Chapter 491 – Elephant Cavalry
“Reki, you fight too. Right now, we need as many people who can fight as possible… you can do it, right?”
Kuroe asked Reki as the villagers gradually gathered in the church for evacuation. And of course, her answer was obvious.
“Will do it! Reki can do it!”
She was overjoyed about being relied upon. Her only insecurity was if they asked her to stay in the church with the other kids. In other words, that would be denying her short yet intense training and all the hard work she put in. It would be the same as saying that’s the same as child’s play.
And as such, she was happy being told by Kuroe to ‘fight’ without even asking. She felt like she could start shouting out loud from all the happiness.
“That’s a good kid. However, don’t be reckless.”
She felt even happier as he stroked her hair after saying that. Reki being Ursula’s elder sister, did not like being treated like a child, but for some reason, she didn’t really mind if it was Kuroe.
Despite being overflowed with emotions in her heart, she properly heard the instructions and smoothly prepared her equipment.
Reki’s position was on the other side of where the goblins were gathering. While she was still a kid, she still understood that that was Kuroe’s way of being considerate, not putting her on the very front lines right away. She was happy just by being put in the battlefield and besides, there were a few vigilante members there as well. They couldn’t afford to slack off either. There was a good possibility of a fight breaking out.
Reki had taken her position after being seen off by the expressionless Sister Yuri and worried Ursula. She couldn’t calm down and kept restlessly looking around the surroundings and changed her spear hold over and over again.
“We’ll definitely be fine since Kuroe is with us!”
That said, Reki, despite being the youngest there, was the bravest.
She had taken a daunting pose with the heavy knights’ halberd and had a longsword along with a knife equipped on her belt. Reki’s equipment was better than the other vigilantes but knowing her skills, nobody complained a bit. Although, since there was no armor for children, she was still wearing the garment worn by sisters.
Her absolute belief in Kuroe’s strength was none other than because she had experienced it herself.
She could feel herself getting stronger day by day too. She could declare with confidence that she was stronger now than yesterday. Her complete world view has changed compared to the time before she took the training.
And yet, she couldn’t even hold a candle to Kuroe. It was like taking a small tiny step towards the peak of a towering great mountain which crossed over the clouds. She couldn’t even imagine how long it would take till she reaches his real strength, till she closes that gap.
“Well, Kuroe is absurdly strong, after all.”
“Yeah, he’s stupidly strong so I guess we’ll be fine, huh?”
Although not as much as Reki, these guys have also experienced Kuroe’s superhuman abilities first-hand. There was no doubt that the vigilantes of this village relied much more on Kuroe than some knight. At the very least, they didn’t know of anyone who could easily fend off over 30 people at once.
It was a while after they had regained their composure, after the tumult of the fight from the other side could be heard.
Reki was the first to sense its presence. However, before she could even say anything, the enemy had appeared.
“Uwoh, they really came!”
“Oi, oi, oi, give me a break! There’s quite a few of them!”
Goblins came rushing out from the forest beside the highway. 10, 20, 30—most probably a group of close to 50.
“A-arrows! Oi, quick, shoot the arrows!”
Fortunately, this squad wasn’t equipped with long-distance weapons. The most they could do was throw stones.
“Shave off their numbers as much as you can before they get close!”
“Pull properly before shooting! It won’t really go too far considering our strength anyway!”
Maybe because of the daily training, they were able to quickly draw their bows and arrows without hesitation and also give out advice to their fellow vigilantes. Kuroe had also given them training with the village’s defense in mind.
Although using long ranged weapons like bows and arrows to cut down enemy numbers before they get close is a very simple war tactic, there’s a world of difference in practicing it and doing it in a real situation.
All the vigilantes were desperate to protect their village as well. Remembering their short training experience with their slow brains, they took their stance.
It would have been very possible for these vigilantes to intercept this group of 50 as they did not get disordered because of the enemy’s sudden attack. However, as if to laugh at their faces, the enemy’s decisive forces would make their entry here.
“Wh-what—what’s that huge thing…”
“I-I didn’t hear anything about an elephant monster!”
Everyone there despaired seeing the enormous gray bodies mowing down trees as they appeared. Huge elephant monsters that they never saw in Sinclair. And judging from the goblins riding it, they did not just happen to appear here coincidentally, they’re tamed by the enemy.
