Mountain Pass Crossing: Chaotic Battle
The harpies descended as if falling. And no arrows could hit them.
However, as they would just crash into the ground if they stayed like that, they opened their wings at the last moment, and switched to an attacking stance. At the same time, the signal was given.
“Team one, fire!”
The timing was calculated, which showed how they were used to fighting harpies. The archers had been separated into groups, and the arrows flew.
Arrows pierced into the harpy that took the lead, and its human face let out a high-pitched scream as it fell.
It was my first time seeing a harpy up close. And just as the legends said, it had a woman’s face, winged arms, and talons on its feet. The face was terribly contorted. There was nothing there but malice. The body was slightly small for a human, and it was covered in feathers.
“Team two, fire! Sequentially from there!”
As the harpies continued to fall, there was no time to give the signals. Still, the unleashed arrows continued to hit their targets. The harpies either fell and died, or flew away after being wounded.
Perhaps we would be fine then. I was only able to think that for a moment. With the sheer number of them, one harpy finally slipped through the rain of arrows and flew towards the caravan. I raised my sword and prepared to face them. Those who could not fight also raised their shields.
However, the harpy suddenly spread out its wings, and while in the air, opened its mouth.
“Noise! Cover your…”
Someone began to shout, but it was too late. A sound that could hardly be described as sound then assaulted the caravan. Without thinking, I dropped my sword, squatted, and covered my ears.
It felt like the sound was going to split my head open. The others nearby had also dropped their bows and were covering their ears. However, the area of effect seemed limited, and people that were a short distance away were fine.
An arrow was unleashed from there, and the ‘whoosh’ cut through the terrible sound. It slammed into the harpy’s forehead, and the sound waves stopped.
When I raised my head, I saw Gunat, who had finished shooting the arrow, and another harpy attacking him.
I raised my voice without thinking, but Lodoz’s shield intercepted the talons. After having the attack blocked, the harpy rose into the air once again.
However, it was not the only harpy nearby. The break in the rain of arrows caused by the sound waves had been fatal. One after another, the harpies began to attack the caravan.
Chaos had taken over the line. There was no notion of advance or rear guard anymore.
I swung my sword at the flying enemy, but it dodged the attack easily. They could easily escape by flying upwards. Swords really were difficult to use against airborne opponents. However, I had to keep them away from the caravan.
A harpy attacked one of the merchants. He was on the wagon and desperately trying to hide behind a shield. But the harpy seemed intent on its target, and was clawing at the shield.
I shot towards the driver’s seat. Then I thrust out my sword up above me. It pierced through the bird-like talons.
And then I swung my sword around, and slammed the harpy onto the ground.
The harpy squealed as it slammed into the ground. Now it was me who was looking down at it. There was fear merged in its bright yellow eyes.
And without mercy, I thrust my sword into its chest. The body shuddered and blood poured from its mouth as it died.
Even if it had the head of a woman, one could not mistake them for being the same. They were the hunters, and we were the prey.
The death of their own seemed to enrage the others, as the claws continued to descend from the sky. But when I swung, they would fly back up again. If they would stay still like before, I had a chance of defeating them.
But if the attacks continued like this, I could not heal my comrades. Perhaps I should test some Light magic. And so leaned my sword against my shoulder and raised my other hand into the air.
A sphere of light appeared above my head. For some reason, everyday magic wasn’t used through a staff. I suppose it was different, as you could use it without chanting or prayer skills. Though, you had to use your hand, so it was not suited for those who used a two-handed store.
As for the sphere of light, I could not move it quickly. I could only move it slowly with my hand. However, it also followed me if I moved, and so I ran around so that the sphere came near to the harpies that were close to the ground.
The harpies jumped higher in alarm. Good. It was working.
And then the Adventurers picked up their bows again and aimed. Upon receiving support, the Adventures regained their calm, which then spread throughout the caravan.
And like that, the harpies were shot out of the air, while the others started to retreat by flying even higher.
“Over here, healer!”
A voice shouted in the meantime. I swiftly dismissed the sphere of light, and headed in the direction of the voice. If I kept it out for too long, I would become the new target.
“Over here! Hurry!”
Most of the wounded were bleeding due to being scratched by the talons. And though there were three healers working, we were unable to save everyone, and the atmosphere became heavy.
Lodoz raised his voice at the Adventurers who surrounded their fallen comrade.
“This is no time to be looking down! Turn your eyes skywards!”
He said as he pointed up.
I looked up and saw that the situation had gotten worse indeed. The flock of harpies may have become smaller, but more of them were not flying from the mountains to join the others.
“We’re against the worst kind of queen. Not only does she have perfect control over her own, but even commands other flocks as well.”
Lodoz raised his voice even more.
“Hey! Listen, all of you! We’ll make a fortress out of the wagons! They’ll target us if we’re scattered. Make a dense formation!”
Upon hearing this, the Adventurers started to move the wagons together, after the horses were untied, and then the horses and merchants were placed in the center. The Adventurers who had lost their comrades also left the body and rose, spears in hand.
In spite of their feelings of grief, right now, they had to think about survival.
“While these were to be sold, please use them. And while there is only one, here’s an MP potion.”
The merchants then offered potions from the wagons. As the MP situation was dire, we were grateful. Leliane held onto the MP potion for now.
However, we were not the only ones who prepared.
“Here they come!”
When I looked at the sky, I saw the whirlwind of harpies, even more numerous than before. At least twice their original number.
At this point, it was difficult to even count them.