|Author: Hayaken||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2820 characters|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1343 words|
|Editor(s): Hydra, Liomad|
「All right! I won’t lose!」
In a direct engagement where both enemies and allies were at arm’s reach, Raphael had to refrain from resorting to a wide-area attack like what he did previously. He needed to pay attention to his surroundings better and make his move in a way that minimized any casualties.
He looked for enemies who might try to attack his men from their blind spots, making their elimination a priority. Just then, he saw a Knight occupied by an enemy in front of him almost taken from behind by a different Magic Stone Beast.
「I won’t let you!」
Raphael rushed to that Magic Stone Beast, cleaving it in half in a single swing. He immediately unleashed some ice from his dagger Artifact toward the humanoid Magic Stone Beast it was carrying, sealing the turned human.
「Thank you very much, Sir Raphael!」
「No need to thank me, just be more aware!」
Leaving those parting words, Raphael took off to another of his men who was similarly in a tough spot. Thanks to his efforts, the Holy Knight Order suffered fewer casualties than expected, and the number of Magic Stone Beasts decreased rapidly as well.
It wasn’t long until Eris and Ripple joined him after rounding up the enemies from the left flank.
「Raphael! Are you holding up well?!」
「I am! However, Lady Eris, Lady Ripple… have you noticed it? These Magic Stone Beasts have much more power than before!」
「Yup, they’re somehow more durable! You think it’s because the Prisma itself is getting stronger?!」
「All the more reason to persevere the vanguard unit’s stamina! Either way, we need to keep the casualty at a minimum and get ready for the next one!」
As he replied to Eris, Raphael looked back in the direction of the city of Arlman. The chaos caused by the humanoid Magic Stone Beast seemed to have subsided already. The troops positioned on top of the defensive wall had also begun to provide support fire with their ice Artifacts towards the humanoid Magic Stone Beasts that had fallen.
Furthermore, Raphael could spot bluish-white haze rising from all over the city. That was the glow that occurred when Black Mask changed the size of the frozen humanoid Magic Stone Beasts.
Things seemed to be going well on that front. Once he was done with the ones within the city, then he would have to take care of his turned comrades that were being frozen outside the city. That would be a lot of work for one person to handle, but there really was no choice but to leave it all to him.
「Our collaborator’s working hard too… hmm?! That’s…?!」
「Uwah…?! H-, hey, look!」
「…!!! Ripple, Raphael! We have incoming!」
The three exclaimed at the same time. Raphael was looking backwards, Eris to the right, and Ripple to the front.
In other words, those three spotted different enemy groups that were incoming at the same time from three different locations.
「Wha…?! What’s happening?!」
「Are they trying to surround us?!」
「It, it’s all Magic Stone Beasts wherever I look!」
A large group of Magic Stone beasts appeared to surround the city of Arlman. Almost all of them were of the flying bird type. They numbered several times… tens of times, even, of the group that the vanguard unit was currently engaged in battle with. And, what was even more bizarre was…
「I can’t believe Magic Stone Beasts would act like this!」
「Yeah! I don’t recall this has ever happened before!」
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Eris and Ripple voiced the thoughts Raphael had.
While Magic Stone Beasts were powerful and a threat to anyone who lived on Midland, their behavior was at most animal-like. Indeed, there were times they would form groups like a herd and attack villages and towns wherever they went. However, that was instinctive behavior, neither tactical nor strategic.
Surrounding and attacking an opponent or enemy base like this was simply unbelievable to come from Magic Stone Beasts. It was almost as if they had some clear objective or tactics in mind.
It would be more understandable if they were coming at the army waiting in the city from one direction in a large, unified group, rather than encircling them like this…
Their movements gave Raphael bad feelings, not to mention their sheer numbers. Therefore, he felt threatened by them. However, he would not stress over it. His mission was simply to slay the oncoming enemies.1 「We don’t have time to get overwhelmed! Let’s just prepare to intercept them immediately!」
「Indeed, you’re right! Our allies will collapse if we lose our heads!」
「But how do we attack?! The order can’t handle that many Magic Stone Beasts!」
「A nail standing out will be hammered down! We retreat and get behind the defensive walls! We will cooperate with lords’ private armies and hit them with all our forces!」
「They’re coming from all directions! If any of our fronts collapse, the whole city could collapse!」
「So the three of us go in separate directions, easy solution!」
「The Knights of the Holy Knight Order will be divided into four groups to become the main force in each direction to support each front!」
「Which means we have three fronts covered with the three of us! But, what about the last?!」
「Leave that to your vice commander, and we’ll have Miliera to support him! She’s here, might as well!」
「Understood! Let’s go with that! I shall provide assistance to the order while we’re putting the defense in order!」
The group of enemies from the first wave was not yet fully defeated. Nevertheless, if they didn’t make haste, dealing with the second wave would be that much more difficult. The Holy Knight Order would need a leader to suppress the enemy they were currently engaging while the rest of the army was taking up the defense formation.
「Okay, Imma go inform Miliera then!」
「Lady Eris, please take my vice commander and inform all troops to divide into four groups to support each front!」
「Will do! I will station myself on the western front after!」
「I’ll take north then! Let’s get Miliera to cover the south!」
「If so, I will go straight to the eastern front once I’m done here!」
The three nodded to each other and parted ways to fulfill their respective goals.