If William was the Demon King, it was at this point in the battle he would choose to retreat… unless reinforcements were about to arrive. William thought those who were better trained in tactics would agree with him. Though the Demon King himself was not yet in any serious danger, his forces were beginning to diminish.
At this point, not only did the Demon King not retreat, he actually continued to advance. By now, he was surrounded only by enemies, but he continued on almost as if there weren’t an army trying to stop him, and he was instead taking a walk in the park. His voice continued to boom across the battlefield as he cast magic, while at the same time fighting those next to him with his spear. His intent soon became clear, as he advanced toward the contingent of wizards. Since the enemy had to go through the rest of the army to get to them, they were usually safe… but the Demon King didn’t seem to care about that minor detail.
To the commander’s credit, he quickly realized the Demon King’s intent, and came up with a counter strategy. Of course, the wizards could just have been ordered to retreat. Although the Demon King moved forward steadily, he wasn’t really going much faster than normal walking pace. However, the wizards were still a valuable component of the battle. Thus, the commander quickly split the wizards up into four groups. Three of them retreated in different directions, while one group continued to provide battlefield support. Then, once the groups were more split up, they alternated who was supporting and who was repositioning. Though some wizards could cast spells on the move, they were less effective overall than a relatively stationary position. They still had to move around the battlefield to areas where the mana wasn’t depleted, or had already refilled the area, but unlike a duel in an arena the terrain wasn’t flat, so they had to watch their step, as well as worrying about attacks from multiple enemies. It was already much harder to concentrate with everything happening around them, so a quick march made casting spells less reliable.
William couldn’t see the Demon King’s face, but he got the feeling he was annoyed. The booming voice had that edge to it, and his movements changed. He sped up, nearly running toward a particular group of wizards. This left him open to more attacks as he wildly passed through the army, and though some attacks connected, William wasn’t sure if any of them managed to even damage his armor.
It was not long before the Demon King reached the small group of wizards, and his intentions became clear. He immediately picked one up… after which the wizard was no more. This time, too, the Demon King absorbed some of the remnant bits of soul. To their credit, up to this point the wizards had remained steady, but now those nearby turned and fled. Though they might not have clearly seen and understood what was happening… they were not trained for melee combat with the Demon King. The Demon King chased after them, and even in his heavy armor he was faster than them, catching one after another.
William was so distracted by this that he hadn’t even noticed the arrival of the human’s reinforcements, though he should have. After all, they were expected. Somehow, without realizing it, the Demon King was now near the center of a much expanded human army. It was then that William received word it was almost time for his company to act.
It had become clear that William’s company wouldn’t be enough to defeat the Demon King alone. They had always intended to go in with others, of course, but that was with the idea that the Demon King would be surrounded by allies, and approaching him would be a problem. It was now clear that getting to him was never going to be a problem, since he seemed to completely ignore the status of the battlefield and just did whatever he wanted. Otherwise, he might have noticed that the army he had with him was in shambles.
Even so, William thought that his attitude wasn’t entirely insane. After all, he would reincarnate even if he was killed. Beyond that, though… it wasn’t unreasonable for him to think he was not yet in danger, since he could move about seemingly as he pleased. Not that the humans planned to allow that to continue. Wizards created a quagmire underneath his feet, turning the ground into a slurry of mud, one patch at a time. The Demon King immediately sunk up to his waist, though the knights around him did as well. After all, if the area of the quagmire was too small… he could easily get out. The wizards then immediately launched various attacks from different places on the battlefield, and William saw the Demon King injured for the first time… or at least his armor was somewhat blackened.
Then, in a single spell, the Demon King solidified the ground around him, the entire area that had taken dozens of wizards to set up. He was still buried in the ground, but it only took him a second of effort to burst one leg then his other out of its confinement. He then started slaughtering the knights who were still buried up to their wastes, while also heading for more wizards.
At this point, William’s company started to advance, though they were mixed in with the rest of the army. In fact, they were scattered throughout various companies, wherever they visually fit in. That meant William was among one group of martial artists from Liaoyang. Moving toward the Demon King instead of away from him was the most terrifying thing William had ever done, though he hadn’t realized it until now. So far, the Demon King had shown not even a shred of weakness… but this would be the best chance. They would likely never have such a good opportunity again, with the Demon King completely surrounded by an army, and those who could destroy him ready to fight. William just hoped they could destroy him.