Chapter 252: I am So Relieved
Translator:?EndlessFantasy Translation??Editor:?EndlessFantasy Translation
Soray was biting the small piece of wood in his mouth with effort. His body could not help trembling in the tortures of pain and coldness.
His consciousness was hazy, but he could still feel the soreness in his limbs that were tied tightly to the wooden pole. His chest and abdomen rubbed against the wooden pole, as if this could help him fend off the cold.
Snow fell. The stinging pain in his back came in waves, reminding Soray of his current injuries.
But it was nothing…
What Soray could not bear was the humiliation of being watched by countless men as he was tied to the wooden pole. He could feel the gazes on his back belonging to the soldiers lined up neatly…
…Even though they were his comrades.
On the wide snowfield, Yvsia, whose fair skin was tinged with a hue of red, stood at the front, grimacing as she stared with the others at the wooden pole.
‘F*ck, f*cking sissy, what are you looking at?’
Byrne and that spoiled soldier brat were in the middle lines, whispering to each other, glancing at him every now and then.
‘Hell, there must be something shady between them, like the butt-f*cking kind of relationship.’
Big Mouth Monty stuck his head out from the left row gaping, his mouth full of yellowed teeth, signaling Soray anxiously with his eyes. Soray knew what Monty meant. He wanted him to give in and apologize.
Soray felt his chest tighten. He recalled his experience from the past few days and could not help but clench his shivering fists.
‘Are you kidding me?!’
Half-dead, Soray’s mind wandered. He tightened his bite on the wooden bit between his teeth. His dry tongue accidently brushed across the wood in his mouth followed by a faint brushing sound, he thought he tasted blood.
“Maggots, lift your heads and take a good look at this!”
Behind the lines of soldiers, Vice Commander Terende, nicknamed as the ‘Inextinguishable Blaze’, carried his silver, black Motionless Bow on his back. With his arms folded, he glanced at every man in the line with a grim gaze.
In the crowd, Big Mouth Monty shuddered and straightened up even more.
They might all be excellent and experienced soldiers on the battlefield way before they were recruited into the White Blade Guards, but no one dared to disobey Terende’s order. They each wore a solemn look as they fixed their eyes on the tied-up Soray.
Heavy footsteps moved past the line of recruits and stopped a few feet away from the wooden pole. All eyes were gathered on the newcomers. Each gaze was filled with fear, respect, and anxiety.
“You are still unrepentant, are you not?”
It was Iceberg’s voice.
Soray felt a jolt in his chest. He raised his head reluctantly and looked to his left.
‘Iceberg’ was the nickname given to that devil by Big Mouth Monty and the others. The tall and sturdy middle-aged warrior marched to his side and turned his head to peer at him coldly. Snow fell all over the man’s hair, but his vicious demeanor was unwavering.
In his hands, he clutched a leather whip that was a few feet long. It was in an eerie shade of dark red and was covered in barbs.
“It was your first time leading the recruited troops to fight on the frontlines as commanders. But you, Spiky…” Iceberg trained his gaze on Soray with a look of disgust. His cold voice echoed in the frosty air. “I finally realized today that you are the most terrible, most sickening, most contemptible, most cowardly ruffian soldier. Dishonor is written all over you.
“Letting you become the commander of our recruits? That would be a complete disgrace to the White Blade Guards.
In that second, fury and wrath surged within Soray.
“Pah!” Soray raised his head out of anger and spat out the almost broken, bloody wood bit from his mouth.
“Save it, Iceberg, you’ve always disliked me.” Soray raised his chin and, with suppressed anger, said sarcastically, “I know you’re just looking for an excuse to beat me up and then kick me out, aren’t you?”
After he said that, a commotion arose among the rows of soldiers. It was then followed by endless whispering.
“Ah, ladies, how energetic you are!” Where he stood behind the lines to the left, Instructor Dominic wore a harmless smile and said cheerfully, “Worry not. You will have plenty of time for discussions. How about you run twenty more laps during night training?”
