Book 2, Chapter 16

Counterattack

Flowsand suddenly came to a stop after passing a crossroad, flipping through the Book of Time quickly. A stream of divine power rushed forth from the pages, forming a healing spell that landed on Gandor who was about ten metres away. His laughter echoed through the base, even as Menta roared in fury.

Richard looked up, finding Olar on top of a roof at the corner of the street, pointing in a certain direction. He immediately brought Flowsand along, running in that direction. A blood-soaked knight soon appeared at the end of the alley, seeing their backs and laughing sinisterly as he chased after them with large strides.

However, Waterflower silently appeared atop a roof at the end of the alley, jumping down wordlessly behind the knight as if she was a ghost. She moved in short strides, taking fast and nimble steps as she neared him quickly. The Shepherd of Eternal Rest darted across his body, sending his head flying into the sky even as the body continued to forge ahead. By the time it crashed down, not even a shadow of the assassin remained.

Richard seemed like he was dashing around the base aimlessly, but every so often he appeared at critical locations of the battle. Flowsand’s holy spells healed the injured Archerons, restoring them to fighting form. Being connected to Waterflower and the broodmother, Richard could tell their locations clearly, and although it was more vague and limited with the others he could sense the rest of his team through the contracts as well. Thus, though the battle within the base seemed to be beyond chaotic, that was only true for Menta’s troops. Hubert had already died to Flowsand’s Lens of Time, and the rest who were experienced with sieges were left fighting for themselves.

Richard had taken control of the situation, the team of him, Waterflower, and Flowsand lurking all over the battlefield and supporting those who were in crises. They used magic to massacre regular warriors, offering themselves up as bait to lure novice knights into a chase before ambushing them. The battle continued to tip in their favour bit by bit, Menta’s troops being eroded away.

The thing Richard was most worried about was the broodmother; not because it was small and weak, but because of an indescribable feeling he had. He really couldn’t predict this creature’s actions like he could with the rest, only convincing himself that a gift from the Eternal Dragon would not harm its worshippers.

Richard turned to look at the broodmother, and the creature stood quietly by the side of a defeated warrior as it flapped its wings to show that it was well. However, the moment he looked away it buried itself into the prey. Flowsand had come right behind, seeing everything clearly, but chose not to say anything.

Exceedingly horrifying cries resonated from a corner of the base, though they gave way to silence very quickly. Nearly everyone felt a shiver down their spine, leaving even Menta’s knights subconsciously keeping their distance from that area. The broodmother moved out of a small house a few minutes later, making its way for the headless corpse of a knight at the end of the road with all its strength. It used its sharp claws to drag the body into a house by the side.

By the time the creature emerged from the house once more, its body seemed to have doubled in size. The broodmother’s abdomen was so swollen by this point that it was almost a sphere, and no matter how hard it flapped its short wings it only hovered not a metre off the ground.

At that moment, a warrior happened to turn the corner. Seeing a black object floating under his nose, he let out a frightened scream as he hacked at it with his sword. However, the broodmother had already spotted him with its compound eyes, dashing towards him in a flash. Before the warrior could even lift his arms up completely, he was bleeding from his nose and ears, falling without a sound. The broodmother dropped to the ground as well, climbing onto him with some difficulty before it dragged him to another of the houses nearby.

Richard and the broodmother were each aware of the other’s location. Be it intentional or otherwise, every time the broodmother ate it was quite a distance away from him, in some remote area.

Putting yet another warrior down, Richard finally stopped to catch his breath. Even with the doubled support of both his vitality rune and Flowsand’s blessings, he was nearly depleted of both mana and energy. The battle had reached its limits as well— Menta’s howls could no longer be heard in the base, giving way to coarse gasps for breath. Gangdor didn’t have the strength remaining to talk about his axe anymore.

It was time!

Richard sent out orders to two faint points within his consciousness. Although the ogre brothers only sensed indistinct trembles in their own souls, they understood the signal. It was time to launch their attack.

The dozen-odd warriors guarding the priest and the injured outside the base suddenly felt the earth beneath them tremble ever so slightly. The leaves on the trees started to shake, as the earth began to let out an intense rumble. They looked around in fright, suddenly seeing two enormous boulders flying out of the forest!

Piercing winds howled as the boulders smashed down right in the middle of their formation, bouncing a few more times as they smashed an unlucky fellow to pulp and severely injured three others. Everything had happened so abruptly that nobody had a chance to react.

*Whoosh!* A fireball came flying out of the forest, a standard example of its kind. The power, cast time, and mana consumption were all average, but this spell finally proved that Tiramisu was a true mage. The blaze left half the warriors collapsed, even if the young priest was able to escape quickly enough to only be lightly injured.

The tremors in the ground grew even more powerful, as Medium Rare’s huge shadow surged forward. He charged towards the disorderly warriors with unparallelled power, and this time he wasn’t completely naked. The ogre was garbed in thick steel armour, with a helmet like a spiked steel ball on his head with leather-padded steel boots on his feet.

The armour had no enchantments whatsoever, the mere weight and strength of the steel being sufficient to leave his enemies in a state of despair. Hundreds of kilograms weighing one down would leave a human warrior with difficulty moving, but Medium Rare’s movements were barely even affected. The ogre was so strong that he even had a hammer in each of his hands, a single one weighing just as much as the armour itself.

Even on Norland fully grown ogres forced ordinary adventurers to retreat. On a secondary plane like this, they were frightening monsters that only the best of elites even tried to challenge. What, then, if such a monster had weapons and armour?

Medium Rare was almost like a mobile fortress, pouncing onto the remaining survivors ferociously. But perhaps the opposing warriors weren’t already dejected enough— two brilliant rays of mana shone on the ogre’s body, the second immediately turning him ash-brown from head to toe. The severely injured knights had originally armed themselves with shields, ready to resist, but those rays of magic caused them to cry out in despair.

If there was anything that was more frightening than an armoured, weapon-wielding ogre, that was Rare right now. He’d been buffed by Bull’s Strength and Iron Skin. His giant hammer smashed into a heavy shield with a suppressed thud, sending the warrior flying in the air. The man’s body twisted in mid-air, distorting just like his shield had into an unnatural form.

“Leave me two of them!” Tiramisu bellowed through the forest. He dashed, holding a hammer just like Rare’s in hand, but with only leather armour on his body. The mage shared his brother’s love for hammers as an ogre, but being a mage he couldn’t wear suits of metal.

By the time Tiramisu rushed to the battlefield, Rare had already crushed all of the enemies. He’d also lightly tapped the young priest with the hammer in his hand, leaving him with a minor swelling on the back of his head. Attacking so gently with a hundred kilograms in hand was something he was proud of.

“YOU KILLED THEM ALL!” Tiramisu roared in accusation, but Medium Rare was already charging towards the base in big strides. “The battle there hasn’t ended yet, Master is summoning us!”

Tiramisu hurried towards the base as well, but even without any heavy armour on he could not catch up to his brother. The distance between them continued to increase.

“Damn it!” he howled in futility. He began to consider casting a slowing spell on his brother; after all, he was a mage.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: SY

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA