After naming Enlil, Stolas lost her consciousness and fell from her Pegasus’s back. Thankfully, I was nearby and was able to catch her.
She had a peaceful sleeping face. Despite knowing that she would fall unconscious during the war, she went on with the naming because she had complete trust in me and her subordinate monsters.
“Thank goodness you’re safe. I can’t tell how many times I’ve wanted to intervene.”
I said so to the sleeping Stolas.
I actually arrived in the battlefield a few minutes earlier but decided to just observe. I was able to do this thanks to Aura’s power. She had rendered us invisible and erased our presence.
If things turned really awful, I intended to make Aura help through her sniping.
However, Stolas managed to resolve the crisis all on her own.
She was definitely stronger than when we fought. Truly my rival.
I was looking at Stolas’s sleeping face when Enlil the Bahamut came near me. He had just finished trampling on a set of enemies and thus deemed it was safe enough to confront me, the one carrying her mistress.
The [Blade] Demon Lord’s monsters were too scared by Enlil’s overwhelming power and our sudden appearance that they just watched and didn’t move.
For some reason, it seemed like Enlil was wary of me.
Rozelitte, through her telepathy, should have already relayed to all of Stolas’s monsters that Stolas wanted them to follow my command. However, it seemed to me Enlil didn’t have any intention of following Rozelitte’s instructions.
But then again, it was probably unfair to assume he would follow Rozelitte and the conventional chain of command, given that he was under the full effects of [Berserk] until recently.
“It’s alright. I’m her friend. I came here to help.”
<<I don’t believe you. Release her now. I will be the one to protect her.>>
If I were to be untactful, it was more than likely that an attempt on my life would be made.
As I wondered what to do, Duke stepped forward.
“Be at ease. We are very much capable of protecting your mistress, young knight.”
“You, you’re that dragon king?”
“Hahaha, that’s an interesting way to refer to me. But yes, I certainly am a [Dragon Emperor]. And this person right here, he’s, shall we say, the prince of your mistress. Please believe that we will protect her.”
Enlil looked back and forth between me and Stolas.
After he settled his gaze on Stolas’s calm face, he nodded and spoke.
<<Alright, I will believe you. Hold her tight, prince. I am not great at such things, so I will protect her another way.>>
When he said so, he flapped his wings and went airborne. As he did so, he also began suppressing the enemies.
I took it to mean that he had somehow approved of me.
“It seems we’ll be a having a chasing game.”
Aura and Duke who were behind me stepped forward.
“Enlil, take control of the sky. Aura, Duke, I’ll leave the ground to you two.”
Aura and Duke nodded while Enlil replied in the affirmative via thoughts.
Having someone as strong as Enlil was reassuring.
Enlil possessed a skill called [Chivalry] that allowed him to retain his sanity while using [Berserk], so long as he was near Stolas. On top of effectively rendering the downside of [Berserk] null, it also improved his stats further.
Conversely though, the moment Stolas was separated from him, he could not help but devolve into a mindless and ferocious beast that would attack anyone that would come near.
In Duke’s case, wherever he might be, he had the option to activate his [Berserk] for only a short time or not at all. In other words, could choose to disregard both the benefits and downsides of [Berserk].
I honestly had no idea which was better.
<<Leave the sky to me. I won’t lose there.>>
“Yes, please. Show us the might of Stolas’s knight.”
Aura could also be very effective against air units, but I had another job in mind for her.
<<I will. Watch as I fly faster and higher than anyone.>>
Upon saying so, he flew with unbelievable speed and crushed any enemy in his path.
After that, I was then in communication with Rozelitte through her telepathy.
<<It’s been a while, Procell-sama.>>
“Yes, it has. Rozelitte, I have some instructions for you. First, make the gravely wounded fall back. Next, reorganize those that can still fight. At the same time, make the [Omnipresence] copies come to this floor. It’s fine even if the fast ones go ahead of the others.”
<<Understood. Procell-sama, thank you for helping Stolas-sama. As thanks, it’s fine to do that to our mistress.>>
“…Save the jokes for when the fighting’s over.”
After that, we ended communications.
Although I asked her to reorganize their numbers, I knew there was a chance that such wouldn’t be needed.
“Aura, if you have line of fire against the [Blade] Demon Lord, take it. But don’t kill him, okay?”
“Understood. I’ll just wound him in the legs, then.”
Aura was equipped with the anti-materiel rifle developed by Rorono the Elder Dwarf. This rifle was fusion of both science and magic. Rorono had named it Durandal.
Durandal, by itself, had firepower that could rival even tank guns.
And it was Aura, my S rank [Monster of the Covenant], who wielded such a weapon. On top her excellent stats, she had the skill called [Shooter of Magical Projectiles] which elevated her accuracy and attack power for long-range attacks.
Anyone hit squarely by her and Durandal would most likely be reduced to smithereens.
“Yeah, do that. We’re going to capture him alive because we need to hear who is backing him.”
“Master, it may take some time before I get a line of fire, so instead of waiting around and doing nothing, is it okay if I blow up the heads of the strong-looking kids?”
Aura has fallen into a state wherein she wanted to pull the trigger of her gun as soon as possible.
In other words, her trigger-happy nature was showing. Geez, this girl…
“Alright, I’ll allow it. Run wild to your heart’s content. Take care to not run out of bullets.”
“Yes, of course!! Here I go!”
She said so and made the wind swirl.
Despite Durandal being an anti-materiel rifle, it had a short barrel. It was shaped like that to improve its weight and its controllability. However, having a short barrel meant less combustion time for the gunpowder which would then lead to a decrease in initial velocity and firepower. It also meant a decrease in the straightness of the trajectory which would then lead to a decrease in range and accuracy.
Thinking normally, the Durandal was a failure of an anti-materiel rifle.
If Aura was the user, however, it was a completely different conversation.
Using her wind, Aura produced a pseudo-barrel.
Like that, she pulled the trigger.
Normally, a bullet’s initial speed was also its maximum speed due to air resistance. Along with gravity, air resistance also affected the bullet’s range.
The bullets fired by Aura were very different though. Through the [Acceleration] enchantment on the Durandal, bullets accelerated rather decelerate. Furthermore, one of Aura’s skills, the [Ruler of the Wind], not only eliminated air resistance for the bullets, it even made the wind boost the bullets’ speed further.
That speed translated into firepower.
So, with all those factors combined, it wasn’t surprising that when a monster near the [Blade] Demon Lord was hit between the eyes, its entire head exploded like a pomegranate.
It took a while before the sound of the gunshot was heard. Considering that the bullet travelled at more than three times the speed of sound, it was only natural.
Also, as there was no air resistance, there wasn’t any sonic booms either.
The enemy that Aura just hit was about 500 meters away from her.
Even at such a distance, Aura was more than capable of shooting with pinpoint accuracy. In fact, the maximum range Aura was able to do so was approximately 2 kilometers. If pinpoint accuracy wasn’t a concern, the range she could still hit the target would probably be double that.
“Now, let’s pick up the pace. If you just sit there and watch, you’re going to be annihilated.”
Aura said so and fired in quick succession.
It might seem that Aura’s shooting showcased only range, firepower, and accuracy, but in truth, she specialized even in rapid shooting.
With her one-shot-kill attacks that comes without pause from well outside of conventional range, Aura definitely was a monster one wouldn’t want to be up against.
“Okay, what’s going to be their move?”
Aura’s barrage and their annihilation upon them, the enemies had to do something; just standing around would get them killed sooner rather than later.
As I saw it, there were two options: to charge or to retreat.
An intelligent person would most likely choose the latter. Disappointingly, the [Blade] Demon Lord didn’t seem like one.
“Everyone, forward! Bastards with unknown purpose have appeared, but if we press them with our numbers, we can win. We will force our way to victory!! To those that can fly, stop that menace in the sky even at the cost of your life!!”
Hearing that command, the [Blade] Demon Lord’s forces advanced.
I was able to hear what he said even though he was far away from me thanks to Aura and her wind. Thoughtful as ever, I thought.
Aura continued to take down enemies one after the other, prioritizing the strong ones first, but their numbers of more than a hundred were just too great.
If it was just Aura holding the line, they would soon be able to close the distance and perhaps even overwhelm her.
Fortunately, however, Aura wasn’t the only one I’ve prepared.
“Duke, I’ve come here to help Stolas, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have any side benefit from this… I command you, harvest as many souvenirs we can take back to Avalon!!”
“Yes, as you wish, my lord!”
Duke, in his dragonewt form, elegantly bowed to me despite the horde of enemies approaching.
To such riffraff, there was no need for him to get serious or take his real form.
“Go! Your enemies are just an elf and a dragonewt. Crush theeeeeeeeemmm”
The [Blade] Demon Lord yelled so, hoping to encourage his troops.
He probably thought that since there was only the two of them, they would be able to win easily.
Then, let’s overturn those assumptions.
Miasma came out of Duke’s body, indicating that he was about to use the powers of the underworld.
As the name Black Dragon of Death might imply, he was a dragon that ruled over death.
The temperature of his surroundings suddenly fell, miasma covered the ground, and from it, something unworldly crawled out.
The things that came crawling out were the monsters that fought and fell in this war.
[Enhanced Resurrection] was the dark power that allowed Duke to resurrect the fallen as undead monsters with more power than when they were alive. It also allowed him make them his subordinates.
So long as there was a target—a soul that hasn’t left or a corpse—the skill could be used to revive them. It could be used for only 15 targets per day though.
The resurrected monsters were voicing out their grudges. They, being the former monsters of the [Oni] Demon Lord, directed their resentment not toward Stolas, but rather toward the [Blade] Demon Lord.
The [Blade] Demon Lord had not only taken away their beloved master, he had also forced them to serve and fight for him. Serving under such a master must have been agonizing for most of these monsters.
Actually, one other reason Stolas’s monsters were able to fight as well as they have was because most of the monsters that once belonged to the [Oni] Demon Lord were not fighting at their best.
Though they were bound by the commands given to them and were thus forced to fight, in their hearts, they would rather die than have their powers be used for the [Blade] Demon Lord’s benefit.
If these experienced and strong monsters fought to the fullest, this war might have had a very different conclusion.
“Now that you have been freed from your shackles, you may seek vengeance as you wish!”
Duke loudly declared so.
The targets of his [Enhanced Resurrection] were the 15 that had the greatest skills, stats, and resentment against the [Blade]. On one hand, these 15 were very filled with hatred, but on the other, they felt joyous to bare their fangs against the one they resent.
As of the moment, there were almost none left of the A rank monsters under the [Blade] Demon Lord’s control. Due to Stolas’s efforts, there were 10 A rank monsters left. And after Aura started shooting them, there were even less.
Whatever riffraff that remained wouldn’t have enough to compete against the 15 A rank monsters that Duke resurrected and strengthened. In other words, it was the start of our one-sided genocide.
“Duke, let’s hit them harder. Call in the newcomers.”
“Yes, my lord. Now, time for your first battle. [Gate Open]”
Duke’s [Enhanced Resurrection] not only resurrected targets into undead, it also allowed him to use Darkness magic.
Using that, he called forth a gate to the underworld and opened it.
The inside of the gate was darkness that was impenetrable by the eyes.
Out of that darkness, around 50 adventurers and soldiers clad in miasma appeared.
Each then marked their prey with their vacant eyes and attacked.
“Hmm, yes, they’re fine additions to our force.”
“Their base was good and thanks to [Enhanced Resurrection] making them all have the undead attribute, I could further strengthen them with my [Ruler of Death] ability. This much of an enemy force is nothing for my prized undead army.”
A Black Dragon of Death Siegwurm had exceedingly high individual fighting capabilities, but even then, its true merit was that it ruled over death.
The more the fighting goes on and the more deaths there were, the more powerful a Siegwurm gets.
The summoned humans just now were the artificial heroes and the powerful soldiers that we fought in the war against the neighboring city. They were a fighting force dispatched to destroy Avalon, but thanks to [Enhanced Resurrection], they were now part of our fighting force instead.
Humans were great. If their corpses were put in some kind of cold storage, Duke could potentially resurrect them all at the rate of 15 targets per day which was daily limit of his skill.
In comparison, monster corpses would turn into particles of light and eventually vanish after a fixed amount of time after their death, leaving nothing behind except for the occasional item drop. Their souls would also move on quickly. It pretty much meant that they have to be resurrected half a day after their death.
As long as Duke was around, the longer the fight, the more of the enemy’s fighting force Avalon could claim for its own.
Even on the campaign to save Marcho, Duke had increased our numbers with 15 of the most powerful monsters there.
He was literally an army. Such was the true merit of the Black Dragon of Death Siegwurm.
“We have to thank the [Blade] Demon Lord, don’t we? Generously providing us these precious A rank monsters.”
“Yes. Once we return to Avalon, should we have a welcoming party for these newcomers?”
“That’s a good proposal. …now then, I wonder what the [Blade] Demon Lord would do next. The vast difference in fighting force should be very obvious by now.”
Counting the undead army of the artificial heroes and the 15 [Oni] monsters, we had the upper hand on not only quality but also quantity.
In addition, Stolas’s monsters had finished reorganizing and were joining the battlefield once again.
When he saw all that, the [Blade] Demon Lord’s face went ghastly pale. He then began retreating while using his monsters as shield.
I went to the trouble of selecting which 10 monsters to put into my [Storage], but as things were, the fight would end with deploying just Aura and Duke.
“They’re finally here, huh.”
The monsters made with Stolas’s [Omnipresence] finally arrived in our current floor. Since the enemy Demon Lord was scared of us and thus made most of his troops gather in the rear, their vanguard was quite defenseless against the newcomers.
Coincidentally, Aura had gained line of fire on the [Blade] Demon Lord. Aiming with her [Jade Eyes], she shot and grazed him in the legs. I say graze but that much was enough to blow off his legs.
Chances of escape now gone, he lost heart.
It’s time to wrap this up.
“Aura, use your wind to make my voice resound as far as possible.”
For Aura, it was a simple task to make the sound travelling in the air propagate further.
After Aura replied, wind drifted around my face.
“[Blade] Demon Lord, tell all your subordinates to not resist anymore. I want to talk. If you do anything strange, you will be killed. If you forfeit and end the [War] before we have had our talk, you will be killed. If you accept these terms, I will let you live and surrender later.”
I had already relayed to Stolas’s monsters—via Rozelitte—to stop attacking. The undead army too had received the same instructions via Duke.
In the current state of things, the [Blade] Demon Lord didn’t have any chance to win. If he was an idiot who would still fight regardless, there was no helping it. But for the moment, I decided to wait for his decision.
After taking a short time to analyze the situation, he raised both of his hands and said something while sobbing.
Aura informed me he was willing cooperate.
Okay, now, to figure out who the mastermind behind this is.