The troops instantly quieted down, as though someone had cut off sound transmissions. For a while, only the sound of varied breathing rates could be heard on the field.
Everyone’s attention shifted back to Soray and Iceberg.
“What?” Iceberg’s gaze sharpened. He watched Soray coldly. “You have a problem with me?”
Soray stared at the bloody wood bit on the ground. With gritted teeth, he frowned and gave a cold snort. Iceberg narrowed his eyes.
Soray glared at Iceberg with a hostile look. “Once we were on the battlefield, you assigned Monty a team of elite snipers; Yvsia got a light-infantry vanguard for the first line of assault; Kaalos had his heavy blade infantry squad; even Siva the Slowpoke led the heavy cavaliers on armored standby.”
Iceberg snorted coldly.
“As for me?” Soray glared at Iceberg hatefully. “On the verge of war, you purposely assigned me the most incompetent, useless, garbage squad—the logistics’ transportation team! Half the team had only touched a weapon a few times!”
Iceberg peered at him coldly, his fists slowly tightening.
“I am obviously the strongest man among the new recruits, better than any of them! I am the best soldier, the sharpest blade among the White Blade Guards!” Soray pressed his chin against the wooden pole, huffing. He suddenly raised his voice. “Do you think I don’t know what you were up to?
In the next second, Soray looked up sharply and glared at Iceberg!
“Sending me a bunch of trash to suppress me?” His face was full of indignation. “Frankly, Commander Lampard, I know you loathe me, but I still have a sliver of expectation for the legendary White Blade Guards.”
Iceberg gazed at Soray wordlessly, the emotion in his eyes was complicated.
In the face of Terende’s frosty stare and Dominic’s eerie smile, everybody held their breaths watching the scene before them. After a while, Iceberg hummed chillingly.
“Hence, as my best soldier, when you came under attack, you sent your subordinates to death as bait, allowed them to fend for themselves… while you hid and ambushed the enemies’ leader?” Iceberg’s words seemed to contain ice.
Soray gritted his teeth.
“With garbage that can hardly wield a sword, what CAN I do?” Soray jerked at his bound limbs and let out an angry laugh. “Sacrifice the weak to slow down the enemy, then eliminate them with elite forces—isn’t this our classic Northland battle strategy?
“With this tactic, I killed the orc leader and protected that cartload of supplies,” he said fiercely. “I won the battle. It was as simple as that.”
Terende, who was watching from afar, let out a cold snort. Iceberg’s eyebrows slowly twitched, as though someone cut his face.
“You still do not understand what you did wrong.” Iceberg’s voice sounded weary.
Soray shook his head and huffed furiously.
“Did wrong?!” he said through gritted teeth. “You gave me a bunch of useless trash and you expect me to bow my head and acknowledge a mistake? No way!” Soray spat out a mouthful of saliva.
“Look! I created a miracle with garbage: I defeated twenty orcs!
“So you, with nothing better to do, will only keep finding faults in me.” Soray leaned against the wooden pole and snorted coldly as he said, “I have already seen through you, Kaslan Lampard, the so-called head of the king’s guard. I have seen through your exclusionary policies and phony noble exterior!”
His voice traveled across the field, ringing in everyone’s ears.
Among the troops, Big Mouth Monty slapped his forehead with a pained and regretful expression. His mouth opened and closed quickly and repeatedly. All his friends knew he was mouthing ‘He’s doomed. He’s doomed. He’s doomed.’
But at that very moment, their superiors, Terende or Dominic, were too preoccupied to bother with Monty’s misbehavior.
Behind the troops, Instructor Dominic put his arms behind his back, lowered his head, and sighed. Terende was deathly pale with anger.
“Listen.” Iceberg was not bothered by Soray’s disrespectful remark, but his facial expression turned grim. “Because of your orders, only four men from your squad survived, one of them is disabled. They refuse to be under your command again.”
“Oh, as I had hoped for.” Soray exhaled a breath with a look of relief. “Here is my word of advice: Do not rely on them during battle.”
