Chapter 174: The Truth about Elimination
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Dragon Clouds City, the intersection between Armor District and Shield District.
Loud roars were coming from Shield District, together with a faintly discernible vibration.
“We should disperse along with those residents.”
A valiant swordswoman with black hair stood on one of the roads. She was wearing a light armor and a pair of thick black gloves. Furrowing her brow, she stared at the tall figure in front of her. “It’s not our duty to interfere in things that do not concern us, nor is it part of our principles to bring trouble upon ourselves.”
However, the figure paid no heed to those words. Staring at Shield District from afar, he looked at the massive, ravenous, and unusual blood-red monster from top to bottom.
“Is this why Raphael asked us to leave?” Pursing his lips, Kohen seemed worried. He furrowed and relaxed his eyebrows non-stop. “Is this what the Kingdom’s Secret Intelligence Department has set out to do?
“Did you hear what those residents were saying? This creature is Kilika, the legendary hydra.”
Clenching his fists tightly, Kohen’s gaze was filled with displeasure. “It’s one of those calamities, those Mystics… A legend that we only read about in family records and archives.”
Staring at the considerably ruined Shield District, Kohen’s breathing quickened.
‘Is this your doing?
‘Did you plan this?’
Furrowing her brows, Miranda stared at her cohort with a complex expression.
“The disciplinary officers didn’t evacuate the area for no reason.
“It’s not something you should worry about.
“Dragon Clouds City definitely has the knowledge to fight against calamities.” Watching as the hydra extended another gigantic tentacle, Miranda sighed and shook her head. “Besides, no matter what Raphael has done, or is about to do, it’s not something we can interfere with.”
Kohen continued to stare at the hydra. His blond hair was covered in snow, however he did not notice it at all.
“That’s Shield District, and Big Leather Belt lives there. We even sat in his little house earlier.
“That man who fought against the orcs as part of the Glacial Sentries, remember him?”
Listening to the sounds of destruction, Kohen’s eyes were filled with grief. “Him and his daughter.”
Miranda did not say a word. She only lowered her gaze a little.
After quite a while, she quietly said, “There’s nothing we can do.”
Kohen became silent.
The vibration increased in magnitude as Kilika the hydra’s movements intensified.
“Do you know what the most ironic thing is?”
A few seconds later, Kohen expressionlessly said, “The day we… you, me and Raphael became ‘Seeds’, Master Shao stood on top of the giant knight statue and spoke to us…”
Having heard that, Miranda subconsciously held on to the hilt of her sword.
“The Tower of Eradication’s mission is to preserve the last, purest and strongest spark for the sake of humanity.” As the hydra wreaked havoc in the distance, Kohen calmly said, “To pass down the Powers of Eradication, along with the spirit and mission of our ancestors.”
Kohen’s gaze was filled with complex emotions.
“And to always be vigilant as well as ready.
“The day those creatures return, the Swords of Eradication will be unsheathed once again.”
Miranda raised her head. Staring at the horrifying hydra, she gritted her teeth softly.
“Regardless of race, kingdom of origin and succession, we will revive our ancestor’s mission, and reenact the glory of the ‘Calamity Hunters’.
“In the darkest days of humanity’s last moments, on the most hellish of battlefields; armed with swords and hope, we will fight with no regard for death.
“We will charge towards the almost invincible calamities.
“This is the first and final mission of the Tower of Eradication.
“As a Seed who carries great hopes, Raphael…” Having said this, Kohen sighed. “He brought a calamity—”
“Stop your meaningless and unfounded speculations,” Miranda coldly cut him off. “We don’t know what Raphael and the Kingdom’s Secret Intelligence Department have done at all… The Kingdom’s Secret Intelligence Department may have more important political ends. Perhaps, if they hadn’t done this, the hydra would have appeared in Eternal Star City instead of Dragon Clouds City.”
“Politics?” The blond police officer shook his head in disappointment.
“The Tower of Eradication passes down skills with the purpose of protecting humanity. It transcends politics. This is its most praiseworthy trait… No matter how bad the Tower of Eradication’s relationship with Constellation is, it never rejected students from Constellation.
“However, we took these shared treasures of humanity that have been passed down for more than a thousand years, and used them as a tool to kill each other.” Kohen lowered his head. His voice was low and deep. “All the swordsmen are proud to be from the Tower of Eradication. However, through these six hundred something years, how many Swordsmen of Eradication died by the calamities as they protected humanity? On the other hand, how many were killed by sword styles and Powers of Eradication that were passed down from the same tower?’
Miranda’s expression remained unchanged. However, her voice was a little awkward. “Not every student can escape the constraints of politics.
“And not every student shares the Tower of Eradication’s aspirations and aim.”
“But… Raphael?” Kohen heaved a loud sigh. “With his capacity… Compared to us, he’s supposed to be the one to transcend all these things, right?”
Miranda stared at him in silence.
A few seconds later, the swordswoman stopped looking grim. Instead, she chuckled softly.
“Kohen.” Staring at Kohen, who turned his head back abruptly, Miranda smiled. “Has anyone told you that…
“You are perhaps not made to be a suzerain, or even a noble?” the swordswoman flashed a meaningful smile and asked profoundly. “The heir to Walla Hill, who is kind and also an idealist.”
Having heard that, Kohen froze. He gawked at Miranda in a daze.
He turned and stared at the roof beneath his feet.
There was a hint of desolation and loneliness in his eyes.
This time, Kohen was silent for a very long time.
Finally, the police officer faintly said, “Oh, I know.
“From the very first day I grew up to understand these things…
“I knew that there was no way that I could become a good suzerain.” Even though Kohen’s voice was tranquil, it made Miranda’s heart sink for no reason.
Miranda did not say anything.
At this moment, they raised their heads as though they had sensed something.
The next moment, they leaped down from the roof vigilantly. Quickly and nimbly, they hid behind a wall.
A minute later, two figures swept past the already evacuated street.
One pair of footsteps were strange and light, as though the person was running with his feet pressed close to the ground. The other pair of footsteps were more normal and steadier.
‘From their movements… they don’t seem to be slouches,’ Miranda thought as she hid in the darkness.
‘However, it seems like both of them are injured, as their movements are unsteady.’
“I think that we should go look for him in Shield District… Even though that thing’s there…” One of the voices sounded young and impatient. He seemed very dissatisfied with the other person. “Can’t you say something… Oh, alright, I forgot… But, can’t you show some reaction… My God, don’t make those hand gestures that I can’t understand!”
Seeing both of them clearly, Miranda froze.
The next moment, Miranda rose, to Kohen’s surprise. She left her hiding place and stopped the two men!
Alerted, the two uninvited guests stopped running and got into an offensive position.
However, their enmity was soon gone.
“The one next to Lady Sasere that day…”
Thales’ attendant, Wya Caso stared at the swordswoman as he held his saber. He widened his eyes in surprise. “Miss Miranda from Broken Dragon Fortress!
“Why are you here?” Wya enquired in shock.
“It’s a long story… How about the both of you?” Miranda furrowed her brows. “What are you looking for? Is it something to do with that calamity?”
“Um…” Wya froze and turned his head, feeling a little hesitant.
‘She’s from the Arunde Family… and she’s even the heir to the Archduke of the Northern Territory, who tried to usurp the throne.
‘The prince’s disappearance…’
However, the next moment, Wya furrowed his brows a little. He saw that there was something off about Miranda’s expression as well.
Both of them felt the tension in the air at the same time.
Wearing half a silver mask and silver prosthetics, the person behind Wya trembled.
Fixing his fractured arm on his body, Ralf the Phantom Wind Follower was fixated on the blond police officer. His eyes were red, and his hands continued to tremble non-stop.
He ran his hand over his throat, but as if it was scalding hot, he abruptly removed his hand.
Soon, Ralf’s gaze was filled with hatred and fury.
Puzzled, Kohen narrowed his eyes. Scratching his head, he stared at the strange, short-haired man, who was wearing a silver mask. He also observed the man’s lower body, which was obviously secured with prosthetics even though it was covered with his clothes.
‘Why is he looking at me like this?
‘Does he have something against me?’
“Excuse me…” Enduring the man’s extremely hostile gaze, the police officer carefully asked in bewilderment, “Have we met before?”
