༺ Bat Effect (2) ༻
The large tornado was spinning at a supersonic speed. Standing in front of that disastrous tornado, we appeared as tiny as powerless humans.
The only difference between this and an actual tornado was that this was an artificial one created by the Tornado Bat, Alvan, and that it stayed still unlike a real tornado.
In any case, going into that enormous tornado without any plans was not a very wise thing to do. Large monsters might be okay but humans would definitely be swept away by it.
“The Support Team is getting ready. All we have to do is decide on the timing.”
The leader of this subjugation party was Professor Edgar, and his plan was to separate us into two groups.
The Support Team would momentarily nullify the tornado to open up a path for the Combat Team to enter and defeat the Alvan, the core of the tornado. It was a simple yet effective method.
The Combat Team consisted of 4 knights and 1 mage.
“It’s an improvised team so we probably can’t expect the best teamwork but everything will be fine as long as everyone does their job.”
The party leader was Professor Edgar Linton.
As a former Grade 1 mage, he was a Justice of the Peace who traveled across the continent to punish criminals and was an experienced party leader. It was thus quite natural for him to become the party leader of this operation.
“Instructor Haman and Professor Orgen – please take the vanguard, and as for Student Korin and Student Beazeker, please stand at the rear.”
It was a very luxurious party composition.
Edgar Linton, an experienced Grade 1 mage and two semi-Grade 1 knights, Old Man Haman and Professor Orgen.
And even though Beazeker and I were students, we were both talented enough to be a Grade 1 knight at a young age.
While waiting for the Support Team to prepare a spell to deal with the tornado, we had a short moment of silence.
That was when Beazeker, a 2nd year student, spoke to me.
“Hello, Senior Beazeker.”
He was a bulky giant. The animal leather that he had cast over himself was not big enough to cover his white muscular body. He was <Beazeker the Berserker>, a named character from one of the Ireland barbarian tribes of the north.
“Stand behind me. You’ll get in the way.”
I was on the taller side as well but Beazeker was at least double my size.
“You are really tall. You are a half-giant, right?”
“…None of your business.”
Unlike his notorious fame of having a violent temperament and the unique trait of ‘Berserk’ that his tribe had, Beazeker gave a curt reply.
“But Senior Beazeker. Our job in this operation is to be the rearguard.”
“…I am stronger.”
He glared at me with stormy blue eyes. He must have thought I was looking down on him or something.
“Don’t misunderstand, Senior. The core part of this operation is Professor Edgar. Our job is to protect the rear of these veteran professors.”
“And of course, the professors probably won’t allow us to stand at the front, since we are students and they are adults.”
“That is useless bravado.”
In a way, he was right. Excluding Professor Edgar, Old Man Haman was already well past his prime and Professor Orgen was a powerful tanker-type like Beazeker but was overall weaker than him.
Currently, Beazeker was the strongest one in this party. Even I wouldn’t be able to beat this man without the back-up of my Precepts.
“Well, let’s watch on for now. They’re adults and have more experience than us, after all.”
“…Are you treating me like a kid?”
He definitely did not appear like one, but in my eyes, Beazeker was a high-schooler just like Marie.
“But you are, because we have yet to take our coming-of-age ceremony. Ah, of course, I’m talking about how we do it in the kingdom and not your tribe.”
Beazeker gazed down at me with a strange light in his eyes.
“Looks like they’re about ready. That right there is the large-scale spell of Student Marie.”
The good-looking blonde middle-aged man, Professor Edgar, lit up his cigar while notifying us of the start of the operation. Before long, a massive magic circle appeared in the distant sky.
It was way too enormous to be considered as something created by a single human. That magic circle was so big that it could garner the title of a ‘grand spell’ just from its sheer size.
“Haa… She definitely is unprecedentedly talented.”
Any spell under the assistance of Marie’s specialty, ‘Mana Amplification’, had the potential to be as powerful as a grand spell no matter how limited its original output was.
That one was one of Marie’s favorite skills, ❰Combination Spell – Frost ❱, which was amplified endlessly with her mana.
Mana started pervading into the enormous tornado of wind and rain. And in less than 1 second…
– Crack! Crack crack!
The large tornado that appeared out of nowhere – this enormous disaster created at the cost of a Tornado Bat’s vitality, which meteorologists could blabber about how nonsensical it was for a whole day, turned stiff in an instant.
Or rather, it was more correct to say that it was frozen stiff.
“That is quite literally ‘magic’.”
The massive ‘natural disaster’ that appeared like the materialized form of a god’s wrath turned into ice and became like an avant-garde artwork.
“It’s Professor Lulara’s turn.”
As soon as Professor Edgar finished his sentence, a cluster of mist that flickered like the stars of a night sky flowed into the frozen tornado.
“Everyone. Get down.”
Following his advice, we lowered our bodies and Professor Edgar then created a hemispherical barrier to cover us. As soon as the sparkling things touched the tornado–
– Kwang! Kwagagang!!
A deafening thud roared as the frozen tornado started to explode. That enormous explosion shattered the ice like glass.
– Kwang! Kwarururu!!
The tornado was so big that the sound of ice shattering down was as noisy as the bombardment of bombers.
Seeing the aftermath of that huge explosion, Professor Orgen flinched before asking Old Man Haman a question.
“What was Professor Lulara’s alias back when she was an active guardian?”
“Serial bomber. She used to be notorious for being crazy for bombs.”
“I asked her out last week and got turned down but… thank goodness.”
“We are going in.”
A large hole appeared on the frozen tornado thanks to Professor Lulara’s explosion magic. Following the original plan, the Combat Team entered the tornado by going through the hole.
Immediately after entering the tornado, the Combat Team had to face a horde of monsters. They were demonic beasts that ended up being locked inside the tornado after coming here to eat Alvan the Tornado Bat.
The semi-large demonic beasts that had been holding their ground with their weight despite the sacrificial tornado of the Alvan immediately pounced at the Combat Team after seeing them.
A single-eyed giant ran forward while swinging its club. Blocking the attack of that large weapon was an old knight.
Their clash resulted in a loud thud. The cyclops smirked while imagining the shape of the human that should have now turned into a sludge.
– Crack! Crack!
Unlike its expectations, however, the club started cracking from the tip and the cyclops could not retrieve its club. Someone stronger than itself was grabbing onto the club from the bottom.
“Been a while since I last saw this one-eyed idiot.”
The one who blocked and clenched on the enormous club after its devastating downward strike was Old Man Haman Welsch. He, who used to be called strong-armed Haman during his youth, was fairly old but his strength still far exceeded that of the one-eyed giant.
Haman threw a fist into the air, and the aftershock of his punch struck the cyclops on its left knee.
A horrible noise and the deathly scream of the cyclops echoed as the cyclops got down on its knees. Haman kicked on the natural-made club that the cyclops was using to support itself and jested.
“You can use this as a walking stick now.”
A huge man followed from behind. Professor Orgen swung his enormous ax that was longer than 2 meters and struck down on the cyclops’s head.
The head of the one-eyed giant got divided into two like firewood.
As soon as the cyclops went down, a gargoyle that had been waiting for an opportunity pounced at the group for an ambush.
The smoke from Professor Edgar’s cigar turned into a sharp blade that immediately slashed past the gargoyle’s neck.
“That was clean.”
Korin and Beazeker, who were standing behind Professor Edgar to protect his rear, didn’t even get a chance to do anything.
Semi-Grade 1 knights, Old Man Haman and Professor Orgen, and Grade 1 mage Professor Edgar were already demolishing all the rampaging demonic beasts while displaying their overwhelming might.
“Weaker than expected,” commented Beazeker.
“Well, these guys were probably locked inside the tornado for days without having any food, and seeing how some of them had scars on their bodies, I guess they were also fighting each other.”
“…You saw all that?”
Beazeker said while turning to Korin. Considering how Korin used to be a terribly underperforming student until recently, it was commendable that he was taking everything in like a veteran.
“Analysis and coming up with a counter-plan is my forte.”
“That is a good skill.”
Beazeker openly acknowledged the skills of this freshman student. Because of his appearance, he was often mistaken as a barbaric warrior who only sought power and violence, but he was a more rational person than common misbelief.
“But you should always be prepared to move up. The real ones are going to be coming soon.”
Korin was right. The demonic beasts that had been sealed inside the tornado frozen by their peer, Marie, had now broken through the ice to flood them from their surroundings.
Since they had been able to survive in both this tornado and the Frost spell, they were probably fairly strong.
“A Queen Taratect…!”
Semi-Grade 1 demonic beast, Queen Taratect, was quite obviously a large-type monster. Its size was already a big problem but the scariest part about this monster was that it could spontaneously give birth to babies on the spot.
Eggs that the Queen Taratect shot out like cannonballs landed on the ground. Immediately after landing on the ground, the eggs started to crack open as dozens of smaller spider demonic beasts started pouring out from within.
An army of spiders was a massive threat to anyone.
The spiders competitively raced against each other as if they wanted to defeat more enemies to receive praise from their mother, but that was when the smoke from Professor Edgar’s cigar approached them. As soon as the tiny spiders broke through the layer of smoke to approach the group…
They suddenly fell on the ground with a spasmodic seizure.
“There is a small amount of poison in the smoke. Be careful not to touch them,” warned Professor Edgar.
The alchemic poison inside the smoke was not something that these low-grade demonic beasts could handle.
But that was when an orchestra of demonic beasts reverberated from a distance. That was the prelude to the incoming wave of monsters.
“About time for the real one!”
“Korin, Beazeker! Protect Professor Edgar!”
“Finally, it’s our turn.”
15 minutes after entering the tornado, Korin laid his hands on his Silver Spear for the first time and so did Beazeker, who clenched on his 2-meter-long greatsword.
Monsters suddenly emerged from the ground – the ones that had been hiding underground to avoid the tornado revealed themselves.
Demonic beasts that resembled centipedes with tens of legs simultaneously dashed in at the group. As if they were glad to see fresh meat in front of their eyes after a long period of starvation, they were reckless in their charge.
The fangs of a serpent crushed through the centipedes. Avoiding the tough upper shells of the Sand Dragoons, the spear of the venomous snake slithered through the eyes, mouths and the soft belly of the centipedes.
The scavengers that climbed through the walls of hell were stopped by the venom-fanged dragon of the middle world.
Using as little aura as possible, Korin stabbed four times in just one breath. His attacks were rapid yet destructive; fast and precise.
However, piercing attacks were not enough. The flood of scavengers from all around was difficult for an individual to stand off against.
But here, the group had a beast, taking in a deep breath before a wide sweep.
– Kwaang! Kajijik…!
The gust raged on. Without even bothering to target one specific opponent, the beast slashed every approaching monster and scattered them away in pieces.
Even though Korin Lork had gone through various battles himself, the violent might of this beast-like warrior was still an impressive sight. It was something that was only possible thanks to his ridiculous strength and his greatsword that reached more than 2 meters in length.
Beazeker the Berserker.
This half-giant was also sometimes referred to as the Berserk Warrior, but here in this battlefield of slaughter, he was not a berserk warrior and was a rampaging beast himself just like other monsters.
Even the professors including Professor Edgar were marveled at his display of strength. The great prowess of the students that they had left at the rear motivated the professors even more.
“We cannot lose to students can we?”
“I will check how many you killed later on, Professor Orgen. If you got less than the students, then you will have to attend my lessons as well.”
“I am more worried about you old man.”
“Haa… Seriously, knights are just…”
In the heat of battle, the five guardians proceeded on through the tornado of demonic beasts. They were aiming for the epicenter of the tornado, and it didn’t take that long for them to reach the center.
“I knew it…”
All the party members including Professor Edgar were appalled at the sight before their eyes.
Inside the large tornado created by the Alvan that was frozen by Marie’s Frost; at the center of the tornado was another smaller tornado.
“Did Alvans have the power to create two tornadoes like this?”
“It must be because of what we call a maternal instinct. It’s a beast but is still very commendable.”
“You can come up with that irrational logic later.”
Across the small tornado, the group spotted the silhouette of a large bat vigilantly staring back at them. After noticing the approach of an enemy, the bat had used up all of its remaining energy to create another tornado in front of it.
“Do you think we can push through this?”
“No. Maybe if we don’t mind having our flesh shredded on the way but…”
“The drawback is too big. There is no need for us to overdo it.”
After quickly coming to a conclusion, the three professors turned to the sky and fired a flare gun.
– Shiiiiiiii~ Boom!
Seeing the flare gun pop at the sky, Professor Edgar gave out another order.
“We will retreat out of the danger zone.”
A thunderous thud echoed from the sky as soon as they retreated from the smaller tornado. The sky started to quiver and began to roar while sucking in all the nearby dark clouds.
– Kwagang! Kwagagang!
Thunderbolts traveled across the dark clouds of the sky. The lightning bolts of the sky started undergoing a strange change as they began to gain a ‘color’.
“…Umm, Professor Edgar? Isn’t that a bit…”
“Dangerous, you’re right. Damn it, Professor Deina. She doesn’t know how to control her strength or something…! This stupid power-addict!”
The one creating this strange phenomenon was the lightning mage, Professor Deina. This young witch – in her 40s – who was more well-known for her academic contribution rather than her works as a guardian, was still one of the strongest lightning mages out there.
All those beautiful supercells and thunderstorms were on the level of a grand spell. She was a nuker who could bombard powerful spells at once.
And the one that she was currently getting ready to fire was ❰Red Sprite❱ – a crimson lightning bolt of destruction that was said to strike down at 1/30th of the speed of light, at roughly 10,000 km/s.
“Tch. Let me put up a barrier!”
Professor Edgar used up all of his remaining mana to create a barrier that protected all the party members.
Soon, a red lightning struck the ground.
The huge bombardment of Professor Deina demolished even the tornado frozen by Marie, leaving the area with a cluster of remains.
“This is why I hate mages. Those guys love killing knights or something.”
“I agree wholeheartedly.”
Old Man Haman and Professor Orgen stood up on the black, scorched ground with a grumble but that was followed by Professor Edgar’s word of disapproval.
“Please do not group us with people like Professor Deina.”
As a former Justice of the Peace who preferred the smart way around things, Professor Edgar seemed offended by that statement.
“Anyway, that settles things. A lightning that big should have destroyed everything in—”
Following the finger of Beazeker who was pointing somewhere, the party members all turned their gazes around as their faces soon crumpled from disbelief.
The tornado… was still there.
“Didn’t it get struck directly by that lightning? How is it still alive?”
“Wait. Don’t you think the silhouette inside the tornado became even bigger than before?”
The last words from Korin made everyone close their mouths.
It was a strange phenomenon that sometimes occurred during the growth and experience process of demons. Rather than simply becoming the alpha entity of a group that would then act as the leader, it was closer to a complete evolution of their species.
The Tornado Bat, Alvan, which had been sacrificing its life for the tornado withstood the lightning strike from Professor Deina and even ended up evolving to a higher species.
At this point, it was pretty much the king of lightning and storm.
“If that really is because of its maternal instincts… then I really have to say, it’s a really remarkable thing.”
“Now is not the time for that. We must immediately deal with that!”
But… how? The small tornado that was created to buy time until its delivery now contained a layer of lightning. Who would ever be able to go through that tornado in one piece?
“A frontal breakthrough is not an option.”
Professor Haman came to a reasonable conclusion. The Alvan had succeeded in withstanding the lightning attack of Professor Deina, and the desperate tornado created at the cost of its life was too risky to break through from the front.
Even though everyone still had a secret move up their sleeves, going in right now without any preparation was still very risky.
“Let’s back off. Whether it be Professor Deina or Student Marie, I believe we need to borrow someone from the Support Team.”
No one there was a rookie who was foolish enough to argue against Professor Edgar’s logical opinion. As soon as they were about to give up and retreat for the time being…
“You can go.”
The sharp voice of a blonde-haired professor echoed from somewhere, as someone jumped through the dimension and dug into the center of the tornado.
– Kyaahuk…! Kururuk… Kurugeeeekk…!!
From within the pandemonium of storm and lightning, a vengeful and horrendous scream echoed on repeat. The sound of flesh and skin being ripped was evidence that someone was rampaging inside the tornado.
The sharp tornado of blades threatened to slice through the fragile-looking body of the girl, but even the slicing tornado and the lightning sparks within weren’t able to pierce through the Unbreakable Body.
– Drip! Drip!
Drops of blood were dripping from the girl, but they were not hers.
While dragging the head of the large evolved Alvan that was even bigger than her entire body, the girl wearing nun clothes nonchalantly walked out of the tornado.
“What are you doing?”
Heavenly Yaksha Hua Ran.
She asked while gazing at Korin and the party members with the same indifferent look on her face.
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