Chapter 292: The Center of the World
The sound of iron clashing with iron echoed in the great temple. One by one, the sounds overlapped with one another, hitting one’s ears as if they were exploding. It continued repeatedly with such momentum, not even allowing time to breathe.
The altar of the Great Temple of Flimslat.
In the depths of the great corridor where it stood the altar, the majestic gold and the glorious great evil wielded their blades to annihilate each other’s lives. It looked like the end of everything stood right there.
Helot Stanley’s white blade twisted in front of his eyes. Sparks exploded in the air.
Once upon a time, the great evil defeated him with one swing in his hometown, and that one swing spilled its glitter. The blade that was melted and cast again became much lighter than it used to be.
The white sword had no decoration, no color nor details, and the inscription engraved on the blade was gone. One could say that it was too simple to be the prestigious Stanley family’s sword.
A nameless swing that did not receive the support of magic or even the favor of God. That was the only white blade wielded by the current head of the Stanley family, Helot Stanley.
…However, it was supreme for the bottomless talent of Helot Stanley.
The sword didn’t need any extra decorations or colors, just a merciless power.
For Helot, it was an undeniable conviction, something he wished for. He crushed everything that was a menace to him, and only then did Helot’s human ingenuity showed itself. Every swing of his blade proved it with its sharpness.
However, even with that ingenuity, this duel was not over yet.
The golden hair jumped in the air and was slightly cut. Helot would follow the same ending if he let down his guard, even for a little bit.
Running a fierce purple electricity in front of him was the great evil Lugis Vrilligant. His eyes were sharp as if they were staring at everything, and the atmosphere surrounding him inevitably intimidated those around him.
His behavior and skills were incomparable to those of that night. The swings of his blade, the speed of his legs, everything looked different from that night.
It was the proof why he was standing here now, having gone through all sorts of hardships up to this day, surpassing the experiences that made his heart stronger. Moreover, his growth must had been accomplished because of his own will. The only thing that made a person truly strong was himself and no one else, regardless of the era.
“Oh, yes. He grew stronger than ever. How dazzling he is now. That’s no reason for me to quit this fight now.”
Helot tightly clenched the fingers of both hands, and his golden eye glowed with a blazing light. From that day to today, everything happened just for this moment. “That’s why I am standing here now.”
Helot had only one purpose. “I just want to understand. I just want to say that this is correct.”
Helot lost it all during that fateful day. What was right and what was wrong? So which side was he on? He didn’t fully understand.
Helot remembered the feeling that what he had believed to be immovable until now had disappeared before he knew it.
“What is right and wrong? What was it that I believed in?”
The people of the Great Holy Church called Lugis the great evil, and the Heraldic religion called him a hero. As if they were all pointing to another person.
In the end, Helot didn’t know which side Lugis was on. He thought a lot about it, but he didn’t get an answer.
Perhaps, after all, things like good and evil were just a pendulum that swung according to people’s wishes. It might be wrong to think there was such a thing as justice in this world.
Surely, Helot thought that entrusting oneself to the Great Holy Church, who spoke of justice and goodness with a knowledgeable face, was the ideal form.
However, Helot was no longer pure or wise enough to throw away all his thoughts and swallow the words given to him by those around him without seeking an answer. Everything changed from that day on.
“…That’s why I’ll seek an answer today. If I don’t surpass him, I’ll never get it.”
That was one of Helot’s convictions. There was something beyond Lugis, and anything before him was meaningless. Only one answer was needed.
It was no longer the will of God, nor the justice of the cause, as it had been before, that drove the majestic sunlight now.
Only the great will that resided in Helot’s chest breathed again to take a step forward. There was no other relevant fact.
At this point in time, Helot seemed unable to think deeply about anything else.
Therefore, only Lugis Vrilligant stood before him as an enemy. That fact alone was enough for Helot.
Sparks flew in the air, and for a moment they hit my eyes. It was a very nostalgic feeling, I thought. My eyelids quivered slightly.
In the past, I thought that my eyes would collapse every time I saw those sparks.
The sun shined brighter among the unmistakable heroes who crossed their path with mine. His majestic demeanor was like drawing a knight’s tale. He was noble and perfect, everywhere.
The embodiment of justice, the one who was given the will of God. Helot Stanley was such a person. Respect was always directed at him, and all the brilliance appeared from there.
On the other hand, I was an outcast and a shadowy person. I could not even be burned by the sunlight, as I just reflected the scorching hero in my eyes. In the end, I became nothing since I didn’t grab anything with my bare hands.
That should have been the end. The curtain was drawn, and my meaningless life was supposed to end, until that shadow figure reached me.
…But even though that past was gone, I must have kept looking at the hero’s back like the sun in my heart, deep inside my viscera until the very last moment.
I threw the treasure sword into the air and the purple light shined in the hollow hall. The distance and the trajectory drawn were meant to cut through Helot’s torso without the slightest error. My eyes envisioned such a scene.
Without a single grain of hesitation, I put all my strength into both hands and let them trace that line. The feeling of tearing through the air was in my hands.
At the same time, the sound of the blade cutting through the air echoed in my ears. At the edge of my vision, I could see the white blade flashing like a fragment. It was meant to eat up the blade I was wielding, and then cut off my neck with its trajectory.
I swayed, as if my cheeks were distorted.
The reaction speed and movement of our bodies were enough to confuse the eyes of those around us. I shook the purple light, while Helot shook his white blade. Everything was done with quick, fierce movements.
My eyes narrowed unintentionally.
I had a premonition. If I ran my blade as it was, it would be intercepted by the white blade, and then, it would cut off my neck. Blood would spill, my brain would scatter, and I would die unmistakably. The insides of my eyes were hot and heavy.
Reflexively, I pushed out the leg that was one step longer and closed the gap. I switched the target of the blade from the enemy’s torso to the wrist.
It was not that I thought about it. I just followed the intuition that popped up in my skull. After all, my brain was melted by the heat and lost its meaning. In other words, my thoughts lost their sanity long ago. I didn’t have the slightest freedom to think about anything else.
Therefore, the only thought that existed in my viscera was that if I withdrew, I would certainly die. I took that step to avoid such fate.
The treasure sword drew a straight purple line as it swung high, cutting through the sky. At the same time, I could see Helot forcibly twisting his wrist, causing the white mist to wriggle as if it was going to pierce me.
…The sound of iron scraping against iron exploded. At the same time, a strong sense that resembled a burning smell pierced my nostrils. The purple electricity and the white light overlapped one another again.
A moment after the collision, both of my arms screamed to my brain as if they had been hit strongly, transmitting the prowess of the enemy’s strength. At the same time, my spine was sobbing, and my legs were quivering. All of them were forcibly suppressed by clenching my back teeth. Why? It was always been like this since a while ago. There was no point to fret if my body screamed one time or two.
When I looked ahead, I noticed that Helot’s eye was filled with a light that emitted a violent force. I had never seen him like this before. Even a cruel ferocity was visible.
Indeed, this may be part of the essence of the human being named Helot Stanley. An explosive, violent nature that was once tamed with great justice.
It was by no means heroic, nor could it be called graceful. Everywhere the human violent impulses echoed. Now, it appeared in front of me as if it had lost all its shackles.
Ah, that was great. It was the best. After all, this was the undeniable power of Helot Stanley. If so, there was a meaning to defeat and overcome him.
I wanted to break away from the abominable past and overcome it. I had to surpass the hero whom I admired almost all my life. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to move one step forward. That’s why I thought this was a crucial moment.
After all, how was it possible for me to stand next to the extraordinary heroes while still stuck in the past? I didn’t even have the right to take Ariene’s hand. To hold the hands of my love, I must be worthy of it.
So that it never falls out of my hands again.
Purple and white. There was a momentary pause as they bit each other’s blades. Then next, I removed my blade as if it was knocked down regardless of any direction and held it high again. I took a breath. My lungs were having a spasm.
We no longer spoke to each other. Only this time, standing against each other and being present was everything in the world, and this place was like the center of the world.
I, and I was sure Helot, too, had a hunch.
…The next swing would end this ecstatic moment.
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