Skeleton Knight, In Another World - Volume 6 - Chapter 23
Volume 06 Chapter 23
Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「Heavenly Knight Arc」
The road gradually descended down a hill and led to a large city in the distance.
Countless creatures squirmed around the city's outer wall in a seemingly mindless frenzy.
It was like ants swarming a large prey animal.
From here it looked like innumerable grains dotted the landscape, but considering each of those grains was an armored undead soldier, it was clearly a mistake to only bring a hundred and fifty men.
The sun was already high in the sky above, and the sunlight was reflected by the armors of the horde that surrounded Soulia.
Occasionally, you could catch flickers of humans atop the wall actively fighting against the myriad of undead
’’...... Will my brothers truly be able to gather enough reinforcements to overcome such numbers?’’
Lille's eyes were glued to the macabre spectacle as her utterance slipped past her lips.
’’Princess, they are but a massive horde. There is no way the kingdom's soldiers would fall to a siege of this caliber.’’
Nina voiced her declaration in support of Lille, the princess nodding back in return.
’’That's right! ...... until my brothers return with reinforcements, we have to do everything in our power to prevent the capital's collapse!’’
When they heard the princess's powerful declaration snapped the soldiers out of the trance seeing the state of the capital placed them under.
Lille gave a satisfactory nod before glancing at Zahar waiting at her side.
’’Zahar! How shall we proceed?’’
Zahar remained silent for a moment before bowed on his horse and answered the princess's question.
’’......If the monsters from before were part of the enemy's forces there is a possibility that another ambush has been set up along the major highways. It's necessary to eliminate them before reinforcements arrive.’’
Lille nodded again after hearing Zahar's suggestion.
’’Cavalrymen, sweep away the enemies along the main highways! Imperial guards, we'll take a detour around the highways and scout out the land.’’
Zahar began discussing the layout of the capital with two imperial guards and the leader of the cavalrymen after shouting his orders.
The troop's morale seemed to have risen in preparation for the battle at hand.
However, Chiome had kept an eye on the capital atop of Shiden, and her ears caused her hat the shift just before she spoke a strained warning.
’’Whah!? The air shifted.’’
I couldn't begin to guess the meaning of her words and was about to ask what she meant, but the terrified screams originating from the capital cut me off.
The soldiers heard them too and simultaneously looked towards the capital.
A massive hole had appeared in the once sealed city gate, and the army of countless undead began to cluster around the gate.
’’The southern gate has been breached!!?’’
That shout seemed to carry everyone's tension and frustration.
’’This is bad......’’
Zahar mutter caused Lille's small shoulders to tremble.
’’This...... how long until my brothers arrive......’’
Her voice was but a whisper and her gray eyes remained wide open. Nina grasped on to the princess's shoulders to calm her down.
’’If something isn't done soon, this shall be a repeat of disaster in Tajiento.’’
Chiome's blue eyes narrowed as she calmly spoke.
The large hole in the southern gate seemed to be too small for the entirety of the undead army to flood into the capital, so many of the undead remained clustered outside the wall.
However, it was only a matter of time.
Furthermore, the other undead that had surrounded the wall seemed to be drawn to the hole made in the city gate.
I didn't know the layout of the capital, but if there was a structure that could hinder the undead, then all wasn't lost. If there was no such obstructing structure, then the defenders would either barricade themselves in the capital or risk fleeing from the opposite gate, it depended on the amount of rations they had available.
Zahar raised his voice in an attempt to calm the soldier while I was lost in thought.
’’Be at ease, the inner wall has yet to be crossed! While the outer wall has been compromised, the capital hasn't fallen!’’
So another wall existed within the capital. It was possible for them to hold out a little longer.
While Zahar was attempting to reassure the soldiers, there wasn't much hope in his eyes as he looked towards the capital.
’’Hmm, I suppose I should take care of this.’’
Ponta gave me a confused stare when she heard me muttering to myself.
’’Are you serious?’’
I looked over my shoulder and nodded my head in response to Ariane's question.
’’We'd be leaving here empty-handed if we simply watch the capital collapse. It might be a little flashy, but things should work out somehow.’’
Shiden roared and rocked his body like a mighty warrior when I said that.
The high-pitched roar was so incongruous to his robust appearance that it caught everyone's attention.
’’Ariane-dono, Chiome-dono please guard the Princess Lille while I take care of the capital. Ariane-dono and the others might get caught up in this, so I'll go ahead and clear the path.’’
Ariane and Chiome silently lept off of Shiden when I said that.
’’Arc-dono, are you going to plunge into that alone!?’’
A dumbfounded Lille called out to before I set off.
While I understood the meaning behind her question, I intentionally gave her an unrelated answer.
’’Don't worry, Lille-dono. Ariane-dono and Chiome-dono are more skilled than I am and won't hinder you or your escorts.’’
Ariane let out a sigh and shrugged when I said that. Chiome simply gave me a small nodded. I grabbed Ponta by the scruff of her neck and handed her to Chiome.
Unable to grasp my intentions, Ponta gave me a confused look.
’’Things will be a little hectic this time, stay here with Chiome.’’
Acknowledging the circumstances, Ponta settled in Chiome's arms before seeing me off.
When I glanced back I saw that there was a complex expression on Ariane's face, as if there was something she wanted to say.
......Maybe she wanted to speak with Ponta and Chiome in private.
’’Then, I'm off!’’
Saying only that, I pulled on Shiden's reins and directed us towards the crowd of undead around the destroyed gate.
With a spirited roar, Shiden's six legs hammered the earth as he rapidly drove headlong towards the capital.
My ears were filled with the sound of my 『Overcoat of the Night Sky』 fluttering in the wind.
Shiden was incredibly fast and it was only a matter of moments before my entire field of view was dominated by the capital filled.
I let go of the reins and drew the 『Holy Thunder Sword』 and raised the 『Holy Shield of Teutates 』.
I used the stirrups of Shiden's saddle to stand as my fixed my gaze straight ahead.
The undead in our immediate vicinity noticed Shiden's approach, so tens of thousands of undead turned in our direction.
It might have simply been pre-battle moral, but an unexpected laughter slipped from my lips before vanishing in the wind behind us.
The next moment...... Shiden collided with the undead soldiers, his bulky frame, six-legged speed, and two horns blowing away everything in our path.
While a dull ring sounded with every collision with the undead, there was simply too many of them.
I could also clearly see more spider-chimeras among the undead.
I continued to swing my sword from my saddle, but even though undead fell with each swing, there was no end in sight to them. Gradually, Shiden's feet began to slow against the physical wall of the undead.
’’The tides seem to be turning, Shiden!’’
Shiden didn't reply to my statement, instead slowly advancing down the course that led to the gate.
It was almost time......
About half of the undead were still trying to push into the capital suddenly focused their attention on us, and began to give chase.
’’Shinden, go back to Ariane and the others!’’
I lept off of Shiden's back and slapped his backside as I spoke.
Shiden glanced down at me for a moment before running off.
’’Hmm, I guess it's time to get serious...... Heh heh.’’
The undead soldiers saw Shiden's departure as the perfect opportunity to brandish their weapons and rushed me.
The strange laughter continued to spew from my helmet as I saw the overwhelming force's approach.
I readied the 『Holy Thunder Sword』 and unleashed a skill on the approaching crowd.
’’【Flying Dragon Slash】!’’
A sonic boom accompanied the arc of light that flew forward.
The cluster of undead in front of me was blown away upon contact with the arc of light.
However, innumerable undead trampled over the remains of the fallen allies and continued their assault.
’’【Flying Dragon Slash】!!’’
I swung my sword once more and blow away even more undead. As a bit of insurance, I swung my sword yet again in the undead soldier's direction.
’’【Flying Dragon Slash】 Aha haha!!’’
The repeated impacts of the light arc had decimated the entirety of the undead soldiers in front of me.
The dust clouds kicked up by my attack momentarily obscured my vision, allowing a large shadow leap at me.
The deformed figure wielded two shields and brandished two swords. My strange laughter continued as spider-chimera swung it swords down...... only for my shield to block one blow and my sword to parry the other. There was no way such a simplistic charge could compare to Glenys' and Ariane's swordsmanship.
My shield gave off a slight glow and I hammered it into the spider chimera's center mass...... the monster agonized expression was the last thing I saw before it was blown way.
’’I don't have the time to play around with you lot......’’
When I noticed that the scattered upper bodies of the undead began to move, I lowered my sword to the ground and casually destroyed them.
When I invoked the spell, a circle of flames appeared at my feet. It erupted into a pillar fire in the shape of a snake, which proceeded to slither around and incinerate everything in my vicinity.
When a spider chimera charged towards the serpent, it coiled itself around it, quickly consuming the monster in a pillar of flame.
The lump of charcoal that remained was knocked over by a light breeze.
Looking around I saw that a large circle had opened up around me where the enemy had once stood.
I'd defeated a considerable number of undead, but this was just the tip of the iceberg.
...... I should have bought enough time to use it.
I took a deep breath and stared straight ahead.
The undead soldiers were immune to fear, so they undauntedly closed the space created by my last attack.
’’I never thought that the chance to use this would come so soon, but I can finally unleash my full power.’’
I stuck my sword into the ground and began to chant.
’’Come! Heavenly Warrior! Let us show them the power of a heavenly knight!!’’
My spell was invoked as I spoke.
The steady flow of mana flowing out of my body couldn't be compared to that of any spell I had cast so far.
An enormous magic formation spread out from the center of my feet.
’’I open Heaven's Doors and summon you! 【Executioner Michael】!’’
Vermillion golden flames exploded from the huge magic formation.
The circular design of the magic formation rose into the heavens.
A huge pillar of light encompassed the plains surrounding Soulia.
When the light settled, the magic formation was copied onto the sky...... and when the vermillion, golden flames reignited a hymn began to fill the whole area.
A large jet of fire shot out of the formation in the sky, with a single humanoid figure silently emerging from its center.
I couldn't accurately grasp its size while it floated in the sky, but it appeared to match the five-meter height of Storm King 【Seteka】.
Its body was covered in a vermillion gold set of armor, in its left hand it carried a shield that resembled feathers, in it right it wielded a crimson-bladed extravagantly designed sword.
Beneath the half-helmet that covered its head was a pair of seductive female lips.
Long crimson hair flowed from under her helm and was gently caressed by the wind, the tips of each strained ending in a small flame.
On the beings back sit three pairs of massive beautiful wings, the feathers that fill with a single flap of those wings instantaneously reduced the undead they touched to light particles.
One of the four heavenly knight skills, 【Blazing Seraphim of Judgement: Executioner Michael】
I held my breath as I took in its figure. That overwhelming holy aura...... that oppressive presence, and worst of all, the very form of the angel, I was made aware of it all.
The angel who appeared in the game didn't wear such pompous armor, nor had its face been hidden by a helmet
It was as if a goddess had descended on the battlefield.
However, one thing was for certain this existence was not the one I had been expecting.
(......What does this mean??)
The angel began to act as that thought crossed my mind.
It spoke in a song like voice...... that... ’’something’’ of overwhelming information fell to the ground like a crush of angry waves, sending ripples throughout the area.
With only that, the undead around me were turned into particles of light before vanishing. All creatures within three hundred meters of me had stopped existing.
The angel began to move as I stood there dumbfounded. It's figure gradually started to shrink as it descended towards me.
Though its appearance was different, it behaved in the same way as it did in the game, meaning we were entering the next phase.
However, an intense shock suddenly ran through my body.
Something enormous penetrated my very being, unpleasantness seeped into me as the unknown existence rewrote my essence from the inside...... my whole body felt as if an entire layer of myself had been shaved off.
This was the result of the heavenly knight's unique skills.
All four of the skills caused an angel to descend from the heavens and infuse its user with heaven's power...... according to the footnotes, they were summons that created new skills.
Even a max level player like myself had to consume a third of their mana pool to use it, there was a five-minute limit, and each skill had a twelve hour cooldown making them the definition of inefficient......
I never imagined that the act of the absorbing such an existence into myself would feel like such a violation of my being.
I could say that without uncertainty. It wasn't a demerit that this skill had a limited duration of five minutes...... I doubted my mind and body could hold out for much longer than that. Even once the half a day cooldown passed, I had no desire to ever use it again.
The angel stopped shrinking once it was two meters large, and proceeded to float behind me like the spirit it actually was.
In this state, I had to lean on my sword to keep standing.
However, with each staggered breath I took, I felt the power I'd obtained coursing through my veins...... While struggling to control the being flowing through my body I looked forward.
In this advent mode, heavenly knights could only utilize the authorities of the angel they were currently bonded with.
In the game, each authority was considered a weapon of mass destruction.
The undead had recognized me as a threat some time ago and were beginning to gather in the area I cleared away.
『【Dance of Fiery Destruction: Autumn Flame Rondo】』
One of Michael's usable authorities...... when I invoked it my body began to move on its own, Michael mirroring my exact movements behind me.
Like a dance, my body rotated and moved to an unheard rhythm......... my body emitted a vermillion flame and trails of fire shot off in the direction of every step.
As I danced, the flames continued to grow and devour everything in their path.
Any undead that so much as approached the wave of flames was instantaneously reduced to dust.
A maiden gracefully dancing in a field of flames...... if you only watched Michael behind me, you'd be treated to such a mesmerizing sight.
However, there was a knight adorned in armor mimicking her movements in front of her.
I wonder how it must have appeared to the bystanders.
I felt more of myself being shaved away as I focused on that thought for too long.
The first authority came to an end with an area clearing twirl.
It was only a rough estimate, but I'd say this last attack had managed to decrease the undead by about ten thousand troops. However, my mind couldn't afford to revel in that victory for long. The plains were still filled to the brim with the undead. But I managed to close the distance between me and the damaged gate.
...... I would use this momentum to kill as many undead as possible.
『【Roar of the Celestial Phoenix: Caelum Phoenix Pieratto】』*
A heavenly, chorus-like female's voice and my own mixed with one another as I invoked another authority.
The woman's voice probably belonged to Michael...... it was a solemn voice that simultaneously exhibited majesty and sanctity, even as my body began to rise off the ground.
My body began moving on its own again, my arms stretching to their utmost limit and my head craning upwards, it must have looked like I was praising the heavens as flame wings appeared at my back, which subsequently began throwing feathers into the air once they started flapping.
I floated around the area as the wings continued to flap on their own, whatever the flame feathers touched burnt to ash upon contact, their destruction sending, even more, feathers into the air.
They were literally reducing everything to ash, the trampled crop fields flared up and vanished, only piles of dust remained in areas once filled with undead.
This authority had a long active time and half of the undead besieging the capital had been turned into the ash that was blanketing the area.
About half of my time limit on the Heavenly Knight skill had expired.
I wanted to wipe away the last of them but by mind and body were reaching their limit.
I clenched my teeth and prayed for the timer to expire soon.
『【Executioner's Crimson Sword of Fire: Rubrum Flamma】』*
When my feet finally returned to the ground the authority I invoked cause my body to thrust my now crimson and enormous flame-coated sword forward.
At first glance it resembled the spirit magic Ariane favored, but its power was on a whole other dimension.
When I swung the crimson flame-coated sword, the flames extended forward like a whip with a mind of its own and blew way all the undead I targeted.
Furthermore, the power was so intense that the whip-like crimson flames gouged out the ground it touched, everything its path vanishing.
Every slight adjustment of the sword resulted in more undead vanishing and the topography being rewritten as if a disaster had struck.
The crimson flames accidentally scraped away part of the city wall and a portion of the gate when my control slipped for but a moment.
It was a good thing the undead had gathered there vanished along with it.
Once the authority finally ended, I was able to take a breath and count the undead that remained around the capital.
I came up short in the end, but it should be simple to clean up the remnants of their forces. I don't know how many managed to make it through the gate, but if I tried to invoke an authority inside the city, it would be wiped off the map.
A sigh slipped from my lips as I looked back.
The time limit of the skill had finally arrived, Michael was slowly sucked back up into the magic formation in the sky before the formation itself faded out of existence.
I stuck my sword in the ground once more and knelled over.
’’...... That was quite difficult. I don't think I can bring myself to use it again.’’
I voiced my complaint to no one in particular as I looked into Soulia's heavily damaged gate and sighed.