Commander Draven raged watching his comrades fall one after another. But, there was little he could do.
The ice that coated the ground was horrible for footing, and yet it seemed as though everyone in Dyon's army had defensive formations to use for traction.
Then Commander Draven thought he could use his overwhelming strength to raise the morale of his troops again, but, the white-haired demon generals simply toyed with him. He was nothing before them.
He could only run again and again, in the end using his men as shields in his last bid for survival.
After losing half his men, Commander Draven had had the thought of escape, maybe his pride just wasn't worth it… but then Dyon from his high perch said dreaded words that resounded in his psyche even as he stood bloodied with less than a thousand of his men left.
"Defense Variation 1. Turtle shell."
Flashes ran through the entirety of Dyon's army as each of them took out tens of defensive array plates. The air was filled with shimmering gold as dome after dome of defensive formations completely surrounded the Phantus.
The Phantus were filled with endless despair. Although they could work to destroy these arrays, Dyon's army seemed to have an endless supply. But, the worst part was that they seemed to be fitted with special weapons that could be launched without effecting the defensive array.
Looking down at the massacre, Ri asked Dyon about it and received a smiled in response, "I call them spatial spear grenades. They're essentially array spears fitted with time sensitive spatial transference arrays. It allows the spears to pass right through the defensive formation before materializing to attack the enemy."
Airic watched this scene with his heart trembling, 'This… This is what I wanted! This is it! The true art of war!'
The campaign heads almost couldn't believe what they were seeing. Regardless of the fact that Commander Draven wasn't the best the Phantus had to offer, he was without a doubt in the top 3 campaign leaders they had. And, his strength had already stepped into the essence gathering stage! Just who were those white-haired freaks Dyon called demon generals?!
In the end, Commander Draven and his commanders became painfully aware that Dyon's army was toying with them.
The checkered formation allowed tired soldiers to switch out and fresh ones to come in. The back and front lines constantly alternated as well, and yet, it was all done without a hitch.
Commander Draven could only watch helplessly as his scaled elephants were being constantly rained down upon with ice will. Although the storm had stopped, one of the companies that had sneaked in behind the Phantus while allowing them to penetrate had left the battle to ensure the elephants didn't wake up!
No one knew how Dyon communicated these things so smoothly. It was as though he was speaking into the ear of every single one of his soldiers! How could the campaign heads and the Phantus know how exactly right that assumption was?
Commander Draven suddenly realized that there was no reason for him to still be alive. He was the only remaining life blood of his army, why hadn't they targeted him?! And then is suddenly dawned on him… 'They want to capture me… They've realized there's something odd about how we brought the scaled elephants here!'
However, despite realizing this, there was little Commander Draven could do. Even when he charged in with no regard for his life, knowing they wouldn't kill him, he was stopped immediately by the overwhelming demon generals.
"YOU COWARD!" Commander Draven screamed into the air, slowly losing his mind, "What kind of man hides behind his army while they war! Why should anyone follow you!?"
Dyon turned his gaze from his leisurely talk with Ri, "To his knees." Dyon said faintly.
Commander Draven was immediately cut down, the tendons in his leg sliced apart with no regard. He could only stare blankly into the air as his ten vice commanders were laid face down beside him, their faces buried into the muddy ground despite their best efforts to wiggle free. In the end, only the eleven of them remained.
"You're an idiot and you claim to be a better leader than I am?
You charge here relying on only a single strategy and have no back up plan and yet you're a better leader than I am?
You boast that you're a real man, yet you rely on beasts to make up for your numbers disadvantage and yet you claim I'm the coward?
You had no thoughts of retreat until half your army was gone, and yet you used your own men as shields before you realized we were keeping you alive, and yet you still claim I'm the coward?"
Dyon's words were like sharp swords, piercing in the heart of the commander of the Phantus again and again.
"You were too prideful. Assuming you were above everything when really you only deserve to kneel before me."
Suddenly, Dyon looked up into the distance, "Take notes. When you decide to show yourself. I'll crush you just the same."
With that, Dyon commanded his army to hand the prisoners to campaign head Akash.
Dyon touched down from the sky, holding Ri's hand with a smile on his face. Akash could only shake her head bitterly, "I didn't earn these prisoners Dyon, you should take credit for the information we get from them."
Dyon grinned, "What do you mean commander? I came here under you, so all of the work I do is under the Elvin Kingdom name. In fact, I placed all the merits of today's battle under my little feu glace's name. I want you to know that I am here for the Elvin Kingdom too, I remember the promise I made very well. It may have been to Primrose at the time… But, wasn't Primrose acting princess?"
Akash and Ri were stunned, "You idiot, why'd you put it under my name? How'd you even do that?"
Dyon shrugged, "Manipulating master level formations like these are easy. For some reason, I can't seem to change the rating system on a whim, most likely because it's linked to an even stronger array acting as a check and balance, but, something like changing the name the points go to is easy.
If I wanted, I could put all of the points we earn under a single name. It's a bit of a loophole."
Ri sighed, "You still shouldn't have done it."
Dyon shook his head, "Without you, my plan would have never worked. Your ice will sealed everything."
Ri flicked Dyon's forehead, "Don't lie to me."
Dyon sighed, "Lowering the temperature of water is exceedingly difficult because it has a very high relative specific heat."
Seeing their confusion, Dyon continued.
"Specific heat is just a measurement of how much energy it takes for a certain amount of an object to raise its temperature by a set amount. Essentially, water has a high specific heat meaning it takes a relatively high amount of energy to raise its temperature. Conversely, this also means that it has to lose more energy to cool down.
While normal ice will would have been effective, the ice will powered by your faith seed seems to be different… The purity path of your ice will made it so that we used a lot less energy than necessary because it was much more sustainable away from your body.
In order to force the scaled elephants to sleep, we needed more than just pumping them with ice. For one, in order to do that, we'd have to let them get too close, which would result in some losses. Also, it would take more time as well. The fact they were coated with water before the temperature dropped made the cold all the more piercing to them."
Ri's eyes shone listening to Dyon. She still didn't completely buy that she made or broke Dyon's plans, but, Dyon was at the very least telling the truth.
Suddenly, Akash thought of something, "Um, Dyon?"
"Yes?" Dyon responded, looking up from Ri.
"When you were speaking to Commander Draven, it seemed you also addressed someone else?"
Dyon's eyes sharpened at this question, "There's something odd going on here. This seemed like a test run rather than a real attack, but that's not the main issue. The question of how they traversed the gate with those massive beasts is a preeminent one.
But, what I do know, is that there was someone watching this entire battle take place. Someone who didn't seem to care whether the Phantus lived or died…"
Akash's brows furrowed, "Who?"
"My best guess?..." Dyon looked off into the distance, a pensive look playing his features. "Their innate aurora wielders."
Oh my, things are getting interesting 😊
To clarify a bit what Dyon means about manipulating the ranking system:
The rating system reports back to a larger and more sophisticated array to tally points, so, manipulating how the points are tallied (ie, faking merits) is impossible.
However, manipulating who those merits are calculated under is within Dyon's abilities because it only requires changing the name the tracker is registered under. Dyon simply changed his tracker to read Alexandria Acacia instead of Demon Sage before he went into battle
Although he doesn't tell Ri, he does this because he doesn't want her to live in his shadow, because he isn't lying about the fact she played a large role in the battle. Even though Ri is okay with that, Dyon doesn't want her to lose herself because of him.
The second reason he did that is because the stuff he's about to do with the Epistemic tower is going to bring his ranking to a ridiculous level… of the charts you might say…
Stay tuned 😉
Confused by the description of the 'collapse' of the formation? Follow me on twitter @Awespec to get the detailed diagrams. Or join our discord >>> https://discord.gg/G3ME8z2