Book 4, Chapter 92B

Ascending The Hill(2)

The broodmother’s wings started moving quickly, sending a powerful gale in Klaus’ way. With no means of retreat, the saint that had just overdrawn on his energy to approach legendary might barely managed to get under her abdomen. ‘This has to be a blind spot!’ he thought, but the carapace suddenly opened up to reveal a tubelike organ that sprayed a huge amount of green liquid onto his body.

Klaus screamed in agony, dissolving like ice under the hot sun. His armour and spear were left behind, both unaffected by the acid spray.

The broodmother moved quickly, snapping at Klaus’ body before swallowing it. Although her head had been destroyed, a new jaw appeared out from within the injury to take its place. A paralysing buzz soon overwhelmed all other noises on the battlefield as she landed right in the middle of the Norlanders.

Countless weapons tried to attack her at once, but it was like they were hitting a mountain. Most just bounced back harmlessly, and even the powerful generals only left some shallow scars.

She suddenly puffed out, causing every powerhouse to retreat instinctively as countless gaps appeared in her carapace to reveal thick, long tubes. Murky green acid shot out of these tubes at the soldiers nearby, accompanied by a thunderous sound. One soldier was even sent flying away by the acid, while the rest barely managed to remain standing.

However, this was only the beginning of their nightmare. Most of the acid that missed turned into an enormous acidic cloud that engulfed the battlefield. Barely anyone could resist its might as it corroded even steel armour, poisoning the flesh that lay underneath. In only a few moments a large hole opened up in the Norlanders’ attack, and the chaos left Raymond unable to command his warriors.

Richard looked far into the distance at a grand mage that was tied down by a hundred winged serpents. These lightning and wind snakes shone with bizarre light as they sent powerful attacks in the mage’s direction, battering down his barrier. Lina and Kaloh were taking care of two more, the red dragon about to finish off his target.

The one beside Raymond was bogged down by defending the Joseph youth, the soul attack from the broodmother leaving him utterly miserable. The broodmother continued to amble over in Raymond’s direction, the enormous acid cloud growing larger the further she moved. Even saints didn’t dare approach this acid.

Richard’s mind finally eased; the magical threats to the broodmother were contained for now. Only if multiple grand mages grouped up to destroy her carapace would she grow weak enough for these opponents to kill. This was why he hadn’t dispatched her right at the beginning of the war; now that all of Raymond’s grand mages were engulfed in battle, she could reap the lives of the rank and file.

The balance had been tipped. The Norlanders were going to fall.

Richard pulled out the tiny dregs of mana he had recuperated since his last shout, amplifying his voice through the battlefield once more, “Raymond, you lunatic! Do you want all of these warriors from Norland to die for your ambition? Don’t forget I still have my 36 rune knights, surrender now!”

Raymond pitifully ducked away from a spurt of acid and fell to the ground, his face covered in blood and grime. The grand mage flew to his side and carried him up, barely avoiding another blast as he shrugged off the effects of a second soul attack. With the broodmother pursuing relentlessly, there was no chance for him to bring the battlefield under his control once more.

His determination did not waver in the face of Richard’s words, he would see this through to the end. However, the sight of his troops left him stumped. The grand mage that had saved him was no longer calm and resolute, his face now laced with fear and apprehension.

The soldiers were no better. There was no surrender in a war against the natives, no invaded plane showed such mercy to the attackers. To the Faelorians, they were hellspawn that had to be burnt at the stake. However, Richard was a Norlander just like them. He was the leader of a powerful family in Faust, and even owned a portal that would let them return.

Everyone knew that Richard lacked powerhouses under his command. Be it a saint or a grand mage, so long as they could prove their loyalty he would gladly take them under his wing. Who wanted to fight to the death if there was hope for survival? This was a war between the Josephs and Archerons, between Richard and Raymond. They were just paid to fight.

A cry of anguish sounded out nearby. The grey-robed old man flew into the sky, blood trailing behind him as he crashed into the ground. There was no respite as the Archeron rune knights converged on him once more, unleashing their ferocious attacks.

In the most perilous of moments, the elderly saint had escaped the attacks of the two dukes to stop the charge of the Archeron rune knights. However, Agamemnon’s rune knight candidates were extremely well trained. Each of these knights were fearless, using Savage Barrrier’s set ability to save themselves when in danger. The saint needed four or five strikes to kill any one of them, but to accomplish that he needed to be willing to take a blow or two himself.

He eventually cried in indignation, crushed by one of the rune knights’ weapons and sent flying away. He could not stand up this time, barely having any strength to protect himself. Panting heavily like a fish that was thrown onto land, he started to bleed out from his injuries.

It was at this moment that a figure appeared beside him and pounced on his body, plunging a dull blade into his heart. The old man groaned and moved his arms for one last strike at the assailant’s waist, but he felt the target to be almost inhuman. A powerful suction force suddenly appeared at his heart, syphoning away all of his life essence. The man barely got out a few incoherent screams before he stopped moving.

This was the same elder that had defeated Zangru Baruch, a man of divine blood who carried three divine artefacts. The number one powerhouse under Raymond’s command had just died without even seeing his killer’s face.

Phaser shuddered as the energy coursed through her blade, a bewildered expression on her face as she looked up and roared into the sky in a mix of pain and pleasure. This also served to bring attention to the grey-robed elder, boosting the Faelorians’ morale and destroying any hope the Norlanders had left.

A golden light flashed before Raymond’s eyes, the ever-familiar glow of a divine spell. The grand mage beside him recognised the source immediately, flashing a bitter smile, “Do you see that, my Lord? The priestess of the Eternal Dragon is casting her spells. Richard has completely rooted himself into Faelor!”

This was the final straw.

Raymond had amassed an extraordinary army, using his talent at strategy and all of his allies’ strength. An enormous sacrifice had been made to send himself and his troops to Faelor, but Richard’s hidden strength far exceeded his imagination. An ambush upon arrival, a deviation from their intended target, hundreds of winged serpents, a powerful heavy cavalry, 36 rune knights, and a nightmarish creature that could not be killed…

Just how many more secrets did he have on this plane? How did a priestess of the Eternal Dragon fight alongside the locals?

The Joseph youth felt himself grow extremely weary, his eyes drooping shut. “We’ve lost. It’s time to end this war. Richard is right, these loyal soldiers cannot shed another drop of blood. I believe he’ll give them a chance to live on. Magister, help me once more.”

The grand mage nodded his head in silence, casting an amplifying spell.

“Brave warriors of Norland, you have already proven your valour. There is no meaning in fighting any longer. This will be my final order: drop your weapons, and surrender to Richard Archeron.”

The command travelled through the entire battlefield, stopping many warriors in their movements. More and more soldiers started to hesitate, but they eventually dropped the weapons.

All of his mana exhausted, the grand mage supported Raymond’s frail body in the centre of the battlefield. Not a single soldier of Norland remained standing nearby, the massive body of the broodmother glaring down from just tens of metres away.

A pile of mud gradually approached the two from below, Phaser getting closer with each passing second. However, the broodmother’s voice suddenly rang in her consciousness, “Master will be displeased if you kill these two.”

The special unit hesitated, but having just tasted the delicious flavour of the saint she was looking forward to another meal. “Extremely displeased,” the broodmother clarified.

A quick exchange ensued between the two before Phaser left silently. Being informed of another target that was escaping, she rushed into the outskirts of the battlefield. This grand mage who had been tied down by the winged serpents carried the Joseph surname and was not prepared to surrender to the Archerons. However, he had only gotten through half of the snakes before running out of mana. His death was guaranteed.

The fight in the skies was coming to a close as well. Kaloh had relied on his sheer resistance to magic to kill his opponent before turning to aid Lina in her fight. This mage had barely been able to suppress Lina’s attack, but with the dragon joining in he didn’t even have the chance to flee. He soon fell from the skies with a cry of anguish, draconic flames still burning his body.

Kaloh raised his head and roared into the sky, but that was quickly followed by a shudder. He felt several menacing gazes focusing on him in an instant, leaving him feeling greatly threatened.

Gangdor, who only had the chance to enter the fray in the tail end of the battle, was considering whether flying in on a dragon would have been more glorious. Tiramisu, who had helmed the stronghold’s defence all this while, was suffering through his newborn second head explaining the importance of dragonslayers. This new head was smaller than his original one, with a single horn and eye.

Waterflower seemed deep in thought. The broodmother seemed deep in thought. Even Richard was deep in thought, finding no happiness in this victory.

Only a thousand Norlanders remained, most of them severely injured. All the powerhouses except the one by Raymond’s side had died as well.

His own losses had exceeded all calculations. Less than 20,000 of his 70,000-strong army remained!

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: OMA

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA