The two forces’ first move was just according to textbook. The three sides, center, left and right wing made contact with the enemy forces ahead of them.
The Kingdom’s center was having the upper hand, contrarily, the Empire controlled the left wing better. The Kingdom’s left wing and the Empire’s right wing were both uneventful, although the two forces are fighting, it wasn’t very intense.
On the other hand, intense sounds of swords colliding can be heard in the center. The Kingdom’s center forces that is made up of the mercenary unit toughened up their formation and rushed into the Imperial center forces, fulfilling the harsh role they were given.
But that is the natural way of using mercenaries, even the mercenaries themselves knew so and chose to participate anyways. Though, it’s not like the mercenaries are happy with the current situation.
「Damn! Stop being cowards behind the fences! 」
「Well, that’s the main purpose of the fences after all. 」
Ted said so grumbling while defending against the arrows coming his way with a shield, and Norris retorted so. As for Norris and Orphellia, Ardis’s flying swords are protecting them from the arrows. And Norris was returning arrows as often as he could.
The mercenary unit serving as the center force. The most forefront is fought by Ted and the other members of 『Bright Stars of White Night』 including Ardis.
There are obviously more mercenaries on the Empire’s side behind the fences shooting down arrows and hurling spells towards the Kingdom’s side. All of them never showed their face all while raining down long-ranged attacks from beyond the fences.
With the situation and strategy the Empire employed, having a frontal assault would be disadvantageous, but the Kingdom military strategists ordered 『Break their formation frontally』.
Even the commander, Moore was of course unsatisfied with their decision, but for Ardis and the others who aren’t even a commander, what they said wouldn’t matter.
Time passed, and the battlefield itself had become chaotic and disordered, with messy information scattered all over the place, the risk of being found out ignoring orders had decreased.
Ardis and the others who were ordered to rush into the enemy formation, is still fighting against the same upwards battle. There’s a reason why they’re still without injuries at this point. The two sides of skillful mercenaries are shaving at each other in an orderly manner.
According to the commander Moore, mercenaries are allowed to move independently in a five-person squad. Although it’s also with consideration for mercenaries who are more used to fighting together with their own party, it’s also a fact that they had no time to teach the mercenaries cooperation in a big group.
「I’m sure we are difficult to use pawns for those up there. 」
Norris was commenting on the wild nature of mercenaries as if it doesn’t concern him.
「Well, the Empire’s side is the same I’d imagine. They’re only using magicians and archers to prevent us from approaching easily. 」
Just like Orphellia said, the enemy mercenaries are doing the same with moving in their own party independently. The attacks from the Empire’s side were spread out, if not for coincidences overlapping, they’re not undefendable.
But the enemy aren’t stupid either. Did they manage to sync up, or is it a phenomenon of coincidences. The unorganized attack’s timing started to be more organized.
「It’s kinda getting bad」
Ted who had somehow managed to eliminate the enemy mercenaries behind the fences muttered after taking a look at the surroundings.
The Rovres continent never had a large-scale war in the recent years. As the result, organized mercenary units vanished, there are only mercenaries operating in small groups or solo that hunts beasts or demonic beings now.
With the opponents they usually face and themselves less in numbers, or maybe equal in certain cases, there are not many mercenaries that had experienced a large-scale battle including hundreds of people together at once. In other words, though mercenaries are pros in fighting, they aren’t so in war.
But even so, they’re people who live by fighting. They had started to familiarize themselves with group battle, and their effectiveness was slowly climbing. Ted who sensed that with his instincts rather than logic led to his impatience, which was proved in the next moment.
「There’re people from our sides that are taken out with a concentrated volley huh. 」
Of course, Ardis had noticed that change too.
Normally, mercenaries who fight in their own group aren’t adept in concentrated attacks. Although experts like Ted could defend against arrows with a shield, that has a limit too.
Leaving aside if spells hit 『Bright Stars of White Night』, as expected, even Ted couldn’t perfectly defend against the countless arrows that fly their way from Norris and Orphellia. It was thanks to Ardis’s flying swords revolving around them that everyone’s safety is ensured.
「Hey Ardis. How about throwing those swords of yours to the other side of the fences? 」
Norris asked while glancing at his quiver that is reducing in arrow as time goes on, and Ardis announced his next move instead.
「I will scatter them with magic. 」
Ardis left two of his short swords to defend them and started to cast a spell.
「The fierce crimson that is the miracle of flames born of the ancient dragon’s breath ――」
There was a small red ring manifesting around his index finger. The ring started revolving around, enlarging in size. The ring spinning spread out and cracked into multiple small pieces, and split further into more pieces.
When the numbers of small flames had become more than twenty, it left Ardis’s fingers straight up into the sky, enlarged in radius, and the revolving started to slow down.
「Ferno ・ Resta ・ Ganov!」 (Flames of Purgatory)
In the end, it became about three meters in an ovular radius when Ardis’s voice shouted out and it dispersed in all directions. The first victims of the spell are the fences in front of Ardis, and then the ones behind them taking cover.
