Chapter 144: The Sword of Baptism’s Death
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
In the heart of Dragon Clouds City, in an alley of the Armor District, three old friends had finally drawn swords against one another.
Under the moonlight, Kohen cupped his nose which had been damaged for no reason, and shot a glance at the man and woman who attacked each other because of their disagreement.
He knew that he did not have the right to intervene on this duel, Miranda would not let him.
His poor nose could attest to that.
Luckily for him, compared to a few years back, Miranda had learned how to control her strength.
Kohen shifted his attention back to the fight, in which Miranda initiated the first attack. Her sword aimed at Raphael’s chest!
Meanwhile, Raphael lifted his thin-bladed sword in his left hand and launched a counterattack at a much higher speed than Miranda, directing it at her throat.
However, as if Miranda had predicted his next move, she redirected the course of her sword’s movement and swung it at Raphael’s left hand. From afar, it looked as though he stretched his arm out to meet her sword.
Kohen was amazed. It was the power of Miranda’s Pegasus’ Music that listened and controlled the pace of the fight, rendering the opponent a puppet of his own making.
Raphael’s eyebrows furrowed. He retracted his weapon and was forced to retreat. He knew very well what his former lover was capable of, trying to avoid following her pace.
However, Miranda’s gaze was as cold as ice. She launched a timely attack, and when Raphael pulled back his right leg, she cut towards his left leg which acted as his center of gravity, interrupting his pace when he retreated and tried to regain his composure.
Raphael was forced into a pathetic state by that sword and was forced to stop retreating to intercept this sword.
Right at that moment, as if Miranda predicted Raphael’s movements, she moved her arm, and the whooshing sound of wind rose!
Kohen panicked as he watched them from afar.
In ten seconds, their swords did not connect, clash, or collide. They merely swung their swords in the air, stirring up ripples in the air.
In spite of that, Kohen knew it was a treacherous duel.
In the next moment, Kohen saw Miranda’s blade avoid Raphael’s block, evade Raphael’s sword that was avoiding her strike, and avoided his counterattack in the nick of time, and then instantly flung at Raphael’s head!
The sound of a sword slashing through the air rang out.
In that moment, Raphael’s dark red eyes flickered with a strange emotion.
His left arm visibly trembled. And then, the thin blade left behind afterimages under the moonlight as it swung in the air!
Their weapons clashed for the first time, emitting an ear-splitting screech in the air!
Kohen knit his brows firmly, suppressing the urge to cover his ears. Raphael gnashed his teeth and took three steps back in alarm. Meanwhile, Miranda remained where she stood. Her silhouette flickered.
A silence descended upon them.
Stony-faced, Miranda made a jerk with her wrist and a few strands of hair flew off her sword. Raphael panted slightly, touching his right temple. A bleeding gash appeared across his sideburn.
Kohen sighed, unsurprised. Miranda was still unquestionably the strongest among them.
Raphael rubbed off the blood on his hand. He sighed and shook his head with a bitter smile. “When it comes to meticulous observation, looking for opportunities in the beat of the fight… You are skilled as always, Miranda.”
Kohen made a cough, eyeing Miranda’s expression cautiously. “So, Raphael, I guess that’s all for today. It HAS been a long time.”
Miranda had yet to know about Raphael’s Power of Eradication. If the fight went on, the eagle-eyed Miranda would…
He had to stop the fight. But at that very moment, a voice that startled both men rang abruptly.
“Raphael, where has your ‘Sword of Baptism’s Death’ gone?”
Kohen felt a shiver. Raphael bowed his head.
Miranda’s voice was shaking. “The Power of Eradication that uses its offensive abilities to replace all manners of defense, and which is the absolute form of all counterattacks…”
“All these years, you are the only person whose awakened power could dissipate the rhythm-dominance effect of The Pegasus’ Music…
“Why is it gone?”
Kohen closed his eyes woefully. ‘Damn. She found out.’
Miranda suddenly raised her head. Under the moonlight, her cold facial expression was tinted with a hint of panic and disbelief.
“This is not the rhythm of the ‘Sword of Baptism’s Death’. It’s not even your regular sparring rhythm!” the swordswoman said slowly. “Despite my hands… I could feel the chilliness. The power that resides in your hands… It’s a different power…
“What is that… Raphael Lindberg?”
