Volume 2: Chapter 93 – Ceasefire
|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|
Jumping within the violently blowing gale, I turned to the first cavalry headed for me, then like the string of a bow, I bent my body and let loose my spear, shooting it forth to pierce through the chest of the horse.
That one soldier fell quickly, but the approaching cavalry did not slow down.
Damn, these soldiers are the real deal.
The approaching cavalry quickly filled in the empty position in their formation, then once again lined up their spears. This cavalry’s charge was not something that could be dodged easily.
Each and every single one of the horses within in that cavalry were huge, and yet the soldiers could handle them with enough proficiency so as to appear completely one with them. Moreover, their morale was exceedingly high, such that the sight of their fellow soldier falling could not even affect their speed.
What an annoying bunch!
But this was also the last battle. If I win, the battle will end in our victory, if I fall, the humans will fight with renewed vigor, and eventually, the goblins will be exterminated.
Bellowing out the World Devouring Howl to encourage myself, I kicked off the land, quickly shortening the distance between me and the cavalry, bringing me right in front of their lances.
“DIEEE!” The horseman right in front of me screamed with fervor. And before I knew it, lances were thrust at me from all directions. There was no room to dodge. All that was left now was for me to be skewered, but this was exactly what I was waiting for.
When the enemy raised up their lances, I concentrated my ether on my legs to instantly bring me up to the sky, where I then swung my sword with my right hand to cut down the shocked enemy. As I descended, I folded my hands to reduce the impact of my fall even a little.
Lances were extremely heavy. But it’s precisely because of that that they are capable of instantly killing an enemy. Such weight, however, wasn’t easy to handle. And some movements, such as instantly reacting to an opponent that’s jumped above you, was simply impossible.
One horseman watched wide-eyed as my hulking body crashed into him and his horse.
“Damn it, who cares! Surround it and kill it!”
The cavalry quickly turned around as they passed me, then they lined up their lances and charged toward me again. But while the vanguard might have been able to turn around now, the others were still catching up. Taking advantage of that, I took my sword and tore apart their rear.
The strength of this monstrous body kicked off against the ground, at the same time, I—
—invoked Accel and swung my long sword at the rear end of the cavalry. Blood spurted as my blade entered the back of a soldier. As he fell down to the ground, I canceled my ether and left my sword stuck into the ground, while I picked up his lance.
I’m not used to using spears upfront, but I can at least cut and thrust with it, so it should be fine.
Brandishing my new found lance, I killed another enemy. If it’s just for cutting and thrusting like this, this lance is actually better than the long sword because of its length.
“Damned beast can think!”
The cavalry managed to turn around, but because they forced themselves to turn around so quickly, the power behind their charge was much weaker this time around. In fact, their formation wasn’t even in good order. It was a small difference, but to me that small gap was a gap all the same.
The lances came thrusting at me with the same power as before. No, they might even be stronger this time. But despite that, I threw my body into that line of lances as I brandished my spear.
I struck out with my lance at one of the humans mounted, then as the cavalry kept running past me, I struck out again. The cruel sound of the steel tip of the lance bending resounded.
Throwing away the now useless lance, I picked up the long sword I’d left stuck on the ground.
I was able to block the more shallow wounds with Shield, but there were a couple of big ones that got past. I wonder if there’s a more intricate reasoning behind how Shield’s defense can be broken.
But this wasn’t the time to be thinking about that. Kicking off against the ground, I brandished my long sword as the cavalry tried to turn around for the second time.
But the enemy was formidable, and this time around, they struck out their lances to protect their comrades. Only, that attempt to protect each other was just too rough compared to their earlier charge. I easily passed through their lances and swung my long sword against another one of their comrades.
I tore through the air as I quickly moved above the heads of the soldiers, then I sent my sword swinging down the neck of a horse. In an instant, both the horse and the soldier were cut, yet even that didn’t make the enemy falter.
Truly men of courage! Annoying!
The enemy thrust their lance from below, and I blocked them with my sword. Another lance came for my chest, but I managed to jump away in time. As I did, I managed to take out another enemy who had just struck out his lance.
As soon as I landed back to the ground, two horsemen attacked me at the same time. Their lances came at me from in front at roughly the same time. In response, I lowered my waist and held my long sword in my armpit.
As I canceled Shield, I gathered my ether into my long sword, and then as I invoked Third Chant, I cut down one of the two horsemen in one stroke. One of the lances managed to graze my sides, but I ignored it and cut that one horseman along with his horse.
Tsk, not enough time to deal with the other one!
I exhaled as I watched the other horseman turn around as the wound on my side burned with black flames. My body quickly recovered, but my long sword was already cracked. That’s not to say it’s shoddily made though. I mean I have been cutting down rider and horse together in single strokes. Making a weapon cut something it normally shouldn’t be able to, of course, it would break. But still…
—I’d really like a weapon that won’t break.
As I grumbled to myself, the enemy resumed their attack.
I noticed one of the enemy horsemen talking. That must be the cavalry commander!
The target ascertained, I pulled out the long sword from the corpse and swung it once lightly. I invoked Ruler’s Wisdom III. It was a skill that could be activated the moment I fought against the enemy commander. Once invoked, the damage incurred would increase, but so would the damage dealt. It’s a skill meant to end things quickly. As I thought that, I kicked off against the ground.
The goblins still haven’t caught up. Something must have happened.
Otherwise, they should have already wiped out the enemy.
I bellowed out a howl from the piths of my stomach. That howl carried with it the force sleeping within as it descended onto the enemy, but the enemy was well trained, and morale was high, causing the effects of my howl to be largely ignored. I mustered my ether as I ran. It was better to bring the battle to them before they managed to build up speed.
The enemy at the vanguard was none other than the commander himself!
“I’ll take you on, Monster!” The enemy commander yelled.
I bent my body so low I almost looked like I was about to get on all fours, a stance I assumed to make it harder for the enemy to reach me.
Our blades passed by each other as we sought to claim each other’s life. The enemy’s lance grazed past my shoulder, breaking my balance, but my blade swung down, cutting the soldier along with the horse.
“Gah…Got you!” The enemy commander smiled.
Before I could even wonder what he meant, a lance came piercing from behind him, skewering him along with me. I tried to block with my sword, but it was too late!
—Doesn’t he care about his own life!?
While shocked several lances came thrusting at me. I promptly jumped back to mitigate the blow, but the pain was still there. I couldn’t even land properly when I jumped back, and I tumbled to the ground, but even as I did, the sound of the hooves never stopped. The cavalry approached with blood lust and high morale, further bolstered by the sacrifice of their commander.
My left arm’s been completely done in. It won’t even budge. At the same time, blood and guts were spilling from my left shoulder, though black flames had already began to burn where they were.
I never looked down on the humans.
So why? Where did I let my guard down? The ogre lord and the orc king should both be far stronger than them. Even the gray wolves are faster than them. In fact, even the tribes are stronger. And yet…
They are strong!
The power to burn their own lives!
The resolve to sacrifice themselves for others!
This is not the might of one, but the might of many. They are strong. What am I doing hesitating against an opponent like this!?
I may have acquired the power of a monster, but I was once human myself. I should know just how much power humans can show when cornered. They could even kill gods when driven to a corner.
As I stood up, I invoked the Soul of the Berserk King.
In exchange for my sanity and pain…
—Give me an enemy, enemy, enemy! I will tear them to pieces!!
Cracks appeared on the hilt as I gripped it with too much power.
At the same time, I invoked my Defiant Soul, and fought back the mental corrosion. Like that I managed to take back the reins of reason, but if I were to ease up even a little, I would lose them again.
The enemy cavalry approached.
Ether gushed out, but I didn’t use it to heal myself. Instead I gathered it to the tip of my blade as I released it into the world. Black flames summoned and they clad my blade in their wrath.
But I didn’t stop.
I mustered more and more ether until the long sword looked like a great sword as it burned with black flames. The wound on my left shoulder hadn’t healed, and blood continued to flow.
I don’t have time to deal with it now.
The approaching cavalry gathered together into a single unit as they charged toward me with their lances lined up low.
They clearly intended to scoop me up.
The land shook with the beat of the hooves as the horses breathed with ragged breaths in pursuit of my life.
I wielded the black flames over my shoulder.
—I won’t lose.
