Chapter 0176-1 Surprise Attack Part 1
At the moment, Lord Aubrey and the other Union leaders had placed the main army on the flat land on the north side of the bottleneck where they commanded the battle.
Lord Aubrey felt a sense of discomfort from the rear, north of the main army.
There wasn’t any war cry or outburst.
However, Lord Aubrey, a veteran of countless battles, felt something unusual.
He couldn’t hear voices he should be hearing?
Or sounds he should be hearing disappeared?
For the moment, no one noticed except Lord Aubrey.
However, instant judgment made differences. They were on a battlefield.
(Something is wrong. What? No, this is the battlefield. If anything is strange, it is due to an enemy attack.)
After concluding that, he got up from his chair and shouted.
“Enemy attack! Take defensive formation.”
The ones who moved immediately after Lord Aubrey’s instructions were his subordinates, apprentices he trained from young.
Captains who fought under Lord Aubrey’s banner ten years ago before he became the commander-in-chief.
They immediately pushed aside the cloth enclosure that surrounded the main camp and shouted instructions to their subordinates.
They didn’t understand exactly what was happening or what was about to happen.
But Lord Aubrey’s words cautioning for ‘enemy attack’ was enough.
Since he called for ‘enemy attack’, the enemy would be attacking from somewhere.
And the main army would be in battle soon.
That was why he gave instructions to intercept.
Because they didn’t know where the enemy would come from, they formed up to cover all directions.
(<Icicle Lance 256>)
Rounded tip icicle lances struck the Union soldiers in the form of uppercuts, angled diagonally upwards from below.
And aimed directly at their chins too.
He didn’t kill them not because of mercy but because the smell after too much blood is spilled would make him feel sick.
The Southern Forces advanced after many Union soldiers were eliminated.
Ryo was at the forefront, followed by Chloe from the Duchy Intelligence Bureau, Crimson Sword, and Hugh McGrath.
Basically, Ryo was responsible for eliminating the enemies at that stage.
How long would he do so?
Until the enemy notices.
(It’s strange. I was brought in as a luggage carrier, but I feel like I’m being worked like a carriage horse …)
While thinking that, he kept firing icicle lances.
“Ryo seriously has inexhaustible magical power …”
Rin, the Wind-Attribute Magician following after him was amazed.
(Strange. As D-rank, I shouldn’t be qualified to participate in battle but I feel like I’m doing more than a B-rank adventurer …)
He thought to himself as he kept shooting icicle lances.
“It’s really convenient to have Ryo around.”
Abel praised Ryo’s skill with admiration.
Except for Chloe, the leading group with Ryo all understood Ryo’s abnormality.
Even during this period, Hugh was still careful about leaking Ryo’s information.
In fact, a few rumors were already circulating in the Southern Forces.
However, since Hugh McGrath didn’t seem to want to reveal his identity, no adventurer tried to disseminate Ryo’s information.
Throughout the kingdom, the name of Hero McGrath was respected, but in the south, it could be said that he was gathering faith like a god.
That was how influential the name of ‘Master McGrath’ was.
The icicle lances were fired at the bewildered Union soldiers multiple times, knocking them out.
Finally, the cry ‘enemy attack’ echoed from ahead.
The moment they heard that cry, the seventy Southern Forces members, who had been quietly advancing, started running all at once.
After the surprise attack was revealed, it was a race against time.
The goal was the enemy headquarters.
The aim was Lord Aubrey’s neck.
Everyone knew that there was no other way to reverse the outcome.
Perhaps the Union forces would not withdraw from the Inbury Duchy even after Lord Aubrey is killed.
But even so, they might be able to do something against the Union Army without Lord Aubrey’s leadership.
The actual difference in combat strength was hopeless, but … that fact was solidified with Lord Aubrey’s presence.
Just like the Hero McGrath in the southern region of the Kingdom, unparalleled influence.
The Southern Forces other than Ryo sped up and aimed for the enemy’s main army.
Ryo slowed down and drank a homemade magic potion to restore his magic.
As a matter of fact, he wasn’t clear how much magical power could be recovered with a single magical potion, and how much magical power was consumed by his continuous firing of icicle lances up to that point.
