Chapter 020 - Convoy (latter)
The arrows flew from inside the forest, where Marian said that there were a great number of people lay hidden.
Even though the arrows did not hit Reona’s group, who stayed inside the carriage, or Karito, or Ordy and his subordinates, who were riding on horses, the refugee group wasn’t as lucky. Being a larger target than the escort unit, the refugees screamed as the hundreds of arrows rained down on them. The refugees were unable to understand what had just happened, stood stunned where they were.
In contrast, Ordy’s group reacted quickly. When they heard the sound of arrows tearing the wind, they jumped out of the carriage and pulled out their swords, and took an alert stance.
“Half of you protect the carriage! The other half protect the refugees! Keep your eyes open!”
There were only about 20 people in the escort unit, including Karito and Marian. On the other hand, the refugees neared 50 people, more than double their size, and as such it would be difficult to protect everyone.
Then Marian started to move. While she was getting off the carriage, a little later than Ordy’s group, a second volley of arrows was released from inside the forest. Marian lifted her arm, holding the cane casually and without being scared, created a semi-transparent hemispherical film about 10 meters high, covering Karito’s group overhead. The arrows were blocked by the semitransparent hemispherical magic barrier and not even one arrow breached the protection.
“Have they become impatient because we stopped before the ambush spot? What a short tempered bunch. Stupid as well. ”
The enemies appeared from inside the forest. Roughly more than 30 people emerged. Wearing tattered equipment and weapons, they charged blindly towards their group. Looking at this scene, Marian sighed in disgust.
Even while knowing that there is a magician who can use powerful attack and defense magic, they had still came charging. The enemies are either recklessly savage or simply did not understand anything, at all.
Marian, being blind, wasn’t able to see, from what could been seen, that the opponents had charged recklessly and without being equipped in full sets of armor. But she could still understand that the opponent were merely a gathering of thieves who had never received proper training.
Ordy, who perceived the same thing as Marian, charged out with his subordinates, leaving the refugees to be escorted by the escort guards. The vanguards are soldiers riding horses. Although they are small in number, they did not falter. With their long swords and spears, they charged towards the thieves bravely. Swords cut off the thieves heads and the spears pierced their bodies as they passed against each other. Most of the bandit fell from a single blow, as they were not equipped with decent armors.
After the cavalry crushed them, Ordy and his subordinate took them into a melee fight. Several beastmen were mixed in among the thieves as well; but going against men with decent training, the thieves couldn’t have possibly won .
Ordy crashes his fist to a thief’s face and he fell to the ground, rotating. Since there was no need to go easy on them, the force of the punch distorted the original shape of his face, obviously indicating that the thief’s brain was destroyed too.
Another one of Ordy’s subordinate, who was skilled at wielding two swords, parried the bandits attack with one sword, and when the thief’s posture broke up, cut the thief’s stomach with the other sword. His internal organs jumped out from the stomach through the wound. The thief tried to pushed them back in as, he screamed in reflex but the sword that parried the original attack swung back and cut through his throat.
Even though the thieves were overwhelming in number, Ordy’s group were definitely much better in skill and cooperation. The beastmen soldiers with boasted strength used their shield, in one hand, to repel the opponent’s attacks and used an axe in the dominant hand, to slash at the opponent’s head.
Taking advantage of the opportunity when a soldier pulled his axe from a partly destroyed head, a thief came rushing from behind to attack him, but was slain instead.
The escort soldiers, entrusted to escort the refugees, also used their bows and arrows to cover the fighting vanguards. They targeted the enemies from a distance away from where their allies are fighting. A few more thieves fell by the arrow strike. As the arrows coming from the forest were being blocked by Marian, the thieves were suffering from attacks, one-sidedly.
Meanwhile, Karito is...
He leapt onto a slope so slanted that it would be better be described as a cliff. As his foot contacted the slope, he kicked out and quickly climbed up.
He was able to run lightly because his physical ability far exceed even those of an olympic-class athlete. In the <WBGO>, although he would need some equipment to assist him in climbing a vertical wall, but for slopes of this angle, Karito had plenty of experience, already. In a blink of an eye, he reached the top.
The distance to the forest was less than 100 meters. Unlike guns, bows do not have a flash from the muzzle flame, which made it harder to detect the enemy’s position by sight. But, thanks to the light that moves through the forest during the day, Karito was able to discover multiple moving shadows quickly.
When he had helped Reona back when her village was attacked, he had been grovelling down and hiding himself; but this time, he chose the M14EBR from his equipment list and moved immediately into a kneeling position while looking through his scope.
Found it. Men were holding their bows, without hiding themselves, behind trees and covered in dirt. They were so dirty that they looked like they had not taken a bath for over a month. All of them had an impatient look painted on their faces, but unexpectedly, had high fighting spirit and shot arrows unceasingly.
Karito found 1 man, randomly among the thieves, that was lurking in the forest and aimed him at the center of crosshair and pulled the trigger――――
The shot shook the scene, it seemed like an earthquake detonator had been released. The explosive charge of a 7.62 mm armor piercing bullet was much stronger than an ordinary bullet. The gunshot rang out like a lightning strike.
The bullet flew over the 100 meter distance in an instant and created a big hole in the target’s chest. Internal organs and bone flew through the newly created hole as the thief fell down. The other thieves stopped moving as they saw the sudden death of their ally.
The M14 EBR flash fire, which had not been installed with a silencer or flash suppressor was very conspicuous, so he decided to sweep everybody up quickly before they could react.
He found the next target and fired the 2nd shot. It hit. Everything from the lower jaw and up had disappeared. Then followed another person. They were standing, still unable to process what was happening, and Karito aimed at the largest mark, the chest. The trajectory deviated slightly and hit the throat instead. The man’s adam’s apple had been completely gouged out as he collapsed with a severed carotid artery hanging onto the airway.
Finally, some of the thieves began to hide behind the tree. He aimed at their feet that stuck out from their hiding place. One of the man who had his toes blown away, rolled himself from his hiding place and exposed himself. There, Karito ended him with another shot.
Although there were about 10 archers on the thieves side, the men had fallen into a panic after losing nearly half of their numbers. They threw their weapons away as they scattered around fleeing, unable to comprehend the situation.
Every time a thunderous sound, that they never heard before, echoed, another one of their allies would be turn into a corpse. Due to magic, the level of tactics in this world had only developed up to the medieval era, so tactics that utilized a “Sniper” seemed like a terrible unknown or new magic from the target's perspective.
After confirming that the archers had fled into the depths of the forest, Karito stood up and shouted at Ordy’s group, that were clashing with the thieves infantry.
“The guys in the forest have retreated! There will be no more arrows that will fly again!!”
“Is that so? Understood! Everyone, get them all in one go! Capture one or two of them, alive.”
The thieves that had launched the melee fight had been reduced to nearly half. When they realized that they aren’t going to win at all, the survivors tried to flee but Ordy group’s chased after them. They threw out their swords and axes, and several more people were turned into corpses.
Some of them fell from their shoulder and legs being pierced by arrows from Ordy’s archers, but since they were minor injuries, there were not life threatening. That was how they got their prisoners of war.
Judging that the battle was over, Karito slid down the slope, and passing by injured soldiers and refugees receiving treatment from being hit by arrows at the beginning of the attack.
“Please, please treat me quickly!!”
“You are a grown up men, don’t scream so pathetically! Rina, hold down his foot tightly!”
“Well, I will pull it out! Clench your teeth!”
With Rina’s help, Reona pulled an arrow out from the men’s thigh. He screamed out like a strangled chicken. Fresh blood gushed out from the wound and Reona wrapped it with torn cloth, instead of bandages, skillfully.
As for the soldiers, not one had suffered a serious injury. At best, some had shallow cuts. Rather, many those that engaged in the melee fight were bathed in the blood of their victims. Karito thought they looked like bloodthirsty killers from splatter movies. He was scared, to be honest.
“Do you need a helping hand?”
“Yeah, please distribute that recovery medicine to everyone injured――――”
“That is not necessary. I will treat them with recovery magic so please gather the injured people quickly.”
Marian interrupted Reona who tried to rely on Karito (to be precisely, his recovery item).
“From what I can “see” everyone’s injury seemed to be light. So my area recovery magic will be sufficient.”
“Wow to be able to treat more than one person at a time, as I thought magic is great after all ”
“It is not something to be praised about. It would only take a moment to learn this magic. And it also depends on the size of the spirit I need to exercise. If it is a deep wound, reaching the internal organs, I need to concentrate to treat it.”
“Nevertheless, I think that it is amazing to be able to do such things without using any tools.”
“U, umm excuse me.... What just happened? Is it over already?”
Hilda’s anxious voice came from the escort carriage. The window were completely blocked, so there is no way she could grasp the situation outside.
“Ah, we just repelled some thieves’ attack. Everything has ended, so it’s fine. Nothing to worry about.”
“Is that so... I heard that someone had been injured, are they really alright?”
Her voice sounded worried, and a complicated feeling appeared on Karito’s face. Marian also made the same face. Reona and Rina were confused as they looked at both of their reactions.
A bloodthirsty female knight who hated beastmen lost her memories, she turned into a gentle woman who worries for the safety of strangers. What sort of joke is this?
“There are mostly scratches. Not something you should be worrying about.”
Reona replied carelessly in place of the two who had fallen into silence while making strange faces.
They turned their attention towards the forest when they heard sounds of a horse neighing. Ordy’s subordinate who had gone scouting ahead looking for surviving thieves appeared with a shabby carriage.
“What happened to that carriage?”
“It was hidden deep inside the forest. Perhaps they were going to use it to carry the loot or women and children with this.”
“Seemed like they didn’t even have the time to use it to escape. Since we have it here now, why don’t we make use of it, thankfully?”
“That is right, at least we could let the elderly, women and children ride on this carriage ―――― nmm?”
A questioning voice escaped from Ordy’s and Reona’s mouths as their animal ears twitched. Not just the father and daughter duo, the two soldiers of the Garm tribe and those refugees of the cat tribe also made the same movement. It looked as if they were searching for something with their ears.
“Onee-chan what’s wrong?”
“I thought I heard something weird just now, Do Karito and Rina not hear it?”
“Nope, nothing at all.”
This time the “voice” reached Karito’s and everyone else's ears nearby.
An audaciously painful scream echoed from the other side. The sound came from the forest. The owners of the scream were the thieves who had escaped into the depths of the forest, but what on earth have happened?
Ordy’s attention, which had soften slightly from the successful repelling of the thieves, was once again seriously alerted.
“Be on guard! Get as many refugees on the carriage as soon as possible! Let them in on our carriage as well!”
“We need to leave immediately! There are a horde of dangerous things approaching from the other side!!”
Using the spirit eyes, she was able to perceive the scale of the approaching mysterious being. With Marian’s warning, they were able to grasp the seriousness of the situation.
While nodding, they helped the refugees to get on board, leaving only the archers as lookouts. Not bothering the hassle of bringing the prisoner thieves onto the escort carriage, the soldiers just threw them inside. Given the number of the refugees and the size of the carriage, there would be no space for the soldiers to ride. If it came to that, then they would just need to ride on the cavalry horses or run with their own feet.
Karito mixed among the soldiers on guard. scouting inside the forest with the newly reloaded M14EBR’s scope.
“Did you found out their numbers and distance?!”
“There are quite a lot! They are getting closer from inside the forest! They will come out soon, so be on your guard!”
Good and bad news arrived at the same time.
“All the refugees are on board!”
“Captain, it is a Funeral beast! A group of Funeral Beasts have appeared from the forest, and there are a lot of them!”
“Hurry up and leave! Come on, go go go!”
“Hey Karito, get in, hurry up!”
The group of 2 carriages and soldiers started running. The soldiers and Karito immediately turned around and got on their horses. With Reona helping him by stretching her hand out from the crowded carriage, Karto jumped on board and they left the place.
The number of funeral beasts that came out from the forest exceeded 100. Half of them began devouring the thieves corpses on the ground greedily, but the other half chased after them, violently.
Meanwhile, Karito set up the rifle on auto and targeted the chasing funeral beasts. Although the base was extremely unstable as the carriage shook from the rebound of driving at full speed and caused bullets scattered, few of them still landed on some of the funeral beasts. Their dark fur and flesh and blood scattered around and other funeral beasts filled the gaps of the fallen ones, immediately.
Fangs peeked out from the funeral beasts’ mouth. It’s ferocious eyes locked on Karito’s group, vigorously. Although he had experienced being chased by enemy vehicles and combat helicopters in the so-called vehicle missions in the game, it no way compared to with being chased by a horde of bloodthirsty beasts.
It was a scene that could traumatize not only young children but adults alike.
“Oi, magician-san over there. If you are such a great magician, can’t you just blow them up all at once!?”
“Don’t say something absurd. With how close we are, if I use magic of that scale, all of us would get caught up in it, as well!”
Marian rebutted to Reona’s complaint. Using her spirit eyes, she determined the crowd, and with the cane on her hand, she condensed a mass of light and fired at the center of the funeral beasts. After a flash and blast about a 1 meter ball appeared and the shredded bodies of the funeral beasts scattered around in the air.
Marian fired her Magic Canon again and again. The funeral beasts were steadily being reduced but new ones kept appearing from nowhere and joined the chase. The carriage that Karito rode on was the rearmost carriage, which inevitably meant they were at a disadvantage. Because it was loaded over its weight capacity, their speed couldn’t be raised and the distance between the funeral beasts and them gradually shortens.
Although funeral beasts hunt in groups, no matter how you looked at it, the scale was way too large. But, the reality that they were being chased did not change. First, they needed to plan a countermeasure.
“If you want a prey, you can eat your allies’ corpses for god’s sake!”
“What could it be in this carriage that attracts their attention?”
“What on earth are these guys attracted to――――”
All eyes on the carriage concentrated on an injured man, who had received an arrow to his thigh. The bleeding had yet to stop since they escaped before his wound could close up. The man flinched from the pressure of being stared by so many people.
“There are injured people who haven’t been treated on board the other carriage, and since the soldiers were bathed in blood as well, it could be that those beasts smelled the thick scent of blood and chased after it.”
“Anyway, let’s concentrate on repelling them!”
While complaining, Karito took a grenade out and threw it. He threw the grenades while maintaining the timing of the explosion at 1-2 seconds after pulling the safety pin. After they approached a certain distance, he would begin intercepting them with the M14 EBR.
However, even though it had a powerful explosion, the number of bullets in the cartridge was limited and it was impossible to make a big barrage. Judging that the M14EBR would not be enough, Karito operated his PDA, looking for a weapon that could cope with the current situation from his item box.
Meanwhile, Marian was supporting the fight alone. She perceived that one of the funeral beasts had jumped out from the flock and came near the carriage. She clicked her tongue in irritation. It was necessary for her to stick her body out from the carriage to target it.
“Ojou-chan, please support my body to stay in this position!”
Reona took a hold of the back of the robe that Marian wore, so she would not get thrown out from the carriage (since she only has one arm, it is impossible to use magic while that hand was occupied) and Marian stuck her body out from the carriage.
Soon after, Marian’s body was quickly retracted back into the carriage.
It was because the funeral beast that had entered the blind spot, jumped out and pushed her and Reona, who is supporting her down.
The funeral beast breathed out a nasty breath onto the face of the two beautiful women who were trapped under its feet. The refugees screamed loudly, and the carriage swayed heavily as the refugees tried to distance themselves from the funeral beast as far as possible.
Even though Marian was a Holy Spirit, her physical abilities were no different from any other ordinary women. It didn’t help that her body strengthening magic is that of an amateur level. Even for Reona, who had confidence in her physical strength, was crushed together with Marian, leaving her unable to move properly.
So Karito, who was next to them, moved immediately.
“Get away from the two of them you f*cking dog!”
Before it could tear the two’s throat, he performed a headlock on the funeral beast and used his arm to shut its mouth, so it wouldn’t open. Then he hammered his fist down into the beast’s head. Every time his fist made contact with the beast it was without reserve. The body of the funeral beast trembled and felt its bones breaking under the flesh. It was the same feeling to that day when his patience had run out and he had punched the leader of the bully group out of rage ―――― it felt good.
It was a pleasure to unleash violence. He picked up the dead funeral beast and threw it away. Several of its company crashed against the corpse and rolled away.
He picked a new piece of equipment and equipped it. Like magic, a lump of steel from earth’s industrial technology appeared in Karito’s palms.
It was an FN MK 46 machine gun. It was the same gun that he used on the Alwina Sky Cavalry in the forest. It had a holographic sight and a foregrip and a box type magazine with 200 bullets loaded inside.
The M14EBR could shoot up to 715 bullets per minute of 7.62mm bullets, which sounded like a lightning strike (with a belt link, it could shoot up to 1000 bullets/minutes) and the 5.56 mm released rang like the footsteps of a horde of horses.
A dreadful gunshot echoed, and the refugees huddled together, covering both of their ears from the loud sound. The flock of funeral beasts were mowed down by the bullet storm mixed with tracer bullets from the muzzle. The empty cartridges, separated from the belt link, formed a small mountain at Karito’s feet in no time.
The funeral beast fell one after another after the shot. They piled up one atop another, as they toppled over and the flock finally started to thinned up. As the gap widened Marian restarted her magic attacks without reserve. The 5.56 mm bullet barrage continued, without a break as it shaved the flock number size visibly.
“We have made some distance, shall we end it soon? Please hold them in place for 8 seconds.”
Karito only had to continue shooting like before. He loaded a new bullet magazine regardless if the gun barrel had red due to overheating and continued the attack again. He continued to shoot like a Rambo. Thanks to that, quite a large space opened between the head of the flock and the carriage. It might even be possible to get away like this.
[TLC : Who is Rambo?]
[Editor: ...go back and learn the classics!!]
Exactly after 8 seconds, Marian who had been murmuring something, stepped forward and stuck her cane out. A thin membrane of light covered the pale hand that holds the cane, a blood drop ran down to her elbow and fell down. The blood drop covered the light, and a discharge phenomenon occurred in a blink of an eye, flickering sounds.
“Everyone block your ears and close your eyes tightly if you didn’t want to become deaf or blind!”
Karito immediately blocked his ears and closed his eyelids as he turned his back in a hurry. The others had already blocked their ears when Karito began shooting the light machine gun.
“Take a bite of this ―――― Lightning Laser!!!”
Lightning was released from the hand Marian stuck out.
At that next moment, a flash and a roaring sound reverberated. The lightning struck out and had wrapped the surrounding area, and the carriage shook from the lightning strikes aftermath. Just like a flash grenade warning, he turned away and close his eyes and ears, nevertheless he could feel the back of his ears feeling numb and the flash of light burning at the back of his eyelids. It was a wonder how the horses pulling the carriage did not die from shock.
Finally, as they moved away, he raised his face to look at the point of impact. A shallow wide crater had been formed on the highway. When he looked closely, Karito could see the ground had turned red. The ground must have melted due to the high heat.
Where is the flock of the funeral beasts? Most of them did not even have a form left. At most, some were turned into charcoal at the sides of the crater. what was left is something resembling the form of funeral beasts around the crater.
“It has been some time since I shot it, but it is not that bad.”
Marian muttered such words, but they did not reach Karito’s ringing ears.