The Black Demon King 501 – Part 2
Chapter 26: Storm of Gluttony
Battle at the Supply Base
It was a strangely high-pitched, metallic, eerie roar, which was completely different from that of beasts or dragons. It was more like a collective roar from hundreds, or thousands, of the same monsters, and the dissonance they created was deafening.
Unintentionally, Ursula closed her eyes and covered her ears. And that wasn’t just her reacting like a normal child would, because looking around me I noticed that many of the Crusader soldiers were having similar reactions.
Such a large chorus of unpleasant roars, which made goosebumps run all over my body, finally announced the arrival of the Gluttony Octos. But where were they?
After focusing all of my senses to explore the area beyond the veil of white fog, the answer came in an instant.
“–They’re above us!?”
Shadows were wriggling at the other side of the fog. The next moment, they started coming down like rain. A rain of monsters came down from the sky and landed in the village.
And they were falling onto the top of the stone wall where I was standing as well.
Naturally, since they came from the sky, a stone wall wouldn’t have been of much help.
A nearly-3-meter-long green octopus was coming down on me with its huge mouth open, so I had to prioritize dodging over dealing a preemptive strike.
I immediately held Ursula close to me and tried to jump backwards –but the narrow top of the stone wall wouldn’t let me. Since there wasn’t much space to dash around, the only thing I could do to try to get out of harm’s way was jumping off the wall.
After throwing myself from the top of the stone wall towards the village side, I unleashed an attack on the octopus that had tried to eat me as soon as I began to fall.
This octopus looked exactly like the youngling I had seen the day before, as it had four tentacles. But this one seemed to be about three meters long.
Also, to note another difference, its tentacles seemed to be covered by a thin membrane that fluttered like a frill.
Then, despite the octopus having come really close with a remarkable aerial descent, it failed to properly react to my Grenade Burst unleashed at point-blank range, which resulted in a direct hit. Just before I touched the ground, the octopus’ creepy and slippery emerald green body was completely engulfed in red and black flames.
“–Ursula, are you okay?”
“Y-Yes, I’m fine…”
Not only had she been taken by surprise by me grabbing hold of her, but she also experienced a free fall of 5 meters. Ursula seemed to be a bit dizzy, but fortunately she hadn’t been injured. Though it had been a bit of a close call.
“Dammit, I wasn’t expecting them to be able to fly.”
Perhaps more than flying, the membranes between their tentacles allowed them to glide by taking in the wind, like a ship’s sail. Even so, it was hard to believe to see these octopuses as creatures that could soar the skies. If anything, those membranes should only help them swim faster.
However, a quick look at our surroundings right after landing revealed that those octopuses were landing one after another. Our field of view was still greatly obstructed by that white fog, but I could still feel the countless signs of monsters and their ferocious killing intent.
The swarm of Gluttony Octos didn’t even bother trying to hide their presence as they descended upon us. The wet and heavy slamming sound that echoed all over the place had to be the sound they made as they landed.
“Damn, they’re coming from above— Gwaaaah!”
The soldiers’ screams could be heard from the top of the stone wall.
We had assumed that they would come swarming by land, so they coming from above instead had taken us completely by surprise. Those who were our first line of defense were already in a panic since the enemy had completely bypassed the stone wall the moment they showed up.
“Ursula, stay close to me –Black Calm!”
With the speed and flexibility of a whip, a tentacle came rushing towards me from the other side of the fog. The tip of its tentacle was actually covered with a sharp, iron-like shell, and its vicious shape made me think that it could easily skewer a human body.
More than a tentacle, it looked like some weird spear. But it was more troublesome than a regular spear, since the octopus could swing it around more freely thanks to the tentacle’s motion.
By the time I had finished making these observations, my own halberd had torn through its approaching spear-tentacle and beyond, even slicing the octopus’ head in half.
Fortunately, the rest of these guys’ bodies were rather soft. The only part of their bodies covered by a shell was the tip of their tentacles. After spitting the octopus’ head in half, it couldn’t do much more than wriggle about in panic until it stopped moving completely.
“—Ugh, we’re already surrounded! Quickly, form a circle! And what are the sorcerers doing!? Quickly, do something to clear this fog, we can’t see a damned thing here!!”
Was that voice echoing all around us that of Cliff, the captain of the heavy knight infantry? Though he sounded a bit impatient, he also seemed to be better than expected at giving precise instructions for the situation at hand.
