Chapter 359: Surpassed Kaslan
Translator:?EndlessFantasy Translation??Editor:?EndlessFantasy Translation
Thales laid on the ground. His whole body trembled from pain, and he was drenched in cold sweat.
He was practically numb all over.
This was not the most severe pain he had experienced. But it was the most unendurable, torturous and drawn out one.
The pain from being stabbed, cut, and squashed came in waves from his left wrist, left calf, and right knee.
He wanted to stand up and at least inch a few steps away to escape the battlefield. However, every time he widened his range of movement slightly, the pain would spread from his injured areas to his brain, and the pain would be magnified infinitely.
He could only shut his eyes tightly and focus on breathing. He did not even pay any more attention to the life-and-death fight between the two men.
As Thales’ listened to the sounds of fighting beside his ears, his face was contorted, and large droplets of sweat slid down from his forehead. He felt as if a century had passed. He suddenly had a great desire to just faint.
And things seemed to be progressing towards the direction he yearned for. As the continuous pain slowly surpassed his endurance limit, Thales’ consciousness started to blur. The muscles and tendons of his entire body, especially the areas of his injuries, started convulsing uncontrollably.
He was about to fall unconscious due to the pain.
But at this moment…
A violent sound as loud as a tidal wave echoed in Thales’ eustachian tube. It temporarily drowned out the fighting sounds beside his ears.
The teenager, who was enduring the pain with a muddled mind, was immediately startled. His mind cleared slightly!
‘It’s like, it’s like there’s something suddenly spreading through my blood vessels.
‘It’s that thing.’
Thales turned with all his might while tormented by his injuries. His mouth and nose grazed the ground, causing him to suck in a mouthful of dusty air. He coughed laboriously and immediately understood what was happening.
‘It’s the Sin of Hell’s River.’
It was the most dangerous power that Black Sword warned him about.
It was one of his companions which had accompanied him through disasters and pain for the longest stretches of time, and also one of his most unforgettable experiences in this lifetime.
At some point, the Sin of Hell’s River, which had always been passive and needed to be summoned, started surging uncontrollably.
It was extremely excited, like a beast that just escaped its cage and was letting out a roar before it began hunting.
Its ‘voice’ became louder and louder.
Thales had the impression that the Sin of Hell’s River was in its element when he was heavily injured and was in pain, dizzy, and felt weak. The Sin of Hell’s River invaded every single cell in its master’s body without facing any limitations, like river water flowing through a dry and cracked sandbank.
And that included surging to his brain.
At that moment, Thales sucked in a breath, and he felt comfortable. It was as if his entire body was submerged in warm water. The misery and pain became a gentle numbness and temporarily disappeared from his senses.
It was as if time had stopped again.
Thales laid face-down on the ground feebly and stared glassy-eyed at the rock wall composed of loess in front of him.
The fight just now flashed past his mind.
Nicholas cut his shield open with the extremely sharp blade. Nicholas then sliced his longsword into two and tripped him.
The scene where the blade that brought his subsequent misfortune appearing before his eyes was repeated in his mind.
‘I shouldn’t have stopped.
Thales thought blearily while his mind was in a haze.
The Sin of Hell’s River licked his wounds in a lively manner like the flames of hell, and brought about a stimulus that was similar to being poked by needles.
‘Yes, I shouldn’t have stopped.’
Thales gritted his teeth. An urge to rise and fight again surged into his limbs.
‘When all my weapons became useless, I shouldn’t have stopped moving. I could totally have gone against the norm and moved forward. I could have let the Rising Sun Saber pierce through my shoulder.
‘And I should have taken the opportunity to thrust the remaining half of the broken sword in my hand towards Nicholas’ neck. Nicholas’ blade was moving without obstruction, and he must have used his entire body’s momentum to power his strike. He definitely had neither the strength nor the time to defend himself.
‘True, I will have to pay a big price, but Nicholas will definitely suffer a huge loss.
‘It’ll be very horrible for him.’
In his daze, Thales smiled without being aware of it. He balled up his right palm, as if the broken sword was still in his hand.
Once he thought of this, the Sin of Hell’s River surged merrily in his body again, making surging sounds that sounded like roars.
‘There was no need to dodge. I should have disregard my defenses and given up on retreating.
‘I should have gone forward.
‘Towards the opponent’s direction…’
Thales trembled, his vision faded away. He started coughing violently, and his mouth and nose were filled with the smell of blood.
‘I could have felt the sensation of my broken sword puncturing my opponent’s artery, the red-hot blood spurting out of his neck, and his despair as life slowly slipped away from him.
