Translator: Kell | Editor: Ryunakama
Cardinal Georgis’ army seemed to be powerful, but its offensive might was not something that could be maintained for a long period of time.
A catapult would need to be reloaded. Archers would need to replenish their supply of arrows. And large-scale magic spells required time for incantation.
For this reason, the enemy’s firepower was at its peak right after its simultaneous attack, and then slowly diminished after that.
Right after the enemy’s firepower weakened was the perfect opportunity for us to launch a counterattack. Everyone from the Count’s army, save for the necessary defensive Mages, switched to offensive positions.
“Sachylis, put me through,” I said as I watched the army.
AoE buffing Skills are powerful, but they also have their drawbacks. Some attack buffs cannot be cast at the same time as defensive buffs.
For example, a Bard can’t use ‘Aura of Protection’ and ‘Aura of Attack’ at the same time. If you tried to amplify your offense, your defenses would be weakened.
If we had the same number of troops as the enemy, we could simply counterattack without buffs, but our mana wouldn’t be enough to support us when we were outnumbered twenty to one. Therefore, offensive buffs are absolutely necessary.
I solved this problem beforehand by preparing a second chain of command.
“Second support platoon, switch from support magic to attack.”
Through Sachylis’ Skill “Wind’s Whisper,” my instructions were relayed to the support troops composed mainly of Bards.
Wind’s Whisper is a Skill used to deliver one’s voice far away, but unlike normal voice-amplifying magic, it does not allow voices to reach anyone other than the designated target. The enemy won’t know what kind of orders you give.
The moment the troops switched from defense to attack, I used amplification magic to shout out my order.
There was no reply. Instead, countless long-range attacks were unleashed from the Count’s army.
“Defensive spells, now— aaaahhh!”
“Shield troops, to your posi—”
Cardinal Georgis’ army was also well-prepared against long-range magic spells. As soon as they saw that long-range attacks had been fired, defensive magic was cast by the Mages and shields were deployed across the entire army to protect the soldiers. But it was all utterly pointless.
The defensive spells cast by the Mages of the Cardinal’s army shattered like glass the moment our spells hit. Shield users who tried to protect the Mages were killed on the spot with arrows that pierced completely through the thick shields in their hands. The Cardinal’s defenses were useless in the face of our attacks buffed by support Skills.
The dirtiest Skill of all was the Magic Bowyer’s “Mortal Arrow,” an advanced spell that was basically like placing explosion magic on bows. It was a powerful Skill on its own, but when buffed even further, its AoE and destructive power were boosted.
“Wh-What is that?! One arrow destroyed a whole squad!”
A soldier of the Cardinal’s army who was lucky enough to escape the bombardment was stunned. He wasn’t exaggerating when he said the squad was ‘destroyed.’
Once Mortal Arrow landed on the enemies clustered together, the entire area around it turned into a scene from hell. The soldiers near the impact point were killed instantly, and those outside the area were seriously injured, preventing them from fighting any more. The spell itself wasn’t as powerful as “Steam Explosion,” but the enemy took a clustered formation, resulting in a huge number of casualties.
One strike and a hundred men lost their ability to fight. As it was a powerful Skill, it could only be fired once per minute. Still it dealt devastating damage that the Cardinal’s forces quickly decreased in number.
But I still didn’t let my guard down. After all, the Cardinal had twenty thousand men. We only had a thousand fighters, and only a small percentage of them was part of the long-range squad. Our mana supply was simply limited. We couldn’t completely annihilate the enemy just yet.
“Sitrep?” I asked.
“It appears that the enemy intends to disperse its troops,” Sachylis replied.
I couldn’t tell what was going on in the enemy’s center of command amidst all the chaos, only the situation in the front lines. That’s why I asked Sachylis to use the Wind’s Whisper to give me a situation report.
The enemy command ordered their forces to “disperse.” They must have decided to break the clustered formation after seeing the heavy damage caused by Mortal Arrow and other ranged attacks.
It was the proper order given the current situation. That didn’t mean I would just back down, however.
“Did you hear anything about Support Skills?” I asked.
“They haven’t noticed, as we expected.”
I knew it. The enemy wouldn’t notice that we have switched out our support magic. All part of the plan, of course. That’s why we were using Wind’s Whisper instead of loudspeakers to give orders in the first place.
We buffed our defense whenever we needed to protect ourselves, and boosted our attack whenever the enemy’s firepower weakened. The Cardinal’s army probably thought they were looking at some kind of otherworldly army that possessed both high offensive and defensive prowess at all times.
The enemy must be terrified of the Count’s army right now. Anyone would be scared if they were beaten so one-sidedly. They couldn’t even land a hit even when they greatly outnumbered us. I wouldn’t be surprised if they saw us as monsters.
“It’s about time.”
Long-range attacks could one-sidedly destroy the enemy. That much was true. But we could only take down a limited number of troops at once.
Following their orders, the enemy soldiers began spreading out. Even after such a number of casualties, their chain of command was still intact. They were even changing battle formations. It just goes to show how trained and skilled the Cardinal’s army was.
Their change in formation was proving to be effective, as the Count’s magic could only hit fewer enemies now. Now that they had changed tactics, we could no longer count on long-range attacks to annihilate them. The amount of mana required to defeat a single enemy increased, making it impossible for the outnumbered Count’s army to continue its offensive assault.