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After nine hours of constant fighting, we were finally able to defeat the orcs.
I had never fought for so long uninterruptedly.
It is true that I have fought a lot in the labyrinths, but always with breaks…
Besides, in this case, the enemies are also people.
Beings that think, and have much more complex ways of fighting than the brainless monsters of the labyrinths...
The turning point of the battle was the recovery of the wizards from the magic academies. There are not many mages skilled in combat, but the few we have are outstanding.
After returning from the magic coma, they joined the fight, and their large-scale attacks were annihilating the orc army's remnants.
They created bubbles of fire, water, or air in the heads of the orcs, which suffocated the very unfortunate ones who were taken as targets of their attacks, or burned large groups of enemies.
But by far the most lethal were the earth mages, as they took control of all the pellets that the orcs had fired from their wooden sticks, as well as those still in possession of the enemy, and used them as projectiles directly against their owners.
Now I am with Lilian and Sebastian, whom I met again near the end of the battle, in one of the tents set up by those who had not fought.
As soon as the battle was over, the militia support detachments went into operation. They set up tents for us to rest in, provided us with food and water, and tended to the wounded.
I guess not every soldier has to be a fighter in an army…
In our tent, there is a table and four chairs inside.
We are resting and sitting at the table.
While we were recovering from our tiredness, I told Lilian what I discovered during my mission in the forest, and she told me that we would meet again later so that she could pay me for my work since she has no money with her now.
At first, when the battle was over, I wanted to go see Julia, Deirdre, and company, but now I'm absurdly exhausted. I need to rest for a moment. Just for a moment...
As we speak, Sebastian is leaning back in the chair with his eyes closed.
He seems to be completely knocked out. No wonder, since he wears heavy armor for combat.
I'm extremely tired, but there should be no comparison to the exhaustion Lilian's bodyguard must be feeling.
"Haa. It's been an exhausting battle. It's lucky the enemies didn't have mages to counter the initial attack before they landed" I say as I feel every fiber of my body screaming, begging me to stay still in one place.
"That wasn't luck..." says Lilian, snorting. "We already knew, from the information the refugees had given us, that the orcs have a very low opinion of magic."
"Ahh, so they had already foreseen that something like this might happen?" I make a mental effort to keep up the conversation with Lilian and not fall asleep like the boy next to me.
No matter how tired I am. This is no place to lie down to sleep.
"Yes. Now the queen, my mother, and Tomas Protego are interrogating the survivors. When they finish, we will decide what course of action to take." she says and I begin to notice some anger in her voice "I think we should fight back. We have their ships and we could use them to reach their land without sounding their alarms."
"But have you seen the state of the troops?" I ask her, as I don't understand how she can keep thinking about looking for more fighting when we just finished a battle.
The soldiers are, at best, about the same as Sebastian or myself. Many have passed out from exhaustion. And there is also a large number of people who are seriously wounded. Mostly from the explosions of the suicidal orcs.
Also, there is a large number of dead to consider...I don't see how we could fight back when more than half of the troops we had were dead or seriously wounded.
"It wouldn't be now..." she says condescendingly, as if she thinks I'm an idiot. "We'd have to plan everything, which would give those who aren't seriously injured time to recover and prepare. Besides, we don't have to go alone with our troops. We would ask for help from the other 3 races and go in with a joint force."
"And you're sure the other races would help?" I ask incredulously, mimicking her tone of voice.
"Yes. This time, we only had in the capital their diplomatic ambassadors and a few troops they had sent for their security." As she speaks, I again notice the fury, growing, in her voice "but, although the absence of allies was a great disadvantage in this battle, we can use the testimonies of the ambassadors to make the leaders of the other races understand the problem. We cannot let an enemy who has attacked us go unpunished!" She finishes by raising her voice and pounding her fist on the table, which causes Sebastian to wake up and jump up from his chair, clearly looking for a threat that does not exist.
"Ahh, yes" I say, and slowly walk away from the exalted woman, taking the opportunity given to me by the newly awakened, to whom Lilian has started to apologize and explain that nothing is going on "I… I'm going to check on the others."
It seems that not all of us are equally battle-weary.
I walk out of the tent, and after walking a few yards with Azur on my shoulders, I see Ozymandias and Volgar arguing about something.
As I get closer, I start to pick up their conversation "...I wouldn't have needed your help. I was coping perfectly well on my own."
"Don't be a little boy and let me heal you" Ozy replies, and I see that, from his censer, a purple-colored smoke starts coming out and heading towards Volgar, as if it had a life of its own.
As soon as Volgar breathes in the smoke, the wounds and cuts he had on his body begin to close and heal as if by magic.
"Hey, Xelean, how are you?" asks Ozy upon seeing me.
"I'm fulminated," I tell him in a tired voice.
"Hahahaha, yeah, I can see that. Let's see what we can do to fix that" says the alchemist and starts adding in his censer some herbs that he pulls out of a pouch he carries on his belt "hmm, yeah, I think this would do"
And, as soon as he says those words, a greenish smoke starts coming out of his incense burner and starts heading in my direction, just as I saw it happen with Volgar a moment ago.
But unlike the purple smoke I had seen at first, this greenish smoke seems to have a certain glow of its own, and it has a poisonous aspect to it.
"Ozy, I don't think..." I start to say, as I back away a little scared, since I know the elf's alchemy experimenting tendencies.
But, before I manage to finish the sentence, the smoke reaches me and I instantly feel all my tiredness disappear.
"This is great!" I exclaim, elated at the sense of freedom I'm feeling right now.
I feel like I can fight for another 9 hours. I have so much energy that I need to resist the urge to run away.
Azur on my shoulders is also energized by the smoke, and slowly, small flares start to come out every time he breathes.
"Take it easy, kiddo." warns me Ozy "The effect is only temporary. I can placate the tiredness, but sooner or later you'll have to find yourself a bed... I would recommend you do it as soon as possible, taking advantage of the fact that now you have energy to spend. And speaking of looking for things... drop by the store anytime to pick up the smoke bombs you ordered before your trip. They are ready"
Ozy has the Alchemist class next to his name again…
Hmm, I can't rely 100% on my inspection skill. I guess it only shows me the last class that got experience, or something like that.
Out of curiosity, I inspect Volgar and see that my skill shows me the Sorcerer class next to his name. But I've seen him fighting with a sword and a metal stick similar to what the orcs used…
Yes. There is definitely more to people's classes than what I can see at a glance.
That would explain why Tomas Protego's class, which I was able to inspect at the end of the battle, was Warrior. Even when I saw him do things quite different from conventional weapon combat.
It seems that singularities are much more common than I thought. I had already been told by Regis that they had become more common over the years, but I didn't think that it was that much.
"Well, I think I'm going to take your advice. But first, tell me what you two were doing here. Obviously, you can defend yourselves, but I'm surprised you would voluntarily come here to fight. From what we talked about earlier during the battle, I thought you would be rather against fighting" I say remembering his comment to the effect that he prefers his life as an alchemist to the one of an adventurer.
"And you would be right. I was just helping a friend" he says with a smile "It just so happens that Volgar's ship is right in port. And I wasn't about to let him defend it alone from the orcs. He doesn't want to admit it, but he's not good at fighting large groups of enemies."
"Don't believe him, kid, I could have handled myself just fine" says Volgar with a half-smile "it's just that he still feels guilty about the ship he made me lose a few years ago, and wanted to make amends by helping me protect my current ship. Tell the truth, Ozy! Don't play the hero!"
"Look at what I get for being a good friend! I just wanted to help you. And the reward is that you throw in my face that, maybe, I could have been the cause of the destruction of your old ship..."
"MAYBE?!" exclaims Volgar and starts arguing vigorously with Ozy.
Since I don't know what to say, I took my leave of the alchemist and his friend, and let them continue their discussion in private.
Hmm, I need to try to get out to a wider area so I can put Azur's saddle on. Here the tents are too close together for Azur to grow to a sufficient size to mount him.
And, with that thought, I make my way to the edge of the camp.