Right before the cavalry reached me, I jumped up into the air and invoked the King’s Dance at the Edge of Death, a skill that would allow me to inflict twice as much damage as I’ve received.
And then I swung my evil sword.
With multiple skills invoked, the resulting damage was several folds greater than normal.
And when that great power erupted, it swallowed the entirety of the cavalry, leaving behind only a trace on the land.
Just like that, all 50 horsemen that made up that group of cavalry were gone.
As I landed on the ground, I canceled the skills, and sent my black flames to heal me.
Not good. I strained myself too much. I can even hear the sound of creaking coming from my body. The next battles might be a problem. I’ll need to heal up as much as I can, but…
There’s something I have to do first. I have to burn into the humans’ minds that the forest is not to be approached.
I need to strike fear into their hearts and drive them away. Such that when they leave, they would say this among themselves, “Don’t approach that forest.”
I don’t expect it to last forever. I don’t need it to. One year, just that. By then I will have recovered, new soldiers will be under me, and the whole forest will be under control.
But until then, I need time.
As Gowen Ranid battled at the back, he rallied the scattered soldiers and headed for the exit of the forest. Along the way, he cut down the orcs, goblins, and kobolds. The sword in his hand had long lost its luster, but he continued to swing it against every enemy that came his way, almost as if it didn’t matter as long as he had something to cut with.
He saved his subordinates that were attacked by the hulking orcs. He saved his subordinates that were attacked by beasts. He saved even the wounded soldiers who could no longer move. Gowen Ranid fought desperately. He used his own body as a shield and fought with his allies to fend off the monsters.
The ghastly sight of battle could be seen everywhere. Humans cut down the denizens of the forest, and were cut down in turn. But gradually, the battlefield moved away from the forest.
The goblins were faithful to the king’s orders and tried their best to annihilate the humans, but even they suffered many casualties. Even Gi Za’s druids were no exception when they tried to kill Gowen. But while there were many casualties, there weren’t much in the way of actual fatalities. That was because Gowen himself was focused on retreating. Though the White Hand of Life could strengthen them, the range of her abilities were limited, making it impossible to fight a long battle.
When Gowen finally reached the exit, a rare shock filled him, though he did not let it show. Corpses of the cavalry littered the road. Every soldier was equipped with heavy armor, but they were all cut down without exception, their armors torn apart. In fact, even their horses had been split in half.
Just what sort of power would it take to accomplish such a feat?
Gowen couldn’t imagine it.
Then when he looked up, he saw the figure of a monster standing.
“Humans,” it said.
It was a simple word, but to the humans who had fought so desperately to leave the forest, that voice sounded much like the devil of the underworld. That low-pitched voice seemed to pull the very souls from their bodies. And with the figure speaking clad in black flames, it was the very picture of a fire demon from hell.
“This forest is our land. Trespassing will not be forgiven.” Each word was spoken with overwhelming pressure. “If you continue to invade our lands, we will strike back with the blade of vengeance to vanquish you… What say you?”
The clear trace of the violence that had occurred here greatly unsettled Gowen, but he did not let it show on his face. Keeping up a dignified front, Gowen valiantly faced the king. “…Very well. We will no longer encroach upon your domain.”
With the soldiers heavily wounded and morale low, Gowen could not make the decision to fight the goblin king and the approaching horde from behind, so instead he promised the king a ceasefire.
Like that the old holy knight’s audience with the goblin king ended, and the battle that began with a sword came to an end with only a few words. Yet even as one battle ended, another would surely come.
The king lost his beloved human and many of his subordinates, while the western feudal lord lost the soldiers he so painfully raised.
The winds of war would surely blow again, but until then, they would have to renew their strength.
As for when the next war would start, no one yet knew.
Level has risen.
21 => 36
1 => 77
40 => 82
Gi Ga Rax
99 => 1 (Class UP: Noble to Knight)
Gi Go Amatsuki
54 => 92
Gi Gu Verbena
46 => 75
23 => 43
1 => 14
68 => 86
46 => 1 (Class UP: Rare to Noble)
30 => 60
87 => (Class UP: Rare to Noble)
40 => 67
87 => 2 (Class UP: Rare to Noble)
12 => 78
55 => 86
70 => 91