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As we ride Rollodeen, we fly through the sky, gently swaying up and down. Breaking through a cloud in the shape of a woman’s bulging breast, the Great Prairie of Pelneet expands beneath us. I can see how a pack of big boars is racing across the grassy ground, and I’ve also spotted a monster resembling a tyrannosaurus rex.
While enjoying that scenery, we head towards the battlefield. It’s situated in the neighboring region of the labyrinth city, but still unknown to me. Moreover, although it’s described as plain, it’s littered with ravines and canyons…
Now then, it should be somewhere around here… The tip of <Blood Chain Search> is pointing in the same direction.
After gently stroking Rollodeen’s back, I ask her to circle around the area. As I’m gazing at the area below us, I discover our destination.
A thick cloud of dust is rising from the fort recorded on the map, reflecting the sunlight with a sheen of a whitish pearl. However…a part of its wall has broken down.
The imperial soldiers surrounding the fort are hurling arrows, earth magic, and clusters of wind magic inside the fort through the breach. I can hear the screams inside the fort from all the way up here. Blood is also being scattered all over the place. But, the Kingdom’s soldiers don’t just take this for granted. They fire one volley of arrows after the other outside the walls.
After the arrows, the captain of the kingdom’s magicians hurls his orders, resulting in waves of wind magic being launched at the attackers.
The imperial soldiers, who’ve tried to assault the fort, fall prey to great amounts of arrows and spells instead. It looks like the kingdom’s side has succeeded in pushing them back for the time being. However, that still doesn’t negate the breach in the wall. At this rate, the imperial infantrymen getting inside the fort…is just a question of time, isn’t it?
Just as I reach that conclusion, I can spot an imperial advance party, protected by heavy infantry, storming the fort while blocking the arrows and spells hurled at them. The imperial soldiers swarm inside the fort like an avalanche.
This means the time for watching this carefreely as a spectator is over.
“…It’s over there, isn’t it? Though it doesn’t look like either the enemy or our allies have noticed our presence.” Rebecca comments while watching the situation at the fort.
“Once we arrive at the fort, all of you spread out, and join the kingdom’s side. Kill all enemy soldiers. I’ll back you up while looking for Fran with the blood chain. Once I’ve secured her, I’ll contact you via blood message. Blood Beast Corps, you guys follow Mamani’s instructions, just as usual.”
“Let me reaffirm once more: Our first priority is to ensure Fran’s safety, which I’ll handle. Second, you guys are going to back up the kingdom’s soldiers while eliminating all hostile elements. Of course, you can adapt your strategy depending on the situation.”
Alright. I look at everyone’s faces, and nod.
“Rollo, head into the fort over there.”
In the next moment, Rollodeen begins to descend.
The instant she lands inside the fort, all of us spread out. I jump off Rollodeen’s back while carrying Viine.
『Helme, you come out as well』
Helme comes out of my left eye, and changes into her humanoid form in an instant. With graceful movements befitting a spirit, she floats up into the air while creating ice cocoons in both her hands while releasing sheets of water sprays to the front. Then she jumps on top of the roof of a two-storied building.
Next to Helme, who’s started to fire pebbles from the two cocoons, floats Eva in her magic wheelchair. Mysty is sitting on Eva’s lap. Just as they had discussed, Eva and Mysty seem to work in a tandem.
Eva has deployed the five Steel Orbs of Sergilon, a Legendary weapon we got out of a silver treasure chest, next to her wheelchair. Mysty pokes one of those orbs with her fingertip with her eyes gleaming full of keen curiosity. Seeing that, Eva whispers something into Mysty’s ear, but I can’t catch it from here.
In the meantime, I put down Viine.
Enemy soldiers throw iron spears at Helme, Mysty, and Eva from below. But, all the spears are caught in midair by the purple mana released from Eva’s feet.
Helme, who’s been next to Eva, runs through the sky as she looks at the enemy soldiers, who attacked from below. She creates a bunch of ice stones from her cocoons, launching them at the enemies. Eva sends her five steel orbs towards an imperial archer platoon. The orbs directly impact into the bellies of the platoon members.
With those things as opponents, even armor bears no meaning. The archers explode from their abdomens as if they didn’t have a torso to begin with, blowing chunks of meat in all directions. The orbs raise clouds of dust as they embed themselves in the ground after penetrating at full force through the soldiers.
Next, Eva manipulates the orbs buried in the ground, causing them to vibrate and then swiftly return back to her as if being pulled by a strong magnet.
“――Above! Target the magicians above us!”
“Fire your arrows at them!”
Many imperial archers and magicians clamor. They turn their ranged attacks at Eva’s group, probably considering them a threat.
But the simple golem created by Mysty turns into a wall in the air, blocking all the arrows and spells launched at them, just to crash down inside the fort with a huge earthen tremor. The simple golem draws the attention of everyone present nearby. Eva flies to its left, Helme to its right side, as if drawing a circle.
