A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 178

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel


Chapter 178. Evolution (2)



The  Outsiders  could  no  longer  stop  the  advance  of  Desir’s forces. After all, they had no troops left to block them with.




‘They completely eliminated their own troops.’




Desir couldn't possibly understand their behavior. A feeling of disgust grew inside him.




As   a   result,   the   guerrillas   were   able   to   quickly   reach Jormungand  Citadel.   At  first  glance,  the  imposing  fortress looked nearly invincible.




Desir looked at the top of the fort where the white flash was fired from.




‘It may not take twelve hours to re-arm, but it certainly takes time to gather that much mana.’




After the attack had been launched, wiping out the Outsiders and attempting to level the guerrilla forces, no more attacks left


the Citadel. Desir was certain that the homunculus needed time to recharge.




The homunculus, which seemed omnipotent in comparison to human beings, had to have a limit.




‘Homunculus were born from the efforts of man, after all.’




Despite his thoughts, Desir couldn’t cast aside the nervousness that had burrowed into him. After all, it would be foolish  to  underestimate  the  Homonculus’s  ability  to  control causality.




Desir preferred to analyse his opponent’s fighting style, gauge its strengths and weaknesses, and then engage in battle.




Upon his return, thanks to his countless experiences in the Shadow Labyrinth, there were few occasions where he fought against a truly unknown enemy. After a bit of work, most of his foes were interpretable.




However, a homunculus’s ability to manipulate causality was far  beyond  the  realm  a  human  can  casually  understand.  He


couldn’t comprehend how such powers were capable of being invoked.




‘But according to Zod, it isn’t impossible to beat it in combat. We can surely deal with it with this unit.’




Desir had finally reinstilled confidence within himself, when it was time to head back into action.




The voice of a guerrilla member came from behind Desir.




“We’ve entered firing range.”




Desir  ordered  the  second  platoon  members  to  identify  the enemy’s   forces   inside   Jormungand   Citadel   using   detection magic.




“There are still troops within the fortress.”




Upon receiving the report, Desir had a question.


When  he  saw  the  homunculus’s  attack,  regardless  of  the collateral   damage  it  would  cause;  Desir  witnessed  just  how genuine the panic of those Outsiders was.  They ran away; the obvious behavior of someone witnessing their trap card turned against them.




Nevertheless, there were those who did not back down and had remained to protect homunculus.




Desir   speculated   that   they   might   be   troops   under   direct control  of  the  senior  ranking  members  of  the  Outsiders;  the Crow Masks and the Feather Masks of the group.




‘Storming the fort will be difficult.’




Their group was composed of the most elite troops within the Allied Forces. Their ability alone was considered top of the line, but  the  number  of  troops  they  had  with  them  was  small  in comparison to those guarding the citadel.




‘It  would  have  been  much  easier  had  the  West’s  guerrillas arrived.’


The original plan was a feint operation. It was the coalition’s plan  to  send  guerrillas  from  the  east  and  west  to  eliminate homunculus simultaneously.




The  numerical  inferiority  would  have  been  lessened  if  the Western  guerrillas  had  arrived,  but  they  were  nowhere  to  be seen.




Unfortunately, they couldn’t waste even a moment waiting.




It  was  quiet  now,  but  it  was  unclear  when  that  wide-area attack would occur again.




Desir made a snap judgment.




He looked back at his guerrillas.




“We need to split up.  The Starling Party will  continue with the original goal of eliminating the homunculus. Everyone else, please take care of the troops within the citadel.”




“It’s   too   dangerous. Unless   we’re   sure   of   the   enemy’s


strength,  we  need  to  stick  together  and  make  a  steady  push through the citadel.”




That was a reasonable counter-point. The fortress of Jormungand  was  the  last  remaining  base  of  the  Outsiders.  It was impossible to know just how many traps were waiting for them.




But Desir was adamant.




“If  the  homunculus  launches  another  blast  at  us,  it’ll   be impossible for us to stop it.”




It had now been a few minutes since the last attack. All  they could do was wonder when it would be fired again. After that, it would all  be over; they didn’t have enough Aurora systems to block the white flash a second time.




All of the guerrillas nodded in agreement.




Desir’s gaze scanned over the men and women in front of him until his eye locked onto one individual in particular.



“While I’m away, Argeria will  take command of the eastern guerrillas.”




Argeria felt his jaw drop as he stared bug-eyed at Desir.




“Me, me? I will command the people here?”




The polar opposite of his usual cool-headed demeanor, Argeria was completely embarrassed by his surprise nomination.




His reaction was understandable. Many of the soldiers around him were more talented and renowned by the military at large. Though  he  was  acknowledged  for  his  time  leading  the  Blue Moon Party, at the moment, he was merely a fresh cadet.




“Good soldiers and good commanders are different.”




Nevertheless, Desir judged that he was making the right call and that Argeria could be trusted to lead.




“You   have   experience   commanding   and   have   done   so


admirably in the past. I know you’ll do well.”




Argeria had the experience of leading the members of the Blue Moon party and launching numerous expeditions into difficult Shadow   Worlds.   Though   the   Eastern   guerrilla   group   also consisted of individuals with outstanding combat skills, few of them   had   any   experience   commanding   troops,   let   alone organizing and conquering multiple Shadow Worlds.




