“W-What in the Black Mist is this!?” In the backline, another rifleman exclaimed, others looked at what got their fellow rifleman so spooked: the beheaded corpses of their men.
One after another, a different rifleman suddenly charged past Hanz’s and did a bayonet charge on the [Shield] Crea and the others are, causing sparks flying about. Of course, it did nothing but putting a nick on his blade.
“This kid!” The rifleman screamed. “He’s making this… damn blue dome!”
Well, Crea was holding her two hands up in a chanting position. Even if Beohar knew no magic, it was pretty obvious she formed the [Shield].
A jolt of electricity hopped onto the spear-rifle and again, landing on the Palras Steel. The visored rifleman was surprised at the foreign sense of pain, letting go of his weapon and staggered back.
And one of Hanz’s floating machine guns finished him off.
37 riflemen killed, 15 + ??? left.
“I am a grown woman,“ Crea softly muttered, stressing the last two words, slowly.
Alicia was confused before remembering that the blue-haired girl was three years older than her despite being as tall as Owen. She seemed to be sensitive regarding her physical maturity. The gender assumption probably adds fuel to the fire (or power to the electricity?).
“Get behind the statues!”
The riflemen scattered, hiding behind the rows of statues on both sides of the brick road. It certainly took them a while for them to realize the advantage of taking cover, it’s the first gunfight after all.
However, before they could do it, Hanz shot two of them down. One managed to get away though, quirking the soldier.
39 riflemen killed, 13 + ??? left.
Hanz tried shooting through the nearest statue with a rifleman behind with the ignore Command. However, it seemed to have disintegrated by the native Fantasy Law before it could get through.
These statues in question were of various large Beosts that seemed to be almost life-sized on an equally absurdly sized pedestal (which were of the same size, so some Beost statues would barely fit the pedestal and vice versa). About half of the remaining riflemen could hide behind one of them which they did.
“Haa…” another rifleman sighed in relief, he saw that they had been reduced to almost a fifth of their forces. “You! Get reinforcements! Just detour through the garden!”
“Got it!” the other rifleman rushed northeast if you consider the Court Wizard’s direction face as north, bending down as he ran to minimize his.
Master Will, take him out. (Hanz)
“What the?” Another rifleman exclaimed as a gust of wind past him. He turned to the second dome, witnessing the pair of eyes as black as the Mist staring intently under the dull grey mask.
As if it was luck or reflex, the messenger stopped as the slash of wind flew right below his helmet, rippling the plants.
“Sh*t!” the messenger cursed as he felt air gathering above him.
And his blood smeared the lush grass.
40 riflemen killed, 12 + ??? left.
“No! Grr, it’s that other bastard on the left killed our guys on the back!” the rifleman who looked at Will exclaimed, actually connecting the dots between him and the beheaded riflemen.
“Dammit! They’re gonna kill us all!”
Are you going to kill all of them?
Hearing that rifleman’s cry, while under the suppression, it wouldn’t stop the common morals of a twenty-first-century teenage girl from asking. Again, it’s only for composure in combat.
If they don’t issue their surrender, yes. (Hanz)
Couldn’t you at least ask them? (Crea)
And the red soldier spoke to the surviving riflemen, “Surrender,” in a deep tone.
“Huh? What is he saying?”
“He wants us to surrender.”
“Wait, what? I thought they always kill everyone.”
“Guess not. But should we surrender?”
“I-I think we should.”
“And let the treaty go through,” Hanz continued. “That is what we want.”
And the bloody garden became silent.
“Hah! So they were here to stop us from attacking the treaty! They want us to be buddies with those animals! Well, I ain’t doing it!”
“And why are you here? To stop that stupid treaty, right? We’re all here just for that and we got nothing else to lose anymore because of those damn Half-Beosts, right guys?”
“…You’re right. Since they killed my family and friends just for the heck of it, this moment’s all I’ve been living for.”
“So, do we fight?”
That’s their answer. (Hanz)
“Let’s go! The wind Wizard moved to the right!” that rifleman shouted, also foiling a simple trick.
While the riflemen were conversing with themselves, Rose beckoned the Air Guardian to go to the other side, hoping to confuse them.
“Get behind the other dome so we don’t get into the red Wizard’s line of fire! But watch out the wind Wizard and the others!”
With that, the riflemen dashed, using the statues as cover. Sure, it was foolish to shout the plan to the enemy, but it’s better than going out with no plan or trying to quietly relay the plan to the others across the road without getting shot.
However, some were dumb enough to leave their cover the other way, exposing themselves to Hanz’s merciless fire.
42 riflemen killed, 10 + ??? left.
“Argh!” a rifleman groaned, as a stray red bullet hit his leg. With the momentum of his run, he fell down, sliding across the soft grass, dirtying his pristine armor, with his upper body ending up not behind the safety of the statue.
And Hanz did not pass up that opportunity.
43 riflemen killed, 9 + ??? left.
While that happened, some riflemen to Hanz’s right took the opportunity to shoot as they ran, towards both [Shield]s.
And Hanz, in turn, fired back.
The over-sized statues gave the riflemen some breathing room. However, Hanz noticed a helmet peeking out between the legs of a Beost statue.
“Crap!” and he noticed as well.
But he was too late to react.
44 riflemen killed, 8 + ??? left.
By now, eight of the riflemen had reached their destination, behind the blue dome where Crea and the others are in. They began to fire upon it whilst literally strafing.
BANG BANG BANG BANG
BANG BANG BANG BANG
Under fire, Alicia could see, while they shoot and reload, two of the riflemen gazing intently on her, the same goes for her companions minus Crea.
Alicia knew what the riflemen were doing. They were watching her and the others in case they gave an Order. However, they also occasionally glance at Will, except the ones watching him, lest they get decapitated by condensed air.
Suddenly, the ground between the Court Wizards erupted consecutively, spewing clay and dirt all over the Vague Order and the statues in between. In its wake lies a sizeable crater that just about touched the [Shield] and the statue on both sides.
And Hanz happened to be just over the edge of one of them.
“That was my bombs I just threw,” a rifleman quickly declared, assuring his stunned comrades. “Made it myself. Was gonna use it on those Half-Beosts but better here.”
“Right! Keep firing!”
It was certainly a simple plan. While the bombs certainly wouldn’t slip into Hanz’s [Shield], the huge crater did make traversing to the other side in order to shoot the riflemen more annoying.
Hanz would have to either slide down and climb up to pass the crater, or he has to go around the large statue. And by then, the riflemen would have circled to the other side, making the of debauchery meaningless.
The riflemen were already edging the opposite direction in regards to the crater Hanz went. The result was a linear formation of Hanz-Court Wizards-riflemen.
I still can’t command my firearms to stray further. Master Will, finish all of them off at once! (Hanz)
“Get down!” Whether by a gut feeling or an impressive cold reading of the Air Guardian’s eyes alone, a rifleman shouted to his comrades the warning while doing what he said.
And a wide slash of wind came out. Two of them.
SLASH SLASH SLASH SLASH SLASH
Two of the riflemen did not heed the warning, with the slashes of air cutting them into three pieces. The other four had only gotten down a second too late; one found himself bisected diagonally in half, two lost the feeling of their lower body, and the last one just had his head chopped off. Their Palras Steel armor was cut through like butter.
50 riflemen killed, 2 + ??? left.
Then, Hanz dashed to the other side, where, across the other crater, one of the flopped riflemen was on sight. He concentrated all of his firearms at him.
The downed rifleman had to let go of his spear-rifle and rolled like a log to outrun the red lights hitting the bricks where he just touched with his whole body. “Argh!” However, Hanz’s Vague-Extension Orders eventually caught up to him.
51 riflemen killed, 1 + ??? left.
“This is for my family and friends!” At last, the final rifleman stood. Dropping his weapon, he pulled out the satchel behind him and opened it; it was full of his hand-crafted explosives. “And damn you to the Black Mist!” He grabbed the bottom of the satchel and swiped it at the Court Wizards’ protective dome, launching all of its content.
And the Court Wizards braced for impact. Crea channeled more loyal maneg to her [Shield].
BOOM BOOM BOOM
Just as the world turned white, the final slash of air ended the last rifleman’s life. Perhaps it was better to let him hold on to the delusion that he had got them in his death.
52 riflemen killed, ??? left.
The skirmish was over. Emotions returned, for now.
“””Aah/Eek/Oh my!””” All three girls screamed as Crea lifted her [Shield]s.
The explosion had left the entire area utterly destroyed, leaving an even bigger crater. One deeper than the ground the spherical shaped [Shield] encased within it.
As a result, they all fell into the bottom of the crater.
“Crea,” Hanz slid down to his partner in concern. “Are you alright?”
“Y-Yes, I’m alright,” Crea replied as she took Hanz’s hand.
Each of the Court Wizards got themselves back up. Owen immediately helped Alicia up while she was also queasy with the massacre that just occurred.
They climbed back up from the crater when Voice manifested herself.
“Ptooey!” The pixie acted as if she had dirt in her mouth. “What was that all about!?”
“Yeah,” the soldier agreed with the pixie’s conjecture. “What’s with them? They got better organized and got the jump on us all the sudden.”
“Was this your first time in this world, Hanz, Crea?” Rose asked.
“I see. As you know,” Rose continued. “This empire is infested with a plethora of Beosts. You can see the statues that they are not so easily defeated.”
All of them could see that. Especially if they seemed to be scaled one to one.
Voice: So you are not describing any of them?
Azhure: I’ll do it in the next book… Still in a bad mood, huh?
“Furthermore,” the vampire continued. “Palras is especially concentrated with them, so it was not uncommon for a Beost to intrude a hunting party fighting a different Beost.”
“So they would naturally learn to adapt to unexpected situations,” Hanz deduced, assuming the riflemen were hunters. “And become really good fighters.”
“Correct.” Rose nodded. “It was probably because their numbers that restricted their movement and fighting a never before seen enemy, you. But once they got past that, you have seen their mettle.
“In the next battle, I suggest you finish the fight much quicker so they would not quickly get used to your attacks.”
Alicia didn’t really pay attention to all of that for she already knew it back at the carriage. Instead…
“…They want us to be buddies with those animals! Well, I ain’t…”
“…we got nothing else to lose anymore because of those damn Half-Beosts…”
“…this moment’s all I’ve been living for…”
“…This is for my family and friends!”
That was her attention.
One after another, an explosion was heard underground.
“What was that explosion?” Alicia asked.
“I believe it was the explosive Catalysts set in the secret tunnels of this mansion weeks ago,” Rose deduced. “It is to prevent the noble from escaping there. They were also ordered to detonate when anyone set foot in the entrance inside the building so they would not know until now”
And over the estate building, they saw silhouettes launched up in the air. It must have been Richard and Jill doing their work.
Everyone, you all know what that means? Proceed to the mansion at once. I will update the location of the noble once you get there. (Miriel)
“Right then,” Rose said. “Let us move forward.”
And once again, Alicia kept her turmoil to herself.
Azhure: I realized that in fights with other people, they should at least give the Court Wizards some trouble and not just go down without so much of a fight if the element of surprise is gone.