Kohen soon did not need to hesitate any longer.
The next second, Ralf swung his right hand, and a hidden blade shot out from the sleeve covering his arm!
When he saw the familiar hidden blade, Kohen trained his gaze on it.
A memory from not too long ago flashed across his mind.
It was that night.
The Disaster Sword, Groudon.
The girl with the dual blades.
The police officer frowned before he bent his back slightly and pressed his hand on the hilt of his sword.
Miranda and Wya were both momentarily stunned. They stared bemusedly at the two people who were ready to jump at each other’s throats.
“So, you aren’t dead yet, my old friend from Red Street Market.” Kohen warily took half a step back.
With a gaze as sharp as a blade, he spoke with an icy tone in his voice, “Blood Bottle Gang crook.”
The part of Ralf’s face uncovered by the mask turned darker with every passing moment. He let out a low growl and clenched his fists tighter.
The sloshing sounds of blood and flesh scraping against each other rose into the air from all over. It sounded like thousands of snakes madly swimming forward from every single direction.
Just how many threats, enemies and dangers did those scraping sounds indicate?
Amid those bizarre sloshing sounds, Nicholas opened his eyes gently below a broken roof.
The Power of Eradication in his body started circulating in him in a strange fashion, surging through his entire body in waves.
In the next moment, the Star Killer broke through the roof like a bolt of lightning descending down to earth with an astonishing momentum!
Then, as Nicholas’s figure came into view, what appeared in front of him were around a dozen blood red tentacles of various sizes.
The tentacles shuddered simultaneously and attacked him from different directions.
The airborne Nicholas would originally not have been able to dodge it.
But his body started to shine in a bizarre manner, and became indistinct.
All the tentacles reaching out to Nicholas curled up, then proceeded to lash, strike, and pierce him.
And these tentacles coming to seize his life swept past his ears, armpits, the bottom of his feet, and his waist in the air… but all of them, without exception, grazed past his body by only a few millimeters!
The air was torn apart by the tentacles. The roaring wind slipped past the Star Killer’ body.
During that second, the completely unscathed Nicholas swung the Severing Souls Blade out of thin air with a calm gaze.
The blade’s trajectory and arcs that were formed when Nicholas swung the blade connected to form countless ovals in the air as Nicholas descended to the ground.
Nicholas landed on the ground firmly and securely.
Behind him were plenty of severed tentacles, and all of them were reduced to ashes.
Nicholas stood up, and without even batting an eyelid, he sent the Severing Souls Blade straight into the big tentacle in front of him.
Very soon, that limb belonging to Kilika disappeared from the world.
‘Compared to handling weapons from all directions on the battlefield, this was much easier,’ Nicholas thought to himself. ‘After all, I only have to handle ‘one’ enemy.’
The entire way there since he broke into the place from the edge of Shield District, the worry in his heart did not diminish, but only increased.
The ‘enemies’ he faced grew more densely packed; and the hydra’s body grew bigger. Clearly, he was getting closer to Gleeward.
Hopefully, he was fine.
As one of the few supreme class warriors born from fighting through his way through corpses on the battlefield, Drew Gleeward possessed unyielding will, rich experiences, and a firm resolve, which matched his consummate fighting skills. These sort of warriors seemed as if they were born to exist in large-scale battles. It did not matter if it were smooth battles, adversities, advantages, or hopeless situations. All of them could create inconceivable miracles.
When he thought of that person, Nicholas could not help but frown. ‘Just like… the Kingdom’s Wrath in the south.’
This was also why no matter how bad Gleeward’s temper was and how bad his relationship with the officials in Dragon Clouds City was, he was still chosen as the wielder of the Soul Slayer Pike a decade ago; despite the fact he swore the first time he took the pike and cursed at King Nuven, the previous Waltons who served as archdukes, and all their parents.
Of course, it was precisely because of his bad temper that the retired heavy swordsman, Gleeward did not have his name attached to any title from then on—whether it was titles of nobility, government official titles, or even among the “Five War Generals”.
Instead, he became an infamous leader in Shield District as well as Hammer District.
The hydra was just right ahead.
Nicholas gritted his teeth.
Nicholas moved forward swiftly without stopping before new monsters and tentacles moved in front of him again.
He circumnavigated a wreckage that looked like a collapsed mill, and he was stunned.
He saw Gleeward.
The person was not overpowered to the point where he absolutely could not fight back, which was what he imagined, neither was he on the ground, which was the worst case scenario he imagined.
Gleeward stood in perfect condition in front of him with his back facing Nicholas.
The Soul Slayer Pike was still lying in his hand, and the tremors on the tip of the pike did not stop.
What truly shocked Nicholas was not Gleeward, but the area around him.
There were numerous corpses behind Gleeward.
Adults, children, the elderly, men, women…
Most of them were dressed in rags and had serene smiles on their faces, but their faces were black.
Just like air-dried wooden blocks.
Nicholas stared at the dead scattered all over the ground with a sullen expression on his face. He had seen this manner of death before.
That was after someone was struck with the effect of ‘Elimination’.
Nicholas stared at Gleeward in disbelief.
“Gleeward!” Nicholas shouted.
A light shudder ran through Gleeward’s body, and he slowly turned around.
Nicholas gripped the Soul Severing Blade in his hand tightly. Gleeward did not even notice him appearing behind him. This was something that he would have never imagined in the past.
‘There’s something off about his mental state right now.’
The Star Killer thought to himself.
The lame, former heavy swordsman turned around while shuddering and stared at the Star Killer.
Nicholas was shocked to discover that Gleeward’s face… was covered in tears.
“It’s you.” Gleeward bit his lip, and another trail of tears flowed down his cheeks. He spoke in a hoarse and frail voice, “Walton’s White Blade lapdog.”
When he heard that familiar and rude name, Nicholas felt slightly at ease in his heart.
However, he still stared at the corpses all over the ground and asked in puzzlement, “What happened? These people…”
“What happened.” Gleeward shuddered. His pitch rose swiftly.
Gleeward gritted his teeth and shut his eyes in anguish and great pain.
“Haven’t you already seen it…?”
Nicholas walked over and stood beside Gleeward to face that maiden in front of him.
That was a maiden with blood red spots all over her face and who had a gentle, charming smile on her face.
“Oh?” The Blood Mystic chuckled. “Another one of you came?”
Bewilderment appeared on Nicholas’ thin and pale face.
“No matter.” Giza shook her head, and there was a relaxed look in her eyes that showed she was completely unbothered. “I have enough reserves anyway~”
During the instant, the Mystic gently caressed Kilika behind her.
The hydra shuddered again and released two gigantic tentacles.
The tentacles continued trembling on the ground before they slowly split apart to open two mouths that were vertically several adult men’s height.
Nicholas’ pupils shrank!
Right before his eyes, one, two, three… dozens of people slowly walked out of those two mouths.
Walking straight towards them was an old woman with a face filled with the marks left behind by the vicissitudes of life. She first appeared puzzled, then lost, and then, with a face filled with fear, she stared at her entire body.
The dozens of people consisted of people of varying ages, of men and women, and of the elderly and the young. All of them were initially confused before they were filled with shock.
Then… all of them walked towards Gleeward at the same time!
Nicholas whipped his head around and stared at Gleeward. “Could it be…”
Gleeward shook his head with great difficulty. His eyes were filled with tears of grief, indignation, and misery.
“Gleeward?” The old woman leading the group widened her fear-filled eyes. She seemed to know Gleeward. “My good boy, what’s going on? I remember that…
“Ah!” The old man lowered his head in shock and stared at her shriveled, thin legs moving bit by bit to bring her body forward. “Why can I-I stand up now? My legs are better now?”
“Granny Davol…” Gleeward stared at the old woman and shut his eyes in grief before he stuck the pike on the ground. “Bastard…”
“No.” The old woman seemed to have realized something and in a panic, said, “I-I… can’t move my body? Why am I walking?”
Granny Davol was not the only one who reacted this way. Almost every single person among the dozens of people reacted this way. Once panic, fear, and shock surfaced in the people…
“What’s going on?”
“Aargh! Don’t walk so quickly! I’m already too old, I’ll fall…”
“Oh god, look! It’s a monster! It’s the monster we saw before we fainted!”
But the crowd continued moving forward.
During that instant, the stunned Nicholas seemed to have understood something.
“They can’t help themselves…” Tears fell from Gleeward’s shut eyes again. His words were disjointed. “They… These citizens in Shield District… have been eaten by that monster-that whore, and after that… I have no idea what she did…
“But now she controls their bodies…”
Nicholas stared at the crowd, who were taking one step after another towards them with a disbelieving gaze.
He watched them as they continued to create noise, question, argue, and even cry, shout, and roar.
Just as the most ordinary citizen in Shield District would react.
“Oh my, I didn’t eat them.
“They’re all completely unscathed and independent, singular entities.” The Blood Mystic sighed. “Each of them is a single, living being…”
Nicholas stared at the corpses next to Gleeward and completely understood what happened.
He took a step forward, and he subconsciously moved his hand due to his anger. “The Soul Slayer Pike?”
Gleeward swallowed with great ardor and shook his head in pain.
“It’s different compared to the other tentacle monsters…” The lame man with the single ear forced down his grief. “‘Elimination’ alone can’t hurt her directly… The only thing it killed are these people’s real bodies.”
The Blood Mystic smiled like a flower. “That’s right!
“Didn’t you say that you were protecting this district?” At that moment, the devilish maiden smiled. The blood red spots on her face were especially bizarre and frightening. “Then let me see your resolve…
“I have thousands of people here with me!”
The terrified people increased their speed and blocked the path between the two supreme class elites and the Mystic.
“Aargh—” Gleeward roared in anger!
Nicholas took a deep breath and calmed down.
“They are only normal citizens… Perhaps if we push forward non-stop and break through them without any regard for the costs, we’ll take down that monster!”
Under the Star Killer’ gaze, Gleeward still shook his head with great difficulty.
Nicholas frowned. He suddenly noticed that there were quite a number of wounds on Gleeward’s entire body.
The Mystic answered his question.
“Normal citizens?” Giza chuckled softly. “That’s incorrect…”
The Blood Mystic tilted her head to the side, swiped her finger across her lips, and smiled coquettishly.
“They are thousands… of flesh puppets with clear trains of thought, and clear minds. They can even speak on their own… They do not fear death, or pain. They will not retreat, will not stop, and will march forward without holding back, without any hesitation!”
Once she finished speaking, Granny Davol suddenly screamed in fear while she was at the forefront of the group!
During the next moment, the old woman suddenly bent her body and went down on all fours.
The crowd behind her instantly went into an uproar.
As she let out a cry of surprise, Granny Davol started moving her hands and feet together, just like a feline, and with a nimbleness and speed that did not match her age and body, she leapt across ten something meters in a few seconds, and as if she was hunting her prey, she pounced on Gleeward!
“No!” Gleeward cried out in anguish. He turned the tip of the pike around and slammed the body of the pike on Granny Davol!
As Granny Davol screamed in pain, she fell down hard on a wreckage.
The old woman’s bones seemed to be very frail. With just that one fall, Granny Davol’s left arm had already become bent out of shape!
Nicholas widened his eyes in anger and watched Granny Davol cry out in pain while using her broken left hand to push herself up before pouncing on Gleeward again.
The old woman’s pained screams echoed in Nicholas’ ears.
Gleeward lifted his head swiftly and roared in anger,
This time, Gleeward widened his eyes in anger, and as his tears spilled from his eyes, he brought the tip of the pike forward while he shivered.
And with thrust, he pierced through Granny Davol!
“Gleeward… my boy…” Granny Davol’s face was filled with disbelief.
Then, Granny Davol’s face started to blacken. All her life flowed away from her body and she fell down slowly.
The crowd erupted collectively in panicked howls.
Gleeward gritted his teeth and panted non-stop.
“Haih… these people aren’t as useful as my cuties.” The Blood Mystic covered her mouth and chuckled. The blood red spots on her face started to sway like reeds in the wind. “Of course, when you’re against them, you too, become much weaker… you pitiful human.”
Nicholas stared at everything before him with a dazed look.
“They…” Gleeward’s eyes were bloodshot. He bit down fiercely on his bottom lip, and when his entire body trembled, he pulled the tip of the pike out of the old woman’s body. “They won’t stop…”
The lame man tightened his grip on the pike, as if he was about to leave his palm print on it.
“No matter how I injure them or hurt them, they will only climb up again…”
This was his Shield District.
“They will rush towards me in waves…”
These were the people he should be protecting.
“They will stop me, and they will kill me…”
These were… defenseless, innocent citizens.
Gleeward roared with tears streaming down his face. He swung his arms and lifted the pike.
The crowd drew closer.
The panicked, terrified, trembling, and incomparably familiar faces appeared right before his eyes.
“I kill them…”
The almost broken Gleeward looked like a trapped beast that had been forced to a corner, and he roared in anger, grief, as well as despair,
“Unless I kill them, dammit!!”
Nicholas watched the waves of people pressing in on them, then at the countless corpses that laid down beside Gleeward.
He only felt a cold chill creeping up the bottom of his heart.
The Blood Mystic clicked her tongue. “Tsk tsk, the Soul Slayer Pike… hmm?”
Unprecedented anger shot up in her eyes. “I know more than you do about that toy’s might…
“In Raikaru’s hands, the power executed from that thing is much greater than an amateur like you…
“But I’m still standing here in one piece.” The Blood Mystic brought her hands up. There was a smile on her face, but her words were cold. “Try to guess what it means.”
The Mystic grinned, then threw her head back and laughed.
While under that bizarre excitement of hers, Giza began thinking quickly. ‘I should be able to buy quite a considerable amount of time by doing so. It’ll be enough for me to look for that boy.
‘I’ll find him, then kill him!
‘I will save him!’
As she continued thinking, Kilika extended more tentacles from the bottom of the ground.
Two feverish dashes of red appeared on Nicholas’ pale face. He uttered slowly and with great difficulty,
“Then does it mean that you’ve thought about how to deal with the Soul Slayer Pike right from the start…? Right from the moment you absorbed your ‘food reserves’…?”
The Blood Mystic smiled brightly.
Gleeward could not stop his shivers. He lifted his head and watched the crowd gradually draw closer to him. He stared at their expressions, and his eyes were filled with a numb look as well as resolve.
Nicholas stared at their non-human opponent, and his heart grew heavier with each passing moment.
‘What should we do? Are we supposed to kill all of these still living citizens from Shield District? Kill these thousands and even tens upon thousands of people? And only then be able to fight against her?’
“How could this be?” The Star Killer took a deep breath and shook his head slowly. “‘The Legend of the White Blade Guards’ mentioned the Soul Slayer Pike and also left behind records about you as well as the hydra, but why wasn’t this scene recorded…?”
“Well, I’m not very certain about that either.” The Blood Mystic let out a breath of hot air. Her smile did not fade away. “But I can guess some of the reasons…”
Nicholas and Gleeward frowned together.
“Did you know that the Soul Slayer Pike’s ability was originally known as ‘Life Extermination’?” The Blood Mystic smiled faintly. “But later on, it had its name changed to ‘Elimination’.”
Giza chuckled softly. She raised her head and stared at statue of the hero on the Cliff of the Sky. He held a pike in his hands, as he gazed at the land. He, the man who had unswerving determination, courage, sympathy, tolerance, and greatness gathered on himself.
“In the beginning, Raikaru had a blood heir…” the Blood Mystic faintly said. “His son, his younger brother, his nephew, his uncle…
“They formed the ever loving Eckstedt Family.”
Nicholas and Gleeward stared at each other, and their eyes were filled with shock.
“Until we ran into each other in the battlefield…”
The Blood Mystic narrowed her eyes, and her eyelashes fluttered lightly.
“That so-called humanity’s hero of yours, that merciless, callous, brutal, frightening, cold-hearted man… Raikaru Eckstedt…”
They watched the terrifying and brutal Blood Calamity gently lift her slender fingers, and slowly point it at the advancing crowd.
“He personally lifted the Soul Slayer Pike…”
Giza’s eyes shone with a strange but subtle red light. She parted her rosy lips slightly to speak of a secret that caused their skins to crawl.
“And killed them all… Slayed them all without sparing even a single one of them…”