Chapter 17:

Flight To The Ravine

The Second Route


Tina and I arrive at the treehouse after minutes of climbing up the stairs. “For freak’s sake, make an elevator or something!” I say as I pant.Bookmark here

“You are tired already?” Tina asks while her face expresses disappointment, “and what is an elevator?”Bookmark here

“Don’t look at me like that when you do not know what an elevator is, let alone the convenience of it,” I say impatiently.Bookmark here

“The country where you are from sure is lazy,” Tina rolls her eyes away from me.Bookmark here

“E—excuse me?” Don’t insult my country, you peasant.Bookmark here

“General Tina!” A knight with distinguished armor from the rest promptly bows to Tina, “Commander Merona at your command!” The knight straightens up and salutes, “please, let you and your guest seat over here,” She leads us to a table.Bookmark here

“Thank you, thank you,” I repeat to her.Bookmark here


We settle down and face Commander Mero. During our meeting, Tina briefs Mero about the plan to transport one thousand soldiers to the ravine to impede the advance of the army. Commander Mero too says her thoughts and details of which we haven’t been informed on from the Queen. Soon, they settle on a battle plan. Summarizing their meeting, it is to attack and retreat.Bookmark here

“That’s it?” I blurt out.Bookmark here

“There is little we can do with a thousand troops,” Tina says.Bookmark here

“But, we have an Air Magician to transport us to and fro,” I remind.Bookmark here

“Though she may be an Ace Magician, she cannot make more than one thousand scrolls in a short time,” Rina replies.Bookmark here

“Fine,” I stand up from the table, “it’s settled then. Let’s get our best soldiers.”Bookmark here

“Copy that, sir, and General Ma’am,” Mero promptly stands up and salutes as I and Tina leave the briefing room.Bookmark here


While I wait at the mouth of the cave, staring at the orange sky and the snow that extends north, Tina selects and gathers the one thousand knights from the Sister Army to go up and fight. Then Tina comes beside me, “They are ready.” I return to the mercenary guild to meet Izumi.Bookmark here

“Izumi— Master Izumi!” I shout from the entrance to the door, “let’s go.”Bookmark here

Izumi promptly comes beside me carrying a large sack presumably with the scrolls of the spells to be used, and we go to the cave in the mountain and meet Tina.Bookmark here

“Here are the spells as you asked, Generals,” Izumi lays out the sack spilling scrolls from it.Bookmark here

“One thousand, right?” I ask Izumi.Bookmark here

“Yes, one thousand,” Izumi yawns, “I’ll be going now.”Bookmark here

“Okay, thank you for your service.” I bow to Izumi. “Finally, the act is over,” I mutter.Bookmark here

“Let’s activate these now!” Tina says with excitement.Bookmark here

“Wait,” I stare at the scrolls, “how are we going to get back?”Bookmark here

“Get back?” Tina asks.Bookmark here

“Aren’t spells one-time use only?” That’s at least what I have learned from the books.Bookmark here

“Oh… right,” Tina goes silent.Bookmark here

“We have to remove at least five hundred and four soldiers from the battle.”Bookmark here

“I didn’t think of this sooner.”Bookmark here

“How?” Genuinely, how could you forget? Such is the calculating mind of a businessman.Bookmark here

We stare at the scrolls in silence.Bookmark here

“With 496 men, we can still delay an army, right?” I ask hopefully.Bookmark here

“Yes, but our chances are cut in half,” Tina sighs.Bookmark here

“Well we can wait another day for Izumi to produce more, but…” my voice trails off.Bookmark here

“I’ll reselect the soldiers. I will get the best ones,” Tina rushes into the cave.Bookmark here

Moments later, Tina returns to me, “They are ready. We will stick to the plan.”Bookmark here

“Are you sure? We are committing suicide when we go to battle with these numbers.”Bookmark here

“It’s better than stranding one thousand soldiers in a battlefield,” Tina glares at me, “remember? You showed me that lives matter, not the battle.”Bookmark here

“I think you that logic is not applicable in this situation, Tina-san.”Bookmark here

“What do you mean? We are delaying the enemy’s advance to the kingdom to save the citizens, are we not?”Bookmark here

“Sure, but don’t soldiers have lives too? Well, it doesn’t matter. I will protect all the soldiers. Leave it to me.”Bookmark here

“You talk big for a greenhorn.”Bookmark here

“Shut up, miscalculator.”Bookmark here


To activate a spell, all we have to do is touch the inscription on the paper and focus our mind on it. By doing that, we focus our mana’s output on the paper.

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Soon, blue light envelopes me, Tina, and the 496 men and we appear in the sky. The sound of the wind rushes into my ear. I look around and see the soldiers flying through the air acting as if it were natural to them. Bookmark here

I look beside me and see Tina focusing on the sky, “How is this going to work? Do we just fly?”Bookmark here

“Yeah! Act like you are flying!” she shouts back.Bookmark here

How can I act like I’m flying? I’ve never flown in my life before! Well, I do fly commercially.Bookmark here


I put the effort to ‘act like I’m flying’ by outstretching my arms as ‘wings,’ but I’m not sure if that even helped me properly fly through the air. I just end up mimicking the soldiers who are flying around me in fear that I’d suddenly stall out from the sky.Bookmark here

The trip is cold and windy. We are above some low-lying clouds, but just below the cumulus clouds marking where we shouldn’t go. If we go above them, we would die of suffocation. My ears start to ring. I couldn’t hear much sound other than the furious passing of the wind as I fly through the air. I think this is because of the decreased pressure in higher altitudes. I didn’t calculate for this, but it’s too late. I wonder if the knight’s helmet helps them with this pressure though. It would have been nice to have a helmet protecting your face from the blowing, icy winds. I regret ever coming up with this idea. Can’t we just build an airplane next time, please?Bookmark here


Freezing moments thankfully pass, and all of us begin descending. The lack of clouds is noticeable as we enter further into the desert region. I look afar and see the ravine emerging into view. Suddenly, all of us are plummeting to the ground like birds losing their wings. I shrieked in panic, “What the hell is happening!!?”Bookmark here

Someone among the flying hordes shouts, “Prepare for landing!!”Bookmark here

Prepare for landing? I’m not a plane or anything! I don’t have landing gears!Bookmark here

I look around to see what they would do and see them unsheath their swords and point them to the ground. Then they start making a familiar motion of casting a spell. I say familiar because I’ve seen an illustration of casting in a book before. But since I don’t have the motor skills nor the complete grasp of the knowledge I have read, I only plummet helplessly to the ground.Bookmark here

Out of nowhere, I feel a hard bump from my back, and it feels warm. Then I see two arms wrap in front of me. I look behind and see the familiar helmet, “Tina!!?”Bookmark here


While still hugging me tight as we fall, Tina points her sword to the ground. I wanted to scream, but my voice wouldn’t come out. I’ve used up my voice for today’s flight. I just close my eyes in fear waiting for the moment my legs break on impact, and I instantly die. But, my feet softly land on solid ground, and I open my eyes to see the ravine immediately right in front of me. I still realize that Tina continued hugging me closely.Bookmark here

“Eek!” Tina pushes me away and I trip to the ground. Y didn’t have to push me, didn’t you!?Bookmark here

“Woah, okay! How did that happen?” Finally, a raspy sound comes out of my mouth. I look around and see the knights running to their positions near the ravine, “Is everyone alright?” I shout.Bookmark here

“Yes, we used a simple spell to soften our landing,” Tina pulls me by the hand and makes me stand, “let’s go to the ravine.”Bookmark here


We run to the ravine ahead of us and stare at the other side, “It seems that the enemy hasn’t arrived,” Tina remarks.Bookmark here

“I guess we can camp here until morning.”Bookmark here

“No, we should distance ourselves from the ravine lest the Sand of the Dead shall come upon us,” Tina shouts a command to the knights ordering them to set up camp. Soon, the knights start casting an Earth spell and sand mounds start forming from it.Bookmark here

“What are they doing?” I ask.Bookmark here

“They are making a tent,” Tina replies.Bookmark here

“A tent? With sand? That’s impossible!”Bookmark here

“Don’t tell me you don’t know how.”Bookmark here

“Are you kidding me? Nowhere can you make a tent out of sand!”Bookmark here

I observe that the knights cast a spell and hollow out the sound mounds to make their tents. The sand tents didn’t collapse. Instead, the tents were firm as a rock. “How!?” I exclaim in amazement.Bookmark here

“It’s only a simple Earth spell,” Tina says as she starts her tent.Bookmark here

“Sure, sure, simple my butt. Can’t we just make it out of rocks?”Bookmark here

“Rocks are harder to make for the soldiers. Remember, they are specialized only in Magic combat,” Tina folds her arms and smirks, “you are going to make a tent out of rock, won’t you?”Bookmark here

“W—what? Of course not. That would betray our comradery,” I laugh nervously. I attempt to make a sandy tent based on my knowledge, but frustrating minutes pass, and I haven’t successfully made a tent out of the sand. Every time I start to hollow out the mound, the sand structure collapses.Bookmark here

Tina laughs loudly at me, “You still can’t do it? How sad of you.”Bookmark here

“Will you please just shut up?” I pound the sand with my fist, “It’s sand for goodness sake!”Bookmark here

“You know you could ask me for help,” Tina grins.Bookmark here

“No, thanks,” I begin my hand motions again to “write” spells in the air and successfully make a mound of sand.Bookmark here

“You can just give up and make it out of rocks, you know?”Bookmark here

“It would be a shame for a general to make such a different structure from their soldiers when it is a simple task,” I grit my teeth. Yeah, sure, this is totally and definitely a really simple task! But I still fail nonetheless.Bookmark here

“It’s painful to watch you fail at the simplest spell,” Tina enters her sand tent, “you could ask me for help any time you want,” she teases, goodnight!”Bookmark here

Shut up with your tone, will ya?Bookmark here

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I click my tongue in annoyance then try again countless more times. The sun has already set, and I finally made a decently sized sand tent. Drowsiness comes to conquer me and I crawl into my tent and sleep.Bookmark here

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