Rollodeen transforms into a black panther. She leaps and dashes along the wall. Then she unleashes a great number of tentacles at the imperial soldiers who have invaded through the breach. My partner is reliable, seeing how her tentacle swords stab the enemy while protecting the kingdom’s soldiers who have come out from inside the fort. Rollodeen likely doesn’t fully understand the difference between the Empire and the Kingdom, but she faithfully does what she was instructed to do.
“The new beast is our allyyyy!”
“Wait, there was a beast tamer among us?”
“Probably new reinforcements.”
The kingdom’s soldiers rejoice when seeing Rollodeen’s moves as she skilfully runs along the wall. Various compliments make their way towards Rollodeen.
“Rollo-chan, with my fists, I’ll also help out――” Rebecca extends her right hand with the Katar straight ahead while performing fine footwork.
She drives her splendid thrust into the chest of a heavy infantryman. The sharp blade of the Katar flicks away the hilt of the soldier’s steel ax, and penetrates the thick steel armor at the chest part with the elaborate imperial design. Immediately after stabbing him, Rebecca pulls out the Katar, and takes some distance with swift back stepping.
Her movements look decent and smooth, without her having flopped down.
Next she extends her hands to the left and right with her body clad in an aura of flickering blue flames, and a couple of sharp flame lances is created at her fingertips.
“――The blood in this area is mine.” Rebecca mutters with a devilish smile befitting a vampire.
She hurls the flame lances at an imperial soldier fighting Mamani and Bia, piercing his head and leg.
The soldier’s scream fades away like a radio-cassette player that fell into water, and finally vanishes completely. The cause is the liquefied Helme. She slipped into the mouth of the fallen soldier and killed him by sucking all his blood dry.
Still, those were some nice moves of Rebecca, weren’t they? Although her practice time has been rather short, it’s obvious that the Kulbul Boxing Style is doing her good.
At that moment, Fuu enters my field of vision as she fights next to Rollodeen. Chanting an earth spell, she constructs a circular defense array. With that place as a cardinal point, Mamani, Bia, and Souther cooperate with each other to kill the imperial soldiers, mass producing corpses in the process.
Yui has been watching the Blood Beast Corps’ teamwork in admiration, but then says, “――Fufu, you’ve been making use of Dad’s training――”
Her long katana is swung down from a stance resembling Hassou. Her slashes, as they leave trails in the air, cause blood to dance in the air from the necks, waists, and legs of the imperial soldiers who drop to the ground like flies.
“Yui-neesan! I won’t lose to you!”
“What a magnificent swordplay. I’ll do the same with Gadorices――”
The two uneven swordswomen mirror their movements while running to the left and right, and unleashing torso slashes. The imperial spearmen on either side are cleaved apart in two halves at their abdomen, dying in a fountain of blood.
Souther and Viine are completely synchronized. Viine seems to recall the time when she worked together with her little sisters.
Eva circles around the two-storied building’s roof, at times floating above it and at other times landing on it, while Mysty manipulates the simple golem. The golem acts as second line of defense, as if to protect the wall created by Fuu. Or rather, it acts as mobile Mysty fortress, blowing away platoons of heavy infantrymen with powerful right steel hooks. Thanks to its heavy blows, the enemy lines fall into chaos.
With Fuu’s wall and Mysty’s golem as core, my comrades naturally adopt a defensive formation. The Blood Beast Corps and my chosen bloodkin sally forth from within, causing death and despair among the enemy soldiers as they will.
――It looks like it’ll be an easy fight.
I create wood spears with <Tree of the Evil King>, and support my allies by throwing those at the imperial soldiers. Meanwhile I follow the blood trace, shouting, “Fran, where are you!?”
Separating a bit from my friends, I follow the Blood Chain Search’s lead, heading deeper inside the fort. The fort’s interior is in the middle of a full-blown melee. All kinds of voices fly through the air, just to be drowned out by the multitude of sword clashes.
While paying attention to not mistake friend and foe, I pierce the belly of an imperial soldier in front of me with Baldok’s red spear. After tossing the soldier dangling at the spearhead away, I proceed through a place supported by pillars.
Befitting a vampire species, I use <Drain Soul> every once in a while on an imperial soldier lunging at me from the shadows, while continuing to look for Fran.
At that moment, “――Oh, Shuuya! I hadn’t expected for you to come save me――”
I cancel <Blood Chain Search> as I’ve found her now. While she chatters on carefreely, she cuts down one and then two imperial soldiers with wonderful slashes of her bastard sword. Then she swiftly swings her sword from the left to the right in order to get rid of the blood clinging to the blade.
Next she sinks the blade into the neck of an imperial soldier, who approached from the left clad in a scale mail and with a cutlass at hand. With a nice crunch, the enemy’s head is lopped off its neck. A geyser of blood spurts out from the soldier’s neck.
Using that opportunity, I naturally focus on <Blood Path – Open First Gate> in an instant. All the blood flung into the air is sucked up by me.
“I’m happy to see you safe and sound.” I say while absorbing the blood.
Her body is riddled with cuts at some places, and her red hair had a change of hair style after being pruned off, but she’s alive.
“I’m sorry to be a party-pooper, but the situation is, as you can see…this is far beyond any Plan B――” She laughs while bisecting an imperial soldier with a swing of her sword.
While running along the wall, I say, “It sure looks like it――,” while casually extending my left hand, unleashing a <Thrust>.
Baldok drills into the head of a spearman who was about to stab away at Fran.
“I love Plan B’s, you see――” While talking to Fran, I rotate my body around her like a satellite while swinging Baldok sideways.
An imperial soldier, who had approached her from behind, is blown away after catching Baldok’s ax blade with his torso.
“――Haha, is that because you became a B Rank adventurer?”
Fran deals with the strong-looking imperial soldier, who lowered his stance while thrusting his flamberge, holding up her transparent, left hand towards him. Many eyeballs squirm around on the surface of her left arm, causing it to barely look like an arm at all. A venomous mana wave is released from her gross hand.
Wrapped up by that wave of mana, her opponent rolls his eyes, screams in apparent confusion, “Uaaaooohhhh,” and starts to swing around his flamberge, hitting one of his comrades.
Just like that, I fight back to back with Fran who has started to pant. There’s no change in us being surrounded by enemy soldiers.
After informing everyone that I’ve secured Fran through a blood message, I parry the spearhead of an enemy charging at me from the front with the red ax blade. I tilt Baldok, and make it revolve in a small circle, flipping the enemy’s spear upwards. Then I advance with Magic Combat Step, leaving Fran’s back. After closing the distance to the enemy, I drive Baldok’s lower part against his foot.
Injured, the soldier pitches forward, falling down. I welcome his face with a trace kick of Alzen’s Boots. The soldier’s spine is instantly bent backwards, and snaps from the force.
While pulling back my leg, I rotate with the toes of the other foot as axis while returning to Fran’s back.
“It’s an indoor battle, and yet you’re so skilled…”
She apparently watched me with a sidelong glance. Or does Fran share her sight with the eyeballs on her left arm?
While pondering this, “It’s all thanks to my Master――”
After shooting down four archers approaching from the left with <Chain>, I wrap the chain around their bodies, creating a bloodstained flesh wall.
“With this the direction of the incoming attacks is limited. Shall we go after annihilating the rest?”
We advance through the fort while slaughtering all the enemies heading our way, but the enemy’s number doesn’t diminish. Since Fran looks tired, I deploy the chains from both chain factors, constructing a semicircular chain barrier around her. There are little gaps between the layers of chain, but they shouldn’t allow for arrows or wind spells to pass through.
This circular barrier has proven its worth by blocking the special magic of that hand mirror of Goddess of Magic Poison Misea.
“Rest up in there.”
While at it, I offer her an intermediate healing potion. While also casting healing magic on her, I take out a blanket and have her use it, thinking that it’d be bad for her to get cold.
“…” She wraps the blanket around her shoulders while blushing.
The circular defense array of <Chain> is open to the front to serve as an exit. I block that exit by standing in front of her. I continue protecting Fran by not allowing a single imperial soldier to get past me.
And then I say to Fran behind me, “…Fran, what happened to the folks from Bloody Long Ears?”
“I got separated from him in the middle of this.”
“Looking for him was your mission, so is that going to be alright?”
“Sorry. It’s just as you say. He’s currently holding onto important, confidential information of the enemy. If he’s still alive, I must protect him…”
“What’s his name?”
“Curél. He’s called Curél the Rebellious Sword.”
“I’ve heard that name before.”
“You’d often hear Curél’s name mentioned when it comes to bloody business…” Fran says with a gloomy face.
I stare at her, wondering whether she still needs some time to recover. Somehow she also looks rather haggard, though…
“Hey, the skill of your left arm from before, is that some kind of risky skill or something?”
“…It is. I need a bit longer to recover.”
Is it more stomach-twisting than Sage Art? Or maybe it’s a special skill demanding a payment of your mind or soul.
Either way, if you don’t have a mana recovery skill, a stamina recovery skill, or a skill boosting your mental capacities, I guess you’ll usually end up like this. Though it might be different…if you have magic swords like the Divine King ranker Rave.
The spear user Ashima, whom I met and fought in Zamalia before, had a recovery skill as well.
As I think about these things, I contact everyone through a blood message.
『…Right now I’m waiting for Fran to recover inside the fort. Continue annihilating the imperial soldiers while protecting the kingdom’s soldiers』
A little time passes as we exchange blood messages.
At the time when the corpses of imperial soldiers have piled up with no new ones appearing in front of us, Fran calls out to me, “Sorry for making you wait. Let’s go.”
Her face has regained its color. The blood spurts clinging to her face look like make-up.
“…So, where did you part with Curél? Or is there any place where he’d likely go?”
At a quick pace, Fran and I head towards the place indicated by her.
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