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Chapter 457

Raising The General’s Head

 

“Don’t be afraid! Push them back!”

The man screaming on the white horse is Count Bergunt, General of the Third Crusader Army.

He was now in the middle of a bloody battlefield with the Helvetian Knights, the most elite group of Knights that he had raised with his own hands. In response to the enemy’s Cavalry assault, he took the main Cavalry of the Third Army and intercepted them head-on, but the result was a turbulent battle.

“Please retreat, my Lord! It’s too dangerous to go any further.”

“Don’t make me repeat it! I will not retreat a single step until I rescue Linfelt– ‘The Great Storm Wall Erle Rampart De Fan’!”

While shouting at the Knight standing beside him, the Count powerfully drew his favorite weapon, the Emerald Jaeger, a high-grade large bow specialized in the use of wind attribute.

The arrows he shot out emitted a dazzling green glow, and when they popped in midair, they manifested themselves as an advanced range defense spell, the “Great Storm Wall Erle Rampart De Fan”, and blew away the countless lightning strikes that fell from the blue sky.

“There’s no escape for them. Infantry will soon block the enemy’s rear. Keep moving forward and kill those demons!  That will assure our victory!”

“Ha!”

The difficult war situation continued.

In the vicinity, Heavy Cavalry was running around, heavily armed and terribly fast, but also capable of firing lightning magic. To be honest, I have to admit that their skill level is much higher than the Count’s Cavalry.

The number of Cavalry is not even close to a thousand, probably around three hundred. But if you look at the reality that it was this group that penetrated the camp to this point and led the troops that followed behind to this point, you will understand their ability.

But we have twice as many Cavalry, maybe even three times as many. We may not be as skilled as you, but we’re not as weak as you might think. If we keep fighting, we will definitely have an advantage, though it doesn’t seem as straightforward as that because of that female Knight.

“Is there anyone who can kill her?”

She is far too strong to ignore. If she continues like this, she will reach me alone. Impossible.

But Linfelt was captured by the demon alone as well. He pushed his way through the enemy lines and brought his horrible demon hands on my beloved daughter.

I can’t have the same end result for both me and my daughter.

“My Lord, please let me handle this!”

“No, please let me!”

“Just let me do it!”

One after another, a number of people came forward in high spirits. The Count looked at the people who had raised their hands and said

“All of you go.”

“Well, then the duel–”

“Fool, only a Hero can win a duel against a Draconian.”

As a Lord, as a general, but even before that, as an archer, the Count has great skill with a bow and good eyesight to catch the enemy.

Therefore, he was able to clearly see the female Knight in this melee even though she was several hundred meters away. He could see with his jade eyes that she had the horns, scales, and wings of a Dragon.

And there is no one else with such characteristics, except for the Draconians.

In the Sinclair Republic, where demi-humans are considered to be demons, and in the Crusaders, there is no one who does not know the name of the Draconian. A person with the characteristics of a Dragon. They are the most feared race of demons with immense abilities.

If you unravel the history of holy wars that the Crusaders have been waging since ancient times, you will find records of many bitter defeats before their (the Draconians’) might. Even if they were able to win, the sacrifices they made to win the war were astonishingly high.

The Draconian are very fearsome, but on the continent of Ark, it is said that the last of them was defeated and destroyed by the second Apostle Abel a hundred years ago. The legend of the Dragon Emperor’s Conquest, in which he is praised as the “White Hero,” is his most famous episode.

However, this is a different land across the sea. The majesty of ‘White God’ has not reached us here, and the continent of Pandora is ruled by the evil demon race. If that’s the case, it wouldn’t be surprising if one or two Draconians existed.

“Fight like you are fighting against a real Dragon! Go!”

The Knights that I sent out were all very skilled, as they had all come forward. If I were to evaluate them simply by their fighting ability, they would surpass Sebastian.

However, I don’t know if they will be enough to defeat the Draconian. In the worst-case scenario, it would be enough if we could injure her even a little. After that, our greatest strength, numbers, would be enough.

“–Mmmh!”

At that time, I suddenly noticed a murder intent directed at me. Maybe I was able to notice the murderous intent because I had thrown myself into the battlefield like this numerous times.

The Count reflexively fired his bow with masterful speed and motion.

The spiraling, wind-swirling arrow whizzed through the air and immediately exploded. The Count immediately saw that the arrow had collided with the enemy’s Fire Magic – or rather, Explosion Magic – in it.

The intuition instantly told him that if it hadn’t been intercepted, he would have been hit. And where is the person who fired it? From the direction of the arrow’s flight and the height of the explosion, he was quickly able to determine it.

“A Golem archer… What range.”

