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Chapter 275 – General War (2)

    Chapter 275 - General War (2)

    Kaaang!

    There was a sharp noise, and sparks flew. It was a sign that the spear and blade had struck each other like lightning bolts.

    However, at this point, Delkur's superiority was absolute.

    A spear attack required the use of one's shoulders, elbows, and wrists, but the time it took to attack and recover the weapon was short. It might be different if Randolph's legs were free, but in this situation of limited mobility, he was late by half a measure.

    In the time that Randolph slashed twice, Delkur had stabbed three times.

    The forehead, philtrum, throat, solar plexus, thighs... This was one of the Seven Swords of the empire, capable of grasping the essence of the whole body and attacking without a single error.

    Randolph struck at the snake-like tip of Delkur's spear with his blades. However, that wasn't the only reason why Randolph was simply defending.

    'So far, this has been the 123rd time. I should be able to gradually see the pattern, but... I still can't catch it.'

    Once a person exceeded a certain level, they could see that every person had a unique pattern of movement. It might be a flick that was a habit, but once it was repeated so many times, it formed a strange consistency which allowed the attack orbit to be seen.

    Randolph, in particular, was excellent at reading these patterns.

    This was a type of ability that was different from Theodore's super sensitivity or Lloyd Pollan's ability. It was a skill Randolph had developed by leading a mercenary team, touring the battlefield, and soaking up the mud.

    However, he couldn't read anything from Delkur. If she wanted to stab him in the stomach, she looked down. If he looked down, she would come from the side.

    It was a puzzling and tricky trajectory. He tried to blindly read ahead, but it just caught him off guard. Instead, Randolph avoided the spear that was aiming at his body and returned it with 12 strikes.

    Neither of them could win with normal attacks. As soon as the two masters had the same thought, Delkur took action first with Delkur Style Snake Shadow Spear. It was like a shadow of snake wriggling on the grass.

    Poisonous Snake.

    Flow Change Technique.

    Double Snakes.

    The tip of the spear suddenly split in two and aimed for both sides of Randolph's neck. One of them was fake, or maybe both were real...

    However, Randolph didn't have time to worry about it as a stabbing sound was heard. Randolph raised his two swords without thinking, blocked the right and left stabs at the same time.

    Jeeeong!

    Delkur's green aura and Randolph's blue aura clashed.

    "Kuk!"

    "...Tch."

    It was appropriate to call this an 'offset.' Blood flowed down Randolph's hand. However, Delkur wasn't in a good state either. Randolph's strike wasn't a small scratch, so at least one wrist should be cut off.

    "Hey. Aren't you great, Lady? One year ago, my head would be flying away. This is why I dislike geniuses."

    In Randolph's eyes, Delkur looked like a woman in her late 20s. She had actually become a sword master in her 30s and was the owner of a talent that could even be called genius inside Andras.

    This monstrous orbit wasn't something which could be accomplished just with training. Delkur's innate talent, thoroughness, and instincts put her opponent in an unfavorable position.

    "Ha? Aren't you also a genius? This is the first time I've seen a sword master using dual swords, so I can't seem to beat you. Wouldn't it be better if you just die?"

    It was as she said. The reason why Randolph could endure the spear's speed and orbit was because he was the user of two swords which could quickly defend attacks coming from all directions.

    Instead, it would be more disadvantageous for him if he was a normal aura user. Being able to block the spear despite being half a beat late... the dual wield was a natural enemy that Delkur had never met before.

    Randolph looked at her slightly disheveled self and spoke, "You have a fairly complicated story."

    "What?"

    "I was convinced by that hidden technique you just used. It isn't a spear technique from the West Continent. It is based on the Eastern Spear technique, Seizing and Penetrating. There are many parts that have been rearranged, but it is close to the Pear Short Spear. Why is an Eastern spear technique in the Andras Empire?"

    "Hrmm."

    Randolph had stayed with Theodore for a few months at the Baek Family's home, so he could see it. Regardless of whether he was right about her history, Delkur didn't answer him. She just looked disgruntled, like she had lost the heart to fight. "...Tch, it ends here."

    Delkur tightened her grip on the spear and took off her right foot, which had been stepping on his shadow. Simultaneously, Randolph realized that he could move. However, rather than feeling relieved, he looked at her suspiciously.

    Delkur's skills were certainly great, but her superiority was only guaranteed when she blocked his movements. In this environment, Randolph could kill Delkur within 300 strikes.

    "Did you think I would let you go?" Randolph warned, raising his dual swords as he stepped closer.

    "An obsessive man isn't popular with women."

    "I'm sorry, but I am a persistent wolf."

    "What is that? Calling yourself a beast? Then I should throw you a bite to eat before leaving."

    'What?' Before he could ask, people rose from behind Delkur.

    They were covered from head to toe in black armor, and they held black swords in their hands. It was clear that they were Shadow Knights. These were the mad dogs of the empire who would throw their lives away without any complaints.

    "I will see you later! I will kill you then!"

    "Annoying...!"

    As soon as Randolph stepped toward the fleeing Delkur, the Shadow Knights threw themselves forward. Of course, they clearly weren't a match for Randolph. He used exactly the time of three breaths to kill all five of them, each receiving one strike per sword. The problem was that during this time, Delkur's presence couldn't be felt at all.

    'No, there is the possibility that she hid herself along the way.'

    It might be an unknown shadow ability that couldn't be understood yet. Thinking about it, it was probably the ability which had allowed her to suddenly appear behind him like a ghost. As such, it was likely he would just waste time chasing after her.

