Translator: Smaturin Editor: Nefarian
By now anyone could see that the lives of Grandiera’s cavalry were hanging by a thread.
Figuria’s infantry was in front of them and they could not retreat with the pitfall blocking them from behind. The only way they could survive this situation was to force their way through the infantry, but the infantry towards the center formed a particularly thick layer, and even if they were considered as the weaker soldiers, breaking that line would not be easy.
Perhaps in an attempt to save the cavalry, Grandiera’s infantry started to march forward, but it was apparent that they would not make it in time at that distance. However, there was something disconcerting about it all to Aur.
Even if the infantry did arrive, it would be impossible to save the cavalry within the chaos of the fighting. While it was unlikely that the commanding officer was King Wolf, it was unthinkable that an officer of Grandiera, who were known for their strength, would do such a thing.
It also seemed strange that their losses were so low. Regardless of the fact that he had succeeded in his surprise pincer movement, he had expected at least a few knights to break through. Yunis had been placed there to deal with them.
But the cavalry only moved about confusedly at the battle line and there was no sign of spears being thrown.
「…Spina! Go now and inspect the bodies of the cavalry!」
Aur sent the message through magic to Spina, who was supposed to be waiting on the first floor. After a moment, her surprisingly flustered voiced returned.
「Master…! They are dolls! These, are not the cavalry… They are dolls that have been painted silver!」
「All troops, fall back!」
As Aur shouted, the infantry started to drop like flies. It was not from arrows. It was not magic either. It was some other projectile, the infantry continued to fall in succession.
「What the hell!?」
「My lord, it is slings. They are flinging rocks with slings.」
Ellen said with a grim expression. A sling was a primitive weapon made of leather. A rock is placed in the pocket and it is swung by a string and shot through by centrifugal force.
「A sling? How is such a thing not stopped by the anti-arrow spell? At this distance…」
Aur realized it before he finished saying it, he grabbed Ellen towards him and drew the magic from her body. The atmosphere warped and shook, a rippling wave spread out with Aur in the center. Everything within the range of the waves would be recognized; a type of probing spell.
Aur gnashed his teeth. According to the probe spell, there was nothing suspicious that held magic. 『Nothing』. Everything in this world, regardless of what it is, contained a degree of magic. But there is just one exception, 『lead』.
This metal that is known as the iron that was abandoned by God, contains absolutely no magic and in turn, repels it. You cannot stop bullets made of lead with magic barriers.
If these were arrows with arrowheads created from lead, the arrows would have stopped at the shaft or fletching. But masses of lead would pass through without being affected at all. On top of that, they are heavier and stronger than stone. They would carry enough force to knock someone unconscious even if they were protected by steel armor.
The cavalry chased the infantry as they started their retreat. Not all of the cavalry were dummies. A tenth of their number was real cavalry, they had been commanding and controlling the horses that bore the dolls.
What was most fearful was the skill of the knights and warhorses to control the other mounts without riding them. And also their nerve to unconcernedly use them as sacrificial decoys. Aur’s ambush may have exceeded their calculations, but it had not been unexpected. After all, their decoys had served their purpose well.
「This is foolish…do they mean to attain victory by sacrificing so many of their cavalry?」
However, if things continued like this, his infantry would be annihilated. Quality aside, Aur would be taking much heavier losses in terms of numbers. His army was already fewer in numbers to begin with, he could not allow the losses to continue any further.
「『Mio. Do it.』」
Aur sent the message to Mio with magic. In an instant, the sky was covered by shadows. High in the sky flew wyverns, giant monster birds known as roc, griffins and other large monsters with magnificent abilities of flight. Each of them carried giant boulders in their claws.
Arrows and hurled stones can be easily protected against with the use of magic. But the large masses of boulders would not be so easy to stop. And as the boulders were thrown one after another, the enemies frontlines crumbled in the blink of an eye.
「Now, my cavalry, charge!」
At that moment, Aur brought out the cavalry that he had been saving up to this point. Some of the boulders that had been thrown landed in the pit instead of the enemy position, bridging the gap. Aur’s cavalry crossed through and plunged into the enemy infantry.
While slings may be primitive weapons, they by no means compare unfavorably to bows in terms of force and range. But they did have two flaws.
First, they were difficult to use. It takes a lot more arduous training to use a sling properly than what is required for a bow.
The other is that you cannot fire in rapid succession. While not as bad as a crossbow, you cannot send stones flying in an instant.
In other words, the sling wielding infantry are not as proficient as soldiers that wield swords, and the weapon was not suited for dealing with the onrush of cavalry. In an instant, Aur’s 100 cavalries had trampled over the enemy’s infantry and had even begun to fall on the archers and sorcerers.
With the loss of their rearguards support, the enemy’s cavalry, who were few in numbers to begin with, lost their advantage and were surrounded by Aur’s infantry before being torn to death by his beasts.
It seemed that the outcome was now clear. The enemy was sure to begin its retreat shortly. Aur sighed in relief, he sat back in the seat that had been set at his camp. However, it could not be called a complete victory. The boulder assault by the flying beasts was one of the trump cards that Aur had readied.
It could be used in an attack, as a defense, and during a siege, without much risk to your own army, all the while inflicting massive damage towards your enemies. But he would have preferred to not use it in this fight, if it was possible. Because once you’ve shown that hand, it would not be very difficult to take protective measures against it.
And the enemies countermeasures were inscrutable as ever. Aur’s aim of domination meant that war with Grandiera was unavoidable. And so of course, Aur had thoroughly studied King Wolf.
King Wolf was known for being daring and bold, his style of warfare was straightforward and boisterous. He rarely relied on tactics or ambushes and always stood in the forefront, his style was supposed to be the cutting down of enemies with his military power.
Even if the king himself was not present on the frontlines, surely his subjects would continue to follow in his footsteps. It was not like him to hold back on his fighting force and aim for victory through strategy; it was just incomprehensible.
A monstrous sound of an explosion interrupted Aur’s contemplations.
「…What is it!?」
He came back to himself and looked in the direction of the sound; there had been a giant explosion on the frontline and he could see several soldiers flying in the air.
「What…Is it an『Explosion』spell!? What are my sorcerers doing? Stop it with an anti-magic protection spell!」
「They, they are my lord! But, that thing is not magic!」
The messenger screamed.
Spells are cast with magic without exception. And so it should be possible to nullify any powerful spell if you have enough magic to interfere with it. That is what is called anti-magic protection.
But it cannot protect against an attack of equivalent force that does not rely on magic. While you may be able to protect against the magical sharpness of a legendary sword, you still cannot completely nullify a blunt blade. That is what is called defense magic. But…
「It’s not magic, you say!? Don’t be foolish, without a large weapon, how could they blow humans into the air like…」
「That is, from a 『sword』…」
Yunis’ nervous voice interrupted Aur’s shouting.
「A sword…a sword is blowing those men into the sky….!?」
That is not something that was possible, even with the ridiculous strength of ogres and giants. It was certainly not possible for a human to accomplish.
So that meant, it wasn’t human. This feat was by something of an entirely different nature.
「I didn’t think that he would arrive so soon.」
Yunis said in a quivering voice.