What I caught in my line of sight was a single Golem, holding a large mechanical bow with gears on both ends of the string. With its distinctive black-and-white coloring and rabbit-like ears, it stood out so prominently that once you spotted it, you could not lose sight of it.

“Hold the line, the archers are aiming!”

I looked carefully and noticed that not only the black-and-white Golem but also the archer standing nearby, wearing a ridiculously designed, all-pink outfit, was also aiming at me. There are probably dozens or hundreds of other archers aiming their arrows at me.

And they are not regular Spada troops, but adventurers or mercenaries, which can be easily discerned from their appearance.

“Like I would die to a lowly adventurer…”

Suddenly, my speech was cut off. What came out of my mouth was not words, but fresh blood.

“What? What…”

A burning sensation ran through my chest.

No way, it’s impossible. I am surrounded by my Knights, and I intercepted the arrow as well.

But Bergunt’s eyes saw a bloody silver blade coming from his own chest.

“Idiot…” (TN: It’s the popular ‘Baka Na’ moment.)

Someone stabbed me in the back.

A traitor? No, he is…

“Bloom, Snow, Moon, and Blossom.”

Assassin.

When I came to that conclusion, I saw that the assassin was holding an ice dagger in his left backhand and thrusting at my neck.

“My Lord?”

“Where the hell did you come from?”

“Don’t let him get away! Get after him!”

Like a distant reverberation, I could vaguely hear the voices of my men. I wanted to reprimand them, “Don’t panic.” but I couldn’t speak.

What the hell happened to me? I tried to check, but I couldn’t even move my head. It was as if my whole body had disappeared from the neck down.

I had no choice but to move my eyes and look. I saw a demon who was holding my head.

“……!”

Damn you, demon. That’s what I thought I shouted.

The last thing the Count saw was a man with black hair. The man who had freed his beloved daughter, Linfelt, was the most vicious demon in the world. However, for some reason, his face was covered with a white mask, and he could not see the face of his enemy.

And so, Count Bergunt turned into a living head with a fierce look of hatred on his face, as if he would instantly rise as an undead.

“–Hey, I got the heads of the General.”

In the middle of the battlefield, where a fierce melee battle was raging, Nero screamed. In one hand, he held out the severed head of the enemy General and tossed it to Charlotte with a light gesture, as if he were playing with a large ball.

“Hey! Don’t push that disgusting thing on me!”

“You’re the one who said you wanted it. You don’t have a shred of gratitude.”

The [Wing Road] and [Alter Face] decided to join the wave of adventurers, led by the [Iron Demon Brigade] and the [Blade Rangers], who charged in one after another to take credit for their work.

Normally, Nero would be very reluctant to be in tune with the momentum around him, but…

“If I don’t play a big enough role here and raise the General’s head, I won’t be able to get father’s approval! So please, everyone, lend me your strength!” (Charlotte)

“I refuse. That’s too much trouble.”

“If this doesn’t work, I’m going to die this time! I’m going to die because of ‘punishment’! Its okay, Nero, I will become a naughty girl who will die because of that ‘punishment’!”

“…I understand, I will help you.”

In front of the power of his childhood friend who begged with puppy eyes while waving her cat ears and tail, Nero had to agree.

To be honest, I have no idea what ‘punishment’ will kill Charlotte naughtily, but even so, I have ignored King Leonhart’s advice and came to the battlefield. It won’t look good if I don’t get results here.

That said, I thought that the General’s head would be too much to hope for.

“I never thought it would work out this way.”

“I’ll give it back to you, Safi.”

With his other hand, which was not holding the head, Nero carelessly grabbed a piece of cloak and held it out to Safi.

The fabric felt like rough shark skin, and it was cloudy milky white in color, not very flattering. At first glance, it was obvious that this material was not suitable for clothing.

However, it was this cloak that had the most useful effect in helping Nero raise the head of the enemy General.

The name of this cloak was “Predator Coat”. Its effect is the complete invisibility of the wearer. In other words, the wearer can visually disappear.

The owner of this skin was a mutant species of wild lizards. It has been known in Avalon for a long time that there is a rare lizard-like beast called a Chameleon that changes its body color to assimilate into the surrounding scenery. This mutant has acquired the same, or even better, mimicry abilities as that of a Chameleon.

The mutant could hide its appearance by literally ‘bending’ the light that hits it with a special Light Magic extra.

Because of its magical principle, the wearer is required to have a high aptitude for the light attribute. And Nero’s strongest attribute is Light. So, he could easily use this cloak to its maximum potential.

In addition to such compatible equipment, Nero already had a wide range of concealment skills, including sound, smell, presence, and magic, which together made him even more covert than a top assassin. Hence, he could stab a General to death who was surrounded by ten or twenty layers of Knights guarding him.

“It’s expensive.”

