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Chapter 276 – General War (3)

    Chapter 276 - General War (3)

    Still, it was unreasonable to confront an army from the front. 10 people were easy, and 100 wasn't difficult. However, once it went over a 1,000 people, a lot of magic power would be consumed. Once it became 10,000 people, it would leave time for him to be surrounded by the elite enemy forces.

    Theodore rapidly approached the soldiers while figuring out the most effective way to capture the great shields.

    'First, I need a trick.'

    His red robes and brilliant appearance attracted attention to ensure the safety of his unit. So, after achieving his purpose, there was no more need to be eye-catching. Theodore's body overflowed with strong magic power.

    "In the name of Aiolos...!"

    An old and forgotten deity... The name itself had the same effect as summoning magic. Of course, it couldn't be manifested by name alone, but it was enough to awake the divinity in Theodore's body.

    The divine nature of the wind god, deeply immersed in Theodore's soul, responded to his call.

    ―What do you want?

    Then for a moment, Theodore's wind affinity and magic comprehension rose to the extremes. If Theodore shared a little bit of the divine vision, he could produce magic beyond the ultimate magic.

    The climate magic that Theodore chose was from the Book of Clouds. It was a spell that White Tower Master Heathcliff had used on a previous battlefield, which had caused a 'storm.'

    "Go crazy, Maelstrom...!"

    As magic power flowed from him, Theodore was convinced that the climate magic was successful. Simultaneously, the airflow around Theodore gradually moved in circles, and after a few times, the acceleration was enough to cause dust to rise from the ground. The distant clouds in the sky also spiraled as a whirlwind connected the sky and earth.

    Huuuuuuong!

    At first, it was just difficult to open one's eyes, but it soon became hard for people to keep their feet on the ground as well. Even the knights wearing full plate armor weren't able to endure it, while the horses that were several times heavier than a person also fell. How could this be a spell used by a magician?

    "Waaaaahhhhh!"

    "Lower your bodies! Don't confront the wind head-on...uwacck!"

    "S-Sir Bradley!"

    Theodore's magic wasn't over yet, but the storm was already causing even the knights to be swept away.

    'It is quite spectacular in many ways... but it isn't enough.'

    Theodore had reproduced it on a plausible scale, but the power of the Maelstrom he cast was far less than Heathcliff's. Originally, the wind's rotation would tear at flesh and crush bones. Additionally, Theodore didn't originally intend to use this magic for killing. It was just a gimmick to hide him.

    'Invisibility.' As he chanted a spell, Theodore's appearance disappeared.

    It was transparency magic which deceived the enemies' vision. Then he removed his eye-catching red robes and placed them in his inventory. From here on out, he had to move secretly and quickly.

    As the soldiers were scattered by the storm, Theodore flew 5 meters above the ground. His goal was the nearest titanium shield. The shield's large size meant it easily entered his line of sight. When Theodore saw the dark blue shield which was 240 meters away to the east, he flew past the confused soldiers.

    If he tried to break through with force, it would take at least 10 minutes. However, the Andras formation had fallen into chaos due to the whirlwind, and they were now in no position to capture a transparent magician.

    "...Good."

    Theodore settled down slightly on the surface of the great shield. He frowned when he felt the faint feeling of mana scattering. As expected, this metal was the natural enemy of magicians. It was difficult to break with direct magical interference. If it wasn't for the inventory, Theodore might've withdrawn at this point.

    Theodore whispered inwardly, 'Then please, Gluttony.'

    -Um.

    The tongue protruded from the palm of Theodore's left hand and touched the surface.

    ['Titanium Shield' has been housed in Inventory M1.]

    The giant shield that was ~20-30 meters wide disappeared from where it was covering the soldiers' heads. The soldiers became anxious as they realized that the solid shield had suddenly disappeared.

    "T-The shield disappeared...?"

    "No way! My palm was just resting on it!"

    "Find it! If there is no shield, we will now...!"

    It was truly chaotic.

    Someone looked around to find the lost shield, while another person stared at his palms in confusion. However, no one knew what had happened to the great shield, and Theodore moved to the next target without any resistance.

    This time, it was a big shield around 180 meters to the southeast.

    "What...?"

    "The shield has disappeared again?"

    By the time he seized four of them, Andras didn't remain stupid any longer. The scattered knights surrounded the remaining shields, causing Theodore to become increasingly burdened. He floated in the air as he worried about the eight fortified shields.

    'What should I do now?'

    Should he seize a few more or step away here?

    'If possible, I'd like to take one or two more...'

    Before Theodore could abandon this lingering thought, he fell into trouble.

    Kiiing-! He heard an unpleasant ringing sound. It was a noise that gave him a headache, like something was scraping the inside of his skull. Once he realized that the cause was his super sensitivity, Theodore felt something piercing in front of his eyes.

    Ping-

    One second later, there was something penetrating the spot on the ground where Theodore would've been standing. He might've thought it was a blindly fired arrow. However, Theodore felt through Mitra that the arrow had penetrated the rocks hundreds of meters underground.

    'A person who can shoot an arrow like this...!'

    'Bow master,' these words came to Theodore's mind as a rain of arrows came from a few kilometers away.

    It was like lightning.

    A sound was left behind as there was a blue flash. The speed and penetrating power were higher than those of Magic Bullet. He would be turned into a rag if he tried to stop the arrows' paths.

    To make matters worse, Theodore's super sensitivity was giving him a paralyzing feeling. This meant the supersonic arrow's speed exceeded his foresight!

    Pajijik.

    Theodore's body quickly turned into lightning and zigzagged. Nevertheless, there were a few scratches which tore at his skin, and a few strands of his hair were cut off. The arrows contained a killing power which could pierce even the scales of dragons. Theodore didn't understand since the shots seemed to be fired in advance.

    'Don't tell me the person has the power of foresight?'

    It was said that the power of seeing the future, foresight, would collide every time two users saw the future simultaneously. Was it because the future became favorable to each person that an image couldn't be drawn?

    As such, Theodore's super sensitivity was giving him a headache because it clashed with the opponent's foresight. The rain of arrows, with one arrow per second, lasted for 15 seconds. Then the rain of arrows suddenly stopped heading toward Theodore. His transparency had long been unraveled, but none of the knights could reach him from where he was in the sky.

    "...10 seconds."

    Theodore's garments were covered with blood as he guessed the limits of his opponent's foresight.

    It was exactly 10 seconds from the moment of the first attack.

    This was when the sense of numbness from his super sensitivity disappeared. Judging by the power of the arrows, his opponent hadn't restrained his strength. The bow master's arrows could only overcome Theodore for 10 seconds.

    'It is up to here.'

    After the one-sided assault finished, Theodore reassessed the situation with a calm gaze. He hadn't taken more shields, but at least he revealed the presence of an enemy bow master. An unseen master was a powerful strategy and hidden card. It would've been a good judgment if Theodore was killed, but now it was just an irreversible error.

    "Well, next time, let's stick together," Theodore ridiculed the opponent before heading toward the Meltor camp.

    Arrows flew after a while, but Theodore was already close to Meltor's camp and he jumped through the space with the power of Umbra. The threatening arrows lost their meaning once the distance was more than doubled. The opposing side knew this fact, so they stopped after a few more arrows.

    The result could somewhat be called Theodore's judgment.

    'From now on, I need to move more carefully.'

    The unidentified bow master, with an ability related to 'foresight,' could kill a skilled warrior with one blow.

    A supersonic shot which could strike accurately over a few kilometers... It was a foul ability that didn't give anyone a chance to respond unless they possessed foresight like Theodore or a strong defense like Veronica. If the target had been the rest of his group instead of Theodore, half of them would've been wiped out even with Orta's protection.

    Then at that moment...

    "―What?" Theodore stood firmly and looked into the distance, confirming what looked like a volcanic eruption.

    As a large amount of magic power stirred, it was on such a great scale that didn't compare to tactics magic or great magic. The peak of humanity, the one who reached a higher realm...

    The dragon's blood and eight circles corresponded to each other, while the hot magic power pressed down on the entire plains. Before long, 'she' appeared in Theodore's field of view. Behind her, there were four pairs of wings made of fire as the strength of an 8th circle magician distorted the space.

    The Red Tower Master, Veronica, dominated the entire area.

