The black snakes apparently released Albert’s body right away. Albert stood up with verve and turned towards Renya, but Renya slowly shook his head after calmly watching him get up.
“If you’re going to ask me to save the guys caught in the trap, it’s probably impossible.” (Renya)
“No way…” (Albert)
“To cancel a barrier with the proper procedure would likely take time. In the first place, we can’t analyze it. I don’t know if it was prepared beforehand or if it was an impromptu feat of strength, but I have no clue where to start, seeing as the barrier’s scope is too wide. Of course it would be possible to destroy it if we go all out on it, but…”
Renya, who looked at his right palm while adopting a milder tone towards the end of his statement, continued with an apologetic feeling for some reason.
“Of course there’s no way to rescue the soldiers if I use sorcery to blow away the barrier and the traps on the ground altogether. I think you can safely say that great damage would also befall the city on the other side.” (Renya)
Completely eradicating the traps and barrier deployed by the black armor didn’t seem to be such a troublesome undertaking if Renya were to mobilize all his mana and knowledge he received from Emedra.
However, if he did that, it would be impossible for the soldiers inside the barrier to come out scot-free.
It if was a wall, he would just need to destroy it, and it would suffice if he were to release his sorcery at an angle that wouldn’t allow for the soldiers to be hit, But to break the needle traps on the ground, one would need to launch sorcery towards the ground.
Telling the soldiers, who are writhing in pain after being stabbed by the needles, to dodge would be unreasonable. Moreover, a spell so weak that it wouldn’t kill the soldiers would most likely not be able to destroy the traps.
“A stalemate, it is.” (Renya)
“That can’t be!” (Albert)
“I will try to think about it, but…for starters, go and do something about that.” (Renya)
Renya said while pointing at the dragonoid army’s rear guard, which had been outside the barrier’s range, and had now fallen into a state of chaos due to the scenes taking place within the barrier.
Although the deployed barrier was quite big, it apparently wasn’t large enough to also engulf the infantrymen who left before its deployment, and the rear guard which had been left behind in order to take care of the chariots and the cavalry.
“Have them calm down and retreat. If it were to turn into a situation where even they are eaten, the situation would quickly spiral out of control.” (Renya)
In order to once again rally the soldiers, who are shaken up due to the swift loss of their commander, Linus, some kind of wake-up call is probably necessary, Renya thought.
Being called out by their hero, Albert, should do the trick, I think.
Seemingly having instantly judged that he couldn’t do anything else anyway, Albert showed a faint hesitation towards Renya’s words, but immediately bowed his head and started running towards the troops that were falling into a state of disorder.
Renya, who followed Albert with his eyes, waited until he was a good distance away from them, and breathed out.
“Now then, that means we have to do something about this side, though.” (Renya)
Honestly speaking, as Renya had been told to somehow keep the number of victims low, this was a chore for him.
On the other hand, if he were told that he didn’t need to take the number of victims into account, he was confident he could handle it one way or the other.
“That’s true, isn’t it? I mean, after all that armor will devour many thousands or at least a good share of the dragonoids if we leave it alone as is. I really wouldn’t want to take that thing on after everything is over and done with.” (Emil)
While squinting, Emil stared at the spectacle on the other side of the barrier’s wall.
Even as an understatement, the scenes happening in there were like torture that would almost never take place in broad daylight, but it was nothing that would cause Emil’s expression to freeze up.
Once Renya looked around thinking, leaving Emil aside, the other members will certainly be shaken by those scenes. They generally had gloomy expressions and made sure not to look as much as possible by averting their eyes. Only Shion looked in the same direction as Emil without any visible change in her countenance, carrying a completely blank expression.
“Are you alright, Shion?” (Renya)
No matter how I think about it, it’s not a sight that would allow a woman to remain calm after witnessing it.
Shion’s reply used the same, unchanged tone she normally used to answer Renya, who called out to her after becoming worried that she might have been overwhelmed by her emotions.
“Mmh? Yeah, well…I suppose it might be a bit cruel, but Renya, you’re behind me…besides…” (Shion)
She stopped talking for a moment, and after pondering how to phrase it, she dropped a bombshell.
“It’s the citizens of another country?” (Shion)
Everyone turned startled gazes at Shion who declared such a thing without no hesitation.
While having a bit of sweat run down his face, Renya asked what everyone else was likely thinking.
“Hey, that’s quite the awful thing to say, you know?” (Renya)
“Oy, that’s not meant as praise!? I’m really not praising you, okay?” (Renya)
Renya repeated to Shion, who grinned in embarrassment while scratching her head, to make doubly sure.
