709 Chemical Warfare
"Incoming." The System stated loudly through the System Channel which prompted the Orc Artillery Company to ready their fingers on the trigger and shells to be discarded and reloaded. When there was no movement for about five minutes, Moloch had already informed Orc General Nubwort to change the type of artillery shells they had been using.
What they had initially used was the smaller 75mm artillery calibre in order to save the better ammunition on their howitzers for the later fights. Now, Moloch had called on them to switch to the chemical shells as he predicted that the demon army would be sending in their armoured knights to counter the explosive rounds.
"Use them before the mages appear and wipe the chemicals off," Moloch told them and the Orcs manning the howitzers had already equipped themselves with sufficient safety gear in case the chemical shells malfunctioned or backfired on them.
The labs had made them in preparation against the rats in the Farming World, but they figured this could possibly work against the demons too. (Also, free guinea pigs in the System's eyes.) Naturally, Ayse had used Jin's world military history to recreate war chemicals which were banned in modern times for today's use.
It was not something Jin had condoned since all was fair in war and they needed every advantage they could get. Besides, the System stated that the Dungeon Core always clean up the battlefield mess at the end of it. So, there was not much to worry in terms of environmental damage. In the meantime, the Orcs had also adjusted their barrels and cleaned them up for a smoother firing experience.
"Hmm. Chemical shells. The forbidden weaponry of our world, this will be an eye opener." Colonel Kan Jian mused as he was looking forward to actually witnessing the effectiveness of the chemicals on the monsters. Even if it was just a dungeon simulation to him, there was no harm seeing it happen.
While a majority of the snakes dabbled on chemical weapons on a smaller scale such as poison for assassination purposes, to see the banned weapon in action was already worth the trip for this particular warm up exercises.
True enough, the first batch of demon soldiers that entered were knights armoured to the teeth. Filled with anti-magic runes and steel that even swords and spears could barely scratch, they were the elites of Duke Vepar.
Though the Knights had trouble understanding why they should be sent out first as the vanguard, they still followed the orders of their revered duke. Soon, they saw the very same scorched land their previous comrades had observed. Just as they arrived in full, a wheezing sound came from afar with a loud popping sound.
Yellowish gas appeared right in front of them, and the Knights of Vepar scoffed at their enemies for creating a fog to stop them from advancing. They believed it to be merely a dirty ploy for an ambush, and thus they moved forward, ignoring the gas to get out of the 'safe' zone area. What do they have to worry about?
Even though the smell of the gas was so stifling that they could taste something bitter in their mouths, they soldiered on as a tight group formation out of the safe zone.
Despite the chemical gas blocking their view, the Royal Snake Snipers had already anticipated this and switched their scopes to infrared sensors to continue firing at them. Their shots did manage to push back the heavily magical armour knights, but it was not enough to pierce their defences. Still, it certainly surprised the knights enough to hold their shields up for additional protection.
Because of the little damage done and with only infrared to guide them, the snipers decided to hold their actions back and waited for more vulnerable targets. As a result of their actions, the demons moved even slower and became more cautious about whatever hit them.
Even their legendary status for being the frontline stewards, those Barrett Sniper Rifles was able to put a hole through their armour easily. Thus, this made them even more susceptible to the gas that they had been inhaling. (If those snipers tried harder, they would have succeeded.)
With the exception of the gas attack, the knights managed to send a communication response back, indicating that there was effectively no resistance except for a shady surprise attack.
"It might be an over-exaggeration, but I believe Lord Moloch knew the explosive magic would be useless against us. Maybe that is why they decided to throw some gas to make us warier." The Knight Captain reported back. "We recommend sending overwhelming numbers to search and subdue Lord Moloch."
"I still think we should continue to be careful. The old cow has already surprised us more than once, and I suspect that geezer has more nasty things prepared." Duke Crocell warned, but Earl Furfur ignored Crocell trying to caution them. Instead, he told the mages to continue with the original plan to send the other waves of foot soldiers in.
"Since we have already delayed our attack, we should compensate by sending in an overwhelming number to break that fog and show them the might of King Baal's army." Earl Furfur's order was relayed immediately.
As for the armies that were waiting after the initial alarm to assemble, they thought at first that Lord Moloch was already killed, especially since a yellow flare was shot from the mages and there was no response to continue with the fight for over ten minutes.
But as soon as the mages communication centre shot a green flare up to indicate that the fight was still on, they cheered loudly and demanded their mages to teleport them in immediately.
Yet soon after the communication, the Knight Captain started to cough as more of the yellow gas was shot from the sky. Due to their stout constitution, it did take a longer time for the gas to take effect, but ultimately it did its job. After all, the knights still needed to breathe and with a denser concentration of gas around the area, the knights finally succumbed to its effect.
The Knight Captain then decided to give the command to charge forward so they would leave this area of strange gas. Unfortunately, they did not know that Moloch and the others had already prepared a trap for them when they were dozens of metres out of the safe zone.
An explosive ditch trap deep enough to even prevent Ogres and the like from crawling out.
The first few foot soldiers who managed to run past it did not trigger it. Their weight had been insufficient to activate it. While it was meant to slow down a large group of soldiers, Moloch guessed having a majority of Elite Knights from Duke Vepar in the trap was a good trade off as well.
The explosive ditch activated with the aid of the System after determining the highest number of knights within the 10 metre wide trap before releasing the explosives to cause them to fall within it.
*Ba da Ba da Ba daaaaa booom*
A series of explosives went off consecutively, breaking the unstable ground and revealing the ditch. Some broke their foot from the fall while others injured their shoulders or hands. And because of their heavy armour, they had no way of getting out of it.
Yet, that was not the main concern until a gas shell descended down into the ditch and filled it with even more poisonous substances. Without the chance to even fight a single enemy, the ditch became a mass graveyard for the company of Elite Horned Armoured Knights.