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Chapter 32: The Sage Watches the Phantom Beast’s Rampage
A volley of arrows rained down on the Imperial Army.
They pierced the soldiers without mercy, disrupting their formation.
I could hear people everywhere screaming in agony.
However, the damage was minimal.
Of the tens of thousands of troops, only about a hundred were injured.
If you look at it as a whole, it was a negligible number.
No, something’s wrong.
As I observed the battlefield, I noticed something strange.
Some of the soldiers were coughing violently.
Some were on their knees, unable to move, and others were vomiting blood.
All of these phenomena occurred in the vicinity of where the arrows had hit.
The soldiers who had sensed something strange began to retreat in a panic.
I asked Henry.
“What did you do?”
“I put powdered poison on the arrows,” he said. “And as soon as they hit the target, it scatters. It disperses quickly and loses its toxicity, but while it’s still in effect, it’s very potent.”
Henry explained proudly.
He had an animated look on his face.
He wasn’t just a combat maniac, he also likes this kind of trickery.
Henry does not hesitate even if it’s inhumane.
He is a man who will do what he judges to be the most practical.
“This is the most efficient method to reduce enemy numbers with the least effort. If they know that the arrows are poisoned, their movements will slow down. We have to take advantage of that gap.”
Henry, speaking in an easygoing manner, took his bow and shot an arrow.
The merciless shot pierced the forehead of a man far in the distance, who looked like a commander.
The man collapsed with his eyes wide open.
Henry continued to shoot his bow.
This time, he caught another soldier in the forehead.
A man who was just about to give orders to the others.
Both were at a distance where it was difficult to distinguish them with the naked eye, but he managed to shoot them dead as if it were natural.
“Hahaha, praise won’t get you anything.”
Henry, in a good mood, skillfully handled his bow as he spoke.
One after another, he shot and killed those that appeared to be the commanders.
It was very like him to thoroughly destroy the chain of command.
In the meantime, the demons were shooting the poisoned arrows.
Even if they didn’t hit their target, the enemy would still be harmed just by being in the vicinity of the arrows.
The Imperial troops were naturally restricted in their movements.
They were tormented by a great deal of confusion, including the fact that their commanders had fallen.
Most of the Imperial forces already had their hands full trying to deal with us.
Only a few were left to take down the undead on the forest side.
They must have thought that they should prioritize attacking us.
It was a reasonable decision.
That’s what I thought they would do.
Soon after, the imperial army unleashed a counterattack with arrows.
They rained down in overwhelming density from overhead.
It was a well-coordinated movement despite the surprise attack and the reduction of their commanders.
The soldiers were used to fighting.
Their overall quality was extraordinary.
However, in the end, they were only human.
They were not strong enough to take on a true monster.
I had to show them our difference, which could not be reversed by effort alone.
I used my wind magic to brush aside the rain of arrows.
Some of the arrows had been strengthened by magic, but that didn’t matter.
I just let my magic output blow them away.
The rain of off-target arrows fell around the Demon Lord’s army.
We were all unharmed.
“No matter how many times I see it, the general’s magic is still amazing. You think so too, don’t you?”
Henry applauded, and then turned to Logan, who was watching the scene quietly.
Logan raised his eyebrows slightly.
He glanced at me with a grim expression.
“…Yeah, that’s right. As expected of the Demon Lord.”
Logan spoke after a slight pause.
Contrary to his words, his gaze seemed like one directed towards a friend.
It was a minute change that the others didn’t even notice.
Even after witnessing the power of the Demon King, his attitude did not change.
I was secretly relieved.
At that moment, I heard something cutting through the wind, coming in my direction.
It was an arrow aimed at me.
I deployed my defensive magic and parried the arrow right in front of me.
Looks like they were planning a surprise attack.
I picked up the broken arrow, and spotted the archer who fired it blending in with the army on the other side.
His aim was accurate.
If he had been lucky, I might have received a direct hit.
Seems like the Imperial Army has some excellent archers.
Just when I thought that, Henry took out the archer with his bow.
“Hahaha, looks like there are some tactless people out there.”
Henry said as if it were natural.
Long-range combat was his forte.
His bow, made from a dragon, has an overwhelming range.
When you combined that with Henry’s skill, the entire battlefield was now in his attack range.
From the enemy’s point of view, he was nothing but a threat.
Maybe I should play a bit of an active role.
With that in mind, I launched a miasma spear.
The spear, gliding through the air, impaled several soldiers at once.
The sacrificed soldiers were corrupted by the miasma and turned into undead.
The undead created in this manner began to attack their former comrades.
Those who were devoured also came back to life as undead.
It was a battle strategy that I was already familiar with.
Now the soldiers of the Imperial Army could not easily approach us.
While I was watching the undead multiply, a luminous thing appeared in the sky.
A lion, tinged with a faint light glow, calmly appeared in the sky.
The lion attacked the imperial army, its wings rising and falling.
It tore soldiers apart with its claws and bit them to pieces with its fangs.
From its mouth, it spat out blazing red flames that burned the army.
Swords and spears bounced off the surface of its body, and magic dissipated when it came in contact with the lion’s glow.
The lion killed off the soldiers in the blink of an eye.
The soldiers did not have the slightest time to attack us.
That’s a phantom beast created by spirit magic.
I noticed its true identity at a glance.
There is only one person who can use magic like that in this place.
The person in question, Logan, was concentrating with his arms folded.
His normally sharp gaze seemed to have narrowed even more.
Henry, who had stopped shooting, was impressed to see the phantom beast slaughtering the soldiers one by one.
“Oho, so this is what the elves have been hiding. That’s quite impressive.”
“… I can’t hold out much longer. Quickly wrap it up.”
Logan grunted as he stared at the battlefield.
If I looked closely, I could see sweat trickling down his face.
His teeth were clenched and grating.
It takes a lot of effort to maintain a phantom beast of that level.
Normally, a few elves would work together to create a few inferior individuals.
In the first place, Logan was specialised at supporting techniques.
It’s not like he had any aptitude for attack techniques like phantom beasts.
It’s the pride and obstinacy of the elf clan that made him use a phantom beast even if it required such intense effort.
It was to assert that he was not simply an existence that needed protection from the Demon Lord.
Of course, it was also a way to get back at the empire that was trying to take away his homeland.
“Well, I guess it’s time to charge. General, do you mind?”
Henry, who had lowered his bow, asked with sparkling eyes.
I was on the verge of losing my grip on reason when I saw him.
I felt as if he was about to break out into a run.
I nodded to him.
“All right. Crush them to your heart’s content. You can annihilate them too.”
“Hahaha, that’s the best order! All right, guys, let’s go!”
The elated Henry broke away from the vanguard and ran forward.
The demons followed him in a furious sprint.
The result was a strange situation in which only a few undead were left behind.
“…Your new companions are boisterous, aren’t they?”
Logan spoke with a bit of dismay.
The lion phantom beast that was running around the battlefield disappeared as if it were evaporating.
He seemed to have decided that it had done its job for the time being.
I was glad that he hadn’t pushed himself too hard and collapsed.
“They’re certainly boisterous. But they can be trusted.”
I muttered as I watched the imperial troops begin to retreat.
They have a myriad of different motives and beliefs, but they were ones who have decided to serve the Demon Lord.
They will fight for me until the moment of their death.
“I see. I’m relieved.”
I looked at Logan.
He was staring fixedly at the Demon Lord’s Army trampling down the Imperial Army.
His profile was overflowing with firm determination and resolve.