"There are two… to the left, four o'clock!" His teammate's warning mixed with the firing sounds of the machine gun, and sounded staccato. "Watch out—they're throwing spears!"
Good pushed the control stick to the left violently and the biplane instantly did a half barrel roll, careening downwards.
The bone spears whistled as they flew over their heads. One of them penetrated right through the upper wing, leaving a fist-sized hole in its outer panel.
He didn't even spare a glance at the enemy and continued to accelerate downwards, causing the plane to almost reach its terminal velocity.
This was the combat method that Tilly had come up with after summarizing all the battles that the Aerial Knights had engaged with the enemy so far. At low speeds, Devilbeasts had an agility that biplanes would never have, Devilbeasts could perform actions such as hovering in the air, completing turns with very small radii and flying backwards. This made it difficult to simulate the tactical movements used in wartime to get evade enemies in a dogfight. At the same time the the backseat shooter was virtually unable to anticipate the target's movements in their effective firing range. The combination of the two put the Aerial Knights at a great disadvantage when fighting them.
However, the Devilbeasts also had very obvious weaknesses: their only method of attack was the spears thrown by the riders on their backs. Their flying and ascending speed were all inferior to 'Fire of Heaven.' In terms of range and power, a magic stone that could only be thrown a maximum of twice in a row would only be a threat in close range.
Thus, when he was targeted by the enemy, the safest way to fight the enemy was to face the enemy with the belly of the plane while quickly pulling away from them, and then ascend once more, while using the machine gun's longer range to kill the opponent. The biplane has fender plates in both cockpit positions to protect the pilot from being pierced directly by the spear, and although the wide wings appeared to be vulnerable target boards, as long as the main frame was not hit, a few holes wasn't fatal to the aircraft.
A major improvement over the machine used for training was the integration of the wing roll operation into the main control stick, allowing the pilot to control the pitch and direction of the aircraft with only one hand.
Once at full speed, it would only take less than ten seconds to shake off the enemy, during which the Mad Demon would only be able to throw two bone spears at most, and dealing a critical blow to a rapidly departing plane was far from easy.
Numerous real-time battles had proven the effectiveness of this method. Until now, the Aerial Knight had lost several planes, but not a single member had died in battle.
With the roar of the engine, Good flew hundreds of meters outward in an instant. Even if the Mad Demon wanted to throw a spear again, he wouldn't even have a chance to get it close to him.
But he didn't immediately turn back to find the two demons that were targeting him after pulling up the nose of the plane. Instead, his gaze fell on a comrade's plane who was engaged in a dogfight.
As for the enemies behind him, there was Hinds waiting for them.
Using the advantages in height and vision that he had accumulated in order to attack the enemies who were chasing his comrades relentlessly and simultaneously letting his squadron mates watch over his tail was the second combat principle of the Aerial Knights!
After rising and falling twice, Good acquired his fourth battle achievement.
The Aerial Knights slowly began to seize the upper hand in the battle.
At this moment, Lightning and Maggie joined the fray—with horror, all the demons discovered that another looming creature similar to them had appeared in the sky, phasing into view. It looked mighty and ferocious, but its target was the demons. Under the sudden appearance of its giant, bloody jaws, the Devilbeast revealed obvious expressions of fear. Even if the Mad Demons pulled their reins in frustration, their maneuvering was not at good as before.
The confusion further exacerbated the demons' disadvantage. Lightning flew through the battlefield like a spirit, her flight that reached sonic speeds in such a short distance rendered the demons helpless. Whenever they raised their bone spears, Lightning's revolver had already arrived at the back of their heads.
A Devilbeast would plummet every few minutes, causing what seemed like a 'demon rain' to begin falling from the sky.
And the disturbances created by the huge beasts crashing onto the ground was naturally seen by Farrina.
She saw a bloody two-winged monster crash into the snow not far from the road. The impact caused it to tumble several times before it stopped. Its wings and four limbs were flung everywhere like tattered cloth.
"What the hell was going up there?"
There was no doubt that the First Army had indeed prepared for the enemies in the sky, but all she could think of was firearms dedicated to deal with these demons. Yet up until now, she had not heard the shrill hissing of machine guns at the rear of the truck. Instead, every now and then a strange hum would come from above her head, as if there was an intense battle engaged above her.
The problem was… in the sky?
Farrina could no longer hold back her curiosity. Seizing the chance when the convoy entered a straight stretch of road, she peeked her head out and peered at the sky behind her.
The sight of it made her blood boil all over!
"God…" she could not help but murmur.
Beneath the clouds, silver lights coruscated unceasingly like the first ray of dawn tearing through the darkness. The source of the light was a group of strange, enormous gray birds—The abnormal feeling it gave her was different to the skeleton enshrouded by the Red Mist, Farrina could clearly feel that the giant birds that the demons were fighting against were man made.
It was symmetrical on the left and right, rectangular and balanced as a whole, revealing a sense of beauty in the weapon of war. But it was precisely this that made her even more shocked.
Since when had humans been able to soar into the sky like birds, treading into the realm that belonged to the gods?
"We"… had actually performed such a feat?
She involuntarily recalled an article she had once read on the weekly newspaper at Graycastle—on the eye-catching front page, there was a monochromatic picture, a picture depicting a huge machine that seemed to exactly resemble the iron birds in the sky.
Oh, so these were the 'Fires of Heaven.'
At the time, she hadn't paid much attention to what the newspaper described as a 'historic event for humans.' After all, she had seen the blowing of one's trumpet like this all too often in the past. But now, even if the newspaper had exaggerated it ten times over, Farrina realized that it would still be insufficient to describe her current emotions.
There was awe, there was regret, there was self-deprecation, there was excitement… but the what she felt the most was pride.
Being proud that—
She was also a member of humanity.
How much had she missed in the year she hid in Joe's house…
Farrina's body trembled slightly and she gripped the steering wheel even tighter.
Although she had missed a lot, she was back on her feet at the very least, wasn't that so?
Sylvie clearly saw that the demons chasing them in the sky were on the brink of collapse. Under the interspersed assaults of the Aerial Knights, Lightning and Maggie, the enemies were completely overwhelmed. Several Devilbeasts were out of their riders' control and escaped backwards, and these actions affected the others of their kind. It was just that at that distance, they might not have been able to escape Lightning's follow up pursuit.
The demons that were charging towards the convoy didn't achieve anything at all—learning from their past experiences, ten or so Mad Demons leaped down directly when they flew over the convoy, in hopes of avoiding the machine gun's advantageous long range. Yet, their opponents were a group of God's Punishment Witches that were comparable to Extraordinaries. The witches also held forty millimeter grapeshot guns.
The demons' outcome could be described as utterly dreadful.
Even Sylvie could not help close her eyes at the sight of the witches tearing their enemies to pieces with an almost maniacal grin.
Victory was now a foregone conclusion.
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