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Volume 3: Chapter 239 – The Unceasing Sound of Swords (4/4)
Blanche narrowed her eyes and became thoughtful. The aide knew better than to talk to his master when she was like this.
“We might need to indirectly contact someone trustworthy among the government officials.”
“As you will. I will arrange something.”
“That’s that then. Come, it is time for war.”
That gloomy expression vanished, and in its place bloomed a smile as she stood up and stretched her back.
“Do try to entertain me.”
On that day, the allied countries of the Holy Shushunu Kingdom, the Short Sword Battle Maiden, and various clans of all sizes were able to successfully slay 5,000 monster beasts during their defense of the great nobles.
Word of the young war princess’ renown had just begun to spread.
Gulland the Storm Knight moved alone from the Holy Shushunu Kingdom to the eastern part of Germion Kingdom. Although he was delayed a lot because he had to gather information along the way – which, by the way, has not been going well at all – it was simply too reckless to jump into the fray and try to save his master without knowing anything.
As he gradually calmed down, he continued heading west while gathering information.
Eventually, he got word of the Crown Prince Ishtar and Valdor’s death.
Gulland never knew just how bad the situation of his country was. The closer he got to the west, the more ominous the stories became.
‘A monster horde could attack us anytime now.’ ‘Maybe the imperial capital has already fallen.’
The one in charge of the eastern region of Germion Kingdom was currently Sivara. Despite not having accurate information, Gulland hurried himself to go to Germion Kingdom.
“If it’s Sivara, he probably won’t be beaten unless it’s something unexpected.”
Gulland consoled himself as he made his way for Germion Kingdom. By the time he reached the country, the month of the Snake was already almost over.
When Gulland entered the capital of the eastern region, the terrible scene that greeted him left him staring in a daze.
Tents had been put up everywhere and refugees could be found all over the place. The smoke from cooking billowing out of the tents was just like that time when the people of the western region were chased out of their home.
Babies crying from empty stomachs, cowering elderly, young women tugging on the sleeves of people passing by, and the dangerous glares of the youth. Gulland’s gritted his teeth and turned around.
“Again. Damn it…”
He had lost again.
Once again he had lost in the hands of those monsters.
He glared at his hands curled into fists out of frustration and walked.
Was Sivara safe? Were the few people he called friends still alive?
Gulland quickly passed through the tents and entered town. The guards stopped him along the way, but when he showed his identification, they stood in attention and let him pass.
The king was dead.
The one person that Gulland had sworn fealty to was no longer in this world.
And from what he’s gathered in town, Sivara was still fighting to receive the people fleeing to the east. The cavalry that brought up the name of the Ripper Knight to become a holy knight was already no more than a name. Already, most of their comrades have passed.
Despite that Sivara continued to swing his halberd in the front lines to accept the people fleeing from Germion Kingdom.
When Gulland heard that, he was deeply ashamed.
At the same time, he decided he had to help him.
Although he could have gone alone, Gulland had to announce his intentions loudly in front of the refugees.
Perhaps one might be promised a peaceful life if one were to accept the ruling of the goblins. The number of refugees didn’t match the number of people in the entirety of Germion Kingdom.
But how would that be different from the peace of a slave?
Freedom was something that one had to take with his own hands.
“I am the Storm Knight, Gulland Rifenin!”
That was the title he was given when the king he had sworn fealty to made him a holy knight.
“Is there anyone! Anyone among you who is willing to fight with me!? Is there anyone! Who is ready to fight to help Sivara who is yet fighting to protect your families!?”
The weight of that name seemed to weigh even heavier upon his shoulders.
But no one answered Gulland’s call. The refugees merely looked down and accepted their defeat. The only reason they were here was fear. The fear of being ruled by goblins they did not understand.
No one answered Gulland’s call. The Storm Knight had no choice but to turn his back.
He would have to help Sivara alone.
He checked the weight of his great sword on his back and went to the west alone.
In the northern lands, two swordsmen fought each other.
One was a goblin, the other was a human.
The bearer of the Sword God’s divine protection and the wielder of the magic sword.
Although they had various differences, they were bought carrying something that made them unable to step back.
“…Do you really not plan on surrendering?”
“…You must be joking. I just want to fight your sword spirit.”
The goblin swordsman drew his curved sword, while the knight of the fallen country drew her whip sword. Like a whip, her blade fell around her. Like a snake, it coiled on the ground. It was like a snake just before attacking or like quicksand protecting her.
The goblin swordsman facing her quietly breathed and drew his curved sword by his side. This was the stance he took when he defeated the veteran knight, Gowen Ranid.
Behind her were the people and soldiers she had to defend. Behind the goblin were the members of a different race that respected him. They watched over their battle.
The king would come soon from the south.
The one and only King of Monsters.
They had to settle their duel before then. For Gi Go, it was to fulfill his loyalty. For Lili, it was to protect her people. When the flames of war are lit, it is likely that the king won’t forgive the holy knight. She believed that to be true.
So she proposed a duel that conformed to the ancient rules.
They would encircle themselves with red branches and people around them would stand witness to their duel that would test their bravery and ability.
Gi Go closed the distance between them.
Lili pointed the end of her Sky Splitter (Vashinant) at Gi Go. It raised its head up just like a snake would. It was as if it were alive.
“What a strange sword.”
But the goblin swordsman was not at all perturbed as he laughed.
The magic sword wielder wryly smiled and shrugged her shoulders as she took a step back.
They were gauging the distance between them.
Gi Go wanted to close the distance between them and get up close. Of course, this was the first time Gi Go was seeing the magic sword, Vashinant, but he could more or less tell how it fought from seeing it. It was flexible like a whip and likely had a range several times greater than a normal sword.
The only way for Gi Go to win was for him to get up close and attack.
This predicament caused him to narrow his eyes and smile.
As he said those words solemnly, he took a step and kicked up a cloud of dust.
The speed of his approach was so fast that Lili was actually shocked.
But the magic sword was able to react in time.
After that miraculous step came a powerful blow that burned like a great fire. Within the rising cloud of dust, for just one moment, the magic sword wielder and the swordsman clashed. And then they separated again.
“…Oh, right. Gi Ga-dono did brag about it that time.”
After Lili moved away from the cloud of dust, she glared coldly at Gi Go like the wind blowing from the mountains of Yugrasil.
“He said that the human swordsman was quick on her feet.”
“They’re called Echo Steps.”
She took stance in front of Gi Go and moved her hands a little. Suddenly, the end of the magic sword came thrusting from behind Gi Go. Gi Go dodged it without even turning to look, then he swung his sword and gave rise to another cloud of dust.
Gi Go stood there, easily dodging the attacks that buried countless barbarian warriors.
The duel of the swordsmen has just begun.