Reiten of the dawn. The morning streets are filled with fresh morning breeze, and the peaceful liveliness signified the start of a day.
However, it wasn’t like that today. The smell of blood filled the air and cries of beasts came from outside the town constantly. On top of that, the huge group of people fully armed on the streets standing in line, it was an unusual morning for Reiten.
Four hundred soldiers from the army, about one thousand five hundred drafted soldiers, and another hundred or so mercenaries who responded to the request to participate formed the entirety of the subjugation squad.
Of course, Ted and the others are also participating as the 『Bright Stars of White Night』. Ted was in the squad that’s going to rush out on foot to meet the demonic beings, Orphellia and Norris are joining the squad providing support from the top of the walls, and Ardis who is thought to be a magician is the same.
Originally, it would be ideal for mercenary parties to move together as one. Although there are certainly mercenaries who are strong on their own, but normally, mercenaries can perform better if they are together with their comrades that they had fought together with on countless occasions.
That kind of relationship isn’t something that can be built in a day or two. It’s only possible for party members who had survived through life and death, that they can sync together well.
But certainly, since it’s expected to be a full-out brawl, it would be dangerous for magicians who are unfamiliar with close quarters combat on the battlefield. A magician’s attack often dictates the outcome of the battle after all.
On top of that, they’re against beasts that are grouped together tightly without any leaders or chain of command. There’s a huge potential in magician’s offensive spell in this situation.
Even if it’s a brawl, the strategy of letting the mercenary parties fight together should work too. But since there’s the option of raining down attacks from the walls safely after all, there’s no way they aren’t going to take advantage of that.
The commander of the army had judged that rather than having the magicians engaging in the battle recklessly, letting them shoot down offensive magic into the groups of monsters from the walls is more effective.
As for the archer Norris, he’s alright with close quarters combat to a certain degree. But since he was to prioritize intercepting any flying monsters, he was stationed on the walls as well.
「Your role is to deal with the beasts from above the walls, and to intercept anything that tries to fly into the town! 」
Before the battle commenced, the vice commander of the army gave out instructions above the walls.
「The first volley will be from the magicians! Try to maximize the area and decrease their numbers as much as possible! For the first five minutes, we will keep shooting out magic! During that, archers are to intercept any flying beasts! Protect the magicians during this time! There will be a signal to halt the magic attacks, the main unit will head out of the east gate that time! After that, judge by yourself to support the main unit suitably! 」
「May I interrupt? 」
When the vice commander’s explanation had paused, a thin looking magician raised his hands.
「What is it? Certainly, you’re from 『Freedom Cloud』…… 」
「I’m Hyull from 『Freedom Cloud』. The strategy is simple enough, I don’t have any problems with that. But, rather than supporting from the walls after the main unit heads out, wouldn’t it be better to join the battle on the ground? 」
「But wouldn’t that be too dangerous? Excuse me, but wouldn’t magicians be easy targets for the beasts in such a messy brawl? The main unit wouldn’t have any leeway to defend the magicians after all. 」
「I know that. But, leaving aside the beasts, it would be hard for the main unit to deal with demonic beings without the direct support of magicians. We can’t provide good enough support from here. After all, our roles as mercenaries this time is to deal with the demonic beings, right? 」
The mercenaries agreed one after another.
Even if he understood what the mercenaries were saying, the vice commander was hesitating to allow the magicians to directly participate in the battle.
「Wasn’t the plan to blast them with magic at the beginning to avoid it being a messy brawl? If their numbers decrease enough, the danger will decrease for the magicians as well. Then it’ll be up to our own judgement according to the situation, right? 」
Another magician voiced out his opinion to the vice commander. The idea he proposed that meant that they would be the one to judge the situation and take care of their own lives themselves, it was truly the thoughts of a mercenary.
「Muu……. If you say so. After the main unit heads out, you all are to judge the situation by yourself. But, we can’t be leaving the skies open as well. Some must stay to deal with the flying beasts. 」
The vice president seemed to have approved of the plan. In the end, it’s decided that there will be ten mercenaries staying on the walls to intercept any flying beasts, and the others will be heading down to the ground to support their comrades.