‘I could have fought fiercely while drenched in blood, until my death arrived.’
Thales slowly shut his eyes and curled up the corners of his lips.
‘If there’s next time…
‘I’ll do this…
‘I’ll do this…’
As the last bit of his consciousness slipped away, the Sin of Hell’s River suddenly seethed in him!
Not far away from Thales was Monty, and his face was stiff, while his body tense. He had his arms locked down tightly around Nicholas’ neck while he felt his struggles during the final second.
But the Raven of Death was slightly startled.
Nicholas, who only had a last shred of consciousness and strength left in him, shakily lifted the Rising Sun Saber with his left hand. The hilt in his hand was shaking unsteadily.
The next moment, Monty suddenly saw a flash before his eyes.
The golden blade emitted a scarlet gold bright light that was as bright as the scorching sun.
It was so blinding to the eyes that Monty’s vision went black!
The Raven of Death shut his eyes tightly. He could not help but groan.
But due to his murderous intent—now honed into his instincts—he did not bulge at all. Instead, he bent his back and leaned forward again, increasing the force exerted on his arms and continued locking down the Star Killer’s neck.
‘Just a little while longer, a little while longer…
‘Then it’ll do.’
Monty thought in pain with his eyes shut tightly and his face flushed red.
But he was soon became aware that the Rising Sun Saber was not just emitting bright light.
Monty’s arms jolted. The area of his skin pressing against Nicholas was suddenly met with a sudden, extreme heat!
It was not the heat that would come when a person was scalded by boiling water, and neither was it the burns caused by fire.
Instead, it was an extremely painful burn that went deep into the bones!
Monty could not help but screamed in pain. He could not keep?his arms locked around Nicholas’ neck anymore. He also felt as if he was about to lose consciousness. He instantly let go of Nicholas, then stumbled and fell backwards!
The Raven of Death fell to the ground in pain. But he could no longer care about anything else. He could only desperately pat the flames that had ignited out of the blue on his arms and chest.
‘This isn’t right.
‘This isn’t right!’
Monty stared at the Star Killer incredulously, who was kneeling on the ground and still in a daze. It was as if Nicholas’ skin was cover in a layer of scarlet gold light, and that light was emitting extreme heat.
Before the panic-stricken Monty could understand what was going on, the burning areas on his body spread.
Suddenly, many parts of the Raven of Death’s body was on fire!
It was as if an invisible, violent flame had enveloped Monty in an instant.
“F*ck you…” Monty roared in pain. He fell backwards again after he had just straightened up half his body.
These places were not the only ones that burned. Even his head, shoulders, legs, waist and chest…
“Damn it, Spiky!”
The Raven of Death laid on the ground with a pained expression. He rolled around frantically, non-stop!
He tried to extinguish the flames that had been ignited on him out of the blue.
In front of him, Nicholas fell weakly on his knees once he freed himself and used his palms to press down firmly on the red Rising Sun Saber.
The red light around Nicholas slowly faded away.
The Star Killer was on all fours. He was shaking uncontrollably, looking as if he had not breathed for a few lifetimes. He took large mouthfuls of breath. He felt lucky as energy surged into his oxygen-deprived brain again. Even his fingers were trembling.
Nicholas’ face had never looked so red before. The area above his neck was just like the color of blood right then.
For a time being, only the Raven of Death’s pained wails and the sounds of him rolling around, as well as the desperate pants from the Star Killer could be heard in the land.
A minute passed, and Monty finally extinguished the last bit of flames on his body. But he looked extremely miserable. There were white wisps of smoke rising from his entire, his clothes were scorched, and his arms were covered in burns.
The Raven of Death moaned in pain. The unpleasant smell of flesh being burned spread into the air.
Nicholas was still extremely weak and was laying face down on the ground. A circular area of land around him was already scorched black, and there was also light wisps of smoke rising from him.
The two men laid dejectedly on the ground. One was weak and had difficulty getting up, and another was badly burnt.
“What was that?”
Drained of all energy, Monty laid on the ground with his entire body trembling. He said while he was near Death’s door, “I have never heard… that the Rising Sun Saber could be used like this.”
Nicholas raised his head laboriously and looked at Monty before he shook his head hard. His gaze was unfocused, as if he just woke up from the nightmare of having his neck locked just now.
He panted arduously and laid on his side with his last bit of strength.
“Legendary anti-mystic equipment… are affected by their users. They will more and less accommodate and change according to different people… just like the Power of Eradication.”