Iceberg’s expression grew colder and colder and his gaze was grim. “That is your reply?”
“It was a warzone. There will always be people who will die.” As Soray spoke, he gave a cold laugh and shook his head. “Cowards or weaklings who can’t accept that reality should leave as soon as possible.”
Iceberg did not speak. He fixed his gaze on the snowy ground.
The field fell once more into silence. One could only hear the gelid wind swish past.
Eventually, Soray gave a cold snort and spoke again,
But he got interrupted.
Iceberg, the tall, burly man, with a look of indignation, said, “The gravest mistake you made, Spiky…”
Iceberg slowly raised his head, his hand shaking as he gripped the leather whip. His eyes were burning with fury. “…Is that you shouldn’t have spat that wood bit out.”
Soray was a little startled, gawking at the wooden bit he spat on the ground. In the next second, the six-meter-long barbed whip in Iceberg’s grasp swung up!
The wind rustled, swift and fierce. The whip a frightening circle in the air.
An ear-splitting slap came. Before Soray could react, a searing pain erupted on his naked back! In that moment, Soray felt as though the skin on his back was torn open.
Soray hugged the wooden pole, trembling violently. He clenched his teeth, but blood leaked through the gaps between his teeth. He could not help but release a pained moan from his throat.
Every muscle in his body was protesting. Even in the chilly winter day, sweat emerged all over his forehead. He was in immense pain. He could not afford to think.
Instructor Dominic’s voice came from behind the troops. “Nineteenth lash!”
The hundreds of men among the troops watched in silence with varied expressions.
Soray clenched his teeth so tightly he nearly crushed them. But he still raised his chin with great effort, trembling, and refused to show Iceberg any weakness. However, the moment he looked up, he was somewhat shocked.
In that moment, he saw the Iceberg, in the prime of his life, scowling. The muscles on his face quivered in the cold wind, the wrinkles were discernible.
The eyes of the ever-forbidding and stern Iceberg were filled with solemn agony and disappointment.
“Perhaps I was mistaken.” Iceberg’s voice sounded grievous and weary. “Perhaps I should not have had such high expectations of you from the beginning, Soray Nicholas… You imbecile,” he said in a deep, gloomy voice.
Soray, who was leaning against the wooden pole and panting, was astonished. In the next second, Iceberg swung the whip in his hand again!
But what charged at him was not the leather whip covered with barbs in his memory…
It was a vicious, coal-black pike!
In Heroic Spirit Palace at Dragon Clouds City, Nicholas, the Star Killer, was facing his enemy. His eyes narrowed. The memory from more than twenty years ago faded away.
The Soul Slayer Pike pierced the air and came at the Star Killer’s eyes!
There was a sharp sound of metal clashing.
The Severing Souls Blade struck from the side and grazed past the pikehead. The pikehead jerked a little and missed Nicholas’ forehead by a few millimeters. The sharp edge even took off a strand of his hair!
But the Star Killer did not even blink, as though what flitted past his eyes was not the infamous Soul Slayer Pike but a piece of scrap metal.
The second the Soul Slayer Pike missed its target, Nicholas—who evaded the attack—stomped on the ground with both feet and advanced rapidly.
His light armor and clothes zoomed through the air. His blade advanced in a straight line following his footsteps. As the Star Killer moved forward, the image of his enemy grew larger in his vision.
In that second, there was only the old, white-haired enemy in his eyes. Although he was no longer towering, he also was not as sturdy as he was in the past.
He now stood before him—Iceberg. In that moment, a strange fury ignited in Nicholas’ heart.
Kaslan Lampard withdrew his pike calmly. His right hand gripped the front part of the shaft, letting it swing behind him and turning the weapon into a shortspear. He wielded it like a sword as he faced Nicholas, who then came charging towards him.
The two of them drew closer and closer to one another, almost within arm’s length.
Nicholas’ blade shimmered and swung towards Kaslan’s neck while Kaslan’s pike was aimed at Nicholas’ throat.
The blade and pikehead grazed past one another.
Nicholas huffed. The Severing Souls Blade trembled, lowered, and strayed off its expected course.
A faint sound followed—the blade gently touched the pike tip. Kaslan’s facial expression changed abruptly.
A monstrous force landed on his pike, forcing the pikehead to turn the other way—away from Nicholas’ throat.
Kaslan clenched his teeth. It was difficult to hide the look of astonishment on his face. ‘With such a short distance to gather momentum, and with such a sudden change in course, yet he managed to exert this much power?’
The way he looked at his former subordinate had changed. Nevertheless, the ticking time did not allow him to think too much on it.
Like a sinking log, the Star Killer’s blade—after it parried away the pike—’resurfaced’ within one-tenth of the second, returning to its original course. He continued to aim for Kaslan’s neck.
Kaslan’s face turned grim. He immediately released of the Soul Slayer Pike and tried to grab Nicholas’ sword-hand with his left hand while his right made a fist that shot towards the latter’s chest. But as Nicholas’ wrist was about to be caught by Kaslan, his expression turned cold. A tinge of red emerged on his pale face—the Power of Eradication erupted inside him.
The Severing Souls Blade changed its course again. Within a split second, the blade made a miraculous turn, drawing an arc in the air. Kaslan could only watch as his fingers grazed past his opponent’s arm.
Nicholas’s arm evaded Kaslan’s grasp. The old man’s heart sank, his interception failed.
The danger of Nicholas’ blade did not dwindle at all from the sudden change in course. On the contrary, the blade had then flipped over, turning from hacking to stabbing motions, and went straight for Kaslan’s face!
In that instant, the urge to fight shone in Nicholas’ eyes.
Despite Kaslan’s two attacks and one defense that did not work, his facial expression did not change. He swung his unoccupied right hand, trying to punch the Severing Souls Blade from the side to parry its attack.
The Star Killer roared, a look of pain appeared on his face. His Power of Eradication surged once more, which elicited strange groaning sounds from his bones.
Like the previous two occurrences, Nicholas’ blade changed its course again—avoiding Kaslan’s right fist—and swung at his head.
In a split second, Nicholas’ blade had moved dozens of centimeters forward, it even changed directions thrice within that time.
Astonished, Kaslan’s face became immeasurably somber. His supreme reflexes, thanks to the Wrath of the Sea, had reached its prime; he could respond at any critical moment. But Nicholas was like a loach moving about, one that no one could ever catch. Every single time Nicholas’ momentum ended, he would use new attacks to break Kaslan’s blocks or defenses.
Kaslan’s extreme reaction and Nicholas’ ever-changing countermoves made their duel seem like a card game: As long as he could react more than his opponent, change his tactics more, have one more skill up his sleeve, then the results of the fight could be determined.
Kaslan frowned and came to realize that he was the one who lacked a card. The blade was getting closer, but he could not do anything about it.
‘Spiky… You have become stronger,’ Kaslan thought with a complex emotion—he realized that he was facing his final life-and-death situation.
In the span of several breaths, the distance between the blade and his forehead shortened to less than a few inches. The outcome of the duel would be revealed in a split second. Nicholas’ facial expression gradually became more crazed.
In the next second, Kaslan unexpectedly forced himself to lean forward suddenly.
It was the sound of human skin pierced by a blade, followed by a gush of fresh blood.
Nicholas felt a chill in his chest. ‘This sensation…’
In the next second, Nicholas’ and Kaslan’s chests collided.
It was a nerve-wracking, thunderous sound.
The two of them let out a dull groan in unison. They clung to each other and rolled across the floor. The sound of the collision between their bodies and onto the ground echoed.
*Thump. Thud. Thump.*
The Star Killer’s body was obviously not as sturdy as Kaslan’s. Oddly enough, upon collision, the two men rolled towards Kaslan’s side. It appeared as though Kaslan had lost his strength to support himself.
In the scuffle, the Severing Souls Blade flew from Nicholas’ grip. The blade jammed into the wall, wobbling. On the other side, the Soul Slayer Pike fell on the ground with a clatter.
Eventually, when the next dull thud appeared, the two people on the ground separated swiftly, rolled a few times in the opposite direction, away from each other, and stopped almost at the same time.
Kaslan placed his hand on the floor, then pushed himself off of it, eventually ending up in a half-kneeling position. Nicholas just used the strength in his torso and flipped himself up from the ground.
Only a few seconds had passed from the beginning to end, and during that period of time, Nicholas had only performed one single slash. Kaslan, too, only tried to parry the slash.
However, only these two supreme class elites knew how dangerous that was. This was a battle where one side changed his tactics rapidly, and the other adapted to the changes.
If any sort of problems occurred in any part of the battle, then the two people might have to pay an irreversible price during the exchange of that one slash which lasted for only a few short seconds.
For a time being, the rapid panting of the two warriors was the only sound that could be heard in the corridor.
Kaslan knelt on one knee on the floor and tapped his chest in pain. A hideous scar appeared on his forehead. It stretched from the center of his brow to the spot behind his ear. Blood gushed out from the wound continuously, and it was a terrifying sight to behold.
When he saw this wound, Nicholas gritted his teeth.
‘Damn it, I still didn’t manage to…’
“Hmm, not bad.” Kaslan’s indifferent voice traveled to his ears. “At least you managed to cut three inches across the skin on my head.”
During that moment, Nicholas shuddered lightly.
Twenty-something years ago, the icy commander of the past had stood in that snow-covered land and said these words as well:
At that time, Kaslan Lampard was terrifying, practically impossible to defeat. He flexed his neck, and not a single hint of care could be seen on his face. He gestured—in a derisive manner—at Nicholas, who was still a new recruit in the White Blade Guards, and who had been lying on the ground panting harshly.
“At the very least, you made me use both of my hands.”
Nicholas clenched his fists tighter. Kaslan’s aged voice traveled to his ears and pulled Nicholas’ thoughts back to the present.
“You’ve become more adept with that skill of yours which allows you to instantly change the direction of your power.”
In the corridor, the old Kaslan wiped the blood off the side of his face. He touched the wound on his forehead, then frowned when he saw at the blood on his hand. “How dangerous. Just a little more and your blade would have cut into my skull, then my head would have been sliced apart.”
Nicholas only fixed his stare on him. He did not say a single word.
‘Just a little more…’
Kaslan exhaled and, with an unnatural and strange expression, he tapped his chest. “You still have yet to find the source for that strange Power of Eradication of yours?”
Even when he heard these words, the Star Killer’s gaze remained terrifying, but he still spoke.
“I was too busy, so I couldn’t be bothered searching for it,” Nicholas spat the words out coldly, as if his words were gold.
Only the Star Killer knew that his chest had been throbbing with intense pain after Kaslan knocked into him. His lungs hurt, and even breathing caused him pain. In this period of time, he had to continuously use his Power of Eradication to bring relief to the muscles and bones in his chest.
To Nicholas, speaking was just an act that would add to his burden.
The abrasions left on his skin from when he rolled on the floor were also innumerable. There was also a dull, throbbing pain in Nicholas’ right arm because of his fight against Kaslan over the Severing Souls Blade on the floor. It was also a little numb.
If Kaslan attacked during this period of time, he would absolutely be unable to fight back at full strength, and if he could not fight back at full strength when he was facing Kaslan, he would only end up…
Nicholas closed his mouth and used the time to relieve the pain in his chest and recover his injuries.
Kaslan sighed. The old man was quite familiar with this old subordinate of his. Soray Nicholas, a man who already possessed the fighting mindset belonging to those in supreme class, even when he was just in supra class. He was the strongest soldier under him, and also the best.
But that was all in the past. Right then, they were enemies, and they were engaged in a fight to the death.
When he thought of this, Kaslan’s gaze turned gloomy.
The moment just now when he crossed blades with Nicholas was not the first time he was exposed to that strange blade that could change direction multiple times.
During attacks, the swordsman would retain his strength and make sure he still had room for further movements, then change the direction of the force in his blade instantly to gain an unexpected result. This kind of situation would appear the most during feints.
However, no one could be like Nicholas and utilize this technique to its limit. This was thanks to the Star Killer’s unique Power of Eradication.
Nicholas’ Power of Eradication allowed him to accumulate power in every single joint in his body, thereby allowing him to perfectly control every single fiber of his muscles and ever piece of bone down to the smallest detail. During battle, he could change his posture, attack, and strengthen up at any moment he so desires.
This was no longer about simple reflexes. The Star Killer’s body would not be stopped by habit.
He could change every slash he delivered and every step he took, at any time he wanted, by exerting force to the parts of his body that needed it, regardless of whether his previous attack had landed or missed.
One slash aimed for the neck could instantly change directions due to the second exertion of force in the arm. It could be directed to the face, the chest, the arms, the abdomen, or even go back to a defensive position.
The more terrifying aspect about this was that if his body could handle the burden, then he could repeatedly use this skill of his which could allow him to exert force repeatedly. He could change direction once again after the first change, and as his abilities and experiences increase, the number of times he could change directions in succession would also increase, and the freedom in his actions would grow as well.
He could act as he pleased during battle and bring forth endless changes.
For one simple, ordinary slash, in an instant, the changes in it would be so numerous that it became endless, and what these changes brought was a threat to the entire body.
When Kaslan thought of this, he shook his head while his heart was filled with great emotion. This type of Power of Eradication which could bring forth new changes endlessly was the mortal enemy of the ‘Wrath of the Sea’, which allowed its user to raise their reflexes to their uppermost limit. They were born to counter each other.
Nicholas might have not given a name to his Power of Eradication, but Kaslan knew that this was definitely a Power of Eradication which could be categorized on its own and be left in history records.
It was just like that Constellatiate who was given the nickname of the Kingdom’s Wrath. His ‘Wrath of the Dark Sky’ allowed him to become stronger if he sustained more injuries.
If he was in the Tower of Eradication, he would most probably be categorized as one of the ‘miracles’.
It was a pity that the probability for this type of Power of Eradication—which could only be awakened on the battlefield—was too low, because it was too random. They could not form conclusions based on the experiences of its user and pass it down to future generations, just like… that power.
Kaslan stared at his former subordinate, and a feeling of nostalgia for the past welled up in his heart.
‘Spiky has become much stronger as well.’
At the very least, twenty-something years ago, Nicholas would definitely not be able to execute changes in directions with just a simple slash.
“It is difficult, even for those in supreme class, to be completely unbothered in the face of the famed reputation of the Soul Slayer Pike being able to kill with one strike. An elven opponent of mine lost because of this.” The old man coughed and nodded faintly. “But you did well. You didn’t embarrass the White Blade Guards, Spiky.”
Nicholas shuddered slightly. His thoughts returned to the Thirty-Eighth Sentry Ground over twenty years ago.
An image of the callous and merciless ‘Iceberg’ as he stood on the snow-covered ground and admonished them sternly appeared before the Star Killer’s eyes.
When they confronted the glacier orcs’ sixth charge, the leader said these words at that time,
“Spiky, don’t embarrass the White Blade Guards.”
The ‘Ground-Shaker’, their commander, who was in the prime of his life and who had great prestige from the past…
…and the old man with a head full of silver hair and a gloomy gaze… These two figures slowly overlapped.
Nicholas finally calmed the pain in his chest. He adjusted his emotions and exhaled slowly. His tone when he spoke was complicated, and his emotions could not be determined. “The Soul Slayer Pike may be powerful, but it was made based on the lance. It’s too long, too heavy, and too hard.”
The Star Killer said seriously, “It isn’t difficult to deal with in battles that are not in groups.”
“You know that the legendary anti-mystic weapons aren’t supposed to be used in fights between humans.” Kaslan sighed, as if he was feeling somewhat regretful. “But humans have a talent. We are skilled in turning anything in the world into weapons that we can use to kill our own kind.”
The Star Killer tightened his clenched fists, almost breaking the skin. An unknown ball of fire erupted in his chest, burning him until he felt incredibly uncomfortable.
“I remember that Nick is the one who taught you how to use mid-ranged weapons, correct?” Kaslan laughed. “If Dom was here, he might not be happy hearing you say such words.”
Nicholas’ expression became gloomy, then his heart sank.
‘Dom… Dominic. “Blood Mace” Dominic.
‘That old man who always laughed, who was one of their instructors, who loved punishing them by making them run laps, and who ran behind them while counting the laps they ran.
‘He always stood beside Kaslan when he was in his prime and brought some vigor with a smile to the group of veterans among the White Blade Guards, who were a group of murderous fiends.’
Nicholas closed his eyes. An endless well of emotions bubbled up in his chest and he felt incredibly horrid.
“He can’t hear it anymore, didn’t you know about it?” The Star Killer’s voice was hoarse.
Kaslan tightened his fists.
“Thirteen years ago, Dominic died in White Mountain,” Nicholas said softly. “Bryke, Lyken, Sol, and Bauer died there as well…”
Kaslan did not speak.
“Old Cyval also retired due to his injuries. He went to Camus and never returned.”
Kaslan sighed softly.
“Ah…” The old man lowered his head, blank-faced. “I heard from old Coleman. During the battle in the pit, with arrows all over his body, Dom led the army and charged out of the enemy’s army for a hundred meters, then he collapsed after the enemy army scattered.”
Nicholas shuddered slightly and he felt his heart clench.
Kaslan’s gaze was filled with sorrow and he sighed softly. “That man still owes me money for the leather armor.”
At that moment…
Three thin, golden, circular objects rolled out from between Nicholas’ fingers and, together, traveled a long distance. They rolled towards the old man.
Kaslan’s eyes moved. He extended his hand and pressed down on the three circular objects. The sound of metal stopped.
The old man slowly lifted one of the golden circular objects.
“What is this?” he asked softly.
Nicholas stared impassively at his former superior.
Only when several seconds had passed did the Star Killer reply softly, “Dominic.”
Kaslan was slightly stunned. The corridor was extremely silent. Even the sound of fighting around them seemed to have faded away.
Nicholas’s expression was gloomy. With a whisper, he said quietly, “I was by his side when he passed away. He said he was very sorry. He had to use his pension to continue buying medicine for his grandson so that he could treat him, so he might not be able to pay back the money that he owed all of you.” There was a faint sadness in the Star Killer’s words.
Kaslan tightened his grip over the gold coin. The old man’s Adam’s apple moved slightly. His gaze was focused on the remaining two gold coins.
“His Majesty gave him his pension every year.”
Nicholas stared at Kaslan with a complicated gaze. “Dominic’s grandson died a month ago due to sickness.”
Kaslan shuddered a bit.
“That’s why…” Nicholas raised his head slowly and a familiar figure appeared in his head.
It was a smiling old warrior with a mace over his shoulders. He leaned a little on the fat side, and counted the number of laps the new recruits performed during their physical punishment—Dominic Stone.
The Star Killer parted his lips slowly, then, with an indifferent tone, he spoke in a hoarse voice.
“This is the leather armor he owes you.”
Kaslan lowered his head. The old man did not speak, he only closed his eyes. Not a single word was uttered for some time. Only the rustling sound of wind could be heard from beside the corridor.
Eventually, Kaslan opened his eyes slowly, his gaze was profound and complicated. “I am quite relieved, Spiky.”
Nicholas was stunned.
“It’s been many years since then.” Kaslan slowly curled his lips into a smile. “You are no longer the Spiky hated by everyone…
“You’ve become an outstanding commander, Soray Nicholas.”