No matter how disordered their formation might be, it’s reckless to challenge a heavy spear infantry, specialized in attacking towards the front, from the front with a dense formation. For that reason Souma and the others planned to attack the enemy formation with ranged weapons such as stones and spears until their formation genuinely fell apart, but as the punitive force was persisting more than Souma expected, he took a bet.
“Dvalin, Jahangil! At this rate, it will be our side that crumbles first! There’s no other choice anymore, you have to charge at them!”
Jahangil shouts out his delight due to Souma’s decision.
“Yeah, yeaaah! Finally, eh!? I got tired of playing around with stones!”
While everyone started to prepare in a hurry for the hand-to-hand combat, Shyemul called out to Souma.
“Soma, fall back together with me.”
If something happens to Souma, it will be a drama. Shyemul was about to withdraw deeper inside the encampment while escorted by zoan warriors. But, Souma denies her request.
“I don’t want to. I will go together with them!”
Shyemul became speechless for an instant due to his words. However, as if making up for that slight gap in her response, she immediately protests vehemently.
“What foolishness are you spouting!? You will just be a burden!”
Shyemul was right.
Not only doesn’t he possess the strength or courage to raise his hands against others yet, he isn’t even able to injure anyone else due to his blessing. He won’t be anything else but a mere drag.
However, Souma pleads frantically,
“But, it’s really wrong for me to stay in a safe place while everyone else is risking their lives!”
Even Shyemul is at a loss for words here.
Bluntly said, the statement of Souma is an immature remark stemming from his pride that only he himself, who caused this battle, shouldn’t stay in a safe location.
However, that argumentation certainly fit to a degree with the common sense of battles in this era.
Even until the present day, it is natural for a commissioned officer leading soldiers to cut into the enemy at the very front at the time of a charge. If you watch things such as overseas movies, this is also evident from there being the phrase “Follow me” when the time to attack an enemy has come. With the commissioned officers showing their bravery first in such manner, it enables the soldiers to also fight bravely by imitating them.
That’s no different in this world either. That’s the reason why Garam and Zurgu, who lead their clanmates as chiefs, attack at the head of a charge.
Of course, even if they disregard the existence of his blessing, there’s no one in this place who thought that Souma can fight while holding a weapon. However, while that may be true, it’s a fact that it might very well affect the morale of the warriors if Souma, who is their commander, retreats to a safe place while they are told to throw themselves into a life-threatening battle.
But, even so Shyemul, who felt reluctance to take Souma to a place that will turn into a melee, hesitated.
“Then get on my back!”
The one turning his back on Souma and lowering his hips after saying so was Jahangil.
“There’s no safer place in this battle than my back!”
“Thank you very much!”
In front of Shyemul shouting, “Don’t say anything uncalled-for!” Souma’s face brightens up in delight and he jumps on Jahangil’s back. Shyemul loudly clicked her tongue at that.
“Bah! You will be shaken off like that! — Anyone! Please bring a rope or a string!”
Receiving the rope brought by one of the zoan warriors who answered her call, Shyemul roughly binds Souma to Jahangil’s back while feeling quite irritated. Souma’s intestines were about to come out through his mouth due to being tied while getting stepped on his back.
“Ouch! I-It hurts…!”
“If you hate it, stay back here!”
Shyemul yelled, putting her own wish into her words, but Souma shakes his head even while his face becomes red due to the pain. Due to that, Shyemul twisted her expression in annoyance and bound the rope even more strongly, making Souma scream like a crushed frog.
Jahangil, who doesn’t feel anything despite being bound with the rope alongside Souma, confirmed that Souma’s body had been properly affixed and easily stood up. Going by his movements, it looks like he really doesn’t care about Souma’s weight at all.
“Everybody, stop attacking for a moment!”
Souma shouted from atop Jahangil’s back. Thereupon the intense throwing of stones and spears stops all at once.
“—!? The enemy stopped! Now’s our chance! Attack them in one go!”
The heavy spear infantry that identified that as good opportunity charges towards Souma and the others.
It was the over-eagerness of a few commissioned officers while Judius, the regimental commander, was busy directing the defense. Moreover, because the flank of the dense formation is severely struggling with the zoan, it’s only a part of the soldiers around the center who are actually able to join in on the attack.
However, the heavy spear infantrymen, who exceeded a thousand in number despite that, were a controlled dense formation in name only and recklessly charged, closing in like a tsunami that breaks and swallows everything in its path.
Due to that pressure, the looks of everyone gathers on Souma as if asking whether it’s fine to continue throwing stones and spears.
“No, not yet! Draw them in deeper!”
Even while trembling himself due to the pressure of the heavy spear infantrymen, Souma restrained everyone.
And then, once the infantry approached to a distance where it was possible to make out the faces of each and every single of them, Souma yelled,
Alongside Souma’s yell, the dwarves threw their spears, the dinosaurians threw their stones and the elves shot their arrows all at once. The heavy spear infantrymen, which hadn’t even prepared their shields properly, received those, somersaulted and collapsed.
Upon the command of Dvalin, who also held a spear in his hands, the dwarves kicked down the fence and assaulted the heavy spear infantry.
Even though it’s already under normal circumstances difficult to properly handle spear thrusts from below as unleashed by the short dwarves, the heavy spear infantrymen in their disordered formation received those while unable to defend. Within little to no time, several hundred of them are killed.
However, that’s only the beginning of the heavy spear infantrymen’s misfortune.
Jumping over the dwarves, who are fiercely facing them with their spears, many largely-built figures descended among the heavy spear infantrymen.
In the next instant, the soldiers, who were close to the landing points, dance in the air like splinters without even the time to scream. Due to the abnormal scene, which even feels like a hilarious act of a comedy show, the heavy spear infantrymen opened their eyes and mouths widely.
“My blood boils. My very blood is seething! In the end battle has to be like this!!”
Jahangil, who sent soldiers flying with one swing of his arm, tightly grasps his hands as if ruminating over the sensation. He calmly glares at the heavy spear infantrymen in the vicinity and suddenly opens his mouth widely, bearing his fangs.
“Mine name is Jahangil Hesam Jalji, a descendant of the great dragons! Feel my wrath! Experience my dreadfulness!”
Jahangil and the other dinosaurians, who had been released from the trivial way of fighting by throwing stones they had been forced to do until now, raised shrill, jarring war cries towards the battle – after bending back their throats – due to their delight and excitement.
According to their name as tyrants of the battlefield.
According to their name as incarnations of combat.
According to their name as avatars of slaughter.
Being right in front of a member of the Tyranno species, known as being the most ferocious among the dinosaurians who are feared while having many other nicknames like that, all the blood is drained out of the soldiers’ faces.
The dinosaurians’ dreadfulness on the battlefield had come up as topic many times in barracks and bars. They considered quite a few of those as exaggerations, but now that they were actually in front of their eyes, the soldiers realized that not only were those far from being exaggerations, but instead the entirety of the dinosaurians’ dreadfulness hadn’t been fully handed down.
Upon Jahangil’s order, the dinosaurians leapt upon the heavy spear infantrymen in front of their eyes.
What Jahangil held in his hands is a thick chain with an iron ball attached at its end. It seems that the slaves of some country came up with a martial art called iron chain arts, which made use of the iron chains connected to their feet, to oppose their cruel master, but in Jahangil’s case he’s only swinging it with all his might due to the mere reason of “Since it was always fastened to me, my hands got used to it.”
However, if you possess the superhuman strength of dinosaurians, that much is plenty.
The iron ball, which was wielded while making use of the centrifugal force, blew away the soldiers alongside their shields. Its thick chain entirely gouged out parts of their flesh by simply grazing their bodies. In the blink of an eye corpses of soldiers piled up around Jahangil that would be best described as massacred, or rather destroyed.
Getting increasingly excited due to that, Jahangil indulges in rampaging to his heart’s content while standing in front of the dinosaurians.
Even though Souma stifles a scream with a face that’s close to weeping each time blood splashes on him, flesh hits him or the swung iron ball and iron chain brush against his hair, Jahangil doesn’t show any concern towards him.
Souma had already stopped feeling alive.
The rope fastened by Shyemul with all her strength has no leeway at all, causing all of Jahangil’s motions being directly transmitted to Souma’s body. Compared to this, the jet coaster he boarded together with his friends at a leisure park is no more than child’s play.
“Look! Sir Soma himself has come to the vanguard!”
Souma didn’t even have the composure to deny Dvalin’s words audible from behind.
If he had listened very carefully, he would have likely heard that Dvalin’s voice was shaking slightly due to him holding back his laughter, Of course even Dvalin guessed the actual circumstances of Souma.
However, the true state of a situation always depends on the subjective views of those watching it.
The human leading them, moreover a human child, who is worthless and weak in their eyes, has become the vanguard, attacking the enemy. There was not a single warrior who didn’t get encouraged by this.
“Uoooo!! Follow Sooooma!!”
Regardless of their race, all of them raise war cries and charge.
Souma thinks that this might be too fast in various ways, but it’s too late now. He was completely unable to do anything besides clinging to Jahangil so he doesn’t get thrown off.
In exchange, Shyemul, who finally caught up with Jahangil, jeers,
“This stupid lizard! Where will you find an idiot that will jump into the front line while carrying Soma!”
However, Jahangil merrily focuses on the battle, and doesn’t seem to notice Shyemul. Shyemul really harbored an intent to kill Jahangil, but she turns her eyes towards a dangerous presence facing her.
The one she found there was a dinosaurian who was small in comparison to Jahangil. Dual-wielding curved, single-edged swords similar to shamsir, the dinosaurian screams angrily at Shyemul while running next to her on the right,
“The likes of a beast girl like you has no right to complain about my father’s actions!”
Going by these words, this dinosaurian apparently is Jahangil’s son. Shyemul opened her eyes widely in surprise. Apparently sensing her shock, he strongly and roughly breathes out through his nose while looking displeased.
“My name is Meflazard Hesam Jalji! The one over there is my younger brother, Niyusharl. The one behind us is my youngest brother, Palsharl.”
Tempted by the words of the dinosaurian who introduced himself as Meflazard, Shyemul looked to the left, finding there a dinosaurian wielding thick iron canes with several protuberances sticking out of them. Moreover, right behind her there’s a dinosaurian swinging a very long halberd. Once their eyes meet, he gives a small bow to her.
“The only ones we Tyrannos entrust our backs to is the Royal species! Even though I detest the thought of such weak human with a low standing riding there, I don’t complain about it!”
The one who rebuked Meflazard was the youngest child Palsharl running behind them.
“Older brother, Sir Soma was acknowledged by father. That means it’s rude for you to say it like that.”
The second son Niyusharl shows his agreement to that by nodding in silence while wielding his iron canes.
“Beast girl, don’t worry. Protecting the back of father who cuts into the enemy is the task of us siblings. Just as father said, there’s currently no safer place on the battlefield than his own back.”
Now that Palsharl mentioned it, Shyemul noticed that there were absolutely no enemies around her.
If watched from above, one would likely be able to see the blank space of the kite formation created by Jahangil and the three brothers on the battlefield where allies and foes were jumbled together while fighting.
Shyemul had no other choice but to admire the strength of the dinosaurians who made that possible.
“They are tossing the dinosaurians into the fray at this point, huh?”
Even Darius was well aware of the dinosaurians’ dreadfulness. The strength of that race in hand-to-hand combat might be regarded as belonging to a different dimension. They are what you’d call a living mass of violence. There’s no way to win against those things if you fight them directly from the front.
Even though you have to normally fight them by shooting them with arrows to death from a distance or making sure to not allow their approach with spears, it’s painful for them having been suddenly thrown into the hand-to-hand combat.
In accordance with Darius’ worries, the lines of the heavy spear infantry have holes torn into them at many places by the rampaging dinosaurians.
However, Darius revealed a ferocious smile at that.
“You stupid rebels, you hurried to win, didn’t you?”
Once my own unit arrives, that will definitely settle the outcome of this battle. They probably wanted the dense formation to fall apart before that, by all means possible.
Certainly, due to the dwarves and dinosaurians pressing with hand-to-hand combat, the pressure on the dense formation rose.
However, no matter how much I look, the number of dinosaurians is capped at around 50. If it’s only that much, it’s not difficult to single them out with the soldiers and have them defeated by stabbing them with spears, despite them being dinosaurians.
Rather, with the rebels abandoning their protection called encampment, it’s now the ideal chance to reverse the battle flow.
Darius, who was extolled as best general of Holmea, identifies Souma’s impatience and doesn’t let this small, good opportunity pass.
“Play the big drums! It’s “Advance!” and “Attack” in alternation!”
The intense clash from the front shows the true worth of the dense formation of a heavy spear infantry. There were holes torn into the formation from the front into the further lines, but the layers of the dense formation are still a lot thicker than that. If the entire formation was sent to the front, the dwarves and dinosaurians should be definitely defeated, no matter how many they fielded.
As if living up to Darius’ expectations, a large flow is created within the heavy spear infantry regiments.
Until now they have been incessantly assaulted from the front, left and right. The heavy spear infantrymen hesitated in their decision to where they should point their attack. However, being finally shown a direction, into which they ought to go, at this point, the heavy spear infantry’s hesitation vanished and all of them started to move in a single direction.
Seen from a distant place, it’s a spectacle similar to water in a barrel, with a water surface that was irregularly and fiercely splashes against the barrel’s walls, suddenly gushing out in a single stream due to the uncorking of the barrel.
The move of Holmea’s best general was about to change the flow of the battlefield.
The dinosaurians’ assault was terrifying. The front rows of the heavy spear infantry regiments got pushed back to the rear by about 20 steps in a flash. But, as might be expected of the thick layers of the regiments, the encounters and opposition intensified from there on, and even the dinosaurians weren’t able to overcome their resistance, turning it into a situation where favorable and unfavorable terms for either side changed every minute.
At this point the battlefield seemed to be equal to a contest of wills and endurance.
Among them, Souma, who noticed that the rhythm he heard from the unit led by General Darius had changed, feels a somewhat bad premonition.
Suddenly, Jahangil, who had pushed on and on until then, fell back, albeit it being a mere few steps. Groaning in frustration, Jahangil tries to advance forcibly, but in return he’s pushed back to the rear.
What Souma saw after looking over Jahangil’s shoulder by stretching his neck wondering what happened, were the heavy spear infantrymen, who prepared their shields and lined up their spears orderly, changing completely from before.
Souma laments due to that. After all it was still too early to take it into hand-to-hand combat.
At this rate the dwarves and dinosaurians will end up crushed by the front line of the dense formation. And, not only that, even the zoan incessantly attacking from the left and right of the formation’s flanks will be attacked from the rear and sides next.
Souma swiftly looks to the right and left side, but even the zoan led by Garam and Zurgu are encountering fervent resistance by the heavy spear infantrymen. It looks like they won’t be able to attack any longer in a few minutes.
And, even during that time, Jahangil was forced to retreat further due to the heavy spear infantry advancing with a terrifying pressure.
There’s no hand Souma can play anymore.
In the end it was a reckless fight against an opponent with a great number. Everyone will end up dying. Because of me, everyone will get killed.
The blood of Souma froze due to his feelings of guilt and terror.
At that time, a dearly missed voice revives in Souma’s ears.
『If you are so afraid, you won’t be able to do what you are capable of, Souma』
It was the voice of his deceased grandfather.
At the time when Souma was still very small; when he practiced riding a bicycle. When Souma tumbled over in the training after taking off the training wheels for the first time, his grandfather said to Souma, who was scared and unsettled,
『Are you afraid? Then try speaking up in a loud voice. Mmh? Anything is okay. If you shout loudly, fright and such will be blown away. Come on, try it. You are a child capable of that. You are grandpa’s prided grandchild after all.』
He remembers the warmth of his grandfather’s hand placed on his shoulder alongside those words. As if urged on by that warmth, Souma raised his voice.
“Everybody, raise your voices! Shout at the top of your lungs!”
Hearing that, the dwarves and dinosaurians, who are fighting desperately, raise their voices together. Following them, even the voices of the zoan, who were attacking from the left and right of the dense formation, could be heard.
The voices, which piled up into one, turned into a loud vibration, shaking heaven and earth.
Souma also shouted to the limit of his voice.
“Break them dooown!”
And finally that time came.
It started from the soldiers in the rear and the center. Because they were in the middle of an overcrowded formation, where they are touching the shoulders of their allies, they still haven’t directly seen the enemy. They could only guess the enemy’s existence from the intense bellows and weapon sounds audible around them.
And, that gave birth to a wrong impression.
Before the start of the battle, the rebels’ numbers have been far lower than theirs, making them think that they would be able to rout them easily. However, once the battle started, they heard the enemy’s terrifying war cries from the left and right, and not only from the front. Being informed about the rebel’s state in advance, they got scared and bewildered due to the completely different situation.
Us being told that the rebels are in the minority isn’t a mistake?
Isn’t a great number of enemies necessary to surround us?
Is it possible that it’s not the rebels having the inferior numbers but us?
The soldiers’ morale, supported by the predominance of having the numerical superiority, slowly started to get corroded by dark anxieties and fears.
When they are actually crossing swords with the enemy at the front, the soldiers likely don’t have any time to think about such things. But, with there being no enemy in front of them as of yet, the soldiers had the leeway to brood and instead got frightened by nonexistent imaginations.
The very loud voices raised according to Souma’s order at that point fiercely shook the heart of the soldiers who were trembling in worry.
And, a part of the soldiers in the rear of the dense formation, which is the only area that hasn’t been surrounded by the rebels, began to break out off the formation retreating to the back.
At first it was one or two. However, being tempted by those, another one and then two soldiers withdraw to the back. Their numbers are gradually growing from 10 to 20 soldiers and so on.
Souma, who spotted that promptly, shouted at once,
“Look! The enemy’s rear has collapsed!”
Hearing Souma, those around him shift their focus to the enemy’s rear, but they become discouraged after seeing that the current stage of collapse isn’t worth any mention. However, Souma furthermore yells,
“The enemy’s rear is falling apart! Everyone, pass that on loudly and clearly!!”
“A-Aye! Got it!”
Even while being bewildered, Jahangil, who heard Souma’s yelling close to his ears, repeats his words.
“The enemy’s rear collapsed!”
Moreover, hearing that, those in the vicinity started to shout unanimously.
“The enemy has become disarranged!”
“The enemy’s rear has begun to split apart!”
As those voices are gradually increasing in numbers, a commotion among the heavy spear infantrymen, who are facing them, breaks out. The soldiers at the front rows, who fought desperately, were unable to check the validity of the statement since they can’t look at the rear, and looked for answers in their surroundings while stumbling around on the spot.
Due to the pressure of the enemy stopping for that reason, albeit only for a short moment, Souma furthermore shouted,
“It’s our victory! Raise your voices in triumph!”
Souma and the others threw their hands in the air while cheering.
In front of Souma and the other rebels being in such state, the soldiers forget to attack and just stare at them blankly.
Right now was just the moment when they started to counterattack and yet the opponents were suddenly crying in triumph; the soldiers were unable to comprehend.
However, they aren’t able to clearly defame the opponent’s shouts of victory as lies. After all, if you look at the condition of the battle, which they considered as being naturally their win at first, the dense formation has become tattered after being attacked from the flanks, and they have been trapped in an encirclement by an enemy said to have a small force.
It’s understandable that the doubt of “Is it possibly true?” welled up within the soldiers’ minds.
“… Did we lose?”
And, with those words, leaked from somewhere within the dense formation, being the start, the soldiers all at once began to raise their voices into sounds resembling screams.
“For real!? We got defeated!?”
Judius and the commissioned officers are confused by the anxious voices of the soldiers, not understanding why the soldiers started to say something like that even though they were now finally at the point where they had begun to force back the enemy. At any rate, Judius and the other officers frantically denied those words, but by now it was already too late.
Their voices spread to the entire dense formation in a flash.
Moreover, one of the soldiers who looked back to the rear, noticed the harpyians restlessly flying above the unit led by General Darius. It was the view of the harpyians being at a loss how to continue, but that’s not how the soldier interpreted it.
“Look! The general is under attack by birds!”
That became the finishing blow.
“R-Run away! We lost!”
“There’s no hope anymore! Run awaaay!”
“We will be killed!”
The soldiers of the punitive force threw away their weapons, turned around and started escaping while shouting those words everywhere.
Turning into an unstoppable torrent at this point the dense formation breaks apart as the soldiers started to run away.
Due to that spectacle, completely the same words leaked out of the mouths of Souma – in delight – and Darius – in despair,