Volume 1 Chapter 5 Part 6
They must have concluded that a smaller army would be easier to protect in case they were ever attacked from the back.
At least, the heavy knights marching to the front gate are not the entire army of Waldrind. It was decided that it would be easier to protect.
Siluca called out in her heart.
Aishela was currently in the part of the castle-turned fortress that was built on the top of a ridge that protruded in front of the main gate, while the fort itself was guarded only by Captain Grak’s ten mercenaries. It was an overall small fort which became even smaller and more cramped with so many people present in it at once. The lack of scape to move was even more apparent because of all the big stones that have been stored in there that were just about the right size to be launched from a catapult, but there was no catapult to shoot those stones at the enemy army. That is because doing that was captain Grak’s job.
Aishela was standing on the stone wall of the fort carved with crevices, holding a naginata in her right hand. The heavy knights of Waldrind advances slowly, holding a heavy crossbow in one hand. Both the soldiers and their horses were wearing a full set of heavy armor, and each step that they took was making a roaring metallic sound. A large army of infantrymen was following right behind them.
「I will not let you through so easily. 」
Aishela narrowed her eyes. She named this fortress The Aishela Fortress, and she was determined to protect it until her last breath.
「Let me guide you to the afterlife. 」
Aishela muttered as she held her naginata in both hands, rotated it over her head a few times, and then held it under her right armpit.
「Captain! Your turn now, if you would! 」
Aishela turned to Grak.
Grak nodded back at her enthusiastically, and in the next moment his skin became grey in color. His whole body became as hard as steel, and the Arts that granted him this unbreakable defense and superhuman strength materialized themselves on his chest and arms.
Captain Grak then hoisted a large stone over his head with ease and threw it forward towards the enemy army as hard as he could. The stone that he threw drew a beautiful arc in the air and then began to fall at increasingly high speed due to the momentum that it was given.
The stone was going straight for a group of Waldrind’s soldiers, and was Huna definitely going to hit and crush them as it roared in the air… however, none of the Waldrind’s knights break formation or tried to run for their lives. Instead, they too the heavy crossbows they were holding in their hand and aimed them at the flying stone. There were no bolts loaded into them, but all the strings were already drawn.
Then, with a sharp sound, all of the crossbows have been fired at the same time. Glittering white bullets flew through the air, and the stone that Grak threw shattered into fine dust in the air as they came into contact with it. What was a giant boulder just seconds ago becoming nothing more than small pebbles and fragments of gravel as it fell on the soldiers without causing any harm to them, making only a series of dry sounds as its remains hit the armor worn by both the soldiers and their horses.
(Both heavy knights and their horses have their armor strengthened due to the power of the 「Dragoon」banner, and they are using the power of their Lord’s Crest to fire bolts infused with holy energy that cause the target to explode when hit or pierce right through it…)
Aishela knew that this was one of the tactics utilized by the heavy knights of Waldrind, but it was only when she saw it with her own eyes did, she manage to fully comprehend the horror of being on the receiving end of that tactic. If their bolts are powerful enough to turn boulders into dust, then that means that they should be able to do the same with walls and castle gates just as easily.
(Maybe we are all going to go to Valhalla together when this battle is over?)
Valhalla is one of the other worlds connected to this world, and is a heavenly realm inhabited by gods whose king is Odin. The Valkyries whose appearance Aishela is imitating with her armor are beings who serve the gods, and during the time of Extreme Chaos, the gods and divine spirits of Valhalla often appeared in this world as projections to save people in need who were calling out to them. The Valkyries were said to accompany true warriors, granting them strength and courage, and when they died, they would bring them back to their own world, where they could enjoy the rest of eternity in glory for their achievements on the battlefield.
Valkyries are therefore immensely popular among warriors, and when Aishela decided to become a mercenary, she purposefully emulated their looks and their manner of speech. Thanks to that, Aishela was accepted right away even if she was mixed in with the rougher crowd of mercenaries. It was thanks to that that she managed to already become friends with Captain Grak and the other mercenaries that he commanded.
「Captain, you keep throwing boulders at them, and the rest of you should attack with bows. 」
Aishela gave instructions to the mercenaries around her.
「On it! 」
The mercenaries all held their bows and started shooting diagonally upwards. Arrows rained down on the heavy knights, but they didn’t even try to avoid them, because they knew there was nothing to be afraid of. A few of them actually managed to hit the occasional soldier or a horse, but all in all, they could not penetrate the heavy armor they were wearing, so all that the mercenaries managed to achieve with that arrow salvo was to cause more metallic sounds to resound through the battlefield.
(I should have expected as much…)
The stones that Grak was throwing were all crushed to dust by the heavy crossbows just like the first one. Then, without disturbing the formation, the heavy knights continued to advance, coming ever closer to the castle gates.
Aishela looked back at Grak Squad’s Sniper who was crouching in the corner of the fort. He was an additional Artist who was sent to assist Captain Grak’s unit from Elam, where the headquarters of the mercenary band he belonged to was located.
「Is it my turn to act? 」
A thin man with long hair stood up slowly. The Art that he possessed was engraved on his right eye, and it extended to all around his left eye, and he also had another one that was sprawled out across both of his arms and his chest. Just by looking at him, it was clear that both of these Arts have taken great amounts of Chaos into themselves. Most of the time he remained silent, but whenever there was a job to be done that required his participation, he was always proving himself to be a ruthless and efficient sharpshooter.
「Please shoot two arrows directly forward. 」
「As you wish. 」
Lucas nodded his head. Then he leaned over the ramparts of the fort, quickly fired two arrows from his bow and immediately went back into hiding. Shortly after, Aishela saw two of the enemy knights rolling off of their horses with a loud clang, and the entourage if soldiers around them quickly rushed to their side to pick their fallen comrades back up, taking their horses with them. Aishela was very impressed by this display of not only discipline, but also camaraderie between the heavy knights of Waldrind. This goes to show exactly how well-trained they are.
(But at least now you see that you can’t ignore this fort anymore, can you?)
Aishela smiled. If they ignored this fort due to the lack of threat to their troops, there would be nothing holding them back from ignoring it and marching towards the main gate where Siluca was.
Aishela continued to observe the movements of the knights closely. Their advance has finally been halted, and their heavy crossbows were directed at the fort.
Aishela held her naginata close to her body, and moment later, the bolts from the heavy crossbows infused with holy energy were fired at the fort all at once. The fort’s stone walls and rocky foundations hit by these bolts began to explode. The stone walls were blown away as if they were made out of paper and then crumbled away, raising the clouds of thick dust high into the air.
Aishela was also attacked by countless bolts, but she flipped some of them back with his blade and then she jumped backwards, landing back inside of the stone wall.
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