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The light faded as the sky rapidly dimmed. It was now somewhere between twilight and darkness.
As the street lamps lit up one by one and the contours of the street were gradually eaten away by the night, if one looked up into the sky they would see an airship heading towards the palace.
Those standing on top of the airship were able to hear various noises. The sound of the wind whistling by, the sound of the ship creaking as well as the roaring of the magic engine. *Whoosh*
The soldiers stood with faces painted in utter determination. The airship felt like it was tearing through the air at warp-speed, the air slicing by them like a sword. Their cheeks stung and earlobes felt as though they were being torn off.
But they all remained upright. They preserved their formation. “You are all proud soldiers of Kuma Merilson, Magic Kingdom.”
Kei Hazmaryoon. His voice wasn’t loud, but his distinct voice was not buried under all of the different noises.
“We were not blessed with the mana that the wizards proudly boast of. We use the edged tools that this Kingdom looks down upon. If we were to die in the field of duty, no one would remember us. History may portray us as evil traitors. But none of that matters. No matter what people say, no matter what future generations may say, no matter if we win or lose, we are standing here at this moment for the sake of the Kingdom.”
The crowd was silent. *Thud*
He brought his weapon downwards in a simple motion to strike against the deck of the ship.
“We may be holding the swords of the Kingdom, but these swords are for the removal of evil! In the name of His Majesty, I pray that we remove the evil of this Kingdom!”
Weapons struck the deck in unison. The soldiers shouted. They shouted together as one. “Our hearts are your swords; your will is the purpose of our lives!”
All of these soldiers had been saved by Kei.
They were people who devoted their lives to him alone. Their fervor was such that it seemed likely that they would even take their own lives if instructed to.
“Commander, we’ll be entering range of the palace’s anti-air defense soon.”
The twilight had almost completely faded. The palace, located in the center of the capital, was slowly consumed by the darkness.
Kei Hazmaryoon gave his first command for the mission. “Prepare for entry.”
Desir nodded. As he took the lead of the soldiers, he looked down.
On the surface of the land, there were many sorcerers waiting. They were soldiers who were guarding the Magic Kingdom.
They numbered six-hundred strong.
He could also make out a magic cannon aimed at the airship and several strong looking sorcerers busy calculating and formulating spells.
As the airship entered their effective range, an unbelievable number of spells were released in their direction. Countless flowers of mana came into full bloom with stalks of mana seemingly planted on the ground below.
These spells were powerful, as one would expect from the defense invoked by the country with the strongest and most advanced magic on this continent at this point in history. *Bang*
There were fire spells, ice spells, and even thunderbolt spells.
The sorcerers worked together and fired everything they had at the airship from all sides. The scene was impressive, somewhat reminiscent of a festival’s fireworks.
“… What a feast for the eyes.”
The sheer number of spells was overwhelming.
The airship had advanced in secret and traveled at high speeds to reach the palace. It did not take more than ten minutes for the airship to take off and arrive at the palace. It was quite impressive that the palace defense had already prepared to this extent and mounted a defense capable of intercepting them at this level within such a short period of time. Furthermore, the spells that the soldiers of the Magic Kingdom invoked in order to protect the palace were good enough to annihilate a whole legion of any other nation.
All of these spells that currently filled up the sky, descended on the lone airship like a flood. Desir closed his eyes and stretched his arms out towards the ground below. He confirmed the spell techniques that were used to form the various spells hurtling at them.
He couldn’t help muttering to himself. “Such poor quality.”
Those were spells widely used 100 years before the era that Desir lived in. The power of them was different and form varied greatly too. They lacked in every department and were far behind their equivalent modern versions.
The techniques used here had a mountain of development left in order to approach what was common in modern times. During that era, the power of a wizard was determined purely by the strength of the spells they could deploy. With such a narrow focus on what strength meant, techniques to invert spells by digging into their weaknesses had not even been discovered or applied yet. They were simply not prepared in this field in the slightest.
In comparison to the modern spell techniques that encoded the spell calculations in complicated and obfuscated spell arrays to protect against spell analysis and inversion, their spell techniques were honest to a fault.
“Spells that are not prepared adequately are no more than easy prey.”
It would take only a minimal amount of effort from Desir to invert all of the spells that were pouring towards them. He wouldn’t feel any threat from hundreds of such spells shooting towards him.
Desir opened his eyes. *Crack*
The fastest spell approaching the airship was inverted. It disappeared without a trace, leaving faint fragments of mana particles behind.
That was just the beginning. *Crack*
Many spells shooting towards the airship started to disappear.
Within mere moments, the flood of spells had been significantly culled. The night sky had started to return to its original, dark state.
A second flood of spells poured in once again. “… It’s no use.”
The result was the same. However, this time, the spells were neutralized much faster. Even before the spells were fully invoked, the spell techniques were interrupted and turned into mana particles.
Those on the ground were left astonished.
This phenomenon was a kind of strength that was entirely out of their league and outside of any common sense. There was no one who could manage to carry out such an attack, if it could even be called that.
“Of course, we can’t block every attack by just inverting it… ”
Following the flood of many spells, the magic cannon was fired at the airship, leaving a streak of light as it surged at them.
Because a magic cannon functioned by firing a blast of pure mana, inverting it was impossible. Normally, it was necessary to deploy defensive spells, but there was no need to on this airship. Kei strode up to Desir and swung his sword at the magic cannon that had just fired.
The mana that had been compressed to such a high density was split into two streams due to Kei’s sword technique.
Those who witnessed this overwhelming power were left speechless.
There was no fourth attempt.
They had realized that they could do nothing to stop the advance of this airship. There was simply nothing they could do at all while the airship glided past their line of defense. To continue to attack would be a waste of mana; they could only watch in frustration.
* * *
The Rose Brigade
It was a unit consisting of the best sorcerers who lived in the Magic Kingdom.
Being affiliated with it was enough to prove a magician’s skills. Serving in the unit would be an honor for anyone.
Colonel Daren was the leader of the Red Rose battalion, a section of that unit. His office was one of the most luxurious places in the palace.
Daren was reading a report and drinking coffee; somewhat of a daily routine for him. In front of him was a lovely lady wearing a military uniform.
“So, the communication spells won’t be operational until tomorrow?”
“That’s correct, sir. There’s an issue with the communication arrays that are installed everywhere in the palace. The restoration is expected to be completed tomorrow.”
“That’s strange. I thought there would be no issues for a while after we did such extensive repairs last year.”
After the communication arrays were installed, the kingdom’s reporting system relied heavily on the use of communication spells. Due to their extreme dependency whenever there were problems with these communication arrays, they would be almost completely cut off from their communication network.
Daren flipped to the next page of the report. Reading it line by line, his face creased further and further into a frown.
“…Well, there’s no good news here at all. The sentiment of the citizens is the worst.”
“Sir, it’s clear that there are innocent amongst them. I feel a little bit troubled by the fact that they are detaining them without a formal trial.”
“What did you just say?” Daren harshly enquired.
“Look here, lieutenant. Sympathizing with them, are you?”
The lieutenant quickly shook her head.
With a slightly softer tone, Daren spoke again.
“No, you should be sympathetic as a human, of course. But you are a lieutenant. If you forget where you belong, that would make things difficult. You’re a soldier after all.”
“That’s correct, sir.”
“Right. Just follow orders given by the authority. Just adhere to your orders, retire, and live with the pension you receive. You can sympathize, but do not cross that line. That’s not too hard, is it?”
It was at that moment… *Bang*
An explosion resounded throughout the palace ground. Even the table shook as if there were an earthquake.
Someone hurriedly opened the door and entered without even knocking. He was a wizard under the command of Daren.
“My apologies for this misconduct, Colonel.”
He saluted towards Daren, but Daren just frowned in obvious distaste for the flagrant breach in etiquette.
“I’m a busy person. I’m not some minor person to whom a petty person like you could just report to without observing due formality.”
“But it’s important.”
“I don’t want to hear it. Get out. Let’s have a proper conversion after suitable procedure has been adhered to.”
“That’s not possible, Colonel. I am truly sorry for my misconduct, but the palace is being attacked.”
“Currently the force placed in the outer bailey is responding to the attack, but the soldiers are being neutralized at a large scale. Same goes for the Red Rose battalion that is stationed there.”
A heavy silence sank down on them. Daren put down his cup. The liquid in the cup shook slightly, indicating a great disturbance somewhere on the palace grounds. This lent credibility to the report, even if the sound and earthquake were to be ignored.
“Is it the Hebrion Empire invading? They haven’t issued any proclamation of war.” “It is not a war. There is only one airship approaching the palace.”
He then added, as if it were an afterthought.
“It’s an airship that the Grand Master of the Sword, Commander Kei, operates.”
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