Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Thales stared at the red smallsword in his hands dispiritedly.
He was completely out of it even as a trembling Little Rascal moved in front of him and strenuously pulled him up.
‘The Blade of Purification.
‘Is this what it’s called?’
The blade of the sword was blood-red. Its color was incomparably vivid even under the dusky moonlight.
Thales laboriously cleared the thoughts in his head, to the extent where he forgot about his surroundings.
‘Is this sword a living thing?
‘If it is, why didn’t it activate in Black Sword’s hand previously?
‘If it isn’t, what exactly was that voice…
‘It seemed like it came from my ear… No, it was more like it came from the bottom of my heart. Why was it so similar to the encounter with the High Priestess of Bright Moon Temple when she was praying?
When he touched it, the burning sensation that seeped into his body reminded him of the time when the mystic energy went ‘out of control’. How were they related?
‘Also, “it” said, “My blood brother.” What does that mean?
‘”It” even said, “It’s been a while.”‘
Had he met this toy—this legendary anti-mystic weapon before?
More and more questions popped up in his head, but none of them could be resolved.
It only caused him confusion and puzzlement.
“What have you done!”
Black Sword’s voice rang in his ear. It was grave and severe.
Thales jumped up with surprise. He came to his senses and unconsciously relaxed his grip.
The red smallsword fell to the ground.
With his weak body, Black Sword struggled as he lifted his torso.
Thales was not certain if it was due to his stunned state or his injuries, but Black Sword did not look well. His sharp eyes were locked on Thales’ face.
“Why, why has it suddenly become functional?”
Thales recomposed himself and stared at the smallsword on the ground. He took a deep breath and looked up to meet Black Sword’s gaze.
“About that…” The second prince managed an awkward smile. “I… don’t know?”
Black Sword pinched his brows tighter together.
Little Rascal on the other hand, let out a “hmm”.
The girl pointed at the floor. Her voice was laced with surprise, “It turned back again!”
Black Sword and Thales were stunned as their eyes were once again attracted to the smallsword on the ground.
The smallsword, which once glimmered with red rays in Thales’ hands began to gradually change in color.
The blade, vivid as blood, began to fade and grow dim again. It transformed into its previous dull and dark shade of matte red, as if all of its blood had been removed.
Thales blinked his eyes in shock.
He was not the only one who reacted this way.
The legendary assassin of Black Street Brotherhood shuddered as he shook his head. He looked perplexed.
“What on earth…”
“If Ramon was still alive…” Black Sword stared at the dull smallsword, looked down and gritted his teeth. His eyes were filled with discontentment.
At this moment, the loud sound of an explosion came from afar.
Before everyone could react, an old house nearby suddenly turned into dust!
A shocking giant blood tentacle rocketed to the sky.
In the distance, the hydra’s figure was faintly discernible behind the smog.
Both Thales and Little Rascal were startled. They watched in astonishment as the tentacle split into innumerable tiny limbs. Like a dense, squirming nest of snakes, they started to rapidly hurtle over in droves!
Black Sword reacted extremely quickly. He rolled to Thales’ side and quickly picked up the red smallsword on the ground.
“What are you waiting for?”
Black Sword bellowed in an imposing manner, “Run!”
Allowing no explanation, he simply pulled the pale Little Rascal up. With no regard for everything that had just happened, he kept his head down as he bolted in the opposite direction of the tentacles!
‘These tentacles again…
‘So… Asda really lost?’ Thales gritted his teeth.
‘Aren’t Mystics supposed to be immortal and indestructible?
‘Then, how could he have lost?
‘I have to keep running!
‘As for Black Sword… He’s still at the back, and he still has that Blade of Purification…
‘Let’s wish him good luck in killing those monsters.’
However, the tentacles seemed particularly swift and powerful this time. They surged through the corpse-strewn streets. Everywhere they went, they emitted a terrifying squishing sound!
Upon hearing it, Thales felt a tingling chill in his scalp. He could feel the souls of the deceased rising.
Without Asda’s protection and without him defending them this time, the first tentacle caught up to them just as they were four to five steps into their sprint.
This time, their only target was Thales!
In that instant, Thales felt a weight under his foot. His ankle was caught firmly by that first tentacle.
Thales felt a chill in his heart.
‘How can this be… Black Sword is wielding that sword, yet he is unable to destroy or even hold them back?’
He staggered and fell onto the ground!!
The tentacle began to coil around him and drag him backwards.
“No!” Little Rascal exclaimed. She turned around and relentlessly yanked Thales’ arm in an attempt to free him from the tentacle’s entanglement.
But how could the strength of two children help them wrestle free from the hydra’s tentacles?
They were dragged together towards the snake-like mass of tentacles.
Thales’ head became numb as he watched the constriction around his ankle become tighter.
He took a glimpse of the other approaching tentacles behind them. In a short few seconds, they had already arrived before his eyes!
He could now clearly discern the mangled limbs amid the tentacles, and they were all either melted or were broken.
Thales shuddered as he hurriedly turned around to yell, “Quick, run!”
Little Rascal bit her lower lip instead, firmly clinging on to his arm. She shook her head in desperation.
They had been dragged a few meters along the way by now.
The terrifying sound of the grinding of flesh came from everywhere, near and far.
Thales continued to feel a chill in his heart.
‘We’re not going to make it.’
Soon, countless tentacles enveloped the skies and the moon. Like turbulent waves, they surged boundlessly in their direction.
The first tentacle coiled around Little Rascal’s left arm.
The second covered Thales’ back.
The third, fourth, fifth…
The tentacles bound him and Little Rascal firmly, all the way from their limbs to their bodies!
The sticky, warm yet nausea-inducing tentacles of mangled limbs masked Thales’ eyes as he bellowed with rage. They concealed his vision of Little Rascal, whose face was streaming with tears.
Little Rascal screamed as her grip on Thales was released in the tussle.
Thales’ eyes looked as if they were about to pop out of their eye sockets as he watched Little Rascal’s sorrowful face being obstructed by the tentacles. Then, she disappeared before his eyes.
In the midst of his full body tussle with the tentacles, Thales desperately reached for the JC dagger.
At this point between life and death, he did not care about any secrets or side-effects anymore.
He had to utilize mystic energy… Well, it was either that or what he thought was mystic energy!
Just as the second prince was about to grab hold of the dagger to stab himself, another tentacle came from behind and bound his right arm.
Then, it began to drag his arm backwards!
He did not manage to touch the dagger.
He was like the captured prey of a spider; securely trapped in a web, unable to move.
He could only close his eyes and await death.
But right at this moment…
Black Sword’s long-overdue roar suddenly rang in his ear.
Immediately after, the sound of flesh rupturing resounded one after another.
Thales shuddered as he felt the momentum of the dragging come to a halt all of a sudden.
The next moment, the tentacles around his head suddenly let go!
Blood droplets splattered everywhere and the scarred Black Sword appeared in Thales’ field of view.
Thales felt his spirits lift!
Before he could speak, Black Sword bellowed as he brandished the red smallsword amid the rampaging tentacles.
In the middle of the violent and shrill wind, pieces of flesh were strewn in all directions as the blade carved circular arcs into the tentacles’ flesh.
It severed and slashed off tentacle after tentacle.
The tentacles trembled at once and like a rampaging bull, they frantically attacked Black Sword!
With a body riddled with scars and bruises, Black Sword presented a swiftness that did not seem to be possible with his physical condition. His body sometimes trembled as he broke away from the entanglement. Occasionally, he swiftly dodged attacks and fought assiduously against the tentacles, which came from all directions.
Black Sword brushed off a tentacle reaching for his left shoulder. As his right arm trembled, he shook off another tentacle that settled on it. Then, he roared in fury as he chopped off a tentacle constricting Thales’ left leg.
Black Sword had an unpleasant expression on his face. He stood among the tentacles, which were everywhere around him. His legs had unknowingly been entangled for quite a while. Still, he was unaware.
He never stopped brandishing the smallsword in his hands. At times, he cut off tentacles coiling around Thales; while other times, he sliced those tentacles that attempted to obstruct him.
Within the innumerable mass of tentacles, Black Sword stood before Thales. His eyes were filled with unswerving determination as his figure shuffled around swiftly.
At that moment, he was like an unsettled bug that had fallen into a spider’s web, desperately struggling and trembling with an unyielding tenacity.
Thales watched the entire scene in a daze.
“Hang on to me!” Black Sword roared.
He stretched out his thickly bandaged, bloodstained left arm and firmly clenched Thales’ shoulder.
With a wave of the smallsword, he instantly sliced off three tentacles that were coiled around Thales!
Black Sword had a ferocious expression on his face. Like picking a carrot, he forcibly yanked Thales out of the mass of tentacles!
Coughing uncontrollably, Thales desperately clung on to Black Sword’s arm.
With a powerful swing, Black Sword hurled Thales out of the tentacles’ range!
Thales rolled across the ground, gasping for breath.
Several tentacles attempted to chase after Thales, but they were mercilessly chopped off by Black Sword.
As for Black Sword himself, he was instead getting tightly entwined by the tentacles.
Thales could care less about gasping for breath right then. He whipped his head around, but only saw Black Sword almost being completely covered by the tentacles. Once he allowed his Power of Eradication to let out another burst of energy from his body, and saved Thales, he began to struggle among the tentacles with great difficulty.
Thales instinctively wanted to crawl back, but when he lifted his head and saw Black Sword’s gaze, he could not help but force his feet to stop.
The man was still fighting non-stop among the tentacles.
“Why is this smallsword… so useless?!” Black Sword glared at the red smallsword in his hand and roared in anger. “These things aren’t disappearing!”
Thales only felt physically and mentally exhausted after escaping death. He pushed himself off the floor and listened to the slick sounds the tentacles were making behind him. In his mind, he saw Little Rascal’s helpless expression when she was dragged off in the end, and he could only feel unbearable resentment in his heart.
‘How can this be?’
He gritted his teeth. Then, without even thinking, he shouted back at the top of his lungs, “How would I bloody know?! When I was holding it, it was still—”
Right when he said these words, both of them shuddered at the same time!
Thales understood something.
One of the tentacles seized the chance to wrap itself around Black Sword’s neck, then strangle him until he convulsed.
It was a moment of crisis. Black Sword was no longer swinging his smallsword. He, who was almost covered entirely by tentacles cast Thales a profound glance.
“Boy!” Black Sword swiftly raised his voice.
Thales panted and stood up after exerting great effort.
Several tentacles had already moved past Black Sword and arrived before Thales!
Yet at the very next moment, Thales saw Black Sword’s arm move. Then the sound of wind blowing rose into the air.
A black shadow pounced on the prince’s face while it spun!
Thales instinctively closed his eyes. He could not help but raise his right hand to protect his head.
However, that black shadow made a perfect circle around him before it accurately landed into Thales’ lifted right palm.
The Prince of Constellation instinctively wrapped his fingers around it, and he immediately felt its heavy weight!
Thales bent his knees. He fumbled about to hold the smallsword that Black Sword had thrown to him, even though the hilt had landed right into his palm.
Although he did not want to admit it… Black Sword had an accurate aim. Thales took a deep breath.
Black Sword cast Thales a final glance before he was completely covered by the tentacles.
The tentacle that enveloped Black Sword lifted its ‘prey’ and tumbled back.
Thales breathed in a daze, but he knew what he had to do.
He gritted his teeth and brandished the smallsword. With wreckage and snow beneath his feet, he charged forward.
‘Hurry up… and activate!’
The next moment, Thales roared with all his strength, as though doing this would help him relax. Then, he swung the smallsword at the incoming tentacles.
One tentacle touched Thales’ face, causing him to feel a numb sensation on his face. Another tentacle stretched towards his hands and made unpleasant sloshing sounds.
However, immediately after, a strange feeling surged into his heart once more, and his blood vessels started to rage non-stop.
Thales’ smallsword transformed.
It was as if some form of power had been injected into it. The dull, still, lusterless, red tip of the sword started to change color and it glowed right after Thales held the hilt.
It became a bright shade of blood red, looking like it had gained life once more—just as it previously did.
Red light expanded into the air and the two tentacles closest to Thales instantly shuddered before the tip of the smallsword!
In just a few seconds, their warm and powerful physical bodies withered and shriveled into gray limbs. Sizzling sounds of roasting fire rose into the air, and red vapor appeared from them as they were reduced to ashes. They were burnt alive!
Thales’ heart shuddered. ‘It’s effective!’
He did not stop, instead he rushed forward in a manic manner.
Not too far away, while still fighting against Gleeward and Nicholas, the Blood Mystic turned her head sideways as if she was deep in thought. She peered in Thales’ direction.
Giza’s tentacles did indeed leave others with a deep impression. Once he came into contact with the warm texture as well as the sticky, and slimy feeling, Thales knew that he did not want to feel it again for the rest of his life.
It was way too disgusting.
This time, Thales simply lowered his head, raised his smallsword and rushed forward desperately.
Yet surprisingly, Thales did not run into any physical obstructions during the few seconds of his charge. This was despite the fact that the swarm of tentacles had previously looked so incredibly terrifying.
Thales kept his gaze fixed on the floor and did not let any of the surging tentacles in front of him affect his gaze. He simply ran forward without stopping.
He rammed into the swarm of tentacles that enveloped Black Sword without any form or grace.
The wall of flesh formed by the tentacles crumbled right when he touched them. Ashes fell ceaselessly around him.
If there was any part of his body that was wrapped by those tentacles, Thales would instinctively direct the tip of the sword towards it. In just a few seconds, the tentacles would slightly shudder before they released their grip on him and turn into ashes.
Just like the ripples on a lake, the tentacles would move back and spread out as they trembled before him.
With a speed faster than before, they retreated back to their base.
However, Thales was still not bothered about anything else. He only charged forward single-mindedly, raising his sword.
At the next second, he felt his feet landing on empty air.
Thales panicked and he started to plunge towards the ground!
But he did not crash.
A muffled sound rose into the air.
Pain blossomed in Thales’ head. He felt as if he had crashed into a thick wall.
Nonetheless, something had caught him in the nick of time.
Black Sword’s cold and aloof voice rang next to his ears.
Thales shuddered. Only then did he raise his head.
Black Sword’s expression was sour after being freed from his predicament. He held Thales’ wrist in a tight grip, stopping the red smallsword from cutting into his neck.
“That’s enough,” Black Sword said coldly. Then, he released Thales’ arm along with the smallsword.
Only then did the badly shaken Thales recover his breathing.
He, who had just survived a disaster, looked around him only to find the tentacles retreating in defeat. They fell back in a scattered manner, they lay motionless on the ground, and they withered, or just disappeared into the darkness.
It was if everything they went through earlier had not happened.
But one person was missing.
Thales ran two steps forward in a daze. All that entered his field of vision were corpses sprawled all over the ground, or withered tentacles. Nothing else could be found.
“It’s too late.” Black Sword stared into the distant darkness with a sharp gaze. His voice was slightly weak. “You can’t catch up anymore.”
Thales’ heart shuddered. He gripped the red smallsword tightly, and collapsed on the floor, feeling powerless. He bit his bottom lip.
Then, he accidentally pressed down on something with his left hand.
It was something hard.
Thales lowered his head, and shuddered.
Those were Little Rascal’s glasses.
Those glasses with the black frames, which did not fit her.
One of the lenses was already scratched.
Thales could not help but feel pain in his heart.
He dragged her away from King Nuven, from Asda, and from Giza’s tentacles.
But in the end, she still…
When he thought of that, Thales could only feel his throat tightening. It felt like a large rock was pressing down on his heart.
Thales picked up the battered glasses and bit down hard on his bottom lip.
Yet, he could not help replaying the moment in his head; the moment when Little Rascal hugged his arm tightly before she was submerged by the tentacles, then subsequently dragged away as she screamed.
Black Sword held his chest and sat down, swaying a little. He spat a mouthful of blood on the ground, and once he regulated his breathing, he lifted his head.
Thales shut his eyes tightly before he lowered his head.
When he saw Thales in such a state, Black Sword sighed deeply.
“I knew it. You did do something…” Black Sword stared at the withered, blackened tentacles, which had scattered into ashes before he spoke languidly.
“The smallsword will only react to your touch. It looks like its ability to restrain Mystics will only be activated in your hands.”
Still drowning in indescribable sorrow, Thales shuddered lightly.
Thales swept his dull and unfocused eyes across the bright red weapon in his hand.
“Do you have any explanations for this?” Black Sword shook his head as he stilled his expressions and asked flatly.
Thales frowned. He stared at Black Sword, and had no idea if he was looking at him in anger or annoyance.
‘He’s still wondering about this?’
Thales fell silent. He only spoke after a long moment had passed.
“Explanations?” Thales laughed coldly in great sorrow. “Explain my foot.”
Black Sword did not pay any heed to his words. He only stared at Thales’ face.
Several seconds later, Black Sword suddenly spoke.
Thales answered him absentmindedly, “What?”
“What connection do you have with that place?” Black Sword asked seriously.
At that moment, Thales only felt resentment filling his chest. He did not show any desire to acknowledge what Black Sword had said. He then retorted coldly, “There’s no blasted connection between us!”
Thales lowered his head and gritted his teeth.
He closed his eyes and tried his best not to look at the corpses that were sprawled all over the ground on both sides of the street. Attacked by the tentacles, they had become disfigured beyond recognition.
Black Sword did not answer. He only turned sideways and frowned as he stared into the distant darkness.
After a moment, Black Sword’s voice turned even colder. “Don’t you realize? She ended up this way because of you.”
Thales lifted his head, shivering. With glistening eyes due to his tears, he looked at Black Sword.
“All of the people here, including Ramon, millions of them… died because of you. You should know this very well,” Black Sword said with no intention to be tactful to Thales. “How does it feel?”
Thales breathed in a daze. His eyes were dull and unfocused.
“This is the calamity that those monsters have brought on us,” Black Sword said flatly. “Twelve years ago, I saw a similar tragedy. Corpses sprawled everywhere, countless wreckages, companions snatched away from me, and innocents dragged into this mess. Those monsters’ total lack of concern and their hateful gazes made it all seem as though no one could enter their sights…
“To those monsters, we are only insects who can think and talk. Compared to their goal, even if it’s an incredibly absurd and ludicrous goal, we are nothing.”
Thales gritted his teeth and narrowed his eyes. “What are you hinting at?”
“The Mystics destroyed the entire city. You and I… We have to take responsibility.” Black Sword heaved a long sigh as if the wounds on his body had become much better. “So, we have to do something… for that girl who was beside you, right?”
Thales tightened his grip around the black-framed glasses and regulated his breathing.
“You need my help,” Thales said with certainty.
Black Sword nodded slowly.
“This sword will only be effective in your hands.” Black Sword stared into Thales’ eyes. “Since we have this weapon, we must do something.
“So yes, I need your help,” Black Sword repeated his words.
“What do you want to do?” Thales’ breathing became ragged again. His voice sounded a little lifeless.
This time, Black Sword stared at him for a long time before he opened his mouth slowly to speak.
“Look around us. Look at the wreckage they’ve left behind…” Black Sword stood up from the ground in a faltering manner. He cast his gaze into the distance. “That thing is still wreaking havoc even at this moment… I believe that Dragon Clouds City can no longer control the situation.”
Thales shuddered. He finally registered what Black Sword was trying to say.
“You want to…”
Thales was slightly surprised. He turned his head and directed his sight in the direction of Black Sword’s gaze—the direction where Kilika had left. “You want to… look for the Blood Mystic?”
Black Sword nodded. “We want to end everything; put an end to the nightmare in the city. If we’re lucky, we can even save that girl… If she still hasn’t been eaten by that thing, that is.”
Thales’ breathing gradually quickened.
Black Sword continued with a profound tone in his voice, “If we don’t, as long as you’re still here and as long as that thing is still here, you and all of the unfortunate people beside you will never know peace. Even if you save that girl, she will end up in the monster’s hands again, even if you have that sword with you.”
Thales frowned, then he looked at the smallsword in his hand.
Several seconds later, he mumbled softly, “Blade of Purification.”
“What?” Black Sword frowned.
“The sword’s name is the Blade of Purification.” Thales stared at the sword in his hand and at its blood red tip. A look of resolution appeared briefly in his eyes.
Black Sword stared at him, and suddenly started laughing, “I knew it, you do know something.”
“Not any more than you,” Thales said emotionlessly with dull, lifeless eyes.
Black Sword did not continue with the topic at hand. He simply stared at the young prince with a pressing gaze. “So, boy, as the youngest wielder of a legendary anti-mystic equipment in history… what’s your decision?”
He stared at the Blade of Purification in his hand.
The only thing he could hear right then were the moaning, freezing wind as well as the sloshing sounds from the hydra.
Before his eyes, Asda’s profound gaze appeared, as well as Giza’s charming, gentle smile, along with Little Rascal’s tearful expression.
The screams of the Northlanders as they ran for their lives rang in his ears.
At that instant, Thales’ expression became filled with determination.
“Alright, I’ll go with you—”
But before he managed to finish speaking, Black Sword suddenly spoke, “One word of advice.”
Thales was momentarily stunned.
“Using the legendary anti-mystic equipment too much will create a huge burden on the body,” Black Sword stated flatly. “If you can’t control its power, it’ll be dangerous for you.”
Hearing this, Thales was stunned before he lowered his head to scrutinize the Blade of Purification in his hands again.
Under the moonlight, the blood red tip looked incredibly brilliant and dazzling.
“Dangerous?” he asked, befuddled.
“It’s especially so for those who aren’t in supreme class. Those who aren’t won’t be able to have absolute control over the legendary anti-mystic equipment…” Black Sword’s voice continued to rise into the air. “As for you…
“You’ll have to think about it properly,” Black Sword’s voice was incomparably callous.
Thales furrowed his brows tightly.
That instant, he suddenly thought of Gilbert and Yodel, as well as Jines.
He remembered their gazes… even though he had never seen Yodel’s eyes before.
He remembered Gilbert telling him that when he ran into calamities, he had to protect himself.
But he also remembered his own status.
‘Isn’t the price for using my mystic energy every single time also very devastating?
‘And…’ He remembered Giza’s smile, and her gentle but determined gaze.
She would not let him go.
“You were just trying to persuade me to go to the Mystic with you.” Thales laughed coldly. “But you’re saying these words right now?”
“And what is your answer?” Black Sword raised his brows slightly.
Thales’ gaze gradually focused.
He lifted his head and looked straight into Black Sword’s piercing eyes.
“Let’s go,” Thales said flatly. “Let’s go meet that cute, big sister… and test our luck.”