Not long after the army from the Bachon clan arrived, the attack actually started. Barrett didn’t have the best view of what was going on, but that couldn’t be helped. He was in the gatehouse, with only small arrow slits to look out of. Even so, he could already see enemy soldiers falling left and right.
“Don’t worry about what’s happening out there,” Kaylani’s voice came from behind Barrett. “Keep your focus here. You don’t even need to think about them when they get to the walls. It’s only if they break through the first gate.”
Barrett nodded, “And then we pour this on them.” Barrett gestured to the cauldrons nead to a number of gutters. “I thought sand was used more often for this sort of thing.”
Kaylani raised an eyebrow, “Firstly… where would we get sand for this sort of thing? Non-metallic sand, to be particular. If it was just metallic sand it would be more effective to just drop rocks on them.”
Barrett looked at the golden metallic liquid in the cauldrons, “Is this not pure?”
“It is, but it’s enchanted to avoid reacting with the air. It will react with the water down below, however.”
“What’s going to stop them from just deflecting it?”
“Gravity, surprise, and the rest of us here.” Kaylani nodded, her silvery hair eerily staying still relative to her head, instead of swaying. “It might not work if they lead with their best experts, but then we can just kill them for being out front.”
“And I’m here because?”
“You have to be somewhere. There’s no point in having you man a ballista, and if we need to engage in melee combat we won’t be far away. Plus, the assassins will probably attack here.”
“It seems… pretty lightly defended for that.” Barrett looked around. There was him, Kaylani, one other third tier cultivator from the Leipeka clan, and a handful of first and second tier cultivators.
“There are other likely places of attack as well. Such as the ballistae. Most likely there will be simultaneous attacks, though having some stronger guards in place might dissuade them from attacking certain locations.”
“So I’m bait?”
Kaylani shrugged, “I’m here too.”
In no time at all the enemy forces were at the gate. That would have to be the case for a serious offensive, because every moment the attackers took more casualties. Barrett saw they had managed to bring forward a battering ram- one that provided cover for its users. It didn’t make them perfectly safe, but they reached the gate mostly unharmed due to there being so many easier targets.
Once the battering ram broke through the gate and soldiers started pouring into the gatehouse, then it would be time to activate the traps.
Barrett heard the repeated booms as the battering ram struck the gate, as well as a splintering sound. He heard soldiers shouting orders and screams of pain and the sound of his own heart beating and… a footstep.
Barrett’s fist struck empty air as he turned, but he saw a slight disruption in the air. Then everything broke out into chaos. Even as Barrett shouted, “Enemy!” more attacks happened around the room. Barrett struck in front of him, with more force and follow through. His attack once again failed to connect, but it forced his opponent to drop his concealing magic. Trickles of blood ran down his arm as he saw his enemy had managed to counterattack as well- though only slightly.
Barrett couldn’t focus on the other fights happening, though he took a moment to note that both Kaylani and the other third tier cultivator were fighting other assassins. The others were all engaged in combat with a single enemy, and one of the second tier cultivators already had a nasty wound on his side.
Barrett took half a moment to expel the poison in the cut on his arm along with a small bit of blood to move it. Now that Barrett could see his opponent, he maneuvered his attacks to avoid getting hit himself. At least, not for free. The biggest downside of fighting unarmed was clear- he had shorter reach, and without armor his arms and legs were vulnerable to counterattacks. The light armor he had only really covered his torso- his arms and legs were mostly left to their own devices. That said, his opponent only managed to scratch him with his attacks. Immortal Berserkers didn’t just train recovery, but also used injuries to train toughness. Barrett’s skin was like iron- though the actual degree of protection his body had varied slightly.
Barrett would have liked to get a grappling hold on his opponent, but they weren’t careless enough to allow that to happen easily. If he had, it would have only taken a moment to kill them. They had only light armor, but even if they had plate on, if they couldn’t move away from his attacks to soften the blow… it wouldn’t matter.
Barrett interweaved kicks with his punches and attempts to grab. The advantage of a kick was the increase in power and the slight defensive bonus of his boots- he couldn’t wear thick gloves and still retain full mobility of his fingers, but boots worked just fine for what he needed. He used that to throw his opponent into situations where they had to choose between counter attacking and not getting hit- but they always chose the latter. Barrett had accrued a few more small cuts, but he’d also caused some damage. Even just getting close to the enemy with an attack could injure them with berserk energy. It was mostly superficial damage so far, but they had to put more effort into dodging nonetheless.
Then Barrett heard a body hit the floor. He turned to the side to look, taking in the situation as quickly as possible. One of the first tier combatants was down… but without any visible wounds. Barrett took quick stock of his body and noticed a problem with his lungs.
With that quick glance, Barrett also saw an opening. Kaylani’s opponent was well in hand, just barely managing to avoid being impaled by any number of flying objects. The assassin fighting the other third tier cultivator, however, had just moved into perfect striking range for Barrett.
Barrett struck backhanded with his fist as the assassin stepped back toward him. The assassin wasn’t a third tier cultivator for nothing- he noticed the attack and avoided it, but that movement let him get hit by a flying needle from the Leipeka clan cultivator. However… the attack also left Barrett open, and he felt a dagger going into his back.