Miranda’s eyes were like two sharp blades that shot at the silent Raphael. Kohen slapped himself on the temple with extreme vexation.
The three of them said nothing for a few seconds until Raphael began, gently and coolly, “This is the ‘Prayer of the Dead’. Frankly speaking, it is similar to the ‘Sword of Baptism’s Death’.” The young man in white snickered. His voice sounded cheerful and casual. “It fights for the slimmest chances for its wielders’ survival within milliseconds, and the ability to turn defeat into final victory is brought to its absolute limits. Their styles are very similar. I had assumed your hands wouldn’t sense the difference.”
“Just like how the ‘Touch of Greed’ is the Disaster Sword’s equivalent to the ‘Glory of the Stars’…” Miranda, whose eyebrows were twisted into a deep knot, asked again anxiously, “This so-called ‘Prayer of the Dead’ is the dark counterpart to the ‘Sword of Baptism’s Death’?”
Her gaze was filled with indescribable emotions and fixed on Raphael.
“The Power of Eradication belongs to… the Disaster Sword?”
‘Looks like Miranda has collected a substantial amount of information about Disaster Swords, and in such a short time.
‘While I…’ Kohen thought of the young man who managed to escape, and blushed.
“Klein was being too chatty with you.” Deep in thought, Raphael narrowed his eyes. “Even if he is a rebellious successor from outside the Tower, for someone who is nearly a supreme-class swordsman, he talks too much.”
Unexpectedly, Miranda started laughing. Kohen was startled, and Raphael’s eyebrows drew together.
“Is this what you have been keeping from me, Kohen?” Amid her laughter, without turning around, Miranda said to Kohen with a cracked voice, “The Seed selected by Tower of Eradication once every five years; one of the candidates to become the supreme scion, Raphael Lindberg…
“Joined the Disaster Swords?”
The question caused Kohen to squeeze his eyes shut. Raphael stayed silent.
The police officer tried to speak but hesitated when he was about to do so, his mouth opened and closed. Eventually, he lowered his head. All the words he intended to say turned into a sigh.
All of sudden, Miranda leaped forward like lightning. Her sword shot forward like a fleeting swan.
This time, however, she was not aiming at Raphael’s vitals, she aimed at the sword in his left hand!
Kohen was bemused—attacking the opponent’s weapon was not the standard tactic. What surprised him was that Raphael, who had been smiling the whole time, paled at this non-threatening slash!
The two blades collided once more, but Miranda retracted her sword immediately.
She glared at Raphael, unblinking, as if she had forgotten about everything else around her. Meanwhile, Raphael watched her. His face had paled as though his vitals were attacked.
Kohen rubbed the back of his skull, gawking at them with bewilderment. ‘Weird. The attack just now did not inflict any injury at all. Why are these two acting so weirdly?’
Miranda’s voice came a moment later. “This is the reason… why the ‘Sword of Baptism’s Death’ disappeared?” The voice of the daughter of Arunde quivered. “For three years? Three years?!
“It was him? That’s the reason? HIM?”
The young man in white was stunned with Miranda, his expression was hard to read.
‘Mira. She found out at last.’
Their first encounter after three years… and she found out right away. He closed his eyes.
The swordswoman lifted her chin and shouted at him, “Raphael, you lofty moron!”
Raphael said nothing. He merely watched her calmly.
Kohen gawked at Miranda, she seemed to be having a meltdown.
‘What the… What just happened? Wasn’t she a “strong independent superwoman” a moment ago? Why is she turning into a ‘distressed ex-girlfriend’ all of sudden?
A second later, the swordswoman whipped around and stabbed at the wall next to her with her sword!
Raphael heaved a long sigh.
With a dark look, Miranda let go of the sword and let the sword handle shake in the wind.
“This man, I curse him…” She turned around, teeth clenched. Full of despair and anger, she gave a chilly laugh.
“He deserves it! Serves him right!” the swordswoman bellowed.
Raphael slipped his sword back into its sheath.
“Don’t be upset, Mira.” The young man in white shook his head and said softly, “It’s not worth it.”
Kohen’s jaw dropped. He was almost driven mad by the situation before him.
‘What’s with these two? They stopped halfway through the fight? And then started talking cryptically in cries and coos?! Sword of Baptism’s Death? Lofty moron? He deserves it? Not worth it?’
He, the Class Two police officer of the Western Police Station and the head patrolman of the city defense team of Eternal Star City, Kohen Karabayen, was flummoxed.
‘It’s impossible to understand what’s going on!’
Kohen scratched his head in frustration. He inched closer to his two friends and chimed in, “I think… Can anyone explain this situation to me? Miranda, I know Raphael owns the power of a Disaster Sword… but must you have a meltdown—”
Miranda and Raphael looked at him simultaneously, glowering as they yelled.
“Shut up, Kohen!” Miranda was burning with rage.
“Not now, Kohen!” Raphael’s facial expression was cold as ice.
Kohen, interrupted by the both of them at the same time, had his half-opened mouth hanging in the air.
His eyes widened in an innocent and bewildered fashion. With both arms in the air and a smile on his face, he nodded and bent his back in an overly polite and obedient fashion before he took a step back.
“Alright, alright. You two continue. Go on.” The confused police officer then mumbled to himself, “An unintelligent person like me probably shouldn’t join in.”
‘This stupid couple.’
Interrupted by Kohen, the three of them remained quiet for another long while. Two of them were immersed in complicated and profound emotions, while the third one heaved a sigh of boredom.
Miranda tried to regain her composure, lowered her head, and let out a cold laugh. “So, the ‘Sword of Baptism’s Death’ is never coming back, is it?”
‘Just like you?’
Raphael knew what she intended to say. He sighed softly with a complex look in his eyes.
“The ‘Sword of Baptism’s Death’ originated from the warring period in the Chronicles of Constellation’s Kings.” The young man in white shook his head ruefully. “A brave, skilled, and loyal knight was betrayed by his king and died tragically with a tainted name.
“However, the son of the knight managed to escape. He washed the blood off his father’s sword by the river and vowed to get revenge,” Raphael said. “Many years later, he joined the enemy kingdom and became a knight.
“After years of brutal, bloody battles and massacres, the young knight, at long last, led his new king’s army to raid the tyrant’s castle and personally slaughtered his enemy.
“However, this did not satisfy him. As he tread down his path with the flames of vengeance burning the roads he walked, he felt only emptiness and grief.
“Seeing the daughter his enemy had left behind, seeing the fear and resentment in her eyes, the knight’s steely heart softened, and a realization dawned on him.”
Raphael’s eyes dimmed. He lowered his head and continued. “‘What’s the point of this?’ the knight said. “Old vengeance must be sought, but new enmity will grow. The cycle of hatred among kings is endless. Death and vengeance form an integral part in their lives. They intersect with each other and bloom like flowers. Tragedy has never disappeared from the kings’ lives, and the emptiness they feel is bottomless.”
Miranda listened to Raphael’s story whereas Kohen scratched his head with frustration. He was fed up with these two.
“The knight, then, brought the princess away from the bloodshed and corpses, the hatred and the grim castle. He stood in the blinding daylight and wiped the tears of fear off her face.
“Right there the knight made an oath. He wanted to end the hate-and-death-ridden world.
“From then on, his superpower was named the ‘Sword of Baptism’s Death’.”
Raphael finished the story. Miranda stood quietly in her original spot.
“Ha.” Kohen laughed drily, trying to join the conversation. “It sounds like a clichéd knight saga. A protagonist with a tragic background, noble blood, a powerful enemy… He grew stronger, but went limp before a woman, and then swore to rule the unruly world—”
“Shut it, Kohen.” This time, the couple snapped at him with the same verbal speed and tone of voice. Kohen obliged dejectedly.
Raphael turned to Miranda with an undecipherable look and said with a chuckle, “See, nothing else matters compared to a greater cause. Do you understand that?”
Miranda gazed at Raphael. Her eyes were brimming with rage and anguish. “So, the Secret Intelligence is the answer?”
The corner of Raphael’s lips quivered. He nodded.
In the stillness, the two of them stared at each other in mutual understanding, until Miranda agonizingly averted her gaze.
“I wasn’t joking earlier, what is about to happen will affect the future of two kingdoms. Tonight, Dragon Clouds City will plunge into chaos.” Raphael straightened his clothes and looked up at the faraway Heroic Spirit Palace under the moonlight. A smile crept back onto his face. “In fact… it has already begun.”