Lancer of Black was unarmed. He wasn’t wielding his spear, and merely rode his horse.
Dragon Tooth Warriors became roused up as they sensed the approach of a Servant. It wasn’t just one or two hundred of them. A force of over five hundred Dragon Tooth Warriors tried to swarm him.
Of course, a pile of small fry soldiers was no problem at all for a Servant like him. But it would still be foolhardy to plunge straight into the midst of them.
Lancer made his golem horse kick off the ground and jump high through the air. Spreading his arms wide, he declared in a sonorous voice.
“Come, savages who trample over my territory! It’s time to discipline you! I’ll turn my compassion and rage into red-hot stakes and skewer you all! And these stakes are not limited, but truly infinite, so despair—and gorge on your own blood! Kaziklu Bey: Lord of Execution!”
The ground shook slightly. The Dragon Tooth Warriors reflexively looked down. Instantly, long and narrow stakes were summoned forth throughout the surrounding area and shot up out of the ground as if trying to reach the heavens, piercing the warriors one after another. Trees were created upon the grassland plain. The stakes were slender tree trunks, and the leaves and branches were made of bone.
In the three seconds since the moment the Noble Phantasm was activated, all five hundred Dragon Tooth Warriors were annihilated.
Lancer ignored them all and merely kept heading straight towards the Hanging Gardens.
…Of course, those who sensed his intention immediately came out to intercept him.
“So you’ve come.”
Lancer sighted two Servants heading towards him at raging speed. One held a bow, and the other held a spear—in other words, they were Archer and Lancer of Red.
While gripped by a strange joy over fighting a Servant of the same class as himself, Lancer of Black aimed at them and summoned his stakes all at once. Stakes shot up one after another upon the grassland plain they ran across. Though she dashed faster and more nimbly than a horse, Archer of Red’s speed began to dull.
A stake appeared right before her eyes. Gripping the stake, she coiled her body around it like a monkey and fired an arrow at the horse-mounted Lancer.
But a stake shot out in front of Lancer and blocked the arrow. While still atop his horse, Lancer calmly remained still there. Archer of Red fired another series of arrows, but they were all blocked by stakes that shot out of the ground.
This Lancer was able to protect himself with stakes—Archer of Red had to acknowledge that. These stakes appeared to be his Noble Phantasm. In that case, Father Shirou had been right; this man was Lancer of Black, and his true name was—
“I suppose you’re Lancer of Black, Vlad III, right?”
Just as Lancer of Red—Karna said, he was Romania’s greatest hero, Vlad III.
“Hoh. Are you, who calls me by my true name, Lancer of Red?”
“That’s right. Due to circumstances, I’ll be taking you down. Don’t think ill of me.”
“No, no, there’s no need to think ill of either of us. You people must kill me, and I must kill you all. It’s tragic, but that’s how reality is. Besides, it is my duty as a king to kill those who invade my country. So there’s no need to grieve.”
A stake shot out of the ground right before Lancer of Red’s eyes.
But the divine spear that Lancer of Red held easily smashed the stake.
“I see. These stakes really are your Noble Phantasm—but these enormous numbers are abnormal.”
Countless Dragon Tooth Warriors had been pierced and hoisted high upon the surrounding stakes. Just like humans who had been left there till the point they turned into skeletons.
Yes, if it was just a matter of the stakes themselves being his Noble Phantasm, it was still fine. Individually, they didn’t have that much destructive power and their speed was also slow… But their numbers were too many, already surpassing a thousand. Furthermore, they sprouted out suddenly from the ground, making it difficult to dodge them.
Quantity—that was the greatest characteristic of this Noble Phantasm. The number of stakes he could potentially summon equaled approximately twenty thousand. This Noble Phantasm was already extraordinary in this regard. Certainly, there existed Anti-Army and Anti-Fortress Noble Phantasms that could kill hundreds and thousands of people.
But there were very few that could kill over ten thousand people.
This was not because his Noble Phantasm was a holy sword or divine spear, but rather a reproduction of an [event] that historically occurred—that is, the legend of how he skewered twenty thousand Ottoman Turk soldiers.
Certainly, a single stake might be insufficient and worthless for this Noble Phantasm.
But—an overwhelming number like twenty thousand was overpowering even for Heroic Spirits of valor. While it was nothing short of madness, it was also an elaborate display of military force that none could match. It was an act that was no longer possible for human beings to commit.
And so this Noble Phantasm is called Kaziklu Bey: Lord of Execution, the most fearsome Noble Phantasm with the same title as its owner.
Archer of Red called out to Lancer of Red. Of course, Lancer also understood it well. Prana was whirling and converging together out from Lancer of Black in front them…!
“Now then, criminals who have trespassed upon my land without permission. It’s time for your judgement. Die on the battlefield along with those garbage Dragon Tooth Warriors.”
Lancer of Black slightly moved his finger tip—and instantly after.
Stakes suddenly struck out from the ground, aimed at the two Red Servants. Archer promptly avoided them by jumping into the air, but, as if having predicted that, stakes sprang up after her one after another.
Lancer of Red also jumped reflexively. He judged that, if he stepped on the ground, the stakes would aim for his feet. But the stakes sprang up all at once in order to pierce his falling body.
He brandished his divine spear once more—but the stakes he destroyed were replaced by new stakes that seemed to thrust out of the previous ones.
“—Destroying them is meaningless, huh?”
As Lancer of Red gripped his lance with one hand, the stakes struck out to attack him once more. It was just like a muddy stream of stakes. Even so, Lancer of Red dealt with the situation without panicking at all.
In the first place, the armor he wore, Kavacha and Kundala: O Surya, Become Armor, was an absolute defensive Noble Phantasm that possessed the radiance of the sun, granted to him by the gods. It easily repelled the stakes of a king.
“What splendid armor you have.”
Lancer of Black’s voice came from closer than he’d expected. Having equipped with himself a spear in one hand without anyone noticing, Lancer of Black finally arrived near the Red Servants.
Yes. He had ran atop the stakes with his golem horse. And while Lancer of Red was trapped by the stakes and unable to move, Lancer of Black moved to pierce the back of his neck with his spear.
“But it’s meaningless if I approach this close.”
Archer of Red fired an arrow, but stakes blocked the arrow like protective walls. Not asking for help, unable to even move, Lancer of Red was about to be pierced by the spearhead—and yet, his expression remained completely calm.
The instant Lancer of Black tried to pierce his throat with his spear, Lancer of Red’s body began to shine dazzlingly as if to pierce through the night.
The skill possessed by the Heroic Spirit Karna, [Prana Burst]. It had the same name as the skill possessed by Saber of Red, but in his case this skill specialized in [flames].
The stakes that held him and restrained his body were all burnt away. The scene looked as if the flame god Agni had descended upon the earth. A stream of fire formed around Lancer of Red as if to burn away the ground, yet it didn’t harm even a single strand of his hair.
Lancer of Red landed upon the now bare ground with a movement that even looked elegant. Watching him, Archer of Red sighed in amazement.
“You should have done that from the beginning.”
“It wouldn’t have worked as well as you think. My prana consumption as a Servant is quite bad. I can’t maintain doing that kind of thing for even ten seconds.”
“It’s quite troublesome,” Lancer of Red added with a sigh. The Heroic Spirit Karna was unmistakably top class. However, with his golden armor that was continuously active, the magnificent divine spear he held, and the [Prana Burst] he used just now, he consumed an extraordinary amount of prana as well. A normal magus probably wouldn’t be able to move even a single finger while supporting him. Even a first-rate magus would be exhausted to the point that they couldn’t use their own magecraft.
As such, he was grateful that he hadn’t received a single complaint from his Master, but he couldn’t just take advantage of it either. In that regard, it could be said that Lancer of Red had disciplined himself quite well.
“—It seems you aren’t an ordinary Heroic Spirit.”
Lancer of Black muttered in a cold voice while dusting soot off himself. There was no sign of even the slightest mental agitation or anger in his countenance.
“Will you surrender?”
“Regardless of whether you’re joking or serious, don’t spout stupid words, Lancer of Red. As long as I have a wish to ask of the Holy Grail, I will never surrender. Besides—”
Lancer of Black waved his right hand, and an intent to kill oozed out from the surrounding ground. There were still more than enough stakes present, which kept watch on the two Heroic Spirits. Furthermore, the Red Servants could sense that [something] more foreboding had started to move from the distant rear of the Black army.
“Aren’t you the ones who should be surrendering? Though, I won’t show mercy to you all who are invaders on top of being pagans.”
Indeed, Lancer of Red could burn to ash and crush the stakes with his flames and divine spear. But the Red camp’s odds of successfully opposing the Black camp’s overwhelming amount of material resources were fifty-fifty. Fighting a force of twenty thousand was beyond the capacities of even a mighty Heroic Spirit. Even then, there would have been no problems if they were alive, but right now they were Servants. The more they consumed prana in great quantities, the closer they approached death.
“—That’s true. Please forget that joke just now. Let’s go, Archer.”
Lancer of Red swung his divine spear in preparation with both hands and Archer of Red nocked another arrow. Standing in their way was the one who ruled this land, the ‘Dracul’ Lord.
At the same time as the golem horse neighed, the clash between three Servants recommenced.