Chapter 62 – The one in command
At first glance, Walm instinctively understood. The ogre in front of him must be one of the monster commanders who caused the northern walls to fall.
Its short vermilion horns extend high in the sky. Its body was a size smaller than a normal ogre, but its mana and muscular strength seemed densely compressed, and felt like it had more than the body size. The vintage armor was carved with the scratches of the battle, but there were no brand new scratches or stains.
The mask was swaying like never before. Randomly shaking, Walm inwardly vomits a curse to the mask for its no moderation behavior. The golden eyes caught Walm straight. In the right hand, like Walm, was a blood-soaked longsword, and in the left hand was grabbing the hair of human heads. In addition to the lacerations, a part of the cranium was bitten to fill the ogre’s abdomen. Still, Walm was able to tell who the owner of the head was.
“… Wake, Al”
It was the Company Commander who Walm had ordered to sweep the monsters in the northern castle, and the head of the adventurer Al. His head was casually thrown into Walm’s feet and rolled on the cobblestones. Although Al was a former enemy, his heart couldn’t help but shake at the death of those who were on the same side as him on the battlefield.
But, he steeled himself to not be dragged by such a feeling, especially in the middle of a battle.
While Walm was devoted to eradicating the ogres, the ogre in front of him was also eradicating the Highserk soldiers and adventurers. Walm was familiar with what the commander of the armed ogre that looked intellectual called.
The apex and commander of the race, designated as S class monster.
The herd led by the “Lord” species could even bring a big city to fall. It might emerge as one of the main troubles of a large-scale outbreak. The “Ogre Lord“ certainly laughed while pointing the sword at Walm. Words weren’t needed. “Next is you”, that was what the Ogre Lord wanted to say to Walm.
It was provoking Walm.
Strangely, the surrounding area was wiped out by Walm and the Ogre Lord. Walm’s decision was quick when the soldiers and people to be protected were lost. In a moment, Walm kneaded his mana. Hot air blew and blue flame approached the Ogre Lord. But it disappeared before the blue flame could touch and entwined it.
The Ogre Lord had a speed as if it was wearing wind magic all the time, and with a posture that was lowered as if crawling on the ground, narrowed the distance to the side of Walm. The demon fire was scattered in all directions, but the Ogre Lord pierced through without escaping from the blue flame.
It didn’t get burned. A mighty magical barrier blocked the blue flame. Judging from the red-color horn, there was even a risk of it having fire-resistant skills. The omnidirectional attack by the demon fire was effective for the soldiers, but those who had a certain amount of mana, could withstand it to some extent or even completely.
If Walm narrowed down the range and concentrated the mana to increase the firepower, he might be able to give an effective hit, but the problem was the mobility of the Ogre Lord. Walm caught the blade approaching from the bottom with a sword. With denser mana, he launched《Strike》, as if it was a matter of course. Even if the opponent slid it away, the sword would still leave a strong impact.
Don’t be on defense, don’t give any chance.
Walm told himself as he unleashed his attack, but the sword never reached the Ogre Lord because of the delicate yet powerful sword technique.
Attack on his feet, throat, wrists, fingers, and many more unfocused slashes by the Ogre Lord gave him a hard time doing anything else than parrying it. His usually reliable demon fire was also blocked by the agile reaction speed and excellent magical barrier. Walm rolled on the ground as he was pushed through by the difference in strength.
To avoid the approaching sword, he immediately broke away with wind magic, but blood spilled from his arm with sharp pain. He was injured even though he accelerated himself with the wind magic. He must have been fatally injured if he had not used magic. The Ogre Lord was superior in terms of strength, mana, and sword skills.
Still, Walm didn’t give up, he couldn’t. The enemies of his subordinates, the wishes of the girl, and his pride as a soldier drove Walm into this struggle. He attacked in a wavelike manner while adjusting the distance with the blue flame, and now the blue flame was dancing on one side without giving any effective hit.
The Ogre Lord evaded by reading a slight sign of the activation of 《Demon Fire》. Even for the inevitable blue flame, it was smashed and slashed by 《Strike》 with its dense mana.
Through the sea of blue flames, the Ogre Lord jumped out. Walm switched to a thrust attack. He quickly thrust three times to its throat, hand, and feet, but all of it slipped off and was misaligned with the sword.
The Ogre Lord had excellent reflexes, but what was remarkable was its eyes. Unlike Walm’s muddy eyes, the golden eyes reflected the battlefield well.
After parrying the slashing of the Ogre Lord, which was delivered continuously to the left and right, Walm launched a 《Strike》, but the Ogre Lord deflected its upper body and avoided the attack.
Walm stepped in and realized his missteps. Even though he was now in close contact, the thrust into his throat was growing. Walm leaned his body, but a blade extending to his blind spot rubbed the sides of his helmet violently.
A sharp kick followed Walm, who had lost his posture. Despite being over his armor and magical barrier, a shock ran through the gut.
Air was exhaled and the acidity of stomach acid could be felt in the mouth. The pursuit didn’t stop, and the Ogre Lord, holding the sword around the torso, shook the sword horizontally. Holding the longsword with both of his hands, pain ran on Walm’s shoulder as he tried to divert the sword pressure diagonally upwards.
Despite being guarded, a part of his right arm was cut with his armor, and blood oozed. Bleeding was suppressed by the magical barrier, but further consumption of mana would make Walm inferior even more.
Think, Think, Think!!
Don’t stop thinking. Keep moving. If you stop your hand, it’ll be your death.
