TL: I have been sitting on this chapter for a day now.I had a really stiff upper neck (probably because I slept in a bad position) that caused me considerable amount of pain and I couldn’t check through the chapter. I’m going to take a break for half a day and do some back exercises.
Chapter 117 – The Final Battle (5)
There were a few subtypes extensions of the Earth Element. While most of the Earth users were famed for heavy defense, Ekman controlled the power to shape the earth into striking boulders. Although it was truly powerful for its initial strength, its growth was severely limited and classified as a low grade Element subtype.
But this was enough for Brendel to get a headache—
When he used his hands to help himself up, he brushed across Scarlett’s hands with his fingers. He paused for a moment, looked down, and saw the red-haired girl lying on the ground and looking up at him with her startling red irises. They looked at each other for a moment.
“My apologies.” Brendel said.
“It’s fine.” Came Scarlett’s reply.
Brendel quickly withdrew his hand and flipped his body over to get up, then drew out the dagger that was tied on his calf. The Acolyte of Earth turned over to them slowly. As a Boss that had a disproportionate amount of strength and defense, his agility was low. Because of its tremendous size there was even a penalty to its agility, and it moved clumsily, giving the youths a chance to recover.
“Can you move?” Brendel readied himself into a fighting stance and asked. Scarlett sat up, dusted the dust and soil off her armor. She merely nodded without saying anything.
“Be careful when you face this monster. Its attacks are very powerful. The Element it controls is the Power of Boulders, the attacks that it can form are—”
Before he could finish, Ekman roared and raised its front limb, almost as if to prove Brendel’s words. Its limbs quickly solidified and turned into hard surfaces to form a tremendous boulder-like sword that was nearly ten meters high.
It lifted the sword and swung at the direction of the two as it continued to roar.
Brendel and Scarlett dashed out to the left and right respectively. The boulder sword struck onto the ground and exploded in a large arc. The whole forest seemed to shake as the shockwaves chased up to the two of them. Scarlett made a sharp gasp of pain, while Brendel immediately threw up blood.
Green words filled his vision, and he realized he lost 30 HP. The attack was even stronger than what the Ring of the Wind Empress could do. At his level, the damage from his ring would have done at most two-thirds of what it normally did, and it showed how strong Ekman’s attack was.
“My lord, are you all right?”
The forest was filled with dust and Scarlett’s voice came from the other end.
“Not too bad.”
Brendel coughed one more time. He was on his utmost guard. Ekman also had abilities that were dangerous. In this environment, if he failed to be careful and allowed it to ambush him, then he would be in deep trouble.
[I’m still not sensing that monster. The cooldown for merging with the soil is ten minutes, how is it possible to lose sight of him so quickly? It hasn’t even been one minute.]
Suddenly, the two wary people heard a surprised scream from a distant area.
“Medissa!” Brendel was deeply alarmed.
============= Hewjil’s POV ============
When the dragon-like roar from the horn resounded through the battlefield, Hewjil was utterly dismayed. It was not as knowledgeable as Conrad who could discern that the horn’s bellow belonged to one of the strongest Silver Elves’ armies.
However, Hewjil made the same conclusion from where the position it was commanding at. It oversaw the battle from a high vantage point, and saw Elven warriors clad in silver armor, had prominent silver hair and wielded a greatsword. Surely even fools would recognize them for what they were; indeed, they were Silver Elves.
The Lizardmen’s attacks were quickly rebuffed and they retreated one-sidedly. The Elves’ charge was impressive, cutting the Lizardmen down were like how knives cutting through butter, going in and out without stopping.
If Conrad’s men did not enter the fray in time, the morale of the Lizardmen would have been broken completely. While the new addition did managed to stall the Elves’ charge, they were unable to do any damage to the Silver Elves because of their unfamiliar teamwork.
At the end of the first exchange, Hewjil found it had lost a tenth of his men just on its left flank. It grabbed one of his men’s dagger angrily and threw it violently onto the ground. As one who lived on the edge, this terrible loss raised its ire instead of making it discouraged. He clearly saw Conrad’s guarded disposition towards the Silver Elves, but now that it saw them in battle, it was puzzled.
[Are they not just a bunch of Silver ranked fighters? The famed Silver Elves are not some undefeatable opponents. Even the second tier army of Kirrlutz have their level of might, and it’s not as if I have not fought against them.]
Hewjil was an exile that escaped from the Empire’s might, and he narrowed his eyes a little when he recalled some memories about the armies chasing him.
After a moment of, it calmed down and observed his enemies, he quickly discovered something interesting. It quickly beckoned its adjutant over and ordered him to lead a squadron to attack the backlines. It was a taboo to separate the army during the fight that was happening currently, but it discovered that the enemies constantly seemed to be the same thirty or forty men.
It decided to make a gamble to see if its guess was correct.
Unfortunately for him, the ally it believed in, Conrad, had already decided to escape.
The Lizardmen’s crossbowmen finally regrouped and started shooting their volleys of bolts from a higher vantage point at a hill.
Because of the relatively small number of Silver Elves in the battlefield, they did not know how to aim at them and simply shot messily as to where they might possibly be. The rest of the Lizardmen chose to shoot at the Grey Wolves Mercenaries and the Mercenaries of Lopes. Their haphazard attacks resulted in casualties of their own comrades as well.
The rain of bolts were obstructed by the trees while the remainder of the bolts struck where they were intended to. Nalaethar decisively made his signal to retreat to the entrance immediately after seeing the Lizardmen’s crossbowmen had formed up.
Quite a few of the Mercenaries were struck by arrows. The sudden retreat had caused the Grey Wolves Mercenaries to be slow in doing so, and they were caught by a few daring Lizardmen who threw themselves at them. Sanford’s artery was cut by a spear as he rescued a companion from their attacks, but the mercenaries quickly slayed the attackers in retaliation.
Nalaethar regrouped with them and led them to safety, who then treated Sanford’s wounds.
Nalaethar ordered the mercenaries to make a simple stretcher and placed Sanford there. Even though the latter was in pain, he gritted his teeth to prevent himself from groaning. The Grey Wolves Mercenaries treated death as a sacred thing and did not fear death.
Suddenly there was an urgent set of footsteps that rushed to where Nalaethar was at.
Sanford turned his head to the side and discovered a familiar face.
[Isn’t that someone from the Nightsong Tiger?] This thought came to his mind.
“Ser Nalaethar!” He said quickly: “Commander Nightsong Tiger saw a squadron of Lizardmen making they way to the back of the ruins. He asked for your views on this.”
The Grey Wolves Mercenaries were surprised, and Sanford frowned deeply.
[Surrounding us? That’s the worst situation that our lord said we would be in, and that we need to be act accordingly or else we would fall into a panic.]
The Silver Elves did not show any reactions to that statement, but the mercenaries were the opposite. Most of the mercenaries believed in the Twins of Destiny, and their beliefs were tied strongly to their mental state. Many had described mercenaries to be alike to gamblers. Right now, they did not take this situation well.
“Human, your commander has a clearer picture of the attackers. What are his thoughts?” Nalaethar asked.
“Our commander states that we would be attacked from the rear if we do not split our forces to intercept them. He said the Grey Wolves Mercenaries and the Mercenaries of Lopes should delay them.”
“That’s an acceptable strategy,” Nalaethar nodded: “But who is going to lead the mercenaries to intercept them? My men are unable to lead them because we are unfamiliar with their tactics and language.”
“Our commander thinks that Sanford should be……” The mercenary looked around to find Sanford and saw the conspicuous stretcher, and he suddenly lost the latter half of his words.
The most experienced commanders amongst Brendel were Nalaethar and the Nightsong Tiger, then Medissa and Scarlett. The four of them were already assigned to their roles, and Sanford was the only person left who had the best head amongst the mercenaries.
Brendel had mentioned giving Sanford such a role, but the situation was even worse than what their lord had described. The mercenaries glanced at each other in trepidation.
“Let me have a go at it, Ser Commander!” A bell-like sound suddenly came from their back. Everyone turned their eyes on them and saw Romaine dragging a sword behind her back with both her hands. She looked at them with big eager eyes and the words ‘Can I?’ was written in both of them.
Of course not.
Nalaethar shook his head. The Elven commander might have asked what training she had and considered her request, but the actions that this girl did last night were too shocking. He could not allow her to lead this battle and treat it like a game.
“Then let me go, Ser Nalaethar.” Another girl walked out behind Romaine. She clutched her collar and held onto her robes, looking calmly at them.
Nalaethar studied her.
“I have studied light infantry tactics from books. I believe I can be of use in stopping the enemy.”