Rodelia Kingdom’s and Randeshell New Country’s troops were facing one other.
Ardis’s side, the Rodelia camp, was the first to act. Except for the cavalry unit, the two wings were given the command to advance, and their formation gradually expanded to create a half circle.
Ardis and the other Wisteria members are in the right front. Naturally, this implies they will face the adversary sooner than other groups.
「Don’t go too far on your own! 」
「Match your feet with the others! 」
The veteran mercenaries warned the newbies while they faced enemies of their own.
「Ardis, from above! 」
Luciel warned when she realized the enemy approaching from above.
It’s not uncommon to see enemies trying to surprise attack from a higher angle by creating footholds from mana.
It appears that their enemies are not mercenaries, but rather the regular army of the Randeshell New Country.
Their outfits were uniformly grey uniforms, with armour that lacked any semblance of beauty and was designed solely for function.
「Those that got through are yours! 」
With Ardis yelling his name, Elion started pouring all his spirit into casting his arts.
Countless needles shot upwards from both of Elion’s arms, increasing in size as they travelled towards the enemies above.
The small needles that had grown to the size of small knives pierced through the barriers of the enemies and skewered them.
Five of them immediately dropped from the sky because of it. Falling from that height, of course, meant no salvation, painting new red splotches to the already chaotic battlefield.
「It’s coming! 」
The remaining three enemies in the sky that defended against Elion’s arts countered with their own.
「We’re fine here! 」
Sending a glance to Luciel, Ardis starts creating a foothold to intercept the approaching enemy.
Creating a staircase in the air and kicking against the invisible boards, Ardis ran upwards.
Icicles were summoned by the enemy’s arts and dropped to the earth, as though to block Ardis’ ascent.
Judging that Luciel should be able to defend against that degree of attack easily, Ardis didn’t spare any effort getting distracted by them.
Aiming for the youngest looking of the three enemies, Ardis established a foothold just ahead of him and leaped forward.
「A mere mercenary! 」
The Randeshell soldiers that clearly looked down on Ardis stepped forward. Ardis swung his sword along with his charging momentum, trying to get the enemy soldiers off their footholds forcefully.
Of course, his actions though were foreseen by the enemies. Angling their blades, they tried to redirect the force behind Ardis’s blade coming their way.
「Eat this! 」
Eager to return the favor, the enemy soldier created a fireball from a close distance. However, Ardis simply dispelled the foothold he was standing on and dodged the fireball by free-falling, before throwing his blade forward from the blind area that is their foot.
As the soldiers jumped backwards from the attack to another foothold they created, Ardis stacked a fist-sized foothold on their newly created footholds.
The landing spot that is a little higher than what they initially expected caused a slight discrepancy that is fatal for anyone on the battlefield.
The soldiers that lost their balance could have no chance to dodge Ardis’s sword.
「I guess they don’t teach stuff like this in the army? 」
Without mercy, Ardis’s sword pierced through the soldier’s stomach.
It wasn’t fatal yet.
However, they are currently in the air where they would have to stand on the mana footholds they create and maintain.
The soldier that suffered great damage started falling downwards with a painful expression.
「Ardis, we’re done here. 」
A voice came to Ardis who tried to look for the remaining two soldiers. Sark was the owner of the voice.
It seemed like Sark had managed to defeat the other two in the time Ardis took to defeat one.
「What. Just when I thought I wouldn’t get disturbed……」
Sark had likely cleaned up the remaining. Realizing that, Ardis seemed a little down.
「Nn? Was it unneeded meddling? 」
「No, there’s nothing like that. 」
「Thought so. We’re only comrades if we help each other! 」
Saying so, Sark laughed loudly. Although it was out of place on a battlefield with blood spilling everywhere, it’s one of Sark’s strength to maintain his cheerful personality.
Just as Ardis was smiling wryly, a few arrows passed on Ardis’s side. As if chasing after the arrows, several arts also came his way.
Although it wasn’t uncommon to see fights on footholds in the air, the main battlefield is as expected on the land.
As far as the enemy archers and magicians are concerned, Ardis and Sark were in the most convenient place where there are no obstacles for their long-range attacks.
「Woah. We can’t loosen up here, can we? 」
「Yeah, it’s not like standing out in a battlefield makes me happy. 」
As the two lightly exchanged jokes, both dispelled their footholds and returned to ground.
While doing that, Ardis could see the overall battlefield situation from a distance and felt an instinctive discomfort, compelled to report it to Greyth.
「Greyth, our left wing is getting pushed back. 」
Greyth who heard the news from Ardis made footholds of his own and ascended to see the entirety of the battlefield.
「Tch, Ardis is right. We’re going to be the only one charging into the enemies if this continues. 」
In the first place, the Rodelia Kingdom’s formation was a semicircular arc with one of the ends occupied by Wisteria.
With the left wing being pushed back, if Ardis and the others pushed too much with the momentum they had, they would delve too deep into enemy territory.
「Let’s hold back a little. We will only be swallowed if we continue. 」
Victor and Greyth both had the same idea, and so they went forward with the idea of slowing down the advance.
「Yeah, let’s do that. 」
With Greyth’s decision made and his instructions distributed, Wisteria was putting a stop to their advances, although slowly.
Just as they thought the situation was slowly getting under control, another trouble happened.
「Those guys, are they not seeing what’s happening! 」
Darwat was not yelling at the enemies, but his own allies.
Although Wisteria was slowing down their advances to avoid rushing too deep into the enemies, it didn’t mean the mercenaries following behind them caught the same idea.
Rather, they couldn’t gain contribution if they stayed in the back with Wisteria at the front, so they went forward recklessly.
It wasn’t because of ill intentions. It’s natural for mercenaries to be clouded in a winning war and in front of a circumstance where victory seems apparent.
If they had the eyes to see the entirety of the battlefield like Greyth or Victor, then the situation wouldn’t have worsened there.
Even with Wisteria’s training, controlling the atmosphere and momentum of a battlefield is difficult.
Despite weakening their offence to avoid overextending, Ardis and the others were being pushed by the pressure from behind and squeezed forward.
「This is bad, Greyth. Should we turn right for now? 」
「That’s not happening. We will just block the cavalries from advancing.」
Darwat expressed his idea in the worsening situation, but Victor rejected it.
「But the left is even worse, right? 」
「Then, what about just escaping upwards? 」
「……I see, that’s certainly better. 」
And so Greyth decided to go with Victor’s suggestion.
「Good, tell everyone that we’re heading upwards. Let those people from behind through. 」
However, it seems like Greyth’s orders were one step too late.
「What!? The enemies suddenly started――! 」
Someone from their side screamed. Ardis could sense the change in the atmosphere of the battlefield with his skin without needing to hear the full thing.
The enemies increased their attack density by several folds at once. Even arts and arrows, which had previously always come from the front, began to appear from the sides.
「Tch, it’s too late! 」
Greyth bit his lips. With the enemies’ center advancing, Wisteria is now under attack from both the front and the left.
It’s impossible to escape to the air now that the intensity has risen so high.
Even if they tried to, they would only be targeted by a shower of arts and arrows.
Moreover, they are stuck in the predicament where the pressure from behind is still heavy.
Despite being half-encircled, Wisteria was withstanding the enemies’ attacks until the enemy made another damaging maneuver.
「The enemy cavalries on the right are charging! 」