Chapter 169 - The Road Home (4)
The sun completely disappeared beneath the western horizon. The wilderness was a few kilometers away from the city. Torch light didn't exist in the area, and it seemed darker than ever. This was a dark curtain which distorted the laws of nature and corrupted life. A normal human would collapse if they were within the vicinity of this power.
However, a sword master was a monster who exceeded the standards of life.
"Who would be afraid of the babbling of a magician?" The masked person-no, Hyde the 6th Sword of the empire raised his sword as his emotions started to boil.
His hatred for magicians and the humiliation he'd suffered in the forest... these feelings burned more intensely instead of diminishing over time. Hyde didn't even think about distinguishing between warlocks and magicians. This hate wouldn't diminish until he destroyed the magicians who ruined his honor and his master's plan.
Shortly afterward, Hyde's body disappeared like it melted in the air.
[Hoh...! Is this your ability...? Interesting,] the lead shadow spoke with admiration, but it smiled like it was confident of victory.
There was no audible sound nor visible shape. Furthermore, there were no signs that anything had even existed in this area. Was there any way for the shadow to beat this absurd power? How could it survive the sword master who was a perfect assassin?
Hyde scoffed at the shadow. It might be possible for one of Meltor's tower masters, but how could a warlock detect Hyde's sword?
However, Hyde's confidence was broken as dozens of dark lightning bolts struck around his feet. Each one was of the 6th Circle! It was a power which couldn't be completely blocked by a master class.
Surprisingly, most of them were blocked, but Hyde's mask was charred.
"This lowlife, how dare you?!"
[Stupid... Do sword masters suffer from side effects such as the brain turning into muscles?]
The rest of the shadows chuckled and joined in ridiculing Hyde.
Hyde, who was being ridiculed by the warlocks, jumped forward and aimed for the lead shadow with a distorted face. He would show this garbage why they were nothing compared to Meltor's tower masters.
[Think about it, foolish sword master. This space is already my territory... It is a watercolor painting I've painted. The paint is black magic, and the canvas...]
[Don't you understand what I'm saying? Your ability means you don't show up on my canvas. Since nothing is felt, that 'blankness' exposes your position.]
Hyde's expression froze at the end of the shadow's words. So, Hyde was being perceived because he was 'completely' hidden? It was a blind spot he hadn't thought of.
However, he soon recovered his composure and laughed at the warlock who had arrogantly told him the reason. If the warlock could figure out his position on this canvas, it would be enough if he just left the canvas or tore it to pieces.
"Fool. Why would you teach me this? I will just get out of here."
[Now you know a little bit, that was the correct answer.]
"...Was?" Hyde asked with an ominous feeling. It was past tense.
Simultaneously, the shadows burst out laughing in the distance. There was a reason why they had kept their distance and taught Hyde the weakness. The lead shadow had explained all of that in order to bind Hyde's feet.
[Kuhuhu! It is already too late, Sword Master!]
At the same time, a red squiggle appeared at Hyde's feet, exploding without giving him a chance to react.
All sound died. Light was swallowed. The sand was tinted black, and even the stars in the sky were hidden.
The completely impenetrable darkness was the fog of the dead zone, which could be found in the depths of the Demon World. It didn't harm warlocks at all, but it was extremely threatening to other life in the physical world.
A normal person wouldn't last for even a few seconds, but a sword master could somehow survive. However, he would get corrupted and turned into a sword demon by the power of death.
The lead shadow called Holsten, who was one of the top five executives in the Orcus Company, sighed with relief. He had been dominating the situation with a relaxed expression, but he would've missed the chance if Hyde had been a little more aware.
[I was laughing, but your ability really is intimidating.]
If Holsten hadn't been prepared in advance, he might've really been killed by Hyde's sword today. From the door of the abyss to the barrage of darkness, the number of sacrifices consumed for this trap was 5,000 people. Thank goodness it was a success. All of it would've been for nothing if he had failed to catch Hyde.
The creation of a corrupt knight, unlike a death knight, was worth using 5,000 sacrifices if it could use all its abilities.
Holsten continued speaking, [This is one step closer to our long-awaited...]
Their expansion of power was delayed due to Meltor's disturbance, but the harvest this time would be large enough to overturn it. Hyde was a sword master specializing in assassination! The methods of using him were as numerous as the stars in the sky.
However, at that moment...
Kiing! A small hole breached the absolute darkness.
Alas, this shocking situation was only the beginning. A storm of aura blades sliced at the darkness, scattering light. Then Hyde's white aura emerged. No, it wasn't his aura. Unlike the other shadows, only Holsten, who was close to a master, could infer the identity of the force. However, even if it was likely, Holsten couldn't admit the possibility of it.
[This unbearable power! No, this is impossible!]
The nemesis of magic, the power of a people who had left the material world long ago...
[Divine power is a remnant from a previous age!!] As Holsten cried out, the white light, which had no color, tore through the darkness.
The abyss door was shattered, and the warlock controlling it died on the spot, while the rest of the warlocks coughed blood onto the floor. Their circles were destroyed, the nerves of their bodies broken, and their brains burned... It was a feast of those who had fallen to ruin.
[K-Kuaah... Why... What... This...!] Only Holsten managed to remain sane, and he maintained the shadow magic, even when his body had been turned into a mess. As a reward for his patience, Holsten was able to see 'it' in Hyde's hand. It was a silver sun in the shape of a sword.
"In the face of true strength, your tricks have little meaning. Emerging from the shadows you always hide in is the reason for your defeat."
"'I don't know,' is what I would like to say. But I'll teach you specifically, so you will know."
As the wind swept through his empty left sleeve, Hyde focused his power on the sword in his right hand. Then in response to Holsten's question, Hyde went on to speak the name of the sword which Andras' prince, Fermut, had given to him. It was an unbelievable symbol from the Age of Mythology.
"Cry, Claimhb Solais!" (Spelling provided by author.)
Hyde spoke the name while pushing the brilliantly shining silver blade deep into the sand.
The power which could transform the user's aura into a new force and shatter all magic... The power of the past which no one had ever escaped from... It was the divine sword of the tribe of the gods, the divine sun sword. (Tuatha Dé Danann)
In the gap created by the backlash of destroyed magic, the god-sword emitted a horrific white flame.
* * *
The silver sun came up.
Theodore and Randolph, watching from afar, had the same thought about the wondrous sight.
Until a little while ago, the area had been locked in an ominous darkness. The sun had sunk in the west, and unexplained black magic had been used. Then the stars had disappeared, and the world had fallen into darkness. In this place, the warlocks had exerted several times more power than usual, making even Theodore feel a sense of crisis.
'At least, until the silver sun rose.'
Randolph leaned against a rock, while Theodore looked down at the necklace which had shattered.
It wasn't just the necklace. The bracelet Theodore had was borrowed from Kurt III and other minor artifacts had shattered as well. Even the tracking necklace designed to chase the sword master had also been turned to powder.
"Why are all the artifacts broken?" Theodore muttered in his original appearance of black hair and blue eyes.
There was monetary damage, but he didn't have an excuse for it. He sighed as he placed the debris of broken artifacts into his inventory. It wasn't just the bracelet made by the Yellow Tower Master but also the device they'd been using to chase the unidentified sword master. Now, the two of them could choose to fight or run away without meeting him at all.
Then at that moment, Gluttony abruptly woke up.
Its shout pounded Theodore's head, making him feel taken aback.
'W-What? What happened?'
-Why is 'that' here?
In this situation, there was only one thing Gluttony could be referring to. It was the mysterious sword pouring out a silver light. Theodore was curious about its identity, so he couldn't miss this.
'What is that sword? Teach me if you know.'
-How ignorant, impudent, and shameless! Harsh words poured out of the rarely agitated Gluttony. -It's one of the four treasures of the tribe of the gods, the sword of the sun god. It's the silver arm, the sword worn by the god-king, Nuada Airgetlám. This is the sword that slays all magic!
'A god-sword... the sword of the god-king? Really?'
-Do you think I wouldn't know that silver light? It might be in the hands of an unqualified person, but this god-sword is the nemesis of a magician!
It was great that Gluttony had called a sword master an 'unqualified person,' but Theodore's head was hurting from something else. This was a vestige of history, a relic of the Age of Mythology which had almost been lost in the Dark Age... It was a sword used by the king of the tribe of the gods!
This sword removed the powerful dark magic and also neutralized all the artifacts. It was an admirable power.
'...But this is this, and that is that.' Theodore quickly made calculations in his head.
The sword master was hostile to him and was equipped with a formidable weapon. Theo wanted to overpower the sword master with the advantage of numbers, but unexpected variables changed his choice.
The influence of weapons and tools during a master level battle was limited, but a god-sword was a strategic weapon for a sword master. The other person was a sword master who specialized in assassination, and he held a divine sword, making him a threat to Theodore.
Theodore thought up to here and made a decision, 'Okay, let's go back instead of fighting.'
It might be tempting to neglect this danger and fight the sword master here, but this was a gamble which also involved Randolph's life. There was no reason to deviate from his original purpose of returning to Meltor or to risk both their lives with unnecessary fighting.
"Randolph, go back to the..." As Theodore made a calm decision and turned back to Randolph, a light filled his vision. His eyes narrowed as aura pressure touched his skin.
Kakang! There was a loud sound in the air.
"There!" Randolph stared at the space 5cm behind Theodore and struck with his sword.
It was a fast-paced action. Despite Theodore's vision being enhanced by Battle Song, Randolph Clovis' sword was only a blur.
Kakang! King! Kakang!
From a straight line to curved line, a curved line to a straight line, a straight line to a curved line... As the ray of light moved from top to bottom and left to right, the invisible sword hit it precisely. The swords collided many times at a dizzying speed.
Randolph took two steps back, and his two swords moved in a diagonal line, while something transparent appeared before him.
Then the enemy revealed his appearance. It was the face of the swordsman whose pride was scratched for the second time today, after Holsten the warlock.
"It is a little annoying. A guy with this level of aura is in the neighborhood and even saw my attacks?"
Gray-brown hair was revealed between the torn mask and cloak, while the scars on his body proved the harshness of the life he lived. This was a person with the talent and hard work which allowed him to rise from a low status to the position of a sword master.
It was the moment when the empire's 6th Sword, Hyde, finally found his target.
TL: I know that 'Claimhb Solais' isn't the common spelling, which is why I specifically left the above author's note, as I chose to keep the author's spelling. Stop hounding me about it ><
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