Chapter 361 – Siege of Levain (Part 15)
40 0 3
Reading Options
Font Size
A- 15px A+
Table of Contents
Loading... please wait.

“You could always tell whether a siege was destined to go on for ages or to finish in a flash just by looking at how the people of the besieged city behaved.” - Saying attributed to Xaliburnus the Conqueror, First Emperor of the Elmaiya Empire.

If not for the presence of two enemy armies outside their walls actively attacking the city and the noise they caused, one could well be fooled into thinking that life had gone on as usual in Levain city.


Despite the ongoing siege, the civilians – all of whom had long been evacuated into the area inside the fifth wall or deeper – went on with their lives as per normal. At most, the only real alteration in their lives were the higher frequency of soldiers and militia passing to and fro on the streets. Some whose businesses more closely involved the war effort were more impacted, with plenty of work, but that was about it.


Normally a besieged city would be worrying about food and water, as even an ample stockpile could easily vanish in a short time during wars. Such worries were valid for forts with barely a few thousand people in them, much less a massive city like Levain with just under half a million citizens inside its walls. Even so, there were no worries to be seen on the faces of the populace.


Levain’s surrounding area was one of the largest breadbasket regions of the late Clangeddin Empire, which made the city so valuable in the first place. Early in the civil war, however, the fighting that took place in and around the city laid waste to much of those fertile farmlands, which in turn caused the city’s value to drop in the eyes of the warlords vying for supremacy. That was one of the main reasons why the civilian uprising managed to take and keep the city and its surrounding regions.


Over the decade and a half since they had gained control, the locals slowly restored the damaged farmlands. Even in its poor state, the farmlands allowed the locals to achieve self-sufficiency. After a decade of care, the harvests increased in abundance year after year, to the point that Levain had plenty to spare when it came to food.


Which was one reason why they dared to front the supplies for the joint southern expedition with Caroma.


Even with those expenditures, many of the warehouses and granaries in the city proper were stuffed full of flour, stored in watertight wooden barrels or clay urns. The non-perishable nature of flour – as long as it was stored properly – meant that over the past years the city had stockpiled quite a massive amount of them, enough to feed its populace for a good four to five years at the very least.


When combined with the twin rivers that flowed through the city’s western side and the abundant well water, there was simply no danger when it came to supplies for a long siege.


If anything, even the militia – who were directly fighting against the enemy forces – were eager to fight, despite the losses they had taken so far. They knew that their leaders had something in mind for the invaders, though not the details. The fact that they had been told to eat very well that morning was a sign that something was about to happen for certain.


Sure enough, that day the outermost wall of Levain crumbled, albeit its collapse was not due to enemy action, but an intentional one caused by the defenders themselves. A team of dwarven engineers had spent the past weeks rigging the walls to collapse in a rapid manner on demand, and their work came to use at that moment.


Thousands, if not tens of thousands of enemies were buried by the collapsing walls, while those who already ventured into the area between the sixth and seventh wall soon found themselves trapped and isolated by the rubble. It was at that moment that Miriel sounded the call for a general offense and the eager militia sallied out from all four of the city’s gates at once. 


If they were made to fight against the enemy on an open field, the half-trained militia would likely fail to deliver a satisfactory performance. However, they were facing dazed and demoralized enemy troops in an area they knew far better than their foes, and the results spoke for itself. 


All around the city’s sixth – now outermost – wall, the militia overran the enemy troops that were stuck between the rubble and the wall. They made full use of their greater familiarity of the ruins as well as their far greater numbers to make up for the difference in skills, training, and experience. Many of the enemy soldiers were killed while barely being able to put up a fight.


Far more were captured alive by the militia and dragged into the city as prisoners.


Neither Bernd nor Miriel held any illusion about being able to beat their enemies in an open fight, nor did they desire a protracted siege which would affect the city’s livelihood. As such, their aim in the first place was to aim for a peace settlement of some sort, and those were always best negotiated from a position of power.


The wall’s collapse was a show that the Levainians had no fucks left to give and would resort to every means they had if forced to do so, which they hoped would deter the enemy from pushing too hard. As for the prisoners, it was always more advantageous to negotiate with something to offer the other side. Naturally, it was far more palatable for them to return the enemy’s captured soldiers that to give them any other sort of concessions.


With the ruins cleanly swept of enemy soldiers – only stripped corpses were left, while the living ones were taken captive without exception – the militia retreated back into the city before the remaining enemy troops outside could force their way through the rubble. At that point they had done their share, and the course of the battle that day rested with those who were still fighting outside.


If you enjoy this story, please consider leaving a rating or review to help it gain more exposure (and help counter the haters), thank you!

Read ahead on my Patreon! For 5$ a month patrons will gain early access of up to 25 chapters ahead, or for 10$ a month, gain early access of up to 55 (10% bonus) chapters ahead! 

Or you can subscribe to all my stories and get a 10% discount on the price!

Join the Discord for silly stuff and chat with us!