Chapter 339: A Predicament and an Opportunity
In a blink of an eye, the blade of the treasure sword bounced off its tip from Valerie’s neck. The treasure sword with the inscription of Hero Killer shined brightly, and it was only a short time until the blade pushed in.
It was released into a small void where I couldn’t hold my breath.
A sound that cut off the wind echoed, leaving behind the feeling that a heavy iron weight went into my hips. It came from a blind spot on my right side, out of sight.
It was far from breaking just the bones. It had the power and shock to divide the body into two parts.
What was this? What was I attacking? It felt incomprehensible. No, what did Valerie do?
These confusing questions appeared in my brain in an instant, and then disappeared. The whirlpool of information that came into my vision did not allow me to think properly. I couldn’t even comprehend the situation.
That’s why I followed my instincts and used the momentum given by my right hand. It was much better than doing nothing. The tip of the treasure sword ended up just grazing the edge of the magical armor, and my body was thrown into the air.
It wasn’t until I landed on the ground that I realized I had been kicked by her armor. I could see Valerie moving her gaze as she raised her left leg.
How foolish. I should have knocked her down with my sword in order to change her offensive position. How could I let her bring the next wave of attack?
Not even Helot Stanley would make this mistake. This type of attack would be enough for him to counterattack alone.
At the same time as I had those thoughts, my body was thrown onto the hard ground once again. The large amount of snow did not help. It was as if my body had been struck by iron after being thrown into the air for a long moment.
For a few seconds, my body emitted no pain, as if confused. My limbs still didn’t understand what happened. Then, the next moment came like an immediate rainfall.
Gastric juices flowed backwards, the inside of my body burst, and a large amount of blood flowed. The bones in my body screamed, and the muscles seemed to have been forcibly torn off by someone. As expected, this body could not withstand that impact, and I could see that the closed wounds opened one after another.
It was awful, the worst. I felt a very bad taste. I must get away from her as soon as possible.
「…You. Are you cursed? I see. That’s why you are rough, fearless. 」
When I stood up, my body made a strange sound. It seemed like my bloody hips would explode. After leaning over, I heard a voice. It was Valerie’s voice that I heard for the first time since we began this fight.
A voice that looked down on me. A voice that I found absolutely irritating.
「Sorry, but my personality hasn’t changed since the old days. Besides, I’m just a human being, can’t you see? Or are you blind?」
Cursed. Sometimes called the Heretic or the Blessed One. Although it had undergone several designation changes depending on the times, the fundamental part remained the same.
Spirits, fairies, demons. Those who had received those blessings that the Great Holy Church did not recognize. A word that referred to a person who was inflicted by a curse. Only the people of the Great Holy Church would use such nasty words.
While dangling my useless arms, I managed to grasp only the treasure sword. I could feel my fingers, but I couldn’t wield the sword.
Apparently, I fell on my elbow when I was thrown to the ground. It would be difficult for my arm to rise.
Okay, I was in a predicament. How could I change the board’s direction? How was I going to knock her to the ground? Strangely, such thoughts flooded my mind. Of course, it was only natural because I couldn’t afford to lose. It didn’t matter if I couldn’t raise my arms.
I moved my eyes amid the falling death snow. Then, I took a step forward towards Valerie. It was a small distance that could be lost instantly if Valerie decided to attack me.
Somehow, I searched for a moment. A moment where I could deceive Valerie’s vision.
「…Speaking of which, you said that I hurt your ally. I thought deeply about it, but I couldn’t find an answer. Who were you talking about?」
I opened my mouth and widened my eyes as I said those words. I managed to put my right hand on the sword. I had to pretend to be normal, even if it was untrue.
Oh gosh, this strategy didn’t make sense. Valerie was an undeniable battle veteran. She must had seen through my condition. It was obvious that I was injured even before this fight began.
So it didn’t make any sense since she even mentioned a curse. It wouldn’t be funny if my skull was crushed because of this stupidity, even in the name of chivalry.
However, for some reason, Valerie narrowed her eyes for a moment before opening her mouth.
「Richard Permillis. He’s your teacher, isn’t he? Why did you betray him? Above all, why did you take the hands of the Old Believers? 」
I rounded my eyes when I heard the familiar name. The cold air came into my mouth.
Valerie’s words were packed with unmistakable heat. This woman, who had acted coldly even in the midst of the struggle, was now unhinged when uttering those words.
That old man. What happened between him and this woman? Compared to the old man, she was a young woman. They had a massive age gap. No, knowing my nasty teacher, it wouldn’t be strange if something happened. Still, I honestly wondered.
Oh well. I didn’t care about the details of their relationship. If the presence of the old man had stirred this woman’s soul, then I had to thank him. I took another step in the snow.
「What, you’re an acquaintance? I never thought the old man had such bravery. 」
My voice was almost hoarse. Every time I said a word, my throat felt like it was being cut.
「We swore our ideals together. We vowed to make our country great together. This is the last time. Answer me. Why did you betray him? 」
The mouth that spoke was calm. The color of her words was also like iron. However, there was certainly an emotion hidden in it.
As expected, that’s where the wrath of this woman laid.
The person named Valerie Brightness was flawless. She even showed a sparkle close to the one Helot Stanley used to show. An undeniable hero, with a nauseating integrity. She was the kind of person whom nobody had the chance to take advantage of.
However, she only had one antagonist in this place. And it was not me, but her emotions. Even a great dragon could be defeated when filled with emotion and rage. Valerie had them too.
If a person could be shaken by emotions, then that person was the same as a scarecrow to me.
「Why are you trying to blame me? Who betrayed who? I used the old man because it was convenient for me. The old man is exactly the same as me, since he often uses other people for his own schemes. 」
I continued to speak after creating more words in my mouth. I was looking at her from the edge of my vision.
「Hey, Valerie. Don’t tell me…you don’t realize the old man is using you? You’re pathetic, but I sympathize with you.」
In an instant, the anger burned her cheeks. Even though I kept my distance, I could still feel the bottomless rage. Her eyes pierced me in a straight line.
There was no mistake. There was a lot of heat in her eyes that even ordinary people didn’t have. Valerie’s eyes widened, and her canine teeth showed its sharpness.
Her eyes no longer held other emotions but a murderous intent. She even matched the ferocious will of a magical beast. And then, with that will, Valerie spoke.
「I won’t give you a peaceful death, Great Evil. 」
The ultramarine armor ran through the snow. In a second, her fist would pierce me. I could no longer dodge such attack.
However, I was able to buy this moment. Valerie, who had always been alert and attentive to her surroundings, was now just looking at me.
Ah, I wanted this moment. Yes, I was a Great Evil. Therefore, there was no point in following useless chivalry here.
It came behind her back with a great momentum. That was enough. At the edge of my vision, the aurora of magic was running.
…It pierced through the canopy. The serpent of fire melted the world and devoured its enemies without leaving any bones behind.
As the world warped, the serpent, which swirled with flames, opened its jaws to Valerie.