|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3617 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1546 words|
Having passed the steel gates, Mira and Kagura ran up a set of stairs in a small corridor and reached the next floor. A moment later their sight was bathed in crimson, while a sound like a loud explosion shook their eardrums.
It was a line of fire shooting simultaneously. If Mira’s group managed to get past the man in heavy armor, they would only be able to proceed through that tight corridor, so the enemy could simply focus their fire on that spot.
「Once again, we get quite the wild welcome.」
「I guess this is the main defense force we were told about.」
But Mira and Kagura did not seem bothered in the least, walking forward while waving away the dark smoke that quickly filled the place. When it was clear enough to see again, they glanced at their enemies.
The floor and walls of that place were all covered in metal. The room itself was easily about five hundred meters long and wide, and the army stationed there made it clear just how massive Chimera Clauzen was as an organization. The place was as large as a dome baseball stadium, filled with Stalwart Dolls as far as the eye could see. Magically engineered dolls, armed to fight autonomously. In front of them all, leading them and blocking Mira’s path, stood Gregorius.
「I guess it’s my turn already.」
Mira glanced at her enemies, which easily numbered more than a thousand, and taking a few steps forward she smiled. This was the time for that.
「Leave this to me, you go on without me!」
She declared with a posed look.
She had always wanted to say those words, yearning for this situation, one of her most desired scenes. Seeing Sero do something similar first, she had awaited her turn. This was truly a battlefield designed for her, out of all Nine Wisemen.
An eye for an eye, an army for an army. Such was the other name given to Danbulf, the army, now embodied by Mira. Strength in numbers was Mira’s forte, so she was the most fit for this battlefield.
Mira’s own desires aside, Kagura understood that was the best decision, instantly relegating it to Mira as she climbed on Piisuke and crossed above the army. But the enemy would not let her go so easily. Gregarious raised his hand, and all the Stalwart Dolls shot flames at Kagura.
More than a thousand sources of fire shot towards the same spot, crimson blazes scattering through the air with thunderous roars.
「I see they have quite the firepower.」
The air seemed to shake, a warm breeze passing by Mira’s cheek. Then silence returned.
Gregorius looked up with incredulity. Kagura and Piisuke, who were flying above them, had vanished with the flames. The Stalwart Dolls had quite the destructive power, but not enough to fully burn a person to ashes without trace. Gregorius knew that better than anyone, so he thought of another possibility and quickly looked around.
「Well, see you later then!」
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Behind him, on the opposite side from the entrance where Mira stood, was Kagura, at the steps leading to the next floor. She was completely unharmed, cheerfully waving her hand before turning around and climbing the stairs.
(Usually I would need to protect her after telling her I’m staying here… but covering a fake would make me look like an idiot. She really messed everything up.)
The Kagura that flew on Piisuke was a fake created with onmyoji arts. Mira had noticed that from the start, so she did not intervene, though she still heaved a sigh of annoyance.
「Oh well, who cares. I have work here.」
Mira looked around as she walked towards Gregorius. He clicked his tongue at the stairs, then turned enraged at Mira and walked at her too. The distance between the two became shorter until they were at the ideal range for spellcasters, and they stopped. There were roughly ten meters between them. All the Stalwart Dolls she could see from so close formed a formidable army, which reminded her of the virtual battles she went through in the past.
(Such a strange feeling. This is no longer a game but reality, yet I feel like I’ve returned to those days.)
Mira’s heart was stirred with excitement seeing them all. Her desire for battle rose, and her focus was heightened. It was like her entire body was overflowing with that feeling.
「You’re faced against such a large army, but decided to remain alone, huh. Quite confident in yourself, I see. How do you intend to tip the scales though? A black soldier and some horse won’t be of much help here.」
Gregorius had experienced Mira’s power in the past, so he said that trying to see through her plan. So far, she seemed to be trying to face more than a thousand dolls with little help. A summoner might be able to level the playing field somewhat, but all Stalwart Dolls were fully armed with spirit arms, making them many times more powerful than regular soldiers. And there were more than a thousand of them, making things even harder.
「Maybe yes, fighting with a disadvantage of numbers can be hard. One or two summons will do little in this situation.」
Even someone like Mira would struggle to fight such a large army alone. One hero with the strength of a thousand, pitted against an army of tens of thousands, such a tale existed only in legends, and Mira knew that. Even with the rules of this world, such a story was too surreal.
「But matching such numbers is what I do best.」
Some things never changed, even in fantasy worlds. Strength in numbers could overpower anything. And Mira knew that very well, which was one of the reasons that Danbulf, the army, existed in the first place.
「I’m more than ready to take you on. Let me use this occasion to present to you the true power of summoners, feast your eyes on it.」
Saying that, Mira’s eyes changed colors. They went to a dark green, before turning a piercing azure.
Eye Art: Sage’s Enchanted Eyes
That was a secret sage skill that allowed one to use the mana that existed in nature as their own. Combining her sage and summoner skills, Mira had learned how to create armies.
Summoning Magic: Dark Knight
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Using her nearly limitless supply of mana without remorse, Mira began summoning. A black magic circle appeared, a knight in black armor ascending from it. Something akin to black flames covered its entire body, and two red lights illuminated its vacant eyes.
Another magic circle appeared, then two more, ten, twenty, a hundred…two hundred, they seemed to increase exponentially, a Dark Knight stepping out from all of them. In mere seconds, a thousand Dark Knights stood behind Mira.
Gregorius had lost his advantage in numbers in such a short time, leaving him completely baffled, lost for words seeing the army of Dark Knights. He had thought he understood Mira’s true power.
He could not underestimate her, or let his guard down. Prepared for the worst case, he had surrounded himself with such an army. No matter how strong, she was still a spellcaster. Eventually she would run out of mana, decreasing her options to attack or defend herself. He had planned on achieving that with the ridiculous amount of Stalwart Dolls.
But Mira effortlessly overcame that obstacle. From his current situation, Gregorius learned he could not rely on Mira running out of mana anytime soon. But it also reminded him of an old legend. A poem of the Wiseman Danbulf, who could summon armies, opening the gates to the legions of death into battlefields.
(This might take too long… Or maybe not. She’s no god of death, I just need to hold out for ten minutes and it’ll be my victory.)
As far as Danbulf went, he was just a mere legend now. Gregorius averted his eyes from the scene that resembled his nightmares, calming himself down and silently glancing at Mira.
「Hm, just like I practiced. Perfect.」
Mira casually glanced back at her army of Dark Knights, then muttered satisfied. In preparation to fight Chimera Clauzen, Mira had been practicing something new. All Dark Knights were summoned with a weapon, and the moment they appeared, she switched it for the Holy Sword Sanctia.
Weapons with the Demon’s Curse in them were the natural enemy of Armor Spirits like Dark Knights. But when armed with Sanctia, imbued with the power of the Spirit King, they had the means to resist the curse.
At the very least that would allow them to protect themselves from Black Mist Stone weapons, or that was what Mira thought. Either way, all thousand Dark Knights held a Holy Sword in their hands, making them far more powerful than the army of old.
Both sides continued glaring at each other for a while, until Gregorius’ side fired the first shot. All Stalwart Dolls attacked in unison, raining fire on Mira and her large army, quickly turning the room into a heated battlefield.