Book 3, Chapter 153

Showdown(2)

The Sequoia Kingdom’s warhorses were fitted with special helmets meant to dampen the sound of nearby explosions or any magic. These beasts were also trained to overcome their natural fear of fire. However, the thundering sound and thick smoke from hundreds of muskets going off at once far surpassed any ordinary spell. Many of the horses reared up and threw off their riders, while even more slowed down and started turning in place.

The hundreds who fell were fated to be crippled, if not killed in the midst of the stampede. However, that wasn’t even the worst part: the effect of the casualties was dwarfed by the loss of speed. With less than a hundred metres left, these heavy cavalrymen wouldn’t be able to regain the momentum for an effective charge.

Several hundred axes flew out from behind Richard’s infantry, finding their marks on the heads of those knights who were too occupied with calming their steeds. Another few hundred fell, and the gunmen took the time to discard the used muskets and fire another volley from the guns on their backs.

Another thunderous boom rang out as a few dozen knights flew off their mounts. More importantly, the horses that had been calmed down were frightened once more. Even the second wave charging in from behind was obstructed.

The first attack of the alliance, its most formidable, was almost completely nullified. While a few exceptional riders managed to avoid their fallen comrades and reach Richard’s front line, the charge didn’t manage anything at all. At the front of the army were barbarians with heavy shields. These herculean men might not be able to stop a full charge, but this disorganised attack was stopped and the knights bogged down in a melee.

The situation instantly devolved into chaos.

Jack’s face turned a ghastly pale, the same as the lieutenant’s. He had never imagined that former slaves could be so ferocious, and finally realised Richard’s army wasn’t as weak as it appeared. The glow of magic and divine spells on the warriors was enough indication of the sheer power of Richard’s clergy and mage corps; their strength was far beyond what the information sheet made it seem. With so many clerics and mages, even a slave could become a war machine!

In addition, the constant chant of Richard’s bard assaulted the alliance’s morale. Olar could now support all the soldiers within fifty metres of him, far exceeding others of his level. His own contribution to the army’s strength was catching up to Io’s.

The lieutenant could only grumble to himself about Jack’s stupidity. How could the fool assume Neian’s clergy could compare in any way to this force of mages and clerics? Even an idiot would know that number wasn’t everything. The divine glow of the opposing priests and clerics made it clear that the Church of Valour would be soundly crushed.

With his keen senses, Jack could feel something was amiss. However, he couldn’t tell exactly what it was. Consequences be damned, he bypassed the lieutenant’s command and ordered everyone outside of the 500 guards to engage the enemy. A bloodbath ensued on the open plains.

The lieutenant stared intently at the thousands of unmoving humanoid knights behind Richard’s lines, his eyes twitching constantly.

That was when the nightmare began. The ground suddenly quaked, a cloud of dust appearing in the distance. Five full battalions of cavalrymen appeared at the edges of the battlefield, closing in quickly.

The lieutenant didn’t need to check that they were Richard’s troops. Still, they were only ten minutes into the battle! The only way for this to happen was if these forces were ready an hour ago, but how was that even possible? Wouldn’t it make Richard an all-seeing god?

Even the gods couldn’t possibly be omnipotent. While the lieutenant was still wondering how to act, Richard’s army suddenly switched to the offensive. Thousands of cavalrymen formed a deluge of steel that surged straight towards the core of Jack’s army.

The knights and cavalrymen of the alliance attempted to stop them in their path, but just the first clash killed off a good portion of the defenders. Even the royal knights could not compare to Richard’s humanoids, a level difference only supplemented by the gap in equipment. Most of the alliance weapons were cut apart by the knights’ halberds in the initial clash, leading to a gory death!

The defensive line of 500 knights was cut through like a roll of cheese. Gangdor and Tiramisu became the spearhead of the charge, not even bothering to fight their enemies ‘properly’; simple swings of their weapons sent their targets flying away, mounts included.

The momentum of thousands of humanoid knights charging in unison was unstoppable, to the point that even the lieutenant who regularly saw the Kingdom’s war games found it breathtaking. Richard seemed to remain fully alert in the midst of all these knights, as though he was the sole focus of this battle. This was the air of a true superior.

Jack saw the enemy mage point at him from several hundred metres away, turning his thumb downwards and moving it across his throat. He immediately grew furious, jumping off his horse with staff in hand as he prepared to teach Richard a lesson. The overconfident kid was only level 13; he wouldn’t be able to change his fate in the face of a powerful grade 8 spell.

However, the lieutenant would allow no such thing. If Richard’s wave of knights wasn’t stopped, they would completely smash through the weak core of the army. It would be a complete disaster.

The man let out a mighty roar, his entire body glowing as his muscles swelled up to twice their prior size. He led several dozen men in a desperate charge towards Richard’s assault.

“A saint? Interesting!” Richard seemed to relish the moment, “ROLF! He’s all yours!”

“Worry not!” the saint swordsman would once have fled at the sight of this lieutenant, but with a War Construct scroll and his new rune he wasn’t a coward anymore.

“There are two more saints. Tammy, take care of one!” Tammy roared violently, his aggression evident for all to see as he charged straight towards the enemy.

“Boss, there’s one more!” Gangdor was itching to fight.

However, Richard would not grant him the chance, “Bury him with knights!”

Gangdor felt somewhat disappointed, but that was nothing in comparison to the distress felt by the saint Richard had designated. That man saw hundreds of knights in spear formation barrelling towards him, his mouth starting to twitch as he nearly fled the battlefield. With his wealth of experience, he naturally knew that his individual strength wouldn’t mean anything if he were to be surrounded. Their overpowering strength and coordination would leave the chances of survival unusually slim.

“RICHARD!” an unusual roar rose above the battlefield, the volume enhanced so greatly due to magic. Every pair of eyes immediately landed on the source of the voice, only to see Jack with his staff raised and levitating in mid-air, “I am here, come and fight me!”

The grand mage signalled for all of his bodyguards and the two other grand mages to distance themselves, hovering alone in mid-air and gazing down upon the battlefield. The message was evident: this would be a duel between mages with no interference from their subordinates.

“You’re a grand mage!” Richard replied in his own augmented voice, “Can I bring another to fight alongside me?”

The corners of Jack’s mouth curled downwards, nearly forming a right angle with his chin. He called out in a clearly ancient voice, “Of course! I am a red-robed elder of the Mage Association. You can choose any second you want, even Rolf!”

Richard laughed, “Flowsand, let’s go!”

The grand mage grew furious at the sight of Flowsand. “You call upon a girl to fight me, a mere level 12 child? How dare you!”

Richard had already begun manoeuvering his unicorn, its horn pointed straight at the grand mage. “Let’s see if you can survive this first, you old fool!” he said with a laugh.

Jack didn’t continue to waste his breath. He began a chant the moment Richard was in range, words rapid but clear. A grade 8 spell would be unleashed in less than three seconds, something that left even his two fellow elders surprised and envious. They had known he was formidable, but not to such a degree.

But then, Richard stunned everyone present. He took out a tome with a copper cover and flipped it open, sending a burst fireball flying forth with a wave of his hand.

An instant cast of a grade 7 spell? Wouldn’t that mean Richard could cast grade 9 spells? Jack’s eyes bulged, but he didn’t have the time to be furious about the lacking intelligence. He immediately interrupted his chant and began weaving barriers without end. His prior defences could only withstand grade 6 spells or below, just enough to face off against a normal level 13 mage, Who could have expected Richard to send forth a burst fireball with just a wave?

The flames of a burst fireball differed from those of normal ones, burning bright yellow and surpassing the normal ones in temperature and explosive might. Before the blaze of the first explosion even faded away, Richard continued to flip through the Book of Holding and sent two more hurtling in his opponent’s direction. There was almost no gap between them!

Jack screamed in shock and rage. He would never have expected Richard to be able to instantly cast grade 7 spells. He himself couldn’t insta-cast a single one, forget three in rapid succession.

These three fireballs would blow away all of his defences. They were not enough to kill him, but they would leave him with severe injuries.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: JH

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA