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Intermission: The Sword Dancer’s Boisterous Dance (1/2)
While the goblins were renewing their alliance with the Kushain Believers after defeating the Red King, the bloodbath in the east was coming to an end.
The Anti-Red-King forces led by Vine the Mad Blade of the Burning Bright Moons.
“We’ll go around.”
It was the dead of the night. Covered entirely in a black hood from head to toe, Vine led the Anti-Red-King forces to attack the headquarters of the Red King. From the flow of the clouds above their heads, Vine felt it would rain tonight.
They had 40 people in total. These people, who were picked out among the best from various clans, walked through the dark alleys, where not even the light of the moon reached. Steadily, they approached the headquarters of the Red King. Though not the best districts, this second-class district would turn into a heavily populated market at noon. Many commoners lived here, and although they lived peacefully, there was a tavern here, which the Red King used as their headquarters.
“Surround it. Good.”
Seeing the lights on the bar and hearing the continuing hustle and bustle coming from inside, Vine narrowed her eyes as she smiled a ferocious smile beneath her hood. That was a smile akin to that of a ferocious predator that’s marked its prey.
Vine opened the door of the inn.
Though a tavern, it also served as a cheap inn on the second floor. The store was so noisy awhile ago, but now, it was so quiet it seemed all that noise awhile ago was nothing but a lie. Within the crowd in the tavern could be seen thug-like adventurers, a one-eyed expert swordswoman, and some hunters.
Vine’s voice was by no means loud, but the moment she entered, the atmosphere changed. Adventurers risked their lives in their work and was sensitive to that sort of atmosphere. Because of that they all went quiet, causing the barmaids to look around them, wondering what was up.
“I was looking for something…”
Vine’s voice resounded throughout the quiet store as she slowly revealed her face.
“Wench, you’re the mad blade—”
As soon as a thug-like adventurer spoke, the front of Vine’s robe opened, and a curved sword was quickly unsheathed from her waist. Blood spurting, the thug’s head flew in the air as Vine’s black hair hidden beneath her hood danced.
“And now I’ve found it.”
Bathed in blood, Vine’s ferocious smile was greeted by screams throughout the store.
In the blink of an eye, the entire tavern was busied once more, as guests tried to flee while the members of the Red King tried to kill Vine.
“Die, Mad Blade!”
“A ha ha hahaha!”
An adventurer approached Vine while jeering, but Vine only laughed as she drew her sword and cut the adventurer’s two arms, then with the return of her blade, lopped off his head.
“The lot of you can all go die!”
Without the slightest hint of mercy or restraint, Vine killed all foes that came into range. Her honey-colored legs that slipped out the slit of her skirt drew a crimson tree peony from the spurting blood. Her beautifully arranged face only served to make her ferocious smile appear sadistic.
Her entire body was dyed in blood as her blade brought death.
Experienced adventurers, innocent prostitutes, fleeing adventurers, assassins, hunters… Without any hint of discrimination, Vine killed every one of them.
When the corpses had numbered more than 20, the expert swordswoman stood up and blocked her way.
“I don’t know the situation, but I can’t sit back and watch this evil any longer.”
“Hah? If you don’t know the situation, then roll up your ass and run away. I’ll kill anyone who gets in my way.”
Vine licked the blood on her face with her red lips as she sheathed her curved sword by her hips. Facing her, the swordswoman took her thick sword and wielded it in front of her blue eyes.
“…For the sake of justice, I will put an end to your acts of evil here!”
“Don’t bark, mutt! If you’re going to talk about justice, then talk with your sword!”
Their battle lasted for only a moment. When Vine drew her curved sword, the swordswoman moved to stop it with her thick sword. The swordswoman felt the curved sword that moved as if it were flowing hit her sword. She was sure she’d won.
If two swords clashed at the same speed. It stood to reason that the thinner sword would break. The swordswoman believed that logic was sound, but unfortunately, reality had no obligations to adhere to her logic.
Still, she was an expert swordswoman. The moment she couldn’t feel the sensation of Vine’s sword breaking, she immediately twisted her body.
Vine’s thin curved sword cut through even the swordwoman’s thick sword.
In a flash, a terrifying wound had been cut on the swordwoman’s shoulder. The force threw her into the ground, and she rolled to the chairs and tables.
Clicking her tongue, Vine instantly turned around, and there an assassin had tried to take advantage of her opening.
Vine swung her sword diagonally from the shoulder, creating a corpse with a shocked expression. She kicked the corpse away, then turned to the terrified members of the Red King. With an intoxicated expression, she spoke.
“Are you sure it’s okay not to run? Everyone who enters my range is going to die, you know? It doesn’t matter who you are.”
The way Vine looked as she slowly walked toward them while saying that was no different than a death god descending.
Vine watched as the adventurers ran away, then she looked up at the second floor. As soon as they went outside, they were killed by the adventurers surrounding the building. They could either be killed by her or killed by those outside. As for which one was better, that needn’t be said.
“Now, where is my main objective?”
With a smile that would send even demons running barefooted, Vine climbed up the creaking stairs. There were three rooms. Vine stood before the door closest to her and smiled with satisfaction.
As the curved sword from her waist twinkled, a silver line was drawn upon the door.
Behind that door was an adventurer who had quietened his breathing. Blood spurted out and the adventurer fell before her. As if he were nothing more than rubbish in the way, Vine kicked him off as she peeked inside the room. Her curved sword had already been sheathed
“Eek! Stop it… Please don’t kill me!”
Inside the room was a naked girl hiding her body under the sheets.
“Oh… Did I make a mistake?”
Vine looked down at the girl and asked.
“Is that everyone?”
“I don’t know, I don’t know… Don’t kill me.”
Seeing the girl trembling, Vine clicked her tongue and turned around.
“Tch… Get lost.”
The moment Vine showed her back, the girl stood up quietly and with the knife hidden under the sheets, stabbed at Vine.
“Too careless, Vine!”
No. She attempted to stab her, but all her knife hit was air.
“Careless? No. This is what it means to have ‘leisure’.”
The girl followed the source of that voice with her eyes, and there, Vine, was right below her, knees folded, crouching, then with a stroke, the girl’s hands were cut off. Vine laughed sadistically and in the next moment, the girl’s head was lopped off.
After leaving the room, she checked the other two rooms.
The creaking sound of Vine’s footsteps resounded clearly throughout the second floor. It was as if those creaks were counting the seconds until execution. The creaking sound stopped before the door of the second room.
After a moment, a young man darted out of the second room.
“Is it this one?”
The man had darted out with a knife, but Vine had already cut off the hands holding it. The intense pain left the man squirming on the ground after tumbling. While Vine was looking down at him, she kicked his head once, and then stepped on it.
Vine ignored the sensation of the guy’s nose being crushed as she looked at his face.
“You’re the accountant, Ryusta, right?”
“If you resist, I’ll kil you. If you open your mouth without permission, I’ll kill you. If you piss me off, I’ll kill you. Understand?”
Ryusta nodded several times, then Vine made him stand up and they left the second floor.
After handing him to the adventurers of the anti-red-king group, she poured oil throughout the inn.
The expert swordswoman from before that Vine failed to kill stood up while covering her wounds.
“Why are you doing something like this? Don’t you have any conscience?”
“Why, you ask? KUHAHHAHA.”
Vine laughed as if she’d heard a really funny joke.
“It’s for justice. I’m doing it for justice.”
Reflected on Vine’s eyes was a deeply rooted dark flame.
“Justice? This? There’s no awy something like this could be…”
“Justice should be served cold and without mercy. Only the filthy weak serve justice lukewarm.”
“Who would permit a justice like this?”
The swordswoman was looking at a mountain of corpses. From the chagrin on their faces, one could feel even their rotting hatred. But Vine looked down at those corpses and proudly said.
“Me. I permit it. And I say that it is evil for bastards I don’t like to keep on breathing!”
“Vine, the soldiers are coming! We have to go.”
After receiving the report from the adventurer, Vine laughed like a demon at the swordswoman.
“You don’t know justice.”
“I don’t know justice?”
“Yes. You know nothing. Hey, little girl. Don’t you want to know where true justice lies?”
From the way Vine was smiling now, none would think she had just massacred an entire tavern. As if charmed by those eyes, the swordswoman looked past the corpses with hollowed eyes.
Her current state was like that of a sleepwalker.
“Now, come. If you wish to know justice, I shall show it to you.”
As she left her muttering and in a daze, they once again walked into the shadows.
In their wake, they left behind only the burning headquarters of the Red King.