The Pagemasters Vol 2 Chapter 34

 


Author: Literataku


Chapter 34:
And Carves Into Me

 

 

I watched the battle go underway, keeping my eyes on the Baron, which was quite easy given his size. He plowed into the front line, ignoring the spearmen and swinging his weapon -I think it was an oversized spear- with a single swing he had cleaved ten men in half and sent another dozen flying away from him. This guy alone was the strength of a full platoon… Who the hell likes writing these kinds of characters?

His horse was also actively fighting int eh battle, spinning around to keep his rider in range with his spear and stomping on anyone unlucky enough to not get out of the way. It was like watching a blender charging into plastic soldiers as men and body parts were sent flying in all directions. The gore and blood flying everywhere was starting to turn my stomach.

“That man is a monster!”

“Demon!”

Yeah, you guys are right about that one. Dammit! I didn’t want to get involved with him right now but if I don’t this battle could get really costly before we can retreat. Maybe I could at least slow him down a little bit… That spear is dangerous but I have my own trump card to play here against him.

“How long before we can sound a retreat?”

“The plan was to try and hold them off for an hour or two. But that Monster could plow his way into our command tents long before that.”

I nodded and gritted my teeth, looking toward the battle and bracing myself.

“I’m going to see if I can get us some reprieve. Tell the commanders to focus on the surrounding troops, I’ll deal with the baron for a little while at least.”

The lieutenant saluted me as I took off toward the main battlelines. Summoning my sword I kept it sheathed for the moment. Several units of cavalry had broken into the backlines and trying to deal with the surrounding infantry. Creating disruptions within our ranks and starting to break apart our defensive formation. I gritted my teeth and jumped into the fray charging the five riders close by.

“|{SHARPEN!}|”

Unsheathing my blade I swung at the riders in front of me, five halves of riders fell to the ground behind me as I ran past the horses trying to dodge their frightened rearing as their riders lower halves collapsed and were dragged by their stirrups out of the way. Continuing with my forward momentum I slashed at anyone still on a horse in the middle of the melee. Our cavalry was hanging back on the sides so there wasn’t any chance of mistaking one of our own here.

Making my way toward the Baron I took down a dozen more cavalry riders, My blade dissecting them quickly and leaving flaming pieces scattering through the ranks of what was left of the riders. The kingdom’s soldiers were cheering as they saw my display of strength and slaughter, it wasn’t anything near to the carnage surrounding the Baron but it was enough to raise morale slightly.

“We have our own monster killer!” “Red Hero will save the day!” “Kill them all, Hero!”

No. Guys… I’m just here to stall him for a little bit. I don’t intend to win this fight today. Hell, I don’t think I could fight to the death against this guy at all. Not unless I had something like a gunblade or a really high powered sniper rifle. My stomach was turning itself into sailor knots as I got closer to him. He had dismounted and was slaughtering people left and right while his horse chased down men who were trying to flee and trampling them to death.

Leaping up over to the corpses of bodies piled around him I swung my blade down hard onto his spear. The |[Sharpen}| spell doing its job and my sword cutting through his spear like a Ginsu Knife through a steak. The bladed tip falling off, leaving him with a long stick against my flaming sword. He looked at the broken weapon for a moment before laughing and dropping the fallen pieces, reaching to his side and drawing a slender looking sword its sheath.

“Fuhuhuhu. To think I’d get to face against one of the kingdom’s heroes so quickly. I have been waiting to see how well you can fight. I also appreciate not standing around and declaring yourself like this is some honorable fight.”

I gave a slight nod and readied my blade, the two of us facing off as the rest of the fighting seemed to spread out around us. I got lucky with a surprise attack but I knew that wasn’t going to work again in this battle.

“The only honor is this fight is staying alive to fight another day.”

“Ahh, so you are going to hold back against me?”

“Not really. But I don’t intend to see this fight ending with my death by your or anyone else’s hand today.”

We circled each other slowly trying to gauge for an opening or a way to start the exchange of blows. My sharpen spell could last for hours, but I had a feeling he was counting on his sword having more resistance to my power than his spear. I took a feint at his left side, and quickly changed directions to slash at his right leg. He shifted and deflected my blade with ease, the shock of his strength sending tingles through my arm as I barely managed to keep my grip on the hilt of my blade.

Ow… This guy was seriously overpowered, I never really liked these kinds of stories in the first place, and now I had to deal with the epitome of a super-strong Main Character. And his blade seemed to either be stronger than my spell could handle, or it was enchanted to be unbreakable. Either wouldn’t surprise me right now

I gritted my teeth and went into a series of strikes and blows, trying to keep him on the defensive, adjusting my grip so he wouldn’t disarm me with a heavy-handed parry. Flames dancing around me as my burning blade heated the air around us, thankfully being Pagemaster of Fire and Steel seemed to increase my resistance to stupid levels as I only felt a little warm and sweaty from exertion.

Fortunately for me, the heat seems to be actually affecting him as sweat was running down his face like little rivulets. A plan started to form in my head as we dueled. He laughed as we crossed swords, his strength was way too high for me to keep pressed in such a stance and I leaped backward to get some distance, sheathing my blade and refueling its reserve to continue my flame assault. He stood still, blade in guard position while catching his breath as we faced down each other and taking a moment to recover.

“You are probably the best man I’ve faced outside of the Northern Empires. It’s almost a shame I will have to kill you for opposing me. Though I’m curious why you haven’t tried to make a killing blow.”

“As I said, I’m not here to die today. I feel trying to make such a blow against you would only result in my own death.”

I set myself into iaijutsu form, the sheath held in my left hand as I placed my right on the hilt. Ready for a quick-draw counterattack when he launches at me. The two of us returning to circling around each other, looking for an opening. I merely looking to stall as long as I can while the morning sun continued to rise into the sky, bringing on the summer heat that would hopefully wear down his stamina even more.

He stepped forward with a feint thrust toward the middle, I sidestepped and whirled out my bade to deflect his slash from above, the blade igniting and throwing some of the burning oil at his face. The heat of the flame enough to send him reeling back as I pressed in again, keeping my movements small and precise to keep pushing him back with the burning blade. I didn’t worry about strength or speed, merely doing all I could to keep him from having a chance to recover enough to take a proper defense and creating as much heat as possible around him.

Each time he stepped back I kept up with him, the battle around us seemingly going quiet as they witnessed the monster of a man, this Baron Ran, getting pushed back by a young man three-fourths of his size. The heat was getting intense as sweat was pouring freely down his head, his hair matted and dripping into his face and eyes. Making it harder for him to see, the plate mail armor was no doubt starting to feel like an oven inside, further increase the strain on his stamina.

He was breathing hard and ragged, his sword movements still strong but I could perceive him starting to slow down just a little. I was starting to feel the strain of the fight myself, my limbs were starting to get tired though I could certainly keep going for longer if I paced myself. That he was still keeping up with me even in spite of the added strains of the heat was a testament to how much power this guy actually had.

The flames of my sword started to die down and I jumped back and sheathed it once again, it gave him time to recover but I needed to have the blade burning as much as possible. The flames were my only advantage in this fight. He reached up a hand trying to undo the armor on his chest and I leaped at him, unsheathing my flaming blade and slathering his pauldrons with burning oil, forcing him to stop and managing to land a nick on his hand, blood rivulets trickling down his fingers and around the hilt of his blade as it mixed with sweat. He looked at me as comprehension dawned in his eyes, now he understood what I was doing and he chuckled.

“Baking me in my own armor?”

I didn’t respond and merely pressed in again, drawing my movements and slashes only to graze and continue to apply the heat of my flames on his armor. He could only defect and attempt to parry as I kept him on the defensive, his armor heating up even more as the flames licked and heated the metal around his upper body. It was probably about as hot as a frying pan inside there now and still, he was barely affected even as he sweated enough to severely dehydrate a normal person.

He shoved me hard as I pressed in for another round of slashes and made a gesture with a hand. A black blur swooped from the shadows and attacked me with a long blade. I barely managed to parry as the armored figure moved around to cut me off from attacking the Baron again.

“This is Cassiel. My adjutant and slave. Congratulations on being the first man I’ve been forced to need her help in dealing with them.”

The Baron began shedding his burning armor as the young girl stared me down with murderous blank eyes. Her blade held along her upper body and pointed in my direction. She was so small compared to him but she seemed to be almost as fast if not faster.

“All who draw the Master’s blood must die! No one is allowed to harm him! I will cut you until there is nothing left.”

Oh great and she is a yandere too. I’ve got a feeling I’m about to have some trouble getting away from this pair now. Welp let’s get this anime battle trope out of the way, shall we?


 


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