|Author: We Ain’t Fish||Original Source: SFACG|
|Translator: Myuu||English Source: Re:Library|
The sky had erupted in flames. From high above the army of Marquis Angus, Kafal had unleashed her Fire Breath.
Dragons could control their breath attacks with even greater precision than humans could control their breath. They could either spread it out to cover a wide area or hold it in place to sweep away their surroundings.
Kafal’s Breath resembled ray-type offensive magic, shooting in a straight line. The flames surged like the tip of a piercing spear, possessing enough force to shatter mountains as it aimed to pierce through and strike down Julian.
Lucella watched from a distance, and a chilling feeling washed over her. Since Monica was likely near Julian, a direct hit from that attack would be fatal.
However, her worries were unfounded.
Presumably coming from the vicinity where Julian stood, a countercurrent rose towards the sky, intercepting Kafal’s Breath. It was the attack from the Regalia “Wisdom Eye Vortex”.
Fire and water.
The two Breaths clashed directly in mid-air, generating an explosive burst of steam as they nullified each other.
Their power seemed evenly matched, but the current of water gradually pushed back against the flames. A dragon’s Breath was exactly as its name implied – an attack made through their breath. Despite the dragon’s immense lung capacity, it couldn’t be sustained forever.
Faced with a disadvantage, Kafal decided to break away from the Breath battle that had reached a stalemate. She spread her wings wide and executed a graceful turn, avoiding the pursuing attack unleashed by the Regalia. Taking a deep breath, Kafal prepared to deliver her next strike upon the ground.
However, Julian was ready to intercept her move, and a cloud of steam filled the air.
The water that had been used earlier to counter Kafal’s Breath attack came pouring down heavily, saturating the ground, while a brilliant rainbow arched across the sky.
—What incredible power… Mom’s breath is being overwhelmed. So this is the power of Regalia…
Lucella watched the battle from the rooftop of an improvised fortress built halfway up the mountain, well above the location where the vanguard of Marquis Angus’ army was positioned.
Through her Magical Binoculars which allowed her to magnify images using magic, she could even make out Monica’s figure. Monica seemed to be following Julian with a posture that appeared as if she was crucified mid-air, right at the heart of the enemy camp.
“With the immense power of the Regalia, they sweep away the enemy, while the soldiers exploit our weaknesses and safeguard the Regalia… It may seem like a straightforward strategy, but it is undeniably effective.”
Beside her, Christophe also peered through his Magical Binoculars, calmly analyzing the enemy’s movements.
“Young dragon,” Christophe began.
”Lucella, please call me Lucella.”
“Very well, Lucella. Allow me to share my impressions after observing the battle so far. I believe we can emerge victorious.”
“…And what is your reason for this belief?”
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In Christophe’s sharply chiseled face, his eyes gleamed with determination.
Without shifting his gaze to Lucella, he continued to observe the battlefield attentively.
“He appears to be in an excited state. That was a battle of an inexperienced rookie, driven by the heat of his first real battle. In such a state, no matter how clever he may be in theory, his mind won’t function properly,” He explained.
“Can you discern all that just from observing from afar?” Lucella inquired.
“I indeed can,” Christophe replied.
Before them lay a map of the mountain and a desk with numerous Callers neatly arranged. Paperweights held the map and Callers in place to prevent them from being blown away by the wind.
Lowering his binoculars, Christophe methodically activated each Caller, which linked to the frontline commanders positioned at various locations on the mountain.
“First, draw them in! The other party is in a race against time—there is no option to retreat! We must keep our losses to a minimum while wearing them down! Use the Variants as needed and remain vigilant for any potential flanking maneuvers by the enemy!” Christophe commanded.
“““Understood!””” echoed the response from the commanders connected through the Callers.
Amidst the intense battle of Breaths between the Red Dragon and Julian’s borrowed power-induced pseudo-breath, the scene resembled a life-or-death fireworks display. Under it, Setulev soldiers defending the mountain engaged the forces of Marquis Angus, and knights fought against the attacking Variants. However, suddenly, all attacks came to an abrupt halt.
“Enemy soldiers and the Red Dragon are retreating!”
The decision to withdraw was swift. It was issued right as the knights took down the Variants.
Julian watched the Red Dragon ascend into the high skies during its retreat, taking a moment to catch his breath and assess the situation around him.
He observed healers using restorative magic to tend to the wounded and fallen warriors. Because of some power, there were some whose mythril armor was half-melted, and also those whose bodies were crushed along with armor. For such people who were beyond saving, short prayers were offered as a final gesture of respect.
In the world, there existed a magic capable of resurrecting the dead. However, to achieve this feat, one needed a combination of factors, including ritual sites like temples, well-preserved corpses, abundant magical catalysts, skilled practitioners, and a stroke of luck. Even with multiple deaths, attempting resurrection was typically limited to only a few individuals at a time. For most of those who fell on the battlefield, it was already certain that their lives were lost forever.
“So they’re retreating right as the Variants are eliminated, huh? And then, they are going to prepare for the attack at the next defense line…”
Despite the loss of his retainers and the soldiers they had gathered, Julian remained composed. However, he understood the importance of preserving their forces.
The knights guarding the Regalia (Julian and Monica) possessed exceptional abilities, far surpassing those of ordinary soldiers. Each of them was a formidable warrior, capable of leaving handprints on mythril with their powerful blows.
Yet, not long ago, these elite knights, along with Kenneth, had suffered heavy casualties at Mount Kuguse. The current situation was a result of gathering the survivors after that devastating defeat.
Their numbers and strength were insufficient, and there were no viable replacements.
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—They are really throwing Variants at us with wild abandon. Just where have they been hiding so many of them?
The attacks from the Variants were clearly aimed at weakening the Regalia’s defenses. While Julian had expected such attacks, he was surprised by how efficiently they were utilizing the Variants.
—Perhaps our information gathering or analysis was flawed… or maybe both.
Julian was aware of the intel suggesting that monsters with strange movements were using the cover of night to transport something to Mount Kuguse. Initially, it was analyzed that Setulev was using mounted beasts to transport military supplies. However, what Julian didn’t know was that the dragons were also employing cargo-carrying monsters to bring the Variants into the mountain.
However, regardless of any misjudgments, retreat was no longer an option.
Moreover, there was no need for retreat.
Gazing up at the fortification on the mountainside, Julian consulted the map.
There were still several potential points where the enemy could launch attacks before reaching the fortress. It seemed the enemy’s strategy involved using the Variants as makeshift bombs to exhaust Julian’s forces and leave him vulnerable.
“They are cautious to a foolish degree. But we have our own plan,” Julian remarked.
He glanced at Monica, who was beside him.
Floating in the air with the power of Regalia, she had been accompanying Julian. It seemed that her emotions had been overwhelmed by despair, as she now remained still and unresponsive, simply gazing at the ground amid the fierce battle.
“Dog, use the Regalia… Release all the shackles binding the land of Setulev.”
Monica, previously lost in an almost trance-like state with her head hung low, suddenly looked up, startled. A rare flash of fear appeared in her cloudy eyes, an emotion she hadn’t shown in quite some time.