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Commanding one of the squads, Decken led the soldiers while they continued the search, witnessing the giant shadow flying over their head. Immediately after that, several smoke signals were lit, signifying that it was in fact, the Grinder’s shadow.
There’re 10 soldiers under his command. Even though he thought to regroup with the other squads nearby, when he realized the Grinder is flying towards the main unit, he decided to move immediately.
The main unit is comprised of three squads, a total of thirty soldiers. They would never lose. Decken was feeling rushed as the main unit might subjugate it way before he arrives.
The subjugation this time was a precious chance for Decken to regain his honor. Although crowned as the best in the army, he was lightly taken care of some unknown mercenary, to cover that shame, he must contribute in the subjugation somehow.
If he shows contribution that satisfy everyone in this Grinder subjugation, then the people ridiculing him as 『All talk that lost to a girl』 would definitely disappear. That’s why before the Grinder is taken out by the main unit, he must regroup with them as soon as possible.
「Sir Decken! There’s something flying from the direction of the main unit! 」
One of the archers who noticed a shadow drawing closer reported. As he stopped his advance and looked up from his horse, he saw one shadow flying above the sky.
The shadow slowly became bigger and bigger, he could see that the shadow was definitely larger and faster than a normal bird. It was the same silhouette that flew overhead a while ago. Although the reason isn’t known, the Grinder had flown here from the direction of the main unit.
「It’s the Grinder! Everyone, stance! 」
At Decken’s command, the soldiers formed formations.
「Heavy soldiers, front! Archers take aim! 」
Just like that, the shadow flew straight to Decken. As it came closer, it became clear how big it was. Eventually, when it arrived directly above Decken and the others, it stopped its movement, and looked down as if surveying them.
「Archers, attack! 」
Receiving the command, three arrows were shot towards it but, all the arrows drew a parabola and fell before they even reached it.
An ear-ringing screech sounded.
Wind blades attacked Decken and the others. The fierce storm that’s comparable to upper grade spells ruptured the soldiers with light armor easily.
The screams of despair of the soldiers reverberated in the grasslands. Decken was blessed with better armor, so he didn’t receive a critical blow, but the horse that he was riding collapsed after suffering deep gouges on its body and severed legs.
The shadow descended onto the ground dyed in red from the large amount of blood.
The soldiers shook at the size of the bird which landed was even bigger than what they expected.
「This is……, a Grinder……」
Its overwhelming presence. Their instincts as an organism is ringing bells to warn them to escape.
They have already lost half their combatants, only the heavy soldiers with shields and Decken, a total of five remained.
But he can’t afford to run away from here. There’s no better chance to regain his honor. If he chose to turn his back now, even if his life is saved, he would probably be ridiculed the rest of his life.
Decken gritted his teeth as hard as he could, and suppressed his trembling while lifting his sword, giving out his orders to the heavy soldiers that are left.
「Don’t shake! Look! It’s already taken damage! We can win if we surround it! 」
The dagger which stuck in the Grinder’s front foot that was bleeding, and the feather of its upper body burnt were reflected in Decken’s eyes.
It was obvious that it fled after suffering an injury while engaging with the main unit. If so, then the Grinder must have consumed quite a lot of stamina. He was taken by fear a little while ago but, it’s definitely not a situation they can’t win.
With Decken’s voice motivating them, the heavy soldiers assaulted at the Grinder at once.
But the swords swung by the heavy soldiers were dodged, and their swings which were thought to be deadly were deflected by something. Reversely, the Grinder swung its claws, accompanied by the sound of the winds rupturing, it sliced a heavy soldier in half together with his armor.
Continuing, another heavy soldier beside him had his head punctured by the sharp beak before collapsing. It wasn’t an opponent that they could win.
Decken lost his words. Impossible to win. The words that did not leave his mouth floated in his mind.
「Decken Corps Commander! We, the thirty-second squad had come to help! 」
Decken who was stunned in fear heard his comrades voice from behind, along with that were numerous heavy footsteps. It’s another squad that came from Decken’s west side.
Now, there’re thirteen people in the scene. But, Decken who had witnessed the prowess of the Grinder, he had understood that they won’t be able to win no matter what.
The other spearmen and heavy soldiers that came for help had already started running, assaulting the Grinder.
「Wait! Don’t! 」
Decken’s warning was too late, as the line of soldiers were bisected by the Grinder’s claws.
The spearmen had their chest gouged out. Others had their limbs severed. The heavy soldiers had their shield penetrated by the Grinder’s beak, punching a hole in their heads.
Every time the Grinder moved, more and more soldiers had their life plundered.
They will be wiped out if they don’t retreat. Such thoughts came to Decken’s thoughts.
But, will the Grinder choose not to chase after themselves who are fleeing? They were different than the Grinder that can fly. Chasing after a few humans should be an easy feat for it.
What saved Decken from his confusion was the single arrow that lodged itself to the Grinder’s lower body suddenly.
The arrow that was shot from somewhere without warning dealt damage to the Grinder. The next moment, a large boulder of ice appeared on top of the Grinder and crushed its wings.