“C-Commanding a student party and a military operation is totally different! Besides, it’s not as if… ”




“Mr. Argeria.”




“Yes?”




“I chose you.”




“… … … !”




Argeria  realized  what  an  asshole  he  had  been.   Desir  had believed in Argeria’s skill  and given him a chance, but he had


completely fumbled it.




“Can you do it?”




Upon  hearing  Desir’s  words,  Argeria  snapped  back  to  his senses.




“Of course. I would never let you down.”




“Okay then.”




Desir gave his final  orders, pointing towards the outer walls protecting the Jormungand Citadel.




“Prepare to breakthrough.”




The operation was carried out.




* * *


*Boom!*




The explosion rang out.




Jormungand Citadel shook once, as though a heavy object fell and  jostled  a  nearby  table.  The  aftermath  was  severe,  even though the fortress was surrounded by considerable defensive magic.




“Everyone! Defensive positions!”




Those who detected the source of the shaking rushed towards where their walls were under fire.




The soldiers were dressed head to toe in black, the hue and design of the outfit bearing a striking resemblance to a bird.




A  crow.  A  bird  of  bad  luck  that  also  symbolized  death  and misfortune.




These were the elite soldiers of those loyal to Crow Mask; the soldiers who shared sympathy with his ideals, who shared his


will, those who devoted their all to his cause.




They  stood  within  Jormungand  Citadel  after  all  the  other Outsiders  had  fled,  resolute  in  their  mission  to  guard  the homunculus.




Whether the war ended in victory or defeat now was of no consequence to them. They were simply tools left to fulfill Crow Mask’s wishes.




*Boom*




A second explosion resounded.




The walls started to crumble. No matter how solid the fortress was,  it  could  not  withstand  the  sustained  assault  of  an  elite Allied Force.




Through the collapsed wall, the guerrillas began to enter.




Crow  Mask’s  troops  waited  in  anticipation  for  the  order  to attack.





Both  groups  prepared  magic  as  they  locked  eyes  with  each other. There was a tense atmosphere that threatened to devolve into conflict at any moment.




“… … … … ”




The leader of Crow Mask’s forces made a quick assessment of the group in front of him. Though they were all quite powerful, their numbers were pitiful.




He was confident in his advantage. Even if they couldn’t win, with the homunculus on his side, all he had to do was drag the fight out.




It  was  a  plausible  plan  because  he  was  determined  to  die alongside his enemies in the homunculus’s attack.




As long as he was able to ensure the death of Desir Arman, leader of the Eastern guerrillas, it didn’t matter if he sacrificed himself.


But…




“… ?”




No matter where he looked, Desir was nowhere to be seen.




For a moment he thought he was faced against the Western guerrillas instead.




That thought was quickly put to rest, however, when he saw individuals he knew were a part of the Eastern guerrilla group.




‘Then… No, he couldn’t be… !’




His   head   quickly   swiveled   backward   towards   where   the homunculus was being kept.




Without giving him a chance to think further, he heard the enemy.




“Attack!”





At the moment Argeria gave his order, the guerrillas under his command launched their assault. Magic filled the air alongside the sound of swords clashing..




As each individual’s ability was considerable, he didn’t have the option to lower his guard for even a moment.




The   leader   of   the   black-robed   troops   gave   orders   after chewing his lips.




“Repel them as quickly as possible and head for the top floor!”




Now  he  had  no  choice  but  to  finish  this  battle  as  soon  as possible and help the homunculus to ensure the death of Desir Arman.




Argeria, who was leading the army in place of Desir, felt the same way. He slaughtered the black-robed Outsiders approaching him one after another..




* * *




The Starling Party was filled with a growing sense of dread as the density of the mana around them slowly grew as each step they took, brought them closer to ‘it’.




They headed to the top of the fort with a stiff look. And when they arrived at the top floor, an overbearing iron gate blocked their path.




Desir took a deep breath, strengthening his resolve.




“Is everyone ready?”




Romantica  took  out  her  rifle  and  settled  behind  the  other party members.  Adjest and Pram both drew their swords and took their places on either side of Desir.




Confirming  his  party’s  resolve,  Desir  pushed  the  iron  gate open, ready to confront their enemy.




An eerie squeak sounded.


At the peak of Jormungand Citadel, cold wind and snow blew freely.




In  the  center,  there  was  a  girl.  She  was  perfectly  still,  her silver hair fluttering in the wind.




For a second, one might think she was dead. Her hands were on  the  ground,  her  eyes  closed,  everything  about  her  eerily drained the viewer’s psyche.




Her thin face, her ghostly-white skin, her unresponsive eyes.




She  was  the  spitting  image  of  the  expression  “doll-like.” Rather, it wouldn’t be weird to describe her as a doll itself.




Desir  felt  a  dark  presence  emanating  from  the  girl.  It  was likely the same feeling that Zod had felt when he confronted her.




The girl’s inside was swirling, swarming, with a multitude of different kinds of turbulent mana.


Desir quickly realized the true nature of the mana before him. The increasingly dense mana that they had felt during their trek to the top floor of the citadel.




The  girl   was  preparing  her  infamous  attack,  preparing  to destroy everything in front of her with a white flash.




“Attack! Right now!”




[Abarossa Storm]




*Bang!*




As  soon  as  Desir  signaled  the  attack,  Romantica’s  shot  was fired.






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