Two days after Ardis and the others entered the Calves castle.
As Nicole had predicted, the enemies on the hill began showing movements.
Their numbers were approximately 5 thousand. It was not enough to take down Calves, but they were originally left behind here for the purpose of restricting the freedom of the Calves army.
Just with an army of 5 thousand beside their town, the Calves army was unable to move easily.
They were stuck in a situation where they could not send reinforcements to the other resisting city states.
For the enemies, just having Calves not able to move freely was enough.
By showing harassment-like movements as if they were preparing to attack occasionally, Calves had to deal with the large psychological fatigue that came with it.
Calves had no choice but to prepare, even if they knew their enemies were just playing pranks.
Although almost all the previous attempts had only stopped at the level of harassment, there were still two times when the enemies sieged for real.
There was no way they could let their guard down again, and carelessly let the enemies enter the town.
「The enemies are not part of the empire, but they make up the San Rojeul Monarchy army that came across the ocean. We don’t know what kind of hands they have, so we can’t be careless. Keep your barrier up at all times. 」
While looking at the enemy camp located downhill from the walls, Ardis worriedly reminded Riana to be careful.
「Yes, I will be careful not to dispel the barrier. 」
「Retreat whenever you think it’s beyond you. It’s something Nicole asked me to do in the first place. 」
「It’s gonna be alright. It’s not like they know about us too. Ardis worries too much. Please trust in us a little more. 」
Having it indirectly pointed out that Ardis was acting like an overprotective parent, he could only shut his mouth while feeling awkward.
「Alright, I’m going now. 」
Ardis stayed behind with a worried expression, while Riana started climbing up in the air by using invisible footholds as a staircase.
On top of the walls, Calves’ soldiers made impressed noises having seen something they had never seen before.
「If I climb this much, will they notice me? 」
After climbing about hundred steps upwards and showing herself, Riana looked at the enemies ahead.
「Ah, they noticed. 」
A group of soldiers in the enemy camp now starting to run around in a hurry.
「Then, let’s start. 」
Riana used arts to spread her voice.
「Everyone from the monarchy, it is nice to meet you. 」
The voice that was spoken in normal volume reverberated in the area.
Looks like it managed to reach the enemy forces without problems, as they could be seen murmuring among themselves.
Similarly, the Calves army was also surprised.
It was only Ardis and Kyrill that seemed indifferent.
Before Nere taught them how voices and sound travel through vibration in the air, even Riana wouldn’t have known it was possible to use arts in this manner.
But if you know the theory behind it, what’s left is to realize it through mana.
Having observed Ardis’s arts and received teachings from Nere, this kind of arts is insignificant and nothing special for Riana.
With no reason to consider the situation within the enemy camp, Riana continued.
「My name is Filliana. For various reasons, I am helping the Calves army. 」
Riana realized Ardis was looking at her a little confused.
As if she found something funny in his expression, her cheeks loosened.
In any case, she would explain it to Ardis later.
There was something else for her to do now.
Riana (who had named herself as Filliana) made an obvious gesture of swinging her right arm from the left to right.
At the same time, she used arts, and drew a line in the middle of the enemy camp and Calves.
However, the line wasn’t like any simple lines in a drawing. The shockwave created by her arts smashed into the ground and made a trench almost knee deep in the ground.
Although it hadn’t been released offensively, it would undeniably pulverize a person’s bones if it were to hit in such a manner.
And it was instantly drawn with a length as wide as the enemy’s formation.
Facing an incomprehensible situation, a portion of the enemy soldiers showed unrest.
「The moment you cross this line, your lives are not guaranteed. If you value your lives, then do not take a single step over the line. This is a warning. 」
However, Riana too understood that it was a meaningless warning.
Their opponents were a war army.
Riana’s words were more likely to be perceived as provocations.
And as expected, the enemy slowly changed their formation, and started showing signs of preparing for a siege.
They had their heavy armed soldiers with shields walk in the front, making it clear they were heading for battle with their entire army.
「A final warning. The moment you cross the line, there will be no mercy. All trespassers will be eliminated. I repeat, this is the final warning. 」
Saying this, Riana closed her eyes knowing that the enemies wouldn’t listen at all.
The opponents weren’t just a herd of uncontrolled beasts or crows.
They were following the orders of a commander, and an organization that upholds order and military discipline.
Even if it was someone unknown, a little girl warning them was not reason enough for them to turn back and run.
The enemies advanced in strict lines, and eventually crossed Riana’s line.
It was not yet a distance where normal arrows and magic would reach which would urge the enemies to start charging, so they were slowly advancing.
「I did…… warn you. 」
For Riana who understood magic and could manipulate arts, her range wasn’t the same as an average magician.
The enemy commander probably didn’t realize that.
Riana had already shown that she had drew the line using her arts.
In other words, Riana’s range could reach the line.
Not realizing that, and defenselessly crossing that, it was an act that could only be called suicidal.
Riana stopped broadcasting her voice using arts, and instead started creating a sphere radiating rainbow color on her head.
While reflecting the sunlight and glowing mysteriously, the sphere’s surface became wavy, and the amplitude of each wave gradually increased.
One of the waves that protruded outwards in a thin streak changed form into an arrow.
