Section 16: Warrior Anthem
[Iris]: “Names born before me.”
Sanz Wanz was flat on the ground with tears in its wings from where Phoenix attacked it.
For some reason, those were the only part of it that did not regenerate, instead falling to pieces and crumbling on the ground.
[Iris]: “Forged in steel. Mothered by the Holy Peak Mills Daetta!”
Has it already given up on flying since it was dragged back to the ground? Or does Sanz Wanz simply feel like it no longer needs its wings since it has already reached the surface? I can’t tell either way.
What I can tell is that a hard outer shell was now wrapping around its body.
Phoenix reached back and continued to attack Sanz Wanz with her sharp talons.
However, while she was still able to rip apart and tear through the outer body, unlike with the wings, Sanz Wanz was able to regenerate this rock. And the big problem facing us is that the regenerative speed was even faster than it was before Phoenix beat it down.
[Iris]: “Strike out with clear and polished steel! Change your form and protect us all!!”
[Lapris]: “Iris!! The golems…..are making their move!!”
Dozens of small white golems in the shape of wingless dragons were raised from the broken pieces of Sanz Wanz’s wings. Even if I say small, that’s only in comparison to Sanz Wanz’s main body. They would definitely prove to be a huge threat for anybody unfortunate enough to come across them.
The ground shook beneath our feet as a tsunami of them rushed towards us.
[Iris]: “Step forward if you would take up the call! Temper your steel as you would train your arms and legs!! Stand with pride! Through the darkness!!”
A white light spilled out of the grimoire’s pages. And from within that light, pale pink characters rose to the surface.
[Grides]: “…..w-what is…..this time it……”
Those characters formed words in my mind, creating possibilities and phenomena in the world……until the space around me became distorted and twisted about.
[Iris]: “Now, cross over across the name and power of Iris Calvafon!! Riviera Von Iliana!!”
Cracks in space formed and spread out as soon as the last word of my chant left my lips.
Those cracks……numbered fifty in total.
Each crack spread open in an instant, and a pillar of light shot into the ground.
[Rose]: “Wall formation!! Vault Oath!”
A flock of dragon golems was descending upon us.
And Rose-san stood her ground, barking out an order.
And a chorus of shouts responded in turn and violently skipped across my eardrum.
There was a loud clang of metal on stone as one shield broke into the ground followed by a cascade of the same as if that first shield had caused a domino of other shields to fall. Fifty large shields were lined up side by side, creating a solid wall with nary a gap.
[Grides]: “…..Eh……warrior, priestesses?”
Grides muttered aloud when the women in armor holding shields appeared in front of us.
[Grides]: “This, what…..where…….? Why……? How……”
[Rose]: “Warrior priestesses carry the privilege of being allowed to assemble anywhere. Although currently, we act as members of the Goddess Knights rather than as warrior priestesses.”
[Grimm]: “Thank you for calling upon me Princess”
Grimm Lanselva-sama stood next to Rose-san with her shield at the ready. It was nearly twice as large as Rose-san’s, and her double edged sword gleaned with a golden light thanks to the reflection of her long, golden hair tied off at her back.
[Milius]: “Your knights have eagerly awaited the time you would call upon us like this, Princess”
Milius Luotung-sama was standing on the other side of Rose-san, opposite Lanselva-sama. Her jet black hair fluttered gracefully in the wind. It was a bit of a surreal sight when paired with the sturdy shield and finely decorated battle ax she carried.
[Grimm]: “Ruruka, you should remain next to our Princess just in case.”
[Ruruka]: “Will do Grimm. That’s why I’ll stay by and protect you Princess.”
And the one standing directly in front of me was Ruruka Ruruka-sama. Her short, bob cut green hair shifted in place as she readjusted her spear over her own shield.
[Rose]: “They come!! Ready yourselves!!”
The dragon-shaped golems dragged themselves along the ground, but Rose-san and the other knights had made themselves into a mighty wall and met the enemy head-on.
*Gck!* Gaki!* *Grch* Grnd!* All around I could hear it…….claws, fangs, and horns of stone scraping across shields.
Yet…..the wall did not collapse. Instead, the fifty shields each bearing the sacred tikarodeka pattern actually pressed forward, crushing the fangs as they came down on them.
[Rose]: “Push forward!!”
Rose-san unleashed her third order,
with Lanselva-sama and the other knights responding accordingly.
The Goddess Knights pulled their shields back, giving the dragon golems a little ground before then slamming their shields forward and pushing the giant stone monsters back.
Seeing the frontline dragon golems falter, Rose-san stepped forward out of line from the other knights,
[Rose]: “Break them!!”
and brought her mace crashing downwards.
The other knights brandished their weapons without any hesitation and struck outwards in line with her.
Each of them delivered only a single blow with their weapons.
However that was a single blow from fifty powerful knights.
The line of dragon golems were pierced, slashed, and beaten down. After fifty strikes, the enemy line already looked like it was about to crumble to rubble.
[Rose]: “Vault Oath!!”
However Rose-san did not press the attack.
She held her position and once again slammed her shield into the ground,
and the other Goddess Knights followed suit, recreating the long defensive line.
Each member of the Goddess Knights moved as one under Rose-san’s whim and order.
*Gck!* Gaki!* *Grch* Grnd!* The second wave of dragon golems came and crashed against the wall of shields like a wave breaking across the coast.
[Rose]: “Push forward!!”
Not a single member of the Goddess Knights buckled under the weight of the enemies’ attacks nor did they let a single claw get past.
Everyone moved as one beating the golems back with their shields under Rose-san’s command.
[Rose]: “Break them!!”
With Rose-san’s singular voice rising above the chorus of battle, the fifty knights tore against the sharpened fangs of our foes. Countless bits of rocks scattered all around as chunks of statues smashed into the ground.
However the Goddess Knights did not take the opportunity to press the attack, once again only taking a step forward with a gaze aimed straight ahead.
And then with another step forward,
they raised their shields and reformed their mighty wall.
The unified movements of a powerful army.
[Lapris]: “I was wondering how this’d turn out, but the Goddess Knights might actually be able to pull this off.”
Lapris slipped out of her hiding spot on top of Unicorn and immediately began with her condescending bluster. She’s not thinking of Lanselva-sama and the others as her minions now is she?
[Lapris]: “It’s probably because Big Sis put them through the wringer. We’re already seeing the results.”
The Goddess Knights were gradually pushing the enemy back towards the hole in the city wall.
The dragon golems flung themselves against petite women again and again in some effort to break through, but every rush futilely broke apart against the shields blessed by the Goddess.
[Rose]: “Then again, I never thought they would be summoned with that chant.”
My ears caught Rose-san’s bright voice from behind her shield.
[Iris]: “Me neither. I doubted my eyes a bit when I first opened the grimoire.”
I was able to summon Lanselva-sama and the rest of the Goddess Knights.
But the chant I used to do it was actually an ancient song tied closely with the warrior priestesses.
It appears in many different adventure novels, and I practically have the whole thing memorized. I used to recite it aloud when I was little and played adventurer with Mycena.
[Rose]: “No matter the obstacle, we stand tall!”
Rose-san raised her voice as another wave of dragon golems rushed in.
[Knights]: “””Our impregnable shields stand against the steel onslaught!!”””
*Crack, Cra, Crackin!!*
This rush was larger than any other before it, yet the Goddess Knight buried their heels into the ground and accepted the attack like any other.
[Knights]: “””We shall remain unbroken no matter what bares its fangs against us!!”””
Following Rose-san’s lead, the voices of the knights rose in unison, turning the chant into a chorus as their weapons dug into the golems.
[Knights]: “””Strong, stronger than anything else!! Our armor, light of our lives!!”””
[Rose]: “Then raise them high!! Dig in your heels and press forward with courage in your hearts!! An indestructible barrier!!”
*Pat, Pat*……fifty knights bravely singing their anthem as they raise their shields, stepping over the bodies of their crushed enemies: a legend straight from the picture books now unfolded for all to see.
[Knights]: “””Vault Oath!”””
But more than anything else, it was the figure of Rose-san’s back that kept my gaze locked in place.
The kind woman who always offered me a soft smile…..
had become a magnificent warrior priestess of legend.