It closely resembled the elephant cavalry from the great empire of the east.
“We can’t stop that with our numbers! Oi, you, go call for reinforcements!!”
Just as one of them had made a run towards the front gate to call for backup, the elephant cavalry took stance to charge towards the gate just as everyone had imagined.
And within a moment, the gate was destroyed.
With unbelievable speed considering its size, the elephant cavalry came charging in like a boulder falling down a slope. Some sporadic arrow shooting would not stop that momentum.
Without being able to properly intercept the attack, all the vigilantes could do was spread about the gate to avoid getting crushed.
Reki glared at the elephant cavalry, barely dodging a fragment of the gate flying towards her.
The Barbadosian’s red eyes were burning with radiance as she forgot the weight of the steel halberd she gripped on her hand.
The situation was desperate enough for even a child to understand—but for some reason, she didn’t feel fear.
Feeling her heart throbbing, she took a step forward.
With a rasping high-pitched screech, goblins came flooding in through the broken gate.
Like the elephant cavalry of the east empire, it seemed like controlling these monsters were also difficult as the goblin riding it was having trouble calming it down after breaking the gate. There was a small leeway before it began charging towards the center.
That said, the goblins rushing in behind it would fill that gap.
Fortunately, it appeared that they were not led properly. They did not start attacking the vigilantes with all their troops. Some went to pillage a nearby house, some threw burning torches to destroy structures and some just ran straight for the center.
Even then, a decent number did engage in battle with the vigilantes and one of them was confronting Reki.
Seeing that she was a child, they gathered around her thinking that she would be an easy opponent. “My allies have their hands full with their opponents so I can’t expect any help”—such a thought didn’t even cross Reki’s mind.
Reki swung her halberd with all her might towards the enemy in front of her.
She pictured the mock battles with Kuroe at the back of her head. Reki herself understood that the attack she just launched right now is anything but good. She ended up swinging her weapon, entrusting everything to strength.
Kuroe would easily dodge such a sloppy attack. He would probably dodge it even without looking. She couldn’t imagine it hitting even if it were a surprise attack.
However, what was in front of her wasn’t the strong, kind, cool superhuman-like priest, it was just a wild goblin.
At the point Kuroe would have already moved away, the goblin just stood there without moving an inch. As if it was natural, the normal thing to do, the goblin took the hit right on its head.
The halberd crushed through the head into the inseam with force. Although she had just cut through a tough skull and numerous bones, Reki only felt a soft, light sensation on her hands. No, to be precise, she felt that exactly because she was Reki.
With intent to kill burning in her heart and weapon in her hand, she had just taken her first enemy’s life.
Reki had been taught several times about how heavy killing off a life was, both in the ethical and spiritual sense. Even though she had listened to those lessons by priest Nikolai while half-asleep, she remembered those wonderful Cross Church’s teachings.
However, Reki had just understood that it was all just fabrication.
The weight of “killing” was as light as a joke.
It didn’t matter at all to her. Chopping a fish on a board and slicing through a goblin with a halberd—there wasn’t much of a difference between the two. Kill—such a simple act.
And when she had realized that fact, her halberd felt even lighter than ever.
“Hey, hey, you lil’ shits, I’ll kill you all!!”
The swing of her halberd blew away the goblins almost too easily. Even with sluggish movement and a stance full of openings. Not much different than cutting off a scarecrow just to test a blade’s sharpness.
No, the goblins were much easier to kill as they were short. Kuroe, who she usually fought against, was more than two heads taller and the same goes for the other adult vigilantes.
The small goblins were about as tall as her. It was her first time dealing with such easy opponents who were so easily cut.
Dodging all the blades swung at her from all directions, Reki kept killing off the goblins one after another. The halberd was truly like a storm of blades as she swung it around her with all her strength.
Her swings were so strong that they couldn’t even defend against it with their swords. It broke through their guards and cut through them.
Reki’s one-sided massacre had ended within a minute. Before she realized, she was surrounded by dismembered bodies of goblins and she was the only one left standing.
At the edge of her vision, she spotted 3 vigilantes fighting off a goblin just like in training. She wondered if she should go in and assist them but immediately discarded the thought. That’s ‘cause right in front of her, the rampaging elephant cavalry was about to charge again.
If that thing was to start running again, it would easily get to the center of the village. And if, by chance, it were to hit the church with that momentum—
“Will do it, Kuroe… Reki will protect Uru, and will protect everyone!!”
Reki chose to confront the elephant cavalry by herself.
She swung her bloodstained halberd and made a break for the elephant monster. Reki could easily catch up to it before it starts charging. On the other hand, if it starts running once, she won’t be able to keep up.
Reki made a full swing with her halberd, leaping towards the elephant monster. The resistance she felt wasn’t even comparable to the goblins. The intensity of the impact and the thickness of the monster almost made her let go of the halberd handle.
But even then, she gritted her teeth and swung her halberd through.
Fresh blood sprayed everywhere. It was a critical hit—however, the monster’s body heel over.
As halberds have both the blade of an axe and the length of a spear, one is able to thrust and slash with it. It allows one to take fights from a distance depending on the situation but they shouldn’t forget that it’s made with fighting other humans in mind.
It would easily be able to deal a critical blow to a human or human-sized enemy but when it comes to medium and above-sized monsters, it’s a whole different story. To them, who are greatly larger than humans, a slash from this blade is like a poke from a needle.
As such, in large monster subjugations, great swords are usually taken and even then, the usual tactic is to exhaust the monster by cutting it off slowly.
While this elephant monster falls in the medium-sized category, it seems Reki’s halberd slash fell short of being able to cut off the leg. She landed a deep blow to one of its back legs but that alone wouldn’t be able to do enough damage to stop it.
“Then, once more—”
But the enemy wasn’t naïve enough to allow further attacks.
It seems Reki’s attack was enough to anger the monster as it turned around with intense momentum.
In response to the approaching fangs along with a heavy cry from the elephant monster, Reki swiftly took a backstep to avoid it. The distance she moved back was certainly out of its fangs’ range.
However, Reki didn’t realize the fact that that alone was not enough, since she still did not have experience nor enough training.
Reki felt a floating sensation as her small body was easily sent flying the very next moment. Her body, which was blown away like a pebble, took the trajectory of a parabola and fortunately landed on a thick pile of snow on the second floor of a building.
Reki, who fell and rolled through the roof, almost fell off due to the momentum as she barely killed off the acceleration.
Reki quickly stood up and looked around, confirming that she hadn’t taken much damage and realizing she let go of her halberd accidentally.
However, that was not the issue to her.
“Uuu, is that perhaps what they call an ‘extra’—characteristic magic?”
Reki had undoubtedly dodged the fangs. And in fact, she did not have a single wound on her body. Despite that, she was blown away.
She realized the fact that that was due to the effect of magic and not just physical strength. And from the sensation of it, she understood that the elephant monster was using wind magic. She had enough experience to decipher that the monster had used strong wind around its fangs to send her flying.
“I can’t get close like this.”
She had confidence that she could deal with attacks she could see. However, when it comes to wind magic, she can’t see it and therefore can’t defend against it.
Of course, she wasn’t taught any methods to deal with magic and couldn’t think of any at the moment.
Reki couldn’t help but make a troubled face as she couldn’t picture her winning against this tough huge monster who uses wind magic—a complete change from when she was killing off goblins left and right. On the other hand, the enemy did not come connecting consecutive attacks.
Maybe because it was satisfied by blasting off Reki or it just simply lost sight of her, the elephant monster excitedly stomped in place, letting out a low roar. The goblins on top of it tried to calm it down once again to charge towards the center.
She could very well run away if she wanted now.
She was no match for that elephant cavalry no matter how you look at it. She should be praised just for landing that one hit—and the kind Kuroe would probably praise her for it as well.
“Non! Reki will, do it, by herself!”
Even then, it was too early for her to give up. Reki wouldn’t be able to forgive herself if she ran away here. That’s right, her pride wouldn’t allow it.
She had enough fighting spirit. She still couldn’t think of any strategy but she would still challenge it. She could just stand back up if she were to be blown away like that again. With such guts and determination, Reki started running.
However, it’s idealistic to assume you’d be able to attack without being affected by the wind magic. A formless magic like wind magic is perfect to guard one’s blind spots. One could easily imagine the monster deploying wind magic all over its body to guard against attacks.
Even then, if one were to aim somewhere, it would be better to aim for the back. If one were to be hit by its huge, thick nose, it would hurt more than getting pummeled by a big strong man and you don’t even need to imagine how dangerous its fangs can be. Even though it’s not as sharp as a blade, it could easily rip apart a human’s body. Not to mention Reki wasn’t even wearing proper armor.
Just when Reki thought it’d be safest to go for its backside, near it’s ass, and was about to jump off the roof—
A genius plan crossed her mind.
And once she had thought of it, she had no choice but to immediately execute it. Reki stepped back onto the roof and started running towards another roof.
Reki swiftly ran across the piled snow on the roofs and lined up with the elephant monster while running. Fortunately, the buildings were lined up towards the center in such a way that she had enough room to chase it.
Waiting for the perfect opportunity, Reki dived off the roof, aiming for the elephant’s back.
Reki realized that the elephant’s back, where the goblins were, was the safest place.
“Go to hell!!”
Reki landed right where she aimed to as she jumped off with a shout. She spectacularly got onto the back of the monster by kicking off one of the goblins.
The goblins on the back panicked seeing the sudden intruder. They shrieked with their mouths wide open like frogs as they saw the girl with their muddy eyes.
In contrast to the disordered goblins, Reki had jumped onto the monster’s back with killing intent so she swiftly drew the knife on her belt and stabbed one of the goblins nearby.
While the elephant monster’s back was certainly big, there wouldn’t be much space to move around in if it was filled with goblins. Without being able to properly counter her in that short space, they had no other choice but to either fall down by themselves or be stabbed by Reki.
After getting rid of all the goblins other than the ones holding the reins, she went and took care of that last one as well. The goblin did have quite the guts, not letting go of the reins even with Reki coming towards it with a bloodstained knife but however, in doing so, he ended up succumbing to it with next to no resistance.
“Damn you! You destroyed the village’s gates!”
The rein holder got stabbed right in the face and was kicked off the back by Reki.
“Yes, as expected, the wind magic doesn’t reach here.”
With a smile full of confidence on her bloodstained face, Reki brandished her sword to now finally deal with the actual target.
Her knife was headed straight towards the elephant’s crown of head. Of course, a blow from a poor knife wouldn’t be fatal.
After all, even after the long gray fur and its thick skin and meat, there was the solid skull which was protecting its delicate brain.
“Ei! Ei, ei, eii!!”
Reki got high and kept thrusting her knife on to the elephant’s head while shouting, which was called out by Kuroe as ‘weird’ on the first day of training. A concentrated attack on one spot. The wound spread wider and deeper. She kept burrowing through till the huge body dropped dead.
But of course, the elephant wouldn’t just take this silently. It made the air turbulent from its flat fangs and shook its head left and right to shake off the enemy on top. Due to the elephant stomping around, the goblins at its feet were crushed about, turning the white snow all red.
It was clear that Reki would meet the same fate if she were to be shaken off.
As if on top of a rampaging horse, Reki desperately kept thrusting the knife with her right hand as she held on to the reins with left hand, all the while being hit with intensely strong wind.
The elephant’s huge body tackled into a 2-story tall building, making Reki’s small body fly up and overturn while she still kept hold of the reins.
However, it was Reki’s victory as she didn’t let go even at the end.
Maybe due to the impact from tackling the house, the elephant’s movements became dull for a moment. Reki fixed her stance quickly during that short period and moved to land the final blow on to the open wound.
However, she had let go of her knife from the impact just now. The only weapon she was left with was the longsword, which was a bit too long to brandish on top of this elephant’s head. However, it was also the best to land the final blow.
She gripped the sword with a backhand grip and thrusted it into the elephant’s wound with all her might.
She could feel the resistance. The blade had already pierced the elephant’s skin to shreds and the knife’s attacks also made cracks on its skull. And finally, the long sword broke through the thick skull’s protection and pierced through its weak point.
The elephant bent and fell on its head with a deep groan that resounded throughout the depths of its stomach. And with that momentum, Reki was finally thrown off its head as well.