Nicholas’ face was slack, as if he just went through a cruel punishment. With every ounce of his strength, he gripped the Rising Sun Saber, which was no longer emitting light. He said, weakly and falteringly. “I have seen… Tolja using the Rising Sun Saber as a Mystic Gun and creating frightening flames and explosions… in a narrow passage.”
Monty grunted and struggled to get up.
“Don’t move around, Monty.” With his head lowered, the Star Killer said flatly, his voice was filled with exhaustion. “If you don’t want to be burned to ashes, that is.
“I still… can’t control it… well.”
Monty froze momentarily when he heard that.
He sighed softly and laid back down.
When he saw that his opponent had laid down, Nicholas heaved a long sigh after using up a large amount of his strength. He looked at the Rising Sun Saber in his hand with a dejected expression. “As you can see, I, I… really can’t get along well with this rotten saber. It’s been six years, and this… is the most I can do.”
There was a moment of silence between the two.
Monty let out a wan chuckle and extended his trembling arms. The armor on his arms were burned to nothing, and his skin on his arms was burnt black. He felt that his last bit of strength had disappeared together with the flames. “You used the Rising Sun Saber to make an armor out of flames for yourself just now and roasted me till I was half-cooked. And you say that you ‘can’t get along’ with it?”
Nicholas smiled. He stared at Monty with an especially complicated gaze.
“No, you have never been the commander and have never read the ‘Legend of the White Blade Guards’. According to the records, the Severing Souls Blade once fought against tens of thousands of soldiers of the Eastern Peninsula by itself, injured the Night Wing King, rumored to be invincible, to the point that he was half dead. However, when I held it, I could at most seal off and isolate around a hundred people.
The Star Killer seemed to have recovered, as his speech became fluent. He said dejectedly, “In my hands, the Rising Sun Saber which is said to be able to burn everything could also only become an armor made of fire that I use to protect and defend myself.
“I reckon that even the Soul Slayer Pike, which once made the area within a few hundred miles of its radius a No Man’s Land, would only become a pike that ‘keeps strangers away and kills anyone who goes near it’ in my hands.”
Nicholas lifted his head and flashed a wry smile. “Just so you know, I wouldn’t have wanted to fight in such an unsightly manner either.”
Monty’s gaze froze as he panted in pain.
The Raven of Death stared at his opponent in disbelief. “Are you saying that you have planned for this from the beginning?
“Luring me into showing myself and finishing the fight off with the Rising Sun Saber?”
‘Impossible.’ Monty stared at the man who was his former colleague, boss, and captain in a daze. At that moment, he felt as if he did not know Nicholas anymore.
Nicholas lowered his gaze. He pursed his lips.
“I was at a huge disadvantage since the beginning of the fight.
“You were on the offensive and hid in the dark. And I was badly wounded and unable to fight as well as usual. This terrain was also against me.” Once he said that, the Star Killer looked at Thales, who seemed to have fainted in the distance, and curled his lips.
“You’re best at this type of fights, and you benefit the most in this battlefield. And even if I spend twenty more years, I wouldn’t be able to find you or fight back. I will only be beaten up for nothing.
“That brat’s interference also made me not confident in staying alive until you finish all your arrows.”
“I could only seize that brat and pretend to lose my rationality, risking being hit by two of your arrows. For this, I even sacrificed my leg.” Nicholas seemed to have finally recovered from the weakness he suffered from having his neck locked. He slowly sat up and extended his hand to treat the wound on his calf. “I tried to lure you out so that you would strike me from a close proximity.”
Monty clenched his teeth lightly.
The Star Killer stared at the miserable and wretched looking Monty with a burning gaze. “Of course, it was still very risky. The timing in which you appeared was too cunning, and you locked down on my neck too quickly. I didn’t even have the chance to make a counter attack, and almost fainted straightaway.”
Monty inhaled deeply. There was exhaustion in his eyes.
“Son of a b*tch.” The Raven of Death laid on the ground and said dejectedly, “If I wasn’t in such a rush, I would have made a few poisonous arrowheads a few days beforehand.”
“Hmph.” Nicholas curled his lips and started bandaging his wounds. “Now, do you know why you lost?”
Monty said nothing. He clenched his burnt fists slightly.
“You have been a scout for too long, and are used to keeping an absolutely safe distance from the battlefield.”
Nicholas seemed to be a little sentimental. His hands stopped moving momentarily. “You’re used to attacking your enemies from the back and killing in one hit.
“I reckon that you have almost forgotten how direct confrontation and bloodshed feels like, am I right?
