Mountain Pass Crossing: Queen
“Ajifu! Trade places!”
Jirot said, and so I traded places with him in the front. I had thought being in the advance guard would be difficult with a spear. But he used it expertly to parry the talons. He would surely be fine.
“Please make the sphere of light again.”
Gunat said to me, as I moved back and drank some water.
“That was just a bluff. If I do it again, they’ll figure it out and target me.”
“If we can make their attacks concentrate in one place, that would be fine. However, just place it lower this time.”
So by sticking out, we would make them target a smaller area. While it meant standing in the front, I suppose I would try it.
I can just erase it if things get dangerous. And so I raised my hand and created the sphere of light.
At Gunat’s signal, I moved out again. The harpies that were nearby were alarmed by the sphere, and so they scattered. However, once they saw that nothing was happening, they quickly determined that it was no threat.
They started to dive down from the sky again, and this time, they attacked the area near the sphere. So it was just as we anticipated!
Then they passed the sphere, and their talons slammed into the ground.
For a second, I was stunned, and my movement was delayed. But Jirot was quick to react, and he pierced the fallen harpy with his spear.
As the sphere was made of magic energy, it would not disappear just because they passed it. Though, perhaps it would vanish if they used the sound attack.
After that, the attacks of the harpies seemed to lack precision. It was easy to dodge their attacks.
I dodged the harpy, and as it passed by, I swung at it from the side.
It was cut in half, and the two pieces rolled away.
Around us, the bodies piled up. Three, and four…
While it was little by little, we were doing damage to them. Perhaps we could do this. It was just as I thought this, that a great shadow appeared in the sky.
The harpy queen had spread out her wings, and opened her mouth. She was going to do the noise attack. Damn it!
Arrows were unleashed, but the wind protected her. And the chanting of the magician would not make it in time.
You could hardly even call it a sound. The shock waves were a physical attack as they smashed into the caravan.
Humans and horses were knocked down. Screams and shouts erupted through the battlefield. A wide area attack when we were all huddled together. Nothing could be worse.
However, thankfully, the attack itself was not too powerful. Besides, the other harpies had risen into the air in order to avoid it.
My ears and head hurt, but I swiftly got back to my feet and picked up Mine Breaker.
And then I leaned against my shoulder as I ran, jumped over the broken wagons, and out of the fortress.
Someone shouted, but I kept running. And then I raised my hand towards the queen and chanted.
I created another, as the previous one had been erased. Of course, it did not reach the queen, but her irritation was now focused on me. She spread out her wings and opened her mouth. Come then!
The shockwaves attacked once more, erasing the sphere of light. And while I was slammed into the dirt, I was prepared this time. The sword remained tightly in my grip, and there was no one behind me.
Unlike the ordinary harpies, the queen’s did physical damage. That was why I could clearly see the area of effect.
And due to the shockwaves, the other harpies could not come down, and seemed to be confused.
I kept unleashing it provokingly. Now, what will she do?
I heard the anger in her voice as she rushed towards me. Clearly she was not looking at the sphere of light, but the caster.
And so in preparation, I charged Mine Breaker with extra energy.
However, the queen stopped in the air while still out of my reach, and batted its wings. I wasn’t sure what it was doing, but I held my sword at the mid-level.
It was then that Lodoz jumped in front of me.
Immediately after, I heard something cutting through the wind. Something that I could not see had clashed with Lodoz’s shield, and he was pushed back. And while he managed to stay on his feet, his armor was cracked, and blood streamed from it.
I didn’t know what happened, but I healed him anyway.
“It’s wind cutter. Be careful!”
Lodoz said without taking his eyes off of the queen, who hovered above. So that’s wind cutter. But though I was told to be careful, I could only hear the sound. It had also erased the sphere of light.
“I’m out of MP, and won’t be able to heal you next time.”
I had no time to check my status, but it should be below 10 already.
“Just need one more attack. Bear it! It’s coming!”
The queen drew a circle in the sky and then shot towards us.
Then it stopped in front of us again, and then flapped its wings. While leaping to the side, I raised the sword diagonally forward. And at the moment the sword gained weight, I took another step by kicking the ground, and dove headfirst toward the ground.
The wind blades that had hit Lodoz were a line attack, not a surface. And so I thought that I could dodge it.
Just then, as the queen was suspended in the sky, a fire spear was unleashed from the fortress, and hit her directly.
The queen let out a cry of pain. And without delay, darkballs and earth arrows pierced into her.
Unable to defend herself, the queen lost her balance and plummeted to the ground.
The voice rang from the wagon fortress, and the Adventurers jumped over the barriers and rushed towards the queen.
And then the harpies, who had been waiting up above, dove down in an attempt to save her.
Both sides clashed. Adventurers went flying while harpies were slammed into the ground.
This time, the harpies did not try to escape, they stayed near the ground in order to guard their queen. Sometimes they would unleash their noise, and be knocked down.
With the queen in the back, the chaotic battle of wings and blades began.
“Can you stand? Let’s go!”
Lodoz helped me back to my feet. I was not wounded, at least.
I grabbed my sword and headed towards the queen. We were on the other side of the clash, and so there was no one between us and the queen.
She rose from the ground and tried to spread her wings. Like we would let that happen!
“No, you won’t!”
Lodoz shouted as he charged. But the two harpies descended and blocked his path.
The talons slashed towards Lodoz. He stood his ground and blocked with his shield. Furthermore, he used his sword to pierce the leg of the other harpy. The two became tangled and fell while screaming.
Well, I had no choice but to do it now!!
And so I rushed past Lodoz and the harpies and to the queen with her outspread wings.
The queen’s knees bent and the body lowered.
The wings beat once. And then she was in the air.
I stepped hard, pressing down as much as the spring in my prosthetic leg would allow. It seemed to scream from the pressure. Please don’t break!
The force of the unleashed spring launched me into the air. And from that position, I swung downwards.
The tip of my sword caught its wing, and feathers danced in the wind.
Even with its wing slashed and its balance lost, the queen kept trying to fly.
I landed on the ground, turned my blade, and then swung back up. One of its large talons opened up and tried to block it.
Upon seeing this, I weakened the force, allowing it to bounce lightly off.
That was a close one. She had been about to use Mine Breaker’s attack as a launchpad in order to fly.
I quickly turned the blade again and while holding it up high, took a step forward and swung down. Now it would not be able to fly!
However, this time, the queen did not beat its wings to go up, but back. With one movement, it retreated, barely dodging my sword.
I was let open after swinging through air, and it spread its wings and opened its mouth. It would unleash the noise!
But before it could finish, while I was still holding my sword downwards, I rushed ahead as if falling.
Right under the queen’s talons.
The noise attack was unleashed straight ahead. And while I was right to guess I would be out of the range of effect, it was still a bad place to be.
It was all I could do to raise my sword and block the talons that tried to crush me.
While being kicked, I blocked and rolled on the ground.
Then I quickly got up onto one knee and swung horizontally with my sword. There were sharp pains in my arms and shoulder, but they did not seem to be deep.
With her wings still spread out, the queen landed on the ground. Apparently, she could not beat her wings while using that attack. While I had prevented her from taking off, the fight was not over yet.
Now that I looked at her, the queen’s body was riddled in wounds from the magic attack. Burns from the fire lance, and the feathers were covered in blood. However, there was no sign of defeat in those golden eyes.
She was not the largest monster out there. Now did she have a hard shell or incredible strength.
And yet, after the brief encounter, I was certain.
‘This is going to be tough.’
With a feeling of tiredness of what was to come, I gripped Mine Breaker even tighter.