That was because he hadn’t used magic to the extent that he ran out of magical power these days.
However, he was on a battlefield.
Ryo was drinking a magic potion, thanks to Hugh McGrath’s recommendation to recover when possible, as long as they didn’t know what would happen.
After he finished drinking a bottle and took a breather, a thunderous roar pressed down on the area.
Then, Ryo saw a person flying through the sky.
They weren’t flying by magic, they were thrown … the person flying was the Swordsman from 『Switchback』, Ra.
The appearance of an imposing, over 185cm tall vanguard Swordsman flying through the air seemed like a joke.
Ryo ran toward the point where Ra landed.
There was no one else around where Ra fainted.
His allies seemed to be surrounding the enemy who threw Ra.
Only Ryo was available to help Ra.
Ryo forcibly poured a potion into Ra’s mouth.
It might flow into his windpipe … that would be a serious problem if it was a normal drink, but it wasn’t a problem because it was a potion.
Since potions could be absorbed from anywhere in the body.
For now, it was important to introduce it into his body.
Two seconds after pouring the potion into his mouth, Ra woke up.
He coughed … it had flowed into his windpipe instead of his esophagus after all … but don’t mind it~.
“Ra, can you hear me?”
Ryo asked, without bringing up the reason for Ra’s cough.
“O-oh, Ryo. I’m okay … ah, the guys!”
“It looks like they’re surrounding and fighting from a distance.”
At a short distance away, he saw another party along with 『Switchback』 without Ra, confronting something.
“Ryo, please go help them. I’ll join as soon as I can move.”
Ryo replied, stood up, and headed toward where Switchback was.
Four … legs?
From the waist to the head, it was humanoid, with two arms and a head, but it was clearly artificial …
“Ryo! Did you go to Ra? How is he?”
『Switchback』 Scout Sue noticed and called out to Ryo as he approached.
“He’s okay. He woke up after I gave him a potion. He’ll be joining soon. More importantly, that is …”
“Probably a golem.”
Surrounding the foe with 『Switchback』 was Acre’s guildmaster Landenvia and Acre’s C-rank party 『Six Petals』.
As the name suggests, Six Petals is a six-person party.
In other words, they were attacking while surrounding the enemy with a total of ten people.
But that didn’t matter to Ryo. What was important were the words that Landenvia said.
Yes, he said, ‘Golem’.
Ryo had seen wild golems.
He fought them with Abel in the Rondo Forest.
Those were just rocks no matter how you looked at them, but this ‘golem’ … albeit four-legged, matched the words artificial life perfectly.
“It’s not a wild golem, right?”
“Yes … I understand what Ryo is trying to say. I agree. It’s an alchemically-powered artificial golem, a country in the West is said to even have a squad of them.”
Landenvia agreed with Ryo.
Ryo was visibly trembling.
It was a mixed emotional expression of the excitement of being able to finally see one and, for some reason, the slightest regret of being overtaken.
I made the first in the Central Nations! … He didn’t actually have that thought but he probably wanted to, just that he wasn’t aware of it.
Of course, objectively speaking, it was still impossible with Ryo’s level of alchemy, but … that’s beside the point.
Ryo took a deep breath and calmed down.
This time, he calmly looked at the ‘Golem’ in front of him.
Did it have difficulty walking on two legs? Even on modern Earth, biped robots required fairly intense coordination to maintain balance.
To put it bluntly, they had to always maintain balance with sensors.
He didn’t think there were ‘sensors’ on 『Phi』, and considering that it must have been made with alchemy and magic, it was understandably easier to maintain balance by making it a quadruped rather than to completely resemble the human figure.
Atop the four legs was a humanoid upper body … by description alone you might imagine a centaur, a human’s upper body on a horse’s torso, but unfortunately, the ‘golem’ in front of him was not.
The ‘Four legs’ was not that of a quadruped animal, but rather more like a ‘spider’.
If it had eight legs, it might have resembled the imaginary creature Arachne.
Arachne, a creature with a woman’s torso from the waist up and the lower half of a body of a spider that appears in Greek mythology.
However, the golem in front of him was not a biological creature, with a surface made of some kind of metal, an artificial construct that seemed to be very solid.
And it was easy to imagine the power it held from how Swordsman Ra was blown away.
To be honest, it was an opponent you would want to avoid facing in close quarters.
On the other hand, Ryo looked at his allies surrounding the golem.
Acre’s ‘Six Petal’ is a party of a Swordsman, a Shield-bearer, a Priest, and three Magicians, an extremely rare party that excels in long-range attacks.
Moreover, there was the former B-rank adventurer, guildmaster of Acre and Fire-Attribute Magician, Landenvia.
Excluding the Scout Sue, ‘Switchback’ also had the Wind-Attribute Magician Tan and the Priest Nuda.
To be frank, it was encirclement by a lot of Magicians.
The golem was understandably surrounded.
However, even with that much offensive magic available to them …
“All our magic isn’t working …”
Ash, the Fire-Attribute Magician of ‘Six Petals’, muttered.
Ryo looked toward Ash.
Ash noticed and continued.
“Fire, Wind, Earth, all attack magic were blocked.”
Ash glanced at Ryo and immediately turned his gaze back to the golem
“It has a magical barrier that blocks spells, but it is incredibly tough. My Fire Javelin was also deflected.”
Landenvia added on.
Ryo didn’t really know how a ‘magic barrier’ worked, but he could understand the meaning in their words.
“The only thing you haven’t tried is Water-Attribute Magic.”
Ryo nodded as he said so. And he chanted.
“Let’s give it a try. <Icicle Lance>”
Ryo created an ice spear and fired it at the golem.
The ice spear smashed into an invisible wall that seemed to be in front of the golem.
At the same time, the invisible wall seemed to have been taken down along with the spear as the magic barrier broke.
“Ku … I couldn’t get through.”
“No, no … the magic barrier broke.”
Ryo seemed bitter.
However, Nash, the second child Wind-Attribute Magician, pointed out that his spell took down the magic barrier too.
“As expected … it’ll regenerate right away.”
The golem’s magical barrier quickly regenerated, leaving Ash in amazement.
“I wonder if we can just ignore it …”
“At first glance, it doesn’t seem to have the ability to attack from a long distance, but I have an inkling that as soon as we turn our backs, it would attack from behind.”
Landenvia pointed out the problem.
“Stalling … when it comes to stalling, it’s water magic!”
Scout Sue of ‘Switchback’ declared for some reason.
“I don’t know what you’re trying to say …”
Ryo was bewildered but was certainly good at stalling. He chanted to live up to expectations.
“I’ll try … <Icebahn>”
That was quintessential for stalling.
A generic ground freezing magic that can be used quite versatilely for things that move on the ground without any long-range attack capabilities.
The ground froze and the golem couldn’t move even if it wanted to.
However, because it had four legs, it didn’t fall.
If it was just ordinary ice, the golem could have moved by stabbing its sharp appendages into the ice, but Ryo’s special ice was very hard.
The ice was as hard as his ice wall.
The ten people plus Ryo surrounding it exchanged opinions through eye contact.
It looks like it will work!
All of them began to step away from the golem.
Ryo started to move away while keeping an eye on the golem as much as possible.
That’s why he noticed.
Something was happening between the palms of the golem.
The moment Ryo muttered that, the golem pointed a shining white light between its hands on the ice at its feet.
Then the ice began to melt.
“No way …”
Even though it was happening in front of him, Ryo couldn’t believe it.
So far, the Ice Bahn had never been cracked or melted.
It was not particularly impossible because many of his ice walls were broken before, but … Ryo wasn’t thinking about that at that moment.
The only action in his mind was to inform his allies who were walking away slowly.
“The golem is starting to move! Run!”
Upon hearing his shout, Six Petals and Landenvia turned back once to look at the golem and then started running.
As for Switchback, Ra joined midway and started running without looking back.
Ryo fled, creating ice walls in front of the golem to buy time.
Then, when he turned to the golem to confirm … it was chasing while melting the ice walls with the white light appearing between its palms.
It could not use the ‘White Light’ to attack at a long distance and could only melt the ice walls in front of it one by one, so the distance between it and Ryo’s party gradually increased.
Eventually, it will catch up, but in the meantime, let’s have our allies do their best … Ryo had that terrible thought.
(And if possible… I want that golem …)
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