Going by her reaction, I can’t exclude the risk of her really misunderstanding this as me praising her if I don’t tell her off properly.
“Let’s shelve this issue for now.” (Grün)
As it had turned into an atmosphere where it was hard to say anything, Grün cut in with a forcibly-calm voice.
Everyone except for Shion silently offered their gratitude towards Grün’s consideration who apparently spoke up so as to somehow change the mood as one of the older people here, seeing as the other members couldn’t bring themselves to do so.
“In order to get closer to that black armor, we need to undo the barrier no matter what.” (Grün)
Even if they could handle the needles at their feet by jumping or whatever, there would still be the obstacle of the violet light wall separating the inside from the outside.
“That’s why I think that we should obediently start by searching for a method to cancel that barrier, but what do you think?”
“It’s a sound argument, but…”
Rona raises her hand diffidently.
“How long is that going to take?” (Rona)
“Let’s see.” (Emil)
Emil groaned while staring at the barrier.
“Going by my estimation…if it’s at the level of opening a hole…around one hour.” (Emil)
“You think there will be any survivors left inside by then?”
The answer was obvious, but Renya tried asking anyway, just to make sure.
“Ha ha ha. In your eyes people must be really amazing, Renya. If they suffer under such circumstances for an hour, there’s no way that there’ll be any survivors, is there?” (Emil)
Emil smiled brightly, but Renya’s expression became gloomy and heavy.
It was a truth he understood even without being explicitly told so, but he couldn’t help feeling a heaviness weighing down on him now that he heard the words frankly spoken out.
“It looks like it’s impossible to keep the number of victims low, therefore…I suggest we resign ourselves to it and force our way through.”
It was a suggestion that would cause Albert to fly into a rage or try to prevent it if he heard about it, but no matter how much they tried to think of alternatives, no other ingenious plans came to mind.
“Margrave-sama? Shall I go?” (Kurz)
When Renya and the others started to think that forcibly breaking through the barrier might be inevitable if no other options presented themselves, Kurz suddenly suggested something like that.
“I feel like I can proceed through that needle-laden path.” (Kurz)
Renya looked at Kurz after being told so.
Currently Kurz was fully covered by a silver plate armor.
Its sturdiness was something Renya could guarantee since he had run various tests on it in the past. It was difficult to believe that Kurz’ armor could be broken as long as he was conscious.
Even if it were to be destroyed for argument’s sake, Kurz was protected by the black misted he generated inside the armor. It wouldn’t develop into a situation where he would get injured right away.
If there was something to worry about, it was that the armor had quite a few gaps all over it. It might get somewhat dangerous if the armor were penetrated through those gaps.
“Margrave-sama, if I deliver you to the black armor by carrying you, you will somehow be able to deal with it, right?” (Kurz)
“Hmm? Yeah…probably. Well, I will manage, I guess?” (Renya)
“Then things are simple, aren’t they?” (Lepard)
“We just gotta open a hole large enough so that Kurz can pass through, and have him charge in.”
“What about me?” (Renya)
“Ain’t it fine if you have Kurz carry you on his back? There ain’t no way that carrying you is gonna burden him while he’s in his armor state, is there?” (Lepard)
“No matter how close Renya gets to the armor, fighting without a foothold will be impossible, don’t you think?” (Rona)
Rona voiced her concern in a hurry, but Kurz cheerfully replied to that,
“Then Margrave-sama simply has to use me as his foothold.” (Kurz)
“Is that really alright? Even if we ignore those needles, when the snakes touched that violet light…they were erased. Didn’t you feel any pain when that happened?”
Upon Renya worriedly asking, Kurz pondered for a little moment.
“It hurt a bit, but not to an unbearable degree. Without me, you won’t be able to fight over there, will you Margrave-sama? In that case I will do my best.” (Kurz)
“I see. Then allow me to rely on you.” (Renya)
“Now that we have decided, it’s better to get started soon. Leave opening a gap in the barrier to us, okay?”
Lepard knocked his fists together, and Grün drew his two katana.
Kurz beckoned Renya over, and once Renya got close, he crouched down with his back towards Renya so that it would be easier to get on.
“Being carried by you, Kurz, feels somewhat strange.” (Renya)
“You’re like a grandpa~!” (Kurz)
Stifled laughter came from the surroundings in response to Kurz who had said that simply trying to make a light joke, but only Renya seriously pondered whether this is how it would feel to be carried by one’s grandson, while clinging to Kurz’ back.
