They were giants of rock, and every one of them was more than 2 meters tall.
With limbs of black steel wider than the shoulders and torsos of adult men, a single eye akin to that of a dazzling jewel on their head, and with mass and hardness that overwhelmed any and all, they were none other than that ever famous combat familiar, the Golem.
They were life-sized dolls that moved. They were featureless and white all over.
They moved awkwardly and looked around with pairs of eyes that looked as though someone just stuck them on.
They laughed as they looked around them, and when they opened their mouths to the point of tearing, a set of saw-like teeth was revealed.
Curved blades could be seen extending from their limbs, no doubt meant to cut humans.
Though human in shape, they were artificial killing dolls that preyed on life with inhuman movements, they were the Murder Automata.
They were a fusion of all sorts of beasts, abominations that ignored all evolutionary genealogy.
Snakes, lions, wolves, birds of prey, fish, insects…
There were all sorts, yet every one of them was a creature in their own right, and not one of them had the same combination.
With dark eyes blinded by instinct, they looked at the humans not as prey but as targets.
They were artificial creatures birthed by forbidden magic, the Chimera.
It was such creatures that now greeted them.
And with little in the way to obstruct the view of the royal mansion, guests and employees alike could see clearly the monstrosities that now filled the land.
Yet even then, the number they could grasp was limited by the scope of their vision.
The exact number of enemies remained unknown, and that stirred further the fear within their hearts as the abominations and aberrants approached.
“It’s like a trade show for all the tragic examples of Magic Alchemy… As usual, my intuition is always right.”
Alchemy by itself was a field of study that sought to unravel the truth and construct of the world, while Magic Alchemy was a field of study under magic.
One that used mana to analyze and understand the construct of materials, transforming them anew.
The reason Shinichi described this situation as a trade show of magic alchemy’s tragic examples was because all of these monstrosities had bad history. The golems, for example, were used as weapons of mass murder.
Of course, in truth, the golems were blameless, and it was the people who used them who ought to shoulder the blame; hence, Shinichi’s remarks were really meant to show his dislike for those that tried to use them with wicked intentions.
“Their maker’s objective must either be to silence or erase the real thing and replace them with dolls in an attempt to take everything for himself… Well, in the end, that’s about all that you can expect from a practitioner that leans more toward the academics. He might be skilled, but his modus operandi is terrible,” Shinichi stepped forward.
It was curious if the count saw him move or not, but regardless, his face paled, and he fell back.
“It’s hopeless… R-Right, there should be a Formation of Teleportation at the royal villa meant for emergencies like this!”
“Unfortunately, a barrier jamming all teleportation magic within the area was erected just awhile ago. So there’s no point in using that formation. It’s a nasty and complicated technique. Even I’d need five or six minutes to get rid of it…”
──Do you think these guys would leave you alone during that time?
The boy said with a crescent moon smile, and that resounded clearly within their ears, no different from a death sentence.
The count may not have been a mage by profession, but he was still a noble of Earthgant.
Though he failed to notice the presence of such a barrier, now that it’s been pointed out to him, there was no way for him to miss it.
He did not know the details, but indeed, that was a barrier that could easily take them a few days just to remove.
Yet that very barrier now covered his entire territory.
It was curious when and how, but it wasn’t the time to ponder such questions.
The count was speechless, for even as they talked like that, the tenkorius continued to destroy those soldiers born from Magic Alchemy. One after another did she slay them, and as though to show that the title of ‘the Strongest Monster Beast’ was not just for show, she defeated the golems repeatedly with a single blow, while the automata she would turn into scraps, and the chimeras into lumps of meat.
But even then, the difference in numbers was just too great, and though gradual, the line was clearly being pushed against their favor.
Above all, her body was just too small, so there was too little area that she could cover by herself, and even from a distance, it was clear just how well coordinated the creatures birthed by magic alchemy were.
The count could tell that his soldiers would prove to be of no use here.
“Hurry up and withdraw. Your death is guaranteed if we leave here. Or would you rather I prioritize the removal of the barrier? Maybe save the princess instead?”
What a terrible question to ask.
And indeed, the count was speechless, but who could blame him? Their survival rested on his answer.
If the only thing that mattered was their survival, then the right answer was of course to abandon the princess.
But as someone who has been entrusted with this land, he was faithful to the royal family.
If it were only him, he would choose the princess no doubt, but he had a responsibility to ensure the safety of the guests whom he invited.
What should he do? What was the correct answer?
The count desperately thought of it, but he couldn’t find it in himself to decide.
“…Ku ku, you lucked out, Count.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t dislike that
From the wry smile that surfaced on Shinichi, it was evident that he’d seen through him.
For a moment, the count was taken aback by that and the mischievous smile he wore, but Shinichi ignored him and leaped to where Youko was fighting.
“We’ll go after we clean this up────Now pray.”
Because that was all that they could do.
Though sullen, the count and his guards could only pass through the gate.
And with a swing of Shinichi’s arms, the supposedly unreachable giants of black steel where split into six, while the resulting shockwave scattered the automata, and the remnants of the golems crushed the chimeras.
With a single swing of his arms were all the enemies within a 30m square area destroyed.
The external application of the Magic Raiment Battle Law formed a claw as he unleashed that attack, and – for a moment – it appeared as though the hand of a giant beast had been summoned.
As lightning scorched the chimeras around Shinichi black, Youko came running toward him, and the battle line that had gradually been pushing toward the villa now showed signs of stopping.