Sungchul dressed himself and hurried toward the tallest peak in his vicinity at once. He was able to look over a large area once he climbed the perilous peak known as the Palm Tree Peak named for its likeness to a palm tree. The dwarven fortress was one of the areas visible from the vantage point.
Sungchul found the dwarven fortress within the mountain range that seemed to unfold endlessly before him, however finding it turned out to be easier than expected. The fortress stood at the source of a black smoke rising into the sky.
Suspicion rose within Sungchul’s mind.
‘Were they attacked from the rear?’
The battle was taking place at the southern and eastern fronts where the defense was substantially weaker, and not the usual northern front. But the directions the Demons had come from were territories defended by allies. More importantly, the eastern front was overseen by the Order of the Iron Blood Knights that managed another neighboring battlefront. An assault from that side meant the Order of the Iron Blood Knights had already fallen.
‘Now that I think about it, I had heard from several sources that the state of the Order of the Iron Blood Knights wasn’t good. But still…’
The defensive focus of the Storm Battlefront lying deep within this perilous mountain range was incomparably more narrow to the Order of the Iron Blood Knights that defended an open field. If the devils had pushed in this far, it meant that the final defensive line of the Iron Blood Knights other than the Fortress of the Iron Blood Cross had been demolished.
The front lines of the Demon Realm were being shaken, and if they crumbled, humans of Other World would witness true hell.
“What will you do?”
Bertelgia asked while looking down on the burning fortress below.
Sungchul pulled out something from his Soul Storage. It wasn’t Fal Garaz that he favored, but a discolored and worn out iron sword.
“We’re helping the Dwarves.”
“Huh? What miracle brought this on? You’re actually helping other people?”
“I owe the dwarves a debt.”
Before he became the Enemy of the World, Sungchul maintained an amicable relationship with the dwarves. It was a part of this goodwill that allowed them to share their secret of where Fal Garaz had been hidden. Unfortunately, it was this show of good faith that had been turned against them. The destruction of the entire front line of the Demon Realm at this point wasn’t a part of Sungchul’s bigger picture.
‘There is a need to maintain the current status quo before the approaching battle against the Seven Heroes. It will be the responsibility of the humans and their allies to restrict the movement of the Seven Heroes.’
Sungchul headed toward the burning fortress with the iron sword in hand.
An intense battle was unfolding around the entire fortress. Dwarven artillery rained down fire upon the Devil forces, while the Hell Siege Engines from the Devils answered back with the Flames of Destruction. The artillery that the dwarves were so proud of remained standing, but the fort walls were crumbling under the assault of the Hell Siege Engines which allowed the Devils to find the opportunity to latch their ladders onto the walls. The Dwarven Axemen desperately tried to chop down the ladders, but the Devils positioned below the walls were not going to simply watch it happen. Hundreds of bolts flew toward the dwarves.
The dwarves that had been chopping down the ladders were struck by these bolts and fell down the dizzying heights of the castle walls. The devils that were watching the scene felt their morale soar; causing them to shout or howl in cheer.
The one leading the devils was a Barloq with massive wings dressed with a white gold helmet. The devil that held a whip reminiscent of the Demonic Weapon Cassandra, roamed the skies while commanding his men for battle.
The flames of the Hell Siege Engines continued to roar ceaselessly, and dozens of ladders flew toward the castle walls in response to the siege.
“Stop them! Stop those bastards!”
The Dwarf commander could recognize the fact that this was a critical moment for this battle, but they were outnumbered. The enemy came well prepared with overwhelming forces from an unforeseen direction, and in contrast, the dwarves fought bravely but couldn’t overcome their weaknesses.
It was at this moment when a massive magical formation appeared in the sky which was dyed red by the smoke and flames. The magical formation was revealed to be connected directly to the vastness of the great space, and it spat out a fragment of the skies that was a meteor. This meteor landed onto the mob of devils that were densely packed beneath the castle walls and laid them to waste. The core spell of Cosmomancy, Meteor, which boasted the most destructive might among all branches of magic was on full display at the northern end of the battlefield.
‘Oh! Is it reinforcements?’
The dwarven eyes that had been driven to despair were now filled with hope as they sought out the Mage. However, what they saw with their eyes wasn’t the army they desired, but only a single man standing on top of a steep mountain slope with a ragged coat fluttering in the wind and an iron sword in his hand. There also appeared to be a book flapping behind him. But even then, he was good news for the dwarves.
Sungchul did not activate the echoes. He wanted to land the most cost effective blows possible out of consideration of his limitations with mana. The current Sungchul could only use Meteor a total of 20 times with his mana pool. Sungchul left Bertelgia to mind the remaining number and inserted himself into battle.
“19 shots left!”
Sungchul took notice of Bertelgia’s shout as he turned his sights toward another area in danger to fire his Meteor. The punishment from the heavens dealt a heavy blow to the devils as their ladders and forces were left in shambles. His might was lacking when compared to going wild with Fal Garaz, but to the dwarves watching the scene, it was a refreshing blow; like a nourishing rain from the sky falling on land as dry as a bone.
“What is that?! Take out that human!”
The Barloq wearing the white gold helmet pointed his finger with a sharp nail toward Sungchul’s direction as he shouted his order. A portion of the winged devils that had been roaming above the battlefield broke off to head toward Sungchul’s direction.
There were six in all. It may appear like a small number, but to an average person, this was more than enough for the task. These devils known as Raptor Gargoyles were known for their peerless prowess in close quarter combat, and also, their naturally high vitality which made them highly effective against mages that had comparably terrible endurance.
The Raptor Gargoyles flapped their hideous bat-like wings to overwhelm Sungchul as they brandished their Scythes threateningly.
The dwarves looked on with expressions of concern from their fortress wall. In their eyes. Sungchul’s life looked to in peril like a candle before the storm, but when the Devils rushed forward, countless streams of light burst out from the man’s fingertip causing the devils to be burned away in an instant. The dwarves let out a cheer. It was a scene that was difficult to believe even as they witnessed it. A Cosmomancer, who were known to have notoriously poor melee capabilities, was overcoming Raptor Gargoyles, who were famous for their fearsome strength in close quarters, with what appeared to be simple magic.
The secret was in Sungchul’s hidden class.
[Echo – 2]
It would be pitifully lacking to kill the winged devil – gargoyle with a single casting of glare regardless of the number of times the spell had been empowered. However, what if Echo which was the basic ability of the legendary class Echo Mage was combined with Sungchul’s superhuman dynamic visual acuity and meticulous precision? The synergy between the three aspects produced a destructive might beyond a mere 3 castings of glare. The Raptor Gargoyles that were known to be ‘Nightmares of Close Quarter Combat’ fell out of the skies as their weaknesses such as mouth, neck, and eyes were showered with beams of light at the same time.
“Hm Hm. 18 shots of Glare used. It’s probably a good idea to deduct at least 3 shots of the remaining Meteor!”
When Bertelgia began to shout haughtily, Sungchul looked down at the Devil’s forces and spoke in a firm voice.
“How many shots remaining?”
“Can’t you at least count that much?”
“My mind is getting rusty with age.”
“More like you think it’s too annoying!”
“15 shots of Meteors in reserve!”
Sungchul calmed his breathing and looked down at the battlefield once more. There were still countless devil armies awaiting below the castle walls. Even with all 15… no, hundreds of shots of Meteor, it would still be difficult to get rid of all of them. Sungchul’s sights turned toward the Hell Siege Engines that exuded fearsome presences in between the Devil armies.
‘If I can destroy those, the capabilities of the devil army would be brought down a peg or two.’
Sungchul concentrated his gaze on the Hell Siege Engines that had a form similar to a giant scorpion and began to chant the Aria in his head. He recited the activation phrase in his mind as indescribably complex intricacies of the spell flowed like a song through his consciousness.
Another magical formation appeared in the sky, and a blue meteor fell toward the devil army through the formation. Its target was the Hell Siege Engine.
A green flame tailed behind the blue meteor as it fell slightly short of the Hell Siege Engine that had been knocking on the castle walls, but there was no need to recite a second casting. It was enough to simply let the mana continue to flow after the incantation of the spell. Another meteor soon fell toward the same target after the first that had landed near the Hell Siege engine.
[Echo – 1]
The meteor managed to land on top of the Hell Siege Engine. The waist of the giant scorpion snapped like a shrimp before it caused a massive explosion of fearsome blue flames.
“Sweet! This is how we do it!”
Bertelgia exploded into cheer as she watched the flames shoot up into the sky like fireworks. The battle was not over yet.
Sungchul had only managed to rid himself of a single siege weapon among 3. He immediately turned toward another Hell Siege Engine and began his incantation, but the devils were not going to simply watch it happen.
“Every winged unit go tear that human to shreds!”
It might have been the simplest solution to personally deal with the problem at hand, but the Commanders of the Devil Army tended to sit back and order around their inferiors. The Barloq commanding the Devil Army did not step up, and instead, commanded all of his aerial forces under him toward the Mage on the mountain peak.
Hell Siege Engines were infamous for their heavy plating and fire power, but it couldn’t withstand an assault of Meteor. Dozens of winged devils put the skies littered with green sparks behind them and charged at Sungchul. The Dwarves who were watching this did not just stand by.
“Let us help that man! He is our savior!”
The fortress surged with life once again and began to spit out terrifying artillery fire with the beating of drums. From ballista to grape shots, a variety of weapons were deployed toward the flying devils, and the devils that were caught within their web of fire were torn apart mid-air. Only a few of them managed to survive the attack.
“Come inside, Bertelgia.”
Sungchul, after collecting Bertelgia, postured himself as though he was snowboarding and began sliding down the mountain slope. The devils that were led by the Raptor Gargoyles began to dive toward him, but their timing was awry causing them to miss by a narrow margin which forced them to ascend once again.
The devils began to gain a better feel for the timing and dove toward Sunghcul once again. Sungchul took a look at his pursuers and struck the ground with his iron sword as they approached. Fragments of rock shot out like buckshots and became embedded into the face and eyes of the pursuing devils.
One of the devils that had become a bloody mess flew past Sungchul and tumbled down the mountain. Another devil aimed for the front this time, but Sungchul lifted his finger and used Glare to take care of it. The devil that was struck with the unavoidable beam of light in both his eyes and mouth began to smoke from his mouth. It died instantly and crashed onto a rock that Sungchul passed by.
Sungchul peeked back once again. There were 5 remaining. However, he didn’t notice the presence of any tracking magic, and they were no longer visible from the battlefield as well. Now, he had no reason to hold back anymore.
Sungchul who had been riding along the steep slope of the mountain put his foot down on the ground. His rapid descent came to an abrupt stop.
The devils that had been circling Sungchul’s vicinity felt suspicious regarding his sudden movements, but they also felt that it was an opportunity and immediately rushed toward him. Unfortunately, the consequences of opposing Sungchul who had no reason to restrain his strength was dire. He did not use magic or weapons as he gripped the devils with just his hands and grated their faces against the rocky surface of the mountain. A devil that had lost his comrades tried to escape as it was stricken with fear, but a stone from behind struck the back of his head causing it to pop like a grape.
After ridding himself of the devils, Sungchul hid his presence this time and stepped back onto the tall peak in stealth. The tide of battle had changed.
When 2 of the 3 Hell Siege Engines were destroyed, the dwarven firepower reignited causing the devils to be pushed back. The final hell siege engine tried to continue on with the assault, but it was focused down and destroyed by the dwarven artillery. The devils had to retreat leaving behind nothing but countless corpses as the sun began to set.
Sungchul revealed himself to the dwarves who were cleaning the battlefield. They immediately recognized him and began to surround him with cheer.
“We are truly grateful, unknown Mage!”
“If not for you, we’d have truly died out here!”
Sungchul looked at the dwarves surrounding him with a calm expression on his face. Stocky build with bushy beards. Every last one of them looked similar to one another, but thankfully, he didn’t find any recognizable faces among them.
“I am a wandering Mage. Call me Ahmuge.”
Sungchul introduced himself without reserve.
Sorry about the delay. There were problems with the translation and the raw in some areas so we went over the chapter again from the start.