Book 4, Chapter 51A

Child Of The Forest

Demi burned brightly in the midst of battle; her level was certainly on the lower end, but her effect on the battlefield was not. However, that was only to be expected; after all, cursemasters were built for war.

Demi put everything into weakening the enemy, while as her counterpart Olar was focused on strengthening their own army. His warsong inflamed passions, tempo gradually speeding up and pulling the warriors along. The soldiers grew able to draw on strength that they did not know existed.

Mounted on his unicorn, Richard was pacing through the battlefield. He didn’t attack without necessity, focusing his energy on managing his troops. This battlefield was a mess, elven warriors and druids lurking around every tree in ambush. As the combatants started moving around the trees to continue their fights, they often realised they weren’t fighting the same enemy anymore. The situation made it hard to retain control, forcing him to shout out his commands sometimes even to specific soldiers. Most of his men were focused on their individual battles, losing awareness of their surroundings.

Still, he could often turn the tides around with only a command or two in some pockets of the battlefield. Other times, he had to take action personally before the fight was under control. Still, he restricted himself to flame arrows that targeted single opponents, not daring to use anything with an area of effect. Ever since he had awakened his truename, his offensive spells were imbued with abyssal flames that greatly increased their power; even the fireballs which were supposed to be weakened in these surroundings could not be borne by ordinary soldiers. Every fireball would kill many tenacious elves, but his own soldiers would also be sent to the ground. 

“Zendrall, Circle of Death!” Richard’s shout stopped the necromancer who was in the midst of summoning more undead. He made a few gestures and a ripple of dark grey gushed out of his hands, passing silently through the melee. Still under the protection of Soul Guard, Richard’s soldiers only felt a bout of dizziness and disgust. However, the elven warriors nearby started to feel a soul-rending pain. Seven or eight archers fell from their cover in the trees, twitching uncontrollably; numerous weapons impaled them in the blink of an eye.

The biggest success was the fall of an elven druid. Zendrall was thrilled by this windfall, immediately starting a chant for a spirit lance, but Richard just shook his head. A wave of the Twin of Destiny instantly spawned a bolt of lightning that landed on the elf who was in the midst of transforming into a panther, setting him ablaze. The elder ran wildly into the woods as he burnt to his death, a ridiculous squeal ringing throughout the vicinity.

The lightning spell hadn’t been boosted by Sacrifice, but it still contained a blood-red power within that was strong enough to kill the druid. Had Richard waited for Zendrall to finish the lengthy incantation for his spell, the enemy would have escaped.

Having used a single flourish to defeat the opponent, Richard then rushed towards another critical battle. A large branch suddenly swept through the air to try and strike at him, but he jolted the unicorn to avoid the attack before ignoring the treant entirely and looking towards the distant battlefield. Surprise attacks were everywhere in this chaotic fight, and he had no intent to engage with a random enemy.

However, the unicorn had other ideas. It dashed forward to implant its horn into the treant’s trunk, the movement so sudden Richard was almost flung off its back. He instantly grew furious, scolding it sternly and even knocking his staff against its head, but the creature didn’t take it to heart as it instead shook its head violently. It continued to thrash about until it left a deep hole in the treant’s bark before reluctantly pulling its horn out. The gap it left behind emitted a dull radiance, oozing green fluid.

The treant had gone rigid the moment it was stabbed, howling in pain but unable to break free. It could only watch as its trunk was ripped into, barely even shaking its body. Even when these creatures were attacked by the axes and their roots were hacked off, they only exuded a little bit of sap unless their hearts were injured. General wounds shouldn’t even have affected it, but a casual stab from the unicorn into the thickest part of its body still left a wound that was leaking sap. The treant howled a few times, stumbling away before its enormous body fell to the ground.

The spectacle left Richard in shock. He tugged at the unicorn’s mane a few times, saying, “I didn’t know you could fight!”

The unicorn neighed in delight.

This interlude didn’t last long. Richard regained his seriousness, eyes sweeping across the battlefield even as a lethal arrow whizzed past him for the heart of a nearby cleric. Without any time to call for help, he immediately traced its path back to the source. A humanoid knight stuck its halberd into the ground, unsheathing its sword and throwing it in the direction he had marked. The blade sliced through the air, evoking a brood-curdling scream as it disappeared into the trees.

The cleric in question froze in shock, trying to look over his back but unable to see the arrow deeply embedded into him. Two others who were nearby tried to treat him quickly, but their divine spells could do nothing with the arrow pierced through his heart. The man swayed in place for a few moments before crumpling to the ground.

With even the clergy in the back suffering casualties, there was no safe space in this battle. Richard’s soldiers fell one by one at a rate he could not control, leaving him feeling powerless for the first time in forever.

It was then that Nyris flashed before him, swinging his giant axe menacingly as he cut down a severely injured treant in a few swings. The prince then flashed him a winning smile, signalling that everything was under control.

This small action put Richard at ease. He remembered that he had yet to use the Book of Holding, and Nyris, Agamemnon, Waterflower, and Flowsand hadn’t needed to use their ultimate skills. Although his warriors were dying everywhere, the elves were suffering far more casualties. Coincidentally Olar waltzed into range, the powerful treble of the elven warsong lifting Richard’s spirit further.

However, it was also at this moment that a strong feeling of unease stilled his heart. Light spilled out of both of Richard’s eyes as he instantly activated Analytic, barely catching a silhouette flying through the woods at an unbelievable speed. In this silhouette’s hands was an unusual spear that seemed to be made out of some natural branch, both ends inlaid with bone tips. These tips sparkled with a natural radiance not unlike those of the elves’ bone daggers, with no extravagant decorations. However, the moment the weapon came into view Richard felt as though invisible needles were pricking his eyes. It was an inexplicable feeling of danger— this invisible enemy was undoubtedly powerful!

The figure flickered next to Olar, thrusting the spear into the bard’s chest. Olar’s mouth lolled open in shock, the last words of his warsong still reverberating in his throat leaving him unable to even scream.

The spear made it through his chest without any obstructions, the skin and flesh nearby bursting apart as though many explosions were ringing out within. A large hole appeared in the middle of his chest in a split second even as the spear continued to sink deeper in.

A bolt of blood lightning flashed down from the sky, lacerating time and space as it fell upon the attacker. Sparks surrounded the figure in a scant few moments, forcing it to reveal its true form. This elf was young but tall, possessing a rather wild beauty. There were four streaks of dark green adorning his face, only adding to his unforgettable savage aura.

The blood-red lightning arced constantly, tearing a green barrier apart. It took a few seconds, but the spell successfully tore apart his nature defence and drilled into his body, leaving his face crumpling up in pain. However, he screamed once and his aura returned, protecting him from the electric flames.

Three Orleans soldiers wielding greatswords rushed towards the young elf, but he only broke into a confident smile. He calmly shook Olar off his spear, turning to face his new opponents.

The elf’s movements seemed calm and natural, but even a simple turn left behind a momentary afterimage, his actions too fast for the human eyes. The three soldiers continued to charge at him with all they had, but only made it half the distance before all energy left them and they fell to the ground. They never noticed the terrible holes in their chests.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Miko

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA