Chapter 172: Elimination
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Under the night sky, in the deserted ruins of Shield District. The Blood Mystic slowly turned around as she caressed the pitch-black Kilika. In the next moment, the dense outer layer of the spider-like Kilika began to tear, deform and swell. Its black appearance reddened as dozens of blood-red tentacles made out of mangled human limbs extended from its body, and even grew larger.
Kilika grew increasingly larger until it turned into the blood-red hydra Thales had seen before. It shook its tentacles like a huge squid of about dozens of meters tall and let out a bizarre shriek.
“Find the child.”
Giza’s madness and obsession just moments ago disappeared along with the purplish-red patches on her face.
At that moment, she was quiet and placid, just like a normal, pure girl. The Mystic gently caressed Kilika, and her words were plain and gentle. “You know his scent, understand his presence, and are familiar with his blood.”
Giza gently exhaled, wearing an odd expression. “That boy’s blood… The boy you wish to devour even in your dreams.”
The hydra and its ten or more giant tentacles trembled at once, the ‘squishing’ sounds of flesh and blood scraping and pressing against each other resounded from within them.
The tentacles slammed down with a loud rumble, forming dozens of deep gorges in the wreckage. Smoke and dust billowed in the air.
Giza smiled. She looked at the terrifying Kilika with a doting expression, as if she was looking her own angry pet dog wagging its tail.
“Go ahead, find him.”
Giza who seemed like the girl-next-door paused for a second before opening her lips lightly to exhale. “Before he becomes a Mystic…
‘Even if it means destroying Dragon Clouds City. Even if it means exposing myself. Even if…’
The strange, disturbing ‘squishing’ sound emerged once more from Kilika’s enormous body. In the next second, its dozens of blood-red tentacles bore into the ground in every direction.
*Boom! Boom! Boom!*
Its flesh seemed to proliferate endlessly as it continued to extend its tentacles and dug into the ground.
Suddenly, Giza narrowed her eyes and turned around with a grave expression. A human figure emerged abruptly from within the smog Kilika stirred up. He walked slowly in the Mystic’s direction.
Giza breathed a gentle sigh.
‘As expected, too much time was still wasted.’
Step by step, the human figure in the smog approached slowly.
The Blood Mystic closed her eyes and shook her head gently. “Alright, it looks like the people in the surrounding districts have been evacuated… Raikaru’s descendants are not completely worthless after all.”
Right at that moment.
A medium-sized tentacle burst out from the ground right next to the figure. Amid the smog, more tentacles erupted from the ground and shot towards the unwelcomed guest’s direction.
However, the figure in the smog only shifted slightly.
The sound of a weapon piercing flesh was heard.
In the next moment, Giza’s expression changed swiftly and her knees fell to the ground.
“Ah! Aaaah! Aaahh!!!!” The Blood Mystic screamed in pain.
In several city districts adjacent to Shield District, dozens of blood-red tentacles broke out of the surface of the ground again.
For one, in the nearest nobles’ districts to the north, a similar giant blood-red tentacle forcibly destroyed a stone house at the peak of Sword District. It tore through the stone and rocks and burst towards the sky.
The moment it emerged from the ground, the terrifying tentacles made up of mangled human limbs began exploding from the root. They split into countless smaller tentacles. The smaller tentacles stopped in the air, then began to slowly spin in the area, occasionally shivering.
It seemed as if they were… scenting.
Not long after that, the tentacles shuddered at once and grew rapidly, proliferated, and extended in all directions.
At that moment, a slim, white-caped figure abruptly appeared from a corner and landed in front of the tentacles’ roots. The tentacles then sensed the presence of flesh nearby.
In that instant, the innumerable tentacle branches attacked the caped-figure like agitated beasts with an assault covering all directions.
The human figure shifted his body slightly and drew out a unique white-hilted blade.
The blade flashed.
Under the attack of the countless tentacles, the human figure dodged continuously, even leaving behind afterimages!
From afar, it actually looked as if he was extending his blade in many different directions.
The sharp blade grazed almost every tentacle and inflicted wounds one after another.
But that was not all. In the next moment, the tentacles slashed by the blade shuddered! Then, the wounds of these seemingly living tentacles began to darken and shrivel in large swathes. Finally, as if it was burnt, the entire tentacle turned into ashes and scattered into the air!
