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UN Northern Front Command HQ

Colonel Frank moved the wooden markers of two Marine Battalions back from the west flank of Falledge all the way to the edge of the Uncharted Forest. He wanted to bait and draw in the Imperial Army on the left of the North Front and once the Imperials were lured in, they will find themselves with the Sawtooth Mountains on their right, two Battalions of Marines in their front and the city of Falledge on their left!

Frank will then throw everything he has on destroying the First Imperial Army which Intel has identified. His strategy now is to defeat the Imperial spearheads one by one, rather than focusing on everywhere. In this end, he has diverted all the bomber wings to Orwell's Point to hunt down the Imperial Fleet lurking around the inland sea.

He looked at the map of the Northern Front and anchored on his left was the Sawtooth Mountains, followed by Falledge, than came a stretch of forested land of almost three hundred kilometers came the river city of Orwell's Point.

The rear of his North Front was the Uncharted Forest and the only city in the front, Orwell's Point was connected to the Capital by a highway through the dangerous Uncharted Forest while the road to Falledge was barely even completed, just a cleared path large enough for the heavy duty trucks and military vehicles to pass by.

The stretch of land between the two cities was the problem as the entire UN does not even have enough troops to hold the ground against the Imperials. Frank carefully placed a square block on the map where a hill was depicted.

He planned for the troops to build a series of large forts along that stretch of land that it will be viewed threatening by the Imperials and forcing their hand to attack those forts. And while the Imperial Armies are busy trying to destroy the forts, he will wipe out the Imperial First Army!

Now, his troops were solely dependant on two slim threads of supply, which can be easily cut off by any marauding goblins or monsters in the Uncharted Forest. Other military combat units only controlled the stretch of road within their designated checkpoints and could only serve as a reaction force when the convoy was attacked.

To protect his vulnerable supply lines, he has taken the liberty of 'requisitioning' certain materials from the production factories, namely several tons of armor plating that appeared to be for the Navy.

Frank broke into a mischievous grin as he recalled 'pinching' the materials that were for the Navy. The Military Logistic department were confused at first when several tons of armor plating arrived at their motor pool until Frank gave them the hint of armoring up their trucks.

Once the hint was understood, everything else was history. The mechanics of the Military Logistic department welded the 'borrowed' armor onto the sides of their trucks and mounted machine guns on all sides of the vehicles.

Thus the Military Logistics' gun trucks were born and the supply convoys required lesser escorts as the supply convoys could defend themselves. The hardened convoy could protect themselves without the need of pulling valuable combat units out from their stations.

Frank nodded to himself once he rearranged the tokens on the map and called his staff to gather in the meeting room to discuss the battle plan. But by now, Commander Ford should had found out that his materials were missing for his ships! So first, he have to pen an apology mail to Commander Ford for borrowing his materials without notifying him!

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First Imperial Army

General Kotor was an old veteran of several campaigns. He was the one who had led the First Army to victory over the beastmen, pillaging and razing the city down and many prime slaves were captured in that campaign. The pacification of the beastmen was also done by him and the First Army, ending them the nickname as the 'Army of the Beast Masters' for the slaves following the First were mostly beastmen.

He frowned as he looked upon the cloudy skies, for the past two days, there was no sighting for the demonic flying crosses coming to drop those demon eggs. "Has those thrice cursed flying demons ran out of energy?"

His close commanders and aides joined him at watching the skies from under the cover of the forest. The bulk of his Army has scattered into small units and taken shelter under any trees and away from any prying eyes in the skies. His mages had spent much of their power casting glimmer and anti scrying spells all over the Army.

A blonde hair Knight giggled as he sat next to another Knight wearing a full faced featureless helm. "Say, these rebels are so interesting! Do you think they will be more of a challenge compared to those beastmen?"

The Helmeted Knight gave a wordless shrug while the Laughing Knight sighed, "It's been so long, my blades are rusty! These rebels better last longer than those kitties!"

"Right?" The Laughing Knight seated on the back of a slave beastman, jerked hard at the metal chain in his hand which was connected to the slave. The collared beast girl with grey blue ears and tail choked as the Laughing Knight asked again, "How long do you think I can make rebel break?"

The beast girl on all fours choked back her tears and she cast her eyes downwards, fear gripping her heart as her master used her back as a chair. The Laughing Knight grinned, "Still these rebels have some interesting magic. Think it is comparable to the beast city's magic defenses?"

"Not sure," The helmeted Knight replied. "Need to witness before judging..."

"Aww..." The Laughing Knight sighed dramatically. "When are we going to attack?"

"Soon," The Helmeted Knight said.

Just as the Helmeted Knight finished his word, a mounted soldier with a messenger flag on his back rode past and yelled at the troops. "Break camp! The First will begin marching by the end of the glass!"

"See?" The Helmeted Knight said again before he stood up and dusted his armor. "Let's get ready."

