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453

The Strongest Knight of Spada!

 

“… Not good.”

We are being pushed back.

I can’t help but feel the same kind of frustration I felt when I was with Vulcan and the others on the riverbank in Alsace Village, going head-to-head with the heavy knights. Although the defense line hadn’t visibly collapsed yet, the situation was as tense as a thread. It could break at any moment.

“Now, shall we go and defeat the rest of the Taurus?”

“No, we can’t leave this place—“

Fiona’s suggestion had to be kicked out. It was frustrating, but under the current circumstances, I had no choice but to do so. I’m aware that it’s that damned Taurus that’s still crumbling the city walls.

It was good up to the point where the improvised party of me, Farkius and Rudra somehow managed to destroy the Captain. Rather than being good, I think it was the minimum requirement to maintain the wall defense. If we had failed to defeat it, the wall defense line would have been completely breached.

I’ve already broken up with both of them.

I didn’t have time to thank Rudra for his cooperation as he quickly ran out of the city walls in search of new enemies.

Farkius, on the other hand, had been giving off the impression that he was ready to accompany me all the way, but we still went our separate ways.

It’s a good thing, too, because although I had naturally included him in the temporary party, I remembered that Farkius had taken on the role of Captain, leading a band of swordsmen. He can’t be allowed to act alone.

That’s why I gladly sent him off.

“See you later, Farkius.”

“No! Don’t leave, Kurono!”

Farkius was dragged away by the second-in-command of his Gladiator squad who had come all the way to pick him up.

The second-in-command, by the way, was a man of cool good looks, with long, light blue hair that fluttered like Fiona’s. Farkius and his group, the Spada Gladiatorial Society, is full of handsome men. An idol group.

Putting aside my small jealousy, I ended up meeting up with Lily and Fiona, who had climbed back up the castle wall, looking fine despite having been blown up, and we gathered again as the “Element Masters”.

As for the current situation, after the destruction of the Captain, there were still four Taurus left. There are two types: a normal type that is missing its right arm, and a specialized type that has lost both arms from the elbow up.

Both of them were missing an arm after using the blasting drill, but even with just one arm, they continued attacking the castle walls.

If you keep hitting the part that was shattered by the drill with your left arm, the hole will keep expanding. Even for a specialized type without two arms, just a tackle with the booster at full throttle will cause the wall to crumble.

Of course, Spada’s army also prioritized the elimination of the Taurus, but the swarming Chimera soldiers got in the way.

As the two sides continued their back-and-forth battle, the main force finally arrived. In a white tsunami, the Crusaders avalanches into this near-breach of the city walls.

After all, we have our hands full dealing with the main Crusader army that is now pouring in.

“Look, they’re starting to build a foothold down here. If we leave, they’ll be able to get inside the walls in one fell swoop.”

Currently, I’m firing “The Greed ” and Fiona is firing [Ignis Sagitta] in the middle of the wall of the castle. We were in our formation, Vertical Limit.

We are standing in one of the large holes that the Taurus drilled through. A few meters further to the left, there was a hole that had been pierced in the first battle and filled with emergency repairs. If we are attacked badly, the two will likely be connected.

The Crusaders probably designated the hole that the Taurus pierced as a breakthrough point and were focusing their attack there. We’re about to meet the group that’s aiming for this hole head-on.

Bouncing back each time a long ladder is draped over the hole, Fiona and I are engaged in a fierce shootout with an army of enemy archers and mages who are bombarding us with a concentrated fire of arrows and offensive magic.

Of course, it’s dangerous to just stand there, no matter how outrageous our individual firepower is, so both Fiona and I are using our own defensive magic to survive the enemy’s attacks.

Fiona had a cool and trustworthy look on her face. She was using [Shield d’ Earth] but I was there biting down on the thought that I was lucky to have developed a defensive magic of my own [Shield d’ Earth].

The towering walls of black earth and rock were being chipped away at moment by moment, but we were able to repair them by supplying magic power. A normal mage would have his hands full just maintaining them, but with the amount of magic power and concentration Fiona and I have, it’s not that difficult. This is the reason why the two of us are in a two-person pillbox state, firing furiously while building our own defensive wall.

Well, I’m still on the edge of maintaining my line of defense.

Our allies were also attacking from the top of the city walls, but it’s sporadic. Some of the enemy soldiers were getting into the corridors of the walls, so they had their hands full up there as well.

In the midst of this, the enemy was steadily gaining a foothold in the area we were in charge of. Siege weapons are not the only means to conquer the castle walls.

Earth magic is a prime example of this.

A mage can easily create a fair amount of rocks by utilizing Earth magic. And as long as they can create stable rock formations on vertical walls, creating stairs can be done very quickly.

Just below me, a group of gray-robed earth mages were building a stone staircase that looked very sturdy and was quite large. It was already five meters high.

Since dozens or hundreds of people are expected to climb up the mountain, magic power must be allocated to make it strong and maintain it. They don’t appear all at once like defensive magic, but they take shape at a rate that seems to build up one by one.

However, there is no doubt that it will reach this hole, about 20 meters above the ground, in no time.

We could destroy it with one big attack but… finding an opening for that one attack would be very difficult.

“We’ve lost two Chimeras! Lily!”

“Yes!”

The most troublesome thing is the presence of Chimera soldiers who boast the physical ability to run freely along the walls. In the midst of a firefight with the enemy, these guys would intervene without hesitation and challenge us to close combat. On the first day of battle, we were able to kick them off lightly, but in a melee like this, it’s tough to deal with them.

And so, even now, against the backdrop of a storm of blowing arrows and a rain of burning flames, two Chimeras sprinted, skillfully ducking under the line of fire of Fiona and me.

One was a muscular, four-armed Orc Chimera. The other was a Chimera of such a rotund build that I wondered how it could climb a vertical wall.

The reason why Lily is the vanguard and not me in dealing with the two is because she has the most mobility out of the three of us with her flying ability. Even though it is impossible for her to fly completely in her juvenile state, she has already proven on her first day that she can glide over walls like this. The “Fairy Dance Shoes” that adorn her small, doll-like feet also contribute to the enhancement of her mobility.

And so, leaving the glittering phosphorescence behind, Lily dashes out to intercept the Chimera soldiers.

“Yeah! Yah!”

Despite her cute voice, she still explodes with a number of vicious light magic attacks that have the power to kill enemies with a single blow.

The poor Orc Chimera was cut in three pieces by the two shining swords, and the pig-like Chimera was roasted whole by the accurate [Lux Sagitta], and immediately went back the way it came. The two corpses hit the stone stairs under construction, spreading blood and flesh. But that doesn’t stop the stairs from rising.

“Lily, you’re being targeted.”

“I got you covered! Get back here, Lily!”

Although Lily successfully killed the two Chimeras, she became an easy target for the enemy because she stepped forward.  Fiona guessed that the Flame mages below would take advantage of this situation. And just as she predicted, a fireball was forming on the tip of the staff of a Flame mage below.

I’d like to shoot them dead, but mage troops are always accompanied by defensive magic. It’s impossible to kill them before they attack.

“[Bind Arts]”

So I have to choose defense. I extended two chains.

One dropped and reached below Lily when she quickly began to retreat. The tip thrust into the wall, where it began to blacken. From there, it turned and created a [Shield ‘D Earth].

If you’re skilled, you can create a rock shield in one go, even if it’s at a distance. However, I don’t have that level of skill, or rather, control over the Earth attribute, so it’s a trick I can’t duplicate right now.

So I have to send magic power directly to it and generate it from there. At times like this, you can really feel how useful it is to have tentacles that you can move freely.

“Hmmm!” (Hitsugi)

I can use my tentacles on my own without you, you know. Don’t take credit for it.

In any case, the magic that was aimed at Lily was blocked by me. From the feels of it, the attack was probably a flame spear made from intermediate level magic [Ignis Chris Sagita].

And the second chain is for Lily’s escape.

It’s faster to get caught in the chains and get pulled back than to just slide back. Well, that would be useless if Lily didn’t understand my intentions, but I don’t have to worry about that with Lily. Her palm, like autumn leaves, has already firmly grasped the chain.

“Thank you, Kurono.”

“It’s okay.”

As if she was enjoying an amusement park attraction, Lily was caught in a chain that was pulling her back at high speed. She was smiling as she returned safely.

Together we hid in the shadows of the [Shield d’ Earth], and Lily once again settled into the position of covering the enemies that pass through Fiona and me. She is the most accurate one among us, so she is the best person to aim and shoot.

With the three of us together, even if we were to shoot at a legion of the enemy like this, we could hold them off like this–

“But, Kurono, if we continue like this, there’s definitely no end in sight.”

“… That’s right?”

After all, we are still outnumbered. The Crusaders were gaining ground on the city walls by the minute. No matter how much we persist here, it won’t matter at a large scale.

“There’s a rumor that King Leonhart collapsed from the recoil of a [Martial Art].”

That is a rumor that is not proven, but it is not impossible. That huge red flash was so powerful that it could destroy a Taurus in one shot.

“Maybe, just maybe, …?”

How can I speak so softly?

At that moment, an exceptionally loud roar and tremor rushed through the walls of Galahad.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa!”

I couldn’t help but stop shooting and concentrate on maintaining my balance.

“Yikes!

Although screaming, Lily, who seemed to be having fun, was clinging to my feet. No, Lily can levitate, so it doesn’t matter if she shakes…

“It appears that a large portion of the city walls have been breached.”

With a cool expression that made me feel like an idiot for shouting a little, Fiona pointed precisely to the epicenter of the noise.

“It’s like a desperate physical assault. … He’s a nasty piece of work.”

There was a huge crack that started about 20 meters up the wall and continued straight down to the ground. It looked like the entrance to a huge valley, instead of a hole.

And then, as if it had run into that cut, a Taurus collapsed forward, spewing black smoke and looking like a wreck. It must be a specialized type equipped with double drills, judging from the absence of the elbows on both arms.

Even with the loss of his arm, he continued to hit the ground again and again, thus breaking through the castle wall.

But I don’t feel any admiration for it.

“That’s bad, isn’t it?”

“Yes, the Crusaders are already avalanching inside the city walls.”

What should I do, abandon this position and fall back?

No, the Galahad fortress is not going to fall right now, no matter how many holes have been created where they can enter directly from the ground. There are still quite a few reserve troops behind who cannot be deployed to the wall passages. The second squad, “Tempest,” led by Simon’s sister, General Emelia, should remain almost unharmed.

There is no victory or defeat but it’s still worth holding on to.

“Let’s retreat, Kurono.”

“Hey, it’s—“

“Look, that’s Helvetia’s Elite Knights.”

Fiona pointed to a group of people dressed in green equipment that stood out from the white clad Crusaders.

Their whole body was clad in silver-white armor but it was not, but it was not as hard as a heavy knight’s. It was more like the light armor often worn by adventurer swordsmen, plus armor in various places. They were armed with a spear and shield, similar to the heavy infantry of Spada. And two rapiers crossed at the back of their waists.

I couldn’t see their complexion because of their matching helmets, but the feather ornaments growing from the top of their heads and their cloaks flapping in the wind and snow were each a bright emerald green.

“They can run and climb the wall just like me, only with a ‘Sprint’. And they’re definitely coming for us.”

“There are over twenty, no, thirty of them. …If they reach us, it won’t be good.”

There was no time to waste. The Elite Knights seemed to be on the verge of stepping into the castle walls, proudly pushing aside the miscellaneous soldiers.

It was a tough decision, but we have no choice.

If we abandon this place, the hole here will be cleared as an entrance to lead the Crusaders further and further into the city walls. If we combine this with the hole that the Taurus had smashed through with a desperate rush, they will have made enough of a breakthrough that they will no longer need to destroy the walls.

Besides, even if they reach the wall corridor, we would be forced to retreat again soon, because the needle has already tipped towards the collapse of the wall defense line.

“All right, let’s retreat.”

“Copy that.”

“No, Kurono.”

However, the one who raised an objection was, also unexpectedly, the young girl Lily.

For a moment, I couldn’t understand her intentions, and I was so surprised that I couldn’t even ask her ‘Why?’ or ‘What’s wrong?’.

“It’s okay. I made it.”

Despite my astonishment, Lily smiled and pointed beyond the walls.

There was the Taurus that Lily had defeated in the first battle by killing the pilot and leaving it unharmed. The one that Simon has been holed up in all night, working to restore.

“No way…”

The steel giant that had fallen to the ground moved.

First, the arms. The arms, which had been raised in a banzai-like posture, were now in operation, dropping the falling snow with a thud. Arms down, elbows folded, palms on the ground.

It was like a child with short arms and legs slowly getting up. It was somewhat awkward. But since it was done by a machine, it should be praised as a remarkably smooth movement.

What was even more amazing was that the armor on its back and some of its shoulders and legs opened up and began to emit a blue-white phosphorescence. The jet engine-like roar proved that the Taurus’s main booster and sub-thrusters, both of them, had ignited normally.

“You really did reboot it!”

“Yes, I did, Kurono!”

With my eyes wide open and Lily innocently rejoicing, the resurrected Taurus once again stands on the ground of Galahad.

Then, as if in a resurrection roar, a loud voice came from the Taurus.

“Ha-ha-ha! Spada’s Strongest Knight, Galdan, is here!

That was definitely a line that came from the Taurus itself. If I’m not mistaken, he did indeed just say his name was Galdan.

Yes, the Iron Golem guy who I rescued from being beaten up by the super-powered boy Erio just the other day.

“Hey, why is he on…?”

 

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