[Trial 19th, Date 17, Time 10:10]
The second day’s morning sun has just risen.
I’ve just spent the whole entire night chatting with Idy all night long; we ended up watching the sunrise through the window this morning.
We had a simple breakfast in our room.
Of course, Idy didn’t cook; we just ate whatever leftover food I could find in my inventory.
It tasted way better than the shitty food the dwarfs served us last night anyway.
And I could enjoy the food even more this time since I could eat it in a quiet room with Idy, rather than in a noisy dining room full of dwarfs babbling endlessly.
Minutes after we just finished our breakfast, one of the dwarfs entered the room.
“They are watching the Trilogy’s advance from the castle wall. We better go now, commander.”
“Alright, let’s go.”
* * * * * *
Just like message said, on the second day morning, the Trilogy finally showed themselves as they approached the castle to attack.
I went to the fortress wall with Idy to take a look.
The dwarfs were all lined up by the castle’s battlements.
I could see quite an enormous number of dwarfs; there were more than I thought there were.
It seems like there are at least five hundred of them.
Idy started a conversation with a dwarf in a commander uniform, and while they were talking, I took a look down the castle wall.
There was nothing down there.
I even activated my magic power, but I couldn’t sense a single enemy standing nearby.
Idy had just finished the conversation with the dwarf as she made her way towards me.
“There is nothing! And it doesn’t seem like anyone is hiding at all either,” I said to Idy.
“Keruk. Keruk. Commander, you’re looking at the wrong place. Of course they’re not near the castle wall. Right there, take a look there.”
Idy pointed to a flat field in the valleys.
The field was filled with… something.
When I looked more carefully, I began to realize that what I thought was just a plain flat field was in fact slowly inching forward, little by little.
Since it was very far away from where we were and it occupied such a large area, I misperceived it to be just a normal, flat field.
There were two good things about this.
“Well, at least it will take them quite a long time until they finally reach up here.”
This fortress was built on the peak of an extremely high mountain.
They will take at least one or two hours for them to climb up the steep terrain.
“Keruk. It takes the dwarfs 4 full days with their walking speed apparently. But they told me that they don’t know much about the enemy’s walking speed.”
The next good point was this.
“Have you been notified of their numbers?”
“Keruk. Even the dwarfs don’t know that. It’s easier to assume that it’s almost infinite.”
It was just as the dwarfs had said.
They had a ridiculously large army that even I had mistaken as a field, or at least that’s how they look from this fortress on top of the mountain.
It would be easier to assume that an endless amount of army is coming towards us, rather than attempting to estimate their exact numbers.
Not too bad.
Actually, it’s very good.
“Keruk. Don’t smile like that. The dwarfs are whispering now that you’ve just lost your shit because you got too scared.”
Lost my shit? That’s hella funny.
I don’t care about the dwarfs’ opinion.
The only thing that matters to me now is my bubbling excitement for the arrival of the massive army.
“All that’s left for me to figure out is about what kind of ‘things’ they are.”
Since it was too far away, I couldn’t quite observe it with my eyes.
It will take me a while until they come in close enough for me to personally scrutinize them.
“Keruk. Here you are, commander. This is a telescope the dwarfs gave me.”
It seems like the dwarfs are very technically advanced.
I didn’t expect them to have such advanced technology.
The telescope Idy handed over to me was slightly longer than a meter.
And this telescope was of a very high quality.
Maybe even too high quality.
I should not say a single word regarding their technology ever again.
I could adjust my field of vision by using my mana to zoom in or out; it was a very easy and simple telescope to operate, surprisingly so.
When I maximized my output of magical power, I could finally see each one of the enemies walking through the mountains in surprising detail.
The appearance of the enemy that was finally revealed to my eyes was much more bizarre than I expected it to be.
“Keruk. I feel like my breakfast is coming back up.”
Idy mumbled after looking at the enemies’ appearances with the telescope.
Honestly though, they do have a look that could make Idy’s breakfast travel back up her throat.
I couldn’t find a single one that had normal body parts, no matter how hard I looked for it.
Their body reminded me of a collection of rags on the verge of falling apart. Their bodies consisted of randomly mismatched body parts placed in the strangest of places.
Their facial features were distributed unevenly and bizarrely, their inner organs were sticking out of their bodies and actively pumping, and some were walking with hands attached to their lower body instead of legs. They were even holding weapons with their legs, which were attached to their shoulder, instead of hands.
And there were few that had actual human heads.
The others mostly had animal or monster.
Maybe they took those inner organs or body parts away from other monsters and attached it to themselves.
Only one name popped up in my head at first glance.
“Keruk. That’s right. They’re chimeras. Now I understand what they meant by the name ‘Trilogy’, Keruk.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Dark, Red, and Blue; the three moons.”
What the heck is that is what I’m asking.
“It is a symbol for the worst of the worst dark magicians that existed in earth history. Three different-colored moons symbolize the three evils that granted them the ability to use dark magic and taught them how to use it. They were like the death guards of dark magicians.
One dwarf cut us off.
“Hmm…. I see.”
Idy mumbled after hearing unexpected words from the dwarf.
“Commander, the dwarfs had just told me that they are not black magicians; they’re just an army of monsters created by the black magicians. Apparently, the black magicians who created them were executed by the empire more than 100 years ago. I guess that’s a relief for us, knowing that there is no magician among them.”
“But there are too many of them to believe that the magicians do not even exist any longer. That must mean that they have been maintaining that number since over 100 years ago without their creators.”
“….According to this dwarf….Umm….”
“What is it?”
“The chimeras have a special function allowing them to reproduce. And at a frightening rate too.”
I guess the black magicians who were executed by the empire have left not only just artificial monsters behind, but a rare achievement on earth’s history before they died.
I wasn’t an expert on black magic, but even I could tell that their piece of work was truly extraordinary.
I mean, look at them; they don’t look like they could have genitals, not to mention a sex drive.
It’s impressive how they’ve been increasing their numbers independently without the black magicians’ orders.
That must mean that they possess intellect to some extent.
I guess that’s why they’re invading our territory to steal the dragons’ inheritance.
The black magicians’ inheritances are surviving by increasing their numbers through reproduction and are now trying to steal dragon’s inheritance.
It’s an interesting setting.
Idy laughed awkwardly beside me.
It really did look like her breakfast was climbing back up her throat.
“...Truly disgusting indeed. Keruk.”
Their appearances are truly gruesome.
And it’s such a pity that this is their normal and healthy appearance.
I could sympathize to that.
I have witnessed something terrible.
Idy’s facial expression was full of aversion, disgust and dismay.
Well, I couldn’t sympathize to that.
Of course, those chimeras are such beings that trigger sadness and pity just simply through their disgusting appearance.
I get that.
That’s why I could understand if anyone were to feel horrible just by taking a look at their appearance, or feel pity or compassion towards them having such sad life.
But Idy’s expression showed something more than that.
“I’d rather throw up. It’s the first time ever in my life I have had to see such dirty creatures. Keruk. And that number, oh my gosh.”
I looked again.
I witnessed the Dwarfs swearing at chimeras.
I couldn’t find any significant difference between the Dwarfs and chimera.
To me, I harbored the same feelings of pity and aversion towards them.
Of course they were notably different on the outside.
The dwarfs were short, but they all had normal human face.
They were completely different with chimeras, whose body were parts dangling around all over the place along with the blood stains on the skins.
But really, you shouldn’t badmouth someone based on how they look on the outside, just because they happen to have many scars and some deep blood stains.
At least, I cannot do that.
If that’s the case, there wouldn’t be any creature any more hideous than myself.
If it weren’t for the Elixir potion and the waiting room’s healing effect, I would have ended up with an appearance and facial features like the chimeras.
Moreover, the bloods, the inner organs, the cut body parts flying around were something that felt very familiar to me at this point, to the point where they can’t bother me anymore.
I guess that’s why I don’t find the chimeras’ appearances to be too shocking for me.
And if I put the obvious visual defects aside, it’s very hard for me to significantly differentiate the chimeras and the dwarfs.
It seems to me that the dwarfs, who all share the same face, same physical frame, same magical ability, same behavior, and the same characteristics, are a more uncomfortable creature to be around than the chimeras.
Lacking individuality is a greater fault than lacking body parts.
I wonder how they interpret the definition of self-esteem.
As my thoughts trailed on, I heard a loud noise echoing from somewhere far below me.
Millions of chimeras had begun to run towards the mountaintop.
Their heavy footsteps sounded like a ferocious thunderstorm.
Finally, the battle was about to officially begin; all my distracting thoughts disappeared into a smoke, left only with anticipation for the battle.
I wonder how long this battle will take.
I personally want it to last all day long, and even all through the night.
I have a feeling that those chimeras won’t complain about darkness in the night at all, after all.
I assumed their vision would be equally bad in the bright daylight anyway.
“Are you going already?”
“Yes. I want to get a feel of the field until the enemies finally reach anywhere near the fortress.”
Even though the chimeras were climbing the mountain at an extraordinary speed, it still seemed like it will take them at least few hours.
The chimeras were running in a straight line towards the fortress, crossing very steep mountain hills.
It would be extremely convenient for me if I could kill them all by myself before they reached the fortress, but it would be an unrealistic goal since they have such huge army.
I better think of some other strategy to reduce their numbers.
“Keruk. Then I better head to the back side.”
“Alright. See you after the battle ends.”
“Keruk. Keruk. Just don’t get hurt, commander.”
After hearing Idy’s farewell, I jumped off from the fortress wall.
I spread my wings and began to fly.
After a short flight, I deactivated Talaria’s Wings and dropped to the ground.
The dwarfs had told me that it takes them 3 days to climb up the mountain by foot.
However, it would only take me 10 minutes to fly over to where chimeras are right now.
In such viciously hilly terrain like this, my mobility skills reach their peak potential.
Now, if I have such outstanding mobility, do I really need to wait until they come to me while I stand here?
No. Of course not. I have to go annoy them to hell.
* * * * * *
The chimeras were a lot noisier when I was closer to them.
I stared at the chimera that was running towards me, shrieking horrifically.
It was about 3 meters tall.
It had 4 shoulders.
It only two arms on each side though.
I assumed my battle posture while holding two hammered-shaped Thousand Arms on both my hands.
Like a baseball bat striking a ball away, I struck that chimera away with my hammer.
It’s a bumpy and steep uphill road.
The chimera that was struck away by my hammer started to roll down the hill.
After rolling and rolling, it tried to stop itself by grabbing onto something.
However, he ended up grabbing other chimeras who were only trying to make their way up.
Now the other chimeras, which were grabbed by this chimera, all lost their balance and started rolling down the steep hill. And those chimeras bumped into few other chimeras while rolling down, so now the number of chimeras falling and rolling down increased exponentially.
Here and there, there were chimeras who were attempting to stop themselves by grabbing onto some trees or stones, but it was a useless attempt since they were rolling down at such a velocity that it was impossible.
Their attempts to save themselves only caused more mayhem, as the trees and stone they grabbed onto were uprooted from ground and were now tumbling down along with them.
Chimeras continued to tumble further and further down.
It was like a domino effect; by striking away one chimera, now all of them were rolling down the hill. There they were.
Just like how a small snowball becomes bigger and bigger when you roll it, the amount of chimeras rolling down were exponentially expanding.
Since I can’t quite call them a snow ball….let me just call it a chimera ball.
The chimera ball has rolled down and down the slopes, now they have returned to the flat field where they’ve started.
The chimera ball was now as big as a house.
And I can guess that the pressure they’re adding onto each other’s bodies must be quite heavy, not to mention how painful it would be when their massive bodies are thrown heavily against each other.
Even though their bodies are solid as rocks, it must hurt.
They won’t resist death.
Considering the fact that I leveled up right before clearing the 19th floor stage, and I leveled up just now by in one single attack, this is an unbelievable achievement.
Of course it didn’t mean that I have completely stopped all of their attacks.
The chimeras were climbing up the whole mountain in all directions.
The horde that was rolled off the hill was only a small portion of their army.
But, now I’ve figured a very good method for hunting.
I had to reach level 51 in order to be eligible for the level up reward anyways.
My new objective has been set: I will aim to go beyond level 51 before I clear the 20th floor stage.