    Randolph decided to take a step back and return to Meltor's military command base. In a battlefield where a minute or a second could take thousands of lives, hesitation was a luxury.

    *     *     *

    The knights' assault was the starting point, as Andras and Meltor entered the full-scale war. The knights might have been annihilated without showing great success due to the mercenaries, but Andras had yet to show even half their power.

    There were still 100,000 troops waiting in the rear, as well as the emergence of the Seven Swords who could be called the symbol of the empire. Therefore, Meltor had to overcome the empire in this phase.

    However, in this phase when they should take advantage of the terrain of the plains, the magic kingdom was being pushed back by Andras' army.

    Their strategy wasn't bad, but the difference between the troops couldn't be overcome. All of the empire's soldiers had been trained for more than five years, followed by three months of training every year. It wasn't a training regime that Meltor could go against when it was a 1:1 fight.

    "...We need the tactics magic."

    "Yes, we can't wait anymore."

    With expressions like they were chewing on worms, the Meltor leaders prepared for the tactical magic bombardment that they had postponed until now.

    If the previous attack had eliminated the shield, then that meant it was possible to kill thousands of enemies. The large damage that tactics magic dealt in a single attack was one of the reasons why Meltor had never been defeated on the plains so far.

    However, this war was different. There was that titanium shell which had been fired by the catapult. If that damned thing destroyed the tactical magic circle, then they would be down two tactics magic units, and Meltor would lose the means to reverse that 100,000 power difference.

    'We can instruct the magicians to intercept the shell, but...'

    There wasn't just one catapult. The catapults were placed in the very rear, making them impossible to destroy with tactics magic. Meltor's troops might be able to destroy three or four of the catapults... Two in the worst case scenario.

    Benedict's expression twisted darkly as he made a pessimistic prediction. What should they do? It was the role of the leaders to find a solution even if it was through unfamiliar means. Benedict was even willing to jump onto the battlefield with his old body.

    He was about to pull a staff out when he received an unbelievable message. "What?"

    However, it wasn't just him, as the eyes of all the advisers also widened. Then Benedict ordered the reporting magician to repeat it. After confirming that his ears didn't hear it wrong, Benedict asked incredulously, "Someone infiltrated behind enemy lines and destroyed a catapult?"

    Then at that moment...

    Kukukung! The sound of thunder rumbled in the clear sky, and the earth where three catapults were located collapsed. An earthquake? No, that was impossible. How could earthquakes only occur in the ground where the catapults were?

    Benedict looked at the catapult with vision magic and screamed, "He did it! He really is a reckless hero!"

    He was half concerned and half full of admiration. Beyond the incredulous and disapproving advisers, Theodore raised himself up. He used magic to move underneath the catapult and collapse the ground.

    'Why are my ears tickling?' He looked around as he scratched his ears.

    "Is everybody safe?"

    [2nd group! There are no casualties.]

    [There are no problems with the 3rd group!]

    The voices he heard from the communicator weren't unclear. Despite being in the middle of the opponent, they expressed absolute confidence in their victory after moving with Theodore. Theodore laughed and connected the communicator to someone else.

    It was the 'man' whom he had nominated as his deputy.

    "Thanks for the hard work."

    [Yes.]

    The success of this ambush was more than half thanks to him. Theodore had noticed the empty space beneath the surface of the ground with Mitra's ability, but he didn't have the ability to move 30 people to that space.

    There was only one person could do that...

    Unsurprisingly, William's voice quivered as he heard the voice that transmitted over the network, [C-Captain. S-Surely that wasn't...?]

    "Your guess is correct."

    [Hiik!] William was so surprised that he hiccuped, while the enemies started to approach Theodore.

    "From now on, move as we planned in advance."

    [Understood. How will you get out?]

    "I have thought of my own way. Even if I can't destroy all of them, I can escape before the resistance becomes severe."

    [... I wish you luck.] There was no time to explain. Orta understood the meaning and broke the communication network first. Theodore also cut off the communication spell, organizing his thoughts before he implemented the strategy he had envisioned a few days ago.

    What was the best way to raise the greatest achievement on this battlefield?

    It was nice to show off his firepower with great magic. However, it was disadvantageous because he needed to recover after consuming a large amount of magic power, leaving him vulnerable to attacks. Additionally, the presence of the titanium great shields would block all great magics, unless it was Fafnir's breath attack.

    Yes, the shield called the 'Magician's Despair' was the problem. It was difficult to destroy with magic, and it was a significant reason why Meltor was struggling right now. Thus, Theodore decided to deal with the shields directly.

    'Gluttony, I will ask you once again. Is this really possible?'

    -Of course.

    Theodore had the power to break the shields. However, if he broke them, there would still be enough debris left to make new shields.

    Meltor's ranged firepower couldn't be exerted unless he removed the titanium itself. Theodore couldn't use magic attacks or physical attacks. He needed another way to remove the titanium from the imperial army.

    It was a tactic that any strategist would dismiss, but Theodore had a way.

    "Okay, I will let your tongue play."

    -Don't make it sound so dirty.

    'Inventory' was a passage which led to the dimensional space that was Gluttony's stomach, unlike the other dimensional pockets which were maintained with magic power.

    It could contain a large volume like a pirate ship, so Theodore had already confirmed that it could accommodate large shields. Theodore's role was to approach the great shields in the midst of the  strong 150,000-troop army and allow Gluttony's tongue to make contact with them.

    "I have to take at least half the shields!"

    Was Theodore being influenced by the deepening of his contract with Aquilo? The magician with the red robes glared at the enemy and plunged into the Andras army, which was still confused.
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