Volume 2: Chapter 81 – Gnawing Fangs
|Possessed Skills||Ruler of the Demon Children of Chaos; Defiant Soul; World Devouring Howl; Swordsmanship A-; Dominator; King’s Soul; Ruler’s Wisdom III; Household of the Gods; One-Eyed Snake’s Evil Eye; The King's Dance at the Edge of Death; Magic Manipulation; Soul of the Berserk King; Third Impact (The Third Chant); Instinct; Blessing of the Underworld Goddess|
|Divine Protection||Goddess of the Underworld (Altesia)|
|Subordinate Beasts||High Kobold Hasu (Lv1); Gastra (Lv20); Cynthia (Lv20); Orc King Bui (Lv40)|
|Abnormal Status||Blessing of the One-Eyed Snake; Protection of the Twin-Headed Snake|
The enemy cowered at the sound of my howls.
After destroying one of their camps, I moved on to the next.
Reshia should be somewhere nearby.
I have to find her and bring her back… Not just for mine, but also for the sake of those who’ve died.
When I looked up there was a line of armored men with their spears brandished. They were coordinated and their movements showed signs of great practice; a formidable enemy?
Hiding their bodies behind their shields, they struck out their spears through the opening between their shields. It was a formation reminiscent of a hedgehog.
But that line of sharp spears that could tear into my flesh if I were to crash into it didn’t affect my movements in the slightest.
With great strength, I mowed down their formation, scattering their spears and toppling the humans. Some of them were on their backs now, but I had no intention of showing mercy.
Slipping through the opened gaps between their shields, I struck down every man that came to view, dyeing the black of the night in the red of their blood, gushing from their dismembered limbs and torsos.
One of the humans whose arm I’d cut, lifted his head and watched with trepidation as I let loose the last blow to claim his life. I watched as he sunk in the puddle of blood, then I looked around me.
Where is she!?
My voice echoed throughout the forest.
The soldiers were tasked to report regularly, but no word had come.
Gowen knitted his brows at that, and for some reason, his old wounds even ached.
“Hmm… The situation might have turned for the worse…”
Being an old veteran and a holy knight with a long history of achievements, Gowen was not the sort to lose his cool even in the worst predicaments.
“It’s a bit early, but send word to Gulland. Tell him to leave ahead of time with the armored carriage,” Gowen said to the messenger.
The soldiers Gowen had set around the village were all promising, young men who had sworn their allegiance to him. There was only one reason for them to fail their regular reports, and that was that something was keeping them from doing so.
And the only thing that could possibly do that in this Forest of Darkness was…
“Either the orcs attacked or the goblins from this morning did,” Gowen said.
But even an ogre shouldn’t be able to keep even a single rider from bringing word.
In that case, the enemy must have brought a sizable horde and extinguished my men before they could even send word.
“One more thing,” Gowen said to the messenger, “wake up the soldiers and have them gather around the village. Have them assume a tight formation. As for the horsemen, have them call for reinforcements from the fief.”
Quietly gazing into the dark of the night, Gowen quickly put together a plan to use the village and attack the enemy.
“…Wary, aren’t we?” Gulland said.
“So you were awake.” Gowen replied.
He should have been sleeping just moments ago, yet here he was, alert as ever, without the slightest signs of having just woken up. The presence that emanated from him was truly that of a man about to head to battle, and he even fearlessly laughed.
“Take the saint and leave the forest ahead of us,” Gowen said, “I have my own preparations to make here.”
“Hmph… Well, fine, but what about those adventurers I hired?” Gulland said.
“I can’t contact any of my men,” Gowen said, “I doubt it would be possible to contact a group under a different chain of command given the circumstances at hand.”
“Hmm… I see.”
Gulland appeared to be thoughtful for a moment, but not long after, he grinned a big smile and nodded.
“Fine, the biggest prize here is that girl after all,” Gulland said as he looked toward the direction of the biggest house in the village, the house of the king which Gi Za had asked to be made.
“I’ll be sleeping until then, so just wake me up when you’re ready.” Gulland said before leaving.
“Lowly adventurer, who does he think he is?” Spat one of the guards who was always beside Gowen.
“Let him be,” Gowen said.
“But still! Even if it is for the sake of the saint, going so far as to even ready the armored carriage is just…! We’re just handing all the merits to that man! This—”
The man would have said more, but Gowen’s gaze silenced him.
“…That thing is moving by its own will. Did you notice any bruises or any injuries on the saint?”
“The goblins and the orcs are slaves of desire. And yet… there isn’t a single wound on the saint.”
“I’m not sure myself, but… Isn’t that because of the saint?”
“Perhaps, but… There might be another reason. The monster that caught the saint just might be able to think; a monster capable of suppressing its desire.”
“Surely, that’s impossible.”
“A horde of goblins that transcends common sense, a horde of weakened orcs… When you think about it like that, everything starts to make sense.”
“Then… is that monster?”
Gowen gazed into the dark of the night as he fondled his mustache.
“It might just be headed here at this very moment. That’s probably why Gulland agreed.”
“That man actually thought that far?”
“Otherwise, I doubt he would have meekly obeyed. That man’s stronger than me, you know. At least, when it comes to raw strength.”
The guard looked toward the direction of Gulland’s shed.
“Gulland Rifenin… The incarnation of hate.”
As the corners of his lips rose, Gowen smiled a cold smile to the approaching enemy.
Something is wrong. I’ve been attacking the brightly lit camps for a while now, but there’s no one to be found. These eyes can see well in the dark, but the bright campfires are keeping me from seeing elsewhere.
It’s annoying, but I’ll just have to crush every single one of them.
Calming myself as I caught my breath, I focused my consciousness. I should be able to feel their presence through the air as long as I’m able to stir them up. There’s no way they’ve already retreated, they must still be here.
Spreading my consciousness thin like a paper, I searched the surrounding area for humans.
Then something touched it…
“Damn! It’s coming!”
The voice of a human, and the swaying of branches, up a tree, 100 meters away from me.
I bolted off.
I measured the distance to my prey with my Iron Second.
I swung my sword down with my cry.
But the bigger man stopped it with that lump of iron of his.
“Go! I’ll stop this thing here!”
As the bigger man shouted, the smaller man retreated.
I kicked that lump of iron away as I pulled back my sword to create some distance between us. Then as I kept a watchful eye out, I gathered my thoughts.
Just now, this man said, ‘Go!’ Where would a human most likely go at a time like this? There’s only one answer: to a place with more humans!
“You will let me pass.”
If I waste time here, that smaller man might escape. The bigger man looked surprise when I spoke.
“If you can speak this well, you must be capable of thought.”
“My subordinates, did they not speak as well!”
I slashed diagonally up the iron-like man. The force behind that attack was strong enough to send an average man flying, but the man only swayed a little before reassuming his stance.
That was over half of my strength.
“Sorry, but if I let you pass, my friends will die. Come!”
The man’s spirit was fierce, and I felt chills crawl up me. This man is strong. I can tell even if I don’t want to, but I wielded my great sword all the same.
If he won’t break in one hit, then I’ll hit him as many times as I need to!
Wielding my great sword over my shoulder, I swung it down with great speed. The sound of metal hitting metal resounded in the forest. The man used something akin to a defense technique as he parried my blows with that shield that covered his whole body.
My irritation gradually piled with every blow swung. This man is just trying to buy time. He’s desperately trying to buy time for that smaller man to escape.
‘To protect his friend’, he says… Then why? Why did you kill my people when you could think such things? Gi Da’s death flickered in my mind for a moment, but what really angered me was that I fell for the enemy’s plan, and couldn’t even break this man’s defense. What angered me the most was me!
Black flames wrapped around my great sword, and because of the One-Eyed Snake’s Evil Eye, the smooth permeation of ether made the great sword appear to flare up.
“Why did you!—”
With a swing of my great sword, I cut down the shield in half, but the man behind that managed to get away in time and wield his axe.
“—Kill my people!!
Jumping high up, I slashed down with the weight and power of my great sword.
The man managed to dodge at the last moment, leaving the tree behind him to be cut all the way to its roots. By the time I turned, there were already other humans with the big man.
“Bellan, Vitz, White Hand of LIfe!”
Judging from the look of surprise on the man’s face, this turn of events must be unexpected even for him, but it doesn’t matter. Because nothing can stand in my way!
One of the new men swung a sword clad in flames, but that was not something that could win against my Enchant, and his sword was flicked off when our swords clashed.
But just when I was about to pursue, I felt pain at my feet.
There’s a fast one with them!
Suddenly, light filled my vision.