Chapter 546 A Race Against Time! The Crumbling Dreamworld Part 2/3
Meanwhile, near the forest's outskirts, located past the edge of town, the group of Fraun's knights sped onward, deeper into the woods. However, they were not alone.
Right on their tail was the Grand Protector Tempo, soaring through the air using the Aura powered platform beneath his feet. There was a grim expression on his face as the distance between himself and the carriage was closing rapidly.
Not too far behind Tempo was the 5th light cavalry consisting of eight knights on horseback equipped with light armor and spears. At their current rate of travel, it would not be long before they caught up to the carriage. But, there was a chance the light cavalry would not see any action.
Tempo was infuriated. Osen's behavior and blatant disregard for his standing in the kingdom was a massive slap in the face!
"Osen, you bastard! Stop right there, and I might consider letting you keep your dog life!" Tempo's voice sounded with a boom.
Osen's facial expression darkened. The moment he defied Tempo, he had already come to accept his fate. If he stopped now, not only would he fail his Lord, but his death was sure to be one without honor.
"Galileo, Yura, stop the cavalry using any means necessary!" Osen commanded his two remaining ally knights on horseback.
"Understood!" Galileo and Yura responded in unison as they adjusted the speed of their horses.
"Hm?" Tempo noticed the unusual actions of the knights; however, his goal was Osen and the carriage.
Tempo flew past Galileo and Yura without slowing his pace as the two knights soon intercepted the 5th light cavalry. In the blink of an eye, they became locked in a great battle against the cavalry and halted their advance.
A few moments later, Tempo arrived within striking distance of the carriage as he discharged a wave of white aura from his blade.
The white aura accurately struck the carriage's wheels, throwing the horses off balance and causing the carriage to scrape against the ground. With its balance disrupted at high speeds, Osen lost control of the carriage as it swayed back and forth before ultimately capsizing.
Just as they curved off the road and was about to crash into a tree, Osen released the reigns, cut the horses free, and jumped off the carriage driver's seat all in one breath.
The carriage slammed into a tree and shattered apart as the horses sprinted away without pause.
Tempo landed a few meters away from Osen and the carriage; however, there was a visible frown on his face as he inspected the carriage.
A grin appeared on Osen's face as he unsheathed his sword and took an offensive stance.
"What's the meaning of this farce?" Tempo asked as he narrowed his eyes.
The carriage was in shambles, yet there was no one in sight. This meant that all this time, Osen had been steering an empty carriage!
However, Tempo was confident that there were people inside the carriage back at the gate checkpoint.
"It can't be..." Tempo's eyes widened from shock as he came to a sudden realization.
The king's order, the future queen's kidnapping, Fraun's knights behaving unruly—the people within that carriage, one of them may have been Queen Nixpera! But, if that were the case, didn't that mean Fraun was planning to rebel?!
"You dare betray our kingdom?! Where did you hide our queen?! Speak!" Tempo roared as the aura around him spiked.
"I have no idea what you're talking about, Sir Tempo. I'm merely acting of my own will." Osen stated as he kicked off his back foot and charged Tempo!
"You damned fool!!!" Tempo howled as he lifted his sword into the air and swept it downward in full force.
The surrounding earth trembled as a bright white light engulfed Tempo and Osen.
When the light cleared, a deep cut at least six meters long had formed on the ground, and Osen was nowhere to be found.
Somewhere deep within the forest outskirts...
"We might not have much time before they figure out what's going on, so we can't slow our pace. Ah, it's this way," Nixere said as she led the way forward, with Nixpera and Venare following after her.
"It seems it was a good call to ditch the carriage when we did. Good work, Nixpera." Venare commented after hearing an explosive sound coming from the distance.
Nixpera slightly shrugged, "I just figured it was the best course of action to take if we wanted to avoid a direct confrontation. Since our goal is to leave the dreamworld before it collapses, we cannot afford to get locked into a battle. Not to mention, my combat strength isn't exactly ideal in this place."
Long before Tempo caught up to them and they traveled far enough into the forest, Nixpera suggested ditching the carriage and moving on foot. Naturally, Osen and the other knights were against it, but knowing that Tempo would catch up to them before they made it to the border, they had no choice.
In the end, Nixpera, Venare, and Nixere exited the carriage, while the knights chose to play the role of decoy and led Tempo as far away as possible from their trail.
Now, with Nixere as their guide, the three were quickly coming up on the kingdom's border. As they cut and pushed their way through a thick layer of tall grass, the group emerged from the forest and saw a crowd of silhouettes in the distance. If one looked closely, they could even see a red flag with eight silver stars among them. They were the knights of the kingdom that bordered Sonamus' territory!
"Look! We're almost there!" Nixere exclaimed excitedly. However, there was a hint of sadness that crept through.
Nixere sighed, "It's too bad cousin isn't here with us. I hope he's safe."
"If there's anyone who can find a way out, it's Iz-... it's our cousin." Nixpera reassured.
"She's right. There's nothing we can do for him but to keep him within our thoughts. For now, we can't let Sir Osen and the other knights' deaths be in vain. Let's proceed." Venare stated.
After looking back once more, the three hastily continued their journey towards the borders.
Back at the main palace's throne room...
Woosh! Ding! Ding! Ding!
Izroth exchanged three quick blows of the sword with Sonamus using a combination of the Way of the Heavenly Sword and Viselo's Sword Arts: Four Steps of Death.
But, right as Izroth was about to push forward with his assault, his Soul Sense warned him of potential danger.
A burst of soundwaves fused with Aura was unleashed from Sonamus' sword as Izroth evaded the surprise attack. However, the sound alone was still enough to momentarily disrupt the fluidity of his movements.
"Die!" Sonamus mercilessly brought his sword down upon Izroth's head.
As Sonamus' attack was about to connect with its target, Izroth executed his final remaining use of his Four Steps of Death to fall back out of Sonamus' attack range.
'Those soundwaves are troublesome since I have no way to block them. However, his use of soundwaves is becoming less and less frequent. Is he running out?'
If Sonamus possessed a character skillset, it was likely that he, too, had a limited number of times he could utilize the skills at his disposal.
At the moment, Izroth had no way to counter the incoming soundwaves. In addition, not only had he gone through all his uses of Four Steps of Death, but his other skills were also rapidly depleting.
Izroth had one charge of his Three Steps of Death and two uses of his Two Steps of Death left in play. As for Death In One Step—he still possessed the initial two uses that came with the skill. However, even that would do him no good if he did not first break through the dense Aura encompassing Sonamus.
'This should be good enough. It's time I change my approach.'
Izroth disengaged from the battle and fell back a bit more than five meters from Sonamus.
"Oh? What's this? Are you going to run away again, human insect?" Sonamus said mockingly.
"Who said anything about running away?" Izroth stated calmly.
All of a sudden, a saturated purple aura enveloped Izroth along with the sword in his hands!
"The real fight has only just begun." Izroth pointed his sword in Sonamus' direction.