Wizard! Chapter 369
Tiburcio was amazed at how many humans there were. Their numbers seemed to be limitless, and filled his vision completely. Not that he was worried about the normal infantry too much. He thought they might still kill him, but more likely was the wizards. He could feel the heat of their spells and the sound of destruction. It was matched from behind him onto the ranks of the humans, but that did little to stop the enemy spellcasters who were further back.
He could see mana flying every which way, though he had trouble making sense of it before it turned into something… for example a fireball. He raised his shield to block, and felt the heat as his skin was singed… but that was all. The bigger danger lay in the humans attacking him with weapons as he had to block… but they seemed to be pulling back. Then there was a minute where the gevai launched no spells, which confused Tiburcio. After all, he could see the mana flowing past him, and hear the chanting… but there were very few spells. Was something wrong? Then he heard a booming voice, loud enough to cause his ears to hurt, and saw the humans turn and run, many of them throwing down their weapons or shields as they went.
Rupert Heyman was an expert wizard. He wasn’t quite a contender for Archmage, but he was one of the elite. He was given the command of a company of mages. He was still subordinate to the commander of the First Ostanan Army, but took orders directly from him. He was proud of himself, and of all the excellent wizards under his command. Finding and training such large numbers had been a great accomplishment for Ostana over the past decades. If they had not gone to war, Rupert knew they would make great strides in the academic fields. However, this portion went to war under his command- they would be the deciding factors in great battles.
That was what he thought, but instead they sat in the mud. Then the battle came, and it was finally their chance to shine. They put their battle training to the test, and rained destruction down on the demon army… only to be met by an equal number of trained demon warlocks. That shook Rupert to the core. The demons not only had fierce warriors, but their innate magical capabilities allowed them to equally match in magical capacity, with total numbers merely one part in twelve. No, perhaps the demons were a bit stronger individually in magic, and with matched numbers… Rupert didn’t know what he could do. Still, the fought on the orders of the commander.
Then it happened. The demons stopped their magic. For a few brief moments he thought they might have tired… but he was soon proven wrong. Even without finely attuning his senses, he could feel the movement of mana, and when he focused he saw the tides rushing into the demon army. However, instead of a chorus… there was merely a single voice ringing in his ears. He saw a great spell forming, though he could not make sense of it right away.
After a minute or so, both a brief moment and an eternity in the chaos of the battlefield, a great figure rose up. A towering demon stood above their army, hundreds of feet high. “Flee, puny humans!” The voice rang out over the army, and the world trembled. Rupert wasn’t in the habit of listening to the commands of demon gods, but as he thought about the battle situation in front of him, he thought he might try it. In a few moments, he would be given no choice anyway, as the soldiers were all turning and rushing toward the back of the encampment.
Rupert found himself fortunate to have his horse with him, so that he could easily leave the cramped palisade. The army barely fit to begin with, and now being pressed back they occupied merely half of it. As Rupert looked back, he saw the press of bodies bring down the rear of the palisade. Cavalry rode out as well, having never even reached the front of the battle. Even the commander was riding his horse as fast as he could, only belatedly remembering to sound the official call for retreat.
After he had ridden for a few frantic minutes, Rupert realized the demon god he saw was an illusion. It must have been. However, he didn’t change his actions. Perhaps he was still influenced by the vision, but he thought fleeing sounded like the best option. After clearing his thoughts, Rupert realized he had made the right choice. Certainly, it was merely an illusion… but he didn’t want to fight against someone who could make such a large visual illusion and enough sound to shake the battlefield. If all that energy was channeled into a smaller area in the form of an attack, he knew he wouldn’t want to be anywhere near it. Upon reflection, Rupert realized it must have been a demon lord. He had heard they were particularly powerful, but he only truly understood upon seeing it in person.
William watched the fleeing human army. His own army was only under orders to give a halfhearted chase, and to let them flee. He didn’t want to take more casualties to his own men… and he had really only defeated a small part of the enemy force. Perhaps one part in eight or less. That was several battalions of men, and even outnumbered William’s own forces, but he knew if they organized themselves properly they could still give up a good fight. However, William didn’t need to kill them. Merely driving them off was a victory. Hopefully their upper command would realize this fort was merely a mud hole and ignore it in the future, but that wasn’t his problem.
Jordan sat on a horse next to William, also looking out over the battlefield. “What did you do, to get this result? What did you say?”
“Well, effectively… BOO!” William snapped his head closer to Jordan at the same time he raised his voice, and Jordan nearly jumped out of his saddle.
“Ah… and that worked?” Jordan nodded, “I suppose the terrain helped a lot here. They did not organize their forces in an optimal way, and instead boxed themselves in. If they had noticed that our front lines ended up being only a few men deep, they might have reacted differently. That said, we were not quite evenly matched. I’ve heard that gevai can match a dozen humans, but we seem to have done even better than that.”
William nodded, “Of course. What do you think we spent all that money and time training for? To perform poorly?” William shook his head, “Once we loot the supplies left behind in that camp and gather the equipment, we can leave this place behind. We have already given the fort commander here some clear instructions for how he can keep them from setting up nearby again. I don’t imagine they’ll be able to return soon without many supplies.”