Chapter 151 – Breaking dawn (4)
============= Graudin’s POV =============
Graudin concentrated on the countless torches that were gathering to a single point in the city. His expression was a rigid mixture of regret and fear. He should have surrounded “Viscount Gaston” and killed him at all costs before he left the city in the afternoon.
But he felt more fear than regret. Even though he knew that Madara’s undead army was in the city and understood the Skeleton Lord would not let him die here, he felt his fingertips cold and numb, while his heart palpitated quickly and loudly. He even felt a chill on the tip of his head, as though there was a sword was hovering over it.
He subconsciously felt the injury on his face. He appeared calm in front of his subordinates, but he was secretly panicking. He could not forget Brendel’s cold eyes as the latter spat out this line:
“I’ll leave your head on your body for now. I’ll come and take it the next time—”
He did not expect his threat to come true only after one day.
He turned back. Behind him was a mysterious guest who wore a suit of black chain armor. He was covered with a black robe with winged patterns on it, wore a dark mask that hid most of his features, and only revealed a pair of golden eyes.
He held on to a huge scythe with his right hand; a sharp golden-clawed glove was worn on it. He was looking at the battlefield over Graudin’s shoulders silently.
The Black Knight, the Scales of Justice, Iamas, one of the four knights of Madara— (TL: This is the first time this character is introduced.)
But he was different from the Pale knight Ebdon or the Red Knight Ladios, as Iamas was already highly ranked as Tarkas’s right hand.
There were many legends about him, and it was rumored that anyone who saw him without his mask would be dead. No living or dead had ever seen his real face.
“Lord Baron. There’s no need to worry, our great army will be here momentarily—” The Black Knight’s voice was pleasant enough to make one think he was smiling under his mask, despite his slightly cold tone. “I have heard from the reports that the viscount is moving on his own. Even though I laud him for his bravery, he clearly lacks the wisdom to see his position. Kabias will have no problems fighting someone who just reached the prowess of a Gold-ranked fighter.”
Even though his words assured Graudin, he thought about the youth that Medes had mentioned before. He paused for a moment as he felt the interest to meet the latter, before he continued speaking: “We will leave the decision to you if you wish to torture or kill him.” (TL: Medes was the one who led the undead surrounding Fortress
(TL: Medes was the one who led the undead surrounding Fortress Riedon.)
Graudin scoffed. He knew Madara was still uninterested to interfere with the nobles’ fights in Aouine, but he was still delighted with his answer.
When he thought about the trouble which Brendel had given him, he ground his teeth in fury and was prepared to give the viscount an elaborate feast. (TL: Graudin drank human blood.)
Death was not going to be a simple thing for him.
=========== Brendel’s POV =============
The battles within the city intensified as the mercenaries assaulted the alleys to pick at the enemy’s defense.
Medissa led the charge, while Brendel followed leisurely behind as he led Sifrid along. The sight of him and the little girl was almost bizarre and the nobles’ cavalry looked on in confusion as to how defenseless they appeared to be.
Those enemies who recklessly charged in found their answers.
With a swing of his sword, all their weapons were either knocked away or shattered into metallic pieces, and it took no more than a second. Their gaping injuries ought to bleed heavily but they were quickly covered in frost. They looked on in disbelief and fell forward as their hearts stopped beating due to the cold.
Brendel mercilessly pushed their bodies away and continued forward. Sifrid’s face was pale, but she did not stop moving and held on to his hand tightly.
During the time where Brendel and his men killed the Jackal, she had seen his cold and angry expressions from a distance. His gaze had caused her to tremble a little, but she came to the conclusion that they were good people when they led her back to the village.
[Enemies of Brother Brendel must be bad people.]
She thought to herself, her hands gripping onto his hands tightly.
Brendel glanced at her in response and discovered the flecks of blood on Sifrid’s forehead. He frowned and wiped them away with his sleeve, wondering if it was a bad idea to bring her along to witness the carnage in the city.
They were very near the inner gates of the city and reaching the path towards Graudin’s manor. While they had made considerable progress in the time frame of thirty minutes, he held no illusion they were ahead of the Madara’s defensive setups.
[—There. Not skeleton soldiers or White Knights, but Zombie Outlanders.]
He managed to discover them hiding within Graudin’s private soldiers. They were moving silently and quickly towards them. Medissa and the mercenaries did not discover the hidden dangers because of a certain spell over them, but it was impossible for him to miss it. The green flames in Zombie Outlanders’ eyes sockets flickered as they were ready to attack the mercenaries.
[Less than 10 meters away.]
“Take care of her.” Brendel passed Sifrid over to Alistair, and leaped into the air.
His Charge ability was activated.
The people near Brendel barely saw a shadow flying over the ground, and witnessed seven continuous flashes of a sword as it sliced through the air. They heard seven combined cracking sounds at the same time before the shadow finally stopped moving and reappeared as Brendel.
The sight before them seemed to distort as body parts of the Zombie Outlanders suddenly appeared and blown away, causing the enemy soldiers to fall backward due to the impact.
His attack ended with his longsword out in the open, while he stood before the mercenaries who gasped lightly. Even though they realized that the youth was a Gold-ranked swordsman the skill he had shown still surprised them greatly. The enemy soldiers were also flabbergasted.
But this momentary silence was broken as an undead Crusader Executioner six meters tall emerged from the inner city’s gates, and made its way through the enemy soldiers, causing them to either be crushed or knocked away with its clumsy movements. The huge axe it dragged across the ground caused stone tiles to crumble loudly and a cloud of dust to form, causing almost everyone to panic.
Both factions watched in horror as they saw the gigantic skeleton in front of them. Even though they knew the Madara’s undead was within the city, they still felt terror to see the creatures only described in legends appearing in the city.
Brendel watched it run before him. He recalled the damned thing caused him to crawl about in Bruglas’s underground auction, but facing it now made him feel like he was watching a slow-motion video.
[Surely one strike is enough to break it into pieces now?]
He mused to himself, but he did not move despite the axe swinging towards him.
A long lance had gone past his shoulder to intercept the huge axe in the blink of an eye. There was a tremendous crash as the lance’s blade cut through the axe’s metallic body and causing it to fall in the midst of the enemy soldiers. Shrieks and yells could be heard almost immediately.
The Crusader Executioner looked at the broken axe in confusion before it looked at the Unicorn Knight guarding the young human in front of it. The Soul Flames in its dark sockets flared.
“My lord.” Medissa was frowning. Even though she was supposedly an undead as well and was used to their presence, the pure bloodlust the Crusader Executioner was emitting caused her to feel uneasy.
Brendel did not reply.
He suddenly turned his head to a specific direction. A small flinch in the shadows caused him to scoff coldly, and he hurled his Blacksteel Longsword there—
A screaming clash of metals assailed everyone’s ears.
The Blacksteel Longsword seemed to crash into a wall of air. Sparks flew as it was smashed away violently. It struck against the ground three times and skidded a long way before it stopped.
Brendel’s eyes never left the spot. The air shimmered and a black shroud seemed to dissipate in the area.
A tall skeleton wearing brass armor and wielding a battle axe appeared. Pale yellow flames darted about in Kabias’s sockets as it glared at Brendel.
It then raised the battleaxe and inspected the damage caused to it. A large gouge could be seen where it deflected the Blacksteel Longsword. Brendel also saw the damage and raised one eyebrow in surprise. He did not think a vice-captain like Kabias was using an ordinary battleaxe.
Every mercenary and soldier stopped moving, and the only sounds in the battlefield were the injured’s cries. The infamous ‘Death God’ Kabias had spread throughout the southern region. The Kirrlutz’s brass armor forged three centuries ago made the skeleton all too conspicuous, while the battles against him made the Aouine commanders give him a description of ‘Devious’.
“…… Madara’s undead general…..”
“Why is it here…..”
Whispers started to sweep across the battlefield, but they were quickly silenced when Kabias spoke.
“The rumor is true,” Kabias ignored the whispers as it observed Brendel and said: “You’re well-versed in Black Magic…..”
“A mere Shadow Shroud, nothing more than a mere cantrip spell. “Brendel sneered coldly.
(TL: I TLed this spell with various names in the past, but I’m going to go back and edit to this name.)
[That spell doesn’t look like a normal necromancer’s work. I’m almost certain Rothko is nearby.]
He secretly paid attention to his surroundings.
“Who exactly are you, young man?” It said with a low raspy voice. “The little act about the Red Bronze Dragon, Leto, might have deceived the foolish nobles, but not me—”
There was a short pause.
“You are the true leader of that band of mercenaries, are you not? And the person who led Fortress Riedon’s refugees out to safety from our attack is also you.” Kabias laughed once: “I have wanted to meet you on the battlefield, since a long time ago—”
Upon this revelation, shocking murmurs broke out once again as the soldiers and mercenaries’ eyes turned to the youth with awe.