One dozen energy cultivators were projecting their energy together to maintain a barrier around themselves and the necromancers. That kept the duelists from reaching the necromancers to kill them, but now that there was nothing in between the strike team and the barrier, they wouldn’t have trouble taking it down.
Mistress Abels struck the first blow. Even though there were a dozen people resisting her, the barrier trembled. Barrett felt they were all around second tier, so they should have just barely been able to keep up with her in terms of total energy. Of course, that all depended on how close Mistress Abels was to sixth tier… and whether or not anyone else was attacking the barrier. The duelists actually conserved their energy and mana, preparing to strike when the barrier fell. Immediately after Mistress Abels struck and the barrier was still reeling, the other half of the Immortal Berserker Team struck. Surprisingly, the barrier still stood… though just barely. The energy cultivators were pouring their all into it to just barely keep it standing.
Behind the barrier, the necromancers were preparing something else, though it didn’t feel quite like a curse. It was hard for Barrett to tell through the barrier, but it was at least something different from before.
Mistress Abels and the rest of the Immortal Berserkers struck as one. Mistress Abel’s hammer crashed into the barrier, warping it, and the rest of the attacks broke through, breaking and tearing what remained. With the collapse of the barrier, the energy cultivators maintaining it collapsed as well, falling to their knees.
As he saw the barrier fall, Barrett activated his boots to get a boost of speed. There was at most five meters between him and the necromancers, but every bit of speed could make them misjudge their actions. Barrett charged straight for the strongest one, but they had all been prepared for the barrier to fall.
As Barrett and the duelists charged forward, black tendrils of magic grew out from them, reaching out at the attackers. Around him, Barrett saw the members of the Order of the Four Winds ducking and weaving over, under, and around the attacks. Though they had great speed, they could also easily shift their momentum.
The same wasn’t true for Barrett… but he didn’t care about dodging. He’d seen such an attack before, and continued to charge forward with his shield out in front of him. As they impacted his shield, he felt a bit of curse magic had been added to the life draining magic- a technique he was lucky hadn’t been used by Artur Nicolescu.
The tendrils tried to grab at Barrett’s life force, but before they could grasp onto him his momentum had carried him within striking range of his axe. Barrett might not have needed any berserk energy to kill this necromancer- without the tendrils blocking, he would basically be a normal human- but he used enough to kill a second tier warrior just in case. His axe came down on top of the necromancer, cleaving the man in two as the black tendrils wriggled and writhed for a moment. Barrett waited for a moment, gathering the energy for another attack… but no spirit left the body. Perhaps he didn’t have enough mana- Artur had used an entire room full of people- or perhaps he didn’t know the technique, either because it was secret or he wasn’t connected to the Grasping Hand. Regardless, nothing happened. Around Barrett, the duelists had killed the other necromancers, stabbing through their hearts or slicing their throats depending on what was convenient.
Soldiers started pouring in from the back ranks of the army, and Mistress Abels shouted, “Bag a body or two and go!”
Barrett got to work doing exactly that. While killing the necromancers was the most important, depriving the enemy of their equipment was also relevant. They were currently surrounded by the enemy army so they didn’t have the time to leisurely strip them of their equipment, but they had all been given magic rucksacks- storage bags with large enough openings to conveniently fit people in quickly.
Barrett stuffed both halves of the leading necromancer and one of the energy cultivators inside- after finishing off the latter. Then he turned to run back towards those holding up the rear- though most of them were standing around next to a pile of bodies.
“We’ll go straight through to our front ranks!” Mistress Abels declared.
The Immortal Berserkers formed up into the same formation, and the strike team started retreating- straight through the front lines of the enemy. The soldiers there had to choose between turning to stop the retreating cultivators and not turning their backs on the advancing army. Once they realized what was happening, some of them just stepped out of the way, and once some of them started, the rest realized what was happening and scattered to the sides and away. As the front ranks, their losses were already heavy enough without being attacked by higher tier cultivators from behind, and there were no more zombies to take the brunt of the attacks.
Across the battlefield, Barrett could see several other swathes of soldiers being opened up, where hopefully successful strike teams were returning to the cultivator army. Barrett was glad everything seemed to have gone well. The army from Ruclua appeared to be in disarray, and even if they reformed they wouldn’t be nearly as strong without their high tier cultivators. Barrett wondered how they ever hoped to win- at best they could have barely managed to get by.
East in the Southern Tornado Mountains, a small army marched through and even smaller pass. Chill wind blew on them as their boots crunched through the snow. “Look alive men! We have to reach Oseta before anyone knows we’re coming. We can’t afford to get bogged down with a little snow!”
The army, though small, was not weak. With five hundred men from first to fourth tier and a commander at fifth tier, Sashor stood no chance with their near complete lack of cultivators. Even if they had time to raise a small army, they would not be able to do much. Especially not once the necromancer among their party got working on an army.