On the other side of the battlefield, as the winds roared and lightning fell, the Riders kept smiting their enemies with ease, for nothing could stop them.
After all, they had been summoned to deal with someone much more powerful.
That meant that anyone else was simply too weak to challenge them.
Their numbers, their spells, their strength…
None of that mattered before them.
For against those that are an incarnation of a primordial storm, those things were equivalent to a child fighting against the wind itself.
And as they galloped through the battlefield, wreaking havoc, and bringing death to all, their horses neighed, relishing in the crunching sounds of those crushed beneath their thundering hooves, for they were unlucky to stand on their path.
Coldly declared Bellary as she impaled, not one, nor two, but three Lesser Dragon Lords with her lance and threw their bodies to the side.
"And yet...the undead have started to outnumber the living."
Then, stopping for moment, she surveyed her surroundings and said that as the right half of her face returned to the guise of a metallic skull and with an intense red bead of light as an eye.
An eye that could see many things including that which is curse of…unrest.
And she saw many…
From bone warriors, ghouls, and liches, to types of undead that were not in the battlefield before.
Bone Chimeras, Red Liches, Fiery Blood Skulls, and even Black Skulls Berserkers. All were undead only found in legend or, in Bellary's case, her memories of an ancient time.
"So, she truly seeks to unleash that thing here... It could have been effective in bringing ruin to this land, but now…our King will not stand idly before it, nor her forces."
With that, the right half of her face returned to its new normal as she tapped her horse's side...
...and went back to killing just as her subordinates were doing, for her King demanded that her enemies were to be lay waste.
Thus, it shall be done, regardless of what happened.
Meanwhile, at the Capital’s main plaza, most of Kingdom’s forces prepared to enter battle as they waited for the rest to arrive there.
As for the civilians who usually filled such place and its surrounding streets, if they were not helping with carrying things or delivering weapons, then they were staying at home, just as the guards had asked them to. No one disobeyed. And why would they? The fate of their home was in the balance, no petty reason was enough to risk that.
"We cannot let our esteemed guests be the only ones to be protecting our Capital."
So said a blonde woman with elegant armor.
She was the current head of the Pyr Household, Countess Myriel Pyr.
““““It is as you say, Milady!””””
And behind her, expressing their agreement in an energetic manner, a large group of people could be seen. Such group was made of people of different races, all bearing said household’s emblem and colors on their armors.
They were the company of soldiers that the Pyr Household specially created in response to the battle that took place five years ago and its consequences.
Thus, seeing the Knights’ Orders weakened state and the real possibility of another siege attempt, the current head of such household took it upon herself and used her resources to give training to whoever wished to defend their capital.
Those who were not worthy to be knights.
Those who had never held a weapon or used offensive magic before.
Those who hated their weakness and wanted to be stronger.
Retired mercenaries that felt that they could have done something back then but did not and were seeking atonement.
Casters from a certain magic academy that were not in the Kingdom when such battle happened.
Bards who wished to help and to maybe, someday, not only witness but be part of a battle worth a thousand songs.
And more, so much more.
All were welcomed and trained.
That was Myriel's idea.
To give everyone the chance of learning how to protect their Capital and their way of life.
And her actions obviously pleased her parents, as they took it as a perfect way to gain achievements and maintain their position as nobles.
Nobles that preferred the safety of deskwork rather than being involved with the protection of the country and its citizens, to the disappointment of the now defunct elder of the family.
What her parents did not know was that her actions were a big middle finger to them.
A shout coming from the heart of a girl, a woman, that was hurt by loss.
"We cannot let more sacrifices that break up families happen..."
So murmured Myriel Pyr with a nostalgic tone as the image of a certain young man appeared in her mind.
'You disowned him for wanting to protect others and not be tied down to a desk. You were happy when he was branded traitor...for it justified your rotten ways. You even burned all evidence of him being related to us...and pushed the headship unto me...but he was right! Even if he was an idiot!!’
As those thoughts continued, her gaze grew fiercer and her hand reached out to her neck, grabbing hold of the locket hanging from it…
‘He inherited Grandpa's noble spirit! For a true noble is one that not only signs papers for the people, but one who bleeds for them! So, stay there in your mansion, drinking wine and telling your equally rotten friends how proud you are of me, for I have a feeling that when the dust settles, many things will change for good in this Kingdom. And you will not like them.'
…and squeezing it with the strength of her resolution.
It was then that someone who, having overheard her murmur, decided to approach her.
"Indeed, Countess Pyr. I cannot let Lady Argento endanger her family life much longer."
So said such person as he positioned himself beside her, the Shield of the Mountain, Baron Thach.
He was not only wearing heavy armor, but it was branded with the emblem of the Knights’ Order he had brought with him, the Order of the Twilight Shield, whose members did not take long to join the ranks of the forces that were about to march into the battlefield.
Yes, the Orders were weakened, but they were not gone, and they did not let all those years go to waste.
They were training, motivated by the memories of that battle and the mockery those fake Knights constantly made of their title.
And who better to lead them into such redeeming battle than one of the Order’s former heads?
"Those are indeed some nice words to say, Baron. But you saw the same thing as all of us at the venue, Lady Argento and her maids are no weaklings. Anyway, here, I had this...I mean, my teacher had this in his safe. I hope it satisfies your request for a good shield."
In any case, the Countess had no time to respond to his words, for not only a woman with long and wave black hair quickly joined the two of them while saying that, but she also easily handed over a massive shield to the Baron.
Something that caused them to raise an eyebrow in both curiosity and surprise at the seeming strength of the slim young woman before them.
"Thank you, Baronetess Greese. And I apologize for this sudden…hmm?"
But as the Baron took the shield, he realized that it was incredibly light, to the point that his surprise was redirected there.
"Surprised? It was custom made by a certain team of dwarves that specializes in both the most solid shields and the best lightweight enchantments. My teacher got it made when he was in the dwarven capital. Truly, an interesting product, right?"
Said Greese with a foxy smile and look on her face.
"Indeed, it is. And I can see that your teacher's liking for all things 'interesting' has been passed on to you..."
Meanwhile, before such all too familiar smile, the Baron could not help but say that, for she truly reminded him of the now missing Baronet Greese.
"As for what we saw in the palace, she is indeed a force to be reckoned with, one that I shall be forever grateful to have on our side."
Yes, those who were in the palace had been able to watch the battle thanks to both the oracle skill of the Head of the Church and the relatively higher viewpoint that the location of the venue provided. And when they saw Auros release the power of her lance, not only did they shudder, but many emotions like fear, awe, gratefulness, and relief went through their hearts.
Of course, there was also a desire to know more about her power and what she talked with Violet death. But sadly, there was no way for them to listen in on such conversation, nor on whatever Auros invoked before using her lance, for they were too far to do so naturally and Ludovica's skill 'conveniently' only showed visuals.
Thus, rumors of her powers began to spread. One of them was that she was a summoner of some sort, perhaps one whose summons were tied to her lance. Seeing as the Riders that descended from the storm were obedient to her. And as it is always with rumors, things could only reach the level of half-truths or plain falsehoods, but even those put her well above everyone else in terms of power.
“And I now understand why her Holiness was the one who brought her. For not only is she a blessed weapon wielder, but she and her maids are the Knights of Ever Burning Will that have been helping our villages too. "
With that, the now three of them kept reminiscing about what little of the battle they were able to see before Ludovica stopped using her oracle skill and ordered everyone able to mobilize.
Meanwhile, others among the forces’ ranks talked about the moon and how it had suddenly appeared in the sky.
One thing they noticed was that they did not feel threatened by it at all and instead they felt safe.
"Not to mention the moon, for it to suddenly appear like this... It reminds me of Queen Theresa. Could it be...?"
As Baron Thach looked up at the moon, he was overcome with nostalgia, for he had seen firsthand the power of the one who was also called the Saintess, he had been protected by her barriers back when he was a mere Shielder in the Order he belonged to, he had fought under her direct command after he became the head of such Order, and he witnessed how she called upon the moon and it bathed her in its power.
All those times he felt it…that safety.
The very same safety that filled him now.
And as he began to ponder about it, he remembered the presence of a woman eerily similar to the Queen at the ball’s venue and as he wondered if both things could be related, he was interrupted by the sound of people marching, which made him and those beside him turn around and see who those people were.
They were none other than the Paladins of the Church and the rest of the Orders arriving at the central plaza and its surrounding streets, with the only ones absent being the Black Bulls, and for obvious reasons.
Not only was the Head of Church not going to give them the chance to escape by letting them fight, regardless of how much they screamed their desire to do so, but their members had been captured and jailed until further investigation was done to separate those who had full knowledge about New Glory and still cooperated, and those who simply followed orders but knew nothing.
"Attention!! Her Holiness is about to speak!!"
Thus, the voices of the crowd were all silenced by the announcement made by Julian Gardos, the right-hand Paladin of the Head of the Church, and their eyes fell on the armored woman who was the point of the formation.
"Thank you, Julian, everyone.”
She was wearing an armor similar to the one of an Exalted Paladin, but it had a few differences, the biggest one being that rather than just being at the center of her breastplate, the Goddess’ holy symbol expanded throughout her whole torso.
“As all of you can hear, a great battle is taking place at this kingdom’s doorstep once again.”
And so, she began to speak.
Everyone at and around the central plaza could hear her every word without problems, yet she did not seem to be shouting at all, and she was not, for that was the work of another one of her skills as Head of the Church.
It enabled her to be heard by everyone in a certain area, which was perfect for her job.
"And I know that the sudden appearance of the moon has taken everyone by surprise, but that is only a sign that the Goddess is with us and that Queen Theresa did not leave us before entrusting her shine to someone. That someone is the women who are bravely fighting for us out there, who will never stop fighting for us. But that someone is also us. And because of that, I raise this question to you all. Are you going to let them fight alone?"
So asked Ludovica to everyone in the combined forces of the Kyrie Kingdom and her Paladins.
And they answered loud and clear.
“Then, with the will of the Saintess and the love our cherished Goddess Nerinne on our side, let us all march! Let us show those who are fighting right now that the time they bought was worth it!! Let us show everyone who schemed and betrayed that their acts were unnecessary!! That we can all march to a new glory without them!! That the people of this Kingdom will face the terrors of war without fear in their eyes!! Because we love!! We love the Kyrie Kingdom!! We love its people!! We love this world!! And our love shall make us stronger!! Now, to the battlefield and love be unto you all!!"
""""""""""""LOVE BE UNTO YOU! LOVE BE UNTO YOU!! LOVE BE UNTO YOU!!!!"""""""""""
Thus, they all started their march towards a battlefield that was only growing fiercer.
"Sub-Leader Erica! Luca reports that blood red Liches have suddenly appeared in the deep parts of the battlefield! She says that they seem to be as strong as that Lesser Dragon Lord you just fought!"
So exclaimed Sophie through her communication skill as she quickly gazed at the whole battlefield from where she was.
Thanks to the meaning behind the sudden appearance of the moon and Kris’ speech, the Maid-Knights’ morale was more than high.
Monsters and Lizardmen dropped like flies before them, while the remaining High-Ranking Lesser Dragon Lords, Commanders, and their lower ranking brethren changed their approach and began fighting the Maid-Knights with both precaution and even teamwork.
Yet, that only served to delay their deaths, not avoid them.
After all, merely adopting teamwork was but useless before Knights who have fought together for years. One could even say that it was but an exercise of desperation.
"Those are Red Liches!! A type of undead only mentioned in legends and diaries that date back to the Ancient Age!! For those to suddenly appear...!"
Baffled and having overheard what Sophie had said, Mika let such words out.
At the same time, she and Josie were shooting [Mana Bolt]s at a big group of Skeleton Warriors who came out of the ground beneath them and easily destroyed them one after the other.
"RAAAAAH!! [DRACONIC CRUSHING FALL]!!"
But of course, those were not the only opponents they had to deal with, for a Lesser Dragon Lord had them on their sights too, and rather than making their way on foot, they leapt towards them from deep in the battlefield and turned themselves into a projectile of pure draconic might.
Immediately noticing it, Louise exclaimed that as she readied her blessed shield, planted her feet on the ground, waited to receive the Lesser Dragon Lord’s attack in its entirety.
"Oh no, you don't!”
But someone had a problem with that.
“Louise, launch me!"
Someone that readied her blessed warhammer and jumped on Louise's shield as she said that with a fierce expression on her face, Evangeline.
"UP YOU GO!!"
And Louise proceeded to do what her friend told her to without any doubt whatsoever.
After all, she deeply trusted her teammate and friend.
“Kiss my warhammer you overgrown lizard!!”
Thus, Evangeline flew towards the incoming Lesser Dragon Lord with one intention and one intention alone, to do what she had planned to with her blessed warhammer since the beginning of the battle.
With that, the Lesser Dragon Lord had no time to react before the incoming Evangeline smashed his head in with her warhammer, forcefully stopping his skill and sending his corpse flying to the side, where it fell on top of another wave of skeletons that was on its way Mika’s and Sophie’s location.
Meanwhile, Evangeline smashed those who had the misfortune to be where she landed, which was a bit farther into the battlefield.
"Aaah, that felt quite cathartic if I do say so myself."
So said Evangeline as she massaged her right shoulder carefreely before she began to make her way back to her team while breaking as many of the enemies that stood before her, undead or otherwise.
"Keh, the undead are just...!"
"Can you regroup with Mika's team, Sophie?!"
So asked Erica to Sophie through the communication skill, as the latter was in the middle of dealing with the various Warrior Skeletons that were around her, kicking them away one after the other.
"Keke, I would love to! But these skeletons just keep coming out of the ground!! Annoying!!! Haaa!!"
Vexed, Sophie let that out as she did a roundhouse kick and sent three Warrior Skeletons flying at the same time, who broke in pieces the moment they crashed with others that were quickly approaching.
“Bones coming to Dog. Shouldn’t that be the other way around?”
And joining her in such bone breaking brawl was Lyra, who not only kept her now usual poker-face while teasing one of her new friends, but also as she fearlessly slashed at many skeletons at once with her claws. Said claws were made of the concentrated ice attribute mana that covered her hands and forearms in an aura that looked like snow tiger themed gauntlets.
"Focus, Sophie! If they are targeting you, then there is a chance that something has figured out your role as the one in charge of the communications!"
So exclaimed Erica as she stopped Sophie from starting her now typical back and forth with Lyra, as it was not the time nor place for that.
Although, she actually found them funny, for she thought that those two were really like a dog and a cat, but she would never say that out loud.
"I know! But there is nothing worry about; these are only skeletons and—what…? Crap! Max is saying that the Black Chimera her Manticore just killed turned into an undead!"
Immediately relaying the new information that her comrades gave her, Sophie continued her fight against even more Warrior Skeletons, evading their attacks and breaking them with her enhanced kicks and punches.
"Yes, I am seeing something similar here. The Blood Skull that Roxxy defeated just got up again and it is now covered in flames. If what Mika says is true, then the undead here are getting more and more powerful..."
Said Erica as she watched Roxxy duke it out with the now Fiery Blood Skull Warrior, whose broken weapon and armor had been replaced by ones made of bloody flames, which were proving to be far more resistant to the Blacksmith Maid’s attacks. Still, that did not seem to matter much, for the smile on Roxxy’s face was still there and such confidence seemed to extend to her weapon, as its glow was far from being overshadowed by the flames.
It was then that Sophie and the rest of her team felt something strange beneath their feet, the ground was trembling more than when the Skeleton Warriors were about to come out from it, and that could only mean one thing.
"Something big is coming from beneath! Jump!!"
Hearing Sophie’s shout, Gail, Maevis, and Lyra immediately jumped out of the way, and just as they did so, the ground where they had been standing exploded as that something emerged from it.
Silence was the only thing that came from Sophie's side of the ‘call’, but that was not because the skill had been deactivated.
No, it was because of something else.
Something that Erica managed to see from where she was.
A massive Bone Serpent.
One that had broken their formation and was targeting Sophie with its massive jaws that burned with purple fire, a fire of rot and decay.
Erica wanted to go to them, but two bone chimeras suddenly jumped before and blocked her way.
"This is no mere coincidence. Someone or something is clearly pulling the strings..."
So she said as she looked at the Bone Chimeras that were now circling her, not knowing that there was a river of bones flowing beneath the ground, and that the increased numbers and strength of the undead were merely the side effects of its awakening movements.
It was waiting.
Waiting for the power it needed to truly wake up.
"Keh! You are not turning me into your snack! Be happy to be the first one to feel the power of my blessed weapon!"
So declared Sophie as she activated the storage power of her outfit and retrieved the only weapon inside it. After all, Roxxy had told her that it was ready, and that the Goddess had put it in there for the sake of convenience.
And as she pulled it out, Sophie remembered such words with joy and surprise, for the Goddess had done something to help her and not to bully her.
She felt that she had finally been forgiven by her…until she saw it.
"WHY IS THIS THING HERE?!!"
And when she did, not only did she go wide-eyed, but her shout resounded throughout the battlefield.
For what she now had in her hand was nothing but her family's heirloom.
The same thing she considered a simple decoration.
A superbly crafted decoration.
"WHY GODDESS?!! DON'T YOU THINK THAT THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO PRANK ME LIKE THIS—AAAH!"
Her shock had been so great that she forgot about the Bone Serpent and most importantly, its quickly approaching jaws.
But something went wrong when the Bone Serpent tried to fully close its jaws.
No matter how hard it tried fully close them, it just could not do it.
The reason was simple, Sophie had managed to place her family's heirloom right in the middle of its jaws and the thing was not budging.
Not only that, but the second she did so, the purple flames inside the Bone Serpent’s mouth disappeared.
"ROXXY! DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS?!"
So exclaimed Sophie as she kept her family's heirloom in place, which caused the Bone Serpent to both lose its calm and thrash around with its tail.
"KYAA...?! DON'T GO SCREAMING ON PEOPLE'S EARS WHEN THEY ARE FOCUSED FIGHTING!!"
"*ahem*...that 'thing' ye say IS yer blessed weapon!! I tried so hard to wake it up, so ye better not be using it to stop the maw of a beast from closing or something like that!!! Haa!! [ARMOR BUSTER]!!"
"YE BASTARD!!! NAY!! YE FECKIN' FOOL!!! UNSHEATHE IT!! NOW!!"
Sophie's silence told the Blacksmith Maid everything she needed, and she shouted in response to it, all while she was being attacked by the flaming bloody sword of her opponent.
"BUT I HAVE TRIED TO DO THAT SO MANY TIMES!! THE DAMN THING NEVER WORKED!! NOT EVEN ONCE!! IT'S JUST AN ANNOYING DECORATION!! ALSO, I WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE IT IF MY COMRADES COULD HELP ME HERE!"
Despite her making use of it to keep the serpent in place, Sophie also found herself forgetting about her incredible strength for a moment due to the shock over her weapon, which made her try and look over the Bone Serpent’s head while shouting that, all in an attempt to see why her comrades were taking so long to help her and she quickly got her answer.
"Dog, be considerate."
Said Lyra while sitting like a cat on top of another Bone Serpent, who looked very annoyed by it.
"What the...? THERE ARE MORE?!"
Indeed, there were more. She had been so focused on her family's heirloom and the serpent in front of her, that she did not notice that more had come out from the hole the first one made.
There were four.
One per team member.
One of them kept slithering around and evading the attacks of the heavy tank, Maevis.
"I'm really sorry to say this after telling Erica not to worry, but as you can see...ahm…ehehe…"
And that made her say that while letting out an almost childish nervous laugh, all as she tried to hit her respective Bone Serpent with her shield rather than her spear, for it was not that effective against its bony body.
Agreeing with her friend, Gail said that with her cute voice while she kept trying to kick her own Bone Serpent.
Both could easily destroy their opponents if they truly wanted to, but...they were both quite the curious ones and Sophie's heirloom had already caught their attention back when they were helping in cleaning the smithy, even if they did not have the chance to see what lied inside its sheath.
'Uwaaa…I'm sorry, Erica! Sophie! But…but I really want to see it! Roxxy was so strict about it that I can't resist it!!'
'I'm losing my patience. Yep. I want to see it. Yep. Come on. Yep.'
So thought Maevis and Gail, as their eyes shined with curiosity while they stole glances at Sophie’s family heirloom.
"Just unsheathe that weapon dammit!!!"
Vexed, Roxxy shouted that through the skill after she once again avoided one of her opponent’s attacks and immediately countered by hitting the undead right on the stomach, or where it should be, with the bottom of her blessed hammer’s handle, causing it to reel back and leave itself open for her following attack, a devastating downwards smite that not only pinned the Fiery Blood Skull Warrior to the ground, but it also crushed it to pieces, seemingly destroying it for good.
"It’s not going to work!! The Goddess is playing with me again, I tell you!! Also, can you say something else than 'mhm, yep', Gail?!!"
Before Sophie’s retort, Roxxy only clicked her tongue but Gail...
Gail was angry…so much so that if one were to use the words of the Absurd, one would say that her ‘anger vein’ had become more than visible.
"Oh, come on! Just do it, you stubborn maid! I have been with Miss Nerinne all these weeks and I can fucking tell you that when she does something, she does it with a purpose!! She taught me how to style my hair in buns and that was the push I needed to go all in on my search for cuteness!! So if she put that damn thing in your storage, then it’s because she thinks that you are ready for it!! Now do it!! And don't ever critique how I talk again, or I will cutely kick your ass!!!"
With a voice that had turned raspy and clashed with her cute appearance, Gail let out her angry response, leaving everyone completely speechless. Even the Bone Serpents were surprised, so much so that they stopped rampaging because of it.
"Ok then...I'll try."
Said the bewildered Sophie as she put her other hand on her family's heirloom and proceeded to try and unsheathe it.
"See, nothing is—?!"
With a click, the sheath opened just a little bit, barely showing its ancient and beautiful blade. That is...if a blinding prismatic wave of light had not been released by it.
A wave of prismatic light that annihilated all the Bone Serpents and Warrior Skeletons that surrounded Sophie's and Mika's team.
Nothing was left of them, not even ashes.
The all simply…vanished from the face of the planet.
And before such unexpected display of incredible power, Sophie was left agape, as well as her team and Mika’s.
'Could it be...?'
But that did not last long, for Mika immediately began to ponder about something as her eyes fell on the surprised Sophie and her weapon.
It was then that a voice full of smugness and vindication came through the communication skill.
A voice whose owner was clearly relishing the moment, no matter if she was fighting what seemed to be an undead that just kept reassembling itself every time it was defeated.
So said Roxxy, satisfied.
But sadly, her words fell on deaf ears, as Sophie was completely focused on what she was holding in her now trembling hands.
No…that was just a trigger, for Sophie’s eyes showed that she was going through a whirlwind of emotions that could not be limited to just surprise and incredulity.
Indeed, her unsheathing of her family’s heirloom had stirred something deep within her.
Something that…she had buried.
'This thing...why am I able to...'
Something that immediately formed a knot in her throat and began to take away her breath.
'Am I...am I really forgiven…? Are mom…dad...I...is this…'
That something was…memories.
Memories of two smiling adults with their faces covered in shadows.
Memories of a certain night.
Memories of a lonely and dark house.
Memories…of blood on the floor, a human whimper, the door of a certain room creaking open, a bloody hand peeking out of it.
Two more hands, her hands, taking the heirloom, running, running as fast as she could.
Never looking back.
Even if her path got twisted.
Even if she was twisted.
And before Sophie fell deeper into such well of memories, Lyra’s voice brought her back to reality, taking her eyes off her family’s heirloom and turning to see what had caused such reaction from her fluffy comrade.
"Sub-Leader Erica, are you seeing this…?"
The answer to her question was obvious, but she still felt the need to ask.
After all, two massive magical circles had appeared in the sky above the battlefield and were descending quickly.
Furthermore, there were two grimoires right at the center of those circles and they were equallly filled with a titanic amount of ominous power.
"Yes, I am.”
One was made of bones and the other was made of pure rock.
“Everyone, if you were still not fighting seriously, I believe that soon will be the time to do so."
So said Erica, letting everyone know the seriousness of the situation.
"Mika, what do you think about this?"
And as such, she could not afford to be in the dark about whatever was the purpose of such circles, even if it was obvious that it was something bad. Thus, she asked the one maid who had the highest chance to know exactly that, all while she kept her gaze on the circles, which she could do without worries due to the Bone Chimeras not being able to reassemble themselves after what she did to them.
“I will omit the details and go straight to the point. Those magical circles are ancient versions of those used by summoners like Max. And judging by the mana being used, those grimoires are summoning something big. Worst of all...taking all of that into account and the sudden appearance of all these legendary undead, I can't shake the feeling that we might have in our hands a couple of Grand Monsters."
So said Mika having used her [Appraising Eyes], her arcane knowledge, and the state of the battlefield to unveil as much as she could of the circles’ purpose.
And hearing through the communication skill was…
"Grand Monsters...huh? HAHAHA AIN'T THAT GREAT, GABRIELLE?!"
…Kris, who exclaimed that as she crushed with her feet the head of a Black Skull Berserker like it was nothing.
"...run wild, [Traitorous Blood]."
Meanwhile, Gabrielle unleashed her spell upon the two Commanders whose fists she was currently stopping with her seemingly delicate hands, turning their own blood against them, and making them bleed profusely from every orifice on their bodies until they died in a pool of their own blood, a blood was no longer red but dark green.
"My, only you would consider that a great thing. But then again, I too am curious."
And as if responding to both of Erevain's rivals, one of the magical circles shone even brighter and from its light a gigantic being started to form.
A being that the baffled Roxxy could not help but recognize as its body finished materializing and revealed itself to be entirely made of rock. Not only that, but it had a rough humanoid shape, and its body could be described as armor-like. Furthermore, it had intricate, glowing designs carved all over said body.
Indeed, such was the being that had inspired the dream project of many blacksmiths, the golem. Be it in the stories told to their children or in the real world, golems were almost always the product of someone who wondered if a being like that could be made and tried doing so. Of course, the dimensions of both were very distinct, but the mystery surrounding these beings made of rock was something just too alluring.
Meanwhile, the other grimoire released a sinister pulse of mana that traveled through the whole battlefield and back.
"It’s pulling the undead towards it...? Mika, what thing might that be…?"
So said Josie as she turned to Mika for answers. Because even if she called herself a scholar, she knew that Mika had more knowledge than her on many areas.
Mika thus began to ponder and as she saw not only the undead, but also the corpses of their vanquished enemies be turned to bones and pulled towards the grimoire, something came up in her mind and she made an expression full of seriousness and urgency.
It was a long shot.
A name that she had seen in an old book in the Magic Academy's Library.
But as bones began to come out from the ground and forced her comrades to avoid them while they still fought against the remaining living opponents they had, said name simply refused disappear from her mind.
"A Bone Legion..."
And so, that name escaped her lips the very moment all those bones began to construct a massive bestial body.
'...if I am right, then Sophie's weapon might be what we need. But I have to look at it from up close before saying anything.'
So thought Mika as she turned her gaze at Sophie’s group, who were at a reasonable distance from hers.
At the same time as such bespectacled maid thought of the identity of one of the Grand Monsters, Sophie proceeded to contact the leader of their Order, Erevain. Even if that meant that she could be distracting her while she was occupied with her own battle.
It was then that the ground trembled as the Colossus took its first steps in the battlefield while holding what looked like sword in one of its hands. Furthermore…it was looking for something…someone.
It was looking for its prime targets.
Those who dared and killed its Master.
And to find them it would lay waste to everything in its path.
Common sense would dictate that such being would be confronted by a group of powerful people.
Common sense would dictate that no one could just fight one on one with it.
Common sense would dictate that even if confronted by a group of powerful people, the chances of survival were slim, and escaping was advised.
But common sense was simply absent from in the mind of the cinnamon skinned, red-headed woman, who was walking towards the colossus with a ridiculously big, blessed sword on her shoulder.
She was smiling.
Fearless and excited.
And her whole body trembled with the desire to fight.
One could think of such stroll as reckless, for she was still in the middle of a battlefield and it stood to reason that those of the opposing army would not miss the chance to try and attack her. But that was not a problem, after all she had her friend and rival covering her back with ease.
No one was getting through her.
Moreover, said friend had a sincerely excited smile on her face. And the reason behind was quite simple, just as her other rival she wanted to see Kris surpass her limits more than anyone else.
"...KEH?! KRIS WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TRYING TO DO?!"
So screamed Sophie through the communication skill.
"Just watch, greenie."
And Kris answered with that as she brandished her sword and breathed in until her lungs were full.
"OI, YOU BIG CLAYDOLL!!!"
Such was Kris’ roar at the Colossus, one so loud enough that her voice reached the ears of everyone in the battlefield and even the colossus itself, for it turned its head in the direction of her voice, all as its body groaned and dust fell from its joints.
Its eyes were hollow and dark, and as it looked down to the human ant that had screamed, she screamed again.
"COME ON!! SWING THAT THING AT ME!! OR WHAT, YOU SCARED?!! WANT ME TO CALL YOUR MASTER??!!"
It could not speak but it could understand words.
It knew its master was dead and yet the human ant dared to say that.
It was angered.
It would crush that human ant.
And so, it raised its sword.
"YEAH!! JUST LIKE THAT!! COME ON!!!"
She raised her sword too.
It swung down its sword and...
...the blade stopped and it did so right before it touched the ground.
It was stopped and the impact released a shockwave that reverberated around the area.
Said Sophie as she looked at the person stopping the whole strength of a Colossus with the fuller of her ridiculously big, blessed sword.
"HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! LET'S DO THIS!!"
The woman whose strength was praised by the Goddess herself.
The top-warrior of the Maid-Knights.
The Red Scourge.
And as someone obsessed with becoming stronger, she would never hesitate to take on the strongest foes for herself.
Thus, her smile grew bigger.
Fighting against a mountain...she was going to enjoy it.
Meanwhile, the Bone Legion's body was about to be completed.
Erica and the rest of the maids could not afford to stand in awe and resumed their fights, but urgency could be felt among them.
After all, they wanted to take care of those Grand Monsters before they did any actual damage to the capital.
Sophie shook her head as she freed herself from the shock of what she had just witnessed and looked at the massive undead that was deep behind enemy lines.
Having not stored away her family’s heirloom, her grip on it tightened as a certain feeling grew inside of her.
One that came from deep within her, so deep that even she did not know where.
One that she wanted to comprehend.
Thus, she swallowed her saliva, her fear, and truly looked at the massive undead.
And then it all became clear.
She needed to beat that Grand Monster.
"I told you that—"
And when she was about to reprimand Lyra, she stopped midway as she saw her smiling at her.
"...those are good eyes."
Said Lyra from the bottom of her heart.
So answered Sophie a bit shaken by her words.
"What are we waiting for? Let's go then!"
Of course, Maevis and Gail did not waste any time and joined in, giving Sophie a friendly pat on the back before they started moving towards the massive undead.
Lyra soon followed too as she walked past Sophie with a smile on her face and fearless eyes.
Sophie then looked at her family’s heirloom one last time, nodded, and joined her team.
Not long after that, Mika’s team joined them too.
Lastly, with their own battles finished, the arrival of their Master and Leader was but a matter of time.
And as the forces of the Kingdom marched towards such absurd battlefield, the legend of the Maid-Knights grew.
To be continued...(cue illustration Kris confronting the Colossus, like the good soloist she is!!)
First and foremost, I apologize for the delay, this one has been one of those that I really wanted to nail, so I took my time. I hope it was worth the wait and that you enjoyed this chapter! If you did, do drop a heart on it and tell me in the comments below! There will be no post release live reading this time, sadly, I need to go to sleep!
But before I go to dream about maids, we have lots of fanart, and I mean LOTS of it! And what a better way to start than with the form that those on the discord have forced me to take!
Yes, the form of…Maid Mama…as drawn by one of our dear artists from there, Fia!
So yeah, this shall be my pfp until further notice, heh. Doesn’t she look GORGEOUS?! AND THAT NERINNE PEN LOOKS SO ADORABLE!!! THE LIGHTING AND THE COLORS TOO! OH MY GOOOOD!!
Ah, but we are not done with Fia! Not at all! There’s more!!
Do you like Luca? Do you like Sucrose from Genshin Impact? If you answered yes to both questions, then…BEHOLD!! SUCROSE LUCA!!!
What else is to say but ask for some insulin after all the sweet cuteness of Luca!!
BUT WAIT…THERE’S MOAAAAR FROM FIA! YES! FOR SHE ALSO MADE THE ONE AND ONLY GABRIEEEELLE!!!
AND SHE LOOKS GLORIOUS!! SHE EVEN HAS HER BLESSED WEAPONS!! NUFF’ SAID!!
Thank you, Fia!!
Now…are you prepared for some BEAUTIES?! BECAUSE PØRTER HAS US COVERED WITH NOT ONE BUT TWO BEAUTIES!! AND THEY ARE AUROS AND NERINNE!!
I love, LOVE, his art style and the clothing choices he made are just NNGH!! AND THOSE POSES TOO!!
Thank you, Pørter!
DID SOMEONE SAID FLUFF?! BECAUSE DAVIDEHGOO HAS BROUGHT HER AND YES, HE DREW THE ONE AND ONLY LYRA!
JUST LOOK AT THOSE EARS! THOSE EYES! AND THAT CUTE SMILE!! SHE IS SO ADORABLE!
Thank you, DavidDehGoo!!
Last but certainly not least, we have HeliumGasSong!! And she brings us CUTENESS, MORE CUTENESS AND AMAZINGNESS!
WHY SO MUCH CUTENESS?!
THIS IS WHY!! GAIL AND MORE GAIL!!
By the way, the second Gail is done in Revue Starlight style, and let me tell you that she pretty much nailed it!
As for amazingness…well…hehe…EVANGELINE WITH A BERET IS HERE!! AND SHE LOOKS JUST AMAZING!!
THE COLORS, THE EXPRESSION, THE BERET! EVERYTHING LOOKS AMAZING!!
Thank you, HeliumGasSong!
And that was it, I hope that you liked this deluge of fanart and if you’d like to share your fanart, you can do so by joining the discord server and uploading it to the fanart channel or uploading it to imgur and sending me the link via inbox!
In any case, if you’d like to support me and the story, you can do so by joining my patreon where you can get some more extra content like the first part of the Second Bite of Waifu Bites! And a teaser for the first official illustration! If you do not like patreon but you still want to support me, you can do so by donating to my paypal or Ko-fi!
Special thanks from the bottom of my heart to: EmbraceTheSleeb, Lord-Hollow, YukisoraRin, LordInquisitorSteele, Anon, Anon2, Tikku, Teresa, Ayth, Knight_Redundant, Schoookie, sumdudeguy, pokio, greatred, eeleater, ChaTY, CrimsonNarwhal, NAEON and AnimeFreak1982!
Please do not translate my work without my permission. Favor de no traducir mi trabajo sin mi expreso permiso.
See you all next chapter!