    [I command the great one-eyed king.] Her voice resounded through the plains as she, the strongest magician currently in existence, chanted a spell.

    It was an arrogance that no one could interfere with.

    The arrows shot at her melted in the air, so Theodore knew that defense was unnecessary. The enormous heat itself was a shield and spear. The opponent had to be an absolute being like Veronica to break her defense.

    [On behalf of the four rulers, give me magic power. Open your eye, and make everything that you see turn into ashes. See what you want, and kill what you want. Burn to the ends of the horizon, returning all life back to the earth.]

    Theodore listened to it and realized the identity of the magic, "Surely this isn't....?"

    Among the few 8th circle magics which remained in modern times, Veronica was casting an ancient annihilation magic which nobody could use. It was a destructive magic that was forbidden to use in places other than the battlefield because it borrowed the name of an evil god.

    If Theodore remembered correctly, its name was...

    [Open your eyes and burn them.]

    It seemed to tear apart the sky and the earth.

    [―Death Gazer.]

    The eyes of death appeared. No one could see anything. No, it was more accurate to say that they couldn't look. Veronica's 8th circle magic, 'Death Gazer,' wasn't a spell which could be seen with the human eyes. Gluttony said it was a high-density infrared.

    "No way..."

    There weren't any spectacular explosions or loud noises. However, Theodore couldn't help shivering. This was just from a glimpse of the magic which appeared before Veronica.

    "...Is it dead?"

    The entire plains subsided into a fearful silence. Veronica's magic, 'Death Gazer,' was fired in a certain direction. The figures who remained in its path didn't look human anymore.

    From head to toe, the humans had been turned into ashes. Death appeared everywhere it passed. From the beginning of the spell to where it ended, maybe 10,000 people were turned to ashes.

    It was the death magic which borrowed the name of Balor.

    "...Hi, hiiiii?!"

    "R-Run away! How can we win against such a thing??"

    "Monster! Monster!"

    The soldiers of both camps retreated from Veronica, regardless of whether they were enemies. This power proved to be a subject of fear for both enemies and allies alike. There was only one adversary who could face her-the empire's 1st Sword, Crowd von Russell.

    A little while ago, Veronica had aimed at the rear of the imperial army where Prince Fermut's headquarters was located. Beyond the army that had been turned into ashes, the barrack remained in a strange shape.

    It was an attack which had burned 10,000 troops and tried to end this war. Yet this magic which had killed so many others couldn't surpass the sword of a man. Holding the sword which had killed Death Gazer, the swordsman who was called the strongest in the empire walked into the middle of the plains.

    "You still want to get the jump on me, Witch."

    "You are still trying to disrupt my work."

    They chatted like old friends who were meeting after a long time, despite having the tremendous strength to kill at any time. The distance between these two people, who had absolute strength, was exactly 100 meters.

    Veronica and Crowd faced each other at a distance they could cross in an instant. They clashed shortly after that.

    *     *     *

    Later, an officer who recorded the battlefield said, 「 The battle on Karul Plains was nothing but an appetizer until the two absolutes were revealed. 」

    The clash between the strongest people of the two powers, Veronica and Crowd, had continued for nearly an hour. The sky was torn, and the earth was crying out. Meltor and Andras had been forced to hide until the fight between the two absolutes was over. It was a struggle to move due to the aftermath of the fight.

    Regardless of whether they were happy or unhappy about it, they were forced to stay still. The two absolutes had caused terrifying changes to the entire plains, before turning their backs on each other.

    Did they judge that nothing would change if they kept fighting? For those who were already a few steps beyond being human, strategic analysis had no meaning. In any case, the battle on the Karul Plains was over. One officer called it 'being lowered.' Due to the two absolutes competing for strength, the ground was so badly damaged that it was no longer suitable for continuing a war.

    From this point on, the unification war entered its next stage. The two sides retreated from Karul Plains, cleaned up the disorganized army, and divided the army units again. The holy kingdom, Lairon, and the kingdom of elves, Elvenheim, were originally expected in a fortnight, but the reinforcements coming from far away joined the rear camps early.

    It was the start of a full-scale war where all the military power of the Northern Continent was concentrated.
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