Blood on their bodies, exhaustion in their arms, thunderous roars constantly echoing through the vicinity.
Blazer and the other warriors were still being tormented by the black spears.
“High Cure Adjust!”
Thanks to Irene’s and Warren’s Squads, the Imperial Ogres surrounding the Ogre King had already been eliminated.
But the battering attacks never stopped coming. The King kept picking up the black spears from the ground and throwing them with lightning speed.
“Ugh, dammit! So much for that geezer’s ‘parrying three times’! We’ve taken up to two digits so far!”
“Ngh… it’s so that morale won’t go any lower! Can’t do anything about it now!”
“Ugh… Gah! Your whining is opening my wounds, Brother!”
“What was that!?”
“Got a problem!?”
Dallas called out once again.
And along with a thunderous roar, another spear was parried away. At almost the same time, Billy’s recovery magic patched up the warriors.
“Gah… That hurt, dammit…”
“Will this… ever stop…?”
“Q-quit slacking, boys…”
“Heh, good to know there’s a burly woman among us… Still, I suppose… we’ll be at our limits soon. Billy’s MP must be running out now…”
Bruce turned to look at Billy through his blurry vision. Sure enough, his face was showing a clear expression of impatience.
And as if in response to that utterance, the light from Pochi’s Zenith Breath Attack could be seen.
“They made it in time!”
A commotion broke out among the Squad as each of the members lifted their faces up.
“Everyone below Rank A, retreat!”
On Irene’s order, all Squad members started to retreat.
Warren led the way, keeping them in formation. Irene, Billy, Blazer, Bruce, Betty and Dallas were the only ones left on the battlefield.
Irene went to meet Gaston as he ran towards them and did not stop to trash talk like she usually would. Instead, she promptly adjusted her strategy.
“Cover your eyes! Blast Flash!”
She sent a Spell Circle flying towards the Ogre King and as she shouted, a blinding light burst forth.
All eyes were dazzled for an instant. The King shrieked as it shut its eyes.
“Charge! As close to it as possible!”
“”Hang in there, guys!!””
Asley and Pochi also shouted out to them. However, Gaston grabbed the two by their necks and dragged them along with him.
“B-but I’m Rank B, sir!!”
“I got nothing to do with this, sir!!”
“Fwahahahaha! It’s also rare to see adventurers as foolish as you two!”
Gaston restricted the duo’s freedom of movement with sheer physical strength one would never expect from a mage.
As another flash of light burst forth, eight people and one dog dashed towards the enemy as fast as they could.
Wrapped in the dazzling flash, the Ogre King threw a fit, pulverizing the surrounding earth. Its cry shook the air, intimidating its approaching opponents.
The pieces of shattered earth burst forth, buffeting the front line warriors.
Betty dodged them without difficulty and the other three guarded their vitals and made it through.
“AWWRIGHT!! First blood!”
Bruce was the first one to make his way up to the Ogre King. First he unleashed his strongest move, Smash-slash, at its leg.
Originally, the Smash-slash move was a sweep with the sword’s surface, followed by a devastating push-through at the moment of collision.
However, Bruce had doubted that the basic procedure would be able to go through the colossal Ogre King. Because of that, he had adjusted the direction of the initiating sweep by lowering his waist.
And as a result, he was able to run the blade through the enemy’s leg.
Pushed diagonally down, the blade then came through the other side.
After one heck of a violent drag, the calf of the King’s leg was gashed wide open. Following immediately after that was its roar of pure, intense pain.
“Now’s our chance! We’re going in, Betty!”
Blazer shouted out as he jumped up while activating Aerial Dancer. Connecting countless slashes in midair, the wound Bruce had inflicted was torn out even wider.
The enemy roared again, this time with a voice close to a scream and in the same moment, Betty unleashed her special skill, Seventh Lunge, with her thin blade. Countless thrusts punched holes in the Ogre King’s leg on the side opposite to where Blazer had attacked. The wounds were not conspicuous but the attack was effective, for it had caused much internal damage.
“Terrific teamwork. Now, here I go!”
Following right behind Blazer, Dallas shouted. The enemy’s leg was already in terrible shape from the beating it had taken, but the four warriors weren’t prioritizing damage. Instead, they wanted to make it lose its footing.
Once the companions in front were out of the way, Dallas unleashed multiple horizontal slashes.
The next instant, the wounds gave way to a cross-section and the Ogre King plummeted to the ground, losing everything below the calf of one of its legs.
“Whoa, is that the Gamma Thrash!? First time I’ve seen it!”
“A secret technique of a specialized western sword style… It certainly isn’t just for show.”
Bruce was in awe and behind him, Gaston muttered to himself while tracing a Craft Circle in the air.
Now far past the point of deathly pain, the monster’s expression of composure crumbled.
“That’s right, that’s the face I wanted to see! Next, we’ll aim for the dominant arm! Sharp Wind Asteriskos!”
The magic spell incessantly rained wind needles onto the King’s right arm.
“Sharp Wind Cross!”
Billy followed it up, their combined attacks gradually cutting into the enemy’s gigantic arm.
But then the Ogre King swirled its arm around, letting the rest of the attacks whizz past it and looked back at its attackers with an uncanny grin.
“Wha — Its eyes are working already!? Hey, you know that this is serious, right?”
“Hmph, I’d hoped that it would be blinded until we were done, but… Octa Boundary!”
Gaston chanted and exactly the same as when he’d fought the Queen, a Craft Circle appeared in the sky. Stakes of light descended and enclosed the King, immobilizing it… Or it should have.
“Wha–!? Wait, Gaston!? It hasn’t been stopped yet!”
“Hush, old lady! It’s part of the plan! …Your turn, young man!”
Gaston shifted his attention to what was behind him while keeping his sights forward.
There were the Craft Circle he had just invoked and another, similar one, which was so very reluctantly activated by Asley.
“Rise, A-rise, A-rise… Hexa Boundary…”
“I got nothing to do with this, sir…”
With the same reluctance, Pochi gigantified and picked up Asley to ride on her back.
Six plus eight totalled to fourteen stakes piercing the ground, immobilizing the Ogre King at last.
“Wait — wasn’t that magecraft!?”
“Now that is a surprise…”
As fellow mages, Irene and Billy were taken aback.
From their perspective, Gaston and War Demon Emperor Vaas should have been the only ones known to use magecraft, but Asley had just used it so casually.
“Fwahahaha! Hexa, eh? Quite impressive for your age! Now, show me more of your stuff!”
“…Rise, A-rise, A-rise. Transient Blades…”
Asley, while half desperate and half too unmotivated to talk back, fired off another craft.
Countless blade flashes emerged over the Ogre King’s right arm. Their quantity completely overshadowed the amount that Irene’s spell had let off.
“Ngh — I’ve never seen that craft before! Interesting! Very interesting, young man! Fwahahahaha!!”
“I got nothing to do with this, sir!”
Gaston let out a hearty laugh and Pochi heaved an exasperated sigh.
“…He’s pretty sloppy at directing the cuts… What’s wrong with him!?”
“He doesn’t look like much, but for a freshman to rile up one of the Six Archmages like Irene this much… That certainly is interesting.”
Billy grumbled, making sure that his voice did not reach Irene. His lips suggested that he was easing down, however subtle the difference may be.
“Man, you’re doing great, Asley! But this boundary looks like it’s having a hard time holding up! C’mon, y’all, let’s go!”
“Hey, don’t make yourself the boss just like that!”
Betty waved her blade as she complained about her brother’s attitude.
The four warriors concentrated their attacks onto the King’s legs, so as to incapacitate it completely.
That was because they knew that even a single well-placed attack from it could instantly destroy the team. They couldn’t last long even when relying on the effects of the Boundary. Being front line fighters, they ought to know the appropriate parts to aim for.
“It’s growing weak… but the boundary is almost at its limit…”
Gaston grumbled while trying his best to hold his new Octa Boundary. Beneath it, Asley’s Hexa Boundary was starting to give out too.
“Gaston, my mana is completely spent!”
“Ugh, even Billy — our attacks are lagging! Young man! What are you doing loafing around back there!?”
“Hmm… not this, not this… ah, here it is!”
Asley, seeming not to have heard Gaston’s half-annoyed call, had used the Storeroom spell while riding on Pochi and was searching for something within the dubious space.
The sight of it shocked Gaston.
Shocked at how Asley could reach his hand into the space while maintaining it.
[“What in the blazes? Pocket space invocation, space maintenance, backlash suppression, self-defense… Just how much information is even packed in that Spell Circle!? And he traced them all in the air so quickly… This young man might be beyond ‘interesting’ after all…”]
“What did you take out, Master?”
“Hmm? It’s a superacid weapon, made from Spinaclesaurus Acid and your gastric juice.”
“Wha — what in blazes were you even thinking when you came up with that!?”
Asley presented it with complete self-confidence, but Pochi’s reaction was filled with only surprise and disgust.