Three days later. A large-scale operation was about to be carried out against the Ferrius army, which continued to lose morale.
This mine was built like a fort, a defense-in-depth kind of facility. Meanwhile, the Highserk Empire was aiming to seize the southern wall, one of the enemy’s tiger dens.
As was often the case up to that point, Walm wasn’t convinced of the situation in which he was placed right now.
“Shit, why do I have to sneak into the fort and set it on fire.
I’m not an arsonist.”
It was difficult to overwhelm enemies in a mine which the number of deployments was limited, if they force their way it would only end disastrously. So, a small number of people was ordered to attack at night, and an order was given to Walm to set fire in the walls and confuse them.
“It’s a great honor to be nominated directly by Commander Liguria, you know.”
The line of the Squad Commander wasn’t sarcasm or ridicule, but that made him look like a nasty person.
“Rest assured, it seems that someone who can cast wind attribute magic will be attached as the escort.”
It was hard to say that an organization was functioning normally in a strategy that could only rely on individual competence. Walm wanted to develop his theory, but alas, there was no veto right for a single soldier.
Although a wind-attribute magic user that could help a lot in the actual battles would be put in as the escort, in the end only about 20 people would go in. There would be well over 200 enemy soldiers inside.
After the turmoil, two company-sized soldiers, including Duwei’s squad, would break through at once, but it was predicted that enemy reinforcements would appear.
Walm didn’t feel like it at all, but neither time nor his superiors waited for him. Seen off by the squad members and heading to the meeting point. The destination was the tent of the company commander, who usually he didn’t approach. Walm, who exchanged greetings with the escort at the entrance, stepped inside. About 30 soldiers were gathered.
Even though it was a large tent, it felt quite narrow. It was the first time for Walm to directly participate in the military meeting, as the commander of the Duwei squad usually told him about the strategy and policies.
The platoon commander of the temporary assault platoon was dispatched from Liguria battalion. Walm could see familiar faces here and there.
“It seems, you all here”
It was the company commander of Liguria battalion who opened his mouth.
“The operation is simple.
After the wind magic user break through the wall, we will occupy a part of the wall.
The target is a corner of the fortified tower on the right.”
The company commander traced the specific location on the map. Walm looked down. The brand-new map contained details about the mine’s defenses. It was a thing that would have been drawn by prisoners of war or scouts.
“After controlling the ramparts near the fortified tower, burn the guards of the fortified tower with Walm’s 《Demon Fire》.
Make an entrance around it.
Until then, protect the tower at all costs.
Walm will use 《Demon Fire》 to block the entrance.
The fire will stop the enemy and make them emerge from the darkness.
Don’t burn your allies.”
A dry laugh echoed in the last words of the company commander. Walm also wanted to laugh, but if he laughed, a sword would be on his neck for sure. So, he closed his mouth.
“If they notice you before the invasion, retreat immediately.
We will support the retreat.
I pray for your great luck in the battle.”
After that, although there were some additional exchanges, the first military meeting was completed in less than 10 minutes.
Walm, who wrapped a cloth around his armor to prevent sudden noise, crawled on the ground and approached the gate.
Clothes and armor got dirty with soil and plant sap. The soil stuck to the face, but since it would get dirty before Walm reached the target, he left it alone.
The light that was illuminating the distant ramparts, that they were slowly approaching. It was a miscellaneous light such as magic stones, light moss, and the light reflected on the black water, but it was a sufficient light source to see what was approaching.
The distance was more than 100m, but there was a risk that some people might have good sensing skills and night vision.
Walm was terribly nervous. Even the shadow of the enemy soldier was captured by the eyes, though it was faint. It looked like some were yawning.
It seemed that the harassment attack for one hour had been conducted before the attack, and the concentration and attention of the guards were disturbed. If not, by now, Walm and the others might have got noticed.
Walm slowly wiped the dirt on his face with his hands and wore his men-yoroi. The mask trembled as if to rejoice. It seemed to be looking forward to the upcoming battle.
“Be a good boy.
It will start soon.”
Frighteningly, in addition to the fact that it had its own will, it seemed to be quite intelligent.
It stopped the vibration in response to Walm’s persuasion.
Walm minimized the amount of breath, and kept his body on the ground as much as possible.
A pre-determined signal was given. Walm threw away the disguise so far and accelerated to the wall at once while using wind magic.
” 《Burst》 “
The soldiers who got the acceleration of the wind moved to the wall all at once. A soldier who noticed the noise looked through the wall.
There, Walm was already in front of him. His eyes opened wide and his throat moved as if he wanted to scream, but Walm’s longsword cut off his neck was faster.
The soldier next to him tried to scream in a panic, but he was forcibly silenced by the war hammer of the other Highserk soldier.
The surprise attack went much better than expected. Walm rushed into the fortified tower, quietly presenting death on a soldier. Immediately after the entrance, there was a waiting room where six soldiers were resting.
Since they sneaked up to this point, no one needed to play detective anymore. The words that signaled the night attack soon changed to screaming. The room was transformed into a hellish furnace by the 《Demon Fire》activated by Walm. Soldiers wrapped in the fire in a small room, while writhing in pain, they tried to extinguish it, but the omnidirectional flames didn’t allow it.
While avoiding the fire, the Highserk soldiers stabbed the enemy soldiers who were rolling around. The ones the roof was one step late to notice the turmoil.
Walm ran up the stairs and set fire on the roof of the fortified tower. The fire that had lost its place was pushed out by the wind and spouted from the gap between the battlement and the roof.
A soldier wrapped in fire crashed to the ground to escape from the fire. The burning ramparts were enough to inform the area of the battle.
“It’s the enemy attack!! Get up, go to your position!!”
“The third fortified tower is on fire.
What is that blue flame?”
“Why the stone fortified tower burns!? Is it the black water from Liberitoa?”
Soldiers sprung up from the building inside the fort, like bees coming out from a beehive, making a fuss here and there. Seeing that, Walm admired how packed with soldiers the place was.
“Walm, they’re coming from below”
One of the soldiers shouted. He was the platoon commander of this special platoon, which was a temporary unit. On the roof of the fortified tower, he shot arrows and fired magic to eliminate the enemy. Walm stopped the skill so as not to involve allies, and slid down the stairs.
Walm passed by his ally who carried a bow and was running to the roof.
“We’ve got into position.
The platoon commander’s signal came down. The difficult points had been cleared. All they had to do was to keep it up.
Inside the fortified tower, Walm used《Demon Fire》 in the room with two doors leading to the ramparts and the stairs leading downstairs area.
“Go back, go back nooowwww”
The Ferrius soldiers who tried to rush retreated all over. The pitiful one was a soldier who was late to escape. The soldier shouted for a few seconds, but his lungs were burned by lack of oxygen and fire, and he died.
Walm kept activating 《Demon Fire》. It was only a few tens of seconds, but it was a deadly time for the defenders. Oversized signal smoke and bonfire, told the friendly forces the success of the operation.
The echoes of the voice of the company that would have been waiting in the dark night could be heard. Usually, Walm couldn’t grasp the whole sound because usually, he acted together in the group, but now that he was on the enemy side he understood.
That the voice and murderous intentions behind it, were higher than any of the enemies he faced here. It was a relief that the person was on his side. The problem was whether the friendly forces would accidentally attack Walm.
“They won’t attack us by mistake, right?”
Walm called on the soldiers on the roof, but the reply he got was unreliable.
“Regain the fortified tower before the enemy’s main force arrives!!”
Bellow, the commander of the enemy was angry, but sounded eager to regain control. As for Walm, he wanted the commander and the other enemies to run around below as it was.
More than 30 seconds had already passed, and it had become difficult to maintain the skill. Walm stopped activating the skill. In addition to the residual heat, the embers were still burning.
Walm who was breathing heavily, picked up an incredible sound. It was multiple nimble sounds running up the stairs.
“Enemy soldiers is coming!!”
“Are you joking with me!?”
How happy Walm would be if it was really just a joke.
But the reality was the owner of the footsteps that were approaching him, finally showed themselves.
Three people. Walm grasped that the three had some skill and magic. Probably, one was good at strengthening physical abilities by mana, another one had fire-attribute magic, and the last one had water attribute magic.
Walm didn’t want to admit it, but perhaps the one with water-attribute magic, protected the other two with water while extinguishing the fire. Perhaps they could run up so fast, because Walm was prioritizing the time over the power.
“Please support me!!”
“In that fire? Don’t be crazy.
I’m about to fall down because my feet are starting to get roasted you know.”
There were no friendly soldiers around Walm to avoid the fire.
What is the escort for?
Walm wanted to complain, but it wasn’t the time for that.
Enemy soldiers were already trying to break into the room. Slammed the halberd at the leading soldier.
It was a blow accompanied by《Strike》, but it was easily caught by a two-handed sword.
Walm felt that he had got stronger than before, but the enemies weren’t a joke. The three-on-one was like mining at a minefield as a slave where even one movement failure was unacceptable.
Once again Walm activated 《Demon Fire》.
Soldiers who were good at strengthening their bodies received 《Strike》, but didn’t dare to receive a direct hit of 《Demon Fire》. The remaining two didn’t try to catch the 《Strike》, but they did catch the 《Demon Fire》.
When Walm repelled the two-handed sword, a longsword and water magic were flooded from the side. Parried the longsword with the hand protector and caught the water magic with 《Demon Fire》, and so a lot of mana was consumed in that instant.
The front was handled by a soldier who was good at strengthening his body, and fire-attribute and water-attribute magic users were dedicated to supporting him.
If everyone had good sword skills, Walm would have already exposed his skeleton. The magic user was a type that specialized in medium and long distances battle, and so usually not that good at hand-to-hand combat.
The rest was less than 4 seconds. It was clear that Walm would be killed if he were to fight normally as his mana was almost at the bottom.
