~ Chapter 67: The sound of the horn (Part 1) ~
[Kataryna's point of view]
Looking at this battlefield where the smoke trails of those fires rose up high into the sky made me wonder just how long had it been since I last found myself pointing my blade at an army?
Around me, I had allies and friends, in front of me, I had an enemy I could freely strike down. They were all dragons who maybe had families somewhere, who were maybe kind and honest, who had dreams and felt the world like I did, but in a war, they were just slabs of meat who wouldn't hesitate to kill me if I didn't kill them first.
Did I have to feel bothered by this or worried or sick?
When one first steps onto the battlefield, they should...
If they felt joy or happiness when they took another dragon's life, then they weren't soldiers acting upon orders, they were monsters. A soldier would lay down his sword if given the order to do so, but the other would continue to pursue a quest drenched in innocent blood.
Closing my eyes, I could hear my allies talking among each other; the superiors giving orders and their subordinates following them. For now... there were no sounds of clashing swords.
We were preparing for the imminent attack. The one which was impossible to avoid, at least not with the cards we were currently holding in our hands.
On this battlefield, the dragons would be the one show their might and the dragonesses their wisdom, but me and my friends weren't part of the norm. We were dragoness who could also fight not just lead.
Speaking of which, Alkelios told us while we were heading here to stick within 100 meters of him during our battle to receive a bonus of strength from him. It was true, while I stayed by his side, I felt stronger, faster, capable of wielding more magic. The sensation I got from him was one of safety? That too, but it was also receiving a rush of energy, a spike of adrenaline while holding the feeling that I could do more than usual, that I could push my limits further and further.
All of us who were Alkelios' friends felt this...
At the same time, I witnessed it myself how fast everyone grew in power. He said it was just ten times the normal rate, a ridiculous value, but in reality, it was far more.
How would it be best for me to describe this buff of his? If a dragon could train for ten years and attain just 100 Power Numbers, then in that time, he would experience moments of slow, normal, or fast improvement rate.
Well, Alkelios' buff simply broke through this concept. Every single drop of life force we received from a monster or every time we trained our skills it was like doing it at maximum performance and fastest improvement rate, no matter how our actual states were. I could kill an injured Dayuk by accident and receive the experience equal to one obtained after a life and death battle with it. If this wasn't enough, then all of this was amplified by ten times.
It was ridiculous, but thanks to this, I, who didn't increas in Power Number for who knew how many decades, also became stronger.
The ones who showed the highest improvement, however, were of course Iolaus and Seryanna. Both them went through a hellish regime of training in which they pushed themselves beyond their limits. They didn't take the boost for granted and instead thought of it as if it was never there in the first place.
At this rate, those two would become Breakthrough-ers in a year or maybe two? Mentally speaking, they were already close to this state. Seryanna also had a nice boost thanks to the fact that she was a Superior Draconian of the High Flame.
Still, all of them could most likely handle a Breakthrough-er on their own. Just because one reached Power Number 1000 didn't mean that they had the strength to back up this status and if you didn't train properly, it was normal for your skill to rust.
“What are you thinking about?” Seryanna asked me as she approached me from behind.
She was wearing the armor made by Alkelios together with a weapon made by him. It was a ridiculous item that could heal the wearer and offer incredible defense. Above all, it was designed both to improve Seryanna's skills and be used by her personally. I couldn't even fit in the darn thing, let alone use it.
Her weapon was called [Drachenkrieg]. I had no idea what the name meant, but neither did Alkelios. Apparently, when he made a very powerful weapon, its name was given by the gods just like the ancient rumors said. It was the same with my weapon, a two-handed longsword with the name [Ledyanoy Potseluy], but if I were to guess, maybe it meant Ice Kiss?
Alkelios told me he was reminded of the time I kissed him when he made it, but this sword, when held, emanated a cold aura which for me was warm to the touch, but for anyone else it was biting cold. It was indeed like an Ice Kiss, warm when shared with your beloved and biting cold when given to a foe. This weapon could also amplify my ice magic, but I could also feel it synchronizing with my lightning magic. When I tried to use an elemental combo spell, I channeled it through the blade perfectly and it was cast faster than I ever could before.
Seryanna's sword was similar in regard to fire, but I understood that if completely unleashed it would turn everything around her into a fiery inferno where only she could step safely.
I also received an armor from Alkelios. It was blue with white plates here and there, unlike Seryanna's which was a mix of red and black, but just like her's mine boosted my defenses by a ridiculous number and also made it incredibly easy for me to move in. I relied a lot on my speed for my attacks, and this armor was perfect in this regard. It could also boost my elemental magic as well, allowing me to use ice or lightning body strengthening techniques.
To be honest, I felt like my power had doubled, at the very least, with his gifts.
“About this war... and Alkelios.” I replied to Seryanna.
“It's his first, isn't it?” she said as she stepped next to me and looked into the far reaches of the battlefield.
“Depending on how he will act and feel after this, we will know for certain whether we need to tame a monster or heal an injured saint.” I told her.
“Heh. Alkelios is no saint, he won't have problems killing dragons, but what I'm worried about is how he will react towards the human if he shows up.” she scoffed and closed her eyes for a second.
“I'm just glad he isn't one of those idiot noble children who tremble in their tents yelling back at the soldiers and saying that in wars dragons die. Or if you kill someone they die... Heh, it's like claiming you just discovered that water is wet or fire burns.” I shook my head.
“I guess you heard the baron's son wailing in his tent?” she asked with a wry smile.
“Unfortunately, yes. So I decided to freeze him up to his neck and then tell him that if he doesn't want to fight he can stay like that until the end of battle, but if the enemies breach through and they end up killing everyone he cares about back in his home town, he should know that it could have been all his fault.” I snickered.
“Isn't that a bit over the top?” she asked me.
“Nah! Over the top would have been to freeze him completely and then give his father an ice pick to get him out.” I shrugged.
“You should come in. The King is ready to share his battle strategy with us. It needed to be revised after we saw what the enemy did to these fields. The Queen's already taking measures of importing more food from the nearby kingdoms and boosting the productions in the unaffected areas.” she told me.
“Is she now? Well, it's a good thing she's taking measures in regard to dampening the damages done as much as possible, however...” I said and then narrowed my eyes towards the enemy line “who would have guessed that Dankyun managed to gather 364000 dragons to fight for him?”
“And six Breakthrough-ers...” Seryanna pointed out.
“It's not that bad, we have ten on our side and you could be considered to be the 11th.” I showed her a smile.
“I wonder about that.” she made a wry smile.
“Have more confidence in your power.” I told her and then walked over to the Headquarters Tent.
[Alkelios' point of view]
It was a good thing I revised my skills earlier. The values in my friends' stats were impressive and mine were downright ridiculous, however, I still didn't have the confidence that we could get out of this fight unscratched.
In the first place, this was a war. Anything could go wrong no matter how powerful one was. A single moment of distraction was enough to make even a Breakthrough-er succumb to the blade of a simple, ordinary soldier. All they had to do was to get close enough and be ready to strike, to land a blow in that exact moment.
Back on Earth it was the same thing. It was called the Stray Bullet Effect or something like that. Basically, people ended up getting injured or killed by stray bullets that went flying all over the place because of a shootout or an accidental unload of the neighbor on the other side of the town. Actually, I heard the same thing about a certain military shooting range in Romania where the bullets flew over the protection wall and landed in the backyards of civilians, breaking stuff and leaving holes there. Luckily, no one died yet, and thanks to the media, the army was forced to make amends.
Because I didn't want something like this to happen and I feared my friends getting seriously injured or killed during this war, I made several Luck-based wishes meant to keep them safe from stray arrows and spells.
If a normal soldier from Earth heard me, he would have probably laughed in my face and told me that I was worrying too much. Death on the battlefield was unavoidable no matter the side you were on, and this was one of the risks you had to take when you went in. To hope or pray for no losses was an idealistic point of view which was never to come true.
Yet, I still pursued that ideal with the power of my Luck.
When I landed back on the ground, I walked over to the Headquarters Tent where a strategy meeting was going to take place. All of my friends were already there, and they wore the armor and weapons I made for them. They were thankful for them and quite impressed when I told them what they could do.
“Alkelios, you are the last to arrive.” said Feryumstark who stood on the opposite side of a big table with the big map of this area spread on it.
Unlike me, all of the dragons and dragonesses here were in their humanoid form, not their half-beast form, which forced me to look down at them from above.
“I apologize, I went to have a look from the sky at the enemy's force.” I told him as I made a respectful bow in front of him and everyone else there.
It was never polite or a wise thing to have your superior wait on you.
“No need to apologize, but tell me, how do things look from up there?” he asked and narrowed his eyes at me.
Queen Elliessara was also here, standing next to him together with Princess Elleyzabelle. The Prime Minister Elovius was back at the capital. During this time of war, having no one in power at the center of the state would be absolutely foolish.
I closed my eyes for a second and told him “Using a boosted version of 'that' skill, I could wipe out a big majority of their force, but this would only result in me damaging the area to the point where a full scale reconstruction would be needed as well as poisoning the lands for decades to come. Do you wish me to use it?” I asked as I opened my eyes and looked straight into his.
“No.” the Queen promptly replied in his stead.
“I agree with my wife on this one, but I would also like to hear everyone's opinion on this one.” said the King as he cast his gaze on all those present here.
Note from the author: Thank you for reading this chapter, I hope you enjoyed it! Oh, and be sure to check out my other stories too!
Seeing how things have been a bit hard for me lately, I will try and focus around posting only at the end of the week, during a Friday or Saturday(ish). I'm going to try the weekly chapter dump version of the schedule to see if this fits me better.
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