Blood, flesh and ashes drifted instantly into one ball.
The caped man brandished his blade again. This time, the strange knife pierced into the root of the small tentacles—that big, blood-red tentacle.
The giant tentacle shook violently. Bubbles and large amounts of steam began to emerge from the spot where the blade had pierced into flesh.
The tentacle also began to blacken and shrivel… until it turned completely into billowing ash.
After being separated from its roots, the tentacles that fell on the ground seemed to have sensed something. They began to twitch frantically and slither away in all directions—to escape from that terrifying man.
Right then, the sounds of multiple hurried footsteps arose.
Dozens of masked figures clad in grey clothing appeared at the corner of the street!
They were equipped in a unique fashion, from arm-shields, light crossbows to sleek white-hilted blades. With swift and well-practiced footsteps, they intercepted almost every tentacle’s attempt to escape.
Their actions were nimble and bodies agile. They were also calm.
Then, they raised their arms before swinging their blades down.
*Schick! Swash! Slash!*
This time, the tentacles cut by these blades did not turn into ash. Instead, they shed scarlet blood like ordinary wounded limbs. However, their lives were clearly not as strong as their roots. After losing a great deal of blood, the wounded tentacles fell and shriveled up slowly.
The man who appeared first, the Star Killer, Nicholas shrugged off his cloak. His expression was solemn as he walked towards the corner of the street without regard for his subordinates engaged in the eradication of the tentacles. There, more White Blade Guards were escorting an elderly and distinguished man over to the place.
“According to Madam Calshan’s information, there are at least a dozen of these things remaining in and around Shield District. Fortunately, we evacuated the residents in time, otherwise they would have become monster fodder, Your Majesty,” the Star Killer reported solemnly.
Nuven the Seventh frowned as he watched a White Blade Guard stomp and slash a twitching tentacle in the distance. Crimson blood flowed from its body.
“We have tested this. Ordinary anti-mystic equipment will only ensure that they maintain basic maneuverability during an assault on these things.” Nicholas noticed the king’s gaze and brandished the strange blade in his hand. He said slowly, “Only legendary anti-mystic equipment like the Severing Souls Blade can eliminate these abhorrent things and allow us to protect ourselves at the same time.”
The king nodded, his face was terrifying. “Gleeward has already set off with the Soul Slayer Pike. That calamity will not be gallivanting around for much longer.”
“But these things are still spreading. They’re trying to look for more people as their food.” A bureaucrat who looked like a garrison officer behind the king said worriedly, “They’ve even appeared out here. They will spread out of Shield District eventually, to catch up to the residents we have evacuated to the other districts, and even those outside the city.
“Through absorption, they can strengthen continually; it’s just that if things keep on going this way, all of Dragon Clouds City…”
King Nuven abruptly raised his hand and stopped his subordinate’s report. His eyes flickered with fury… and resolve.
Soon, the tentacles in this district were almost cleared entirely.
King Nuven clenched his hands into fists and looked up to survey the warriors around him. He yelled at the top of his lungs, “White Blade Guards!”
All the White Blade Guards including Nicholas turned around collectively and bellowed, “Sir!”
Their fierce gazes met with the Northland King’s.
King Nuven took a heavy step forward. His eyes were bright with fury as he looked intently at every single personal guard of his—the elite White Blade Guards. The Dragon’s Imperial Guards.
Eckstedt’s strongest beings.
The sound of earth and rocks collapsing echoed from afar again.
King Nuven took a deep breath, the fire in his eyes burned brighter.
The old king’s firm, elderly voice rang in everyone’s ears. “Tell me, young fellows! When Eckstedt needs your protection… When Northland needs your fearless assault… or you to sacrifice your lives… to shed your blood…”
King Nuven turned around. He looked into the distance at the blood-red hydra and its enormous blurry silhouette. He bellowed ferociously,
“Will you hesitate? Tell me!”
In that moment, all the White Blade Guards did not hesitate but straightened their bodies and struck their right fists on their left breasts.
Dull poundings resonated together, as if it was from one person. It was solemn and shocking.
The elite warriors released a deafening bellow, “No, Your Majesty!”
King Nuven turned around and drew out his saber.
His face filled with dignity, he nodded at his own personal guards. “Very good! Nicholas, you are in charge of dispatch!”
The Star Killer knelt down on one knee. His face was solemn and respectful as he thumped his fist on his chest.
“All White Blade Guards are to be equipped with anti-mystic equipment. Walk along Shield District’s borders.” King Nuven steadily said to the captain of his own team of personal guards, “Whether it is delaying, intercepting or killing, keep those things detained in Shield District! It can stop thinking about touching another Northlander!”
Nicholas nodded firmly and got up to issue his commands.
“Split into eight units of at least thirty. Check the anti-mystic equipment, bring signal arrows along and fire them based on the protocols of war.” The Star Killer looked at his subordinates and said coldly, “Form circular formations of five people and focus on dealing with those things. Chopping and slashing are the most effective methods. Watch your step, don’t be tangled up with multiple opponents.”
Nicholas kicked a big dried, black and shriveled tentacle. He brandished his Severing Souls Blade. “If you encounter a thing as huge as this, send a signal to notify me!”
King Nuven heaved a sigh.
“Calshan said that the more people that calamity is confronted with, the stronger she grows, so you will have no reinforcements.” The king extended his right hand and pressed firmly on Nicholas’ right shoulder. His eyes looked straight ahead. “Neither the patrols nor the recruits have any anti-mystic equipment. They would have only been sent to die in vain.
“Our hopes lie in Gleeward and you, in the Soul Slayer Pike and the Severing Souls Blade.
“Gleeward is already looking for that calamity. There’s nothing better than the Soul Slayer Pike when dealing with it, and what you have to do now is…”
King Nuven’s eyes glimmered, “To trap the rat in the cage, completely severing all of its strength and all its possible paths of retreat!”
Nicholas exchanged a meaningful glance with the king and nodded firmly and respectfully. “We will have no problems, Your Majesty.
“Please wait in the palace for news of our victorious return.”
But King Nuven shook his head. “I am going with you.”
In that second, Nicholas’ eyes widened.
“Your Majesty, it is not safe up ahead…”
Gravely, King Nuven raised a hand and stopped his words.
“More than half the White Blade Guards are here, Heroic Spirit Palace is not safer than it is here now.
King Nuven’s eyes was filled with unquestionable majesty. “And I have never doubted that. Wherever the White Blade Guards are present, it is the safest place in the world.
“Do you disagree with this statement?”
Nicholas was shocked; in that moment, he did not say a word but clenched his teeth and nodded solemnly.
King Nuven let go of his shoulder and smiled openly. “Come, my brave warriors. Today, on the land of our hometown, we will charge into a battle between mankind and the non-humans.”
The old king raised his head towards the Cliff of the Sky, at the statue of a soldier holding a pike.
“Today, we will follow in Raikaru’s footsteps… to kill this legendary calamity.”
The White Blade Guards were somber. Nicholas’ pupils constricted as he gradually tightened his grip on the weapon in his hand.
Nuven the Seventh turned towards the hydra in the distance. He took a deep breath and slowly said, “The crazy criminals who have committed blood debts in our Northland, whether it was six hundred years ago or now.
“The absurd freaks who have brought endless disaster and killed for thousands of years. The wicked who thrive on massacre and bloodshed. The scum who see us as ants.”
King Nuven clenched his fists and his eyes shone ferociously,
“Destroy them all!”
Giza suddenly slumped to the ground. Her once ruddy face suddenly turned ashen and shriveled. Moreover, the dark and gloomy pallor on her face was even growing darker continuously!
Behind Giza, the hydra, Kilika sensed its master’s state and started trembling frantically. Following Kilika’s movements, several tentacles erupted once more around that human figure and charged towards the unwelcomed guest.
Two sounds of a sword piercing into flesh rang from within the smog.
“Aah… Ah, no! Kilika, that’s—” Giza shrieked in pain, her whole body trembled and her complexion turned more ashen, as if she was suffering.
Kilika’s body began to contort uncontrollably all of a sudden.
The ground between the Mystic and the human figure split open. The giant, blood-red tentacle extended from Kilika frantically contorted as it struggled free from the ground.
It trembled continuously, as if it was experiencing the most awful, savage torture.
Beginning from the figure in the smog, the blood-red tentacle formed by mangled limbs began to blacken and wither rapidly.
Like a fine cloth dipped in ink, the tentacle’s blackened and shriveled areas spread continuously along its base.
It extended towards Kilika… and then Giza.
The Blood Mystic raised her blackened and shriveled face, gritted her teeth and yelled furiously, “Don’t even think about it!”
In the next moment, right before the continuously blackening and shriveling tentacle could reach Kilika with that terrifying momentum…
It automatically swelled from its base and ruptured all of a sudden!
A large amount of blood gushed out.
At that moment, you could say that Giza Streelman looked pathetic, and she had a nervous look on her face.
Like when a lizard loses its tail to fight for survival. If it had been one moment slower in its action, it would have suffered irreparable damage.
As the blackening and shriveling areas finally reached the point of rupture and could not continue, it thoroughly transformed the giant tentacle into a useless, withered branch.
In the air, the only sound left was Giza’s panting as she laid on the ground. Her complexion finally began to recover its ruddy color. The Mystic lifted her head and gritted her teeth as she glared straight ahead.
She glared at the figure who walked towards her from the smog, he was approaching slowly… and he was accompanied by an unpleasant screech.
Giza rose from the ground and frowned slightly.
The approaching human had a tall stature, but his pace was peculiar—with every step, his right leg had to be dragged.
Like a… cripple.
The unpleasant sounds were still in the air, and it sounded like exquisitely made utensils were being scrapped on course flooring.
Finally, a gruff voice came from within the curtain of smog.
“Shield District is a woeful place.” As the smog gradually dispersed, it revealed a strong, dauntless man. “It conceals Dragon Clouds City’s darkest, most cryptic colors beneath the Northlanders’ expansive magnanimity and optimism.”
The noise persisted.
The crippled man looked about thirty to forty years old. His facial features were mostly flat, except for his tall nose. A chin covered with stubbly hair made him appear rather boorish.
“Some people were born into such an unfortunate place, with only poverty and hardship left to them by their fathers. What they acquired was tenacity and grit.”
The man limped forward, his tone was filled with grief.
Giza’s brow furrowed more tightly. She had found the source of the noise, the man dragged a two-meter long metal pike behind him. The pitch-black pikehead was dragged across the ground as it emitted an unpleasant screeching. The Blood Mystic’s eyes locked onto that pike and her eyes filled with strange colors.
“Some of them wanted to stand out instead and traversed land and water to arrive here. Trading their present, the period of time that was most valuable to them, they gained an uncharted future, all for the sake of wanting to leave something worth commemorating behind—for themselves, their family, and later generations.”
The cripple dragged the pike strenuously with his right hand. As his figure turned, the left side of his face was revealed. Giza saw clearly his most prominent feature: this man had no left ear. What was left in its stead was a round hole—as if it had been shaved off at the base.
“But regardless of who they were, they had no choice but to rely on other people for just a mouthful of rice in this lousy place called Shield District that lacked even a complete wall to shelter them from the wind and snow.
“In this place, some people were in a hurry to make a name for themselves and are petty towards the other citizens, some people are illiterate and live trembling in fear, some people live in loneliness and despair while covered head to toe in injuries, some people are hot-headed, rash, and possess a fiery temper.”
The man continued to limp forward, his expression sorrowful, and his tone gloomy.
“They were just ordinary people, but they were also pitiful. But they are still working for the people with the most power in Eckstedt, doing the most despicable jobs with an attitude to be content and the most determined smile, an attitude unique to Northlanders. They get the most meagre salary, hold on to the most pitiful hope, and live in the most wretched lives.
“They don’t have matchless power, no great achievements, no honourable glory, no noble titles, but they still grit their teeth, swallow their grievances, cry, tense their muscles and struggle to live.”
The man stopped in his limping footsteps and stood before Giza. He turned around and glanced at the ruins. A child’s broken hand lay there quietly.
The man suddenly turned back to her. This time, his gaze was fixed unwaveringly on the Mystic. His eyes were filled with indifference, loneliness, disappointment, pain, hatred… and a deathly stillness.
“This is Shield District, a filthy place where even the snow comes in black swathes,” the cripple said flatly. The man swept his gaze past the wreckage around him, and a hint of pain appeared in his eyes.
“In the great Eckstedt, majestic Heroic Spirit Palace, splendid glory of Northland, we struggled and gasped for breath like dying men. We were more Northlandish than the strongest Northland man.”
The crippled, one-eared man had a cold look as he raised the pike in his hand and stared at Giza.
“And you… Even want to snatch this sorrowful and unfortunate chance, this chance where we grit our teeth and struggle to fight for hope form our hands.”
The man gently closed his eyes, his grip tightened on the pike in his hand. His words spoken with absolute pain. “In your eyes, we are… just like bugs… to be trampled on and kneaded around as you wish.
The Blood Mystic heaved a long sigh, her eyes felt incomparably heavy. She did not respond to the man’s words, as if she did not want to waste time. She fixed her gaze only on the pike.
A few seconds later, Giza finally said indifferently while she comforted Kilika and while she panted, “Six hundred over years later… the wielder of Soul Slayer Pike… is a lame person like you?”
The man snorted.
Blood Mystic raised her head to glance at the Cliff of the Sky. She looked at humanity’s hero—Raikaru Eckstedt’s soldierly statue—and then at the crippled, one-eared man. Giza frowned.
It was as if she was making a comparison.
Moments later, Giza breathed out long sigh.
“Isn’t the difference too drastic?”
The man stared at her intently and did not say a word.
Giza said scornfully, “How is it that in this era… a mere supreme class… can already master a legendary anti-mystic weapon?”
With a quick turn from the one-eared man’s arms, the pike swept up a gust of wind. The pitch-black pikehead pointed at Giza, and the pikehead vibrated slightly.
It was as if the pike had a life of its own.
“Drew Gleeward, an ordinary heavy swordsman from Dragon Clouds City. Reporting for service,” he said in a low voice. Wielding the Soul Slayer Pike, the lame Gleeward said coldly, “Just saying, all of Shield District is under my protection.”
“Oh?” Giza’s face turned cold. She ground her teeth, but she did not show her typical smile. “Then you should thank me.”
She looked around at the wreckage of the surrounding streets and shook her head.
“I cleaned your home up so well.”
Gleeward was not provoked by her words. The man simply dragged his crippled leg and took a slow step forward.
“What happened just now was a mere greeting, you should know the origins of this weapon.” Gleeward tapped the sinister pike in his hands and said softly, “When I took over it ten years ago, Mirk could have almost nagged my other ear off.”
The man’s eyes started to gain clarity.
“Soul Slayer Pike, King Raikaru’s mighty weapon. All life in this world, from the great dragons to the ants, from the demons to the flora… Once stabbed by this pike,”—Gleeward stared at the pikehead, his eyes sparkled brilliantly—”all vitality in the whole body will vanish.”
In that instant, the lame, one-eared man’s presence started to change, as if he had arrived at the most devastating battlefield.
Giza did not speak, Gleeward raised his head and accentuated each of his words coldly. “This is Death’s touch. All of your life will leave your body with just the lightest touch.”
The young lady who had always smiled gently now stared emotionlessly at the pike. Her eyes fixated unwaveringly, as if she recalled something.
“This is the legendary anti-mystic equipment Soul Slayer Pike’s matchless ability.” The heavy-weapons swordsman who had scars all over his body spat. “‘Elimination’.”
Gleeward retracted his pike and scrutinized his opponent.
“Every legendary anti-mystic equipment was born to counter one or more mystics, and this legendary pike was designed specially to deal with you.”
Gleeward exhaled gently on the pikehead. “Blood Calamity, enemy of life. A legendary anti-mystic equipment cast just for you, the b*tch who can’t be sealed with normal conventions.”
In the next moment, Gleeward’s eyes sparkled with cold rays.
His undamaged left leg kicked the ground with a loud bang, his strong yet scarred body dashed forth with an astonishing force towards the sullen-looking Giza.
With a matchless momentum as if it was charging forward in a battlefield, the sinister Soul Slayer Pike was thrust out with an indomitable spirit.
In the air, the pitch-black pikehead released delighted vibrations. The vibrations then grew with urgency… As if it longed…
… To release Death’s touch.