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The Rock shook his head at the pathetic display as the routed soldiers ran away without any sense of dignity. He gave a glance at Moel Rothschild who seemed to be paralyzed with shock as he stood there without any action or expression.

He raised his hand and gave the signal to his troops, the Black Scorpion Legion to advance. The smoke that lingered over the battlefield will provide adequate cover and shield from the enemy eyes.

Over two thousand black armored soldiers and five hundred Bronze Men with their handlers marched forth. The Black Scorpions eyed the fleeing soldiers with disdain, some even cut them down with their swords when they have gotten close.

"Wha- What are you doing?" Moel jolted out of his thoughts and stared at the Rock. "Why are you sending in your troops?"

"This is the best time for an attack," the Rock calmly said. "The enemy most likely had used their last trump card which was the Dragon's Breath spell."

"With this attack, my men will be able to break through the enemy lines!" He simply said and he gave his mount a kick and followed after his men, leaving Moel behind cursing.

The Rock took a deep breath of the battlefield, taking in the scent of iron and death. There was also a hint of something acrid and sour in the air which he couldn't identify.

He ordered his soldiers to halt just beyond the range of those screaming killing spells that came from the air. He and his commanders had observed over the past few battles and calculated that the enemy' spells had a maximum effective range and he had his troops pause just before it.

Sharp thunderclaps immediately popped out from the enemy lines and the Rock frowned as it was the first time he came under the receiving end of these thunder magic. He did not belittle these strange magic and he knew that by winning this battle, there was a high chance he could get his hands on this strange and powerful magic!

Instantly his highly trained troops lifted their heavy shields up and formed into a tight formation. The magically enhanced shields resisted the power of the thunder magic, making sparks burst out from the impact from the spells.

His Battle Mages without needing any orders silently chanted their magic and created more barriers of protection for the marching Legion.

"Let the Bronze Men take the front!" He commanded and not long the ranks opened up to allow the heavily armored Bronze Men to advance forward.

The Bronze Men were clad in thick interlocking plates of metal that a common soldier would have great difficulty moving in. Yet the Bronze Men continued marching forward without any signs of hindrance from their armor.

They were made out of a combination of living flesh and vile magic. Their flesh enhanced to be stronger than iron, veins filled with a concoction of magical elixir and bones strengthened by sorcery.

Their minds were wiped and souls enslaved by the process which turned normal beings into a Bronze man, a loyal warrior that was neither living nor dead.

Used in the ancient times as a soldier of the Gods, they once roamed the land under the directives of their Gods to wage war. Now, lost in time, they now once again walk the lands, doing what they do best in battle.

Despite the best efforts of the Imperial magisters and master mages, they could only replicate just 10% of its true strength yet it was more than powerful enough for their needs. The Rock couldn't imagine if they could replicate the power of the Bronze Men to even 50%! How powerful will they be?

Each of them hung a great sword over their backs and carried a large rectangular shield that covered almost their entire bodies. They strolled forward without any hurry nor hesitation into the heavy spellfire of the enemy, while dozens of Battlemages kept pace behind them, shielding them with their magic barriers.

Some Imperials too frightened to run or advance, trapped in the middle of the battlefield, saw the approaching Bronze Men and cried out in relief, thinking that they were saved!

But the Bronze Men ignored them and everything in their path. The confused Imperial soldiers watched in horror as they trampled over whoever was in their way. Their weight and strength crushing flesh and bones as easily as breaking straw.

Terrified, the Imperial soldiers could only try to avoid their approach and risk getting killed by the enemy as they left their cover.

-----

Mills observed the enemy gathered at the forest and a block of black cladded soldiers approaching in a steady manner without fear. Mills admired their confidence and the cool designs of their armor down to the man sized shields.

"Call for some artillery support!" He said to his radioman without taking his eyes off his binoculars. "We got some badasses coming right up!"

"Sarge, HQ says to hold the line at all cost," the radioman replied. "There will be no fire support for the time being!"

"What?" Mills turned and looked at his radioman in surprise. "Check with Lt Silverstar!"

After a while, the radioman's expression turned anxious as he reported to Mills. "Sarge, the OC says the same thing. We are to hold, for now, HQ is planning something big for the enemy!"

"What the fuck!" Mills nearly flung his binoculars way in anger. "Are they hanging us out to dry?"

"Dammit!" Mills turned back to watching the battlefield. "All NCOs on me now!"

After a short while, all the corporals, sergeants and even the Platoon Lieutenant manning the entire section of the trench line gathered around Mills.

"Sorry, Sir, for taking charge here," He apologized to the young looking Lieutenant who shook his head and gestured Mills to continue.

"All MGs and RPG teams are to concentrate fire to take out their magic barriers!" Mills passed on his orders. "I want the rest of the men to wait until the barriers go down before engaging them! Got it?"

Everyone in the impromptu command meeting nodded, understanding his orders. "HQ says we have no fire support for the time being and they are prepping something big for the Blue boys so we are hung out to dry for now!"

