Chapter 133

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The jarring drum of horseshoes kicked up a heavy cloud of dust.

“Yah!” The driver flicked his whip. “Hurry! Faster!”

Following this wagon were four equally huge wagons. Given that each included roughly a hundred people, including knights, there were about 500 hundred knights present in total. Their numbers had doubled before they even left the road.

“Damn this.” Count Aerijona, sitting next to the driver, grit his teeth. “I can’t believe it. They ambushed the caravan.”

Marquis Crombell’s actions were blatantly in violation of Imperial Law—Imperial Law explicitly prohibited attacking caravans, in order to prevent a familial feud from affecting the populace at large.

“What on earth is the Imperial family doing? There’s no way they didn’t send a spy to monitor a war between a duke and one of the Twelve Families—”

“My Lord, the messenger says that the rear has been wiped out!”

“Everyone?!”

“Yes… They’re taking their time, but they’re still wiping out everyone… The bodies…”

“These… These madmen—!” Count Aerijona’s face flushed with anger. No noble had any business committing such heinous, incomprehensible provocations. “How far is Eiden Gorge?”

“We should arrive within the next ten minutes, my lord.”

“Move swiftly! Every minute—every second—could mean a thousand dead!”

“Understood!”

The horses, already driven to exhaustion, were driven a little harder.


The plains were saturated with blood and blanketed with the dead.

“Ugh—!” A man moaned as he was cut. Both of his eyes were stained with blood, one leg was missing, and the other leg was currently being mangled.

“Cutting a living person is better than cutting a corpse—because of rigor mortis, you know?”

“Ple… ase… kill me…”

“Hmm? What was that?” The young man stopped and brought his ear up to the dying man’s lips.

“Death… please—”

The young man spat on his face and smirked.

The spittle mixed with the blood and dripped off his face and stained the golden owl engraved on his breast—the crest of the Pontier family.

“Killing you isn’t worth the effort, dumbass.”

The young man hummed cheerfully and went back to stabbing the dying man.

Eventually, he passed out from the pain and the young man lazily stabbed him through his heart. With a sickening crunch, he ceased all movement.

“Master Gehog.”

Gehog, a young man with a very ugly face1, turned to the voice. Behind him stood Baron Theo, commander of the 3rd Knights of Marquis Crombell.

“Can we really let them go? Seeing as the Pontiers’ forces are already gathered in Eiden Gorge, I see no reason to let them carry relief supplies—”

“No… Do they think this is a game?”

“What?”

“Right… Sheeps are most afraid when they’re hunted… but what if they’re in a herd?” Gehog glanced at Baron Theo, but he didn’t seem to expect a response. “Fear is infectious—their fear will spread through the herd like a plague.”

“Ah…”

“When they’re all scared, it’ll be easier to kill them all at once. Even better—” Gehog’s wolfish grin stretched. “When this war is over, their mothers and fathers and families have to die too, as punishment for pointing their swords at the great Marquis Crombell.”

“But—”

Gehog’s brow twitched.

“What? What were you about to say?” The young man rounded on Baron Theo, spittle flying from his lips with each word.

Gehog punched the Baron hard enough to spin his head around and split his lips.

If any of the knights had seen it, they would be speechless. The true commander of this group was Baron Theo, not Gehog. No matter how great his blood was, Gehog had no leadership experience; therefore, Baron Theo, a seasoned knight, was personally tasked to lead this company by Marquis Crombell.

Gehog was in clear violation of the command hierarchy.

“I hate nothing more than lowly scum like you puking up words when I talk. I’m not that imbecile, Veron shen Villas. Dumbass. Would you be willing to listen to someone who struggled to leash the dog he raised? To be insulted by a mere knight like you while you’re under my command.” Gehog growled. “I only want to hear three things from you: ‘Yes’, ‘I understand’, and ‘I obey.’ Do you understand?”

“Yes, my lord.”

“That’s it then.” Gehog stepped up to Baron Theo and clapped him on the shoulder with a grin. “Did I hurt you? It hurts me, too. As the future patriarch, I believe it’s crucial to establish this. You understand how I feel, don’t you?”

“Yes.”

“Then let’s wrap this up.” He grinned. “Let’s go inflict some fear into our prey, shall we?”


A figure materialized from the darkness. Its face was obscured, but its tall, thin stature was not.

The mercenaries didn’t need to see his face to know who he was.

“Th-the newbie…!”

I… I don’t think he heard anything… Greg fervently prayed. …we weren’t very loud…

Joshua soundly dashed his hopes.

“Colluding to rape a customer? You call yourselves mercenaries? You’re worse than vermin.”

Fuck… Greg squeezed his eyes shut. He heard everything.

“There’s been a misunderstanding,” one of the mercenaries ventured.

“Misunderstanding?” Joshua’s frigid gaze bore down on him. “You should’ve just knelt and begged for forgiveness. Spouting a lame excuse like that is just pathetic.”

“That, um, those—”

“Damn it!” Greg shouted. “Don’t be afraid! No matter how powerful he is, he’s fought a battle already! It’ll take him days to recover from that!”

“B-but even then, the power back then was—”

“So, what, you want to just sit here and die?!” Greg howled at the unnerved mercenaries. “If the guild hears of this, what do you think is going to happen? Permanent expulsion, guaranteed, and specific guild-level punishments on top of that! How are you going to live, huh?!”

The agitated mercenaries slowly lifted their heads.

“Dead people tell no tales! I will not remain still!”

Greg’s threat merely made Joshua smile.

“You really are trash.”

“Fuck! So what?! What’s wrong with taking what you can get in this shitty world? You think everyone can be as talented as you?”

“You think tearing down others for your own benefit is justifiable?”

“This is exactly your problem! You came from a noble family, you’d never understand! Try hitting rock bottom and then we’ll talk!”

“Rock bottom…” Joshua smirked cruelly.

“Die!” A mercenary rushed Joshua from behind.

The obsidian earring on Joshua’s earlobe glistened subtly.

“Kneel.” A wave of energy radiated from Joshua in all directions.

Every single mercenary was forced to their knees.

“What—” Even Greg, stubborn to the end, collapsed.

Joshua stood alone in the silent moonlight.

  1. TL: minime-san, *go with it*. ED: Can we make his pp tiny next? ↩️

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