Book 5, Chapter 61

Capturing The City

For the soldiers in this stronghold, surrender was not an option. Losing here would mean the loss of the entire plane, a cost they could not afford to pay. Even if Stardragon had been defeated, many were willing to believe that their advantage in numbers would definitely work in their favour. Surely, tens of thousands of men could defend against the attack of a few hundred. A loud bang sounded from the city walls as a ballista was aimed towards Richard and fired. The bolt that sparkled with magic was the locals’ reply.

However, Tiramisu just swung his hammer and knocked the bolt away. Richard just shook his head in place; the defences at this end were definitely lacking. There were only two ballistae here, and neither one was particularly powerful either; even mundane ballistae in Norland would launch their bolts much faster. That being said, he understood their plight; constructing and maintaining ballistae cost exorbitant sums of money, and with the fertile south blocked off many of the locals were finding it difficult to even eat.

“Alright then,” Richard pointed forward, “Attack.”

The first wave of attacks came from thirty rune knights. They approached within a hundred metres of the rear gate, starting to glow brightly with their runes and other buffs as they withdrew their javelins and hurled them straight at the wall. The javelins drew a splendid arc through the air, quickly covering the distance and ramming into the stone.

The enemy soldiers felt like they had seen Death itself, eyes going wide and mouths agape even as the rest of their bodies completely froze in place. Few could even move a muscle, the rest so paralysed by fear that they just watched as the spears impacted the wall.

*BOOM!* Stones broke apart everywhere, destroying the battlements and setting the wooden parts of the structure aflame. The furthest rocks even fell onto nearby buildings and crushed them, while the rest fell down on the soldiers waiting behind. Those who could jumped high into the sky to avoid the debris, completely helpless in the face of such a powerful attack.

Richard drew Carnage and pointed its blade forward, signalling the charge. Before the smoke from the explosion even dissipated, shadowspear knights were rushing through the rubble to tear through the chaos below. Several even dismounted and rushed up the surviving parts of the wall, clearing out the enemies that had escaped. In the meanwhile, the rune knights charged through the gate in formation to assault the barracks behind.

Richard followed on one of the flanks. He seemed to be extremely relaxed in his motions, almost walking, but he still managed to keep pace with the mounted charge. He seemed like nothing compared to the armoured knights who were glowing from head to toe, but he was the most powerful fighter on this battlefield. Kaloh had already run out of energy, and Lina was busy restoring her mana with her gaze subconsciously fixated on him.

An unsuspecting local soldier charged over to what he thought was an unarmoured infantryman. This warrior was overflowing with killing intent, and was clearly the kind who liked to finish off the weaker opponents first. Richard barely even slowed down, seemingly unaware of the threat until they were an arm’s width apart. The man smiled at the sure kill, but just as he started to laugh his expression froze. The attack never went through; while Richard continued to move forward, a small slit opened up on his breastplate and started leaking blood.

Before the first one could even fall down, another younger soldier rushed forward in ambush. This one was screaming as he brandished his sword wildly, obviously frightened for his life, and before his blade could even move past his torso his movements halted completely. He slumped to the ground, blood pouring out of his throat.

Richard’s followers had subconsciously moved closer to him just in case something happened, Waterflower especially tagging right behind. He was their leader, core, and spiritual support; while they didn’t think he would be killed on this battlefield, they didn’t want even the slightest of harm to come to him. Although they knew he had been in a battlefield of despair for an entire year, they still thought of him as someone who hadn’t yet broken through to the level of a grand mage.

However, as he continued to press forward with the rune knights and protect their flank, the followers’ eyes widened as Carnage continued to slash out at every enemy he came across. Almost a dozen soldiers had now fallen under his blade, but not one had needed a second attack. The dagger was blurring even to their eyes as he slashed out, the thrusts and slashes simple yet incredibly efficient. On top of that, he wasted almost no energy while moving; his body only tensed the moment before attack.

This was true massacre, where every movement was designed to harvest lives. There was no hesitation nor compromise, no delay on the edge of life and death. The followers felt a chill creeping up their spines and into the back of their heads as they understood just how formidable he had become. However, another question started burning in their minds: why was he only a great mage still?

Richard wasn’t even completely focused on his personal battles, instead monitoring the overall situation through his snow owls and constantly sending commands to the shadowspear knights and his followers. Even subconsciously he could identify hundreds of weak points on every soldier that charged at him, so that didn’t pose any threat at all. Did they not realise that shouting didn’t grow one’s strength? No Daxdian had ever been scared away by a scream. Facing such weaklings, just his instincts alone guaranteed a kill with every strike.

Now that the rune knights were drilling through the locals like they were soft cheese, Richard was vigilant of the true powerhouses showing themselves. The rune knights were making far too much progress, and the saints wouldn’t be able to hide away much longer. Just as he’d expected, a saint rushed out of the keep and charged along the outer walls of the fortress. She didn’t head directly at the vanguard of rune knights, instead heading to the back to target the shadowspears first. Richard didn’t know whether her idea was to cut off the backlines or she just didn’t dare to rush into the glowing mass of a hundred rune knights single-handedly, but he laughed nevertheless. She had chosen the wrong opponents.

The burly yet pretty woman rushed down the rear walls at a breakneck pace, pulling out a steel trident with jagged teeth as she flashed behind one of the shadowspears and impaled him onto the city wall. However, thirty-seven gazes immediately fixated on her as every knight still on the wall jumped to engage. Even as a saint, she couldn’t suppress a shiver.

A shiver that only intensified as the knight whose chest was pierced slowly turned around and gripped the trident. The grip was like an iron vice, possessing immensurate strength for a dying man. She lifted her trident to shake him off, but the enemy held on despite the damage it would do. At the cost of a life, she was stopped until the other shadowspears finished their encirclement!

Ferocious and nervous roars filled the night sky, quickly turning into cries of suffering before an anguished scream was cut off partway.

“Goodbye,” Richard whispered to himself, a strange habit he had picked up in the Land of Dusk. He now wished farewell to every decently powerful enemy, afraid that not doing so would rip apart the last shreds of his humanity and turn him into a mindless killer.

A bright flash suddenly lit up the city wall, consuming several of the shadowspear knights within. Seven connections winked out in Richard’s mindscape, but the saint was finally dead. At the cost of burning the last dregs of her energy, she had brought down more enemies than she had over the rest of the battle.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: OMA

Edited By: Theo