Book 3, Chapter 72

Grit And Steel(2)

A dull bang rang out and the two men separated, both in a sorry state. Odom’s warhorse lost strength in its legs, almost crumbling to the ground. With his rune and all the buffing spells, Gangdor was only at a slight disadvantage compared to Odom, able to curb the saint’s attack. This was the key to the battle.

Richard forced himself to calm down once more, sending out command after telepathic command. A fierce whistle rang out in the sky, and a dark cloud swept over the front row barbarians to land in the midst of the charging cavalry. These were the poisonous axes of the throwers, capable of breaking apart armour within thirty metres. Three quick volleys left over half the enemy riders injured.

This was where the army distinguished itself from a group of bandits. Any Red Cossack cavalry would have been ruined by those three volleys, formation broken apart. However, Odom’s cavalry continued to charge despite several new holes opening up in their number, a flood of steel that would engulf everything.

It was at that moment that a dark grey light flashed at the head of their formation, the ten-odd heavy cavalrymen at the front suddenly slowing down. Now that they were finally within Demi’s casting range, her mass slow spell shut down their sharp advance. Dull sounds of collision rang out continuously as the cavalry met Richard’s shield wall; although there were many points where they broke through for a moment, the barbarians still held their ground.

Battle cries rang out as Richard’s warriors pulled out their axes, beginning a desperate fight against the stopped knights. However, they weren’t the ones that struck fear into the hearts of the enemy; that honour belonged to the hundred humanoid drones. Each battle unit was expressionless, heavy-handed, and vicious, eyes glued upon the enemy. They didn’t react to any sort of injury, swinging their axes over and over as if their bodies were made of wood.

No one wanted such an opponent. These drones were not insane; they were just emotionless, unfeeling war machines!

A hundred humanoid warriors met the Golden Eagles, leaving thirty dead on each side in only a few exchanges. The enemy morale had collapsed completely as they fell into the swamp that was Richard’s army, already beginning to show signs of retreat. Three volleys of flying axes, an unbreakable barrier, and these war machines were all intense blows, beating them down again and again until there was nothing left. The humanoids were indifferent to the fall of their comrades, not so much as flinching even when they themselves were injured gravely.

This was the biggest difference between the broodmother’s drones and human warriors. Even if all their comrades fell in the blink of an eye, the battle drones would fight to the end. However, it took an elite army to avoid collapsing with even a quarter of their forces killed.

With the frontlines temporarily stuck in a stalemate, Odom had fallen deep into Richard’s army as he fought alone without thought of death. His three-headed flail flew like the wind, reaping flesh and blood with every strike; his entire body was covered with energy as thick as blood. However, the results were far from what he had imagined. The enemies did not collapse, nor were they defeated. The casualties weren’t even all that high. Gangdor and Tiramisu took on most of the attacks, the others vile wolves that looked for the right opportunities to bite off his flesh.

The two did not know how many times they had withstood the saint’s attacks. The spells and armour could only block half of Odom’s strength at most, the rest of the damage borne by their bodies. However, sacred light constantly healed their wounds at visible speeds; they only had to retreat for a brief moment before they were in front of Odom once more.

It was Odom who felt his body begin to grow heavier. The buffs on his body had been dispelled a long time ago, and the red-haired girl on the other side was sending curse after curse his way. Even though he managed to suppress them with his energy, whatever was left still caused his head to hurt. The power of this young girl’s curses far surpassed those of the so-called great mage he had brought along. If not for that, these curses would not be affecting him.

And the young female cleric next to her… No, that girl’s spells were at the level of a full-fledged priest, but there was still no sign of her running out of mana! Without her endless healing spells, Odom would have defeated Gangdor and Tiramisu long ago. Was the book in her hands a divine weapon? Why were spells being cast every time she flipped a page?

After another swing of his flail pushed Gangdor back, Odom couldn’t stand it anymore and was forced to stop for a breath. The air was filled with the thick smell of blood; in that short pause, he suddenly felt a stinging pain in his lower back! One of Richard’s warriors had an enchanted crossbow in hand. He didn’t want to fight any further after hitting his target, immediately retreating from the battle.

This was the biggest strength of Richard’s tactic. Outside of Gangdor and the ogre, every soldier in this fight was enacting or supporting a sneak attack. Self-preservation was the most important factor; every engagement was touch and go, restricting any attempt to target the spellcasters first.

By this point, Richard had already gotten the humanoid warriors around the enemy flanks. A total of 500 fully-armed warriors easily killed off the light cavalry blocking them, surrounding Odom’s heavy cavalry from behind as they began a massacre.

A sacred light flashed across the sky once more, this time falling on Odom’s knights. The shining Io had already buffed their own troops to the utmost, but just as it seemed like he had nothing left to do he actually started to dispel the spells on the enemy. He seemed so bright at that moment it was like a god had entered the battlefield!

Richard couldn’t help but grow angry once more.

One of Odom’s great mages seemed extremely flustered, failing his spells multiple times. He finally decided on a direction to escape in, preparing an acid fog spell in the hopes of opening a road to survival.

Richard steadied his warhorse, coldly beginning an incantation. He almost never used chanted spells on the battlefield, but this situation was special. A fireball appeared in his left hand that was much larger than normal, a layer of red light flashing across his staff causing it to grow half a fold once more. The spell was enchanted with a two-grade increase in level, enhanced damage, and increased range. This was approaching the limit of most grade 6 spells, not far from a grade 7 Burst Fireball.

The bundle of flames more than half a metre wide whizzed out across a hundred metres, shooting towards the escaping great mage. He let out a strange scream, putting up as many barriers he could in a flash. The many waves of fire forced him off his horse in a sorry state, most of the cavalrymen caught in the explosion dead, but he had preserved his own life.

Richard’s expression grew even darker. It was at that moment that two silhouettes shot out like lightning, heading straight for the great mage. The Shepherd of Eternal Rest and Annihilation penetrated his body at the same time.

One of Duke Grasberg’s subordinates, great mage Senth, had died in battle.

Waterflower and Phaser separated after an exchange of sharp glares, entering the chaotic battlefield. A warzone filled with horses was simply a paradise; there was just far too much room to dodge under the beasts’ bellies.

A cleric was trembling continuously as he waved his sceptre, but he had long since run dry of power. He couldn’t cast a single healing spell, only able to hide behind his paladins. However, the rear was not a safe spot; the enemy could be anywhere.

The cleric suddenly felt a chill in his chest as a blade emerged from his heart. He turned his head with much difficulty, wanting to see his killer, but only managed to turn halfway before he slowly drooped down.

Level 10 cleric Bayenne of the Church of Ceres had died in battle.

On another side of the battlefield, Waterflower was taking small steps towards her target as guard after guard fell at her hand. The target was a middle-aged man with unwavering determination, currently leading ten-odd knights in a bloody battle to firmly block the advance of the humanoid drones. Every swing of his huge sword left a huge wound on the humanoids’ bodies, but even with their chests caved in these battle units still fought to the death.

The knight suddenly sensed a great danger, quickly turning his head. He caught a glimpse of a girl soaring through the air, her body basically parallel with the ground as she flew towards him without a sound. The longsword in her hand was covered in a dense black aura, moving at an incredible speed.

Shock flashed in the middle-aged knight’s eyes, the energy that had started fading away rising once more to meet this extremely dangerous enemy. However, it was too late; the light in his eyes suddenly dimmed as a think line appeared across his throat, fresh blood spraying out the neck!

Waterflower stretched out a hand and pressed gently on the knight’s head, borrowing this strength to soar into the sky. She flipped through the air a few times, quickly making it over ten metres away as she entered the chaotic battle once again. The knight’s head rolled off his body.

Golden Eagle battalion commander Sir Booker, a level 15 swordsman, had died in battle.

When Waterflower and Phaser took out another great mage and priest respectively, wiping out all magic on Odom’s side. This was the cornerstone of victory in a war.

Odom fell down with a loud crash. His flail flew out even in his last moments, crushing two of Richard’s warriors. Almost no blood flowed out on the ground; the incomparably intense battle had run him dry. Even in his last moments, his aura still flared.

Richard dismounted and walked over, stopping by Odom’s body for a few seconds as he stared deeply at this admirable and fearsome enemy. He then returned to the battlefield once more; dozens of enemy soldiers were still ignoring the command to surrender.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Pei

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA