The black armor, which had several thin, black chains hanging down from the area around its waist which would often create clinking noises as they brushed past each other, readied a halberd displaying a competent warrior’s masterly stance with no gaps whatsoever.
A halberd is somewhat heavy, and looks like an ax and a spear glued together.
Naturally it requires quite a bit of physical strength to handle. In human armies it’s almost never used. At times you could catch sight of ornamented halberds during ceremonies and such.
However, the black armor’s halberd doesn’t have any useless ornaments added to it. Even Renya’s group could grasp from their distant location that it was a mass of metal completely catered towards practical use.
“It’s the enemy! Attack!”
The dragonoid soldiers were puzzled on how to deal with the sudden appearance of the enemy, but once ordered, they reacted quickly.
They swiftly drew their swords and started to deploy so as to surround the black armor.
The black armor’s chains, who was watching or more like glaring at them, swiftly crawled across the ground like snakes targeting their prey, and twined themselves around the legs of the soldiers trying to encircle the armor.
Those, who noticed the chains, were able to leap back or repel them with their swords, but several soldiers, who didn’t notice them, had their legs caught and were pulled towards the black armor.
Those dragonoid soldiers tried to escape from their restraints by struggling.
The black armor slowly lifted its foot above those squirming soldiers, and trampled down on their bodies using its full strength.
The weight of a three meter tall armor is not something a human or dragonoid can handle, but it’s not like it weighs several tons either.
However, the soldiers’ bodies that were stepped on by the armor were easily crushed not showing any resistance.
Once the armor’s foot firmly stepped on the ground, a faint earthquake and an explosion-like impact were transmitted to the surroundings.
The blood, scattered from the trampled and crushed bodies, clung to the armor’s surface, but immediately vanished as if it had been sucked up by the armor itself. The crushed bodies completely dried up as if they had been completely absorbed by the foot that trampled on them, piercing all the way through their bodies. They turned into dust within seconds, and disappeared.
The soldiers, who were entangled but not stepped on, were drawn towards the black armor and when they touched its surface they transformed into a mummy-like state, and disappeared after crumbling away.
“Pay attention to the chains! This guy…eats people!” (Albert)
Albert cautioned them, but the armor’s attacks weren’t limited to just the chains.
The armor lightly raises the halberd, which was longer than the armor was tall, over its head.
Once the armor swung the halberd down, which might weigh several hundred kilograms, one of the soldiers, who wasn’t given a chance to evade, was cut right in half starting with the crown of his head. The blade sank deeply into the ground where the soldier had been standing while raising a cloud of dust.
In front of its speed and weight, armor bore absolutely no meaning.
One sweeping attack of the overturned blade bisected several soldiers at their waist, causing fountains of blood to gush out.
Their corpses shed blood immediately after being cut, but just like the soldiers, who were entwined by the chains and stepped on, they immediately changed into a mummy-like state, and transformed into dust.
“What are you doing!? Isn’t there just one enemy!? Surround it thoroughly and bring it down!” (Linus)
Linus shouts angrily, but as expected, the dragonoid soldiers can’t do anything due to the slashing speed and power they were shown moments ago.
“What are you doing, Albert!? You bastard! You should take the vanguard as the hero!” (Linus)
Being ordered, Albert faintly grits his teeth, but in the end he has no way to disobey that order, and thus charges at the black armor after readying his katana.
Albert barely evaded another sweeping attack from the halberd that was supposed to intercept him by managing to jump just high enough, and immediately accelerated even further by using the halberd’s blade as a scaffold.
Aiming at Albert, who’s doing a frontal assault with his katana, countless chains assail him, trying to twine themselves around his body, but Albert keeps running while weaving his way through the openings, evading some of the chains, repelling others with his katana, and changing his direction in midair by using the chains as footing.
Even as the chain attacks are evaded, the black armor doesn’t stop moving.
Turning over the halberd’s blade after its sideways sweep, the armor attacks Albert from the opposite direction aiming at his neck. Albert dodges this as well by lowering his stance. The instant the blade passes over his head, he steps in, draws close, and slashes at the armor’s defenseless torso.
Albert, who heard the shrill sound of metal clashing against metal, kicked the armor’s torso before it could adjust its posture, and used the recoil to leap backwards as far as possible.
Seeing how Albert widened the distance, the dragonoid soldiers released the prepared spells as ordered.
Bright red flames bloomed across the armor’s entire body producing explosion sounds.
“Fire without any breaks! We’re going to kill that guy by grilling him to death!” (Linus)
Linus vigorously gives his order due to the golden opportunity of the previous spells having apparently hit the armor directly.
Due to the continuous barrage of fire spells, it looked as if the black armor’s advance had come to a halt.
But, only Albert, who had actually slashed the armor, guessed that there was no way for such spells to hinder the black armor’s advance.
Albert’s katana is one of the hero items also used by Lepard and Grün.
This katana, which had the inscription “Roaring Dragon” carved into it, possesses a performance that outstrips common weapons by far, just like the other hero items.
To be precise, this katana has an ability specialized towards slashing attacks. Among the dragonoids it’s dubbed as a blade that can cut anything, but such a blade glided off the black armor’s surface while creating a metallic sound.
In other words, it wasn’t able to sever the armor plates and cut into it.
Albert is a powerful man to the extent that he was chosen as the hero from among the dragonoids. He had the confidence that he wouldn’t lose to anyone in terms of katana techniques.
The fact that he couldn’t inflict a single cut onto the armor’s surface even after slashing it with the hero weapon, hero power and his katana techniques makes Albert shiver.
Without guessing Albert’s inner thoughts, the dragonoid soldiers are firing one spell after the other at the armor that stopped moving.
Just when an optimistic mood had started to spread among the soldiers, who thought that they might be able to overcome the armor and defeat it if they kept going like this, as the armor had continuously eaten all of their attacks without moving, the armor began advancing again.
In defiance of the spells exploding on the armor’s surface, it brandishes its halberd in one big carefree motion from right to left as if swatting annoying flies away.
With that one motion the spells, which were continuously fired by the soldiers, were easily scattered in all directions.
“Shit! Linus-dono! Evade!” (Albert)
Due to the reality that all spells were erased with just one swing which caused a thunderous roar, all soldiers including Linus were taken aback and stopped moving for an instant.
As if thrusting itself into that instant, the black armor, which fixed its hold on the halberd to a two-handed grip, started to charge with such force that a cloud of dust rose at its feet.
That huge mass vigorously charging into the enemy turned into a black spearhead piercing into the dragonoid’s army.
Without being able to evade, the soldiers standing in the way of the armor’s charge were sent flying, squashed, trampled, and turned into lumps of meat. Those, who were unluckily touched by the halberd’s blade first, had their flesh and armor penetrated all together, and blew up into a crimson splatter.
Linus realized that he was being targeted by the black armor’s blade, which plunged forward as if there wasn’t anything that could block it, when the blade’s point had already been thrust out, aiming at his chest.
“As if I’d let you do that!” (Albert)
Even Albert never understood whether it was the difference in physical strength or the weight of the slash released by himself in order to somehow make the halberd’s point trail off-track, but unable to shake it’s trajectory even a bit, the halberd instantly pierced through the composed defense spells cast by Linus, turning Albert’s action meaningless.
Without losing its force at all, the black armor’s blow, which collided with Linus’ chest, scattered his upper body with enough force that it seemed as if it had exploded, extinguishing his life.
The horse Linus was riding toppled over after receiving the attack’s aftermath, and several soldiers, who were behind Linus, got involved as well. The halberd’s blade, which was swung as if to shake off the small amounts of blood and flesh clinging to it, bisected several more soldiers in one go, scattering additional blood and flesh.
In addition to the soldiers’ attacks not connecting at all, no matter how many they unleashed, they had lost their commander all too quickly.
Due to the armor’s appearance, which ignored their hero’s attack as if it was of no significance, it didn’t take that much time for fear to spread among the dragonoid soldiers.
Once a single soldier turned his back on the armor, it caused a chain reaction.
There was a considerable number of soldiers who continued to confront the armor while keeping their morale high, but quite a few soldiers discarded their weapons. Once they switched towards escaping while screaming and exposing their backs to the black armor, the place stopped being a battlefield and turned into nothing more than a hunting ground.
“If it’s a hunting ground…you have to create a fence, right?” (Renya)
On the edge of Renya’s line of sight, the black armor released a violet radiance.
The radiance started moving along the armor’s surface like a liquid, crossed over to the ground from its feet, and rapidly extended from there while drawing some kind of complicated figure.
“Kurz! Aim there!” (Renya)
Jumping down from his horse, Kurz covers his body in a black mist.
The two eyes faintly shining through the visor of Kurz’ helmet, who had changed into his silver armor in an instant, targeted the place Renya was looking at.
The violet light, which had continued to encroach along the ground, has widely spread, drawing some kind of figure.
Its expansion progressed at a considerable rate while covering the entire battlefield.
“As expected, huh? Kurz, pull him in!” (Renya)
“Roger, Margrave-sama.” (Kurz)
Countless black snakes released from behind Kurz traveled across the battlefield.
Those black snakes, which traveled towards the area Renya indicated, touched the lines of violet light that had started to cover the battlefield’s ground, and suddenly returned to their original misty state.
That, which had returned to being mist, melted into the atmosphere and vanished.
At the same time Kurz, who was manipulating the snakes, raised a small, painful voice.
“Kurz, pull them back!” (Renya)
“It’s fine…it’s fine, Margrave-sama.” (Kurz)
Even while looking slightly pained, Kurz manipulated the remaining snakes so that they wouldn’t touch the violet, shining lines. Even though he lost several more snakes, the last set of snakes arrived at the target, and succeeded in twining themselves around it.
“I caught him, Margrave-sama!” (Kurz)
“Good, reel him in!” (Renya)
Raising a spirited voice, the silver armor grasped the torsos of several snakes, which were extending from its body, all at once, and pulled them in with all its might.
Renya didn’t know whether those snakes had a consciousness or a sense of pain, but what they had managed to retrieve as if reeling it in with a fishing pole with such carelessness that it made Renya worry that it must pain the snakes to be treated in such a way, was Albert.
The snakes made sure to partly force Albert along, who looked as if he was shouting or something like that, by sealing his limbs, as they delivered his body to Renya’s group.
And, just when Albert’s body had been dragged at the feet of Renya’s and Shion’s horse, the violet light finished covering the entire battlefield.
The battlefield was surrounded by a wall of violet light, rising in that instant, blocking the soldiers’ escape path.
At the same time needles of various sizes with metallic luster protruded from the ground.
The big ones stabbed the soldiers’ bodies all over, and the small ones wounded their soles by penetrating the soldiers’ boots from below.
The ones who died from those attacks were still the luckier fellows.
Those, who didn’t lose their lives as they had only been injured, staggered due to the pain or fell to the ground while grabbing their feet.
Naturally countless needles awaited them at their staggering or falling destinations.
Anyone could imagine what would happen if they were to fall down in such places.
Even those who got through this without falling down, immediately realized that they would eventually suffer the same fate as their comrades.
That’s because they couldn’t leave through the wall of violet light which was covering the whole battlefield.
Those who bumped into the wall, were flicked off and thrown on top of the countless needles. Even those, who didn’t bump into the wall, had their bodies injured all over the place by the successively appearing needles, and eventually ran out of strength, going down on their hands and knees.
The blood, which flowed out each time they were wounded, trickled down onto the ground and was continuously absorbed by the shining lines. Before long it was sucked up by the black armor, the source of the lines.
“In addition to a barrier to prevent escape, the absorption of mana and vitality with blood as the medium…it sure is doing something nasty there.” (Emil)
Emil mutters in admiration.
If Renya were to possess detailed knowledge about the defense mechanism in Klinge, it would have been an opportunity for him to retort with “You’re doing something similar, aren’t you?”, but unfortunately he didn’t know about the defense details drawn up by Emil and Frau, albeit him being the one ruling the city.
Incidentally, if Renya were to blame Emil in such a way, Emil would plainly respond like this: “Those are two different stories.”
As a matter of fact, if Emil had a say in this, she would claim that the act being carried out in front of her eyes right now was completely different to what had been set up in Klinge.
The item referred to as “Simple Hell Furnace” in Klinge is basically a system to collect mana and amplify it through the bodies of the living beings inside the furnace by passing the mana throughout the furnace’s interior.
On the other hand, this trap, which perfectly caught the dragonoid’s army, is something that only continues to extract the strength of the creatures within.
In other words, Klinge’s system is something that can be used for a long time if used properly, but the trap prepared by the demon army loses its usefulness as soon as it has sucked up everything that could be absorbed, leaving only dust behind. That means, the design idea behind this trap was something completely different in Emil’s eyes.
Of course, from the standpoint of the living creatures caught within, there was no doubt that either system would result in a horrible destiny, though.
“I wonder, where did that black armor get such an idea?” (Emil)
“Somehow I have a hunch that the main culprits are basically you and Frau…”
“It’s just your imagination, Renya. Even Frau and I wouldn’t readily build something so awful.” (Emil)
There are situations where a white lie sounds more pleasant to the ears than the harsh truth.
Even Emil knew that they couldn’t keep hiding the furnace’s mechanism indefinitely despite it being indispensable for Klinge’s defense.
But Renya might order its removal if he should ever find out about it.
In that case delaying the moment Renya learns of its existence as much as possible is the only thing I can do here, Emil decided in her mind, confronting Renya’s suspicious gaze with a very natural smile.