"The next wave looks tougher than what we had fought off before so keep your eyes open for any surprises they have!" Mills added. "Good?"

"OOORAAH!"

"Go!" Mills dismissed everyone and they left hurriedly to pass down his order to the men.

Once word had passed down, the machine gunners swapped out their red hot barrels with new barrels with the assistant gunners linked boxes of ammunition together.

Marines armed with RPGs rested their launchers against the sandbagged parapets of the trenches and waited for the smoke to clear for a shot.

Between the wisps of lingering black smoke, glimpses of the approaching Imperial's magical multi hue dome could be seen. The Marines stacked their five rounds clips of munitions and grenades on the earth shelves they dug in the walls for easy access when they needed them.

Runners carrying cases of ammunition and water barrels ran along the trenches, refilling the Marines ammunition and their water canteens.

Soon a breeze came and cleared the smoke away, exposing the approaching Imperials and without the need for an order, the guns fired.

Shrieks of RPGs followed the tracers and the magical barrier of the Imperials could be seen flickering under the sunlight. The Battlemages supporting the spells could be seen gulping down potions to restore their strength as their powers weakened.

With most of the second wave of the Imperials routed and only a few pockets of enemy soldiers cowering under cover of their dead comrades, the only enemy left was the third wave of Imperials and their dome of protection attracted always every machine gun along the trench lines.

Yet despite the best efforts of the guns, the enemy was able to weather on the punishing fire and they made it across the fifty meter mark before their magical barriers broke down.

Suddenly the Imperial soldiers started jogging forward while drawing their great swords over their shoulders. They menacing at this distance that even Mills fear a tingle of fear down his spine. "Fuck it! Use your nades! Flamers stand by!"

The Marines quickly lobbed egg shaped grenades over the trenches directly at the charging Imperials.

The black powder packed explosives worked as advertised, spewing out ball bearings out in a spherical effect. Yet the heavily armored Imperial soldiers ignored the shrapnel of the exploding grenades like they were nothing.

"BURN THOSE BLACK BASTARDS!" Mills yelled as the Imperials came to the last razor wire obstacle that was set barely fifteen meters away.

The flamethrower equipped Marines sprayed a gout of flames out from their position, torching the approaching Imperials and turning the entire area into a sea of flames.

"Burn, motherfuckers! Burn!" Mills cheered with the rest but his expression quickly changed to horror as figure after figure wreathed in flames came walking out from the fire. The smoke and burning figures ignored the razor wire and trampled over them and the Marines at the front recoiled back in fear.

"What the fuck!" Mills cried out and he fired his rifle at the burning figure before him. He heard a loud clank and the figure dropped its ruined shield down, exposing a black armor clad Imperial. Its armor glowed red in the smoke and steam ran off from the cervices in its armor.

The soldier dragged his great sword in a two handed stance, its tip scraping against the packed earth. Shots slammed into the soldier, making him jerk and dance on the spot before it collapsed down on one knee.

Holes appeared in the armor of the soldier who stood up and continued forward not heeding the wounds he had suffered. The Marines were dumbstruck at the resilience of the Imperial soldier and they backed off from the trenches in alarm as more and more soldiers appeared from out of the flames.

"Keep firing!" Mills screamed at his men. "They must have some kind of cheating magic to allow them to take damage!"

The Marines hearing Mill's orders, returned fire rapidly, barely missing with the close distance. The flamers continued to spew flames at those Imperials at the rear, the smell of chemicals thick in the air.

Mills reloaded his M2 carbine and emptied the whole magazine at the looming figure before him. The Imperial didn't even bother to block the shots and it just toppled backward into the flames, but it shortly stood up again.

"What the hell are these guys made out of!" Mills yelled as he slapped in another fresh magazine. "More Undead?"

"Shit at this rate, the forward trench will be overrun!" Mills turned to his radioman and ordered. "Tell HQ and Lt Silverstar that Alpha Two is getting overrun! What are their orders!"

"Yes, Sarge!" The radioman replied nervously and he quickly relayed the message over.

"Fuck it!" Mills fired at his original target who walked out of the flames again. "ATTACH BAYONETS!"

He rammed his sword bayonet into the lug and clicked it in place before he aimed at the helmeted head of the Imperial and fired.

The Imperial helmet deformed under the onslaught of bullets but it barely stopped its movement. "What the hell? Head shots don't work anymore? Are they really some kind of fucking Terminator?"

"Sarge! HQ says to fall back to the second line! Now!"

-----

Imperial Lines

The Rock smiled as he eyed the progress of his Bronze men with a magic telescopic spell. He waved to his aide and said. "All troops to advance! We have broken through the enemy defenses!"

Moel Rothschild seeing the Rock's success quickly rallied whatever troops that still had any sense of order and ordered them to follow the Black Scorpions from behind. He might not have won any merit by breaking the enemy lines, but he shall at least share in some of the glory!

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Damn haze is killing my lungs!


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