155. Allies (15)
The Aylansian soldiers stood their ground even as the palace gate was reduced to rubble. The Evilesse Holy Knights toyed with them for fun. They grabbed them like helpless lambs and cut off their arms and legs, laughing as their toys screamed.
“Ey, how long are you guys going to play around for?”
“His Highness has already gone inside. The most enjoyable prey is in there, so why are you guys playing with some bugs?”
An Evilesse Holy Knight gripped the Aylansian soldier’s neck and snapped it like a cracker. He then turned to his complaining companion at the palace entrance.
“What, can we even kill King Paulie?”
“Maybe? If the Pope orders us to, it should be possible.”
“Hah, it’s no fun if we can’t kill the king.”
He shook the Aylansian soldier in his hand like a doll before tossing him to the ground.
“I’m bored. Should we just get the Demon Lord or whatever?”
“Ooh! That sounds fun.”
“The ancient Demon Lords were slaughtered by the Heroes, so we should be able to get her as well, right?”
The Order of the Evilesse Holy Knights turned to the palace entrance. With a deafening explosion, flames and dark smoke raged everywhere. The soldiers of the Golden Cross Army took to the skies, though not voluntarily. The foes they faced were too much out of their league, and they couldn’t even put up a fight. Seeing this, the Evilesse Knights hesitated.
“Might be dangerous.”
“Well, it’s already irrational to fight against the Demon Army.”
“Let’s go. To the Palace. The people from the vassal kingdoms should take care of the Demons. We should just set up in the palace and stay safe.”
Just as the Order of Evilesse Holy Knights headed toward the palace…
A soldier of the Holy Kingdom was fleeing in panic when a flash of light seemed to pass through his body, splitting it into three pieces. A fountain of blood mixed with the pouring rain, and the Evilesse Holy Knights frowned at the sight.
There stood a young man in white plate armor, holding a shining Holy Sword and the Holy Text. Seeing him, the Evilesse Holy Knights glanced at each other as they asked the obvious question.
“Is he an ally?”
“He just killed one of ours. He must be an enemy.”
“Someone calling himself a Holy Knight dares betray us… Foolish. He looks quite strong. Should we enjoy ourse—”
The speaking knight’s pupils grew wide. A pure white body of a blade was right before his eyes. It sliced through the raindrops in its path as it headed toward him.
The Evilesse Holy Knight raised his own sword, accompanied by flames, to block, but it failed to stop the incoming blade. He hurriedly retreated.
He began to sweat as he inspected his own sword. It had lost its edge and was cracked. A divine sword crafted by some enslaved dwarven master smiths and reinforced with the Holy Power of cardinals was smashed in a single blow. If it had been an ordinary weapon, and if he had reacted a bit more slowly, he would have lost his head! As the realization flashed in his mind, his face grew pale.
“This bastard is not ordinary. Who the hell are you?! Just who are…!”
The Holy Knight ignored his rambling and rushed toward them. On the way, he tore a page from the Holy Text, which flew toward them. The runes on the page illuminated and dragged the bodies of the Evilesse Holy Knights to the ground.
Then, a blade lopped off his head. As the head flew through the air, the body of the young Holy Knight vanished again. The raindrops fell on something invisible as they disappeared in a flurry.
The blade targeted another Evilesses Holy Knight’s heart. It pierced through the armor and dug into his chest. His flesh tore, his bones split, and his spine was broken as the blade came out of his back before it was pulled out again, the killer again nowhere to be seen.
“What are you guys doing!?”
“There’s only one enemy!”
“Shit, shit… My body! Some simple magic…”
The Evilesse Holy Knights were drenched in a cold sweat, colder than the falling rain. Their fun and carefree mood from before was all gone with the appearance of the white-dressed Holy Knight. One single person had already killed two of their comrades. The Order of Evilesse Holy Knights tried to break through the seal with all their strength, but as though it wouldn’t allow for such resistance, more chains of light poured out from the page, restraining them further.
‘Gravity and restrictive magic! Just who is able to pour out this kind of high-level magic and fight a melee battle at the same time?’
“This bastard, he is a monster! Don’t underestimate him! Face him with all your strength!”
The Evilesse Holy Knight forced his body to twist. His muscles tore and his bones fractured, but the chains of Holy Power also loosened, allowing the Evilesse Holy Knight to swing the weapon in his hands.
The thick mace came rumbling at the white Holy Knight, but even that was lightly evaded. A flash of light passed through him, just like the first one. Despite launching an attack right after earning his freedom, he only provided his opponent the chance to show his skills. His thick armor split apart, causing blood to pour out like a fountain in between the cracks. As if his body and armor were made of paper, he split in half and both halves fell to the ground.
“…It’s no joke!”
“Ey! You help too!”
The desperate Evilesse Holy Knights called out to the soldiers of the Golden Cross Army around them. The soldiers clenched their spears and scanned their surroundings. Their eyes rolled all around, trying to chase the white figure of the Holy Knight moving all too quickly in the rain. Then, their sights stopped in the air.
Dozens of soldiers had lost their heads, tossed into the air like balls, while the rest were on the ground caught by the restrictive magic. The Evilesse Holy Knight shut his mouth tight.
There was definitely only one enemy! Yet, he alone made them suffer, his movements all a blur. One of the Evilesse Holy Knights began to struggle desperately.
“Shit, free me! Break off, I say!”
The Evilesse Holy Knight with a spear was stricken with terror. He had been playing around moments before, but then an unfathomable monster suddenly appeared, a monster far exceeding Hero-grade. He was a devil without mercy or hesitation! If he stood there dumbfounded, he would lose his head before he even realized he was dead!
“Shit, break off!”
The Evilesse Holy Knight desperately smashed the chains with his spear. Cracks began to gradually appear under his relentless assault. When he felt the gaze of the Holy Knight, the fearsome foe was already running toward him.
Incredible speed! With the Holy Sword enveloped in pure white in his hand and golden light piercing out of his eyes, he stared at him through the rain.
The Evilesse Holy Knight broke the chains with his spear, then he stabbed it toward the enemy.
The spearhead had entered something thick! Amidst a cracking sound, there was finally a sensation of it penetrating some flesh.
The Evilesse Holy Knight closed his eyes while trembling. However, there were no subsequent reactions. After waiting for a few seconds, he slowly opened his eyes. The white Holy Knight’s chest had been pierced by his own spear, and his sword had paused in the air.
The Evilesse Holy Knight lowered his gaze and turned to the sword that would have separated his neck. There was a small nick, and blood was pouring out, but then, everything was over. The sword stopped without even a slight tremor. The enemy had lost his intention to attack.
“…Hah, Haha! M-monster! You died! You died! Hah! How dare you try to kill me? Shit, I’ll definitely claim this achievement. Even if I have to hold His Holiness to it, I’ll definitely get it! Salem, if you don’t acknowledge this feat, I’ll ki…”
The Evilesse Holy Knight gradually trailed off. The enemy was moving; he had raised his slumped head. Blood was pouring out from his mouth, eyes, nose, and ears. There was nothing to speak of regarding the taste of blood in his mouth, but his nose was so blocked that he couldn’t smell, and it was obvious that he couldn’t hear either. Although his eyes were opened, his clear and pure golden pupils were losing their luster, becoming unfocused and growing darker.
The Evilesse Holy Knight was well aware of what these signs indicated. In fact, every priest, magician, and black mage knew this. It was the side effect of spending too much Holy Power or Mana and lack of control, a result of excessive use of energy!
‘This bastard, did he come all this way in this state? Is he even human!?’
The energy retrogression resulted in the explosion of the hearts of normal people. However, the enemy was still moving—No, not merely moving. He was also speaking.
“… Salem Gatt… schuranche.”
His lips curled up with those words, but the Evilesse Holy Knight felt jittery. He could only recognize insanity in those unfocused eyes. It was something even more horrible and sadistic than Salem’s. The Evilesse Holy Knight muttered, stricken with terror.
“You… crazy… bastard. You mon…” The blade moved. It sliced through the Evilesse Holy Knight’s flesh, severing his neck. The earlier nick had turned into a full slice, and the head fell to the ground. “ster…”
The remainder of the sentence was heard from the head as it rolled away. The young Holy Knight, Tom, turned to the Evilesse Holy Knight, of which only his head remained.
“Thank you. I lost my consciousness for a moment, but I regained my senses because of that damned name.”
Tom forced his mouth shut as he stumbled into the Aylansian Palace.
“Open the door!”
“Bash it with weights!”
“The king is in there!”
“King Paulie, come out here and kneel before His Holiness, the Pope, and confess your sins!”
The Holy Knights were bashing the door with a massive log. The priests stood at the back and chanted spells to restore the knights’ stamina.
“Stop them with all your might!”
On the other side of the door, the Aylansian soldiers were exerting all their might in order to hold the door.
“Just what happened! Why can’t we use spatial magic?”
“T-that is… the Warp Magic of the priests is interfering. There are too many distortions in space, and a human body could be torn to shreds with a slight mistake…!”
“At the very least, Akareal must escape!”
King Paulie shouted at the magicians in desperation. All manners of complicated magical formations were drawn throughout the throne room. At the moment, the priests were drawing and erasing the formations over and over. On the other side, the elderly magicians were racking their minds, their backs drenched in sweat, while the younger magicians cast spells with their staves.
In the messy scene, Akareal was trembling with anxiety and nervousness. However, she suddenly turned around in surprise. Fragments of the door were scattering everywhere as it started to break down. She clenched her fists.
“Let us negotiate with Salem.”
Everyone in the room turned to Akareal.
“W-wife, what do you mean? Do you think it’s possible to talk sense with that lunatic?”
“We have no other choice.”
“That bastard will definitely kill everyone!”
“We should buy some time before that. What if reinforcements came? Then…”
‘Oskal and Thome will definitely come to save us.’
She had to stall Salem, no matter what.
“Also, what they want is probably… me. If I go with them, we should be able to save His Highness’s life…”
At that moment, the door finally collapsed, and arrows flew in at the same time. Despite the arrows hitting them, The Ayslansian soldiers raised their shields while encircling their king and queen.
The soldiers of the Golden Cross Army loaded their arrows and crossbows. The commander then shouted toward King Paulie, Akareal, and their protectors.
However, the commander’s head was crushed before he could complete the order. His helmet broke apart under a sword handle, and he fell to the side. Salem… kicked the dead commander.
“Hah! You fucking dog! Who said you could fire? Ah! How could you give that order when she’s there! You fucking shit! Dog shit!”
Salem kicked his own dead soldier before tossing the sword in his hand to the ground. He turned around and saw Akareal’s face beyond the shields of the Ayslansian soldiers. She was a beautiful female magician who had retained her youth like him. He had loved her for dozens of years, and she was the woman he desired.
Salem moved forward, stepped on the dead soldier, and entered the throne room. He opened his arms wide as he shouted in ecstasy.
“I, Salem Gattschuranche, have come to save you!”
— Ω —