Book 8, Chapter 12

Battle of the White Deer

Despite his trust in Cassius, Duke Turing still felt uneasy about the war that had just commenced. The enormous warriors in Richard’s army left him slightly apprehensive; it was one thing if they were natives of a foreign plane without any special abilities, but then Richard wouldn’t be dumb enough to use them here. Something had to be up. Turing didn’t enjoy the feeling of not knowing what was going to happen, and that feeling was only amplified in Richard’s presence.

There wasn’t much time for thought before the battle began. The frontlines of both sides approached each other rapidly, the archers already shooting storms towards the opponents. Colourful magical lights were flickering in the sky as well. Just as it seemed like both sides were evenly matched, however, loud whistles rang out as hundreds of dull arrows suddenly shot towards Turing’s rune knights. One could almost see the air parting as these enormous arrows zoomed past, a sign of their power.

“NO!” Turing jumped off his horse, Cassius’s eyes going wide as well. These arrows were extremely powerful, equivalent to a full-blown attack from a level 14 archer. This was a huge threat; level 14 was enough to be knighted even in Norland, while those with leadership ability could even become baronets. Turing knew that Richard was recruiting mercenaries, but he couldn’t understand just where so many high-level archers had come from.

*Clang! Plop! Thud!* The barrage of arrows buried themselves into the core of the rune knight formation, and Duke Turing felt like every sound had pierced his own heart. The rune knights were well trained and managed to deflect or dodge a good number, but some unlucky ones were still shot in the vitals or had their rides heavily injured. Turing suddenly realised that he hadn’t spent enough on their equipment; if these soldiers had epic-grade equipment, the number of injuries would be drastically different.

10 rune knights of the Alliance were lost after the first wave of arrows, while almost thirty of them were injured or lost their mounts. This was a full third of the rune knights removed from battle in one blow! The hundreds of arrowbeasts in Richard’s army slowly fell back to recuperate, but they would return to the battlefield in mere minutes.

Floating up above, Richard smirked and issued a dozen orders in an instant. The troops below started shifting around to evade the spear formation in the middle, instead choosing to attack the sides.

As the shadowspears at the front parted ways, they finally revealed the rune knights amidst them.

“How...” “What…” “So many!” Gasps rang out from the nobles of the Sacred Alliance, and Duke Turing finally had to give up on his image. Flying up rapidly, he looked into the distance and froze. As a saint himself, he could quickly estimate the number of rune knights that Richard had.

500! There were 500!

This was a number that only appeared in all-out wars between empires. Duke Turing had never even dreamt that he would see this number in a civil war. Even if all 500 rune knights were grade 1, they still surpassed his remaining force and would leave a number free to annihilate his army while the rest kept his rune knights occupied.

Annihilation! This word flashed through the minds of many nobles, causing them to shiver just like Turing. Even with all the resources one could ever need, rune knights were still very uncommon. That quality of knight and mount, number of runes, weapons, equipment… everything added to the cost of upkeep and acted as a filter.

If the families present all lost their rune knights, there would be no victory even if they captured Richard. There were a total of eleven of them on the battlefield today, but they all had “allies” behind them that were watching like hawks. The enemies weren’t the only ones who would tear them apart.

“Tyrian rune knights, retreat! Now!” an unknown noble shouted amidst the chaos.

With someone having started, the other family heads started shouting as well. Everyone wanted their rune knights out of the battlefield. Already disrupted by the arrowbeasts’ volley, the rune knight formation completely descended into chaos.

“ALL DESERTERS WILL BE EXECUTED IMMEDIATELY!” Turing had to bellow in anger and shock, only then managing to get the rune knight formation to stabilise. However, Richard’s soldiers had already swallowed them like a tidal wave.

In a single clash, ten rune knights collapsed on either side. However, this just bloated Richard’s advantage further and allowed his rune knights to completely surround the opponents and massacre them. The shadowspears went past and rushed at the enemy, showcasing their terrifying disregard for life as they bored through despite great losses.

From a bird’s eye view, the black tide was only stopped after it flooded a hundred metres into the enemy troops. However, the ground quickly started shaking as the winter soldiers who looked like giants moved past the shadowspears to join the frontlines. Each of them was comparable to a basic rune knight, and with their heavy weapons, they could warp and crush normal warriors in a single blow.

Powerful magic exploded on the ground and in the skies, hundreds of people battling each other up above with some screaming and falling ever so often. Tens or even hundreds of warriors died with every explosion, but this number was negligible when compared to the near-300,000 on this field.

Magic couldn’t cause much damage to Richard or his followers, and even many high-level spells sometimes only resulted in a dozen or fewer casualties on his end. This was despite Richard’s mages not even attempting to cast a single defensive spell, going all-out on targeted attacks. Someone eventually realised that the armour of anyone at level 10 or higher was magic-resistant, and the old grand mage could only laugh bitterly as he had to change strategy and have his subordinates focus on defensive spells instead.

Richard was floating in the skies, commanding the entire battlefield while flipping through the Book of Destruction to summon jade shamans and blood inquisitors. His actions seemed normal to anyone else, but to the legendary mage observing him from a hundred metres away, they were anything but.

The white-haired old mage wasn’t particularly tall, his own staff longer than his body, but his richly-decorated cloak was currently active and the symbols flashing on it gave him an aura of majesty. With all of his other enchanted equipment, he looked like a perfect representation of the average legendary mage.

This mage had appeared here to fight Richard, or at least suppress him so he couldn’t do anything on the battlefield. News of the advancement to the legendary realm had already spread throughout Norland, and although runemasters didn’t grow much more powerful when entering the legendary realm, they still ended up stronger than most saints. Richard himself was known for his battle prowess, so defeating him would not be easy.

Baynard was only level 21 himself, but he had been in the realm for a hundred years and accumulated vast amounts of experience in both exploration and battle. He was quite revered in the Sacred Alliance, with even those at higher levels having some modicum of respect for him.

Hundred metres was an optimal distance for a legendary mage, but as Baynard closed the distance Richard completely ignored him and continued summoning and commanding his troops. He even shot out a volley of five fireballs, killing a saint/

“Richard, you’re underestimating me!” Baynard said angrily.

Richard smirked, “I don’t underestimate my enemies, I just kill them. Stand still and don’t move, becoming an enemy isn’t smart.”

Even as he spoke, a small spark lit up on his fingertips and he flicked a lightning bolt towards a flying saint a little ways away. The man screamed and managed to withstand the attack, but the power caused him to lock up for a moment. In that single instant, Waterflower appeared behind him like a ghost and stabbed her sword into his heart. This was an indescribable level of cooperation.

Baynard’s face warped under the humiliation; every saint falling to Richard’s sword, every command issued was a direct insult to his power. On the other hand, even though he only used basic spells, Richard’s attacks were all extremely powerful and swimming with additional effects. He could sense the power of laws within.

A hundred years of experience didn’t count for nothing. Baynard had keen senses and powerful sight that had allowed him to escape from many near-death experiences in the past. Now, his intuition was screaming that this situation was the same.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: WQ

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA