Episode 84

Pastek Hill Surprise Operation (8)
3 weeks ago
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As the knight charging at me fell helplessly without even a chance to fight, I saw the soldiers under Baron Éclair freeze for a moment.

Even if they had faced me, they would have died with a single swing of my sword.

‘When they are shaken like this, it’s easier to break through.’

Just like it’s easier to break ice when it’s already cracked.

I curled the corners of my lips into a grateful smile.

“Thank you, senior.”

Then, instead of swinging my sword at the frozen soldiers, I used the weight and sturdiness of my armor to charge at them forcefully.

With a person weighing over 100kg charging at tens of kilometers per hour…

The unfortunate one who was hit squarely by me flew away as if struck by a galloping horse.

“Argh, damn it!”

As he screamed while flying away, the others hesitated whether to aim their weapons or run away.

“Damn it, what do we do?”

“Lower the spear!”

“He’s one of ours!”

It was somewhat amusing to see men acting like women fussing over a ticking time bomb.

“Fools.”

The one I had hit kept flying and collided with his own side.

Naturally, they all fell like dominoes, tumbling over one another.

For a moment, I pondered whether to kill them all or just leave them be.

Usually, I would have cut off the necks of the fallen to earn an extra penny, but my task now was to capture the baron.

So, my task was quite simple.

‘I need to capture the baron leading the vanguard before they regain their senses.’

“Martin, that damned guy. He’s only fast when it matters!”

“Kill all the ones Martin left behind!”

“Find a way to follow him, we can’t let him get isolated!”

Since I could rely on my comrades from the Whitebeard Mercenary Group following behind, it was better to leave the fallen enemy soldiers to them.

After all, trying to do everything alone is not only bad luck but also leads to missing the really important things.

‘Leave what I can’t do alone to those behind me. In return, I’ll do what they can’t.’

Such a simple and beautiful division of labor.

I decided, and as if on a festive day, sprinted full force towards the baron.

“Baron Éclair! If you surrender peacefully, I promise to capture you without harm!”

The baron did not respond to me.

Instead, his regular soldiers, who seemed like knights, and his subordinates rushed towards me, aiming their weapons to surround me.

“He’s strong! Overwhelm him with numbers!”

Hearing a knight-like figure say such things, it seemed our noble baron was getting scared, wasn’t he?

Otherwise, our honorable knights wouldn’t resort to such cowardly tactics.

As their actions became more despicable and sly, I couldn’t help but feel better.

Of course, if I fell for their tricks, I’d be extremely frustrated…

Upon the knight’s command, his regular soldiers and mercenaries echoed it.

“Overwhelm with numbers!”

“Surround and beat him down!”

“Catching an expert can make us a fortune!”

Echoing the command, they moved in an orderly fashion.

“Don’t bother with a pathetic encirclement! It’s useless anyway.”

I concentrated all my nerves, channeling Aura into my sword.

‘I must break through in one strike; hesitating here is like a rat trapped in a jar.’

The knight gave the order.

“Stab him! Beat him down!”

With those words, they swung heavy weapons like maces and hammers over their heads at me, and numerous spearheads targeted my vital points.

With our Whitebeard Mercenary Group soldiers behind me, I couldn’t just recklessly dodge.

No way forward, no way back.

In this situation, standing still was asking to be killed…

“Would you die if you were me?”

Instead of dodging their attacks, I swung my Aura-charged sword in a crescent shape.

The spearheads and shafts where my sword passed were cleanly sliced off.

“Damn it!”

“Don’t panic!”

No matter how loudly they barked, dying was unavoidable.

I, the amazing Martin, would end them mercifully, quickly, and painlessly.

I ducked quickly, dodging the mace and hammer attacks.

The dull and heavy sound of them slicing through the air echoed above my head.

‘If I had been hit, I would have broken something.’

Just the thought of sustaining a fracture on this battlefield, unable to move and then being horrifically killed, sent chills down my spine.

Of course, since I hadn’t died, I could laugh it off.

“Is it my turn now?”

Saying that, I curled the corner of my lips and took a step forward, then spun around, swinging my sword.

The necks, heads, and torsos of the enemies who had lost their weapons in front of me split in half.

Then, the knight called his comrades, and they attacked me with Aura-charged strikes.

“You brats!”

The difference between an ordinary Aura knight and an expert like me was vast, yet these insignificant creatures dared to obstruct my path.

I swung my sword to block their attacks.

“Quite skilled, aren’t you?”

“By killing you, we will ascend to the realm of experts!”

“We? A cowardly bunch.”

Knights resorting to outnumbering their opponent due to lack of skill.

Really… Baron Éclair, this gentleman, had trained his knights and soldiers very well.

If I ever became a regular mercenary for Montmart or had to fight under those sluggish guys, I would have to serve under him.

No, wait, he would soon be my prisoner and would harbor resentment…

Ha, if only I had fought under this man instead of that worthless Pappenheim…

Well, there was no choice now but to fully decapitate these guys.

“Even so, you’re no more than bite-sized snacks, you lot.”

Saying that, I concentrated Aura in my upper body, especially in my arms, to deflect the attacks of the two.

Then, I put down my sword and took out a dagger.

“One in front of me first.”

I stabbed the knight in front of me hard in the neck with the dagger.

He fell, bleeding profusely from his mouth and the stab wound.

“You son of a…!”

The other knight swung his sword at me, but his movement was clumsy, clouded by emotion from his comrade’s death.

I narrowly dodged his straightforward attack and then stabbed him fiercely in the armpit.

“You evil creature.”

To lessen his pain, I swiftly cut his throat with the dagger.

Picking up my two-handed sword from the ground, I looked up.

The baron’s flag, which had seemed far away just a moment ago, now appeared close enough to touch.

Noticing me, the baron drew his sword and commanded,

“Kill that mercenary knight!”

“Mercenary knight,” a term that perfectly described my current status.

Other nobles had always called me a lowly mercenary, but this guy seemed to have a good sense of who I was.

“Kill him! Kill that guy!”

“Our captain’s enemy!”

“We’ll show that the Golden Barley Mercenary Group isn’t a joke!”

As numerous enemies rushed at me, my comrades from our mercenary group arrived just in time.

As the situation unfolded, fierce combat ensued between both armies.

My role became very clear.

‘Baron, you’re mine.’

“Baron Éclair, stand right there!”

Expressing my determination to capture him, I lunged towards him.

In the meantime, those who looked like the baron’s guards appeared, wielding weapons to block me, but their efforts…

“Pathetic, weak fools!”

I kicked them down or sliced their necks with my sword, getting closer to the baron.

Then, deciding he could no longer stand back, the baron drew his sword and charged at me.

‘Capturing a rampaging target is a hassle.’

“Die, you mercenary scum!”

Éclair swung his sword at me.

Though born into a noble family, he had evidently trained hard with his sword, as I could feel Aura in the trail of his sword.

“You know your way around a sword.”

“You bastard!”

He swung his sword several times, but I dodged each time, looking for an opening in Éclair’s defense.

But killing him would be counterproductive…

‘I need to control my strength.’

After several exchanges, when our swords clashed,

‘Now.’

I pushed him hard in the chest with my right foot.

“Ugh!”

Unaccustomed to such cunning tactics, he faltered.

I threw him to the ground with just enough force to ensure I did not kill him.

“Do not move if you do not want to die.”

Then, I pressed my dagger against his throat.

“…I surrender.”

Capturing him was not the same as making the count surrender, but having the vanguard’s captain surrender was significant.

It meant the count had lost his last option.

“Senior Squad Leader Martin Meyer of the Whitebeard Mercenary Group has captured Baron Éclair, a vassal of Count Rezume!”

Shortly after the news spread, word came that Count Rezume had surrendered.

“Two thousand against five thousand… and we won.”

After our victory, we cleaned up the battlefield and headed toward our next destination, Marseill Castle.

And there, we took a brief rest.

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