Tiramisu smiled sheepishly on the battlefield, but nobody thought those two grinning faces were cute or lovely. Just how much power did a hammer need to have to kill a saint in two blows? And this monster was so fast on top of its insane strength; even someone known for his agility had no way to dodge!
Blinding speed with crushing strength. It was a simple combination, but extremely deadly as well. Tiramisu needed no exquisite techniques, no hidden tricks; so long as his attacks hit true, he was invincible.
“Alright, come back,” Richard said from atop the fortress walls. Nobody would dare to fight the ogre anymore, so his purpose had been served. The soldiers didn’t even remember to cheer when Tiramisu walked back in through the city walls; the battle had just been far too shocking.
A small team of sentries rushed out from the other end, carrying the saint’s battered body and sword back into their fortress. Richard noticed their arrival, but he made no commands to stop them. The enemy had died in a proper duel, so he could have his dignity in death.
As Richard walked back to his room and the locals to theirs, the morale of both sides were completely imbalanced. The soldiers in this base were all fired up and murderous, but the enemies were now cowering as they strengthened their defences even further.
Almost all of the army was organised by dusk, with the fortress being guarded by Senma’s most trusted subordinates. Nobody was allowed to enter or leave as Richard’s elites and the other soldiers gathered at a nearby camp. Under the cover of the night, the astral chrysalis slowly stretched and flattened out. Having been enhanced with ten more image diamonds just the day prior, it could now accommodate more than two dozen passengers in this state.
Richard’s party was the first to get on, followed by a dozen or so rune knights. Once they hoisted a reel of thick rope onto the creature’s back, it slowly floated into the air. The mouth that was normally hidden opened up to hundreds of tentacles that grabbed the rune knights’ mounts, and it took off for the other side of the chasm.
The astral chrysalis had no eyes nor ears, and its pitch black skin was hard and smooth. It wasn’t particularly fast, but it was stable and silent. Like a magic ship that could float through the air, it quickly crossed the ten kilometres of distance and dropped off its quarry on the other end of the rift. After regurgitating some supplies, it went off to gather more rune knights and shadowspear knights while those present worked to set up a temporary camp.
By the next dawn, every rune knight and shadowspear knight was across the rift. The hidden camp was in a flurry of silent activity as everyone prepared for Senma’s troops to start marching the next day. A giant scorpion would be mobilised at the stroke of dawn, and the march would start in the afternoon.
The locals had a mysterious way of communicating in their dreams that made it impossible to keep any large-scale movements secret for more than a night. Although they knew about this method, there was no way to actually stop it since it wasn’t strictly magic. It wasn’t an option to just use Norland soldiers either; with transmission costs being so high, there was no way to run an army sourced entirely from the outside.
However, with Richard’s soldiers blocking anyone from looking outside the fortress, his elite unit could move through undetected. By the time the war began, it would be too late. In fact, Senma’s mobilisation would be caught much earlier, which would pull even more soldiers to the frontlines to expose their rear.
Richard opened his eyes from meditation at the stroke of midnight, as though a precise magic clock had been installed in his mind. He walked out of his tent and awakened his followers and knights who were still resting, having the group set off through the snowy darkness.
The night was almost pitch black and the snow extremely thick, forming traps that could kill any mortal with ease. However, the weakest soldier in Richard’s army was level 14; even if someone fell, they could survive until their comrades picked them up.
The unicorn demonstrated its prowess once more. It raced across the snow as if it was no different from grass, and the path it took immediately turned into hard ice. This gave the following soldiers a steady path to walk on that was mostly safe. Elite snow owls were scouting ahead, creatures from the barbarian plains that the broodmother had used to replace the weaker bats.
The army quietly wrapped around the rear of the enemy fortress, approaching a luxurious palace about a dozen kilometres behind the bridge. The palace was surrounded by mountains with streams running down them, and even in the winter snow one could see the beauty of the land.
This palace that held barely any defences or guards was Richard’s goal, because in it lived the plane’s last healthy legend. Ten kilometres away, Richard ordered all his knights to fan out in assault formation as he sent the two snow owls forward to scout.
As the two owls slowly made their way forward in the night sky, the master bedroom of the palace suddenly lit up as the door to the balcony was suddenly slammed open. A muscular man who was more than three metres tall walked out, his bald head filled with mysterious purple patterns that softly glowed in the night. His beard was split into dozens of tiny braids, each held together by azure beads that clanked together as he moved.
The man’s deep purple irises were in the strange shape of a cross, glinting as they locked onto the two snow owls hovering in the sky. A sneer appeared on the corners of his mouth.
A few kilometres away, Richard immediately ordered the two snow owls to fly upwards. However, the middle-aged man was far too quick; he quickly reached out and picked two stones up from the railing, wrapping them in purple flames before launching them forward. The small stones were like meteors as they pierced through the owls, forming a bright purple explosion in the sky. His gaze immediately locked in Richard’s direction, a malicious smile forming on his face as he muttered to himself, “A group of mice… Let’s go play with them.”
The middle-aged man’s body was covered in purple flames as he jumped off the balcony, flying in Richard’s direction like a dragon hunting its prey. The whistle of the explosion rang for dozens of kilometres in each direction, causing a nearby camp to grow lively as a hundred elite soldiers rushed out of the barracks and followed the purple trajectory in the air.
Not long later, the fortress in the distance rang its own alarm and soldiers started to fly around there as well. There were a number of saints in this fort, but with the looming threat of Senma only a scant few flew to join the impending battle in the back.
Richard immediately sent out a mental order for his soldiers to stop, having them separate into a number of small teams in a scattered formation. The purple dragon was flying in quickly, but none of his men made a move to take to the skies. They just stared at the majestic middle-aged man as he approached, taking in the sight of the pillar of the north and of the entire Resting Orchid Plane.
Seeing the group of knights behind Richard, the man’s eyes narrowed, “Ooh, so many soldiers. Tell me, how did you get them all across? I might just consider sparing your lives.”
Richard mentally gave an order, and an elite shadowspear knight a few dozen metres away shouted loudly, “Sparing our lives? Stardragon, why aren’t you running yet?”
Stardragon’s face immediately warped with rage, killing intent overflowing from his body. He was the absolute ruler of the Resting Orchid Plane, who would dare speak to him like this? He didn’t so much as say a word, waving his hand to form a purple mass of energy that streaked towards the one who had spoken. This orb was only the size of a fist, but it was terrifyingly condensed and surprisingly fast. Before one could even blink, it landed right on the drone’s body.
Waves of purple flame spread silently across the ground for ten metres before starting to dissipate, first turning red before fading away into black smoke.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: OMA
Edited By: Theo