Ch 34 – Maiden Battle (Final Part)

Gin scooped sand with his blade and hurled it at his target’s face. The enemy deflected the attempt but it bought enough time. An ally juggernaut grabbed the foe by his arms, leaving an opening for Gin. He took the opportunity, using a fallen body as leverage, piercing the mage’s chest. However, the enemy’s packed muscles clenched the blade, preventing the strike from going further.

Not deep enough, Gin analysed, retracting his weapon with great difficulty. If not for his training, landing jabs after jabs on the tree back home, he would have been left open for a counterattack.

The foe then elbowed the allied mage, breaking free of the hold that bound him. A crunching tackle knocked the Eurasian to the floor, turning his back to Gin in the process.

Perfect.

Gin unhooked the gun INS from his belt, activating the mechanism, and creating the barrel in an instant, aiming right at the heart. He pressed the trigger in the second chamber; The mage collapsed with a spherical hole through him.

‘Thanks,’ the allied mage said, getting up onto his feet, panting as he did so.

‘No problem. Go help team seven, I’ll go help team nineteen,’ Gin commanded.

‘Understood.’

Gin burst from his spot to the next team. As he skipped passed fireballs, friendly fire and foes on the floor, he almost reached team nineteen, a group of three occupied with a juggernaut.

However, out of nowhere, an ally fire elemental crashed into Gin, knocking them both to the floor. He came to just in time to see a behemoth of a mage towering over him, hurling a punch right at his face. Gin rolled away on time, dodging the blow but when he got back on his feet, he realised he wasn’t the target as a pool of blood stood in the place of his ally’s now faceless face.

Gin didn’t have time to stare as he readied his gun once more. He fired at the distracted enemy but the recoil hindered the shot too much as the bullet flew right past its target, dissipating back into nanobots before it hit anybody else.

The gunshot warned the juggernaut, turning to face Gin but that gave an open angle to shoot at. Gin held his arm, this time bracing for the recoil as he fired once more. His aim was true as the bullet pierced the chest and drove right towards the heart, yet the foe continued its attack, charging right at him.

Gin sidestepped then ducked, dodging a right hook in the process. He then skipped backwards, building some distance between the two. He aimed for another shot, clicked the mechanism and – nothing.

‘Tsk. Out of ammo,’ Gin mumbled to himself, slotting the gun back in his belt before getting back to his stance.

Gin took a few more steps backwards, assessing the damage he dealt while wary of his surroundings. The enemy was at a stand-still. He didn’t move from his position. Blood trickled from the hole on his opponent’s chest. Then gin’s eyes widened as a small, silver pellet dropped from the beast’s flesh before the blood stopped flowing, the wound closing instead.

Just how strong is this guy?! A sinking feeling made Gin’s gut heavy, but kept his composure, returning to a defensive stance. His eyes darted looking for any potential back up.

‘Nobody’s available,’ Gin muttered to his dismay. You’re on your own, Gin.

The mage finished closing the wound then attacked Gin once more. He dodged the first strike; deflected the second with his shield, pain reverberating through his arm. It was almost as strong as Varunel’s punch which shattered his bones. Gin knew he couldn’t take any direct hits, so he leapt to the side, keeping his distance while looking for an opportunity.

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But then water grazed Gin’s thigh, leading to a small wound on his calf. He knew where it came from and cursed his naiveté. He was so focused on his opponent, he forgot to be wary of friendly fire. The area throbbed but the adrenaline soon nullified the pain. Now time was against him as he decided on his next plan.

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Gin took the initiative. He used his inferior height to duck out of another swing. He struck out, jabbing the enemy’s hip. Before the beast could react, Gin retreated a few metres and out of range, watching the wound he inflicted start to close again.

Gin went in for another attack. He aimed for the torso this time. The opponent lashed out but Gin was too quick. He dodged the hook, side-stepped into position then uppercut the mage, piercing the chest area and retracting in one clean motion.

Gin then retreated to a safe distance then attacked once more. He leaned back, avoiding a roundhouse kick by millimetres. The enemy was now off-balance. Gin took his chance and sent a flurry of stabs in return.

The process continued. Retreat. Dodge. Attack. Repeat. Gin slowly built up the damage to the point that the enemy’s regeneration couldn’t keep up. He infuriated the enemy, like a mosquito that could never be caught. He knew he had no means to deal a finishing blow on a conscious enemy, but at least he slowed it down enough that he managed to buy time.

All of a sudden, the ground shook in a series of tremors. The sand shifted westwards, tripping both ally and enemy alike off balance. The mage in front did the same but Gin remained steady, using his training in the desert room to full effect. He hopped up to the fallen enemy and sliced the neck, making sure there was no chance of recovery.

Then came the news of what caused the tremors.

‘Enemy reinforcements. Two Thousand strong!’ the words bringing fear amongst the offence group. They only held on for the time being. They knew they couldn’t handle more enemies.

However, instead of getting demoralised, Gin smirked. He looked up, noticing the lack of enemy fireballs, then looked back at his disgruntled allies. He took a deep breath then bellowed,

‘These are Eurasian allies. Push the enemy back and win this battle!’

The shout sent a shiver down everyone’s spines as it got relayed amongst the Eurasians. Morale shot through the proverbial roof as the enemy juggernauts began backing off in despair, getting cut down from Squadron W from the front and behind with no African fireball in sight.

Gin continued his role, weaving in and out, slicing the juggernauts one by one. The stabs weakened the enemy. His allies handled the rest. On the contrary, there was no teamwork from the enemy; only a bunch of individuals that lost to those weaker than them.

The enemy fell like flies. As they died, the offence group’s forces freed up more and more. Outnumbered and outclassed, the AAA’s forces depleted until none of them remained alive.

Gin dusted off the sand that had mixed with the blood around his eyes. He stared in front of him. He knew what happened. It was according to plan after all. The slope that the battlefield began with no longer existed. Instead laid a massive chasm where Eurasian reinforcements continued to climb out of.

An emphatic victory would have been an overstatement. They struggled, fought, and some even died. In the end, that didn’t matter. It was still Squadron W’s win.

- my thoughts:
Sorry I'm late with today's release but it's my birthday and so was out all day. Btw one more chapter till novel 1 finishes!
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