Book 2, Chapter 17

A Brave Warrior

Once the two powerful ogres joined in, the barely sustained stalemate was finally broken. The fatigued soldiers and knights were unable to withstand their magic-enhanced blows.

One knight collided head-on with Medium Rare, staggering backwards with a loud crash. His left arm was deformed by the impact, dangling from the side of his body with his dented shield.

Medium Rare exploded into a violent rage. He’d hammered with all his might, but he hadn’t been able to knock this feeble enemy aside. He roared wildly, whirling his heavy hammers again to send the knight flying into the distance like a puppet with its strings cut. He then straightened himself, thumping his own chest as he roared thunderously, “Damned pieces of steak, who still wants to fight?!”

Nobody responded to the ogre’s warcry. He hadn’t had a language proficiency spell cast on himself, so to them his roars were meaningless voices. Of course, the same could be said the other way.

As Rare roared to his heart’s content, Tiramisu rapidly overtook him. He brandished his own hammer, ruthlessly smashing a warrior into the ground. His brother roared in rage, chasing after him at once.

A moment later, Menta and his surviving soldiers were surrounded at an open space at the corner of the base. Menta’s helmet was nowhere to be seen, sweaty hair sticking to his forehead.

The morningstar seemed to grow heavier by the minute, so much so that it had grown difficult to hold it up. Every single muscle of Menta’s body was aching. A crack had formed on the shield in his left hand, with its edged being a little deformed.

Menta looked behind himself. There were only two knights left, soaked in blood all over, as well as ten or so warriors who were all injured as well. On the opposing side was Gangdor and seven Archeron soldiers, as well as the two formidable ogres. The elven bard was crouched atop a roof, his hands trembling with fatigue as he held onto his bow and arrow. However, even then that damned warsong didn’t stop coming from his lips.

His gaze finally fell on Richard, Waterflower, and Flowsand. The cleric seemed not to notice his animalistic gaze, instead flipping through the Book of Time as she cast one spell after another on their own front lines, including Gangdor and the knights. Although these were only minor spells this time, they provoked Menta so much he almost went insane.

It was this woman! Her divine power seemed endless, rescuing his enemies one after the other from the brink of death and bringing them back into the battlefield. When the battle first unfolded, the original two knights who hadn’t yet recovered from their serious injuries had only been capable of self-defence. However, with how weary and injured his army was, even they had become a force to be reckoned with.

Richard stuck the nameless sword Gaton had given him into the ground, taking a step forward as he spoke to Menta, “Surrender, Sir Menta. There is no need for more futile sacrifices.”

Menta laughed out loud, before retorting menacingly, “Surrender? What can you even offer me?”

“Vowing loyalty to me would certainly be the best choice, but if not you will become a prisoner of war. I will have Baron Forza pay a ransom for you, giving me a piece of your land.”

“In your dreams!” Menta snarled, tightening his grip on his weapon, “Those who worship the God of Valour never cave in to intruders! You will pillage, slaughter and destroy! No one will cooperate with you!”

Richard smiled, “As far as I know, the God of Valour is not the only deity here. There a lot of others, some of whom are his enemies. Besides, not everyone here is religious. I can always find someone who’s willing to work for me. You aren’t as valuable as you think you are.”

Menta spat harshly on the ground, sneering, “My value lies in dignity and conviction. You son of a bitch, do you dare duel me? Even without any energy I can beat your ass to the ground!”

The corner of Richard’s eye twitched violently the moment he heard the expletive thrown at him. He took two steps back calmly, holding the sword buried into the ground in a backhand grip.

Menta squinted his eyes, subconsciously cowering a little as if he’d seen a dangerous beast. Although he was baffled by the mage holding an outrageously long and slender sword, deep down he was pleasantly surprised. This young mage was clearly the chief of the intruders. If he could capture him, it was likely that he would be able to get his men out of this predicament.

Flowsand and Waterflower huddled towards Richard, while Gangdor turned around and held his axe at the ready so he could intercept Menta instantly. The battlefield suddenly fell silent, with the exception of some rustling from a corner.

Richard extended his hand towards Gangdor, “Gangdor, wine!”

Gangdor was stumped for a moment, but he only mumbled a bit before retrieving the small silver flask attached to his waist. He twisted the lid off, handing the flask over to Richard. Richard didn’t take a second look, raising his head and gulping all the hard liquor down in a few mouthfuls.

“Master, poison!” Waterflower reminded stiffly.

“Waterflower! You…” Gangdor turned to glare at Waterflower, but the girl didn’t relent as she glared back in turn. She intentionally raised her sword a little higher, weakening the brute’s ire significantly in an instant.

Richard’s face quickly reddened with the alcohol entering his system, his eyes brightening like the dark sky at night. He returned the empty wine jug to Gangdor, while his grip on the sword gradually loosened finger by finger.

Richard looked up at the sky, letting out a breath that reeked of alcohol before turning to Menta once more, “This is a planar war, not a living room of a noble. You don’t get to ask for a duel. Charge, all of you! Finish him!”

Menta roared, beginning to charge in his own attack, but he immediately met a firm line of defence. Gangdor and the ogres intercepted him successfully, moving with an agility not matching their enormous frames.

In extreme despair, the knight burst forth with astonishing strength. The morningstar’s force grew earth-shattering, forcing Gangdor and the ogres to retreat continuously. However, a dull yellow light shone on Menta and instantly slowed him down for more than a second. The ogre mage quickly raised his hammer, dealing the knight a heavy blow on the back. Two relatively unscathed Archeron knights took up two more positions, the five encircling and trapping their target.

“Those who do not wish to die, drop your weapons. Face the wall, and stand still.” Richard said coldly, pointing the surviving soldiers to a corner of the wall.

One novice knight stared blankly at Sir Menta’s direction, barely able to see his figure behind the veil of dust. He hesitated for a moment, before dropping his weapons and slowly turning to stand facing the wall. At the same time, he raised his hands up high. With a precedent, the other soldiers did not hesitate any longer as well. They dropped their weapons one by one, and gave up resisting.

Menta’s roars grew softer and softer. By the time his tall, sturdy figure finally collapsed, he had innumerable injuries all over his body. Everyone fighting him, be it Gangdor, the ogres, or the knights, had sustained great injuries as well. This was a warrior who fought like a lion, never giving up no matter how desperate it was.

Richard walked over to the side of Menta’s dead body and squatted down, extending his hand to touch the blood flowing out of the knight. It was still boiling hot.

He sighed, standing up before saying, “This was a respectable enemy, bury him well. Have his equipment accompany him in his eternal rest.”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Hestia

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA