Chapter 139

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A man and a woman led a train of mounted Holy Knights in white armor. The man, wearing a white priest’s garb, was High Priest Herald—the only one of his rank in the Hubalt Empire. The woman wore dress-like priest’s raiments that concealed her body; most of her face was covered with a white veil, leaving only her long, shining blond hair shown.

“That’s it. That’s the place.” Their guide, a man in blue robes, pointed to an unremarkable castle.

The guide’s robes gave away his identity, no introduction necessary. The left breast was stitched with the gold dragon of the Avalon Empire; the other with a wide-brimmed wizard’s hat. He was an Imperial Mage of the Avalon Empire.

“As I said, there was a battle between two families in our Empire only three years ago. This location was, among other things, the former territory of the Rebrecca family.”

“I know. Everyone was talking about it since it was so close to our kingdom. Count Rebrecca may have been a foreigner, but he was a man of exemplary moral integrity…” The High Priest looked apologetic. “The continent is vast, and there are a great number of people whose true nature cannot be judged by their appearance. Count Rebrecca was but one.”

“I still can’t believe it, though,” a Holy Knight named Modrian interjected. “A count of the Empire was involved with a group as nasty as that…”

“We, too, only happened upon it by coincidence,” the wizard calmly replied. “A priest passed by here and sensed the traces of evil magic. He passed the word in private, but the information could not be disseminated immediately due to its sensitive nature. However, it could not have been ignored. You must have your own backup plan.”

“Well… The priest…?”

“Unfortunately, even the Imperial family of Avalon has yet to learn his identity.” The wizard shook his head.

“Ah…” Modrian let out a disappointed sigh.

“However, the story has reached the ears of His Majesty the Emperor; he has instructed us to investigate, given our sensitivity to mana. Our chief wizard deemed that insufficient so, naturally, he called upon the Tower using his personal connections.”

“Ah, so that’s why the Tower’s magicians were also here.”

The wizard nodded to Modrian.

“We’ve spent the last three years investigating some suspicious points on our own… And we’ve finally arrived at a conclusion. Hopefully, the hordes of undead will not threaten the heart of our nation.” The wizard bowed to Modrian and the High Priest. “I am ashamed. This incident has grown to involve not just our Empire, but the entire continent. I should have revealed it immediately—”

“No.” Herald shook his head. “As priests of God, we believe that the incidents caused by that group are our issue.” The High Priest groaned. “Negotiations between nations are no simple things. With so many entangled interests… I understand completely.”

“Thank you.” The wizard bowed his head again.

“More importantly…” Mondrian turned to Rev Castle. “Seiren, do you feel anything?”

The veiled lady silently glanced at the crystal ball in her palm. This translucent crystal sphere, often called the “Tears of the Gods,” was a relic of the Hermes Temple; when it absorbs divine power, it glows brilliantly and agitates nearby magic.

The crystal ball hummed for a moment and released a faint, dark light.

The veiled lady opened her eyes and nodded.

“The fact that there are outsiders here is… not helping at all.” Mondrian pulled an awkward face. “There is almost certainly something here. This is also Sir Christian’s final confirmed location. Given his abilities, it’s unlikely he’s in danger, but I believe we should make haste just in case.”

“Indeed.” The High Priest nodded in agreement. “This place makes me feel horrible for some reason.”

“I believe we will arrive within a few hours. Let’s go then.”

The wizard led the party swiftly to Rev Castle.

Time slowed.

Hundreds of thousands of black particles filled every cubic centimeter of space and all of them were headed towards Joshua. He knew from experience that each particle held enough destructive force to smash through rock, despite their diminutive size.

Joshua searched for a stratagem to counter the assault. He considered the way he had battled Thunderbolt of the Seven Magicians but shook his head.

Asura’s Path is a focused attack, but it has limitations.

Joshua had several options; he wanted the most effective way to force the death knight to his knees.

He recalled one of his several spear techniques in particular and hefted Lugia.

Stages one through four of the Magic Spear arts were formulaic. Literally, their techniques could only be activated by moving mana through predefined formulas.

However, everything changed at the fifth stage, when Gangi1 could be used. There was no more formula in the spear, only form. Two distinct traits could be combined to create an infinite number of applications; their destructive power would be enhanced with corresponding auras. One such combination was something called “Myolsam,” which combined the traits of striking and suction.

In addition, each fifth-stage form had an additional attribute.

First, water. Water was extremely capricious. Even a typically placid river could drown a city when enraged. When the strength of a river was combined with the power of change, the results could be as powerful as a tsunami or a typhoon—an overwhelming force that swept heaven and earth before it. When the power of heaviness and the strength of a river were joined, it hammered down like a towering waterfall.

In a similar manner, the crushing weight of falling water would bring a knight to their knees.

The passage of time and the gentle flow of water… Rain descends from the sky and wets the earth…

Lugia resonated with Joshua’s mana and the basement filled with the sounds of heavy rainfall.

Joshua’s muscles tightened like rope stretched to its breaking point—almost like he was using the Asura’s Path, but differed in that it combined gentleness with sudden shifts.

A mass of Gangi came forth. Obviously, it was not aimed directly at his opponent—Joshua intended to wipe away every last trace of the black particles.

“Type one: Water Rain.” Joshua delicately held his spear out.

The spear cut hundreds of thousands of times, leaving behind a white afterimage. It was not its typical brilliant red color, but rather dark and coated with magic. It resembled a torrent of rain cascading from the heavens.

The death knight’s black eyes seemed to flicker for a moment.

One by one, the dark particles began to dissipate, each one creating a massive explosion as it died until all of them had vanished.

The death knight was before him, and Lugia hammered forwards. The death knight shuddered as Lugia pierced through his heart.

[I can’t believe this…]

Joshua’s eyes widened—that wasn’t Lugia. That was the voice of the now-undead knight, Duke Altsma.

“I cannot comprehend the injustice of turning you into a death knight. One thing, however, I can guarantee: you chose this of your own accord.” Joshua gazed at the death knight. “A human soul, particularly one as strong as that of a Master’s, should never be forced.” Joshua stood tall and approached him. “I do not know what your lingering regrets are, nor do I know if you seek that route…” He paused, grasping his spear. “...but I will travel this path with you.”

A terrible energy—whether it came from Joshua or Lugia, no one could tell—whirled like a hurricane around the two figures.

Translator’s Notes:

Me while reading 139: wtf is happening

  1. Seems to be something similar to Qi or Internal Energy. ↩️

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