Chapter 93: Don’t Do It, It’ll Hurt
Translator:?EndlessFantasy Translation??Editor:?EndlessFantasy Translation
When Thales came to from the fatigue of having lost too much blood and the loss of consciousness, he realized that he was leaning against a huge birch tree.
Ralf was guarding him closely. Seeing that he woke up, the Phantom Wind Follower heaved a sigh of relief.
Thales touched the two fang bites on his neck that had magically closed up and stopped bleeding, and asked feebly, “How is the… situation?”
‘Very good.’ Ralf gestured with effort.
With Ralf’s assistance, he tried his best to sit up. He looked towards the two gigantic, terrifying monsters who were basked under the moonlight not far away. One was red and the other was white.
Serena dejectedly furled her skeletal wings behind her back. Covered in wounds, she supported herself with a birch tree and cut a pathetic figure as she spat out a mouthful of blood. She panted vigorously.
She—who at some point had the absolute advantage—raised her head with effort and glared at her prideful and elegant younger sister in front of her. The True Form Katerina only had a few scratches on her body.
“It seems that the winner has already been determined, patricidal criminal,” the Night Queen said coldly and raised the pure-white, sharp claws on her right hand, “Are you going to surrender, or should I finish you off on the spot?”
Serena tried her best to support her body. She gritted her teeth and shut her eyes tight.
In the ‘second round’ of the deathly battle, Serena was badly wounded and she had already played all her cards. She was facing Katerina who recovered in the blink of an eye, was flourishing with vitality, and was even better than before. Apart from having her left arm which had been cruelly torn out from the back, Serena’s right lower thigh was also broken off. As one of the effects of Katerina’s ‘Tears of the Bloody Night’, she could not even maintain her balance to stand on the floor. One of her skeletal wings was torn into three and her body was covered in layers of lacerations. Two of the claws on Serena’s remaining right hand were also broken. A bloody and gruesome wound crept downwards from her ugly face to her chest.
Serena suppressed the dizziness from the heavy injury and watched everything in front of her in a daze. ‘Have I failed? Racking my brains to make this plan, exhausting every bit of my intelligence for this scheme. Borrowing the power of Constellation to clear out the opposers in the Sacred Blood Army. Ambushing and counter-attacking Katerina with Constellation’s power, or at least to get rid of the assistants beside her and be able to hide and protect myself, even in the worst situations.
‘These aims…’ Serena looked in despair at the weakened boy not far away, ‘Who would have thought that not even one was achieved? Why is freedom… so hard?’ Serena lowered her head and sighed.
Her gaze dimmed. Her body was becoming unable to support her True Form, which consumed a large amount of energy. Her blood and tissue automatically withered and changed, and her body shrunk. From the ‘ugly-faced woman’, she changed back into the enchanting Serena.
Katerina narrowed her eyes, lightly scratching a birch tree beside her with her claws, leaving deep marks. “Very well, if you have one virtue left, older sister, it would be that you could always catch the right time to surrender to protect your life.”
The naked Serena—who had changed back into her human form—let out a cold and feeble laugh. She said in an unyielding manner, “Of course, the older sisters always cherishes the younger sister.”
At this moment, both Serena and Katerina’s ears moved simultaneously.
From the birch tree forest nearby came the sound of something skittering rapidly.
In the next moment, the old butler Chris Corleone’s figure appeared before Katerina!
After a scuffle with the surprised Katerina, Chris retreated to Serena’s side in the blink of an eye, took out the cape he had prepared beforehand, and draped it on Serena.
The luxurious clothing on his body was tattered. Part of it burst open when he changed into his True Form. Another part was the outcome of his intense fight with Hestad.
“Your Highness,” It only took a glance for Chris Corleone to understand the current situation. He spoke with a grim expression, “I strongly suggest that we retreat for now.”
Thales furrowed his brows. He recalled Gilbert’s appraisal of this old Blood Clansman.
The Night Queen showed a complicated expression.
