The thundering sound of an army approaching could be heard from the city gates of Bryansk. Already, the walls were lined with gunners, their weapons in hand for the inevitable battle. Standing almost shoulder to shoulder, the remaining Purnesian Army had been forced to flee all the way to their final bastion. Now, the remaining army of twenty thousand were like prey backed into a corner, having started off more than twice as large.
The only thing that made up for this difference was the equipment provided by Lamps Magellan, which granted nearly every person the ability to fight. From magic guns to mana absorption shields to power suits, the high-tech tools that they could never dream of were placed in their hands, straight from the genius mind of an otherworlder.
Despite their losses, they still clung to images of victory, propped up by the promises that the Mad Empress and her Electi would turn the tables for them. They had seen them do it several times. It didn’t matter that they were slowly sliding into defeat. As long as momentary glory counteracted that notion, hope lingered within.
It was rather strange how the mind worked. Even having lost everything but the capital, even with nearly every other citizen lost and supposed monsters of fighters looming in the distance, they believed that they would prevail. That their views were in the right, so the deities above had summoned leaders who wouldn’t let them down. To them, their very own Electi was the champion that would claim victory over ridiculous odds.
They simply had to believe that and nothing else.
Battle cries sounded in the distance. Finally, they could see shots of magic fly through the air. As this was the final destination, it didn’t seem like Sistina would hold back its offensive anymore; they had saved it all for this moment.
The men along the walls raised their shields, lifting them above their heads. As soon as the shots of fire, ice, and wind approached two meters of them, the various magic dissolved and was sucked into their mana absorption devices. Of course, Sistina probably expected that to happen, but they continued to fire magic anyway. That would serve as a distraction for the several lone figures that raced forward, with the rest of the army behind them.
These were apparently the best of the best that Sistina had.
A knight equipped with regal colors rode forward on a steed on the right flank. His blade carried the scent of earth as the ground broke apart and sprayed his enemies with sharp debris.
A lady with heavy armor and wielding a mallet in one hand led the left flank forward on her steed; anyone close enough to see her determined face was soon met with a bone-shattering death, or if lucky, merely tossed tens of meters back. As she leapt off her horse and pounded the ground, it was like a meteor struck and rippled the battlefield in its wake. And among the dust, some spoke of true demons appearing out of nowhere as her cries came within range.
Lastly, the one known to everyone as the Grim Reaper brought up the middle. He rode on a hovering board, accompanied by a small vanguard. And strangely, there was a young girl that no one had seen before, running on pace beside him. It was a rather strange surprise, as they were moving even faster than those on horses. For the girl to keep up on foot was nothing short of miraculous; a few realized that yet another monster of an Electi had joined those ranks. The pair raced forward with quite a lead ahead of the army. The Purnesian Army knew that these vanguards were the ones to worry about most.
It was at that point that the gates to the city opened. An eruption of cheering sounded as a duo in strange suits stepped forward. The men had only seen a glimpse of what the pair, Orwitz and Gwendolyn, could do from test runs.
They had been given the special task of enforcers bearing Lamps’ new power suits. Equipped with those, their bodies blurred with every leap, their attacks were powerful enough to wreck entire buildings, and they could confront the assault of armies. They were champions to go against the monsters of Sistina that were quickly reaching their doors.
However, it was unfortunate that those suits were specially made for the young twins. Others who had tried them on found little success in their ability to fight. Their movements became conflicted, like they were fighting against their own natural flow. Attacks hardly broke through everything like the monstrous strength that was observed from the twins. And they could barely shrug off normal attacks like intended.
Only worn by Orwitz and Gwendolyn did miraculous results occur, like they were special cases synced to the suit’s potential. But hardly anyone knew why. Hardly anyone but Lamps and the twins themselves. That was likely to keep the secret of its power safe.
Regardless, those two stood now at the entryway to the capital. If they were taken down, then the gates were wide open for invasion. The rest of the walls were guarded by thousands of gunners raining fire down. It would take Sistina’s army quite some time to approach at this rate.
The attention was focused instead on the center, where the battle of monsters would decide the fate of the city. Any gunfire that targeted the approaching Grim Reaper was instantly rendered harmless, the bullets turning into metallic dust that glimmered in the purple wind.
The man below turned his gaze toward those upon the wall. Those who felt a sudden breeze then realized many sharp pains across their bodies. Looking down, they panicked as blood seeped from a mess of cuts all upon them. Those most affected fell to the ground, futilely holding together the split parts. Without the healing of magic, blood poured from the wounds, turning them pale within moments. The other gunman backed away in fear, fleeing in hopes that their champions would protect them.
Likewise, the few soldiers of Sistina that foolishly tried to approach the full-body suited duo got a nasty surprise. With a single rocket propelled movement, the entire swarm of soldiers were torn in half, their armor and stats completely ignored. A sharp blade cut through the line like paper dolls filled with red dye.
A virtual deadzone formed, devoid of gunfire and magic, into an arena where only the champions waltzed forward.
“Idiots! I told you not to approach them! You don’t have a way to block their blows!” I yelled, but there were always those few in every crowd who refused to listen. Not until they saw the utter pointlessness of it did they think to pause their assault.
“Go around! Back up the others! We’ll take them on!” I gritted my teeth as the men only hesitantly followed me. There was still mistrust in their eyes from what I did not that long ago, so only reason, not respect, drove their adherence to my commands.
However, when Ludmila repeated my words, the men saluted and departed toward the other two flanks. It seemed like news of Ludmila’s ascension had spread among the army. The way she fought and moved, glimmering with holy white light, was a direct contrast to the purple miasma that leaked from me. Surely, they had started putting her on a pedestal as some hero. But this was not the time to dwell on something like that. If it got the job done, then relying on faith in Ludmila was fine.
“As we planned, I’ll take the guy and you stick to the girl, got it?” I said, not needing to look toward her to know that she had my back.
What we needed was not power, but agility and speed in this match. Saki had been put at a disadvantage because none of her attacks could hit them. They nimbly propelled themselves out of range with their boosters. However, that wouldn’t be so easy against the speedy Ludmila, who could appear before one could blink.
I gulped as I saw the pair wielding swords. I knew that this fight would be more dangerous than last time. Before, they had simply struck with their fists. Even so, the damage from surprise attacks ignored all armor and personal stats. A sword strike from a weak person could easily kill a strong person unaware. Already, the metal blade sliced through flesh like how I expected it would in my previous world. No stats kicked in, merely the cold reality of sharpness against man.
Because of that, a rocket powered slice from either one of them would be a hot knife through butter, even against fully armored people. The inhabitants of this world had no perception of this. True physics as I knew them from my home world was not understood by them. And that put them at a great disadvantage.
I had discussed this with Saki and Ludmila, the only otherworlders. While the other two hadn’t reached the same level of study as me, they could vaguely understand the concept. Especially for Ludmila, familiar with how a knife tore through flesh in reality; she was prepared to face these opponents.
I charged forward, wielding two kitchen knives. I needed to swing fast, so Eryn’s sword wouldn’t help me here. I left it with Violet instead. Likewise, Ludmila zoomed ahead, a literal blur in front of me as she plowed into Gwendolyn. There was a momentary flinch of panic as Ludmila’s knives lunged forward before being stopped by the suit. Sparks flew from the place where the blade met, but unfortunately, it was brushed aside.
Orwitz looked over to his sister instinctively before turning his attention back to me. But that was all the time I needed to charge up my own attack. Miasma wrapped around my knives and extended them a meter long as I brought them down towards him. The miasma blade swept right through his extended arms which were held up in haste to block, but nothing happened.
I hesitated to use my eye powers as it pained me to see how easily I could cut others now, but this wasn’t the time for that. Even as the purple flame covered my vision, I could see no trace of a weak point on Orwitz. His suit was a solid black, unmarred by a single crack that I could exploit.
“Tch! How lovely. That Lamps is surely something to come up with that.”
The mysterious Electi had certainly found a way to stop me. No weak point meant that all of my attacks would be nil. Even if he knew how to do that, it was still miraculous that he could invent something with that exact purpose. I couldn’t help but find him even more troublesome as an enemy.
I didn’t have time to think as Orwitz charged at me with his blade. The thrusters propelled him in a spiraling slash, one that I could barely manage to leap away in time. I felt a slight thump on my right side. Looking down, a notch in the armor had been sliced through. Fortunately, the bulky armor hid my thinner body. The blade had dug through the metal, hitting empty space as the armor was made for a larger person.
These sword swings were really dangerous. If I made any mistakes, then I would be done for, just like the people before. But luckily, the weapon itself possessed cracks, one stroke of fortune. I swung my knives again, this time, aiming for the sword in his hand. As the purple wind rushed toward Orwitz’s body, I heard a distinctive cracking noise.
Dodging once again from his blow, I saw the blade homing towards my head. Since I was still in mid-movement, the best I could do was to bring up my knife to guard.
The two blades met. The force of the exchange was so great that it flung the knife from my grip. But not without some rebound.
The end of Orwitz’s blade flew into the air before landing with a ‘plink’ on the ground. Surprised, he stared at the crumbling metal that chipped from the hilt. As if in a fit of annoyance, he swung the other blade at me again, which I let hit this time.
Pieces of metal flew all around as the sword shattered. A smirk of confidence came from me, finally feeling that I had one-upped him. He discarded the remaining handles to the ground; weapons that I could break were of no use to him now. Rather, he put up his fists once more, ready to do rocket punches at me like our first encounter.
“Bring it on! I just need to figure out a way to crack that shell of yours!”
I tossed my other knife aside too. Cracking my knuckles, I decided to try something that I hadn’t done in quite some time. My fists were out before me, ready for a brawl.