As for 『Bright Stars of White Night』, Norris and Orphellia decided to stay on the walls. After all, if it’s just Despairs, Ted wouldn’t need any support from them, and even if there’re opponents that he can’t win against by himself, he’s not that stupid to challenge them by himself, Ted would be able to judge when to retreat by himself. As for Ardis, needless to say, he would be joining the battle on the ground.
Finishing their preparation, everyone took on their position.
The silence before the battle, there wasn’t anything like that. Their opponents are monsters. During the time they got the briefing――, rather than that, the beasts had already been attacking the walls for the entire last night. While hearing the sound of monsters crashing into the wall, the roars and howling of the beasts, everyone was waiting for the signal to commence.
Eventually, the vice commander raised the commanding wand high, swinging it down along with the order.
Along with that command, the magicians started chanting, eventually, mass of violence manifested from the mana of the magicians.
「The burning flames that is the proof of mine strength――Graist! 」(Fireball)
「The tune of rupturing winds played by the pristine shrine maiden ――――Schelwi! 」(Wind Blades)
「The penetrating pebble of the unwavering heroism of the knight ――― Dessel! 」(Earth)
「The striking bullet that is the vanguard of the noble winter spirit ――― Felte! 」(Ice Block)
「Pale white of judgement that severs the sins of the far emptiness ―― Stee ・ Grol ・ Elmet ! 」(Blades of Fierce Strike)
The magicians let out devastating offensive spells one after another. The flame spells burnt the 『Gray Wolves』, the earth spells buried the 『Snatches』. As for the advanced offensive spells, they left behind a huge puddle of blood on the ground after rupturing the beasts in its area of effect.
「The fierce crimson that is the miracle of flames born of the ancient dragon’s breath ―― Ferno ・ Resta ・ Ganov! 」(Flames of Purgatory)
Orphellia as well released her most familiar advanced offensive magic spell. The flames of purgatory devoured the beasts in the area, leaving behind black lumps on the grasslands outside the east gate.
「Where they grouped up the most is there and ―― there. And there, I guess. ……They really gotten more than yesterday. 」
Ardis confirmed the numbers of beasts in the surrounding area. Although no one knew what is causing it, it’s evident that more beasts gather as time goes on. It’s wondrous where they all came from. Their numbers had already increased well past three thousand with just a single glance.
「The dance of eternity of the shining deep green in the color of imaginary land and the silence――――Troa・Seus・Fote! 」(Storm of the North)
Simply chanting a short aria quickly, Ardis brought out the world of snow.
The temperature in the area dropped significantly suddenly, even the water vapor in the air condensed and formed white mist. That blizzard assaulted at the creatures, first freezing their breaths, then their furs, and finally the water content in their bodies. Eventually, when the winds had dissipated the thick freezing mist, the people on top of the walls were noisy.
「W-What was that……? 」
「I heard about Storm of the North but……, that’s too much. 」
「The area and its damage is……」
「Could it be my imagination? It looked like even demonic beings were done in by that one spell……」
Just by looking, about twenty percent of the entire army of monsters were frozen into ice blocks in an instant. The monsters which were just out of control a moment ago, there’s now an obvious ovular area where all the monsters are covered in a layer of bluish white ice.
Well, the area of effect of the spell being ovular is one thing, but the usual Storm of the North shouldn’t have had this wide of an area.
「Whose magic……? 」
The magicians all seemed to have forgotten the battle, as they were deeply intrigued by who casted that. Without giving a second thought to their gazes, Ardis moved onto the next chant.
「Thou, the Valkyrie who winds precious death――Bluish life and reddish joy, I wish for the definite folds of the miracle of fate――Touch and hold, tremble and shake, shoot and penetrate――show the promised path to all who follows the covenant――――Litte・Kyuol・Ro・Berne! 」 (Bow of the Rainbow)
A rainbow-colored glowing ball manifested above Ardis’s head. Under the silence gazes of many, the glowing ball only continued to expand while exuding its intense presence.