She fell hard on the snowy ground along with the thunderous noise of the elephant’s enormous body falling down.
Rubbing her small behind, Reki unsteadily stood up. Her head felt a bit shaky but it was no problem. It looked like she didn’t take a bad fall.
In front of her, the fruit of her battle, the elephant’s lifeless body was lying down with darkish blood oozing out of its brain.
“I-I did it… I did it! Congratulations, me!!”
She was cheering and celebrating for herself alone but heard an unexpected voice. She could tell who it was even without looking that way. The voice she was most used to listening to in this world.
“Uru?! Why did you leave the church?!”
And as expected, she found Ursula running close to her while being out of breath.
“I heard, that goblins, also appeared at the back. And, heard a loud noise… so I was worried.”
Ursula is smart and knows full well that it is extremely dangerous. The fact that she still came out because she was worried about her best friend made Reki extremely happy. At the very least, she thought that it wasn’t her place to say stuff like “that’s dangerous!” and whatnot. And so she decided to just be happy with her.
“Fufu, Reki is fine! Look, Reki even defeated such a big monster by herself!!”
Reki said, puffing her chest proudly.
However, her best friend, who was supposed to be sharing this happiness with her, froze in place.
“….Uru? What happened?”
At first, she thought Ursula was taken aback from the gruesome corpse of the monster but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Looking very far ahead, Ursula shakingly pointed towards it.
There was another elephant cavalry towards the pointed location.
There were two of them from the start. It appeared after the gate was destroyed and finally invaded the village. That’s how simple it was.
However, such was the despairing reality.
The elephant cavalry’s eyes glowed red and it’s breath was rough. Like a crazed wolf, it began charging in.
The rider goblin held the reins with all its strength as the elephant monster ran through the main road. Reki and Ursula were standing in the middle of its path.
However, with Reki’s physical abilities, she could easily dodge an attack from that distance at that speed.
Dodging it was out of the question. Ursula was here as well—she had come out to the battlefield out of worry.
Even considering the fact that Reki has more strength than even adults, it would be difficult for her to completely jump away while carrying Ursula. Judging from the range of the attack, she would probably not make it.
Ursula realized her mistake. And so she apologized—and so her voice sounded like it was crying.
Reki decided to make a run for it while carrying Ursula. Even though she knew all too well it was impossible, even though it was evident—she couldn’t stay still. After all, she had the guts to fight until the very end.
She extended her hand towards Ursula while screaming her name out loud.
“——Please, get rid of that.”
A wind blew.
No, that was more like a pure white mist. It surged out from Ursula’s body.
It spread in the blink of an eye like a smokescreen but covered its target like a tornado. The white misty tornado wrapped up the elephant cavalry in front of it.
And within an instant, the elephant monster, as well as the goblins on top of it—disappeared.
Would it be appropriate to say that they had evaporated? Along with a sound which sounded like something burning away, the bodies disappeared.
However, it was not like nothing remained. There, as if to prove that there was a huge elephant monster’s body there, pure white bones remained.
Reki could see the white bones in the shape of the elephant before it crumbled down on the ground the very next moment.
The big white bones belonged to the elephant. And among those, there were a few goblin skulls as well.
“U-uru… that, just now… Gghh?!”
The white mist which devoured the elephant cavalry had already vanished. However, the same white mist was slowly but gradually leaking from Ursula’s body.
And Reki, who was standing right beside her, was caught in that mist. The mist wasn’t just enshrouding around her.
It looked as if the mist was aiming for Reki as it covered her whole body.
However, Reki had lost the composure to realize that change due to the sudden exhaustion and the stimulating pain on her skin. That feeling resembled that of drowning in a river.
“Reki, I’m sorry, I’ll move away right now!”
Probably because the cause was evident that the coping method was simple as well.
Ursula started running, with an expression of grief and tears at the edge of her eyes, to get away from Reki.
And there, she realized.
“Ursula, what… was that, just now?”
Priest Kuroe was there. He had seen it. Everything. He had seen everything.
The “Cursed Power” that Ursula wanted to hide—Kuroe, the person she wanted to hide it the most from, had seen it.
Black Demon King
Chapter 491 – Elephant Cavalry