23 Siege of T'cammen 4

A two hours prior, when Mago took charge of the 2nd Division.

High Commander Andremes and his three Commanders were standing upon the walls of T'cammen, watching the Imperial soldiers flood into the city. Half of the enemy army was busy engaging the 2nd Division, so it was the perfect time for the rest of the Imperial army to invade the city.

The Imperil army never planned for a long siege. They would capture this city today, no matter the cost.

"How is the 2nd Division doing, Gauder?", asked Andremes from the man standing on his right side. Each of them was wearing the standard silver armor, the only thing differentiating them from the regular soldiers were the golden stars embedded in them.

Andremes had two golden stars, while Gauder and the other two Commanders had one, indicating their status as simple Commanders.

"They are still holding on thanks to the Barca boy who took charge of the situation. He is talented. He easily discerns the ever-changing situation on the battlefield, anticipating the enemy's movements beforehand and countering them easily. As of now, there are nine thousand troops alive in the 2nd Division. They have lost nearly half of the troops. Most of the damage was caused during the chaos that descended upon Colonel Portus's death.", Gauder reported. The Colonel had been with him for over ten years, so it pained him to lose a trustworthy subordinate.

Gauder would have already rushed to liberate his men that were stuck inside the square, had the High Commander not ordered him to stay put. Worry was etched upon Gauder's face. If the 2nd Division would fall, he would lose half of the troops in his command.

Seeing his friend's worried face, Andremes couldn't help but let out a sigh. He had chosen the 2nd Division to play the role of bait because they were a group of veterans, most of them had served in more than one campaign and they had a dependable and quickly adapting Colonel leading them, so it was likely that out of all the Divisions in the army, the 2nd one would be able to pull through.

What none of them had taken into account was the fact that the enemy would send out three Sage rank shamans against a force that had no silver-core Warriors or Sage rank mages. Apparently, the tribes had been hell-bent on wiping out the punitive force that entered the city before shifting their attention to the main army. Not that it had worked out for them. Two of the Sage's had been killed and the main army had already entered the city and the 2nd Division was still standing.

"Have the mages locate the remaining enemies, especially the shamans of the Poison tribe. They are a wild card if left unchecked.", Adremes ordered.

After hearing the High Commander's orders, the troops below started to move out. The mages were constantly using their mana to check the surroundings.

After half an hour had passed, they had found a force of five thousand at the southern edge of the city with no shamans around. Other than them and the men battling in the square, the city seemed completely deserted.

'Before we launched the attack, the city was filled with people, soldiers and civilians alike. Where did they go?' Andremes pondered.

"What are the tribesmen at the southern edge doing? Are there any movements?", he asked from the messenger that had previously reported the situation to him.

"There aren't any movements, sir. They are simply facing towards the square while holding a defensive position.", replied the messenger.

'So they are there in order to help the other force to escape the city?' Andremes surmised.

But what about the other forces and the civilians? Where had they disappeared to? And why did the tribes even bother to plan an ambush against the Imperial troops if they would evacuate the city anyway?

What Andremes and the others didn't yet know was that the city of T'cammen had a huge underground tunnel network below it, extending all the way to the areas bordering the territories of the two other major tribes, and the citizens of T'cammen had been evacuated through this network. Right now they were moving full-speed through the maze of tunnels.

As for the men ambushing the Imperial troops, in their ignorance the tribesmen had thought that it was a force strong enough to give the Imperial forces a severe hit, making them pay a heavy price in conquering T'cammen. The force of five thousand consisted of hunters most familiar with the surrounding dense forests of the jungle and would lead the troops to safety while dividing into small groups, making it harder for the Imperial soldiers to hunt them down.

The plan itself was decent, but the tribesmen severely underestimated the Imperial forces. Even when ambushing them and outnumbering them two to one, they were unable to gain the upper hand.

"Alright, send the second Corps to aid the 2nd Division with the rest of the 1st Corps, Gauder you will be in charge. Meanwhile, have the 3rd Corps comb through every inch of this city. I want to find out how the enemies escaped from the city without any of us noticing. Also have the scout squads keep a constant eye on the five thousand men stationed at the edge of the city, if they retreat, follow them discreetly and if they show any other movements, report it directly to me.", Andremes barked out orders one after another.

After giving out his orders, Andremes was left almost all alone on top of the city wall. Only his personal guards remained with him. Falling back into deep thought, Adremes was trying to decide who should be the next Colonel of the 2nd Division.

While Mago had shown great promise since the start of the campaign, Andremes feared he was too young. The brat was only 17, still wet behind his ears. Andremes wasn't fully convinced that he could shoulder the responsibility.

Captain Farren on the other hand was a veteran, having braved through many campaigns. But Andremes knew the man wasn't an apt leader. His men didn't respect him, and he lacked the ability to see through the developing situation on a battlefield, as Mago had done earlier. Farren was fine as a Captain, but any rank higher would be wasted on him.

'I will ask about Gauder's opinion later.' Andremes decided. It was a unit under him after all, so he should get to have the final say in the matter.

'Now we just need to wait for the final results.' Andremes thought while gazing towards center of the city where constant sounds of metal clashing against metal and screams of pain could be heard.

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Reinforcements had finally arrived. Mago had never felt so relieved in his entire life. He was already exhausted, feeling the backslash of the healing magic and foreign energy that had supplemented him for these past hours. His voice was also completely hoarse from shouting orders repeatedly.

Upon seeing new enemies arrive, the tribesmen sounded the retreat. They were not foolish enough to stay around when the enemy outnumbered them.

Mago could finally relax. They were saved. Feeling the tension leaving him, he suddenly felt completely powerless, falling towards the ground.

Luckily, an arm grabbed him before he managed to hit the ground and lifted him up.

"Oi, boy. Don't you dare pass out on me.", came a gruff voice from behind Mago.

Turning his head towards the voice, Mago saw that it was Commander Gauder that had caught him. The Commander looked at him with a bright smile on his face, his eyes shining with admiration.

"You truly outdid yourself, boy. I don't think that even your father would have managed to pull off a feat like yours when he was your age. Killing a Sage. Albeit you did have the help from two mages, it was still an astounding feat.", Gauder remarked and gave a hearty laugh. He quickly signaled two of his men and they took his place in supporting Mago.

"You and your Division can rest now, boy. We will take care of the rest.", Gauder shouted over his shoulder while walking away.

Mago simply gave a tired nod, not completely registering what the Commander had just said. After a few moments passed and he finally figured what the Commander's words had implied, Mago's eyes went as wide as saucers.

The words "your Division" kept repeating within his mind.

"Am I going to be a Colonel?", Mago muttered, his voice filled with joy and disbelief.

But this excitement was too much for Mago's tired and strained body, and he passed out with a smile etched upon his face.

While Mago was immersed in deep sleep, the 1st and 2nd Corps of the army drove the enemies out of the city.

Upon exiting the city, the tribesmen divided into groups of fifty and ran into the depths of the dense jungle. Fearing an ambush, the Imperial troops did not chase them any further.

Thus ended the siege of T'cammen, with Primigenia's complete and decisive victory.

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