants who were climbing the walls.
When about a hundred pails of mint infused water were poured, a strong mint scent filled the battleground. It was so heavily concentrated that Timothy, who had been watching the battle from the watchtower, felt as if his nose was paralyzed.
The reaction was instant.
The ants that were crawling up the walls with dangerous speed, could not use any of their power and began to fall from the walls, one by one. There were also ants who were shaking and convulsing amongst the fallen.
“How can this be…!”
Timothy mumbled to himself, full of grief.
“With… just this simple strategy…”
“It is simple but clever. Well, we have used all our mint in our inventory but…”
Lucia beamed with pride.
“Timothy, you said? The Sovereign you serve will not win. Our Sovereign had previously already figured out your land’s main military forces and came up with a solution. This battle will end with Laputa’s overwhelming victory.”
“Of course, with only mint-infused water, it is not enough. But!”
Timothy began to protest, but Lucia shook her head as if to tell him that it was not the end.
“Do you think this is it? My Sovereign is much greater than what you believe. Observe with your eyes wide open—and see how great He is!”
Lucia said proudly. And Kang Chul-In had to tightly shut his mouth of embarra.s.sment.
‘c.r.a.p, I don’t know why she is making such a big fuss about nothing. How can I live off embarra.s.sment?’
Ants were powerful organisms, but most Sovereigns would know that they had a clear weakness. Of course, there would still be a few who could think of these things in situations like these.
And while this was happening, the tide of the war was turning towards the favor of Laputa.
“Aha! You ants! Try and climb!”
“How does mint tea taste?”
“Come, try and come! I’ll kill you all!”
As the ants fell one by one, Laputa’s soldiers who were pumped with adrenaline showed amazing skill as they protected the castle.
The musket soldiers pulled the triggers…
And the soldiers with long spears threw them towards the bottom of the castle walls.
The ants yelled.
The ants who lost their energy from the mint scent crumbled like dried leaves, and were all falling from the castle walls.
Kimura, watching this, was grinding his teeth.
“Hey, you incompetent idiots! Climb the walls! Get over, I said!”
Kimura yelled from the top of his lungs, demanding the ants to move. His tone seemed like he did not care at all whether the ants died or not.
However, what was not, could not be.
No matter how much Kimura yelled, cursed, and roared, Laputa’s castle walls held solid.
As more and more time pa.s.sed, only more and more ants were dying.
“Go! Go fast and kill all of those!”
And Kimura finally pulled out the giant centipedes that he had been saving.
As the order fell from Kimura, four giant centipedes that were standing ready began to charge towards the castle walls.
“Tell it to come! Nasty centipedes!”
“Let’s kill all of them!”
Giant centipedes were almost 10m long and were powerful enough to chew on a couple of Orcs, but Kang Chul-In’s soldiers shouted without fear, fired up for battle.
It was because the certainty of their victory had hindered them from fear.
It was then.
As the four giant centipedes were just about to climb the castle walls, Kang Chul-In picked up the megaphone.
After j.a.p, it was monkey this time.
-This is your last warning. Surrender now, if you don’t want to be taught a lesson.
It was a final warning of sorts, but Kimura completely ignored Kang Chul-In’s offer.
“You arrogant Joseon bug! You surrender! Say something that makes sense!”
Kimura was far from surrendering, and was going to send in more troops. The giant centipedes were just about to join in on the battle. He had no intentions of surrendering in the first place, but in a moment like this, there was no way he could.
“You go too! Go now, and bring that arrogant b.a.s.t.a.r.d to me!”
And finally, Kimura sent the leftover 50 troops that were guarding him. It was a display of how determined he was to win over Kang Chul-In.
And that decision acted as a signal to Kimura’s fall.
Kang Chul-In called to James.
James who had been leading the troops as Commander roared, answering Kang Chul-In.
-Teach him a lesson.
“Yes, I will show him what we have got! Did you all hear that! The Sovereign has ordered us to teach them a lesson!”
As James repeated Kang Chul-In’s order, Laputa’s soldiers all chimed in and brought out the secret weapon.
“He said to show them all we have got!”
“Let’s grill them!”
“Let’s make them nice and brown!”
In the hands of the soldiers, there were not pails with mint infused water, but with something different.
“Mint infused again…!”
Lucia disagreed with Timothy.
“It’s oil. Extremely high in combustibility.”
Timothy then finally realized the outcome of this battle.
Attack with fire.
Ants or giant centipedes, both were in essence, insects. Anyone knew that insects’ weakness was fire. The Burrow land’s main power was most susceptible to an attack with fire. And if they were all dangling on the castle wall like they were now… it was obvious that the fire would spread in a flash. The effectiveness of fire was going to amplify.
Timothy, overcome with grief, called out to Kimura and helplessly fell to the ground.
And as this was happening, the soldiers of Laputa were busy pouring buckets filled to the brim with oil.
“Light the fire!”
James ordered, and the soldiers all grabbed the torches hanging on the castle walls, and threw it towards the soldiers of the Burrow.
The flames caught in an instant.
“Help… help me!”
The ants who were engulfed in flames unexpectedly began to scream as they caught fire.
The giant centipedes were no exception. All those who had absorbed large amounts of oil were all engulfed in giant flames.
A battle with fire began to show greater effectiveness as time pa.s.sed. Because they were all tangled up right below the castle walls, the fire spread extremely quickly. Before Kimura could order his troops to retreat, over half were consumed in flames.
“My… my soldiers!”
Kimura could not hide his horror as he witnessed his soldiers becoming roasted in an instant. He had been so confident… and the result was a brutal defeat, complete annihilation.
‘I must run away!’
Kimura who realized that he had lost, finally accepted reality and decided to run away to save his foolish life. It was obvious that he would experience horrendous things the moment he was captured.
“Run, run away! Now! Let’s go!”
Kimura urged the flame toad that he was on.
But… Kang Chul-In was not nice enough, nor dumb enough to allow Kimura to run away.
Clip clop, clip clop!
10 hors.e.m.e.n appeared from nowhere and roared towards Kimura.
“You stop right there!”
“You! Where are you going?”
“The Sovereign is waiting for you! Hahaha!”
“Where are you running to! You will die when you are caught!”
The hors.e.m.e.n were set aside by Kang Chul-In to capture Kimura in advance. They had been waiting quietly and watching the situation and appeared when they had seen the opportunity to capture Kimura.
Kimura ordered the flame toad. Because he had poured all his troops towards the battle, he had only the toad to protect him now.
The toad opened its mouth and let out a huge flame.
The cavalry did not sit still and watch.
“The flame toad has strong fire power, but the distance is short and has slow movements. You will be able to overpower it easily if you spread out.”
The cavalry was already informed of the traits of the flame toad by Kang Chul-In prior.
Clip clop, clip clop!
The cavalry that had spread out according to orders avoided the flames of the toad and made their way to Kimura’s blind spots.
A couple of the cavalry fastened snares to the toad.
Kimura, who was taken aback, swayed and fell to the ground.
“Go, go away! Go away!”
Kimura who was now alone screamed, afraid, but Kang Chul-In’s soldiers had no mercy.
“Get lost, get lost now… ah!”
Kimura clenched his neck and screamed. His neck had gotten caught in the snare thrown by one of the men. The soldier who had caught Kimura laughed and roared in delight. That cavalryman was named Podorski.
“Got you, little thing!”