“Ooh, the fog has cleared up a bit.”
In what seemed to be the prized sorcerer unit having finally begun to show their prowess in accordance with Cliff’s instructions, a swirling surge of wind magic blew some of the fog away. It was impossible for them to dispel all of the fog covering the entire village, but they were powerful enough to clear away the fog surrounding the soldiers’ immediate vicinity.
I wondered if it was some kind of wind barrier that generates an airflow in all directions. But regardless of how it worked, it was the best support we had at the moment.
And at the same time, the desperate truth about our current battle situation became clear as we managed to secure some visibility.
As if the silence just before had been nothing but a lie, our once white field of view was now filled with unpleasant green octopuses.
The stone walls and buildings were being swarmed by juvenile octopuses –the 50 centimeter variant that could enter an adult human’s body. They were sticking to these structures as if the houses and walls had always been filled with green spots.
Apart from those, the ones we see the most of were the medium sized octopuses, measuring anywhere between 1 and 3 meters. A quick glance revealed that they were much superior in number to the smaller ones.
They were crawling on the village roads, heading for the soldiers that had been deployed on ground level like any octopus would normally walk on the seabed.
Looking up, I could see a lot of spear-tentacles flying across the stone wall, indicating that a fierce battle had begun at its top. There were some screams, some blood splashing from above, and some soldiers falling headfirst from a distance of 5 meters into the ground below.
Since the soldiers deployed at the top of the walls were mainly shooters, if an enemy wielding four spear-like tentacles were to suddenly appear in front of them, they wouldn’t have been able to do much to defend themselves.
Fortunately, however, the octopuses didn’t seem to be very well-coordinated. Their attack on the soldiers was scattered all over, and they would merely get anyone standing in their way so they could try to invade homes and warehouses in search of food, ignoring some of the soldiers in the process.
Apparently, their huge numbers were all they had, and their cooperation as a group was rather lackluster.
“W-Whoa… P-Priest Kuroe, there are so many of them…”
However, it seemed that Ursula was still frightened to see that her surroundings were overflowing with monsters, not only left and right but above her as well. Though it was understandable for her to be scared, since this was her first real battle ever.
As she desperately clung to my leg, I instinctively covered her head with the Tower Shield I had in my left hand.
“Ursula, believe in your power. Don’t worry, you can definitely defeat them with your power.”
These octopuses didn’t seem to have any special ability or property that would completely nullify the effects of the Drain spell. If Ursula could manage to use that spell like she had normally had during our training sessions, these guys should not be a match for her.
“Keep calm and start aiming for them starting from the closest one and keep going from there. I won’t let any of them get close to you, so you can simply focus on your attacks without having to worry about your defense.”
The air around Ursula started to feel a bit different, perhaps because she was finally ready. After having been by her side for about an entire week training with her, this feeling was already familiar to me. It was the slight spine chill that I would feel right before Ursula unleashed her Origin Magic.”
“Here I go, Priest Kuroe… ’White Yaksha Princess – Anastasia’!”
Then, the shape of a large woman appears instantly and without making a single sound.
Her body was white and her long hair seemed to fade into the mist that filled the area. Although she looked like an immaculate white statue beautiful enough to be displayed in a museum or a royal palace, the two horns that sprouted from her head gave her a terrifiying look.
That’s why I named her “White Yaksha Princess”. The name “Anastasia” was something that came to mind the moment I saw her for the first time as well, and Ursula seemed to like it.
In fact, this had been the first time that I had actually seen the entire body of “White Yaksha Princess – Anastasia” up close like this. The only training I did with her was to practice defending against those dreadful Drain attacks she would unleash, so I never had a chance to fight her in close quarters.
Now that I could see her up close like this, it made me feel anxious, as I unconsciously feared that I would be deprived of my magical power just by standing near her… But, as expected, Ursula had reached a level of control so high that Anastasia wouldn’t affect her allies. So I wouldn’t have any problem fighting by her side.
Hiding in the shadow of my Tower Shield, Ursula made her first blow with a less enthusiastic shout.
There was no special power or skill. She simply commanded Anastasia’s right arm to move, not to punch or hit the octopus in front of her in any way, but simply touching it gently instead.
And by that gentle touch, the octopus vanished in an instant. Having come into contact with Anastasia’s white fingers, its head started to make a boiling noise before melting away completely. Then, after its head was gone, its four disconnected tentacles fell limp onto the ground.