Chapter 69: Hibiki’s Distress
Chapter 69: Hibiki’s Distress
The battle silently began.
Finishing the ceremonial-kind of speech with the Goddess without any problems, both the empire and kingdom troops were given the Goddess’ blessing. At the same time, the demon race is supposed to have received the half curse.
Hibiki felt uneasy thinking that the Gritonia hero would do something stealthily, but it was practically him reading directly out of a paper and the speech ended without any suspense.
The kingdom’s troops began their advance just as scheduled and made contact with the enemy. Hibiki and the others, who were quite a few ways behind the frontlines, felt the air of the battlefield with their skin.
But the situation was a bit different from expectations.
It is certain that the allies’ strength increased quite a lot. Even Hibiki who was half in doubt could see in plain sight that the spell’s power had literally doubled.
However, she didn’t feel as if their enemies were halved. It is not like Hibiki herself entered the battlefield to confirm but, they didn’t seem weakened to the point of being halved.
Even so, the progress of the battle was going favorably. The hyuman side had charged a number of times in the field and were scattering the demon race as if ripping scraps of paper. There was not even a single instance where their side was forced back.
It was a progress that would make one think the only thing left is the inside of the fortress. The kingdom and also the empire pushed their troops until the front of the fortress. The front part of the fortress that was widely open by the demons themselves. Consequently, there were quite the numbers that began flooding the fortress.
The morale was high. It was just a matter of time before they could assault the inside of the fortress.
But all these chain of events in the battle were done without the assistance of Hibiki and the others, and the empire has not made any reports of the 4-armed general appearing. All these points made Hibiki have doubts. The alarms inside Hibiki’s head were ringing at full force. They are trying to tell Hibiki something.
“Ne, Naval. This is kind of weird. No matter the circumstances, this is way too easy. This place is the impregnable fortress right?” (Hibiki)
“Yeah, there’s no way this will end without us doing anything. Could it be that the empire’s hero-sama is doing quite the participation?” (Naval)
Hibiki cleanly ignores the last part of her words and just puts the point of view of the fortress in her mind. Even the mercenary who has a lot of experience in the battlefield, Naval, felt this strangeness. It may mean something is really going to happen. Her instincts are trying to tell her something, but because of her own lack of experience, she is unable to think of anything. That is irritating.
“But! As long as we conquer the gate, the battle will be decided! Soon we will be able to drop the Stella Fort! Finally we will be able to do the first step to revive Elision!” (Bredda)
Bredda was in a completely excited state. He was in a state where there is no way he can think rationally. Even Wudi who was in line with Chiya had an unusual expression of excitement while looking at the battlefield.
Chiya was getting a bit used to the battlefield, but she still held fear of the air in it. It was like she was somehow able to stay firm by staying at everyone’s side.
That’s right, Bredda and Wudi’s state told about the battlefield. Literally an assault right from the front. In the battlefield there was already no empire nor kingdom. They hold slightly different directions, but both troops collected in one at the fortress and were heading to the gate.
“I just can’t brush off this bad feeling. Wudi, Chiya-chan. Just in case, prepare a suspended spell formation for defense barrier and high-speed movement” (Hibiki)
“But doing that for everyone is impossible. It would cost me an eye to even do our surroundings” (Chiya)
Chiya’s fainthearted statement. The amount of magic power doesn’t directly relate to the range a spell can reach. She was not good at expanding the area of her spells.
“If it’s only the party, I can cast the high-speed movement. But all the unit is just impossible. I am not a spirit after all” (Wudi)
Wudi, on the other hand, didn’t have as much magic power amount as Chiya. Even if he is able to control it, the useable magic power couldn’t handle it.
“Then I don’t mind if it’s only us. We are doing nothing anyways, so please” (Hibiki)
While having puzzled feelings, the two of them accept the request of the hero. They form the spell and leave it in a standby state. They are still a hero party after all. This level of feat is possible for them.
(If it were me, what would I prepare? The thing I would do if the empire army and the kingdom army gathered in one place would be…) (Hibiki)
Hibiki ponders. The cliffs at both sides of Stela Fort. It was originally a fortress that worked as a bottleneck. Rather, she didn’t understand why the demon race had the front part of the fortress, which was narrow to begin with, open before the battle, making it easier to assault. To have soldiers stationed on the cliffs and have them attack from above. But that is already something they have been doing. The army received attacks from the upper part of the fortress and the cliffs.
What she thought about next was the difference in height. The fortress is in a high position and the hyuman troops charged from the low part of the hill road. But it isn’t a slope with that much of an inclination. From the present condition, it looks like one could use falling rocks on the front gate, but there is no plausible reason in having the enemy get so close to them just to do so.
They could also inundate the castle, but a lot of water is needed to do so. Just like the falling rocks, it feels like they are taking into account the season.
(Could it be… the one where walls on the left and right close in like in the movies of treasure hunters? That is exactly what one would use when the enemy is advancing in a narrow path. Just what in the world do they plan on doing? Well, if I can at least make it so we can return to the camp, we should be able to cope with most of anything that could come… probably) (Hibiki)
In the first place, the strategy this time had a lot of points Hibiki didn’t understand. And it is not only related to the enemy army. It is also about the hero that in the moment her companions got involved with him, they began singing praises. She just couldn’t understand. It is true that Hibiki didn’t have that much experience in night warfare, but if they are going through the trouble of doing it, at least they should do it when the moon isn’t out. And if possible in a cloudy weather with few stars, that way it would make the plan more solid, is what Hibiki thought. It seems that the Empire was pretty adamant with the day, but even after the plan started, Hibiki couldn’t understand its true meaning.
While thinking that, she looks at her own army.
This is madness. This was truly a space where madness took control. Even though the longed for fortress is right in front of their eyes, the soldiers that are in the front line could only see the gate and the capitulation of it. Moreover, in the battlefield before the gate that should normally only have front line soldiers, there are units from the middle area and even spell casters that should be in the rear. Furthermore, the same was happening with the Empire’s army.
In front of the demon race fortress that stole their friends and family. For Hibiki, this place hasn’t stolen anyone from her but, she began to understand a bit the meaning of those words from the madness that they were releasing.
(This is… war huh. Even if I understand it, it is still hard to bear. To be received with praises and shouts of joy because of killing) (Hibiki)
Even the calm Naval showed a flame in her eyes that couldn’t be hidden. The only ones feeling fear were probably Chiya and herself, is what Hibiki thought.
She saw the demon race as enemies, as existences that must be eradicated, is what she believed and thought she understood. But she didn’t notice that from a whimsical thought, she was unconsciously counting the demon race’s deaths as human deaths. These are remains of the way of thinking from her previous world. Speaking the truth, for Hibiki, the demon race’s outward appearance were those of a human being.
(No, it may be the same with Tomoki. He is a person that was originally from Japan after all. That is only if his attitude before was just him *pretending to be tough*) (Hibiki)
On the boy that looked like he trusted too much on his level, Hibiki fixed a “probably” on him while thinking. Living in a world where you wouldn’t normally get to see the death of people up close, there is no way one can adapt in this battlefield so easily after all.
“Ah, the gate is…”
Naval and Bredda’s words. Hibiki thought those were her own words, but she felt relief that it would end in just her pointless fears.
The welling up yells of the united hyuman troops resound in the battlefield like angry roars.
At that moment.
The pointless fears that Hibiki had thrown away, had suddenly become real.
The ground… collapsed.
In a fortress that is on the top of a gentle hill road, just before the gates the ground opened up. Everything of it.
As if taking the yells of the hyumans as a signal.
It collapsed in a breath. Saying it more precisely, it disappeared. Below it, darkness. Even when taking into account it was night, the scenery below still felt like a deep hades.
A silence of a few seconds. So that ground was already a product of magic huh. There weren’t even sounds coming from the ground that “collapsed”.
(The ground… dissapeared?!) (Hibiki)
Was it surprise or stupefaction? A strange space with the voice of no one spread in the battlefield.
Just how many managed to understand that the ground had disappeared just like the Limia hero?
“Wudi! Chiya-chan!” (Hibiki)
Hibiki had prepared just in case, so she was able to react faster than anyone else. It was a situation where the two spells prepared could serve. In a situation where one would normally ask for the high-speed movement support magic only, just in case, there was the suspended magic formation above prepared by Chiya. A fine play from Hibiki.
After another few seconds later, the spell activated and Hibiki’s party was able to avoid dropping. A faint light blue barrier is activated as well and a magic defense dome was created.
The voices of the falling allies were heard by the party.
There is no way to know how far this hole continued on, but since they didn’t prepare any countermeasures for it, the result that was awaiting them could already be predicted.
Looking at it in an objective way, half of the soldiers that went mad and entered the frontlines had disappeared in a second.
At the reality that one could only think of as absurd, Hibiki couldn’t utter a word. The only ones remaining from the kingdom’s army were the spell casters at the rear guard, the bow unit and the knight units that were positioned with the nobles at the center.
Partial destruction… no, a bigger damage than that.
While constantly praying that the ones who fell were able to cope with it somehow on their own, Hibiki, without caring about the place, yelled out words to her party as if trying to suppress the scream that was trying to come out.
“Wudi, for now return up! Please try to move as much to the rear as possible. Naval and Bredda will come with me and find as many units remaining as possible, Chiya maintain the barrier okay?!” (Hibiki)
Hibiki looks up. It is something to be expected but… arrows and stones, as well as spells of many colors began to rain at them.
“… Naval, Bredda. Change of plans. Until we are able to return up, intercept! Come out as well Horn! We are going to survive!” (Hibiki)
While Hibiki calls from the silver belt the guardian wolf beast, Horn, her words were also to encourage herself.
Translator: Some may be as confused as me in the last part. Wudi was supposed to use a “high-speed movement” which is a teleport skill, they would teleport outside the hole and then look for everyone. But it seems they are still inside the hole with only the barrier to make them float, maybe? And a lot of attacks began to rain while they were still inside the hole. I don’t have a clear image of what position they are in right now.