With a scream, his shins, flanks, and arms were slashed and bruised. His ribs also squeaked and screamed, but his thoughts and body never stopped moving. Rolling around the ground ungracefully, Walm scooped up the rubble scattered on the cobblestones with his sword tip and threw it to the Ogre Lord.
The Ogre Lord didn’t even try to avoid it, but it was favorable for Walm.
In the blink of an eye, Walm unfastened his cloak and created a divider between the Ogre Lord and himself, while spreading 《Demon Fire》.
Blue flames were extending from the left and right like open arms trying to entangle the Ogre Lord. The flame on one side was rejected by 《Strike》 and was wiped out. The remaining blue flame was about to slip through the mobility that had been demonstrated so far.
What a dangerous monster…
Walm even praised the Ogre Lord’s skill. Still, it was within expectations so far. Some kind of trust as an adversary made him believe the Ogre Lord would break away from his tactics. Walm pierced the cloak with his sword, and it pierced the Ogre Lord, right at the place it ran away to. Only then did Walm’s sword capture the Ogre Lord, and the demon fire flowing on the sword melted the armor and burned the flank.
The Mithril longsword given by Commander Gerard fit well with Walm’s demon fire. Walm smiled for the first time at the sound of roasting meat on an iron plate. The long-awaited noise sounded like a gospel for Walm.
“Do you hate it being rare!?”
Contrary to Walm, the Ogre Lord screamed in agony, but soon switched to an angry expression and got rid of the sword. Compared to the injuries inflicted by Walm, its glare felt like a reward.
Walm’s sword skill, mana, and vision were sharpened and sublimated even to a higher level in the battle.
While covering the difference in strength with demon fire, Walm didn’t take a step. The dense and large amount of mana collided with each other, the stone pavements were peeling off, and they turned into rubbles.
Without noticing, the monsters and soldiers were watching the battle from a distance. On one side, it was the highest strength that had been supporting the Dandurg Castle, on the other side, it was one of the Lords behind the Great Outbreak.
It was clear that the winner would have the upper hand in future battles. After dozens, no, hundreds of times crossing swords, Walm was about to enter the height of concentration he had never experienced before.
The mouth forgot to even swallow the saliva, and only the information and actions necessary for vision were kept. The slashing wounds that were unilaterally inflicted would no longer be incurred anymore. If the Ogre Lord came to attack, it would be flexibly parried by sword technique and magic, and if there was a slight gap, Walm would attack.
The high-pitched sound of the sword rubbing echoed repeatedly on the battlefield. It was like a duo playing a tune, and the sword was the instrument. Legs moving here and there, body turning here and there, from afar, it was like a breathtaking dance despite the hostility. It was the death that was waiting for those who chose to drop out.
Even though Walm’s left hand and organs were injured, The Ogre Lord’s half body was burning with a demon fire. Sure, it might be a small scale, but the demon fire was a skill that consumed a lot of mana, if Walm were to use it in an endurance battle, he would be inferior. Walm had to place a bet in order to break the rivalry.
Walm cast wind magic as he jumped backward using the sword pressure of the Ogre Lord’s attack to make some distance. Walm’s body, which accelerated rapidly, screamed.
Along with Walm, who wrapped around from the side to the rear, the Ogre Lord chased with an agility that couldn’t be imagined from the large body, and a longsword was pointed to the landing point. Barely pulling his sword to parry, Walm recast wind magic, despite his ankles twisting and his muscles rupturing.
The blade of the Ogre Lord cut the armor, but at the same time, Walm crossed the Ogre Lord again and wrapped around completely behind it.
Walm, who crushed one of his legs, had only one option.
He burned the stone pavement with a demon fire, and forcibly fixed his leg there.
And with all his might, he slashed his sword.
The sword that the Ogre Lord pulled back was pushed away, and the tip of the sword that got into the sturdy neck burned the flesh, cut the bones, and then separated the neck from the body. Walm was convinced of his victory, but distorted his mouth immediately. The Ogre Lord was beheaded for sure, but it smiled at the end.
Walm’s position, which was supposed to be the winner, was about to be reversed. It was an unsightly struggle from the Ogre Lord, but it was a fatal blow to Walm now. It felt like slow motion as the fingers of the Ogre Lord, which had lost its neck, approached his face. Walm realized that neither the effort to shift his upper body nor his magic was in time.
A sharp finger approached to fill the field of view. At the moment of darkness, Walm screamed with pain that shook his brain directly.
“Uh, GAH!! A, ah, uh, guh, ah, gah, ARRRGHH!!!”
Unbearable pain ran from where his eyes used to be. It wasn’t clear to Walm whether it was a pain that was already too late or not because the nerve-cutting sensation was still there.
It’s gonna break! My brain, it’s gonna break!!!
Walm didn’t even have the time to flutter his limbs. The whole body began to convulse against the will.
“A, argh… argh, a…”
Like a poorly made automaton, Walm kept leaking words. Breathing was disturbed, the body was bending back, and it didn’t stop. He heard some words, but his brain couldn’t process them like usual.
Walm was slowly invited into the endless darkness with severe pain. He struggled to grab something, but there was nothing. He couldn’t even think whether his hands had lost senses or he completely lost it.
“a――rgh… urgh, uh…?”
After leaking a small groan for a while, as his voice got smaller, Walm’s consciousness was completely cut off, and unlike the unobstructed bright blue sky, his empty eye sockets were dark.
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