Book 3, Chapter 154

Breaking The Enemy

“Flowsand!” Richard called out after launching the three burst fireballs, and a divine glow immediately fell upon him. He started casting more fireballs, and although they were ordinary ones they streamed out at an unbelievable rate. Seven or eight fireballs shot out in a straight line to cover the hundred metres between him and Jack.

The two other grand mages didn’t have to see the outcome to know that nothing would be left behind. Of course, Richard could tell the same. He turned the moment the eighth fireball left his hands, pointing the next towards one of the two while laughing.

“RICHARD!” a voice howled as it was consumed by the inferno.

A total of eleven fireballs instantly poured down onto this new target. A scream of desperation rang out as a storm of mana instantly put out the blaze, the mage staggering out from the embers before falling to the ground only a few steps away. He was the very definition of haggard; skin burnt while his hair, brows, and beard, were practically all gone. Even a good portion of his robes had been scorched.

The grand mage hadn’t expected Richard to even be able to attack him out of the blue, forget this flood of fireballs that defied everything he knew about magic. Fortunately, his status gave him some support. His robe’s defences had been activated in the nick of time, and a barrier cast from a scroll had borne the brunt of the assault.

Richard felt exhausted by now. Looking at the charred grand mage, he felt a pang of pity; he wanted to end the man’s life with a coup de grace. But then he felt a strong magical disturbance in the middle of the battlefield. A portal appeared mid-air and Jack emerged from within, losing his balance and landing pitifully on the ground.

“A dimension shift! Damn it, he escaped!” Richard couldn’t help but yell. However, Jack fared no better than the grand mage who was nearly cooked alive. His brief shift had allowed him to survive, but the three initial burst fireballs had severely wounded him.

“Guards! Kill Richard!” Jack no longer cared about his decorum and reputation, face contorting as he howled madly. Richard was now a distance away from his own bodyguards, so the allied knights quickly surrounded him.

Richard shook his head, leaping onto the unicorn and helping Flowsand up behind him. Facing the mad charge of the opponents, he laughed and flipped open the Book of Holding.

A bright glow covered the battlefield, and twelve raptors that were each fiercer than a direbear flashed into existence. They entered a proper semicircle formation, barring the path to Richard. Their breaths frightened the alliance’s warhorses as they tore into the enemy ranks with a growl. A single bite and shake from those powerful jaws tore off chunks of flesh from the riders’ legs or their mounts, the heavy armour unable to do a thing.

With the raptors holding off the enemy, Richard immediately retreated to his camp. The unicorn finally showed exactly why it was such a mythical beast, running at full speed even with two riders on its back. It was moving faster than even the best warhorses could at a full gallop.

At this point, the grand mage who had just experienced a brush with death pointed at the Book of Holding in Richard’s hands, his voice trembling, “A divine artefact! That’s a divine artefact!”

A divine artefact! Almost nobody could help turning around for a look, even Jack who was retreating. The fires of desire raged in the grand mage’s eyes, evident for all to see. A divine artefact could spark a war between two nations, regardless of its grade. Jack couldn’t resist such a temptation. Utterly bested in the duel, he found himself a silver lining. Losing to a divine artefact was far better than losing to a level 13 mage.

Faced with the greed of the allied forces, Richard could only sneer. That forced Jack to recognise the severity of the situation: forget seizing the artefact, even survival and escape would be a problem.

The entire perimeter had been blockaded, a crimson knight each leading the five battalions in a charge towards the allied cavalry that was tied down by Richard’s main force. There was no hope of shaking them off.

Tired as he was, retreated to the rear. However, he remained in command of all his troops.

The central formation guarding the three mages fought back at all costs, 500 of the Kingdom’s best knights engaging in a bloody battle against the same number of humanoids. Several hundred other humanoid knights arranged themselves into tight formations, cutting through the royal soldiers with almost no effort.

Richard kept his eye on this battle. Once the last grand mage summoned a meteor to strike down a dozen humanoids, he knew his opportunity had arrived. “IO!” he roared, simultaneously sending an order from his mind.

The battle priest answered the call and emerged from the fray, only to see Gangdor roaring like a beast in the middle of a charge towards the enemy’s core. Five strange knights were arranged in a packed formation behind him, following closely. Six imposing magical mounts shook the earth, leaving a cloud of dust in their wake.

There was a faint glow on the bodies of the five knights, extending from the breastplate to their steeds. The sharp lines of light formed images of light, those who were sharp-eyed able to tell that these images were perfectly identical.

Io was excited at the prospect of such a daring charge, howling at the top of his lungs. An unknown amount of blessings rained down on the strike force in an instant, equalling multiple grade 2 runes at the least.

Seeing the situation deteriorate, the knight leading the central formation roared madly and charged towards Gangdor. The brute laughed loudly, brandishing his axe. He clamped his legs together and his steed leapt into the air, putting the full weight of itself and its master behind the next attack.

The knight captain yelled loudly as he manoeuvered his spear to parry Gangdor’s slash. A powerful bright light burst forth from his body in that instant; this was another powerful saint. However, although he managed to withstand the strike his mount could not. The horse underneath him neighed in pain, collapsing instantly.

The recoil from the blow sent Gangdor’s mount tumbling a few steps backwards, while the brute’s arms grew numb from the impact. He still couldn’t fight a saint head-on.

However, two more knights swiftly streamed in from beside Gangdor, their spears aimed at the enemy. The captain felt an extreme sense of danger and bellowed, trying to parry the oncoming strikes, but the knights let out a war cry that focused a green light on their speartips, coalescing their energies into a blinding flash. The captain felt the power of the attacks double, and could only watch helplessly as his weapon flew out of his hands. The two knights then buried their spears into his ribs, one on each side.

Gangdor quickly followed up, taking off the man’s head with a swing of his axe.

With the saint now dead, nobody could hope to hold off this charge. With Gangdor at the helm, these knights pierced through the alliance lines like a hot knife through butter, coming through on the other side with dozens of bodies in their wake. The enemy troops were left in a pathetic state, unable to offer any serious resistance at all.

Gangdor howled wildly, twirling his axe in the air and shaking off a stream of fresh blood. He turned his mount around, charging into the enemy formation once more. The five knights remained in formation, following him back in.

This time, Gangdor’s axe was aimed at the last healthy grand mage. His target was immediately so terrified that he didn’t even bother to attack, casting a flight spell and taking to the air to flee.

Although this force was small, it was the first use of rune knights in Faelor.

The mage knew flying above a battlefield was an extremely dumb move that would make him a live target for numerous mages and archers. However, he did not care; in the middle of his terror, his only concern was fleeing from this hell.

Busy maintaining the war chant, Olar couldn’t react in time to fire his arrows. However, Richard now had more than a dozen mages in his employ. Several colourful spells immediately streaked across the sky, crashing into the flying grand mage. Slows, numbness, insanity, silence, poison… A myriad of curses rained down on this enemy, with even a few divine spells thrown in. Io had instantly cast three spells to stop the man, while Flowsand had cast two. Richard’s men were all some combination of experienced, cunning, and clever. They knew well how to prevent a target from fleeing.

The grand mage immediately stopped in mid-air, his body thrashing about in the wind as he suffered the numerous spells assaulting him. It was at this point that a ball of grey light flew towards him from Richard’s direction.

This dispel did not differentiate between friend and foe. It cured the mage of most of his ailments, but it also cancelled the flight spell he had cast. The fellow screamed as he plummeted to the ground from thirty metres in the sky. Given the physique of Faelor’s mages, he would likely be severely injured.

The outcome of the battle was set in stone. Seven thousand cavalrymen were surrounded by 16,000 men. The humanoid knights had the advantage in numbers, level, equipment, and tactics, massacring the weak enemy. Gangdor led the rune knights to destroy any pockets of resistance, crushing their formation with overwhelming might. This small force was unstoppable as they swept through the battlefield. 

The lieutenant of the royal family stood motionless in the middle of the battlefield. “It’s over,” Richard said softly as Waterflower pulled the Shepherd of Eternal Rest from his body.

Indeed, it was. The allied forces had been annihilated in the battle at the Sunset Plains, only a few hundred of the 7,000 cavalrymen managing to escape. The alliance had also lost four powerful saints and two grand mages, another taken as a prisoner of war after suffering severe injuries.

This battle spread Richard’s name far and wide.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: JH

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA