Book 2, Chapter 14

Stalemate

Menta had already switched to a morningstar, laughing sinisterly as the enemies divided their forces. He suddenly charged forward, getting to the bottom of the walls in the blink of an eye and leaping up. He made use of sheer momentum, running up and actually jumping higher than the wall itself. An enraged howl sounded as his weapon smashed down on a footsoldier’s head.

*CLANG!* The heavy shield in the soldier’s hand sunk in, and he took two steps backwards. He was left unable to control his body, falling down from the walls.

Gangdor suddenly came in from the side, his battleaxe slashing at Menta’s calf. The angle of attack was incredibly tricky to deal with, and in mid-air Menta would have trouble dealing with this no matter what. He did his best to twist his body, using his shield to block the attack, but he was pushed away from the wall and lost his balance, landing heavily on the ground. Even with his ability, falling down from such a height with armour on was harsh.

However, the attack had opened up a gap in the invaders’ line of defence. The novice knights made use of this opportunity to charge up the wall, and while two were sent flying back the rest gained a foothold. Veteran troops surged up the wall as well, grabbing onto its edges with but a single leap, flipping over it without trouble.

The two warriors taking the side soon lost position as well, and Hubert rushed up the wall as well. He didn’t pressure them, however, instead jumping off the wall with his troops and charging into the base. There was a far more valuable target within— the mage without any more mana.

The base was about as large as a village with a hundred people. The ten-odd buildings of various sizes seemed to be arranged very messily, and even the roads were curved and twisted with not a single level path. However, the place was large and the terrain not very complicated.

Hubert chose the largest three-storey building, kicking down the door and charging straight in. His luck appeared to be tremendous— the mage was on the first floor! Besides the young mage, there was also a strange but beautiful young woman standing in the hall. She had what seemed like a huge book in her hand, currently flipping a page open.

Hubert brandished his longsword, yelling, “Give up, invader! Follow me to the altar of the God of Valour, and repent for your sins! You might just extend your vile lives!”

However, Hubert saw Richard suddenly stretching his hands out, the soft muttering from before ringing louder. He was stupefied— this was the sound of an incantation!

They’d been prudent, noting down the types and levels of the spells the invader had cast— fireballs and Icicle Storm… These spells made it obvious that he was level 8 or 9; how could he still have the ability to cast?

Hubert’s first thought was that this was a trick, and the enemy was stalling for time to escape. However, the moment Richard’s hand started to emit a chilling wind, he felt his anxious heart fall. He cared no longer about the great merit of catching a live sacrifice, instead waving his sword and swinging it down towards Richard’s head.

Flowsand suddenly spat out a word nobody could understand, and the golden pattern between her brows flashed. Hubert’s figure began to blur and distort.

Lens of Time!

In Hubert’s eyes, everything started moving so fast it was unthinkable. This included Richard, Flowsand, and that white-clothed young girl who’d suddenly appeared above him. That longsword in her hands smelled strongly of death, forcing him to abandon his target and use his sword to block the girl’s own.

The power behind that dim sword wasn’t all that great, to the point that even without a particular gift of strength Hubert felt like it was weak. However, it left a crack on his own weapon’s edge, which meant the difference in quality between the two weapons was vast. The girl’s movements were fast as lightning, and with the attack failed she’d already used the momentum to dart away. She landed in a corner of the room, crouching down like a wolf ready to deal a fatal strike at any moment.

Hubert steeled himself, preparing to fight back, but the girl was so quick that his heart started to thump wildly. That incredible sword, her speed, and the narrow space… He suddenly felt like retreating.

But then he felt a sudden wave of cold, followed by a powerful impact that sent jolts of pain through his body. Numerous icicles pinned his body down, even more flying past him to stop the two soldiers who wanted to charge in and support him. Hubert staggered forward, but in that short moment his entire back and shoulders were instantly covered by a frost that then extended to his chest.

Hubert was utterly appalled. He’d been distracted by the threat of that white-clothed girl, and utterly forgotten about the mage! Alas, there was no point remembering now— Richard’s quick spell had left him with no time to adapt to the situation.

Hubert still felt his rate of gathering energy having slowed considerably. Breaking out of the icy restraints would already be tedious, but the girl in the corner had already pounced towards him with sword in hand!

Hubert did his best to raise his sword to defend himself, but he could only stare helplessly as the opponent’s weapon pierced his chest and abdomen. In that moment, with the added enchantments of sharpness and armour penetration, the Shepherd of Eternal Rest had burrowed through his energy barrier, making a hole through the breastplate to dig deep into Hubert’s abdomen. Its tip had even pierced through, appearing behind his lower back! Lacerations were left all over his body as the girl pulled the blade out, leaving him with a terrifying injury.

Retrieving the sword from his stomach, the barefooted Waterflower retreated quickly. Landing at the corner of the room in a flash. *Thump!* Shards of ice flew everywhere as Hubert finally broke out of his restraints, but his blazing energy could no longer seal the wound. Waterflower’s attack had practically cut through his waist, and he was left unable to stand tall. He collapsed, blood and innards rushing out of his body.

It was then that the golden light around Hubert dissipated, and that he realised it wasn’t them moving fast. He had been slow.

Richard’s Icicle Storm spell finally came to a stop, passing through the door and freezing a novice knight and three soldiers who were desperate to enter in their tracks. Seeing Hubert surrounded and killed by Richard and Waterflower in only a few seconds, the knight was already terrified. He went all out, speeding up his energy as he struggled free of his restraints. He managed to roll out of the path of a fireball heading his way.

Waves of fire swept through everything once more. It wasn’t just the three frozen soldiers at the door— the conflagration swallowed a few of Hubert’s soldiers who’s been rushing over as well. These ordinary warriors could not take on the full impact of the spell, beginning to collapse and roll on the ground as they began to go up in flames. Pitiful howls resounded in the area.

Ahead of the base was complete chaos. The wall had already lost all function, with Gangdor and the footsoldiers having withdrawn to fight within the base. They split into teams and moved from building to building, using their familiarity with the terrain to their advantage.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA