Chapter 153 – Breaking Dawn (6)
A metallic scream exploded in everyone’s ears. Brendel’s longsword smashed into Kabias’s battleaxe, forcing the Skeleton Lord back several steps before it managed to shrug away the attack. In order to balance itself, the battleaxe’s pommel was thrust deeply into the ground’s stone tile, while Brendel continued his charge into the crowd—
“What ability is that!?” The giant skeleton finally regained his balance after his body was arched backward, and roared with fury and surprise. The way how Brendel reacted to its defensive maneuver felt almost like he was seeing through everything; it was unlikely to anything else other than an ability.
“Something that will take your life away!” Brendel also regained his footing and yelled as he rushed back with his sword to attack Kabias’s flank.
But no matter how quick Brendel’s blade appeared to be like a flash of lightning which had descended onto earth, it was much too slow in Kabias’s eyes. It waited until the final moment when the longsword could no longer deviate from its path before Kabias’s torso slipped away. The latter’s foot landed onto the side heavily, sending dust and cracked stone fragments upward, its body rotating once with a heavy swing of its battleaxe towards Brendel’s body as a counterattack.
The single white line from Kabias completely changed in a single moment, weaving into an inescapable net.
“My lord!” The Elven Princess who was putting half of her attention realized the danger he was in.
Brendel had also realized the sword’s failed attack; it was too late for him to dodge the battleaxe—
But a miracle happened.
A slender figure of blazing flame streaked across the ground and burned into the crowd’s eyes.
A reverberation rattled everyone’s eardrums as metal met each other. The Spear of Lightning extended before the two fighters and cut across Kabias’s black battleaxe. The snaking fiery flame soon emerged as a girl with a red-haired ponytail trailing behind her. Her arms were trembling a little as she knocked away the enemy’s weapon, before falling into a stable stance with her hands gripping her halberd tightly.
Scarlett’s amber eyes were steady and calm.
Another thunderous clash rang out.
As it time was frozen in its place, Brendel’s sword had accurately struck across Kabias’s right chest; the rush of power erupting from Power Break extending itself into the blade and seeping into the ancient armor. The whirlpool of air in the skeleton’s chest broke its weak Aura Barrier, and cracking sounds echoed repeatedly in there.
Kabias felt three of its ribcage’s bones break before it was completely launched into the air from the impact.
Kabias, Scarlett and Medissa had this word in their mind when they saw this scene. The blade had clearly missed its mark because Kabias’s body slithered away, yet when the blade swung into its designated path—
Kabias’s body was still in its original position.
Brendel had swung with everything in his body to take advantage of Kabias’s momentary distraction. A line of white frost had followed the blade’s path and continued to assail Kabias even in mid-air, hurling it uncontrollably with countless rotations onto the ground. Meters of dust and soil were agitated as the ancient armor collided violently several times against the street’s pavement, before it finally stopped against a thick wall with a tremendous boom. A cloud of dust prevented visibility of its fate.
Brendel’s longsword cracked into multiple fragments and dropped onto the floor. He had forgotten about going after Kabias as he looked on with slight disbelief.
[I did not make a mistake by seeing things wrongly in this low-level ‘brawl’. I really did miss that attack, meaning there’s another reason why I managed to strike Kabias?]
He discarded the sword hilt and randomly took another sword out from a nearby fallen soldier. The ordinary swords were unable to handle his current power. He missed the Thorn of Light. Even though it was also a low-level weapon it was still a magic artifact. He sent a signal to Scarlett who nodded and they began to run towards Kabias.
The Skeleton Lord got up shakily from the wreckage. That attack could not be said to have given it a fatal strike, but its condition was far from optimal. Brendel had used Power Break on his attack, and there was no one in the Gold-ranked tier who could receive it directly on the chest.
It felt the armor’s dent with its hand.
Before the Skeleton Lord had a chance to complain about the ridiculous attack, it saw two figures approaching it; one red and one black.
[A good strategy, but you’re too slow to make it work.]
Kabias lightly tapped his feet forward a few steps before it leaped forward with the battleaxe rising into an uppercut to meet his opponents. The screeching metallic din pierced through the battlefield when it collided against two weapons, causing the nearby men to cover their ears subconsciously.
Brendel did not expect the Skeleton Lord to know this ability as well. When he reacted, Scarlett had uttered a groan and was hurled backward. The sudden shockwave reached him and he was also slightly knocked off his feet.
The ordinary longsword, as well as Kabias’s battleaxe, turned into countless metal fragments.
The youth immediately used both of his hands to cover his eyes. The fragments had scattered with a frightening impact that shot at both Kabias and him. Merciless pain struck him as his entire body received the shrapnel attack.
[My strength isn’t much higher than Scarlett, so why did she get blasted off and I knocked off my feet? …… Kabias did this intentionally—!]
The corner of his eyes glanced in front of him and indeed discovered throwing away his battleaxe. At the same time, a glittering gold sheen appeared in his skeletal claws. Short laughter gurgled in its throat, and the glitter turned out to be a short spear. Red mist accompanied the weapon as it launched forward in a bloody line with Kabias’s full strength towards his shoulders.
[Magic weapon, shit, it’s too fast—]
He was unable to avoid it. Kabias could almost imagine the youth’s unfortunate shrill scream of pain but—
It did not strike true.
The Skeleton Lord looked at the empty ground before it subconsciously raised its skull up, and saw Brendel appearing in mid-air with his right thumb pointing towards the ground. He was wearing a victory smile.
What Brendel did was to flip his body around and use the Ring of the Wind Empress to launch himself up into the air. No matter how many times he thought about it, he found it odd that Kabias used an ordinary battleaxe as his main weapon. When he saw it taking out a spear, he reacted immediately.
The Wind Bullet did not hurt him much, and it helped him in escaping this critical situation and even turned it around.
Brendel took out a dagger from his boots as he spun in the air and sliced towards Kabias with the aid of gravity.
The Skeleton Lord’s reaction was quick enough, and prepared to dodge and counterattack. However, the situation that happened earlier repeated itself.
Kabias was completely certain it had dodged it, but the dagger cut through the air and struck accurately onto its skull.
It wanted to roar out in fury, but a loud slam forced its rage back as it was sent flying away.
Brendel carefully landed on his feet with the aid of that attack, and pounced towards Kabias. He had no time to confirm the strange feeling and chose not to use Power Break in order not to ruin the weapon in his hands.
Kabias was cursing with rage, trying to dodge the incoming blade and find an opportunity to counterattack. However, the same thing happened yet again. It had clearly avoided the attack but the dagger still managed to hit it.
The battlefield had most of its men stopping their actions and looking at this unforgettable sight:
The youth, Lord Gaston, the true hero of Fortress Riedon was using a dagger to strike at Kabias’s body, and the latter somehow seemed to have rehearsed with him a fancy dance. No matter how hard the Skeleton Lord tried to dodge the attacks, Brendel easily cut him over and over again with the dagger clanking away on his armor and bones.
The speed of the attacks was a blurry mess, and a few started to wonder if the skeleton was truly deserving the name of Reaper. Even more thought the youth was a secret Knight from the Holy Cathedral of Flames. (TL: It has been mentioned before, but anyone who has an Element power needs to register in the Holy Cathedral and they are recognized as Knights.)
A twenty-years old Knight?
More and more people started to believe in that notion as the strikes kept landing on the undead general. The morale of Graudin’s men was completely gone when they saw Brendel’s ‘frightening prowess’. A Gold-tier fighter without an Element Power could still be taken down using numbers, but once they unsealed their Element power, they would become an inhuman existence.
Nobody wanted to fight this hopeless battle, and become cannon fodder for delaying these monsters, especially when they are just soldiers who came for merely money and authority.
Brendel’s dagger finally broke with his final attack as he watched Kabias fly into a building like a punching bag. He exhaled with relief and threw away the hilt.
He was careful to distribute the stress to every part of the blade, but it merely lasted twenty-odd attacks before it finally broke. He finally had the time to reflect on the odd attacks. Every single one of them had supposedly missed its mark but it still somehow landed on the skeleton.
His thoughts were interrupted as Kabias bellowed: “What kind of fucking Element power is this, you damned living creature!”
Brendel gave a thoughtful nod as he picked up another sword as he agreed with Kabias’s words.