It enlarged to the point it would easily tower over anyone, and its surface started to waver. When the trembles had calmed down to the point of unrecognizable, it suddenly changed.
The slight trembling formed small waves, and the next moment, spikes formed on the surface of the ball, becoming long arrows of light, and pierced the beasts on the ground in the next instant.
That scene was akin to a synchronized volley from archers. What was different was the fact that the arrows went in a straight line to its target, its power was incomparably more devastating, and the fact that it was all done by a single person.
The magic arrows manifested by Ardis mercilessly penetrated the bodies of the monsters, robbing them of their lives. There was no one who knew the exact number but, everyone there was convinced that the magic spell just now took down at least a hundred of them. There was guaranteed death for those who was targeted. Getting shot in their vitals, they became corpses in an instant by the spell.
「Amazing……. It’s my first time seeing someone who can use Bow of the Rainbow. 」
「No, wait……! That’s too strange! Isn’t Bow of the Rainbow only capable of firing ten shots in a single spell!? 」
「He looks just like a kid though!? 」
「Who’s that magician? 」
After all, Bow of the Rainbow is a magic spell that’s extremely difficult to control, there aren’t many who are capable of using it. It’s natural for any magicians to be interested in the one who used it.
But, for Ardis, such things didn’t matter at all to him. The spell he casted just now, in fact, it wasn’t Bow of the Rainbow at all, he was just imitating it. Of course, he could’ve used it without any chants.
「Ahaha. It’s Ardis’s natural talent to make even his comrades confused. 」
「Seriously. It’s cheating how can he use that kind of magic without running out of mana. 」
It’s the normal half given up reaction from Norris and Orphellia.
「……It’s scary to have a magician like that as an enemy. But now he’s on our side, that’s very reassuring. But even I won’t lose! 」
It was Hyull from 『Freedom Cloud』 who got motivated after seeing Ardis’s magic. Then, he shot out a Flames of Purgatory that wouldn’t lose to Orphellia’s, decreasing the numerical advantage of the monsters even more.
The other magicians who saw that remembered their roles as well, as they shot out magic spells one after another. Five minutes after the signal to attack, the army of beasts that had suffered a bunch from the magicians’ attack had already lost half their numbers.
「Good! Stop the barrage! Support the main unit and intercept any flying beast hereafter! 」
At the vice commander’s order, the attacks from above the walls stopped.
「Opening the gate! 」
The east gate opened slowly along with a loud creak.
「It’s time to go, everyone! Don’t be slow! 」
The main unit which were saving their strength till now raised a loud cry before rushing out the gate like a broken dam.
The advantage in numbers switched sides. But, there were still demonic beings in the opponent’s side. If they were all beasts, the army and even the drafted soldiers wouldn’t have any troubles. However, with the presence of demonic beings, even the vice commander seemed to be anxious.
「Well then, vice commander-san. We will be going to help out our parties. 」
「Umu. I wish you all luck in battle. 」
Starting from Hyull of 『Freedom Cloud』, the other magicians all headed down the walls to group up with their party.
「Well, I will be going too. Norris, Orphellia, it will be up to you guys here. 」
After receiving the replies from the both, Ardis started walking the opposite direction from the stairs.
「Oi, you’re going too? That’s not where the stairs are at though? The stairs are over here――」
Ignoring the soldier who’s confused at Ardis’s action, Ardis stood at the edge of the wall and looked down.
It was the main unit below who are fighting against the monsters. He saw and grasped the entire battlefield in an instant.
「Ted is……there huh. It seems fine to leave him alone for now. As for areas that are lacking……, there huh. 」
It was his monologue.
「Hey. Even if the beasts wouldn’t shoot arrows at you, it’s dangerous to stand there. Quickly, get back――w― eeh! 」
The soldier who called out on worry to Ardis let out a surprised noise.
After all, Ardis who was standing at the edge of the wall leaned forward without any hesitation and gave himself to gravity.