The flames hit the fences. Easily crushing the barrier put up by the enemy magicians, the moment it hit was when the fences went up in flames. The other mercenaries around them, especially those who are thought to be magicians seemed to have lost their words.
Although they understood that the spell Ardis casted just now was 『Flames of Purgatory』, they also noticed that it was something similar yet different.
「I’ll let you rest easily if you would stay still, here」
With the enemy mercenaries suffering from the flames on their body, Norris merciless put them to rest with arrows.
「It’s a bit late now but, that’s really some power huh……」
The red-haired magician grumbled hatefully.
「Orphellia can defend against that right? 」
「……If it’s just one 」
In other words, it is powerful enough that even a first-rate magician like her would be afraid of. As expected, if all of them were concentrated, it would be difficult to defend against but, one or two of them would let her deploy enough barriers to get by.
On the empire side, it seems like there’re a few that endured the spell with multiple barriers but, the majority of the mercenaries on the other side of the fences are covered in flames. Of course, the areas where no magicians are around are not spared.
The Kingdom army that hadn’t have a chance to be on the offensive till then was able to push forward and gain momentum. Various spots on the battlefield had tilted towards the Kingdom’s side.
「Good! We will get in too! 」
At Ted’s order, Ardis and the others rushed into the enemy mercenaries that are still in chaos.
Looking around, there were a few mercenary squads other than themselves who are rushing into the enemy formation together. Although they probably weren’t adhering to Ted’s order, more people are dragged along with the flow.
As expected, for pros in battle, even if they aren’t proficient in wars, they still have the basics down. With Norris firing off arrows into the other side of the fence, Ted rushed into it after.
As for Ardis, he went the opposite direction from where Ted rushed in while holding 『Skies of Myriad Colors』.
「The magician there, you’re too front! 」
A friendly warning came.
Can’t blame him. Even if he held a sword in his hands, Ardis didn’t have any armor nor shields on him. One must be really insightful to discern that he is actually a swordsman. If not, people might really mistake him as a child who doesn’t know anything.
But Ardis ignored such warnings and dived straight into the enemies. An enemy swordsman that expected his arrival delivered a sharp slash. The slash that was aiming at his abdomen from the sides was deflected by Ardis with Skies of Myriad Colors as he lowered himself even more and dived into the enemy bosom.
The enemy swordsman clicked his tongue and leapt back.
Aiming at Ardis’s legs that tried to advance, arrows were released at a close range.
Ardis who had no choice but to give up the chase noticed a lump of mana that approached him from behind, that was probably a spell that was casted by a magician on the enemy side.
Judging that the power isn’t really much, Ardis decided to put up a barrier behind him without trying to avoid it. A ringing sound was heard as the offensive spell of the enemy was deflected away.
Ardis deploying a magic barrier without a single utter of chant, it was unexpected for everyone. The spell that was thought to be on point vanished without any traces, the magicians’ thoughts couldn’t catch up at all.
The swordsman that had regained his stance tried to cut down Ardis once again but, that was too late.
The swordsman’s slash was read like a book by Ardis and never reached. Ardis who dodged the enemy’s attempt flowed like water and dived into the enemy.
「Don’t blame me」
While saying so, Ardis had slashed that neck with Swords of Myriad Skies. Along with that momentum, the magician behind him was ended in the same fashion.
The archer who saw the two of his party collapsed while standing headlessly retreated backwards with a white face.
「Ou. We’re done here, Ardis. There’s still one at your side? 」
The ones appeared behind of the archer, was Ted and the others who assaulted from another side of the fence. It seems like the archer is the only one remaining.
With enemies on both sides, the archer had even lost his voice. Without drawing back his bow, nor unsheathing the short sword at his waist, he was like a frog stared by a snake petrified.
「Yeah, I will finish up quickly. 」
「Hii! S-Save me……! 」
The archer that had once again understood his own situation from the two’s conversation begged for his life desperately. He must’ve thought that he was riding on the bus to victory, but all of his own comrades were cut down, and even his life is flashing before his eyes now.
As expected, even Ardis wouldn’t swing his sword at someone who has lost his will to fight. He asked Ted’s opinion, and was replied as if it’s a pain.
「AAaan? Then throw away all your weapons now and get lost. 」
The archer asked with a mix of unease and hope.
「It’s not like I have any business with you. It’s fine if you don’t want to fight. But, throw all your weapons. Your quiver as well. 」
Following Ted’s instructions, the archer had put down all weapons on him and ran with his all out of the battlefield.
「Sorry for deciding everything by myself. 」
「Nah. What Ted did is fine. 」
It’s victory that they are prioritizing, not killing the enemy. Just letting go one that had lost his will to fight, it’s not like it will change the outcome of the war in any ways.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that the archer just now wouldn’t stand against them again. But well, that’s something to worry if he’s able to 『Survive in the midst of a war without any weapon』.
Although a humanitarian, Ted isn’t so kind that he would let an enemy off without any thoughts.