Chapter 283: The Resoluteness to Engage
I spoke while watching the Cathedral Knights in the distance after dispatching the advance units into the depths of the Great Temple.
「…Eldith, please lend me a hand. Just move your fingertips a little. 」
After observing the situation for a while, I realized that the Cathedral Knights, despite their infamous reputation, seemed to be a fairly cautious group.
There was no such thing as acting solo, and there was always a group of three or four people who stepped firmly on the ground. Yet, they avoided forming a cluster in order to create an escape path from their surroundings.
The advance units so to speak, seemed to be walking blindly inside the Great Temple, and were measuring the distance between them and the main party. The evidence was that they were walking step by step at absolutely equal intervals.
I honestly thought these knights were quite troublesome. A group of cautious men like this never caused confusion or panic. They had the ability to swallow events that had fallen on the spot unexpectedly.
Excellent military knights always behaved that way. I unconsciously narrowed my eyes and touched my chin with my fingers.
I had to find proper measures against such people. To dilacerate through its throat with a single bite. At the very least, the group must be half-destroyed so that it could never function again.
If we killed one or two people with a trap, they would definitely overcome it. If they sensed an anomaly, they would respond immediately and catch the enemy in a blink of an eye.
For such people, there was no point in reducing their numbers by one or two with Caria’s sword fighting or Filaret’s magic capability.
The fastest way was to throw their flesh and souls into the snow with battlefield magic.
I thought their white armors were naturally equipped with magic resistance, but even so, they were too thin to stand against Filaret. It was like trying to block sword attacks with feathers. I could see the good results.
However, it was necessary to assume that Ariene was not in the enemy side. It would require a great deal to exclude one person from the enemy’s main force. Even Filaret would not be able to impersonate such magic.
Besides, as the name suggested, battlefield magic was not something that could be invoked indoors. If it went well, of course, it would be good, but if it went badly, the temple itself would evaporate before I rescued Ariene.
That’s why it was desirable to have a side spear that didn’t rely on magic or swordsmanship powers, but one that devoured them from within. The spirited arts were that side spear.
I moved my eyes slowly towards Eldith. On the other hand, Eldith, who was holding her hat with her small hands, picked my words and distorted her mouth.
「Eldith…who is that? I’m just a traveling elf. 」
What was she talking about? Involuntarily, my shoulders became weak. I could feel that my eyes naturally jumped up greatly.
To be honest, it took me a few seconds to digest what Eldith was saying. It seemed that Caria and Filaret felt the same. I could see the silver and black hairs wandering around in the air, confused.
When I was about to say something, I saw the blue eyes dancing in the darkness.
「The elf named Eldith was told to go home because she is useless to you. I don’t think it is a good idea to rely on that person now.」
The wind that blew east would not blow west next. Eldith, no, the traveling elf said so like a bird chirping. Her cheeks showed a soft smile.
I see, apparently my advice had spoiled the princess’ mood quite a bit. I never expected to get revenge like this. Or rather, I thought it was more of a play for her than it was for me.
I couldn’t even imagine how she showed such gentle and fickle figure when she was once thought to be the very thing of violence and terror. I narrowed my eyes.
At the very least, I didn’t remember saying that she was useless, so I shrugged lightly my waist while thinking about it. Then, I took Eldith’s cold fingertips in response.
「I apologize for being such an unsatisfactory knight, Princess. Please, can you lend me your hand…」
The sound of a single gust of wind resounded inside the temple, which was almost windless.
「…Of course. If it is my knight’s wish, I shall gladly accept it. 」
Perhaps, there was some astonishment because of my behavior. “I hope you’re not doing this kind of thing to every woman who crosses paths with you.” Filaret’s voice struck my ears in response.
Garras Gargantia looked at his pocket watch, gnashing his long, pointed canines. The silence of the temple was only disturbed by the previous ticking sound of long footsteps.
The three units that Garras had dispatched to explore the deepest parts of the temple had not returned.
It was only a slight delay, but it was quite possible that they got lost somewhere. Maybe they even encountered a trap or two.
However, it was still strange that all three units were late. Even if nothing happened, Garras clearly instructed them to return back. The Cathedral Knights were loyal to their orders, regardless of what they thought in their hearts. They were raised as such creatures.
The fact that they did not come back meant that something went wrong. Garras’ canine teeth rang once again.
「Commander Garras. Shall we go back? 」
The man who had been appointed as the vice-commander spoke with a low-pitched voice. He must have noticed that the advance units were late. He was a dull-eyed man, but he was a man of good insight.
Garras shook his head for a second.
「No, let’s proceed. Whether it is finding our knights in distress or achieving the Songstress’ goal, proceeding until the end comes first before going back. If there are guys with pale faces, you can leave them behind.」
Garras decided not to step back nor send another advance unit. When Garras said such words, the vice-commander nodded without much objection and pulled his words back into his throat.
Garras snorted lightly. Rather than just being a cautious man, Garras thought the vice-commander dared to say the opposite of what he truly thought. He was a man of great discipline all the way around.
It was Garras favorite saying that if all the people who held the leader position had different ideas, it would mean the end of the group.
“However, as I just said, I can’t turn my back on this place now.”
The revelation of Songstress Ariene pointed to the interior of the temple. There were people who went there and didn’t return on time. Therefore, if Garras turned back now, he would be less than a carrier pigeon.
Therefore, the Cathedral Knights had no choice but to move forward. If the people who were sent ahead were caught in a trap, Garras and his main party could still save them if they advanced now.
While having such thoughts, Garras opened his mouth. It was a moment of anomaly.
“…The vice-commander disappeared in front of my eyes. I could not even see the tail of his shadow.”
It was not like he suddenly suffered a traumatic injury and fell down, nor did he smell a dazzling poison.
Even if he were completely wrapped in magic, he wouldn’t vanish without a sound. The white armor worn by the Cathedral Knights was not soft enough to easily knock them unconscious with just one spell. So what was happening?
In Garras’ brain, the scenarios disappeared one after another in an instant. At the edge of his vision, he saw that not only his vice-commander, but also several of the knights had had disappeared. He reflexively moved his hips and rang his ankles.
His ferocious skull didn’t wait to come to a conclusion and swung his crimson spear. The sound of space being torn apart echoed and a hole opened in the space. Everything happened in the blink of an eye.
Iron and iron meshed together, creating an endless sound of a musical instrument.
Sparks scattered through the dim darkness of the temple, making the space flicker in that light. The sound of swordplay was repeated three or four times during a single act without breathing.
Stronger and sharper were the sounds as sparks continued to fly. After the sixth echo, the sparks and sounds finally stopped.
By that time, no one was seen around Garras; both the knights under his command and also the girl who was called a saint.
On the contrary, the surroundings had fallen into complete darkness, except a single piece of silver that could be seen amidst the hollow. Garras said, without great impatience.
「It’s different from magic. Even if it’s an elf spell, it’s still quite a strange phenomenon. Hey, how were you able to imitate something like this…Knight Caria Burdnick?」
Garras spoke casually. However, neither his eyes nor the crimson spear that was thrust were suitable for the words he spewed out of his mouth. The energy emanating from Garras’ body showed his ferocious fighting spirit.
The silver-haired person spoke while the strands of her hair swayed in the air.
「Screw you. I told you that I’m no longer a knight. 」
After saying those words, Caria’s eyes opened like a lion’s, and her beloved silver longsword cut straight through the darkness. Unlike Garras, the fighting spirit oozed out in her words.
Both of their ferocious resoluteness meshed with each other, distorting the space. No one would stand the pressure, and even a creak seemed to come from the air.
Caria took a step forward.
「Let’s choose, Cathedral Knight Garras Gargantia. 」
Caria’s lips rippled as if it were nothing special.
「…An honorable death in battle or hanging after being exposed; which is better for you? 」
Ohhh quite a reversal. Now it is Caria to point the weapon at the opponent and threat him! Go Caria!!!
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!