“Chris Corleone, your battle achievements were enough for you to be conferred a marquisate. I still remember the surprise in father’s eyes when you said that you wanted to serve us as a butler… Seeing it now, it was he who trusted his old subordinate too much.” Katerina raised her pure-white and strange True Form head, furrowing her brows slightly. “Where is Hestad?”
“His wish was fulfilled, Your Highness.” Chris turned his body. Politely, he bowed slightly to his family’s second young mistress—the true mistress of the Corleone family. “Hestad had proudly and happily died in battle. He left without any regrets and has been freed from the pain of living forever.”
‘Leaving behind only us, his old battle companions… to continue to suffer in this fraudulent world.’ Chris sighed in his heart.
Hearing the news of her subordinate’s death, Katerina roared ferociously and flapped open her skeletal wings again. At this moment, a sound came from a thicket.
*Swoop! Swoop! Swoop!*
One after another, more than ten figures appeared behind Katerina, as if they were caught in a frame skip. The warriors of the Sacred Blood Army finally arrived—belatedly.
Supporting the pale Serena, Chris observed the worsening situation with a grim and serious look. “Your Majesty…”
There were twelve male and female warriors remaining in the Sacred Blood Army. Although all of them bore injuries of varying degrees, their faces were firm and determined. They saluted the Night Queen respectfully.
Katerina did not even look at them. She only nodded slowly. “Besiege the traitors,” she ordered indifferently.
At that moment, she appeared, once more, as the character she was supposed to be—the lonely, arrogant and mysterious Night Queen who gained her awe-inspiring reputation by crusading through the Eastern Peninsula for two hundred years.
The twelve figures scattered in the blink of an eye and surrounded Serena and Chris tightly.
Even though none of them spared even a glance at Thales and Ralf, seeing their appearances, Thales’ heart tightened.
‘This is the Sacred Blood Army. After such an intense battle, they did not suffer many casualties.’
“Be prepared at all times, and act as the occasion demands,” Thales panted feebly as he spoke seriously to Ralf, “Both sides have very deep enmity towards us. Don’t let your guard down.”
Thales began to worry about the other people again. ‘There are so few casualties in the Sacred Blood Army. I wonder how Putray, Wya, Chora and Jade Star Family’s private soldiers are faring.
‘Erm… Have I left someone out? How strange… Who on earth did I leave out?’
Thales strenuously and worriedly scratched his head, wanting to remember the person he forgot. But soon, he did not have to be worried anymore.
“Aha, there you are, brat!” A casual greeting called from behind him!
Thales sighed. ‘Oh, right, her.’
Thales’ female protector on this journey, Aida, dragged Simon Corleone—who was barely alive and was powerless to resist her—with one hand. Like a donkey pulling a mill, she walked laboriously out of the thicket and immediately attracted everyone’s attention.
“I didn’t expect… that you would still be alive…” Aida said excitedly.
Thales rolled his eyes and turned his head. But together with Ralf, he was then stunned.
Aida had an elegant and beautiful face, silver eyes, bright hair, and sharp ears that swayed slightly as she casually threw Simon down. As if freed from a burden, she exhaled. She turned and clapped, speaking airily and scornfully to Thales—who had a surprised expression and was at a loss for words.
“Have you never seen an elf? Or is it that you have never seen an elf who is stylishly beautiful and has such a handsome disposition like me?”
“I reckon that with their sense of smell and hearing, those Blood Clansmen had already found His Highness,” Wya Caso chopped off the tree branch above his head and pressed down on his newly-bandaged left rib. Watching the birch tree forest in the dark of night, where nothing could be seen, he laboriously said, “And we are still walking around like headless flies!”
“Rather than spending time grumbling,” Putray lit a torch and carefully observed the footsteps and wheel marks on the snow-covered ground. Indifferently, he said, “Why don’t you save your physical strength? You might need to use your sword later. If you are still able to swing it, that is.”
Behind him was a private soldier from the Jade Star Family whom they had met along the way because he broke off from his group. The soldier was supporting Chora—who had almost lost consciousness.
“Damn it, I lost His Highness on the very first time I escorted him.” Feeling the condition of his injury, Wya sighed in remorse. “I am probably the worst attendant to the prince in Constellation’s history!”
Hearing this, Putray’s hand—which held a torch—suddenly trembled slightly.
“No,” the vice diplomat of the diplomat group, Lord Putray Nemain, said slowly, “You are not.”
Wya turned his head and stared at Putray in surprise. The vice diplomat—who had always hidden his feelings in front of others—showed desolation and grief, which was a strange behavior for him.
“Trust me, you are not the worst attendant. There… was once an attendant to the prince… who was much worse than you. You could say that he was a total failure.”
“Who?” Wya asked in a daze, “Which attendant?”
Putray shut his eyes dejectedly, and only shook his head. At this moment, Wya’s expression changed. He immediately turned his body!
In a flash, the attendant unsheathed the single-edged sword in his hand and swung it in a diagonal angle behind himself!
Pressing on his right shoulder—which had been heavily wounded—in the blink of an eye, Putray fell onto the ground and could not stop panting. His wound had been inflicted by sharp claws. It was only a few inches away from his throat!
On the other hand, Chora fell powerlessly onto the ground. The Jade Star Family’s private soldier beside Chora fell to his knees in disbelief. Holding his neck, which had been sliced open, he struggled to breathe in his last mouthful of air.
Wya’s movements just now affected his wound—which was already quite serious to begin with. Gritting his teeth and enduring the pain, he put one hand on the ground for support and raised his head to look at the enemy who had suddenly appeared.
“Excellent intuition, brat.” The supra class Blood Clansman, the blond and handsome Istrone Corleone—who possessed extraordinary speed—stood before them. He licked his sharp claws that were covered in fresh blood.
Istrone took a step forward. His eyes shone with a cold glare. “Will it be even more delicious if taken straight from the source?”
“No.” Thales shook his head in resignation, letting go of the astonishment and questions in his heart. “It’s just that I had never seen such a… erm, conscientious elf.”
Suddenly, Thales was knocked on his head!
Under Ralf’s stunned gaze, Thales touched his head with teary eyes and stared pitiably at Aida. ‘What sort of protector is this?!’
“Hey, hey, hey! What is with that expression and reply of yours?!”
Under Thales’ teary gaze, and all the Blood Clansmen’s hostile glares, Aida snorted in dissatisfaction. Without any self-awareness, she kicked the unconscious Simon Corleone who was at her feet.
“I went through countless hardships, used all my might and employed all possible tactics to capture this terrifying supreme class opponent alive… And then, I cleverly brought him here to serve as a hostage so that you have more bargaining chips while negotiating. It’s even harder to capture him alive than to kill him. It took me a long time!”
‘Yup, that’s right… It’s definitely not because I got lost in the thicket.’
Aida raised her head proudly. “And then, I immediately rushed here to help-to rescue you!”
Thales rolled his eyes in exasperation again, then placed his hand on his forehead before he sighed. “Thank you for only-No, for having rushed over now. I only have one question. Were you a police officer?”
“Ah-What?” Aida—who had come to his side—was stunned.
“Ah, I was saying that,” Thales supported his feeble body and sat up properly. Changing his expression, he solemnly said, “You came at the right time! To capture the enemy alive, you did very well!”
Aida lifted the corners of her lips and smiled mischievously.
Katerina turned her head and glanced at the dejected Simon on the floor. She then stared at Thales. ‘You want to use him as a bargaining chip? It seems that you still do not trust us.’
Without a crack in his fa?ade, Thales stared right back at the Night Queen. ‘Of course. You are after all, Serena’s younger sister!’
“Enough.” Katerina turned her head with a chilly expression, deciding to solve the matter within her own family first. She cried out, “Serena Corleone, Chris Corleone, surrender yourselves! I will guarantee both of you a fair trial based on our tradition!”
Looking at the Blood Clan warriors that surrounded them, and at Aida who was a distance away, Chris sighed.
He prepared to change into his True Form and launch a desperate attack. But at that moment, Serena suddenly extended her hand and stopped her subordinate.
“Do you think that this is the end?” Serena smiled wanly and looked at her younger sister who had the odds in her favor.
Katerina furrowed her brows. ‘At this stage… What card does she still have?’
Thales suddenly recalled the words Serena said, “War will wipe out the opposers in the Sacred Blood Army, and provide me with a more submissive Night Kingdom… And the true heir of Corleone would make vigorous efforts to save the situation at the last moment…”
‘Wait. Last moment… Make vigorous efforts to save the situation?’
A chill ran down his spine.
‘There are only three of them. How are they going to make vigorous efforts to save the situation when they are attacked by the suzerains of Constellation?’
Thales furrowed his brows. ‘So, these words meant that she has external assistance?’
A desolate expression appeared on Serena’s face. She opened her mouth wide and spat a round, blood-red ball from her throat, into her hands. It was a strange, round ball that wriggled ceaselessly by itself.
Beside her, Chris’ expression changed suddenly!
Bewilderment appeared on Katerina’s face; she did not recognize that thing.
Thales heart jolted. That strange fluctuation surged into his eyes.
‘That round ball… is emitting a blood-red light. Why is this light’s texture… somewhat familiar?’
Thales’ heart shuddered. He turned towards the black coffin which was a distance away.
‘Was it the light from the legendary anti-mystic equipment? Could it be that the red ball is also…’
“What is it?” Katerina asked mockingly, “Do you still want to battle until you are down to the last soldier?”
Serena ignored her; she was pale-stricken. Under everyone’s gaze, as if resigned to fate, she crushed the wriggling, red ball in her hand.
Red liquid flowed out of the crushed ball in Serena’s hand—like blood.
In a raspy voice, Serena spoke desolately, “This is because you all forced my hand.”
At first, nothing happened at all, but after a few seconds, a thunderous noise rang from a distance away!
Like a deluge charging towards the area!
The noise was approaching. It came from the eastern direction. Everyone’s expression changed.
“What have you done?!” Katerina’s expression was dark. She looked at Serena, who had a desolate expression.
Serena laughed wanly and bitterly. “I made my last and most necessary choice.”
The thunderous noise became increasingly louder and nearer. Everyone cautiously turned their heads around and observed their surroundings.
However, there was nothing around the birch tree forest that was basked in moonlight.
“Hey, brat, you’re smart… what on earth is this?” Aida asked curiously.
Thales shook his head solemnly. He had a bad hunch.
That noise which sounded like a great flood surging towards the skies, became increasingly nearer. It sounded like it was only a few feet away… and it was coming from the eastern direction!
However, even the Blood Clansmen who were known for their acute sense of hearing were staring at each other in astonishment. It was clear that they could not make out anything.
Finally, a few seconds later, that noise became increasingly fainter, weaker. By the end, it finally disappeared completely.
Everyone stared at each other in bewilderment. No one understood what had just happened.
Only Thales looked towards the east in a daze. With the fluctuations in his eyes, he saw something.
‘Behind the birch tree thicket. Very… very bright light… Bright light that is… blood-red in color.’
Then, under everyone’s anxious and skeptical gazes, a rustling sound came from the direction where the strange noise disappeared—in a birch tree thicket in the eastern direction.
It was as though someone was walking on the snow-covered ground. The steps were light and flighty, as though the person was not very used to walking on snow.
‘Is that a normal person? A member of the populace?’
Katerina furrowed her brows. Serena flashed a broken smile.
Eventually, a thin and frail figure appeared in everyone’s vision.
The owner of those footsteps… was a maiden. A maiden who was full of smiles. She walked slowly out from behind a birch tree.
Seeing her, the heavily injured Serena Corleone started trembling uncontrollably. Everyone else put on surprised, bewildered expressions, and stared at each other.
‘There is only one person? Who is she?’
The maiden quickly ran her gaze across the scene and said in a gentle voice, “Oh, so it’s here?”
On the other hand, Katerina furrowed her brows tightly. ‘Who is she? Is she Serena’s reinforcement? A delicate and weak girl? No. It’s better to be more careful. After all, she is part of Serena’s last resort.’
Katerina rapidly weighed the situation. The maiden flashed a smile that was enchanting, bright, cute and good-natured.
However, Thales instinctively felt a wave of unprecedented danger!
“Can I have that box? This was a promise made a long time ago.” Smiling, the maiden pointed at something a distance away.
Thales moved his head. His face turned pale. The maiden was pointing at the Dark Night Black Coffin!
Katerina’s expression was solemn. She cautiously took a step forward.
“No matter who you are,” the queen steadily said, “I advise that you do not meddle with the matter here.”
The expressions of the warriors of the Sacred Blood Army were freezing cold as they watched the reckless maiden.
With Katarina’s message delivered to them via telepathy, some of them nodded. Five of the Blood Clan warriors disappeared in the blink of an eye and blocked off the maiden’s path by standing in front of her. They stared at the maiden coldly.
“What? You all want to say ‘no’?” The maiden appeared a little surprised. “Why are there people like this every time? I will be very troubled. Don’t say no…”
Under everyone’s anxious and skeptical gazes and expressions, she then shook her head with a smile, revealing her spotless white teeth. “Don’t. It will be painful.”
Thales watched the strange stalemate between the nameless maiden and the Blood Clansmen in front of him in bewilderment.
‘The way she talked… This manner of talking to herself… I think I have heard it before from somewhere…’
Then, a quaking voice that was mixed with fear rang unsteadily in the air, “Run…”
Everyone turned their gazes.
The supreme class elite, Simon Corleone, who had just regained consciousness, sat up. Currently, he stared at the maiden with his eyes wide open. There was uncontrollable panic on his face, like a rat who saw a cat.
“Simon!” Katerina could not stand the sight. She sternly yelled, “You are losing your composure!”
The Blood Clan warriors stared at each other in disbelief. They found it hard to believe that their commander was in such a state. But that was not all…
Then, the battle-seasoned supreme class elite, the Blood Clan marquis from the Corleone Family, one of the Night King’s Fearsome Four Wings, the well-renowned ‘Flash Wing’ Simon Corleone, unexpectedly shifted his posterior around on the snow-covered ground like a child. He was cowering and shuddering. “No… All of you do not know, all of you do not understand… It… It is…”
The maiden looked at Simon gently and flashed a toothy smile.
Simon immediately shivered. Trembling under everyone’s disbelieving gazes, his handsome face twitched and he vigorously shook his head. Sitting up on the ground, he thrust his legs and moved backwards—as though he saw his darkest nightmare.
Almost in tears and with his face distorted, Simon shrieked in a hoarse voice that was both forlorn and fearful, “Quick! Run!”
“Catch your breath first, then carefully recount the incident.”
In the darkness, the Black Prophet Morat Hansen, held his staff tightly. His expression was unprecedentedly grave.
His capable subordinate, Raphael Lindbergh, held the wall and breathed heavily, as if he had just run all the way here. Gasping for breath, he spoke anxiously, “Because the prince’s diplomat group was heading north… The people we assigned at the border of Constellation and Eckstedt… to search for Ramon… were also prepared to return… But… Both of them did not… did not return…
“A day ago… Somebody discovered… one of their corpses…”
Raphael lowered his body and placed his hands on his knees. Gritting his teeth, he panted, wanting to ease his breathing.
“And then?” Morat asked steadily, “How did that person die?”
The next moment…
“It… It…” Raphael raised his head. Panting, he said through gritted teeth, “It was that…”
Morat’s pupils contracted. He gripped the staff in his hand tightly and listened as Raphael finished saying the phrase.
“… Homicidal maniac.”