The ratmen’s plan was to overwhelm the guardsmen on the flanks. It was a sound plan that made full use of their numerical advantage.
The ratmen had over 600 rodents in total versus the 60 guardsmen split between the flanks. Just based on this disparity alone, they had enough members to instantly swarm the defensive line in one charge, throwing the guardsmen into disarray.
While the flanks were aided slightly by the Mo sabres and shieldbearers, they didn’t have their fixed, orderly formations backing them up. And so, their sabres didn’t create a significant impact.
If it had been my army facing them alone, we would’ve been in huge trouble by now but thankfully, we had the hellhounds backing us up. As the ratmen swarmed in, they pounced forward to block their charge.
For every ratmen that tried to charge forward, they would be met with the deadly fangs of the hellhounds. With our canine allies holding the line temporarily, the guardsmen were able to reform their ranks.
By now, the reserves had also reinforced their numbers. While they didn’t have the deadly bone swords aiding them, their bone clubs were still able to stun the ratmen with a bash to their heads. These defenseless rats were swiftly stabbed to death by the guardsmen.
Now that the guardsmen had stabilized themselves, the battle became much simpler with the hellhounds tying down the ratmen with their relentless bites and the guardsmen swiftly following this up with a slash of their swords.
This quick recovery was in large part due to the hellhounds’ timely help. Having had his plans foiled once more by his old rival, the ratman boss was livid.
With the wings now under control, One-eye withdrew the order to have the sabre wielders and shieldbearers participate in the battle at the flanks. He instead ordered them to reform the shield wall and hold positions.
“Chit chit chit~~~~~”
As time passed, more and more ratmen joined in the fight. With this new batch added in, their numbers crossed the 700 mark.
While their ferocity was just as fearless and frenzied as before, they didn’t have the brains to back up their brawns. All we had to do was hold positions at our defensive lines and wait for them to attack us.
With the arrival of the reinforcements, the ratman boss bellowed into the air and began to march forward. From the looks of it, he was finally going to join in the battle.
Based on his body, he should be between the level of two-star and three star.
As his gargantuan body marched forward, he shoved the other lesser rats to the side. With another thunderous roar, he rushed at us like the imposing truck which sent me to this world. As he madly careened through the mass of rodents, he knocked his own subordinates to the side without giving them a second look.
With their boss now in the fray, those two-star ratman bodyguards joined in as well.
This was a disastrous turn of events for the shieldbearers. After all, the charge of over 10 two-star Abaddon Rodents was nothing to scoff at. Especially, since the shieldbearers were only one-star.
While they were the strongest among my large imps and had the stalwart heavy bone shields to back them up. A pure clash of strength like this could be said to be their weak point.
Their strength was the backbone for their formidable defensive power. But on the flip side, if someone came at them with strength greater than their own, this defense would crumble in an instant.
While the rodents weren’t known for their brute strength, the disparity in level ensured that even the weakest among the two-star rodents could at least match the shieldbearers. Furthermore, they still had the monstrous ratman boss backing them up, a formidable foe who might even have the strength of a three- star.
The first to reach the shield wall was naturally the ratman boss. His first charge went basically unopposed as his immense strength sent even the two large imps bracing the shield, flying several meters back.
With this breach created by their boss, the two-star rodents directly penetrated our defensive line. The sabre wielders were now like insects who had lost their carapace, without the shieldbearers, they were easy prey for the ratmen. The best they could do now was buy time with their lives.
The shieldbearers were still able to hold off the attacks of the two-star rodents on their own but the sabre wielders didn’t have the luxury of a sturdy shield. They were after all, a purely offensive troop designed to rely on the defensive shieldbearers.. As such, all they could do now was attack.
Several Mo sabres stabbed ruthlessly at a single ratman bodyguard but the two-star ratman simply leaped into the air, dodging the spears. Compared to the unwieldy Mo sabres, these weaponless rats had a much easier time maneuvering around even in the thick of this battle.
In fact, this disadvantageous situation was the biggest boon for the ratmen, bringing their innate agility to the forefront of this battle.
Another Mo sabre slashed at a ratman bodyguard. Without any armor protecting him, this sabre definitely had enough penetrating power to kill him. Whether it was the one-star rodents or the two-star rodents, they were all vulnerable to the Mo sabre. This bodyguard was no exception either.
Sensing the impending danger, he nimbly dodged to the right, his body on a collision course with a nearby shieldbearer. Under normal circumstances, the shieldbearer would simply push the rodent back into the sabre. But this expected collision never happened. Instead, at the very last second, that rodent leaped into the air in a death-defying feat of acrobatics.
As the rodent landed gracefully behind the shieldbearer, he immediately kicked the large imp away, snatched the heavy bone shield and braced it against the incoming Mo sabre.
The sabre crashed into the shield with a resounding bang but outside of that, no harm befell the two-star rodent. All that remained of their collision was a tiny scar on the heavy shield’s surface.
This last minute improvisation by the ratman had stunned the sabre wielder but he quickly recovered from the surprise and began furiously stabbing at the shield. However, try as he might, the heavy shield bone didn’t budge a inch from his rain of spear thrusts.
After deflecting several of his blows, the ratman gave up on merely defending and instead charged at the devil with the shield.
Like the medieval pikemen on Earth, mobility definitely wasn’t the forte of the sabre wielders. In fact, the current situation was in large part due to their short-leggedness. This coupled with the fact that there was only two meters between the imp and the rodent, meant that the sabre wielder was basically a sitting duck for the rodent’s charge.
As my annoyingly well-crafted shield slammed into the devil, he was sent flying almost instantly by the impact.
After which, the rodent immediately tossed away the shield. I guess the shield didn’t suit his tastes.
The reserves tried to stop the two-star rodent but their primitive clubs were basically useless against him and they ended up getting hurt for nothing. Soon, the casualties began to climb on our side.
The moment I heard that roar from the ratman boss, I had already begun preparing my spells. Since I wasn’t sure what level he was, I decided to play it safe by using my strongest spell, the fireball.
With that much time to channel it, the fireball had reached an impressive diameter of 1 meter. I mentally focused on the ratman boss and hauled the giant ball of flames at the ratman boss.
While I was busy doing so, the ratman boss was preoccupied with my army. He grabbed a nearby large imp and begun using him as a makeshift club. The ratman’s strength could only be described as monstrous; with each of his devil club, the air pressure alone was enough to send the devils stumbling back a step or two.
The shieldbearers tried to surround him with their shields but it merely elicited a disdainful snort from the rodent. He gave them a contemptuous sweep of his eyes before casually knocking them away with a swing of his devil club.
With such heavy forces bearing down on the poor devil, his body simply couldn’t bear the burden and finally exploded in a gory mess of blood and flesh as his head impacted with the third shieldbearer.
Now that his weapon was destroyed, the ratman boss had to search for a “replacement”. But before he could do so, an overbearing heat began to bear down upon him. As he felt the rising heat upon his black fur, he looked up into the air and spotted the giant fireball I tossed towards him.
By the time he had noticed this, the fireball was within meters of him. Dodging it basically impossible now and so he didn’t. The ratman boss tossed away the ragged devil club and immediately reached out towards a nearby heavy shield with his right arm.
With a forceful grab, he dragged the shield in front of him, bearer and all, and used it to block the fireball. As expected of the ratman boss, even in a tense situation like this, he managed to keep his cool!
The bone shield shattered instantly upon impact. As the residual shockwave blew past the shattered shield, it careened into its intended target, the ratman boss. He was forcefully sent tumbling backwards, crashing into several devils and rats before finally coming to a stop.
“Chit Chit Chit!!”
The ratman stood up right away after regaining his balance. Outside of a few singed hairs, the residual force hadn’t done much damage to him. He gave his head a forceful shake, dispelling the bout of dizziness from his tumbling before turning towards me. He had traced the fireball’s trajectory to my location and as he did so, he let out a wrathful roar.
A second later, a devil “missile” was sent flying towards me courtesy of the ratman boss. The ruthless bastard had grabbed one of the winded devils nearby and tossed him at me.
Thankfully, there was at least 10 meters between me and the ratman boss. Furthermore, my eyes had never left him so upon seeing him turn towards me. I had already prepared to cast my bone wall.
As the devil “missile” closed in on me, my bone wall rose up in the nick of time, blocking it.
While I was fine, the unfortunate large imp had been reduced to a pile of meat upon colliding with my reinforced bone wall.
Seeing his ranged attack fail, he gave up any further attempts and instead charged right at me.
Bone Wall! Bone Wall! Bone Wall!
I immediately summoned three walls in his path but these hastily erected walls were no match for the approaching tank. The ratman boss tore through them like paper and continued on as if nothing had happened.
This ratman boss was just too strong for me to handle alone.
“Protect the Master!”
My devils howled into the air as they recklessly tossed themselves into the ratman’s path, any semblance of a formation, abandoned to the winds.
However, their brave efforts were all futile. The strength disparity was simply too great for these one-star imps. With a simple kick and punch, the ratman boss sent any obstacle flying away in an instant.
“Master retreat, leave this guy to me!” One-eye roared as he leaped at the ratman with his spiked mace held high. Unfortunately, his usually formidable mace was nothing before the unstoppable momentum of the ratman’s charge. In a split second, One-eye was knocked away. Even his sidekick, Nine-finger was sent flying with a simple kick.
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.