"Urghh!" The Laughing Knight stood up and stretched. Unlike his armored friend, he was dressed in a set of simple robes with a weapon belt on. He kicked the rear of his slave and said, "Let's go! Go and pack up everything!"

The beast girl slave bowed and quickly scampered off to do his bid, only to jerk back and fall flat on her rear as the Laughing Knight suddenly pulled the chain in his hand while laughing. "Hahahaha, alright, you can go now!"

The girl only moved off after making sure her master had released the chains. She rubbed away her tears as she ran, thinking that one day how she was going to enjoy stabbing her master to death.

-----

Northern Front, First Battalion, 'A' Company

Lance Corporal Slow lying prone on the soft grass fired off a burst of aimed machine gun fire at the small cluster of Imperials. The bright red yellow tracers stabbed out into the night and flickered off into the night skies as the rounds bounced off the ground and armor of the Imperials.

Under the dying glow of the illumination flare, Slow could see the group of Imperials dropping like puppets with their string cut but he still gave those bodies another dose of lead, just in case as he found the Imperial soldiers to be crafty enough to play dead.

"A COMPANY!" A sharp whistle blew before a shout came from the sides. "Prepare to fall back!"

"Shit!" Slow cursed as he hung the ammo belt over his left arm and griped the bipod of his MG at the same time. He crawled to his feet and ran back as his Platoon Sergeant yelled at them to double time their asses. "I hate stopping and running!"

He saw his ASAG - 01 waving its tiny clawed arms at him before him, urging him to run faster. Slow ran up the slope and dropped his weapon onto the rear of the ASAG and caught his breath just as the ground they gave up exploded into flames.

The enemy was learning and adapting rapidly to their tactics and they even took a page of their artillery. The Imperial mages will now lob fireballs over the heads of the infantry like mortars at any position of the Marines once found.

The fireballs spells will explode on contact and will cause a three degree burn to any exposed flesh and also has a nasty tendency to ignite any ammunition or grenades carried by the unfortunate soldier which sometimes, lightning spells also does the same.

Due to this, all Marines preferred now to keep a safe distance away from any flamer. Even the Marines wielding flamers themselves requested to switch weapons which the officers approved. But still, the balls of flames dropping from the skies were a nightmare to all the Marines.

Slow ducked as the heatwave from the Imperial's mages washed over him and almost instantly, the telltale shrieks of friendly mortars cracked overhead and the artillery duel began. Slow pushed himself up and followed the ASAG as his company fell back while B company on the flanks provided covering fire.

The Imperials had used the cover of the night to advance forward and they accidentally tripped a wire which launched a warning flare. After which the night exploded into thunder and flames as the Marines rained lead down at the surprised Imperials.

But the First Imperial Army were veterans. They recovered rapidly and instead of retreating, they charged instead. The mages quickly supported the troops by throwing protection spells to glimmer spells to aid the troops' charge. Some of the smarter Imperials threw themselves down flat to the ground which saved them when the night suddenly turned to day from the illumination spells appearing in the skies.

The thunder roar of the Marines' guns broke the silence of the night as tracers flew towards the Imperial's positions while the Battalion mortar teams lobbed mortar shells at the enemy.

Unfortunately. the First Imperial Army was split into small units, making defensive mortar fire ineffective. The Marines had to instead rely on the barbwires and mines planted beforehand and in the dark, these obstacles proved their worth in slowing and stopping the Imperials.

"A COMPANY... HOLD! FROM INTO A LINE HERE!" The company commander blew his whistle and roared and the Marines skidded to a halt and prone down, facing the enemy again. "COVER B COMPANY'S RETREAT!"

Slow was confused as to why they were retreating as he dropped to his belly. He gave a grunt as a sharp rock dug against his chest and he shifted to a more comfortable position while he deployed his MG.

He loosed off another burst at the moving shadows and glittering armor in the distance, watching more tracers bouncing off into the skies spectacularly. Why give ground when they can hold off the damn Blue Boys easily?

Yet another whistle blew again, and the company commander's shout was heard, "A COMPANY... FALL BACK!"

-----

Over the course of two hours, First Battalion fought a fighting withdrawal from the Imperials. There were only a few injuries, mostly from falling in the dark. Only six Marines suffered some burns and arrow nicks from the Imperials, yet they retreated more than five kilometers.

The men rested and when dawn broke, First Battalion retreated back again, this time they pulled back another twenty kilometers and once they were in sight of the Uncharted Forest, they were ordered to dig in and wait for the Imperials.

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UN Northern Front Command HQ

Colonel Frank nodded as he listened to the reports coming in from the Front and he smiled. Now they had lured the Imperials in, will they follow and take the bait?

He rubbed his hands in anticipation of the First Imperial Army's commander's move. "Here fishy fishy... says the fisherman..."

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