Richard tossed aside an unconscious Salwyn, heading to the densest section of the imperial army. Moonlight turned into an glimmer that flashed all around him, anyone touched by it going stiff before toppling over.
“The Crimson Duke doesn’t have any more mana!” someone screamed, tempting all the imperial troops nearby to charge straight at him. Soon enough, they were feeding into his frenzied massacre. It looked like he had no space to dodge, and the glory of killing Richard Archeron drove these men to try and fight despite all rationale telling them to run away.
However, the death they had expected did not arrive. Instead, the warriors felt their minds go blank as they impulsively looked upwards, seeing a pale blue illusion of a beautiful woman. She seemed to be crying, but none of them could hear anything. In fact, the world started to go dimmer and dimmer until she was all they could see. Everyone felt like she was staring right at them, suddenly pouncing right at their bodies and passing through to leave behind pure terror in her wake.
Standing in the midst of the encirclement, Richard silently watched the dense crowd of soldiers wither away around him. These fighters who couldn’t wait to bring him down just a moment ago were now standing in a daze, expressions gradually twisting as the life in their eyes rapidly disappeared. Blood began to seep out of their nostrils and ears; Insight activated, he could see dark wisps floating into the sky from their bodies that seemed to be in terrible pain.
Wail of the Banshee was already a grade 9 spell, but with War Fanatic activated it was boosted to the legendary realm. Everyone within thirty metres had their souls ripped apart, while those a little bit further started rolling around in pain. Only those who were at least fifty metres away even maintained control, but many of those started vomiting immediately.
Hundreds of soldiers had died with a single spell, many more disabled for hours if not their lives. In a short moment, the wave of corpses radiated out with Richard at the centre, exposing him to the eyes of everyone but with nobody daring to get close. Salwyn, who had already recovered and was jumping on a warhorse in the distance, barely suppressed his trembling as he saw the scene. He realised immediately that this would mark every soldier for the rest of their lives, the place turning into a shrine of death for those of the Empire.
Of course, that was only if they even managed to survive this.
Fatigue was etched deep into Richard’s face as he buried Moonlight into the ground, using it to support himself. Murder had become a daily sight ever since he was fifteen, war and death just a part of his existence, but every fearful, empty gaze here was still burned into his mind. He suppressed his own trembling, shaking off the revulsion and nausea.
He looked at Salwyn who was far away, lips moving silently. Even though he didn’t make a sound, the prince understood the words: “It’s over.”
It’s over? Salwyn looked at the little over thousand soldiers that Richard still had, unable to believe in that judgement, The border guard would be wiped out in ten minutes at most, the area completely cleared out. The meagre reinforcements on the way wouldn’t be able to stop him from charging all thirty kilometres.
He felt the embarrassment of this charade burning his entire body. He had no idea why Richard wanted him alive, but the results of the battle were clear. Even if he won this arbitrary wager now, Richard could still leave safely and the Empire would lose in the near future.
But what was Richard waiting for? It didn’t take long for the question to be answered. Salwyn suddenly felt the ground beginning to tremble, more like a dragon charging over than an army. His expression changed as he immediately rememb
A towering figure crested the horizon, jumping over with hilariously large steps. It seemed like the ogre only put a foot forward every few seconds, but with his six metres of height every one of these steps took him several metres forward. Magic started to flicker on his body, greatly increasing the distance he covered.
Tiramisu bellowed loudly, waving Tenton around in a show of force. The only way to meet such a charge was with heavy cavalry, but Faelor’s warhorses just scattered in fear at his draconic aura. Still, the imperial army showcased remarkable adaptability as they sent a batch of knights anyway. Half the horses threw their riders off immediately, but Medium Rare made sure to look at each of them. The glances alone caused the creatures to go limp and collapse, the men on their backs barreling into the ground. The few that made it past all that were just flung away by the hammer.
Watching the ogre deal with fifty heavy cavalrymen so easily, even roaring as he pounced right into the fray and started flinging soldiers out left and right, Richard couldn’t help but grumble. The fellow had a natural advantage due to his race, needing two similarly levelled human experts to even deal with him on equal grounds.
There was some chaos amidst the army, but just like Richard the ogre lord was only an individual. It would take him some time to kill so many soldiers. However, Salwyn’s heart sank immediately; he knew that the ogre lord was only the beginning. This meant that the rest of Richard’s terrifying followers would be arriving as well.
The prince closed his eyes instinctively, taking great effort to open them up again. He sighed with disappointment before looking on; if Richard wanted him to watch this final loss, then he would stand until the end. Slowly raising his right arm, he signalled for the men to go on the defensive.
Just as expected, a few soldiers on the outer edge suddenly went stiff and collapsed. Two figures started flickering around the imperial formation, blood flowing like water in their wake. An enormous shadow covered the battlefield as the astral chrysalis finally flew over, those on it leaping off.
“MY AXE CAN’T HANDLE THE HUNGER ANYMORE!”
This sound caused many of the imperial generals to shiver. This warcry had brought nightmares to so many imperial soldiers in the past years; outside of Richard and Andrieka, Gangdor was the third commander to have defeated Salwyn in battle.
However, this time Gangdor wasn’t leading any troops. Just like any ordinary powerhouse, he was whirling his axe around as he advanced through the battlefield, glistening head noticeable from far away. He was right in the centre of the imperial formation in the blink of an eye, cutting down enemy after enemy without pause.
The brute’s commotion was a close second to that of the ogre lord, but his death toll was much smaller. In fact, he didn’t even match up to Waterflower and Phaser who were flitting around. A few sub-legends amongst the imperial army immediately noticed the situation and went straight for him, starting to hold him off for a moment.
Gangdor immediately grew embarrassed, his axe turning into a storm as he tried to cut them down, but despite the great danger the experts barely managed to dodge each slice. One could almost see the steam starting to radiate from the bald head.
One of Gangdor’s opponents was eventually forced to jump backwards, but an armoured knight appeared out of nowhere and aimed the tip of her gold sword at his waist. The man felt a chill as he tried to dodge, but the blade had already gone deep in. Before he could even retaliate, his life force withered away.
“Thank you!” Gangdor grinned, giving Nasia a thumbs up. However, the woman just shrugged and disappeared into the tide of people once more. Only then did Richard realise that she had returned at some point.