“A whirlwind of swords and arrows” 1, such an expression exists.
Strictly speaking, it’s a phrase comprised of four characters which are a combination of two-character idiomatic compounds instead of a four-character idiomatic kanji compound. But that expression precisely explains the situation I am currently in, Renya thought while running.
In front, countless soldiers with weapons in hand are waiting while a hail of arrows is pouring down on him from the front and the back.
The arrows coming from the front are those coming from the enemy’s army, but the ones coming from behind are fired as defensive measures by Renya’s allies.
Seeing that he’s plunging into the enemy army by himself, or rather, by himself and one other object, he wasn’t in a position to complain as he himself willingly leapt into the attack range of his allied troops. But it goes without saying that being in a state where one is attacked from the front and rear can’t be called a desirable situation by any means.
Reading the wind.
Speaking of that phrase, it might be a truly worn-out, clichéd expression, but Renya is right now doing just that.
From the various loud and quiet sounds of the wind being cut reaching his ears, he only repels the arrows which he perceives as being on a trajectory that might hit him.
Or he dodges the ones he can see and those he can’t see with a paper-thin difference by sensing the wind touching his skin.
Renya charges without any change in his expression at all while performing a feat any sword master in this world would flinch to do if ordered.
The existence of the armor running behind him gave Renya leeway, albeit only a bit.
There’s no way for the thick armor plates, which weren’t even dented by clashing with wyverns, to be pierced by something as weak as arrows.
The part of its body that acts as cover turns into a safety zone for Renya.
Even so, it’s not like that safety zone is very large.
A battle is a clashing and shaving of space between the fighting parties, such way of thinking exists.
If that’s the case, the space allotted to me in the current situation is extremely small, Renya thought very bitterly.
At the moment when Renya once again braced himself in order to receive a hit, the armor running behind him tapped his shoulder once.
Understanding that it’s warning him about something, that flash shines in front of Renya’s eyes.
While thinking You don’t say! and on the other hand believing if it’s that, I can handle it somehow, Renya refines the mana in his body and forms a shield in front of him.
Just as he finishes doing that, a single beam of light gushes out from within the enemy army and clashed into the shield Renya had just managed to create.
“In various ways, he’s an unbelievable guy…” (Renya)
The soldiers, who are manipulated by the hero’s will, apparently tried to evade the beam so far as it goes.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that all of the countless soldiers finished doing so before the attack was released.
In that situation, the hero fired the beam of light at Renya.
Was he able to secure a line of fire? To Renya it didn’t look like too many soldiers got dragged into the attack, but that still doesn’t change the fact that the hero attacked his allies along with Renya.
The soldiers, who were swallowed by that attack, were torn to pieces, and the mana shield constructed by Renya vanished after offsetting the attack.
From the feedback, Renya sensed that the hero’s abilities have either grown considerably or that he went easy on him at the time when they fought before.
The <Wind Blade> spell fired by Renya as a return present cuts several soldiers apart and vanishes after getting obstructed by countless shields and armors.
It seems that spells of the wind attribute are largely inferior to the light attacks used by the hero in regards to their penetration power.
Thinking about something like that, Renya quietly clicks his tongue as his path is blocked by a wave of people.
As the opponent doesn’t care about damage to his allies, he can release attacks with high penetration power at Renya.
Him knowing my location is probably owed to him extracting the information from the enslaved soldiers, Renya assumes.
He doesn’t really know whether the attack itself, which looks like light, is really light or not even after seeing and receiving it.
But, as the attack’s speed seems to certainly conform with the speed of light, it’s almost impossible to evade it after seeing the flash itself.
Rather than directly defending against the light, which has an instantaneous offensive power, there’s no choice but to defend the area appearing to be in the line of fire, or to go by the vague indications of the attack actually taking place the moment it’s shot and evade the attack. However, as Renya doesn’t have a direct view on the hero, latter option is quite difficult to handle, even for him.
Moreover, he can’t pick the option of evading the hero’s attacks.
He wasn’t sure whether it’s intentional or coincidental, but the hero’s attacks were carried out by catching Renya in the shooting line between the city of Trident and the hero.
This meant that the wall surrounding Trident would be hit by the hero’s attack right away if Renya took evasive maneuvers.
Renya was slightly worried about the alliance not possessing anything appearing to be siege weapons despite attacking a city surrounded by a wall, but he guesses that it’s not an issue to destroy the wall even without using those if they have the hero’s offensive ability at hand.
In other words, Renya is in a situation where he has to purposefully receive the hero’s attacks which are continuously shot at him one-sidedly.
The Trident Principality greatly loses out to the alliance in terms of numbers.
It’s not difficult to estimate that they will likely fall apart once the wall is broken through.
Even while pondering over such things, Renya’s right hand is almost reflexively swinging the katana around.
Mowing down the approaching spears and swords in one go, he chops down a nearby soldier with a diagonal slash from his shoulder.
Dodging even the bursting blood spray, he thrusts the katana into the chest of another soldier and halves the top part of another soldier’s head with downwards slash using the momentum from pulling the katana out of the other soldier’s chest.
Even as he defeats two enemies in an instant, the hole opened up is filled by other soldiers.
Immediately killing the soldiers, who came to fill the gap, Renya bent down and yelled.
“Get out of my way!” (Renya)
The <Roaring Lightning> spell descends without any casting.
It had the power to burn several enemies black within an instant with a direct hit and the aftermath, but even that hole is immediately filled up with a replenishment of soldiers.
He has advanced somewhat, but the slow pace makes him feel as if he hasn’t made any progress at all.
Albeit faintly, impatience starts welling up within Renya’s mind who cuts down the unending supply of soldiers.
After all, what’s troublesome is the hero’s attack which is fired at him from a place he can’t see.
Thanks to that, Renya is unable to use large-scale sorcery or jump over the heads of the soldiers.
Renya, who moves by using his feet on the ground, had the confidence that he could defend against the hero’s attack at any time in these circumstances, but the instant he flew in the air with wind sorcery or activated large scale sorcery, his response would be somewhat delayed because of him focussing on the enchantments.
Renya felt uneasy thinking that he would fail to evade the hero’s attack due to that small delay.
Renya also considered getting help from the emerald dragon flying circles in the sky, but he quickly rejected that idea.
Certainly, if I borrowed the power of the emerald dragon, it would probably be possible to cause quite the damage to the enemy army, but that would make the emerald dragon itself the next target of the hero’s attacks.
If that happens, the hero would probably kill the emerald dragon by all means possible.
He might have a slightly hard time to handle the dragon, but Renya couldn’t imagine the hero, who was summoned for the sake of fighting against the demon king, being outdone by the emerald dragon at all.
A <Wind Blade> spell cuts apart the bodies of the soldiers who tried to approach Renya.
In Renya’s surroundings, who advances by wedging his body into the openings while bringing forth screams and rising blood fountains, the soldiers are collapsing in various ways such as having their screaming heads sent flying or having their bodies slide apart into halves, but the holes opened up by them falling are blocked by the next wave of people immediately.
Slicing apart those soldiers again with his katana, Renya realized that there aren’t that many bodies of the soldiers he casually chopped down scattered below his feet.
It occurs to him while thinking about it, but I should have cut down and burned a considerable number of soldiers, and yet their bodies, which should be lying on the ground, aren’t there.
Once he throws a glance behind him while slashing and flicking away the attacks swooping down on him one after the other, he could see that armor, which had unfastened its own torso armor clasp, grabbing the bodies of the soldiers, which Renya had defeated assiduously, and stuffing them into its exposed interior.
The soldiers’ corpses are entangled by many arm looking things, which grow out of the black colored something within the armor, they are then picked up and swallowed immediately after coming into contact with the void black something.
No matter whether they are still breathing or not, or whether they are burnt black or raw, the armor continuously grabs their bodies and stuffs them into itself without any concern.
Moreover, the soldiers, who picked a fight with the armor that repeats such an eerie action over and over again, are caught just like that and stuffed into the armor which doesn’t seem to care about their struggling and writhing efforts.
The sight of the soldiers’ bodies being pulled into the armor after being seized by many pitch black arms, all whilst screaming, struggling desperately to escape and making sounds as if twigs were broken, had an ominousness which made insisting that the armor was a golem absolutely impossible.
Unintentionally Renya ends up forgetting that he’s in the middle of a battle and asks,
“You… what are you doing?” (Renya)
Even while asking, he doesn’t stop to wield the katana with his right hand. If there’s an opportunity, Renya slashes at the soldiers or crushes them under foot after kicking them.
Due to Renya’s question, the armor unexpectedly stops its hands from seizing the soldiers’ bodies. Renya didn’t know at all where it’s looking since it has no eyes, but it stops moving for a short moment with its face more or less pointing in Renya’s direction.
Seemingly having eventually reached some kind of conclusion, it immediately resumed its work of stuffing the soldiers into itself.
Come to think of it, this armor does use gestures, but at present there’s no evidence of it having a talking feature.
Thus there was no way for it to give an answer even if asked, but despite that, Renya couldn’t help but question it due to the armor’s abnormality behavior.
The armor probably wanted to give Renya some kind of answer, but since there’s currently no method for the armor to accurately convey its will, it apparently gave up after pondering about it for a short moment.
It seems that it reached the conclusion that it’s more important to diligently stuff it’s interior with soldiers for now rather than spending time on such pointless brooding.
Naturally, once they see the armor showing such an eerie behavior, even the enemy soldiers would have likely hated approaching it or would be somewhat cautious of it. But the soldiers, who have been enslaved by the hero’s will, can’t take any action that goes against the hero’s orders.
As a result they bustle around Renya and haphazardly keep on attacking him. The spectacle of the endlessly repeating cycle of them easily being slaughtered by Renya’s counterattacks and then being collected (and stored) by the armor kept taking place in the centre of the battlefield.
“Is… Is there no end to this!?” (Renya)
With every flash of Renya’s katana more than one soldier collapses.
However, his opponents are soldiers that number 100,000 in total.
Even if he defeats numbers in the two- or three-digits, he’ll still be obeying the proverb of pouring water on a hot stone.
Moreover, it’s not like all the soldiers are heading towards Renya. Both wings of the enemy’s military forces have already gone past Renya’s location and have arrived before Trident’s outer wall.
Accordingly the Trident Principality’s soldiers have started a desperate defensive battle.
No matter how much combat power Renya boasts of, it’s impossible for him to stall a big army of 100,000 soldiers by himself, even if he makes full use of said power.
If I could at least bring the battle to the hero himself harboring that thought makes Renya lose his presence of mind little by little.
Many red lights rise up around Renya.
Quite a bit of mana has been poured into each and every single of them. Renya shouts,
“… a path!” (Renya)
The <Small Fireball> spells, which are originally nothing more than elementary fire spells, fly out while accompanied by a raging heat after having been supplied an excessive amount of mana.
The spell, with power so low that it can be blocked by a direct collision with thick armor, is now burning the soldiers by transpiring its heat to the collision area, be it armor or shields. Thus making the metal glow red and making combustible materials burst into flames all at once.
At once a revolting stench of human bodies being burned envelopes the area, but as if cutting that apart, the hero’s light attack assails Renya once again.
It was a strike that aimed for the gap that occurs after releasing large scale spells, but predicting that the attack will likely target said gap, Renya, who perceived the light being generated before the attack appeared in his visible field, once again safely offset it with a mana shield.
“This fucking asshole!” (Renya)
He activates and amplifies the <Manipulation> spell.
The target is the armor who is gathering enemy soldiers for dear life behind Renya.
Did the armor immediately guess that it had become the target of Renya’s spell? Stopping its hands from collecting the soldiers’ corpses, it spreads both its arms apart open while the front of its torso armor is still open.
Renya who understood from its action that it’s guessing his intention, grasps the armor’s body with the invisible sorcery arm, and threw its heavy body towards the crowd of soldiers in front – just like he previously did with Liaris when defeating the wyverns.
The armor, which was tossed into the crowd of soldiers with its arms wide open, drags several soldiers into its landing and squashes their bodies due to its considerable momentum.
The flattened soldiers die without even having the time to scream. They are grabbed by the extending arms from the still opened torso and dragged into the armor.
And not just that. Making its arms reach even towards the other soldiers that hadn’t been crushed under it, it pulls the them into its interior in turns.
The panicked soldiers in the surroundings try to stab or slash the armor, but being hindered by the thick armor plates and the sturdiness of mithril, they are instead thrown inside the armor once they stopped moving.
Renya somehow felt as if the length and number of arms growing out of the armor are increasing little by little, but right now it’s not a situation where he can’t be picky about that.
While maintaining the <Manipulation> spell on the armor, he pulls the armor back to him for a moment and throws it once more with twice the momentum.
The hero’s attack came flying in the middle of the toss, but the attack’s main beam was repelled by the armor’s surface and vanished after having only extinguishing several arms growing out of the armor.
It seems that the armor’s defensive strength possesses a firmness allowing it to defend against the hero’s attack. Mostly due to the unidentified something placed within the armor and the blessing of a mithril coating.
With this I might have obtained quite the efficient method to break through.
It’s apparently better to have the armor swallow the soldiers after crushing them all together rather than cutting my way through one by one. Having the armor itself absorb the soldiers it defeated and grow from that in addition is just like killing two birds with one stone. Thinking that, Renya pulled back the armor, used it to knock down the soldiers, who were around him, while eagerly brandishing their weapons, and then threw it at the soldiers that had gathered to block his path once again.