Vile Evil Hides Under The Veil - Chapter 1556
The trapped Rankers soon realized their attacks on the Runic Birdcage Barrier were only empowering the domain.
After several futile attempts, the Birdcage Barrier began reflecting their attacks back at them, inflicting injuries or even death upon them.
No Ranker was foolish enough to launch an attack on the Runic Birdcage anymore.
Eren's comrades, the ones holding the Gluttony Pearls, acted as the Runic Eyes for the massive Birdcage Barrier. They were isolated from the trapped Rankers, ensuring they could maintain the barrier without worrying about attacks from within that could disrupt the Runic Formation.
Beelzebub had provided Eren with this barrier-type formation simply named Birdcage Barrier. It required only five S-Ranked Gluttony Pearls as the minimum power source to activate. However, it could benefit from additional Gluttony Pearls, strengthening the formation beyond the bare minimum requirement and making it more dependable.
At the beginning of the full-scale battle between the two kingdoms, each side had approximately 30,000 Rankers in their field armies. As such, there were around 60,000 Rankers participating in this conflict.
Over the past few days, that number had dwindled significantly.
The number of Rankers who perished on the battlefield, often at the hands of enemy Rankers, numbered in the thousands. After accounting for these casualties and a small percentage of Rankers who managed to escape the trap, roughly 43,000 Rankers from both factions found themselves trapped within the Runic Birdcage.
Around 6,000 Rankers who successfully escaped the isolation domain Eren had constructed could be considered the truly fortunate ones, having survived both the kingdom's battle and Eren's trap.
Many of them were high-ranking individuals from the kingdom of Edinburgh who had heeded Crown Prince Rodrick's orders to withdraw. Their prompt response to Rodrick's commands gave them the head start needed to evade the Runic Birdcage formation.
However, upon seeing the Runic Birdcage, powered by numerous Gluttony Pearls, some of these "lucky escapees" decided to enter to save their fellow Rankers who had fought alongside them.
Initially, entering the barrier seemed simple, and they acted without hesitation. Unfortunately, they soon realized their decision had backfired, as they became trapped alongside those they intended to rescue, unable to exit.
The Birdcage Barrier operated on the Intent-based magic.
None of the trapped Rankers, whether due to lack of knowledge or proficiency in this kind of magic, couldn't comprehend its underlying principles.
This formation was unlike the kind they had come to witness in the Land of the Faithless. They found themselves unable to disrupt the Formation from within or introduce any anomalies.
Even the most skilled Array Experts among them were baffled by the intricate runes comprising the barrier.
Eren, having harnessed the power of Gluttony Pearls obtained from Sage-ranked entities, equipped the Runic Formation to withstand attacks from S-Ranked entities as well. Without the use of a more potent offensive-type S-Ranked Runic Formation, breaking the Birdcage Formation proved virtually impossible.
This was also why Eren had strategically positioned himself at the center of the battlefield earlier. The center of the battlefield allowed him to summon the Birdcage Formation at the optimal location, ensnaring as many Rankers as possible within its confines. He had been fighting to reach the center of the battlefield for this reason.
As the trapped Rankers realized their inability to escape the Runic Formation, some decided to confront the source of the problem, Eren himself. But before they could even approach Eren, he swiftly erected a secondary barrier.
A smaller Birdcage formed within the primary one, isolating Eren and some of his comrades from the rest of the crowd. This secondary Birdcage possessed the same formidable strength and insulating properties as the primary one, ensuring that the trapped Rankers couldn't approach Eren and his allies any longer.
"Eren, my friend, what is the meaning of this?" asked a trapped Ranker as he laid his eyes on Eren.
This was a male Ranker from Edinburgh, who had met Eren at a social gathering and even exchanged pleasantries with him, looked upon Eren with wariness and questioned him in a deep voice. He hoped to leverage their prior interaction to influence Eren.
"You lots from the kingdom of Edinburgh, release us right now. We know you are only pretending to infight. Let us go otherwise…"
A Grandmaster Ranker from Layos sternly addressed Eren and his subordinates from the kingdom of Edinburgh, issuing a threat. He accused them of feigning internal strife and demanded their immediate release, warning of potential repercussions for Edinburgh's citizens.
Eren, however, paid no heed to the comments, insults, pleas, or threats hurled at him by the trapped Rankers who couldn't approach him. He regarded them with indifference, as if their existence held no significance for him.
"Fufufu. For a fraction of a second, I really thought you were going to kill them before you even erected the Barrier. I must say that you really bluff well, little kitten."
Just when Eren had successfully set up the two barriers and ensured the Rankers' isolation, a pleasant female voice sounded in his ears. An assortment of figures materialized behind Eren, revealing that Sage Eliza's entourage had arrived within the second barrier, intended solely for Eren's core allies and subordinates.
Eren turned to face them and shook his head, correcting Eliza's assessment.
"Oh, I wasn't bluffing when I tried to attack those Rankers. Something like a mere bluff wouldn't have worked against someone like Garos in the first place.
If Garos and other Sages had not acted on time, I would have let all those creatures loose on the battlefield. It would have killed a quarter of them in actual attack as well as the stampede and spell-clash that would have followed. The remaining ones would have managed to escape. Even you involving yourself personally wouldn't have changed that outcome.
Guess you are lucky that Garos acted that way," Eren smiled lighty at Eliza as he spoke.
Eren's actions weren't mere bluffs, and this admission surprised Eliza. She couldn't help laughing heartily. 'This brat… he is one mad gambler,' she thought to herself.