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85 Bloody end

19th march 1574 (a while after midnight)

In an instant, the darkness of the night got dispelled by the continuous tongues of fire coming off from the four barrels of the reaper guns at once. In theory, using only one barrel per gun provided longer suppression of the enemy forces, but with such a close distance between Peter's small army and my troops, there was simply no time to waste.

As soon as the Reapers started their melody, the line of horsemen started to break. Instead of falling one by one like in a movie, entire groups were bursting apart at once, with bullets unable to differentiate between a man and a horse, penetrating the mount, the rider, their companion behind, two trees and ending up somewhere in a bird's nest few hundred meters behind their line!

"Muskets! Rise!"

While I had to base it of the experience that wasn't really mine, a capable general leading the opposing forces could either wait out the storm and charge when the guns would be empty or charge in an instant, hoping to make the gunners miss most of their shots. Sadly, either of those options would end up exactly the same, with the enemy attack falling apart before it would even begin!

"Attack! Attack!"

Even despite the loud onslaught of the reaper guns, I could still make out Peter's voice, calling his men to a charge. Surprisingly enough, his men were disciplined enough for the entire ten or so of them to follow his lead and jump forward as their flanks were methodically cut down by the invisible scythe of the death, only to end up rooted by the right reaper gun, when its crew noticed the danger.

In about twenty-second, out of about a hundred of the enemies, only ten or so remained alive, with only Peter and two more guards strictly beside him remaining mounted. With how he killed a lot of my men, there was no way I would be merciful enough to grant him such a quick death!

"Woah… While I knew this would happen, knowing and seeing it happen are two completely different matters…"

Just like Elia hugged my side even tighter as if the bloody images in front of her managed to squeeze a bit of her feminine delicacy out of her tomboyish nature, all of my men, some of them being experienced veterans, had trouble to swallow the image right in front of their eyes.

This wasn't a war they knew and they expected. It didn't even come close of being it! It was a purely one-sided onslaught, introduced by the death and company, under the skin of those new, demonic guns. If not for the fact that most of them learned how they operated from all the training they went through, I could tell from how quite a bit of them was currently retching their guts out, instead of being praised as a victor, I would be condemned as an antichrist!

"Cease fire!"

With the reapers crew going for yet another round through both wings of once might cavalry just to make sure no survivors were hiding there, even I reached the limit of my tolerance, and ordered them to stop. In the end, just like my servants weren't guilty of my actions and didn't deserve to die in such a pitiful manner, so did Peter's men. The sins of their lord were not the sins they would be responsible for!

"Now, do you wish to surrender, or should I let my cannons after you?"

Shouting from the bottom of my lungs, I had to make sure that my voice would be loud enough to knock this damned Peter out of his gaze. In the end, I preferred to get him alive, to make sure that all the troops that he could've left in Pilzno or his own city would surrender peacefully, saving me the trouble of sieging both of those places down.

While in both cases I had a sizeable troop hiding inside both of the towns, ready to come to aid, as soon as the fighting would move inside the town, I would be unable to use the reaper guns to my advantage, turning my winning position, into nothing else but a mindless slaughter.

"Monster! I will kill you!"

Most likely unable to comprehend what just happened around him, instead of getting off his horse and raising his hands in the commonly accepted sign of surrender, this damned idiot knocked the sides of his horse, forcing it to charge through the scorched land that once used to be a wing of my camp right at the lines of my men!

"Men, shoot his horse down! I want him alive!"

This action was the sole reason why I had my musketeers remain on standby, instead of joining the fray. With over forty guns aiming at a single target, even if it was moving, there was no chance for Peter to even get close to my lines!

BANG!

As if ordered by a heavenly general, all of the guns erupted in the coordinated salvo, instantly cutting the horse almost in half, and throwing Peter from its saddle to the ground. From what I could see away on my position, his face landed in a pile of faeces, that flew out of one of the corpses littered around the entire place.

And just like that, the strife with the only real opponent that I had in the region, came to an end.

"Men, comprehend him, bring him to me. After you make sure all the survivors are properly bound, you are free to loot the entire place to the ground!"

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