Chapter 92

 


             Translator: “Ashita”                             Editor: “Weasalopes”                


A box formation made up of a long line of twenty-four Knights running from North to South.
At their center, an A-rank Knight has its chest armor, which is also its hatch, open.
In the pilot seat sits the vice-commander, gazing towards the far west while crossing his legs.

「They seem to be doing their best」

He said it like it was fun.

The rumbling from the running of the Heavy Lancers can be heard from the West, in the short span of time between the firing of magic missiles from Old Lady, chinks can occasionally be seen.
That showed that the Merchant Guild’s Knight has not been crushed.

「I guess we are heading there once it settles」

The former instructor’s voice can be heard from the Knight on the left. He was standing on the palm of the Knight’s right hand. He was using the outstretched index finger as a handrail.
As this Knight has a pointed shoulder, the same was so for the back of its head, its appearance was quite different from that of the vice-commander’s Knight standing beside it.
Their similarity lies only in the trait of A-rank Knights, the bulges in specific parts around their body.
These bulges create a body line with volume, the primary factor in the makings of a ferocious and overpowering appearance.
This may be obvious but they are not just for show. That part is the space where Support Magic Circle is installed.
In short, Support Magic Circles are 「That which aids with the efficient movement of Knights with very little mana supplied」
When looked into in detail, each of them have their own roles – optimizing movement, acting as a servo unit, controlling the change of output.
A laminating layer for all the Support Magic Circles packed within it, that is what the part known as a bulge is.
In other words, these bulges are a proof of strength.
The remodelling of Knights mainly involves the replacing and/or adding of Support Magic Circles.

「Hey, hey, ain’t this a tad bit too cruel? We should be heading there when he’s still alive」

Reacting to the former instructor’s words, the vice-commander sarcastically insulted him.
「I apologize」 The former instructor responded while grinning.
Seeing this, the vice-commander continued.

「They won’t last long anyway. But that only means that their own skills are lacking」

Facing West, the direction that the Merchant Guild’s Knight is, he said mockingly.

「Someone would never ever reflect on his arrogant self even in the other world」

He threw a glance towards the former instructor. Sensing his intentions, the former instructor turned his body towards the pilot seat.
The vice-commander let a little mana flow into his Knight. Receiving it, the left and the right hatch closed smoothly and the armor descended without a sound.
Seeing this, the surrounding pilots took to their pilot seats and closed their hatches one after another.
They do not need instructions. The pilots gathered here are the experienced elites.
Delighted by the actions of his subordinates, he raised his right hand up high as he connected to the external speaker.
And he shouted.

「Advance!」

At the same time, he dropped his right hand to its halfway point and put it forward.
The landscaped square formation of Knights with high and middle-rank pilots on-board faced West and began advancing.
The twelve Knights of the low rank pilot were ordered to wait.
The order given out earlier was to clean up the Heavy Lancer remnants which the main force failed to shoot down. As the magic attack earlier had expended most of their mana, they do not have much of it left.
Also, it is difficult to change the minds of low-rank pilots who think that bringing a sword into battle is a dishonor.

(Looks like they have moved quite a bit to the South-West)

After advancing continuously, the vice-commander clicked his tongue.
The battlefield was further than expected.
Relying on the moonlight, he got a distant view of the continuing battle in the far horizon.
The marching distance is already more than double. A reasonable gap had opened between him and the Knights at back.
With things as is, it will be difficult to capture the scattered and escaping enemies even with the long-range magic attacks.

(Should I send one as a messenger and have the low-rank pilots move?)

As he thought that, the right side of his field of vision suddenly had a yellow shine.

(Wha!)

He reacted by raising his shield.
A thick coil of light hit the flank of the square formation immediately after that.
The light proceeded to penetrate all the way through the North-South square formation.
The shields and Knights which were repelled by the light became mere shreds and were scattered to its surroundings and the overwhelming amount of light burned the eyes of the Knight pilots.

(Magic attack!)

Vice-commander swallowed his breath.
There is no mistaking it. And it packs a lot of power.
Half a second later, a violent explosion sound made the air shake.

(The enemy! Where? Where is the opponent?)

He opened his eyes, which he closed a moment earlier, slightly and looked around.
But his vision had not returned. The shoulders of the surrounding Knights bumped against one other, the pilot seat is shaking from the impact.

(This is bad)

The square formation has loosened.
A formation displays its prowess due to the assembly.
It is now that they have come under a surprise attack that the platoon should not panic.

「Everyone, maintain the formation」

However, he could not say it with confidence.
This was because from the North, in other words, the direction where the yellow light came from, a group of Heavy Lancers have suddenly appeared and were charging at them.
The Knight of a B rank pilot fell, unable to balance itself.

「A surprise attack right after a magic attack!」

Vice-commander startled.
However, at the same time, his face turned red from rage.

「Don’t underestimate me! you lot are only a bunch of damned beasts」

He supplied mana to the Support Magic Circle and activated it while roaring.
Vice-commander with his shield readied stopped the torrent of Heavy Lancers in their tracks and repelled them.
The ground cracked open, trapping the feets of the Knights displaying the weight that the Heavy Lancers had. However, this is nothing to the A rank pilots.
As vision returned, the A-rank pilots stationed at the right-wing were covering for the B rank pilots while parrying the assault from the Heavy Lancers.

「Close up the gaps! Defensive formation!」

Vice-commander shouted at the top of his lungs.
Fortunately, there are no badly damaged Knight within his vision. However, they were completely caught off-guard.
This disgrace had left him clenching his back teeth.
From another point of view, the Heavy Lancers which have succeeded in their hit-and-run should dare to head West in a large arc to assault again.

(What was that magic attack earlier?)

He questioned himself while bracing for the next assault.
He could not grasp the identity of the enemy who fired the magic attack. Naturally, he does not know whether there will be another magic attack.

(Heavy Lancers do not have the ability to use magic attacks)

That he does know.

(Then, is there another magical beast with them? Together with THOSE Heavy Lancers which only form groups with their own species?)

Vice-commander shook his head.

(Impossible)

Vice-commander temporarily put that question on hold. Rather than an investigation of the reason, what is needed now is a response.
He gave out the signal to change formations. At the same time, he also concentrated the A rank pilots at the Western and Northern front. This was to prepare for potential assaults and magic attacks.
He then shot a penetrating gaze to the far North, where the curtain of night had already fell.

Tauro and vice-commander, they who are not God do not have an inkling as to what is going to happen.
The Heavy Lancers present here are fundamentally different from the Heavy Lancers that the vice-commander and crew know of.
Normally, only Heavy Lancers who have left the Forest of Spirits, their place of residence, interact with people in the human world.
However, the Heavy Lancers here are led by a Chief.
And an existence such as the Chief of the group of Heavy Lancers. with its high social position. has not had the chance to see many people.
Seeing the Knight orders’ panic brought about by the long-range magic attack, it regrouped half of the group and started to counter-attack.

「…」

Far North, the Chief of the Heavy Lancers speechlessly laid low.
Its physique is twice as big and specific parts of its body had Kumadori* patterns usually worn by Kabuki actors. It had a long horn, one look at it and anyone can tell that it is in a different league from the rest of the Heavy Lancers.
The cool time was over, the long horn started to let out a bright lemon yellow sparkle. The long-range magic that only the Chief had.
The high voltage started destroying the insulating air around it, which made a frying sound much like a current leakage.
Pressure quickly built up and the Chief’s magic, which acted as an insulator, approached its limits.
A few moments later, while sending the violent arcs of light to its surroundings, the pillar of light was fired, accompanied by a deafening noise.

(Here it comes!)

Vice-commander braced himself.
Another magic attack has been launched from the depths of the darkness. A sound of explosion roared which was so loud that it could destroy his eardrums if he was half a second slower.
Its destructive power was equivalent to that of a heavy artillery. However, as this was already the second time, the A-rank pilots who have moved to the Northern side used their shields to completely block the attack.
However, within a tiny gap of time before the storm could settle, the flank was under another assault.

「Tsk!」

He let out his voice unconsciously.
The timing is just too perfect. They have no choice but to concentrate on warding off the attacks.
The initiative has completely been taken by the opponent. There was no gap for a counter-attack.

「……You lot are just a bunch of damned beasts」

Vice-commander repeated these words as disgrace made his body tremble.
This was fine if it was against the highly renowned Knight Order, but their opponents were beasts. Allowing them to get a hold of the initiative is unforgivable.
However, no matter how much the vice-commander thought that this was unforgivable, the reality did not change.
It was like someone was trying to torture them by leaving them just out of the range of receiving fatal damages.

「Eat this! Run run!」

Old Lady is aggressively driving away the group of Heavy Lancers.
This was like a sheepdog turned hound. The Heavy Lancers were also desperate.

「Run! If you lot hate that then die!」

These words were like it came from a squadron.
He let out a reasonably powerful magic missile from time to time.
A drop in speed will not be allowed.
A change in direction will also not be allowed.
The only thing that was allowed is to charge towards what is thought to be the direction that the Knight Order is in.

(……There they are!)

A group resembling the Knight Order could be seen right ahead.

(They are in a battle?)

To my surprise, they were already fighting.
Their opponents seem to be the group of Heavy Lancers. It seems like the numbers here make up for the shortage I felt earlier.
It all works out well if the Heavy Lancers came charging.
It is a joyous occasion for the opponent who was lying in wait to come to our doorsteps.
Just in case, I look for Corneal.

(He probably isn’t here)

I cannot ascertain this fact but there is so no mistaking it for now. I do not see Corneal, or rather, Knights of low-rank pilots.
It seems like the people who formed the formation marched

(I’m counting on you, Heavy Lancers)

A dark smile appeared on my face.
All is moving according to plan. There are no signs of them being attacked.
Adding the final whip known as the Heavy Lancers, I shouted.

「Go!」

Taking consecutive shots at their rump, the Heavy Lancers started charging at full power.
Their top speed is far higher than Old Lady’s, it has come to the point where I cannot keep up with it.
I fall back to the Southern side.

「……Alright」

When I turned back, right ahead were the Heavy Lancers which were flying into the Knight Order like meteors.
I can tell even from this distance that the Knight Order has fallen into disarray.

「Serves all of you right」

I mumbled with satisfaction.

Just then, the formation comprised of Knights had fallen apart.
The formation which had been weakened by the consecutive assault and magic attack received another assault from a different group of Heavy Lancers.
And the pressure was also unmatched.
The speed was incomparable to that of the two assaults they were under earlier.
It was as if they were in a Berserk (Mad Warrior) state, not caring about their lives. Due to crashing with such a force at such a high speed, their Large Beetle-like horns broke into pieces. However, the Heavy Lancers did not stop.
The silhouette of a Knight which had a pointed feature was sent flying into the air after receiving an attack diagonally from behind.

「Ugh!」

The former instructor raised his voice, shocked by the unexpected impact.
The former instructor’s A-rank Knight, which was protecting the vice-commander’s left, was heading North while being cautious of magic attacks.
The Knight which was blown away plunged face-first back to the ground.
The former instructor immediately tried to get up by moving the Knight’s body but the Heavy Lancers in the front trampled upon its back, pushing it back down to a prone position.

「This is bad」

The former instructor froze after understanding the situation.
The strength of this Knight laid in its Close-Combat ability. In exchange for power and speed, its light in weight and its armor was made to be thin.
That back is being trampled by multiple Heavy Lancers as they charge through it.
A violent tremor shook the pilot seat. The noise was quite loud.
However, overwhelming all these noises, a sound of misfortune – a cracking sound resonated throughout the pilot seat.

「*gasp*」

The former instructor who realized what that sound meant let out a cry.
Somewhere along the chest of the Knight is cracking as it was unable to endure the pressure caused by the trampling.

「……I don’t want this kind of thing to be happening to me!」

His voice was soaked in despair.
A crack appeared on the wall in front of the former instructor, it got wider, and more cracks started to appear as he was looking. The inner body is already covered with fine lines.
A few moments later, after a number of Heavy Lancers trampled upon it with their hind legs, its chest broke apart like that of an eggshell.
It was not only the former instructor’s Knight. A large number of Knights were also blown away. Especially the B rank Knights – many had parts like broken arms and legs sent flying high up into the air.

「H-huh?」

Vice-commander moaned. He could not grasp the situation.
He had smashed his head while sitting on the pilot side and his nose and mouth were covered in blood.
Vice-commander’s Knight, which had taken a direct hit from multiple Heavy Lancers from the back, was sent flying, it slammed into the ground behind and started spinning vigorously.
He still has not grasped his directions.

「Ugha?」

Feeling a difference with his voice, he moaned once again.
As all of his front teeth were broken, he could not pronounce proper words. He shuddered for a moment but quickly suppressed his emotions. His duty as the commander made him do so.

(Instructions, I must give out instructions to my subordinates)

Lifting the head of his Knight, he tried to confirm his surroundings.
What the vice-commander saw at that moment was a view full of blinding yellowish light.

「What is this……」

Corneal was speechless in his pilot seat.
Far ahead of the low-rank pilots. There, a pillar of light which let out a blinding sparkle had shot through the centre of the formation.
The group of Heavy Lancers rushed at the Knights immediately after that.
Two groups took turns to charge at the Knights and a light magic attack was fired during the gap in between. They were completely overrun.
They did not participate in the battle after the first magic attack was fired. There were several reasons for this.
Firstly, there was no instruction to do so. The last order they received was to wait.
Next was the distance.
No magic attack could reach with the position they were at now. They had to advance quite a distance if they were to participate in the battle.
Lastly, the delay in the decision-making by the platoon leader of the low-rank pilots.
If they wanted to participate, they should have made a beeline for the frontlines immediately after the formation came under a powerful magic attack from the side.
If they did that, they might have been able to block some of the Heavy Lancers’ repetitive charges and granted some time for the main force to regroup.
However, due to the hesitation by the platoon leader, they missed the timing to head over for support.

「……」

The platoon leader of the low-rank pilots was watching the battlefield with a pale face.
He seems to have realized that they lost the opportunity as a result of his hesitation.
But he also had excuses.
The high class pilots despised the interference of low-rank pilots in their close range battles.
They will probably not recognize it even if a victory was achieved as a result of them participating without the instruction to do so. On the contrary, there is a fear that it will be dealt with as a breach of orders.
The platoon leader knew this like it was drilled into his body. That was because his predecessor did exactly that.
There was no one who could rush there now.
Twelve B rank Knights are present here. On the other hand, the opponent number over forty. If their lives would be endangered if the Heavy Lancers were provoked and changed their target to them.
And they also had an important task left to do.
To request for aid and report the situation.
The Heavy Lancers who wrecked the main force of the Knight Order did not head towards the direction that Corneal and the crew were, they instead disappeared into the surrounding darkness.

「Oh A rank pilots, didn’t you say that the likes of Heavy Lancers were no match for you all?」

Corneal said with a stunned expression as he waited for the Heavy Lancers to disappear.
Right now, in front of their very eyes, the fighting force that Kingdom pride themself with was destroyed by the group of Heavy Lancers.
The Knights were charged at and broken by the horns of the Heavy Lancers, kicked down with their powerful hindlegs, trampled over and buried underground.
Whether the pilots were dead or alive was also not known.

「……」

The low-rank pilots including Corneal had nothing else to say.
The attitude that the high and middle-rank pilots showed every day called for little sympathy from them.
However, as a pilot belonging to the Knight Order of the Kingdom, the drastic decrease in fighting power due to this made their hearts go cold.
The Knight Order is not just a decoration. In the Kingdoms’ surroundings exists the Imperial Empire who have a fighting force who lead with their might.

「……Water flows from high to low.**」

Such words came out of Corneal’s mouth.
The decrease in fighting force may become a reason for an invasion.

「Isn’t this bad?」

Corneal did not understand what was happening.
There was no way, at this point in time, that he could know that Tauro was alive.
But Corneal remembered. About the time at the Western border when he fought with a Knight whose affiliation was unknown but very likely belonged to the Imperial Empire.

(Ugh)

All of the neighboring countries are vying for the territories of the Kingdom. His body shivered after having such hallucinations.
*[1. TL note: Stage makeup worn by Kabuki actors. To find out more, click HERE]

**[2. TL note: Japanese proverb(kind of) meaning that things proceeded in a natural way, and that human beings could not stop the flow of nature]



 


3 Comments

  1. I did not see the “Boss Lancer” coming! The next few chapters could very well be exciting! I just can not make myself feel bad for those guys. If you go with the intent to cause the death of someone then you need to expect that to be turned back at you. Thanks for the chapter!!!

  2. Damn, i can’t post any meme. Theres a lot of it with the karma thing. Well, they had it hard. ;D In the next one, we can see our MC doing his heroic work… Thanks for the chapter…

  3. I feel good because they were trampled at.
    I feel bad because Tauro will forced to join the defense of the kingdom from the possible invasion.

    By that time, i think the world tree in his garden will take its root around the kingdom, supplying Tauro a massive boost in Mana

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