“I will hold you with something else since I won’t be able to prop you up with my hands, okay~?” (Kurz)
Right after saying so, a black mist gushed out of Kurz’ back.
It didn’t materialize as snakes, but started to support Renya’s body by manifesting itself around his body as if gently running alongside it.
It was the first time Renya had been touched by this mist, but he felt like he was being wrapped up by a warmth that somewhat felt like steam, sensing no eeriness that would warrant any worries.
If one considered it properly, those two priestesses had been stored away somewhere inside this mist, so there was no way it would make him feel chills or cold, but since it could also become a weapon to devour enemies and such sometimes, Renya’s worries were justified.
“We’re ready to go~” (Kurz)
“Alriiight, I guess I will put a little bit of effort into it then!” (Lepard)
Lepard made his palms face each other as if holding something in front of his chest, creating a small space.
That stance was the one he had demonstrated a while ago when using his big technique. The other members distanced themselves from Renya, Kurz, Lepard and Grün so as to not get caught up in their attack.
Next to Lepard, Grün took an L-shaped stance with his legs, his left leg bent in front and the other extended behind. At the same time he readied his two drawn blades into a straight line, with his left katana being in front of him at chest height, and his right katana held above the solar plexus.
“Oh, nice, Grün. You sure look as if you’re gonna dish out a big bang, don’cha?” (Lepard)
“It’s a technique I’m not really keen on using, but it’s a reliable method in this situation.” (Grün)
“Who’s going to start?” (Lepard)
“I will gladly let you make the first move.” (Grün)
“Okay, leave it to me!” (Lepard)
The air was rumbling, converging in the space Lepard had created in front of his chest.
Lepard unleashed the cluster of air, which had taken a concrete shape after plenty of air had amassed, towards the barrier along with a yell full of fighting spirit.
Once the air drill, which had even torn through an army, clashed against the barrier’s wall, a strong gale blew in the vicinity making the wall sway strongly.
The wall became quite distorted, but it didn’t look like the air drill would be able to penetrate it.
While there was still some power left in Lepard’s technique, who clicked his tongue, the two katana readied by Grün cast a light of mana.
“These are the wings of the two sexes. They spread their wings in unity. Fly together and pierce through all creation!” (Grün)
The pair of blades, which had been lined up in a straight line, were clad in mana and turned into a single ray of light.
Once ordered by Grün, who lightly crouched down in preparation of the impact, that light pierced into the area, where Lepard’s big technique had hit the barrier, while leaving a shock behind which even Grün, who prepared himself for it, couldn’t endure completely.
The wall, which had been largely warped by Lepard’s technique, was hit by Grün’s follow-up attack, and had countless cracks running across it.
However, it didn’t go as far as having a spot where it had broken apart.
“Oy, that’s a lie, right?” (Lepard)
“For it to endure the combined attack of two heroes…” (Grün)
If they had overcome the barrier too easily, it might have caused serious damage to the place on the other side.
Maybe such a brake mechanism unconsciously came into play here. Or maybe the barrier was something that had been meticulously set up so that it could even stop the heroes’ attacks.
While Lepard and Grün looked shocked due to the wall only starting to break, but not getting destroyed completely, Kurz charged towards a crack in the wall with Renya on his back.
“It’s alright, if it doesn’t work with two people…” (Kurz)
The ramming attack by Kurz’s black snakes assailed the barrier, which was about to repair itself, stopping it from succeeding.
While continuously unleashing snakes, which got repelled when they hit the wall, without giving up, Kurz raised his right fist overhead as he kept up his charging speed.
“Then you just have to destroy it with three people!” (Kurz)
Kurz’s fist was covered in black mist when he struck the barrier.
Immediately after Kurz’ fist and the violet-shining wall clashed, a shrill, bursting sound, which would cause mental discomfort to anyone who heard it, reverberated in the vicinity.
Renya reflexively covered his ears, but due to the unpleasant sound, which he could still hear albeit subdued, he furrowed his eyebrows and endured while gritting his teeth.
When the barrier received the third hero’s attack, the cracks were still small, but as expected, unable to endure the consecutive attacks of the heroes, the wall broke, and a small hole opened up, just big enough for Kurz to pass through.
However, the spell which was forming the barrier was still active. It immediately started to repair the gaping hole. However, faster than it could accomplish its task, Kurz trespassed inside the barrier.
Countless needles sensed the foreign object and attacked from below.
They were repelled by the Kurz’s armor, crushed by the armor’s feet, and blocked by the black mist so that they wouldn’t reach Renya. Meanwhile, Kurz pushed his way towards the black armor, the source of this barrier.