The only voice of disdain towards Richard’s fireballs came from his own side. Nasia lazily commented, “Doesn’t look bad, but why are you using so much power against peasants without a bigger area of effect? This is actually terrible!”
He didn’t reply to the assessment, forming three more fireballs in his palms. They looked to be ordinary ones at first, but a boost from his elemental affinity turned them red while his truename turned the cores into half-frozen lava. Finally, the power of the blue moon turned those cores blue and shrank them down. The fireballs started to swirl before being shot out, the sheer speed demonstrating their increased range. Flames started to jump around on their surface, a measure against other spells that Faelorians couldn’t comprehend.
These three fireballs seemed to be the same as the first two initially, but landing in a triangle formation the outer edges of their ranges overlapped to form a faint ring that was fifty metres wide. All the soldiers within its coverage immediately caught fire, but the stronger ones on the edge managed to survive. Even so, the damage would likely be lethal given time; all in all, just this second ring caused more damage than the three initially had.
““CHARGE!”” the commanders shouted hysterically, the soldiers charging forward with reckless abandon while the light cavalry on both ends picked up the pace to block off the retreat. Once they crossed the next hundred metres, they would be past the road of death.
Salwyn looked on calmly; once his army surrounded the defenders, Richard could escape but his troops would be destroyed. The scouts reported nobody even close to challenging them for the next thirty kilometres; this war was already won. His face was twitching at the humiliation of having to consider something so lopsided a victory, but he suppressed the shame.
The imperial army was like a black tide that slowly enveloped Richard’s troops. Richard shot out five more fireballs, straight towards the infantry that was charging head-on. However fearless an army was, the soldiers would still instinctively try to save themselves from death. The dodges and rolls at the last moment slowed down those behind them.
Blue explosions rocked the earth once more, clearing another five circles and ploughing a path of three hundred metres through the charge. While the fireballs themselves had been responsible for a tenth of that, the scared soldiers had instinctively spread apart. This path was pointed straight at Salwyn, who was at the centre of the troops!
Shock flashed across Salwyn’s face, but before he could even give the command to fill the gap he saw Richard rising up into the sky on the other end. They were half a kilometre apart still, but that seemed to vanish as the Crimson Duke picked up speed, the air whistling as he shot straight forward.
The imperial mages took to the air in an attempt to block Richard’s advance, but a wave of his left hand shrouded them in darkness. They suddenly felt their limbs growing heavy and their bodies numb, mana flow becoming sluggish as they plummeted straight to the ground. Even simple slowing curses were terrifying at his hands.
The only person who didn’t fall to the ground was a level 18 grand mage, but a wave of Richard’s right hand brought three fireballs barrelling towards the man. These were much quicker than usual, only spending a moment to arrive right in front of the mage. The barrier shattered with the first strike, the second breaking all defensive items and charring the body. When the third passed, two separated legs fell from the sky, the huge tears all cauterized. The torso was nowhere to be found.
Richard flew past like the wind, continuing his pursuit of Salwyn. Many lighter whistles filled the sky as dozens of sharp arrows shot out like e
At this point, a warrior who had been running around like a headless chicken suddenly launched himself into the sky, quietly heading towards Richard’s back. His impressive aura made it clear that he was a sub-legend, and he was quickly joined by another man who jumped up from amongst the soldiers. A trace of glee flashed past Salwyn’s eyes; his trap had worked!
However, that expression froze just as quickly as it had arrived. A piece of rope shot out from an unknown location on the ground, coiling around the second would-be assassin and trapping him in mid-air. The man yelped in surprise, turning around to find that the rope was standard issue and the other end was fastened to the waists of a group of soldiers. Even though he was powerful, he couldn’t use his energy alone to fly against eight heavy infantrymen.
The man gloomily kicked out, energy congealing at his toes to form a blade that cut him loose. However, this delay had broken their coordinated strike. He swept his eyes across the battlefield, but he couldn’t find the culprit at all.
The first assassin had already made his way behind Richard, double daggers swiftly thrusting down. However, an emerald sparkle filled the sky as the blades met a sword Richard seemed to have pulled out of nowhere. Forcing the encounter into a straight fight, Richard twirled the longsword like it was made of air as he smacked both daggers away within ten exchanges. A horizontal swing of Moonlight cut off the assassin’s head.
The other sub-legend had just rushed over, now at a distance where he could strike. However, his companion had already died at Richard’s hands and he knew immediately that he would meet the same fate if he continued. All courage melting away, the man fled.
Richard didn’t even bother, continuing to head towards Salwyn. The prince finally realised the danger and started fleeing; this caused some confusion amongst the troops, but the seasoned generals steadied the charge. The one at the front led the men forward to continue the assault on Richard’s soldiers.
Hundreds of arrows shot into the sky, chasing close behind Richard. His body continued to glow as all sorts of spells tried to assault him, only to be blocked by his barriers. The army’s archers and mages displayed alarming coordination as they tried to cut off all means of escape; even with there seeming to be infinite layers of protection around him, they kept up a constant assault.
Eventually, something had to give. A mere hundred metres from Salwyn, a dark aura settled around Richard and his body immediately sank down. He tried to use his powers to get through a dozen other curses, but he was finally hit by a slowing spell as well. Expression changing, he immediately fell back and looked at the arrows that were now closing in on him. A hail of fireballs destroyed half of them, but war drums resounded in the distance as the archers continued to fire more.
Shaking his head begrudgingly, he decided to give up the chase and return to his troops. A rope flew across the battlefield immediately, coiling around his waist and pulling him towards the army. The sudden change almost scared him out of his wits, but he quickly noticed Nasia holding the other end.
There were imperial soldiers all around Nasia, but she seemed oblivious to them as though they were troops on her side. As she launched Richard back to his own side and turned around, she was blocked by a sub-legendary warrior from the Iron Triangle who brandished his longsword, “Who the hell are you?”
“Your death,” the woman who’d introduced as the Faceless Knight said dully, grabbing two swords from a soldier beside her and charging towards him. The swords swished a total of three times, the first flicking away the opponent’s sword while the second and third went for the heart and head. The man fell instantly, making Richard’s killing of the assassin look like a sloppy job at best.
“To think they actually want to play with swords in front of me,” she snorted as she threw both blades to the ground, turning around and disappearing in the crowd of imperial soldiers.