I had some unexpected free time so enjoy the chapter.
War Part 7
Translators: Skythewood, Frostfire10
“Get him! Zaryusu!”
Zenberu who dashed out faster than anyone else stretched his giant arm and attacked the Skeleton Warrior.
He didn’t care when the Skeleton Warrior blocked it with its shield, using brute force to press them back. The shield was dented, and the Skeleton Warrior staggering back collided with the other Skeleton Warrior and lost its balance. At the same time, Zenberu used his tail to swipe at another Skeleton Warrior, but missed.
The formation of the Skeleton Warriors was broken and Zaryusu used this chance to slip through.
Two Skeleton Warriors slashed at Zaryusu after hearing the Lich’s command.
It was possible for Zaryusu to dodge; he could also use Frost Pain to block if he wanted to. But Zaryusu did neither of these. Dodging would mean he was slow.
Zaryusu didn’t want to make any unnecessary moves in front of the Lich.
And more importantly—
The earth moved like whips, binding the two Skeletal Warriors. The whips made from mud were like steel chains, restraining the movement of the two Skeleton Warriors as Zaryusu charged into the gap in their formation.
—-Crusch was present too.
Zaryusu wasn’t fighting alone, he just needed to trust his comrades.
Even Crusch’s magic couldn’t seal off their movements completely. The scimitars of the Skeleton Warriors still grazed Zaryusu. But that was nothing, his boiling blood made him impervious to this pain.
He charged at the Lich who was pointing his finger at him. Even if he got hit by a spell, Zaryusu had to endure it and charge the target. He moved with iron willed determination.
[Fools! Know true fear! <Scare>!]
A fear like something had grabbed his heart attacked Zaryusu.
His vision shook, he could not understand where he was standing, and he felt uncertain, like something in his surroundings was about to attack him.
His legs were slowing down to a stop.
His legs could not move from the effect mental magic attack <Scare>.
Zaryusu, Zenberu and Crusch were strong. However, the Lich was stronger, they had fully understood that fact. Their bodies were screaming at them to run away. However they were chosen as part of this special group as they could suppress it with their will. Their originally suppressed instincts received reinforcement from the Lich’s magic, and stole their right to control their body.
Their hearts screamed at their legs to move. However, they did not.
“Zaryusu! <Lion’s Heart>!”
The moment Crusch shouted, his fear vanished instantly and his will gushed out from within stronger than before. The Lich glared unhappily at Crusch and pointed a finger at her.
White lightning dashed at an angle where no one was—-
Zaryusu who started running again was almost consumed by hatred, but got hold of himself in the end. Hatred could be a good weapon sometimes, but in the face of a powerful foe, it could get in the way instead. What he needed when fighting a strong enemy was fiery heart and an ice cold mind.
Zaryusu would never turn his head.
The Lich attacked Crusch just now, but that meant Zaryusu could use this chance to close the distance.
Dismay could be seen on the Lich’s face and it knew it made a mistake.
This reaction made Zaryusu, whose beloved female was harmed, sneer mockingly.
Frost Pain that sliced in from the side knocked away the Lich’s finger.
“I will let you know your spells are useless now!”
Zaryusu narrowed his eyes at the feeling transmitted to his arm. It was different from the feeling of cutting something. This meant that the Lich had some sort of resistance to weapons.
But it wasn’t invulnerable.
That’s right, if he had resistance against damage, Zaryusu just needed to deal more damage.
What he needed to do was to keep on slashing.
Of course, it was easier said than done. Zaryusu understood that. However, the warrior Zaryusu could do nothing but that.
[Don’t look down on me, lizardman! <Silent Magic Arrow>!]
Three arrows of light suddenly flew towards Zaryusu from the Lich’s body. The arrows of light that appeared without any preparatory actions or signs made Zaryusu block them with his sword on reflex, but the magic arrows went through the weapon and hit Zaryusu’s body, inflicting dull pain.
Silent Magic didn’t require any preparatory actions, so it could not be disrupted from being casted.
Not only that, Magic Arrow was also a type of spell that could not be evaded, so Zaryusu couldn’t dodge it either. However—-
Zaryusu gritted his teeth and cleaved at the Lich with Frost Pain.
Magic Arrow might be undodgeable, but its damage output was low too. For someone who had gone through tough training like Zaryusu, he was not so weak as to be rendered unable to fight from this bit of magic damage.
[<Silent Magic Arrow>]
Magic Arrows struck Zaryusu once again, the pain pierced through his heart and will. Zaryusu endured the excruciating pain and struck back.
After several exchanges, Zaryusu’s movements became dull. The sharp pain prevented him from making agile movements, which was contrasted by the undead who knew no pain.
The Lich and Zaryusu who understood this point made entirely different expressions.
However, Zaryusu’s heart was calm. To the point that the winning Lich was saddened by it.
Compared to Zaryusu, the Lich was strong.
The weak fall and the strong prevail, that was the natural law of the world. The result of the one on one duel between the two was obvious.
But it was also a fact that the unity of the weak gave them a chance to fight on par with the strong.
“<Middle Cure Wounds>!”
Zaryusu’s pain disappeared with this voice and he regained his vitality once again. The calm Lich was angered by the healing spell that came from the back and shouted.
Zaryusu was fighting together with companions he trusts. Crusch, Zenberu and—
“Rororo… I will not lose!”
[Imbecile… How could I, a creation of the Supreme Being lose?!]
The Lich glared at the three lizardmen with his venomous eyes, focusing on Zaryusu.
The Lich did not fire magic at Crusch. He recalled the earlier mistake. It thought that it would be better to destroy Zaryusu in front of it.
It didn’t use any summoning magic as the undead he had summoned earlier were still around. As long as those undead were still around, he could not raise new ones. Hence, the Lich continued casting Silent Magic: Magic Arrow while Zaryusu slashed away at the Lich’s body— this monotonous fight kept repeating.
It felt as though this battle would never end.
In that case, the duty of breaking this stalemate rests on the ones behind them. When one side receives reinforcement, the match will be settled in an instant.
Both Zaryusu and the Lich were sure about that.
Enduring the pain of the lightning attack coursing through her body, Crusch pulled through and casted.
<Summon Beast 3rd>
With a ‘dong’, a giant crab about 150cm big appeared— a crab with a large right claw. It appeared as if it had been waiting under the wetlands the entire time, but it was actually a nature beast summoned by <Summon Beast 3rd>.
It was called out by magic. Of course, it was not a normal crab. One could understand just by looked at its advancing figure. The nature beast advanced to Zenberu’s side and hammered the Skeleton Warrior with its oversized claw.
Zenberu who received unexpected reinforcement smiled.
For Zenberu who had to endure the attack coming from all sides and protect Crusch, he was glad to receive help.
She surveyed the battle, regulating her breathing with deep breaths.
She had been casting defence buffs and healing magic on Rororo when they charged here.
In addition, with the summoning magic, Crusch’s body wavered. She could no longer stand due to excessive mana exhaustion. She could not heal her wounds due to this. She had no breathing room to do so.
Even so, it would make Zaryusu and Zenberu who were fighting in the frontlines uneasy if she was to fall. Blood dripped from the corner of Crusch’s lips as she bit the inside of her mouth to keep herself conscious.
“<Middle Cure Wounds>!”
The healing spell flew towards Zaryusu. Her vision wavered. She could feel the sensation of cold water all over her skin. Crusch couldn’t understand what was happening, why and when did she fall into the mud.
She had probably fainted for an instant, and fell into the mud. She didn’t force herself to stand. No, she didn’t have the energy to do so, so she decided to conserve her strength. In her blurry field of vision, she looked at her companions.
Zenberu who was fighting the four skeleton warriors and Zaryusu who was enduring the Lich’s magic attacks were covered with wounds.
Crusch adjusted her breathing and casted her spell.
“<Middle Cure Wounds>!”
She cured Zenberu’s injuries.
“<Middle Cure Wounds>!”
She healed Zaryusu’s wounds.
Crusch panted hard.
But her breathing was still rugged, she felt the air wasn’t coming in even though she was breathing so hard.
This was probably the symptoms of mana exhaustion. She felt tremors of violent headache. Even so, Crusch worked hard to open her eyes.
They had sacrificed so much for this battle, how could she be the first to retire from the field.
Crusch used all her effort to open her eyes and chanted.
“<Middle Cure Wounds>!”
Zenberu bashed the skull of a Skeleton Warrior with his clenched fist. The sensation of him making a slight dent turned into the feeling of the skull shattering. And so, he killed off a Skeleton Warrior.
“That’s the second one. Huff… Hah.”
He expelled the air from his body in an attempt to push the fatigue out along with it, and glared at the remaining Skeleton Warriors. The crab summoned by Crusch was nowhere to be found. Zenberu only managed to defeat the other two thanks to it fending off two enemies.
He only hung on because of Crusch’s support. Two more to go. After that will be the Lich.
Flexing his thick right arm, Zenberu confirmed that it could still move.
His left arm was wounded badly and couldn’t exert power. Zenberu had used his left arm as a shield a little too eagerly. He stared at his limp right arm.
“Never mind, just think of it as giving them a handicap.”
Zenberu glared at his annoying foes. He attempted to move his left arm, but the pain coursing through his body was not what he expected from moving his fingers.
This is nothing. A comrade continued charging even after its heads became burdens. I, Zenberu Gugu, don’t want to be mocked by them.
Just how strong were the Skeleton Warriors? With just two, they could match Zenberu, no they were better. That was their level of strength.
Fighting four at once was an impossible task. Even if he fought them one on one, he would be exhausted midway, and his defeat was certain.
Despite that, Zenberu was still standing.
Zenberu himself thought that this was strange.
No. He understood why. Zenberu looked beyond the Skeleton Warriors, at Zaryusu’s back. The figure of a man would did not back down against such a pressurizing existence.
“That back is really broad…”
His body grew dull due to his accumulated fatigue, but Zaryusu was fighting in front of him, and Crusch behind him.
“Hey hey Zaryusu, you are wounded all over. Aren’t you in worse shape than when you fought me?”
Zenberu sent a Skeleton Warrior flying with his large arm, and used his left arm to block the scimitar of the other Skeleton Warrior. But he failed to parry the sword, which made another wound in his abdomen. That was the place Crusch had healed with magic.
“Isn’t Crusch’s voice coming from a lower place than usual?”
His wounds healed from Crusch’s magic again. He could not looked behind him, but her voice was near the water surface. He could guess what position she was casting magic in. However, she was still using magic.
“… That’s a good woman.”
If I ever get a wife, a woman like that would be great.
Zenberu expressed his respect for Zaryusu’s eye for women.
“I don’t want to be the first to fall and be the laughing stock.”
Feinting with his large arm, he attacked with his tail. Zenberu laughed.
I am older than those two.
The two Skeleton Warriors hid their body behind shields and closed in. The shields blocked the view of Zaryusu, evoking strong emotions from within Zenberu.
“Don’t block the way! I can’t see the back of the awesome man like this!”
Zenberu roared and charged forth—
Just how long had it been repeating?
The Lich and Zaryusu’s even match was still continuing. The undead poker face of the Lich suddenly twisted horribly. What happened next froze Zaryusu’s mind and body.
He heard the sound of water splashing behind him. Someone fell.
[Look! Your companion is down!]
He couldn’t turn back. It might be true, it might be false. Thoughts that made his scales stood on end also surfaced, but the enemy before him had overwhelming strength. He didn’t have the luxury of turning his head to find out. The moment he turned his head, the fight would be over. Zaryusu didn’t fight this long just to lose for some stupid reason.
If the Lich was telling the truth, it would be bad if he didn’t dispose of the enemy reinforcements soon.
Zaryusu was steeling himself to take the next magic attack when he heard the sound of someone getting up from the water and bones cracking.
“Zaryusu! We settled this side! The rest— is up to you!!”
“….<Middle Cure Wounds>!”
Zenberu roared in great pain and the sound of him falling into the water reached Zaryusu.
The moment Crusch’s hoarse voice was heard, Zaryusu’s wounds got mended.
Displeasure creased the Lich’s face. Without looking back, Zaryusu knew the two of them completed their task perfectly. What’s left was—
The Lich used his staff to parry Frost Pain that was coming at him.
[Ku ku ku… I am the Lich, don’t look down on me just because I am not proficient in melee combat!]
However the Lich’s chance of winning was low. Only one out of three blows was deflected. The other two tore at its body. Even though he had resistance toward slashing weapons like skeletons, the situation was dire.
Especially the last healing magic. The flow changed due to that.
Summoning magic needed time. Performing it in front of an enemy was difficult.
It would lose if this went on. The Lich decided to show his final hand. It wasn’t a great plan— Depending on the circumstances, this might doom it, but that was the only choice it had left.
It suddenly turned around and ran. While Zaryusu was surprised, but he still took the chance to cleave at the Lich’s back. The Lich who took a hit on the back staggered, but did not fall. Zaryusu clicked his tongue at the Lich’s seemingly endless health, and sprinted to catch up with the Lich who was pulling away.
The Lich turned back to show his undead face filled with wrath.
—-A red sphere of light appeared in the Lich’s hand. It was <Fireball>.
Using wide area spell at such a range? He wants to kill himself— No!
Realizing the lich wasn’t looking at him, Zaryusu was filled with fear. The Lich was looking behind Zaryusu. It was focusing on Crusch and Zenberu who were lying on the ground.
What should I do!?
If he threw the two away, he could stop the Lich. This was quite a large gap. The Lich and Zaryusu did not have much strength left. If he let this chance get away, the chance of victory would get lower.
To defeat the Lich—-That was why they had came here. Then he should sacrifice the two of them. They will definitely forgive him.
— Even so.
Zaryusu wasn’t someone who would abandon the comrades fighting alongside him.
Throwing away his comrades, he could not make such a decision.
Then—-Save the two of them and then destroy the Lich.
I just have to choose that!
Zaryusu created a barrier of cold air on the ground near his feet.
Inside the whirlpool of cold, Zaryusu’s body instantly froze over. The words sharp pain could not begin to describe the pain that assaulted him.
Struggling to remain conscious, Zaryusu endured the pain while glaring at the Lich.
While the screaming continued, Zaryusu and the Lich were swallowed by the fog of frost as it spread around them.
The Lich smiled as things went just as it planned.
Ku ku, you could have won if you had abandoned your comrades.
Liches had complete resistance to cold and electricity. That was why it could remain calm even in this flow of cold air. It crushed the fireball magic in its hand. If it was released, it would coil around it and explode as it contacted the white fog.
It could deal the final blow to the other two after the fog dissipated. More importantly, it needed to put down the lizardman that was still standing. As it looked around, the Lich’s face scowled. It miscalculated something.
[….Well then, where is he?]
What it missed was the fog that concealed everything from sight.
The Lich had the ability to see through the darkness with its eyes, but couldn’t see through objects that obscured its sight like this. It had no idea where the enemy was.
But that wasn’t a big problem. With how the lizardman was shrieking just now, he seemed to have suffered great injuries. He shot out the cold air to counter the ‘fireball’, so he must have suffered damage on the same level as taking a ‘fireball’ hit.
With his previous wounds, this was at least a fatal blow. Even if it did not find him, he could not move. Then it could crush him.
Leave this foggy place first? After considering it, the Lich decided not to.
— If it moved now, he would be giving his position away.
The important thing was to summon undead guards. With a meat shield, victory will be won even if that lizardman was still alive.
The Lich who was about to cast his spell heard the sound of water rippling.
— One of the four treasures of the lizardmen, Frost Pain.
A weapon made from ice extracted from the lake when it froze that one and only time. It harboured three magical powers.
Number one, the sword was imbued with cold energy, dealing additional ice damage to the enemy it attacks.
Number two, the powerful skill that could only be used thrice a day, Icy Burst.
The sound of air being sliced echoed out.
Before understanding what was happening, the Lich saw the tip of a sharp object.
The Lich’s head was hit by a powerful strike.
The sword lodged into the Lich’s right eye rattled wildly.
[Hyaaa! Why! Why are you not dead!]
The Lich screamed.
Frost Pain pierced deep into the Lich’s right eye socket, it could feel his health falling drastically—
In front of the Lich who was standing unsteadily with a sword lodged in its head was Zaryusu who was covered in frost.
The Lich couldn’t understand why Zaryusu was still standing after taking such a powerful ice attack.
The third ability of Frost Pain.
Granting the user with resistance to ice damage—
Even though Frost Pain offered resistance to the cold, it couldn’t completely negate a powerful skill like Icy Burst. The damage from the cold chilled Zaryusu to the bones. He was on the verge of collapsing, his breathing ragged and his movement dulled. His tail drooped weakly into the water. It was almost impossible to fight on when you even had difficulty just breathing. That strike wasn’t aimed carefully, but a blow thrown out by instinct using all his might.
It was a lucky hit.
Zaryusu struggled to keep his eyes open.
He gave everything he had to deal this final blow to the Lich, and he could feel that it was a fatal hit.
Zaryusu who had no energy left to fight looked at the Lich with a glimmer of hope.
The Lich was wavering.
It couldn’t keep his body intact as the skin fell off its face and cracks appeared on its bones. Even its clothes were rotting away. It was a matter of time before it would fade away. The moment Zaryusu was certain he was victorious—
A bony hand covered in skin grabbed Zaryusu’s throat.
[I… I am created to serve the Supreme Being… How could I be… vanquished like this!]
The Lich wasn’t even holding him with much force and Zaryusu could break free easily, but—
— Zaryusu wailed as an intense pain permeated his entire body.
Negative energy flowed into Zaryusu’s body, robbing him of his vitality. Even Zaryusu who was trained to endure pain couldn’t withstand the feeling of the pain caused by the cold that seemed to be injected directly into his veins.
Pieces of the Lich’s face had dropped off, disintegrating in mid air.
The Lich’s life was deteriorating as well, but his intense loyalty towards its master made it cling on to life desperately.
It would not be defeated by time. If they continued Zaryusu had no chance of winning.
Zaryusu was struggling with all he had, but he was overcome with fear as his body refused to move as he wished.
Zaryusu didn’t have much health left. The negative energy the Lich was injecting into him was draining his life force away.
Zaryusu’s gaze wavered and his vision blurred. The world seemed to be covered by a thin fog.
The Lich who was clinging to consciousness mightily had a victorious smile as it watched Zaryusu slowly lose his strength to struggle.
Kill this lizardman, as well as the other two behind him. They should be the elite of the lizardmen. Killing these lizardmen would be the best gifts it could offer to the Supreme Being— its creator.
His body was not reacting to him as he could feel his body temperature dropping as if a poison was spreading through his body.
He could hardly breathe, and his mind was the only thing that was clear.
He couldn’t die yet.
Rororo who sprinted with all its might.
Zenberu who shielded him.
Crusch who exhausted all her mana.
Not just that. He was shouldering the burden of all the fallen lizardmen.
While he was desperately thinking of ways to win, a small sound made its way into Zaryusu’s ear.
— The gentle voice of Crusch
— The hearty voice of Zenberu
— The playful whimpers of Rororo
Sound that should be impossible for him to hear.
Crusch had lost consciousness and Zenberu should be knocked out. Rororo should had been taken far away from here.
Were they voices that Zaryusu imagined due to his half dead mind? The words of his comrades he did not know even a week ago? The cry of his pet?
No, it was different—-
Everyone was here with him—
A roar emerged from the half conscious Zaryusu.
Zaryusu moved his eyeballs, and looked at the Lich. His eyes, which he could not make meet with the Lich’s, suddenly were full of energy.
“Crusch! Zenberu! Rororo!”
Just where was he hiding such strength. An impressive amount of negative energy should have eaten up all of his life force. Indeed, Zaryusu’s four limbs were heavy, and his body was frozen.
Even so, Zaryusu felt warmer with every name he shouted. This warmth didn’t originate from his life force.
It came from within his chest— his heart.
The sound of muscle tensing erupted. It came from Zaryusu’s right arm, his clenched fist. He was gathering all the strength he had left in it right now.
The Lich stared at Zaryusu, not believing that he could even move.
This was bad.
The Lich had goosebumps. If it did not pump in more negative energy it would lose. It would not accept it. It was the Lich. The leader of these troops from the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarrick.
And more importantly, it was an undead created by the great king of death— Ainz Ooal Gown.
It cannot permit itself to lose this fight—
“It’s over you monster!”
Zaryusu was a step faster.
That’s right, his strike with all his might was an instant faster than the Lich’s injection of negative energy.
The tightly clenched fist hit the hilt of Frost Pain—
Zaryusu’s fist bled. After taking such a heavy blow, Frost Pain that was lodged into the left eye pierced all the way through the Lich’s brain.
The Lich was an undead that couldn’t feel pain, but— he could still feel his negative life dissipating.
[This… this… impossible… Ainz… sama…]
The Lich’s eyes reflected his understanding of what failure was. When Zaryusu’s body fell like a puppet with its strings cut, a huge splash could be heard—
[… Please… Please… Forgive… me…]
The Lich’s body fell as it apologized to its master. It had fought against time, but it crumbled and disappeared, like an instant in time—-
The room was silent. The scene reflected in the mirror was unbelievable and no one said a word.
Except for the maid— Entoma. She transmitted her master’s orders.
“Cocytus-sama, Ainz-sama has summoned you.”
Cocytus who had lowered his head turned slowly to face Entoma. Basked in the worried gaze of his subordinate, he gritted his teeth in shame. At the same time, he wanted to compliment the lizardmen.
A magnificent battle.
An 8% chance of victory.
That was the probability of the lizardmen winning that Cocytus had calculated. This was based off of a simple close combat battle. They had begun from a distance where a magic caster would have an overwhelming advantage and had to grasp victory. That calculation could of course dip below 8%.
The lizardmen overcame this huge obstacle.
Cocytus looked back at the mirror for the last time, and voiced his words of praise towards the scene.