The always calm and collected Commander of Peacekeeping Knights, Zakwald Kirin had his eyes wide open, mouth trembling. His face was deadly pale.
The Northern Tower lay before his eyes.
Its once beautiful spire had collapsed, the <Northern Ladyship Room> in the southern side of the fifth floor had been destroyed too. The elegant white wall from the first to third floor were still intact, but everything above that was unseemly cracked with unending smoke rising.
It was Zakwald himself who ordered the shooting of Ritual Magic <Purgatory Gate>. However, it wasn't supposed to end like this. They just needed to weaken the barrier covering the Northern Tower through the magic, and then save the <Maiden of Solace> inside. And yet just one shot of the ritual magic broke apart the upper half of the tower. They have launched an offensive on <Maiden of Solace> for all intents and purposes.
'This wasn't how you said would happen', Zakwald was about to protest to Viscount Waido. But Viscount Datensta Waido put out another decree before he could.
"Commander Zakwald. Order the mage unit to attack the base of the tower. The magic barrier has yet broken down entirely. This is a direct order from Geitglein Shadrest-sama."
Zakwald swallowed back the words he was about to utter. A direct order from the head of Southern House, Geitglein-sama. That is absolute. He must see it done.
Just when he was about to gave the order to the mage unit, someone spoke out.
"Something's flying in this direction! From Mt. Yufu's direction!"
Zakwald looked up into the sky reflexively.
Something black zoomed right above his head at high speed, creating a loud booming sound as it crash landed.
Broken splinters of stone pavements scattered about, raising a cloud of dust in the air.
"Was that a meteorite?"
(That's no meteorite.)
(That black figure I glimpsed.)
(Had the shape of a human.)
The cloud of dust receded.
There's a huge crater on the ground.
It may have fallen somewhere unmanned, but 80% of all Peacekeeping Knights are currently present here. A small deviation could have resulted in a disastrous scene. Zakwald would like to know what's going on.
Something moved inside the crater.
(A humanoid, monster?)
But there's no way any monster could withstand that impact. Doesn't matter if the thing flying in is a human or a monster, it couldn't have survived.
Zakwald involuntarily retreated when he sensed an ominous aura.
Something is coming out of the crater.
The thing standing in the cloud of dust was black.
It's shaped like a human.
It's wearing something resembling an overcoat, but the torn edges give it eerie looks. There are burn marks too. As if it has spent a long time getting smoldered in infernal flames.
(A Vengeful Spirit?)
(No, could it be a Carrion King?)
But this pressure is simply overbearing.
It's completely filling the air like a downpour, even moving his limbs is difficult.
That something's eye flung open.
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It's only got one eye.
An eye burning with rage.
It took a wand and started reciting a spell.
It's attempting to cast magic.
"No! Mage Unit, open fire!"
The full row of mage units shot out all kinds of magic, <Fire Arrows>, <Lightning Arrows>, <Flame Spears>, <Ice Bullets> and such. But most of those attacks got repelled by an invisible barrier that manifested before the creature. Some managed to hit the creature, but that did nothing to stop its spell casting.
"Archer Unit! Attack that creature!"
Zakwald had provided a hundred squires with bows and arrows. They're on standby nearby the Mage Unit. Zakwald didn't think they would ever come in handy until now.
However, the creature finished its casting before the Archer Unit could launch their arrows.
Was that even a human speech.
Right after the creature recited that unknown spell, threads-like streaks of lights shot out from its wand into the sky and transformed into hundreds, thousands of Fire Arrows. Once they filled the entire sky full, they spread out, changed direction and poured incessantly down the ground.
(That's undoubtedly a ritual magic-class spell!)
(And that thing cast it on its own, without even the help of a magic circle?)
This inconceivable attack poured down the mage unit, archer unit and a part of the knights.
This one attack annihilated the Mage Unit and the Archer Unit. Even mages who had strong magic resistant equipment on them suffered grievous injuries from it. The majority of the mages lay on the ground, groaning. Only the commander and vice commander of the unit somehow managed to stand on their feet.
The archer squire unit has basic equipment with low magic resistance. They were all on the ground without a sound.
Dozens of knights who were near them were also down on the ground.
Its firepower and scope were simply spine chilling.
Fortunately Zakwald was standing relatively close to the creature so he wasn't hit by the attack.
"What are you loafing about, Zakwald. Kill that creature!"
Viscount Dantesta Waido shouted in anger.
"My Knights, go and vanquish that creature!"
The knights mobilized under Zakwald's command.
Presently, this place houses 400 of the 500 Peacekeeping Knights, and 800 of the 1000 squires. They are elites who have been battle hardened from their bouts against magic beasts dwelling deep within Yufu Mountain Range. No creature can top them, no matter how powerful. It will be offed right away surely.
Under each units' captains, the army encircled the creature.
The creature walked straight toward Northern Tower without paying any heed to Zakwald nor Viscount Waido. Suddenly two swords manifested out of thin air in its hands.
(Not only magic.)
(It can even wield swords?)
(But two swords, is this some kind of joke.)
Two captains of the units near the creature gave the command to block the creature's path, 200 knights responded. All of them had their swords drawn. Just as a dozen of the foremost knights stepped forward to slash at the creature, it swung the sword in its left hand twice.