Aimed at soldiers of the same attribute and shot 《Demon Fire》. although the soldier had hardened himself with a round shield to prevent the fierce flame, Walm continued to raise the firepower.
Walm thought his attack would fail, but in front of the burning firepower of 《Demon Fire》, even on the stone floor and ceiling got burned, and it finally shook off the fire resistance of the soldiers, and the fire started to swallow the soldier’s body.
A soldier shouted out the names of the companion that was being roasted, and slashed Walm to stop the《Demon Fire》. The enemy’s cooperation was slightly disturbed there.
A water-attribute magic user, who used water magic and protected his allies from blue flames, trying to cover the burning soldier with water. He was a person with a good heart, but he wasn’t a good soldier. In fact, what he did just harmed his companion more.
The soldier who strengthened his body was the closest to the fire, and it seemed his fingers had reached their limit. Contrary to the arm that he swung down vigorously, the two-handed sword flew in the wrong direction.
The man tried to pick up the two-handed sword again, but the tip of Walm’s halberd catches the man’s heart faster. Only one person remained.
The moment Walm tried to turn his attention to the last one, a soldier who got his heart pierced, hugged Walm while holding down the halberd.
The soldier shouted, spitting black blood from his mouth.
The last one was a soldier with water attributes. The move released wasn’t a supporting move that he had been devoted so far, but a move intending to kill Walm.
“Bastard, get away from me!”
Walm spat out villainous lines and sent his elbows into the face of the dead soldier with his hand. Still, the restraint was only somewhat relieved.
The man who screamed approached Walm without stopping. It was received by the hand protector, but it couldn’t kill the momentum of the sword swung down from the top, and pierced deep into the shoulder.
“It hurts, damn it!!”
The physically strengthened soldier who saw the blow fell to the ground with satisfaction.
“Die, die, dieeeEEE!!”
The man tried to bite deeper with the sword as it was, but Walm hugged him while hitting him. The sword couldn’t be swung satisfactorily as they were in close contact with each other.
The sword hit Walm’s hand protector and parts of his body, but avoided the vital spots. They rolled on the ground many times while fighting dirty.
The bleeding from the shoulders was so severe that Walm’s strength was reduced to some extent. The man leaned forward using his weight to attack Walm.
The air in the lungs was pushed out, but Walm managed to grab the neck with his arms. It was a chokehold technique that was also called stranglehold or sleeper hold.
“Guuhhh!? Ughhh gggrhh”
Walm entangled his legs around the waist of a man who kept hitting his abdomen and trying to escape.
Didn’t know if it was tens of seconds or minutes.
Finally, Walm managed to twist his neck. Even the man who pierced his heart suppressed Walm with extraordinary power. It wasn’t strange that the soldier didn’t die yet, after all, some people were living a healthy life even if they had a broken neck.
Fortunately, Walm’s worries were unnecessary, as the man had completely dead.
“Huh, huff, shit”
Walm adjusted his breath and rolled the corpse to the ground. He almost died. He had no mana or physical strength, and was forced to move while bleeding, so the dizziness in the head was terrible. The whole body was dirty with his own blood and enemies’ blood.
Warriors and soldiers with abundant mana could create a film-like layer covering their body with mana, some sort of mana barrier, and many of them were berserkers who would fight while suppressing bleeding and exposure of internal organs, but Walm who was out of mana couldn’t do that.
When suddenly felt a sign behind and looked back, the man was about to swing down the longsword.
The first soldier of the same attribute who Walm burned was still alive. Although the whole body was burned, only the murderous intention hadn’t faded.
Walm couldn’t even move his arm already. What he could do was to clench his teeth and ready himself for the pain that would come.
But, Walm was out from the dire situation and heard a voice.
“Are you still alive?”
The main voice was the platoon commander Walm was interacting with on the stairs. An arrow was deeply stuck in the back of the enemy soldier’s head.
“Aaah, I’m saved.
Please, help me a little, sooner… I’m about to have my skeleton exposed, you know.”
Walm cracked a joke, but the response he got wasn’t what he expected.
“Human beings aren’t that crazy enough to break into such a fiery flame.”
The soldiers alternated between the dead enemy soldiers and Walm.
Walm would like to raise a voice of protest, but the bleeding was severe, he just didn’t have that energy.
“… Well, as expected you’re about to die huh.
I’ll lend my shoulders.
Get medical treatment above.
We’ll do something for the rest few minutes.”
When the soldiers who had been evacuated to the roof of the fortified tower came down one after another, the entrance was solidified. A friendly army had already rushed in front of the wall and was about to jump into the ramparts.
The first soldier burned by Walm was lying right next to him on the floor. Unlike other soldiers who became human torches, the first soldier had been burned outside and inside.
“Oh, I’m sorry.
Please don’t be so harsh with your roommate.”
The soldiers who were treating Walm made a bad joke. He couldn’t complain. Because Walm was the one who burned the man to death.
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