The imperial army had already surrounded all of Richard’s troops, screaming murder as they charged. The defenders looked like a small blot in a sea of black that was constantly crashing into them, leaving behind a trail of blood.
A humanoid warrior suddenly rushed past the battle lines towards one of the commanding generals, body and horse inundated with wounds in only a few seconds amidst his charge. Still, he seemed to feel no pain as he charged forward with full force, eventually dragging his weapon forward and plunging it into the general’s chest. All sorts of weapons cleaved away slabs of flesh from his body, but he didn’t even notice as he focused on twirling his weapon to enlarge the wound.
Similar scenes played out everywhere, both sides killing a substantial amount of the opposing forces. The short spurt seemed to drain all stamina, the battle devolving into a war of attrition that tested the soldiers’ training. This situation showcased the Crimson Dukedom’s advantage in equipment; even an ordinary bordier soldier’s equipment was worth more than a hundred gold, whereas the imperial elites only measured up to a third of that. The infantry had to use all their might to pierce through the armour of the border guard, and even so the wounds weren’t deep. It would take three or four attacks to bring someone down, with their blades starting to bend in that time. On the other hand, the border guard could take out a soldier with every full power attack, and their weapons lasted much longer as well.
Blue flames inundated the imperial army, lighting up everyone within ten metres before disappearing. Each appearance was targeted at the points of greatest pressure, greatly relieving the defending forces. Standing in the midst of the army, Richard tilted his head back and gulped down a mana potion, feeling his drying mana pool starting to recover. More than 2,000 soldiers had already died to his spells, but the amount was almost negligible compared to the 50,000 total.
The army’s attacks grew more layered as time passed, placing tremendous pressure upon him. More than 5,000 of his own soldiers had already died, and every loss cemented Salwyn’s advantage further. The only reason they were still in it was his own magic; it was much more powerful in such a large-scale battle, and despite Salwyn’s best attempts he always managed to find perfect wedges to tear the formations apart.
Still, there were simply far too many imperial soldiers. Richard could theoretically whittle away at all 50,000 soldiers, but that would require nearly a day of battle where his army held them back. As it was, he could only fight to delay how quickly his troops would be wiped out. Taking a short breather to wait for the potion to kick in, he picked up the Twin of Destiny and shot two streaks of blue towards critical regions to set dozens of imperial cavalrymen on fire.
Salwyn truly was showing stellar control of the battlefield, his rhythmic attacks greatly tiring out the border guard. The prince had grown more composed in the time since they had last met, now understanding how to build upon small tactical advantages to become more deadly.
And yet, the gap between the two planes couldn’t be bridged so simply. Richard eventually shook his head and shouted, “Nasia!”
Normal heavenly guardians were connected to their masters by the soul, but Richard could barely ever feel that sort of connection with the faceless knight. Without any way to send orders through his mind, he could only yell out his commands. Still, a golden glow covered his body the moment he called her name, the effects of War Fanatic beginning to show.
“Guard the battlefront!” he screamed before shooting out. While he had no idea where she was, she certainly could hear him. The momentary distraction proved to
Several spells and sharp arrows landed on Richard’s body, but they bounced off the golden armour without exception. Seeing his lone grade 9 spell ricochet off the glowing barrier, a grand mage cried out in shock, “LEGEND!”
The word rendered almost the entire battlefield silent for a moment; in Faelor, the word legend was extremely sacred.
Richard didn’t even try to dodge as he made his way towards his target; now at grade 10, his barriers treated any attack from the Faelorians as a joke. Anyone foolish enough to block his path was instantly reduced to ashes by the blue flames.
*Thud!* he landed right beside the prince, a single tap of his hand reducing the warhorse to ashes while the unscathed Salwyn fell to the floor. He grabbed the prince by the collar and raised him up, “Get your army to surrender.”
Salwyn sneered, his voice amplified by magic as he laughed loudly, “Execute the final order!”
All of the generals looked over with complicated gazes, but Richard’s heart sank as he saw that turning into determination. One of them suddenly bellowed out, “KILL THE CRIMSON BASTARDS!”
“KILL THEM ALL!”
Various shouts echoed through the battlefield as the generals started to act insane, running past the ordinary soldiers and charging into the frontlines personally. As they were buried under mountains of corpses, the imperial soldiers’ eyes grew bloodshot at the valour of their leaders and they charged straight towards Richard’s troops as well. The border guard reacted with hoarse yells of their own as they formed up to defend, but they quickly started to get torn apart.
Richard’s expression turned cold and he pulled Salwyn into the sky, rising a few dozen metres into the sky before forming a wall of blue flames around his troops. His figure then flickered in and out as he appeared next to the mages and strong warriors of the opposition, sword flashing with moonforce as it stabbed into the enemies’ hearts. The skies were cleared out entirely, with more than ten Faelorian saints meeting their demise.
Looking over the battle below, he suddenly felt as though it was all a mirage. It seemed like the slaughter didn’t even exist, but a ruthless bloodlust still erupted from within that compelled him to destroy every living thing below. Lost in his emotions for a moment, he was only snapped out of it by Nasia’s voice, “I’ve done everything I should, staying any longer will be dangerous. I’ll be leaving for now, you can continue the battle.”
Richard knew that she was long gone by the time these words reached him. Even with War Fanatic, he had no way of knowing just where she had disappeared to. Instead looking towards the prince in his hands, he shook him hard, “Are you not going to surrender?”
Watching Salwyn just close his eyes, however, he looked away and his figure started flickering once more. Moonlight glimmered on occasion as it started executing the generals leading the imperial army. He then rained down translucent blue flames; these weren’t nearly as powerful as his initial fireballs, but they still covered everything within five metres and injured their targets to the point of taking them out of battle.
“ONWARD! IGNORE HIM!” People continued to yell, the remaining generals setting an example as they charged through the ring of fire leading their troops.
At this point, even Richard didn’t have many solutions to the problem. He had already mobilised all of his drones to their limits, putting them on the outside to take the most dangerous fights, but many of them had already died. Many of his living soldiers were also taking casualties, lives lost at every second.
No longer caring about his mana, he suddenly called upon an enormous volume of blue fire to reinforce the flame walls, this time making them impassable. However, the imperial soldiers seemed to have lost all sanity as the ones in front just charged in anyway, giving up their own lives to whittle away at the flames. Their comrades didn’t even care about stepping on their corpses as they maintained the forward momentum.