Chapter 338: The Enemy of the Motherland
In front of Prison Beulah’s main gate, Vestaline threw her frustration at me. No matter how many words she spoke, none of them matched the number of emotions that were in her expression.
She had an obedient and tranquil personality, but now it was going in the wrong direction.
「…You’re insane to ask for a one-on-one fight. In this situation, it’s like smearing your life with mud. The wounds on your body haven’t even healed, you know that?」
Her mouth finally found the correct words to profess. Her tone of voice seemed to boil with frustration and indignation.
This approach was too harsh. Since I, as the Commander, was trying to buy time by exposing my life to the enemy, wouldn’t it be nice to give me a little encouragement?
It didn’t matter if this choice was good or bad. I was already used of smearing my life in mud. I wanted her to rest assured.
Vestaline repeated several words after that, but it still seemed like she wasn’t saying enough. It looked like she didn’t settle with just words.
However, unfortunately, I couldn’t continue to hear more words. If possible, it would’ve been better to wait for reinforcements.
「The bleeding has stopped. This is more than enough for me. 」
While wiping the snow from my dark-green military uniform, I touched the spots that were slightly stained with blood. The wounds were still here, but they were no longer bleeding. This anomaly was quite eerie, but at the same time reassuring. I had some doubts whether I could return to a normal body again.
The cold air entered my nostrils. My throat made a small ringing sound. Then, I squeezed my fingers lightly.
I spoke grand words with my mouth, but I clearly didn’t have enough physical strength. I felt as if the power within my body had been lost.
How much could I move for a fight?
At this time, I didn’t even have enough room for an extra help. No, I didn’t even have time to spare. More than ever, everything about me was now lacking.
How was I going to be hostile to that woman under this situation? When I thought about it, fear came up from the bottom of my heels.
I opened my mouth again to Vestaline in order to persuade myself.
「This is a war, Vestaline. There’s no way I can tell the enemy to wait until I’m fully healed because I’ve got some wounds. If there’s an enemy, then I have no choice but to do what I have to do.」
The mercenary princess would know this much, I continued. Vestaline pressed her lips and raised her eyes while staring at me. The words she received from me were blurred, covered by the chill of the death snow.
「If you die, I will resent you. Together with my sister, we will resent you a lot. Do you hear me? We will spend our whole lives with that grudge.」
Strangely, it was a voice filled with passion. Give me a break already. Caria and Filaret were not even here. I’ve had enough of that nonsense.
I didn’t reply to Vestaline’s threatening, yet passionate words. I just swung my arms slightly towards my back and went forward.
I knew that she would take care of everything while I was away. I fully understood that she was much more dexterous and superior than I would ever be.
Was it because of her education as a noble? As a military expert, Vestaline possessed a great amount of power and knowledge. It was a shame that someone like her was a mercenary leader. She deserved a much more prestigious position.
That’s why, even if I met my foolish end in front of the enemy general, Vestaline would manage everything smoothly. I believed so.
The treasure sword with purple electricity shook at my waist. It was as if it had a premonition of something.
The prison’s main gate opened its mouth slightly while creaking. Beyond my field of vision, in the pure white landscape covered with death snow, stood a woman.
The figure that came down from the horse and waited for me was the dignified hero. The magical armor based on the silver-rimmed ultramarine looked remarkable.
Even so. That was an undeniable hero. In the past, it was because of her that the Gharast Kingdom was able to hold onto its roots for so long.
…Valerie Brightness. The woman who could only kill a demonic being. And the woman that only a demonic being could kill.
If possible, I didn’t want to be hostile with her. No, rather, it was someone I never dreamed of being hostile to. Without even thinking about it, I knew that her experience on the battlefield and her skills surpassed mine in everything.
However, I couldn’t afford to lose. It would be an insult to me and to those who believed in me. Failing would mean spitting on those who overcame several obstacles without giving up.
Ah, that was something I hated. No matter what happened, I hated it so much.
I bit those words deep inside my chest.
There were no words for that one-on-one fight.
My presence alone was seen as a signal to start the fight. Without saying anything, I pulled out the treasure sword, while Valerie shined with a piercing glare from her magical armor.
And then, in the next moment, the ultramarine magical armor ran across the sea of white snow. At the same time, she wielded her powerful weapon with a clear murderous intent.
What the “Guard” Valerie wielded was not an iron sword. A sword was not suitable to deal with many monsters. Her weapon was not even a jousting spear that knights were good at, nor was it a battle axe or even a dark weapon. They were unreliable in front of a swarm of monsters.
Of course, she could use those weapons whenever she needed. But not now.
Valerie only dealt with one thing. The magical armor itself. Therefore, what she wielded was her own body.
Actually, armor wasn’t even a weapon, it was just an equipment that protected the fragile skin of a human being. However, I had heard that an exception was made for that magical armor.
I didn’t know the details, but her armor was superior to all kinds of weapons, and superior to all kinds of armor. Of course, it was all just rumors.
But even so, it was easy to imagine what she had done with that uncouth armament.
Imagining her crushing every enemy and monster from the skull down to the spine. That magical armor must be able to do that.
And now, that murderous intent and fearsome skill were riding on Valerie’s right fist, threatening to destroy my life.
A swell of fear rushed down my spine. I would prefer to have a knife pointed at me instead.
I reflexively moved my hips, retorted my ankles, and matched the trajectory of the treasure sword. A swing to play with Valerie’s fist and cut off her neck. The blade drew a purple line with a growl and bit into the ultramarine equipment.
The following scene was clearly visible in my eyes. In front of me, the treasure sword and the magical armor joined together.
…At the same time, there was a sound of a large hole opening in the space. That was the unmistakable sound of a collision between two forces.
Sparks were scattered on the snow, and the white color shined brightly.
The treasure sword couldn’t cut through the enemy’s fist. No, on the contrary, it was completely blocked. It was almost impossible to push it in.
My neck was in a vulnerable state. At this rate, I would die. In an effort to restore my posture, I pulled back my sword tip. Then, I jumped behind with the momentum by kicking my opponent up.
However, at that point, Valerie was ready to rotate her hips and deliver her second blow. She turned towards me, who had slightly withdrawn, and fiercely attacked like a storm.
In an instant, the sky exploded. The ends of my cheek’s flesh were torn, and blood covered the death snow. I twitched my jaw as if my teeth were numb. I understood that if her fist were closer by one step, instead of my shredded cheek it would’ve been my skull.
However, I had not even been given time to feel safe. Valerie seemed to be by nature intolerant of delays.
In the midst of the last painful attack, the third blow was already in motion. There was absolutely no room for a break. I was not ready to accept the next blow. Still, Valerie’s right fist was clearly aiming at my vital point.
All of Valerie’s movements were skillful and fast. Everything was breathtakingly sophisticated. Perhaps, I was being swayed as she wanted.
I had to rethink this. Physically and technically, I couldn’t hope for a long-term battle. If I became too greedy with time, I would definitely lose.
If so, I had no choice but to decapitate her with the next swing. My chance of victory comprised of a short instant, which didn’t even last a second.
No, it was more than enough.
I drove my hips reflexively, tightened my armpits and pulled my arms. Then, holding the hilt of the treasure sword, I struck Valerie’s right fist in an oblique direction.
At the same time, the flesh of my whole body jumped while screaming. My bones screamed so much that even the heat of the battlefield could not cover them.
Ah, I didn’t mind. If I could overcome Valerie’s fist, even if my whole body was shattered, it would still be considered a great achievement.
While putting strength into my fingertips that had lost all sense, I held the treasure sword with all my might. And so, without breathing, I waved the purple light.
Even though it was a magical armor, there were always parts uncovered in the person who wore it. The neck was one of them. I shall kill this foe by beheading her neck.
At the same time, something echoed while trying to overlap with my will.
“…Here, just die. Enemy of the motherland.”
I could hear a strange wind noise in my ears.
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