Chapter 63 Behind the curtains(3)
Translator: BaeBae Editor: BaeBae
“By the looks of things, I’m guessing we don’t have time to chat. I’ll keep it short. Did they get Lars?”
Anya nodded with a sad expression. Juan bit his lip.
He shouldn’t have left that child to his own.
‘Ethan. Your loyalty, your devotion and belief has killed one of the emperor’s children and brought the god of death onto this land.’
A bitter taste was left in his mouth.
Looking back, Juan had no choice but to leave to stop Bishop Rieto.
Even if he’d warned Lars more sternly, the result would have been the same.
He didn’t want to blame Lars. There was no time to do such thing.
Wind containing the smell of death was blowing closer. Soon, Nigrato would arrive.
If that happened, everything that Lars tried to protect would be killed and destroyed.
Juan couldn’t sit by and let that happen.
‘………Is this even possible.’
Even now, Nigrato was fast claiming his existence into this world.
This was different to how he’d met Taltere in Tantil. If Taltere was a seed wanting to bud into a sprout, Nigrato was a tree that was rapidly growing.
To make matters worse, Juan had never fought Nigrato before.
Nigrato had died, before Juan started to make a name for himself. Nigrato became stronger each time he died and revived, so at the time he killed himself hoping to gain more power.
However, the southern necromancy clan had been exterminated before they could resurrect Nigrato. Therefore he’d failed to come back to this world.
That was until Lars, who had ended the necromancers, decided to consume Nigratos essence.
Juan clutched his dagger and stood. Anya nodded.
“Planning to kill the god of death? I’ll lead the way.”
“Why don’t you ever doubt my capabilities for once. Even just for formality sake, tell me that this is beyond me.”
“How could I ever doubt Juan. There’s no one else to put my hope on but Juan.”
Anya replied while smiling with a sad expression. Dilmond also approached Juan with his hammer in his hand.
“We were planning to head towards Nigrato. We’ll tag along and do our best not to be a burden even if it costs our lives.”
The Hugin knights all clutched their weapons with determined expressions.
Juan looked at each face one by one. Persuasion wasn’t going to make them back off. But even so, Juan shook his head.
“I don’t care what you say. You guys are the last remaining inheritance of what Lars left behind. If you all died, there wouldn’t be anything of Lars remaining. I don’t think Lars created the Hugin knight order so that he could kill everyone with his own hands.”
Dilmond glared at Juan.
He was annoyed that precious time was being wasted by having this unnecessary argument.
The arrival of Nigrato would be formidable in that he nor Juan would likely survive.
“If Lars nim was alive, would you think he would have told us to run, or told us to stay with him and die while fighting? I find your description of us being his inheritance distasteful. We were his sword. We don’t mind if we were to break along with our master in the midst of battle.”
Juan quietly watched Dilmond before finally nodding his head.
“Even if you resist till the end…….wait, what?”
“I said fine. I’m going to need some extra hands. However.”
Juan nimbly went up to Anya and smacked her in the gut.
Anya’s eyes rolled over and lost consciousness. Juan carefully held her from falling and passed her to one of the nearby knights.
“Take this one and get her away from here. Necromancers are of no use against Nigrato. Rather she’d lose control of herself to him.”
It wasn’t for that reason alone but it was enough to convince. The knight received detailed orders from Dilmond and headed towards the outskirts of Hiveden. Several knights followed to protect them.
Juan watched as Anya drifted away into the darkness before turning his head.
“We’re going to run from now on. I don’t have time to wait for stragglers.”
Without waiting for a reply, Juan took off running.
“What on earth is that……”
Sina looked on at a vast cloud of darkness looming over Hiveden’s center.
The darkness that seemingly looked as if it wouldn’t stop expanding, squirmed as it finally took on a shape. Unbelievably, a form of a man.
From the area where the head would be, something bursted itself up. It was a giant skull of a human that was near unimaginable.
Sina couldn’t even begin to fathom what this ‘thing’ was. But she was sure of one thing.
That it was an ominous and disgusting thing.
She couldn’t accept herself to watch this ‘thing’ emerge into the world.
The bonds around her hands and feet were tightened hard. It didn’t look like it was going to loosen anytime soon. But determined not to sit by, she mustered strength into her wrists, calmly accepting the fact that her wrists could break.
Finally, with the sound of a loud snap, she felt her hands become free.
Looking at her wrists, her wrists were unexpectedly fine except for some cuts. But there was no time to be thinking about this.
Sina ran towards Camille who was in a daze after losing her mind.
“The darkness, death is rising. The winds from the nether world…….”
Sina whipped in a slap without hesitation.
Thinking that she wouldn’t come around with just one slap, Sina grabbed her collar and slapped her another one. As Sina was about to hand her a third, Camille grabbed Sina’s wrist.
“That’s for keeping my wrists restrained. So, what are you going to do. Aren’t these the kinds of beings that are the true enemies of the Paladin order?”
Camille’s expression showed that she had no reply for that.
Sina’s words weren’t wrong but strictly, Paladins didn’t have a single experience in fighting mythical beings.
Primarily, Paladins were only created after the emperor had died.
All of a sudden, Camille felt embarrassed to have proclaimed Paladins as the emperor’s fist, sword, spear or anything else for that matter.
In truth, they hadn’t faced the real threats that the emperor had.
“I. Don’t. Know. What do you want me to do!? This thing appeared from where the Hugin knights and Paladins would have been. It’s something that my fellow Paladins nor even commander Ethan could stop! Why are you asking me for a solution?”
Camille replied as if this was unfair on her.
“If you’re asking me to go fight and die, I’ll gladly die. But if I do……..I only see a death without purpose. If you would still tell me that’s my duty then I’d do it. However, if you’re asking me for a solution against that, I have none.”
“Do you not even know what that ‘thing’ is?”
“………Most likely, it’s Lars. I can’t think of anyone else except Lars Raude that would be able to summon……… or transform himself into something like that. It’s rumoured that he made a deal with the god of death in order to kill the emperor.”
Sina observed the giant darkness once again.
On its cloud-like body, a white skull was apparent and bits of white bones were branching out to form its limbs.
Sina hadn’t seen Lars once, but had heard the countless ominous stories about him.
That he was the emperor’s child.
After neutralizing Rieto, a pale Juan had run off after seeing that ‘thing’ emerge.
Knowing Juan’s personality, he could and would have finished off Rieto and Camille.
So it was no secret that this ‘thing’ had deeply shocked him.
If this was the case, Juan would be somewhere inside that darkness.
Through the alleyways in the city, the shifting darkness slithered through as it expanded. And from the darkness, undeads started to walk out from it along with screaming residents trying to flee.
Seeing this, Sina immediately grabbed Camille’s sword on the ground and chucked it at her.
“What are you doing?”
“I won’t ask you to die while facing that monster, but how about saving those residents from death?”
Camille hesitated at Sina’s words.
Her last assignment was to protect Bishop Rieto and slaughter any Hiveden residents that got out.
Sina was asking her to ignore her orders.
But upon seeing the resurrection of god of death, she felt if there was still any meaning in following her orders anymore. Camille drew out her sword and stepped forward.
“As you’ve not fully recovered, stay here and protect Bishop Rieto, Sina kyung. Knowing that the undeads are our opponent, as a Paladin I’ll do your share of fighting and more.”
“It’s getting darker as we get closer! Keep tight. Shoulders to shoulders and stay alert!”
The Hugin knights glued themselves to each other after hearing Dilmond’s strict warning.
Juan wanted to move at a faster pace but the oncoming wind was too intense.
Juan who was lightweighted was finding it more difficult dealing with the wind than facing a knight of death.
Currently in front, Dilmond and his massive body looked ever so dependable in the wind.
“Enemies on the right!”
“There’s multiple on the left too!”
Juan was making sure he was being useful too.
He’d smeared his blood onto his dagger, creating a small flame. While small, it still helped keep the darkness away creating valuable time.
When enemies appeared, the Hugin knights all attacked simultaneously in unison, immediately eliminating the threat.
“You guys seem quite skilled at this.”
“If we’re talking about undeads, we had to basically live with them till now. We know their weaknesses and aren’t scared of them.
Dilmond looked at Juan who was following behind while grabbing onto his belt.He continued talking.
“There are less of them than I had expected. And I suppose your fire is doing work as well. The emperor’s flame is like poison to them.”
“I appreciate you telling me that but you don’t have to be considerate towards me. I’m ain’t some brat you need to take care of or keep happy.”
“Quite assuring…… Anyways, do you know where we need to go? The spot where Lars nim had been struck doesn’t seem far away from here.”
“The direction of the wind. The concentration of ill intent. Where darkness is clumped up.”
“You’re talking in riddles.”
“It means keep going forward as we’re going the right way. We’re already inside the realm of the underworld. Where you’re standing is half Hiveden and half the other world. It’s going to get harder from here to get a sense of distance.”
“What’s there at the end of this path?”
“Undeads, undeads and more undeads. And Nigrato’s essence will likely be there too. If we manage to take care of his essence before he gets a physical form then we can keep him restrained while he’s still incomplete.”
“Restrain him while he’s incomplete? We’re not going to kill him?”
“Well….. I’d like it if it was that simple but, beings that have claimed divinity don’t die so easily. If he stays incomplete, then at least he can be killed later on. Anyways, I’m saying we can’t let him reach his complete form. If he does……I don’t know if even Vares Valte could take care of him.”
“That sounds interesting. The thought of making him fight against that bastard Vares Valte.”
“I’ll rephrase that. Vares Valte and maybe a third of the empire’s population.”
Juan suddenly stopped and pulled at Dilmond’s belt.
Dilmond looked back at him with a ‘what’ look. But then, he also realised why Juan had come to a stop.
“…………So….. They weren’t avoiding us due to the fire it seems.”
“They were moving to protect their master.”
A frightening number of undeads were standing in front of them.
Zombies, skeletons soldiers, undead knights and even unrecognisable monsters were swarming in one spot like a single organism.
The ominous feeling tickling down their skin was emanating from where they were grouping.
“The good news is that we’re going the right way. The bad news is that we don’t have much time.”
Dilmond snorted at Juan’s words.
“Wrong! The real bad news is that we’re going to continue going down this path!”
Dilmond roared as he stormed forth.
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