The Raven of Death first furrowed his eyebrows a little, then he asked, puzzled. “But, Spiky, you…
“Since when were you able to think of so many things while fighting?”
Nicholas shook his head. The emotions in his eyes were complicated. “A commander always has to think one step ahead of others.”
They were silent for a short while. Both seemed to be thinking.
“You’re different now.”
Monty tried his best to sit up and exhaled while enduring the pain. He said indignantly, “A person who fights with his brain like Kaslan… Are you still the annoying and disgusting Spiky, the killing machine I knew?”
Nicholas forced a smile and pulled out the arrow in his calf while enduring the pain.
“Can you tell me now?”
The Star Killer tore a piece of his clothes and bandaged the wound on his calf tightly. The Rising Sun Saber was within his reach. “Why?
“Why did you betray us?”
Monty shut his eyes in despair and rested the back of his head on the ground again.
“Is this still important?
“We’re already at this point.” The Raven of Death’s voice was unusually weary. “Hurry up and get to work.
Nicholas was silent for a moment.
He turned and saw that Thales had fainted on the ground, and was not moving at all.
The next moment, the Star Killer yanked at the two ends of the bandage in his hands and tightened up the bandage on his calf. “This is very important.
“Because I’m the captain to all of you.” The Star Killer’s gaze was as sharp as a knife. He slowly shifted his gaze from his wound to Monty. It was as if there truly a blade contained in his gaze. “I am your boss.”
Monty guffawed. He shook his head, which was resting on the ground. “How laughable. You do like to talk about the old days…”
Nicholas suddenly raised his voice and cut him off loudly. “Because I’m the one who’s the Commander of the White Blade Guards!
“The Leader of the White Blades!”
His expression was contorted, and he was gritting his teeth. “I’m the one who should have always led, protected and encouraged all of you.
“Nate Motherf*cking Monty!”
Nicholas pounded the ground beside him, which was burnt beyond recognition, hard with his fist.
He unclenched his teeth and panted slightly.
The man’s pale face grew sullen. “And if… if there’s a problem with any of you, it would be my responsibility.
“I have failed.”
The Raven of Death shuddered slightly.
Nicholas extended his hand into his chest armor and clutched a tiny piece of stone tightly.
He tried his best to maintain his indifferent expression, but his voice was a little choked. “And I… I need to know why.”
“I need to know. I NEED to know.” Nicholas paused for a while before saying dejectedly.
Silence returned to the place. There was only the sorrowful whimper of the breeze blowing past the cracks between the rocks.
“Hahahaha.” Monty opened his eyes again and gazed at the blue and orange sky. His laughter was a little bitter. “Spiky, you really changed.
“I finally know why you were able to kill Kaslan, even if he’s well into his twilight years at that time.”
Nicholas did not give any reply. He only clutched the stone even more tightly.
“It’s obvious that whether it’s in terms of fighting skills or… you have already… surpassed Kaslan in all aspects.”
The Raven of Death’s gaze was misty. “Even during the Ground Shaker’s prime, he was just like you right now. There was nothing outstanding about him. He was usually unremarkable, and seemed ordinary. But when it came to real fights, regardless of whether the circumstances were favorable or unfavorable to him, whether he was on the offensive or on the defensive, and no matter what sort of opponent he faced, as long as those opponents stood on the ground, they just couldn’t defeat him.”
Monty snorted in spite of himself. “You’re worst that he is, but better, too.”
Nicholas pounded the ground with his fist again with a slight hint of fury. “Don’t talk about him anymore.
“After today, you have plenty of time to confess your sins to him in person.”
He was answered by Monty’s mournful laugh. “Hahahaha… here’s the question, Spiky…
“You idolize the ‘Iceberg’ a lot.”
The Raven of Death laughed so hard that he was out of breath. “But have you ever truly understood him?”
Nicholas furrowed his eyebrows slightly.
Monty tried his best to raise his upper body, and he shifted towards a rock before leaning against it. His chin was burned, and it made his smile appear ominous. “Do you know what sort of person Kaslan Lampard really was?”
Nicholas’ heart sank.
He thought of that day six years ago, when Kaslan stopped breathing forever in Heroic Spirit Palace.
Monty sighed softly. His eyes were filled with sorrow and regret. “Spiky, I really miss that day… we officially took the Oath of Blades and became new recruits of the White Blade Guards instead of mere candidates.”
Nicholas understood something. He lifted his head while looking as if he was deep in thought.
Monty said with an airy voice, “At least, on that day, we still had the freedom to choose.
“And after that day, my future and my life no longer had light in it.” His mind began to wander.
“There was only darkness left.”