Book 7, Chapter 170

Final Battle

One of the paladins suddenly pulled out a dagger, thrusting it into the back of the cardinal who was in the middle of a big fuss. The man’s cries were immediately stopped as he slowly turned around, staring at his killer with shock on his face.

Most churches in Faelor, Runai’s included, made it clear that a cardinal had status similar to a demigod. Attacking a cardinal in any circumstances would violate the dignity of the gods themselves. However, a mere paladin who had been escorting him to the frontlines had suddenly stabbed him! This man wasn’t even a battle priest!

The cardinal suddenly came to a realisation, turning towards the gate tower to meet the pope’s gaze. The old man’s expression was frosted over, making the source of this order clear.

How dare he? Sentencing a cardinal to death was in direct defiance of the divine canon! Before the dying man could voice his rage, the pope turned back to the army and proclaimed in a cold voice, “Today is a battle for life or death! May you all bring glory to our Lady, and fight for her to the end! Anyone who flees shall be considered a heretic!”

Divine force had carried the pope’s voice into the ears of every single warrior. As the army trembled with fear, the pope then pointed at the cardinal, “Behead him!

Another knight pulled out his sword, and after a flash of light the cardinal’s crowned head soared into the sky. Even in mid-air, his face didn’t relax from the shock.

Beheading was the heaviest punishment in Faelor, any sinner who was decapitated never allowed to attain eternal life in their deity’s divine kingdom. No cardinal of the Church of Time had been beheaded in all of its existence.

The pope looked back at the rest of the cardinals who were now pale, “May the glory of Runai live on forever! But if that glory must fade, it shall only happen over my dead body! ARMOUR!”

All of the soldiers heard this statement as well, some having the perception to see several paladins covering the pope in half-plate. Escorted by ten of his most powerful guards, the pope then walked down the tower and towards the front of the army.

The soldiers went silent for a moment, but the entire field quickly burst into deafening cheers.

The pope moved as fast as a warhorse, but it would still be some time until he reached the front of the army. Gangdor lifted his enormous axe and roared, “This is our chance, Boss! Let’s destroy them before the coot arrives!”

Richard waved the brute back, “No need, give him some time to arrange his troops.”

“But don’t we have an advantage now?”

“Heh. Yes, we do. But I also need to shut some people up.”

“Who?” Gangdor couldn’t understand what was happening at all.

Richard pointed to the sky, “Those brats up there, of course!”

“Oh, okay! We’ll let the old man waste some time then, it’ll be more thrilling later!”

The pope soon arrived at the middle of the battle formation, only stopping before the paladins on the front lines. He gently lifted off the ground, facing Richard from a distance as his entire body glowed with divine radiance.

“Richard! Why do you invade our Lady’s cathedral? The pantheon shall crush you for your blasphemy!”

While the man remained loud, Richard had no interest in bickering with him. Raising his right hand, he drew two circles in the air before pointing forwards. The entire army started moving forward until it was charging, heading straight for the heart of the opposing force that was more than ten times its size.

Gangdor lifted his axe and followed the current of steel as well, leaving 200 knights to guard the mages and priests while everyone else advanced. His mount quickly sped up and overtook the rest of the knights, winter soldiers, and shadowspears, bringing him to the head of the troops just as they reached the pinnacle of their charge. Howling loudly, he threw himself into Runai’s army and sent a dozen heavy infantry flying out.

At this point, the brute had also grown quite familiar with mounted combat; his steed constantly slammed down with force to destabilise any nearby soldiers, while he made use of the shockwave to reach out and cut those who managed to stay on their feet. This cleared up a huge gap at the head of Runai’s army.

Following right behind Gangdor was the classical spear formation of the shadowspear knights, thrusting deep into the opponents like a sharp dagger. These drones didn’t even care about self-defence, focused purely on killing the enemies before them. There were only a hundred of them in the first charge, but by the time the last one died Gangdor’s gap had been turned into a wedge that broke enemy ranks completely.

The second wave of shadowspears rushed in to follow the first, the new drill at a small angle to the original one. The huge winter soldiers rushed in right behind, their heavy steps causing the earth to shake as their weapons that weighed over a hundred kilograms smashed enemy knights into pulp. They were spaced twenty feet apart from each other, ensuring that they optimised their attack range into a giant net that allowed no escape as they cut a bloody path through the battlefield.

Because of their strength and visibility, the winter soldiers attracted almost all of the ranged attacks. However, their heavy armour was designed specifically to deflect arrows, with even armour-piercing crossbow bolts barely making a dent. Even the strongest javelins only made it halfway through, but they seemed to be unaffected as they continued to advance steadily.

The winter soldiers attacked in waves, speeding up while the shadowspears and the other knights of the Dukedom were elsewhere and slowing down for the cavalry charge. This cooperation gave them time to ready themselves for extended combat, keeping them from suffering unnecessary damage and also giving the Dukedom’s knights time to recover their strength between charges. These elite drones were like sawteeth on the end of a blade, greatly increasing its power.

Floating behind the troops, Richard overlooked the entire battlefield. It was an arrogant move that had attracted hundreds of arrows and dozens of javelins, but none of those attacks had pierced his endless barrier. Starlight was spilling out around him as he replenished most of the mana he was losing; he could soak up all of the attacks for an entire hour if need be. The enemy archers would be exhausted long before then.

From high up in the sky, his army was like a sharp blade with a buzzing edge, harvesting lives almost effortlessly. Nearly every one of the knights was playing their part, with only the humans needing breaks every now and then so they could keep up with the rhythm.

At this point, Richard’s blessing of wisdom had advanced to the point where he could effortlessly command a thousand nodes in battle. His army didn’t even have 400, leaving him with a lot of mental capacity to command his other troops.

As the situation on the frontlines stabilised, more than a dozen flying chrysalides suddenly appeared on the other side of the Divine Fort. Each one carried twenty humanoid knights, flying towards the city at full speed. This force of nearly 300 was a decisive force; with the city’s main forces now caught up in battle in the northwest, they would have free reign to destroy the interior.

When the defenders noticed these chrysalides, there was a moment of confusion before they blew their bugle horns in alarm. The cardinals who were watching the battle from the northwest gates suddenly looked east in shock; how was there another front? The land all around them was open with no path, and none of them had sensed the mana fluctuations of a portal’s opening.

The flying chrysalides quickly crossed the city walls, heading straight towards the cathedral and swooping down to drop off the humanoid knights all around. High in the sky, two cloned brains constantly transmitted Richard’s orders to control this dispatchment.

These humanoid knights didn’t have any mounts, instead moving about on foot armed with swords and four javelins each. They quickly assembled together into groups of thirty, charging the entrances of the cathedrals.

The group of priests and clerics that had been left behind to protect the cathedral charged out, almost no paladins amongst their ranks. Even as they activated their barriers, the humanoids threw out their first wave of javelins.

A middle-aged battle priestess amongst one of the groups of clerics stepped forward, a gloomy expression on her face as she stretched out both hands. An ocean of energy suddenly surged forward, stopping the javelins headed towards her group in mid-air.

The moment he saw this scene, Richard smiled; Runai had finally appeared!

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Choco

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA