The seven bell towers of the holy city gradually came into focus as the allied forces neared the sacred city’s walls.
Additionally, as they drew closer to the city walls, the death impurities of the countless undead began to overwhelm the area.
The allied forces had been deployed in small platoons, but the distance between them gradually narrowed as they approached their target.
Their advance slowed as platoons became more cautious of their surroundings.
Other platoons, consisting of elven warriors and members of the Blade Heart Clan began to congregate around platoon leader Ariane.
The unique pre-battle tension circulated through the combatants as they silently stared straight ahead.
Even so, as usual, Arc was oblivious to the tension as she skillfully stroked Ponta’s fur, who was wrapped around his neck.
“Are you nervous, Ariane?”
Her grandfather, who was also the great elder, was standing behind arc and unexpectedly called out to her.
His height and build were comparable to Arc’s and he wore a worn set of leather armor that had seen many years of combat service, all of which empathized his warrior status.
The other day, he used the massive war hammer that was currently resting on his shoulder to single-handedly defeat a cardinal during the battle at Uiru river.
He had already retired from the position as a warrior, but the strength and skill he amassed over his career show no signs of declining.
“Well, given the number of undead……”
She breathed a sigh and knitted her brows after her words trailed off.
Noticing Ariane’s condition, the petite girl dressed in dark ninja garbs, Chiome, pumped her small fists and tried to cheer her up.
“Rest assured, I will protect your back, Ariane-dono!”
Feeling a bit ashamed of herself as those clear, blue eyes looked up at her, Ariane slapped her cheeks to motivate herself.
Elder Fargus lightly struck his broad chest in pride as he watched the pair interact.
“You’re not overly enthusiastic? That shows that you have grown.”
Fargus’ scarred faces formed into a toothy grin as he spoke.
Ariane silently nodded back at her grandfather before looking forward once more.
After a while, the sound of massive wings flapping approached them from behind, the two Dragon Kings Williahsfim and Ferufivisurotte came flying in the direction Arc was heading in.
As decided beforehand, Ferufivisurotte would engage the enemy first while Arc would cast 【Holy Protection】on everyone else to protect them from the death impurity attacks.
As the Dragon Kings flew ahead of Arc, a brilliant light emerged from his extended hand and began wrapping itself around their bulky bodies.
The wave of light also encompassed Ariane, Chiome, Goemon, Fargus and anyone else near Arc, covering all of them in a membrane of light once the spell reached its range limit.
Not only the humans, but even the elves were surprised by the membrane's strange sensation
Arc mentioned that this spell protected one’s body from the undead giant’s “death impurity” attack. It was something that not even the highly skilled elves had heard of before.
There were some people capable of defending themselves with their own magic, but no else had ever heard of something like Arc’s spell, which not only protected others, but did so at a distance.
Once the membrane encompassed their bodies, Ferufivisurotte and Williahsfim ascended once more and headed towards the holy city.
The two Dragon King’s taking the field signaled the start of the battle.
Many light spheres rained down across the area as Ferufivisurotte flew closer to their destination.
Even the ground beneath Ariane and Chiome’s feet shook from the impact of the Dragon King’s attack.
The power of the attack was tremendous, not only did they affect the undead directly hit by the spheres, even the undead merely within the vicinity of the attack were blown away.
Williahsfim obediently followed behind Ferufivisurotte as she unleashed her overwhelming might, cladding his body in a massive tornado and using it to toss aside any undead unfortunate enough to be caught in his path.
The destruction in the Dragon Kings’ wake would open the path to the Holy City Arthus.
Coinciding with the Dragon Kings' display of power were the cheers of elves, beastmen and humans that witnessed said display.
Meanwhile, Arc took the opportunity to move around the allied forces with【 Dimensional Step】, casting 【Holy Protection】 on one group of people at a time before moving on and repeating the process.
By the time the Dragon Kings finished opening a path, Arc had cast 【Holy Protection】on the entirety of their forces.
However, some of the human platoons, drunk off a newfound sense of exaltation, attacked the weakened undead that survived the dragon kings’ attack.
The undead soldiers had been weakened to the point where a single blow from a human infantryman could slay them, and the overly excited ones began cutting down the undead with reckless abandon.
Their hunt continued until one of the half-spider undead crawled out from the rubble and started brandishing its sword against the soldiers.
All it took was one of the soldiers' terrified shouts reaching the others to break through their bloodlust, causing them to frantically run away from the danger.
“Get down! Get Down!!”
The platoons immediately began cooperating with one another and shouted instructions at the fleeing men, but the injured spider dragged itself after the fleeing men.
It wasn’t long before that platoon’s members cursed their own recklessness and reflexively did as they were told without really knowing why.
『──Explode, One Flash──』
An arrow lugged itself into what remained of the injured spider monster’s chest the moment those words reached the platoon members ears.
A controlled explosion echoed a short distance away, in tandem with the spider monster’s upper body flying into the air. The spider's lower body took two or three more steps before collapsing on the ground.
The smoking remains of the monster’s body leaked a dark, black substance.
Even as the platoon member shook their heads with their ears covered, they turned their attention to the person who had spoken the chant.
The soldiers breathed a sigh of relief and expressed their gratitude to the majestic-looking bow-wielding male elf.
Capitalizing on the opportunity, the elven platoons began a coordinated assault with their bows.
One after another, the arrow flew and subsequently pierced the spider monsters with such accuracy and at such distance that the human archers doubted their own eyes.
Similar explosions began to erupt all across the battlefield, creating a seemingly endless cacophony of noise.
The elves had developed their spirit magic archery for the purpose of inflicting crippling injuries on the monsters that roamed the winding Canada forest.
The humans couldn’t deny the power of the skill, as they watched thousands of mangled bodies be sent flying into the air with a single blow.
Such deadly arrows were aimed at the spider monsters.
While the elves utilized their superior offensive capabilities, the Blade Heart Clan used their versatile abilities and arsenal to conduct their own assault. The spider monsters were determined to be the core of the enemy units, and it was agreed upon that they had to be eliminated first instead of the hundreds of undead surrounding them.
With the threat the spider monsters posed eliminated by their allies, the human platoons were free to continue their advance.
Unlike the other human forces, Prince Sect coordinated the entirety of Rhoden’s army as a single unit.
The vanguard was lined up side by side with tower shields, which they used to push down the undead, allowing the rearguard to follow behind them and kill the weak monsters.
The advance was slow, but only the remnants of the undead’ armor and ashes remained in their wake. A safety zone was soon established behind the semi-circle of elves who continued to shot down the spider monsters as they cropped up.
The vanguard had yet to enter the giants’ attack range, and Prince Sect’s command unit was placed further behind them.
Although he indifferently analyzed the movements of their enemies, margrave Brainier groaned every time a trumpet was blown. Still, it was interesting to observe the way elves fought, given that they were unfamiliar with large-scale combat.
The Margrave’s personal army was commanded by his handpicked and highly trained captains. In contrast to Prince Sect’s forces, the platoons mostly acted independently, yet seamlessly coalesced into larger groups when necessary.
On the other hand, the commanders of the Nozan forces, Zahar and Nina, had little experience commanding large numbers, and it was evident that their platoons weren’t acting as a cohesive unit.
Still, having Zahar, who had the same commoner background as his troops, leading from the frontlines, raised the soldiers’ morale and held their forces together.
Even with all of their troops combined, the allied forces only numbered around ten thousand people, so the main contributors to the undead’ decimation were Williahsfim and Ferufivisurotte.
However, the individual responsible for killing undead the fastest remained at the forefront of the battle.
A massive thunderstorm suddenly encompassed the enemy’s central army, and at the epicenter of the chaotic downpour of lighting, clad in his silver armor, stood Arc.
He waded his way through the enemy, unleashing powerful magic with every transfer.
Arc released a windstorm powerful enough to suck the lighter undead into the sky, and when they inevitably fell back down, they landed on other undead with enough force to kill them.
Watching Arc’s back, which didn’t show any signs of fatigue as he unleashed a barrage of powerful magic, one felt as if they were seeing a mythical hero brought to life.
The moral of the elven warriors who saw his fight with the Dragon King in the arena perked up as they watched Arc work.
While chasing after Arc's back with her eyes, Ariane parried the attacks of four undead in quick succession before cutting them down with a single stroke.
“Arc can’t be the only one with a good performance here!”
A fearless smile formed on her face as she shouted those words and reached into a waist pouch with her free hand and pulled out a cylindrical item.
『──Oh spirits of Flame, hear my call and unleash your might──』
Ariane’s chant was entwined with a primal power from which a vermillion flame emerged, engulfing her sword.
Glittering particles spilled from the cylinder when she tossed it into the air and cut it in two with her sword. The particles themselves ignited and caused the flames of the sword to stretch high into the sky.
『──Lead the way to Reincarnation, Flames of Salvation, return the lost to purgatory──』
Ariane raised her sword into the air with both hands, the flames that surrounded her blade now seemingly touching the heavens themselves, before bringing the sword down with a mighty swing.
The pillar of flames falling straight down was a spectacle in it of itself.
Many of the enemy in her direct path were swallowed up by the flaming pillar, its embers spreading to and setting the surrounding undead ablaze.
The undead caught within the flames were burned down to their very core, their bodies reduced to nothing more than ash, which was scattered by the swirl of the hectic battle.
In the wake of Ariane’s attack, a tree-like canopy formed on the ground in front of her, with leaves and branches spreading in all directions.
“I won’t hold back today! Since I can use magic fuel as a catalyst, there’s no way I can fall behind Arc!”
She spoke with a smile on her face as she reached inside her pouch and pulled out another cylinder.
The container in Ariane hand was filled with magic stone fuel that powered most magical tools, some elven warriors used it to supplement their own mana when performing spirit magic.
As a result, the warriors could cast particularly powerful magic for the same amount of mana spent on basic spells.
Although the practice was simple in theory, it took a considerable amount of skill or natural talent for an elf to utilize it in actual combat.
Ariane saw her sister Ivana implement the fuel into her combat with ease, and lamented her own lack of talent as she feverishly sought to learn the skill herself. However, in truth, Ariane was an excellent warrior, it was just that Ivana was an abnormality in her own right.
This was evident by the show of respect and looks awe the other elven warriors sent in her direction.
As they were watching Ariane, one of the youngest warriors present at this battle, the other warriors were inspired and began cutting down the undead with their own magic.