|Author: Kobayashi Homare
|Original Source: Syosetu
|Word Count: 3848 characters
|English Source: Re:Library
|Word Count: 1763 words
The battle started. There was nothing signaling the beginning. First both sides sent their aerial forces, trying to secure the skies. Saying that they covered the sky was an exaggeration, but the enemy had an overwhelming number of wyvern and pegasus riders compared to ours, all of which charged with their weapons ready. The scouts who noticed that quickly returned to our camp, giving the signal for our aerial units to take off as well.
“Time to head out then.”
After a short exchange with Lyde, I went up into the air as well. As I climbed higher into the sky, I was able to see the enemy’s formation more clearly. They were an enormous army, but since the black knights who had little formal training were mixed within, there was little order to their movements. Usually an army would march in perfect rhythm when their morale was high, so this also went to show how motivated the enemy really was.
“Let’s get rid of them before our land troops collide! Forward!!”
I accelerated at an instant and flew forward, my allies following behind me. Both sides were flying at a high speed, so even though they started off as small distant specs, we were almost crashing into each other mere moments later. The flying monsters that could be tamed with the highest speed were wyverns, but I could fly faster, raising my hand while focusing mana as I approached them.
There was a flash of light and bolts of lightning shot from my hand, spreading through the enemy wyverns. The riders had no time to even scream, their flying partners quickly plummeting down. I was restraining my power, so those hit by the lightning would not be burnt to a crisp, but the electric shock left them paralyzed. If they could no longer move in the air, they would simply fall to their demise.
I rushed in as the first enemies fell, attacking the next wave of enemies. I shot multiple fireballs from my right hand, while my left sent icy spears into them. I kept flying from one direction to another with sharp turns to avoid enemy fire. In the past there would have been enemy magicians who could use Flight Magic like me, stopping me from doing this, but they did not exist anymore. Most of them had only heard of Flight Magic, never seen it themselves, so they were confused and struggling to figure out a way to stop me. I used their confusion to my advantage.
“Surround her! Cut off any way for her to escape!”
“We can’t! She’s too fast!”
“Don’t stay so close, goddamnit! She’s shooting magic again!”
The pegasus and wyvern riders fell injured one after another. But they still outnumbered us many times over. They kept trying to think of ways to stop me, all the while more of their comrades fell, but none of them could match me on speed and agility. Pegasus and wyverns use their wings to fly, so they are more awkward when changing directions or stopping. Meanwhile I used magic to fly. I could easily accelerate and brake, fly straight forward and then instantly go back.
“At least these troops trained well. They’re still trying to attack…”
They had already lost around ten or twenty percent of their units since the battle started, but they showed no signs of retreating even though their formation was chaotic. There were no black knights in the aerial troops, so I had no specific reason to kill them, so I made sure that if they were lucky, they would survive their falls, but it was taking longer to drive them away than I expected. They were in complete disarray when the rest of my allies arrived there and helped with the attack.
The enemy had been so distracted by me that they had not noticed their arrival, and they quickly felt wyverns tearing through their pegasus, the riders falling to the ground while screaming wildly. Other knights had their stomachs pierced by spears, convulsing in agony atop their wyverns. Everyone tried to move and avoid incoming fire, my allies using every tool at their disposal to dismount the enemy. I could hear screams from both sides as countless bodies and blood splatters rained over the battlefield below.
“We can’t keep delaying so much…”
I did not want to hit my allies by accident, so I switched my focus away from the conflict nearby, attacking the enemies that had not reached us yet. I raised my arms and cast a different spell, creating a powerful gust of wind in front of me. The wind was so powerful that trees on the ground below were pulled back, and the enemies were literally blown away. Some of them managed to hold onto their rides desperately, but the majority could no longer stay on the air. The creatures, which could only fly when flapping their wings, were all pushed together, without enough space to take flight again. They all fell to the ground before they could disentangle themselves.
