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Volume 3: Chapter 178 – The Blade That Does Not Rot(3/3)
Belthazar the Almighty Spear and the other bounty hunters left the fortress and headed north.
“If the goblins are ruling the humans, then we’ll take advantage of that.”
Every one of these bounty hunters had a guilty conscience; hence, it only stood to reason that the person leading them would be someone like Belthazar whose skill was the real deal.
“Will we really alright with an uncle like this leading?”
That being said, there were still people who weren’t happy with his leadership. Especially, the young and talented sore losers.
The one who said that last sentence was a young swordsman.
“If you have a problem with me, get out and fight on your own. It’ll do you good to remember that we’re not comrades,” Belthazar said sharply.
The young swordsman stood up, pulled his sword out, and pointed it at Belthazar.
“I don’t see why I have to obey you either,” he said in a provoking voice.
As Belthazar stood up and took out his short spear, the other bounty hunters egged them on.
“What a troublesome uncle…”
For a moment, it looked like the young swordsman would simply sigh, but then in the next instant, he suddenly came slashing down for Belthazar’s neck.
The swordsman’s face twisted into a demon’s as he slashed down sharply. The sharpness of his blade was a testament to his unpolished genius.
But Belthazar stopped down and easily dodged his attack. At the same time, he used the butt-end of his spear to hit the swordsman in the chin and send him flying.
Whether he’d accidentally bit his tongue or simply cut his mouth, blood suddenly came spurting out of the swordsman’s mouth.
Belthazar’s attack didn’t stop there. After hitting the swordsman’s chin, he spun his sport spear and struck at the swordsman’s shin.
The swordsman screamed and squirmed, but Belthazar sent another strike toward his arms.
The swordsman glared hatefully at him, but Belthazar coldly received that hateful glare as he kicked the young swordsman away.
That last kick landed right at the swordsman’s solar plexus, causing him to spill his last meal.
As the swordsman squirmed on the ground, Belthazar quietly approached him and kicked him on the face.
Even the bounty hunters egging them on finally became quiet upon seeing Belthazar’s skill and cruelty.
But even as they went quiet, the sound of beatings never ceased.
The swordsman had his nose broken and the interior of his mouth cut before he could no longer move at all. Only then did Belthazar leave him alone.
“Anyone else has problems?”
That concluded the introductions, and Belthazar became the leader of this group of bounty hunters.
After that they left for the western capital.
Pale Symphoria went with the gnome warrior, Berk Alsen, to the small country of Fenis from the small nations.
Pale felt sorry for getting the rookie adventurer, Shurei, and the goddess of healing follower (Zenobia), Rue, caught up in her problems, but they insisted in coming along, and in the end, it was decided that it would be safer for them to be beside a strong ally like Berk than to be by themselves now that they were being pursued.
“We’ve formed a contract, right!?”
“I said until we save my brethren—”
“But at this rate, Ms. Pale will fall into danger again!”
“That’s true, but…”
Surprisingly, after Pale left the two, they immediately ran for the adventurer guild and looked for someone who could act as a guard. But they had too little money on hand, and no one was willing to accept their request. Especially, since their enemy was the Dagger of Webrus.
It was then that Berk appeared, fresh from the southern desert with barely any idea how human society worked. He was charmed by the thought of saving his brethren, so he accepted the contract.
After saving Pale, it was decided that Berk would talk to his clan leader first. Pale meekly obeyed, as the fatigue from the last battle had made her realize just how foolish it was to challenge an entire clan alone.
“…Ahh, a word of advice.”
The place they came to was the small country of Fenis, a country renowned for protecting elves. For some reason, Berk became fidgety the moment they stepped foot on it.
He spoke to his three traveling companions. “…The clan leader is extremely strict and tends to resort to violence easily. The clan leader is what you call your stereotypical thug. I’ll explain everything, so you guys just quietly listen.”
At that explanation, Pale and the others glanced at each other.
“Will this really be ok?”
It was Pale who asked that.
Unfortunately, her worries only received an unsure reply of ‘maybe’.
Passing through the main street, and then the back alleys, they found themselves before a declining bar. After Berk confirmed that it was the right place, they entered.
That suspicious name left Rue looking like she was about to cry as she glanced pitifully at Shurei.
“What are we going to do, Shurei?”
“W-We have no choice but to go!”
When they entered the inn, they saw a black-haired woman in revealing clothes, sleeping as her feet laid brazenly on the table.
As Berk approached her, young Shurei was left staring in wonderment.
But of course, such a reaction was only normal considering Shurei was a healthy young boy in the presence of an almost naked woman who was blessed with both beauty and assets.
She wore a pair of leather sandals known as Ganika, a skirt with a slit long enough to show off her thighs, and a strip of clothing just enough to cover her abundant breasts. Her clothes were so revealing it was enough to make wonder if she had actually forgotten to put on her clothes.
If that revealing tunic of hers was indeed her real clothes, then it was doing a horrible job of covering her honey-colored skin.
As Shurei felt himself stabbed by glares, he woke up from his moment of stupor, and immediately turned the conversation to Pale.
“Is that woman the clan leader?”
Meanwhile, Berk was shaking the woman’s shoulders. As the drooling woman opened her eyes, she saw Berk’s face. In the next moment, she frowned and sat up.
From Shurei’s perspective, the clan leader was an extremely beautiful woman. The way she looked as she folded her arm and listened to Berk was just like that of a brave heroine.
But as soon as their conversation ended, the female clan leader stood up, grabbed Berk by the chest, and headbutted him.
Berk cried out in pain as he crouched down.
“You idiot! Why did you bring a job that doesn’t pay!!”
Her angry voice resounded throughout the entire bar, and immediately after, she turned to Pale and the others. For a moment, they thought for sure their hearts would stop.
Her pair of lifted eyes were sharp like that of a predator eyeing its prey. They were beautiful indeed, but that only served to make them even more terrifying.
“Idiot! Don’t you understand how dire our financial situation is!? It’s precisely because we don’t have any money that we ended up in Fenis!”
“B-But that’s because you…”
“What did you say!? Are you blaming me!?”
As the woman went on and on, Berk’s voice gradually became weaker. After a while, the woman, who had been spouting abuse from start to finish, turned her sharp predatory eyes from Berk to the three guests.
At this point, Pale and the others had already been petrified by the entrance of the inn.
“Eek!?” Rue inadvertently screamed out loud.
Unfortunately, there was no more running, as the female clan leader was telling them with her finger to come.
The three approached the female clan leader with much fear. In response, the master of fear sat herself on her chair, and brazenly placed her right leg on the table.
“So, how much did you bring with you?” The female clan leader said as she sighed and yelled angrily at the workers to bring more liquor.
Shurei and Rue looked at each other. To them, it felt like they were being told to hand over their money.
“I take it you are willing to accept our request?” Pale asked as she took off her hood.
“Hah? Well, in that case—”
As if to stop the clan leader from speaking, the doors of the shop suddenly opened, and 10 seemingly vulgar men entered one after another.
Clicking her tongue, the clan leader frowned as she looked toward them.
“Can’t you see I’m talking with someone, shitheads!? Didn’t your mothers teach you to shut up when people are talking!?”
“…Hey, who’s the target?”
The person who looked like the boss of the 10 vulgar men ignored the female clan leader and asked that question. When he saw Pale, he drew his sword.
“…Berk, bring me my sword.”
The female clan leader’s face twisted into a smile. Her pupils were wide open with anger and her smile was equally evil.
Berk rubbed the part where he’d been headbutted as he handed an odd sword that was both thin and curved.
The female clan leader took her sword without turning to Berk, then as she exhaled, she assumed her stance.
The female clan leader played with the sword in her hands as she smiled like that of a predator eyeing its prey. At the same time, she viciously licked her lips.
“Woman, if you get in our way, we won’t show you mercy.”
Unfortunately, that warning only served to rouse her anger.
“Come, underling. I’ll cut you into pieces.”
In response to the assassin’s warning was a heavy-toned sneer that seemed to make one’s long black hair stand on end.
Immediately, the assassins came leaping for the female clan leader. These assassins were unlike the ones that Shurei and Rue fought. These were real assassins, without the slight waste in their movements.
The female clan leader compressed her body and rammed it into the assassins, then in the next moment, three flashes flashed in the span of one breath, the curved sword moving out of its sheathe, and suddenly, the assassins that had attacked her had all been cut down.
Seeing that, the assassins couldn’t help but be shocked, but the female clan leader didn’t even pause for a moment as she took a step forward and attacked another three times. Each time her blade flashed, the assassins’ numbers would dwindle.
Her beautiful smiling face twisted even more, as blood spurted everywhere according to the trajectory of each slash. On the floor, on the walls… Everything was being dyed in blood.
It was an unfamiliar sword style, but her black hair would sway with every stroke swung, blood spurting to the air with each flash. It was almost as if she were dancing, and that fact, only served to accentuate her beauty.
While Shurei was captivated by her swordsmanship, before anyone knew it, there was only one assassin left.
“Who are you!?”
“Hah? Did you pick a fight without knowing who your enemy was? Trash.”
Brushing off the blood from her curved sword, she sheathed her sword once more. As she assumed her stance again, she smiled cruelly.
“Come, it’s time to die. Know that the one who killed you is Vine of the Burning Bright Moon. Send the goddess of the underworld (Altesia) my regards!”
“You’re the mad blade of—”
Without giving him the time to finish, Vine’s sword cut him from the stomach to his chest. In an instant, the assassin’s life was severed.
“Hmph, small fry,” Vine spat as she sheathed her sword and briskly walked back to where Pale and the others were.
“Now then, where we’re we?”
The way Vine looked as she licked the blood of her foes from her cheeks was truly like that of a laughing demon.