Chapter 548 The Fallen King
"Humans truly have no value for their own lives! A meaningless death!" Sonamus scoffed as he stood to his feet.
Sonamus found Gritt to be delusional in the face of death. So what if he took some worthless illusion with him? The words he spoke were a bunch of nonsense. Bahamut had already slain the other human brat; therefore, Sonamus knew that no one left in the dreamworld had the power to threaten him.
Even if that woman somehow made it to the palace, it would be too late to do anything as the dreamworld was less than a minute away from destruction.
Once the dreamworld was broken, Sonamus planned to keep his promise and exterminate every human in a 100km radius. If that were not enough to quench his rage, then he would increase it to 200km. After all, as a Night Lord of the Antumbra, if he did not retaliate, wouldn't those humans begin to forget their place?
"Honorable One, this servant congratulates you on your victory." A voice echoed as a cloaked figure approached Sonamus.
"Oh? You finally decided to show your face here. Spending your time hidden away like a coward—you are no better than that useless Salokin. Tell me, why shouldn't I kill you after we leave this place?" Sonamus spoke coldly as he narrowed his eyes.
The person removed their hood, revealing a gorgeous woman with curly blue hair and glowing golden eyes. This woman was Mistress Asi, and the person behind her role was the Skounae Earl Essirie.
"I beg your forgiveness! This humble servant had no means to combat the enemy besides with my words and small actions!" Asi kneeled and pleaded.
"Your Silver-Eyed Cloud Snake venom may hold great value, but do not think that you are irreplaceable. When we leave this place, prepare to be punished. If you're lucky, this lord may just permit you to keep your insignificant life." Sonamus stated.
"I thank you for your great mercy!" Asi expressed her gratitude as she bowed with her forehead to the ground while secretly clutching her fist.
As Asi lifted her head from the floor, she caught something moving in the distance out the corner of her eye.
"My lord, behind you!" Asi exclaimed as she pointed towards a pile of rubble in the distance.
Izroth emerged from the rubble covered in dust and several wounds. That surprise attack by Bahamut was more ferocious than he anticipated.
'If I didn't have the protection of Aura and relied on my instincts to react in time with the eighth sword form, I may not have survived that blow just now.'
Izroth knew that the knight was powerful but had no idea it was to such an extent. The fact that Fraun and his two knights could suppress him that long was a miracle in and of itself. But, in the end, it seemed that all three met with an unfavorable end.
'Aurie was fortunate to have such a loyal Captain under her command. To sacrifice himself to provide me with an opportunity—worry not, Captain Gritt. Your sacrifice shall not be in vain.'
Izroth looked towards the sky as a massive black hole had appeared above the dreamworld. Everything was being drawn towards the black hole as larges chunks of the dreamworld had already dissipated. The inside of the palace was the last place being affected by the fragmenting effects.
Izroth realized that he did not have much time nor strength left. The Aura Cell embedded into his sword had been almost completely shattered after he received Bahamut's attack. But, Sonamus was not in the best of shape either, especially after that close vicinity explosion.
Without hesitation, Izroth raced forward with high-speed movements. He executed the last two charges of his Two Steps of Death to give himself a necessary speed boost in order to quickly shrink the distance between him and Sonamus.
Sonamus turned around at Asi's warning and witnessed Izroth swiftly closing in on his position.
"This human insect's luck knows no bounds. He continues to survive time and time again like a pest refusing to be squashed!" Sonamus mocked.
He then continued, "Still, there's no need to leave things to uncertainty when this world is about to collapse. I won't risk following in the footsteps of that pathetic knight. I will simply retreat until the destruction of this world is finished. Once my power returns, that human will-"
All of a sudden, Sonamus felt a piercing pain spread throughout his body, accompanied by a warm red liquid running down his upper back.
"You...! You dare betray this lord?!" Sonamus glared behind him; however, the moment he did so, the object stabbed into his back was driven deeper into him.
Surprisingly, it was not a knight or Izroth who had attacked the Night Lord—but his own ally!
Asi's hands trembled as she released her tight grip on the dagger's handle and backed away from Sonamus. There was a look of fear on her face mixed in with shock, relief, hatred, panic—nearly every emotion imaginable ran through the Skounae Earl.
It was unheard of for a lower bloodline Skounae to harm someone with a superior bloodline. This aspect of their race existed as something believed to be hereditary. Therefore, no matter how much Essirie tried, it should have been impossible for her to injure Zarolas!
Asi tripped as she fell back and landed on her bottom. She stared down at her hands that were shaking nonstop. She—what had she done?
At that moment, what the two Skounae did not know was that they had come across a terrible secret of their race known only to the Night King. The common belief held by the Skounae themselves and those circulated throughout the world was a lie. There was no such thing as a Skounae born with a bloodline restriction!
Instead, whenever a Skounae was born or entered Malentansium, they were secretly affected by a powerful spell. This spell imprinted the "bloodline restriction" into them, and if disobeyed, caused the person to experience unspeakable torment and fear.
The owner of this hidden spell that exhibited such vast influence and power was none other than the current Night King of the Skounae.
The spell had not been broken; however, because of the dreamworld's unique characteristics and isolating those inside from the real world, the effects had been severely weakened.
In that split moment of confusion, Essirie's fear broke free of the weakened bloodline restriction spell, and it caused her to act upon her deepest desires in that moment—to kill Zarolas and survive.
When Asi raised her head, she was met with the sight of an enraged Sonamus faced towards her, and the dread on her face could not be hidden. That fleeting instance of freedom had diminished as she snapped back to reality. Dead! She was dead! The Night Lord would kill her!
But, in his moment of fury, the Night Lord turned his back on the one person he never should.
"I'll kill you!" The Night Lord, filled with killing intent, reached his hands towards the motionless and terrified Asi; however, his movements came to a grinding halt.
A faint flash of purple light streaked past Sonamus' wrists.
Out of nowhere, both of Sonamus' hands plopped to the ground as he saw the tip of a blade enter his line of sight.
Izroth was next to Sonamus with a lowered stance and sword raised into the air before the Night Lord's face, having just used Death In One Step to cleanly slice off Sonamus' hands.
The last bit of power in Izroth's Aura Cell waned as the crystal shattered, and the weak purple aura around his sword vanished.
"Didn't I warn you? You talk... Way too much." Izroth's voice carried no emotion to it as he spoke.
"Wai-" Sonamus wanted to say something; however, it was too late.
'Sword Arts: Four Steps of Death. Death In One Step.'
Izroth utilized the last Death In One Step. This technique combined the movement with the strike. The two happened simultaneously, which meant that by the time the user's movements ceased, their attack would have already taken place.
Furthermore, Izroth united this technique with an improvised version of his Seventh Sword Form: Motionless Killing Stroke. This made the blow virtually undetectable and inescapable!
Izroth's sword brushed past Sonamus' throat, and from an outside perspective, it looked as if the weapon's blade passed right through without doing anything.
However, around two seconds later, a thin line formed over Sonamus' neck.
Sonamus dropped to his knees as his head had been cleanly separated from his body!