The arrows spawned from the sphere and flew toward the enemy soldiers.
The first few people were unable to put up any defense before getting impaled by the arrows of light and being killed.
It was only when more than ten of their own soldiers had fallen, that the enemy finally realized Riana’s attack.
The heavily armored soldiers in front tried to raise their shields against the arrows of light, but Riana knew better than anyone that their shields stood no chance.
If it was normal magic, then it might have been possible to block it.
However, what Riana used was something that mimicked 『Litte ・ Kyuol ・ Ro ・ Berne (Bow of Rainbow) 』, which was completely different in essence.
Unlike the arrows of light from a normal 『Litte ・ Kyuol ・ Ro ・ Berne (Bow of Rainbow) 』 that only fly straight, the 『Pseudo Litte ・ Kyuol ・ Ro ・ Berne (Bow of Rainbow) 』 that Riana used spawned arrows that she could control individually.
The arrows turned unnaturally to slip between gaps of their armor and circled around when the enemies tried to block with their shields.
Even while unfortunate casualties were being made left and right, the enemy army didn’t stop.
A few tens of the entire 5 thousand men army had already died.
But although it could only be considered just a few from the perspective of numbers, the commander would soon learn that it was only the start.
「Sorry, I will not go easy on you. 」
Not intending for her words to be heard by anyone, Riana’s attack pattern changed.
Half of the enemy forces had already crossed the line.
The attacks that could only serve to intimidate wouldn’t stop them anymore.
Riana controlled the flow of the atmosphere with her arts, and at the same time, condensed the water within the air into countless sharp icicles.
She then changed the atmospheric pressure intentionally and called for strong winds, making it unable for the enemy soldiers to move forward.
The wind then gathered in the eye of the enemy formation, and continued to grow stronger with lightweight soldiers almost unable to hold their feet on the ground, and constantly stumbling.
The wind then circled, and calling onto the surroundings, it swirled in the eye of the enemy formation to create a huge vortex into the sky.
While keeping the overall flow running, Riana then created several smaller turbulences within it, and threw the sharp icicles inside.
With the wind carrying the countless sharp blades, they danced within the turbulence, and sliced up enemy soldiers indiscriminately.
Blood splattered everywhere, and all of them were carried up into the sky.
Eventually, the vortex was dyed with redness, and its color deepened as time went on.
There was no other explanation for this, but the enemy soldiers’ blood as it was spilled within the vortex.
Although no enemy troops’ death shrieks ever reached Riana due to the extreme wind noise, the fact she was the one who called the wind and turned that vortex red was indisputable.
It was a scene on par with hell for the enemies.
Naturally, it would eventually end too.
The visual impact must have been strong, as thanks to having not treaded past the line that Riana drew, the soldiers that weren’t swept up in the wind started to retreat.
「Even though they could have retreated earlier……」
Seeing the enemy finally withdraw, Riana dispelled her arts.
There were probably some that managed to survive within that vortex, but Riana didn’t intend to attack those who were already injured and were trying to escape.
Even without doing that, the enemy had incurred a gigantic unrecoverable loss.
On top of that, the psychological damage should be immense.
Seeing off the withdrawing enemies, Riana took another look at the aftermath.
In just that short time, the entire earth had been covered in blood, and the remaining enemy corpses were littered everywhere.
She felt a bad feeling and a sense of guilt that couldn’t be described.
The red earth was the result of walking the path she chose and the actions she took.
Even so, Riana had resolved herself for this choice.
Even if she regrets it or someone hates her for it, she had decided to walk alongside Ardis with all of her powers.
Solely for that sake――to get her right, she looked upon the scene that she could not escape from.
Offering a short while of silence to the deaths caused by her hands, Riana returned to Ardis who was waiting on top of the walls.
Standing in front of Ardis, she took a peek at his face awkwardly.
Ardis had originally objected against Riana and Fillia standing in a battlefield, but it was them who pushed for it despite the objection.
That’s why they had to convince Ardis that they had the power to do so.
On the other hand, the sole reason why they want to fight is none other than a selfish and shallow reason of wanting to remain beside Ardis which they wanted to remain hidden.
It plagued her whether he had seen through her shallow thinking or whether her hesitation had been spotted.
Because of such fears, she could not rejoice over her victory, and somewhere along the line, this became the reason for why she was peering at Ardis’s expression.
Ardis approached Riana.
At the distance of an arm width, Ardis pulled Riana and wrapped her in his arms.
「There’s no need to overdo yourself. Don’t push yourself forcibly. 」
Riana stiffened for a moment.
「It’s alright to take one step at a time. 」
Ardis’s words were reprimanding yet caring for her. They untangled the frustration that had been chasing Riana around.
I knew it, Riana thought.
Both her and Fillia’s thoughts were something Ardis had probably already realized.
The hesitation in fighting, the fear resulting from that, the shallow thinking of choosing to fight despite that, and the anxiousness that gnawed at their back.
Ardis had known all of it, but had decided to respect their wills.
Only muttering his name, Riana leaned on Ardis’s chest.
The warm arms wrapped her entirety, and Riana felt her own shaking heart finally calm down.
While wrapped in the familiar scent, the strength in her body loosened from the absolute sense of security she felt.
From that alone, it felt like everything she had done was rewarded.