This was enough to equalize the difference in numbers, at least when it came to aerial units. I could trust my allies would take care of the rest, and now I could go support those on the ground.
Barely any time passed since Lapis took off, and I could already see bright flashes and feel shockwaves that could only be her magic. Meanwhile the enemy began to fall in an almost comical way. They were Bordaule’s proud aerial troops, but they were falling like measly mosquitos in front of her. I was not the only one who was so shocked, the knights and soldiers near me also doubted their eyes.
“That’s the Lapis we know!”
“Look! There’s already way less enemies!”
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Everyone’s morale was increasing as they watched the aerial battle. They looked excited, shaking each other’s shoulders while laughing like children. It was almost like they could feel the battle being won already.
“Don’t let your guards down! The enemy is almost here!”
Hearing my shout, everyone hurried to get back in line. This was no time to get distracted by another fight. We had to focus on the large army marching towards us.
The earth trembled as the enemy let out a war cry and ran towards us. Because of the difference in mobility, the cavalry was in the front. Magic from the enemy flew right behind them, trying to catch up.
“Magic defenses engage!”
Our priests quickly raised a protective barrier in front of us. The enemy’s spells collided with it, dispersing into traces of fire, ice, and water. A moment later our magicians launched their spells in retaliation. The enemy’s priests had been too slow to react, or the cavalry had gone too far ahead, but nothing stopped our spells from hitting them, multiple riders being dismounted at once. That barely put a dent on their numbers, however. I felt like a resilient wall was being pushed against us, but I ignored that sensation and gave the next order.
The arrows shot by our army drew large parabolas in the air before falling towards the enemy troops. Many of the enemy knight’s armor deflected the hits, getting off with barely any scratches. But the horses they rode on fared worse. They had some armor in front and back, but it was very light to not impede their mobility. It offered next to no protection, and the arrows with the most momentum easily pierced through it.
As the horses lost their balance, they fell down on their faces. That resulted in the riders being flung forwards onto the ground. Most riders were equipped with heavy lances, their role being to charge into the enemy lines with a straightforward but strong attack to crumble a formation. To allow that, the riders wore heavy and thick armor. But now that resulted in a painful fall that left them crippled. Those who fell on their backs or stomach would survive without major injuries, but those who came head first or into their necks would die almost instantly, or at least with more than a few broken bones.
The enemy realized the battle was in full swing already, so all the riders held their lances ready. Because of our deficit in numbers, our riders were on reserve, there were other things we could use first. Many of our soldiers rushed forward, holding spears around three meters long at an angle towards them, packed with such density that the enemy could not pass through without impaling themselves. The enemy obviously turned to the sides to avoid that, but moments later they vanished from our sights.
They could barely react to the deep holes that appeared in front of them, vanishing inside as others piled up on top of them. They were simplistic pitfalls, covered by some cloth and dirt, but the horses were galloping so hard they had no time to notice them. They were not the deadliest of traps, rather than having rows of spears we simply left broken glass and rusted arrows on the bottom, as well as some old spear heads and broken swords. Once piled together they still dealt considerable damage, not to mention that a fall of a few meters would injure anyone.
Those coming after the first group tried to change directions even more to avoid falling into the same pitfalls, but there were more than just one. No matter where they headed, they saw those in front vanish underground.
“Riders, now! Charge!”
Our cavalry shouted as they ran out to the battlefield. We only had a handful of riders, but that made it easy to teach them the exact location of all the pitfalls. They skillfully dodged the traps and entered the enemy lines, confusing them and letting the spearmen finish them off.
The enemy riders were dismounted one after another. Our riders had lances as well, but they did not use them to pierce the enemy. If their lances got stuck in their thick armor, they would break. It was better to hit them, and let the weight of the enemy’s armor do the work.
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There was a constant metal clanking from the frontline, steel hitting steel. The first troops had all fallen to our pitfalls, and the rest were being taken down in their confusion, stalling their advance completely. But the main body of the enemy’s army had not reached us yet.