The person who swung his large sword with a loud cry was a swordsman with a muscular body.
It was a swordsman with maroon hair swinging his bastard sword wildly. The trajectory of the swing caught the Grinder on its torso from the side.
The Grinder’s body bent from the strike.
「Ted, get away! 」
A woman’s voice called out, the swordsman holding the bastard sword immediately took his distance. As if waiting for that, a sharp arrow aiming the Grinder’s head was released. However, could it be that the demonic being had predicted the attack, as it lowered itself slightly.
「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)
The man who shot the arrow shouted, and the girl in a robe chanted.
Accompanying the finished chant, a fierce blizzard assaulted the Grinder, covering its body with a layer of ice. But that attack was blocked by something like an invisible barrier. A large portion of the damage was nullified.
The Grinder shook its body, shaking away the layer of ice, and stomped on the ground with its four legs that resembled a horse’s.
「Oops―, it didn’t seem like it’s effective at all? 」
The steel colored hair archer said so with a light tone.
「I know that! If you are so free to say useless things, then shoot even one arrow more! 」
「I don’t need you to tell me that, here! 」
Another arrow flew toward the Grinder but, it was probably already on guard. A gust of wind blew around it, causing the arrow to miss its aim.
Aiming for that moment, the swordsman with the bastard sword slashed. The Grinder stopped it with its claws and dropped its beak onto his head. The swordsman used the small round shield that was fixed on his arms, and magnificently redirected the attack.
From what Decken observe, the current situation is probably even. The swordsman who is standing in front of the Grinder avoided attacks or redirected them, all while looking for gaps to attack.
It wasn’t as if the archer’s or the magician’s attack was doing anything effective but, it was still restraining and limiting the freedom of the Grinder’s movement.
We can win, just as a small hope started to rise in Decken’s mind, the swordsman failed to redirect a claw attack with his shield, and the shield shattered into pieces mercilessly.
Curses came from the swordsman’s mouth.
Redirecting an attack with a shield is not an easy technique. It must be done by accounting for the attack power, speed, and the timing all in an instant, then positioning yourself with the shield in the correct angle.
If the calculation is even a little off, if the timing is even off by a millisecond, the technique will fail, and the shield will suffer a heavy blow. The fact that the swordsman with the bastard sword had perfectly dodged or redirected the attacks just proves his skills.
With the current situation, there’s no way they can keep it up forever. If so, then taking away the opponent’s combative power first would be the best course, but they were lacking in someone who can deal enough damage to do that.
「Where is Ardis walking around now! 」
The woman wearing a dark green robe shouted.
「So noisy. It’s not like I was playing around you know? 」
The woman’s shout which wasn’t expected to be replied was replied.
The voices of the swordsman, magician and the archer overlapped. There, Decken saw a young man with a black hair holding a broadsword in a stance behind the Grinder.
The Grinder which realized his existence behind itself trembled and showed an expression of what seemed like fear. The Grinder immediately flapped its wings and tried to gain altitude, but another figure was already on top of it.
「You can’t run this time. 」
The Alice Blue hair fluttered in the air, the white-hooded woman stabbed a dagger into one of the Grinder’s wings.
Blood spurted out like a fountain. At the Grinder which had lost its balance, the black-haired young man attacked with his broadsword. One flash.
The other wing that was uninjured was severed cleanly from its roots. With its one wing completely severed and the other injured, it can no longer escape into the sky.
「Don’t cause such a trouble for me. 」
While saying that, the young man swung his broadsword to the side, and the Grinder’s head separated from its torso. It was a moment when the overwhelming existence that the army couldn’t raise a finger against was overwhelmed by someone even stronger.
「I’m saved huh……」
Seeing the Grinder’s huge body collapsed on the ground, Decken finally had a chance to breathe deeply. But that is also a short moment for him before he noticed the carnage around.
The damage to the army is critical. The squad that was originally commanded by him, there are only three survivors including himself. Even for the squad that came for help in the middle of the fight, only six of them are still here. Among twenty, eleven casualties. It was a huge defeat.
On top of that, the ones who saved Decken and the others who couldn’t even pluck a single feather of the Grinder were the despicable mercenaries. For Decken, he didn’t like every single aspect of this, he wasn’t convinced at all. This is all a bad dream, his mind kept refusing the reality.
「My master. Are we taking back anything else other than the head? 」
「No. It’s not going to be worth anything after all. 」
「Acknowledged, my master. 」
A female voice talked to the young man, Decken raised his head at the familiar voice. And there was the figure of the woman with Alice Blue hair and sky-colored eyes in a robe.
Decken eyes widened. A chance meeting with his unforgettable opponent.
The woman who was the reason that he was ridiculed and shamed in front of His Excellency and the General. Without even a sliver of respect, the despicable woman who only sought strength. Even now, she ruined his chances of regaining his honor, giving him a new shameful experience.
The dark emotions were eating away at Decken’s mind. Among the soldiers who were praising the young man and the woman loudly, Decken was the only one apart from them who muttered with hatred.
「That woman……! 」