“Then you can have this one.”

I also offer the head to her.

“Oh, my God, are you sure? Thank you. You have a very nice expression of resentment on your face. You’re going to make a great undead.”

The normally expressionless Safi was smiling cheerfully on this occasion. It’s a smile that shows off the charm of her natural beauty. But if someone were to choose the reaction of a girl of her age who had a severed head passed to her, Charlotte’s would definitely be the right choice.

“Don’t forget about the reward.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I still like [Wing Road]. I’ll do my best to make sure it benefits the party.”

With the same smile, but with an evil expression that could be described as dark, Safi answered confidently. It was a well-known fact among the party members that she was the best at negotiating to get concessions from the other party.

However, Safi and Nero were the only two in the party who could be trusted to do any decent negotiating. Nell is too good-natured, and Char is too quick to lose her temper. Kai is out of the question.

“I mean, why don’t you two call yourselves by your aliases? Don’t get carried away with the General’s head!”

Charlotte, who must be wearing an absolutely triumphant expression under her cat mask, warned them as they exchanged the head.

“What? We don’t need to do that anymore.”

“We’ve gotten enough credit, I don’t care when they find out. Or rather, Char, how long are you going to keep up that embarrassing disguise?”

Come to think of it, both Nero and Safi were not wearing masks when I noticed them. In other words, their cold gazes were not hidden, but mercilessly pierce through to Charlotte in her cat-ear tail and toy-like cat mask.

“What? You’re being ridiculous! Nero gave me this as a gift, so I’m just wearing it out of necessity!”

“Is that so?”

“No, I don’t remember.”

“I can’t believe it! How could you forget?

Even though he was told so, Nero really had no idea. The disguises for [Alter Face] were procured by each of us on our own, and we didn’t have a particular outfit in mind.

However, in front of Charlotte, who was clearly transforming her anger into a lightning attribute magic and bouncing it all over her body, Nero would be inclined to think about it just a little bit more. And then, with an exclamation of “BAKA!” an electric flash was delivered to Nero.

“Oh, I remember now. That’s the mask I bought for you at a strange stall at a harvest festival when we were kids.”

“… Is that so?”

It was the exact same line of questioning as before, but Safi’s expression was somewhat stiff.

“Hmm, what’s with the …, you remember… properly.”

The words were as stinging as ever, but Charlotte’s wagging tail as she turned away was as obvious as a child trying to hide her embarrassment.

“You were holding on to it till now?”

“I didn’t! It was just a coincidence. I just happened to find it! That’s not the point! We’ll be [Alter Face] until we get back to Spada, so keep up your disguises, both of you!”

While shouting out a theory that sounded like the famous attitude of new adventurers, along the lines of “snacks are limited to 300 Klans,” Charlotte forcefully diverted the conversation.

As for Nero, he didn’t want to drag up such a topic while he was still on the battlefield, at least not yet. We’ve already done our job here. I have no objection to the idea of ending this troublesome war and returning to Spada.

“It’s okay, but… well, where’s Kai?”

“Hmm? I thought he was playing around.”

Safi replied as if she was not interested, but that was enough of an explanation.

Going around us is a battle between the Crusaders and the Spada army. In the middle of such a battlefield, there would be only one course of action for that battle maniac.

“Let’s leave that idiot alone and go home.”

“Well, I guess I’ll just let him do what he wants for a change.”

“Oh, are we really leaving him?”

Charlotte was the only one who disagreed, but her comment was more of a distrust of letting act alone than a concern.

As a result of letting Kai loose in the past, we’ve experienced many regrets when he pulls powerful monsters from their dens, wakes up powerful monsters sleeping in dungeons, or… even attracts more powerful monsters to cause unnecessary trouble.

“The battle is already decided. It’s going to be okay.”

I found myself hearing the sound of a high-pitched trumpet. The Spada army uses bells or gongs to communicate. It is the Crusaders who use the trumpet.

And looking at the flow of the battlefield, it’s easy to imagine what that high-pitched tone indicates. In other words, it is a “Full-scale Retreat”.

Nero and others were already surrounded by adventurers pushing forward, and the Crusaders were retreating pressed by their momentum. Although they still had the upper hand in terms of numbers, the large number of roops on either side of the central area that had been cut open stopped advancing toward the city walls and were beginning to retreat little by little.

“Go, go, go! Crush the Crusaders!

“They are just trash! Hee-ha-ha!”

Looking up, the Taurus, which was supposed to be the enemy’s secret weapon, was making heavy progress chasing the Crusaders. I don’t know how they took it, but with such a huge weapon charging into the front line, it would be impossible for the Crusaders to go on the offensive.

So Nero turned on his heel and walked toward the city wall, passing the advancing Taurus – that’s when.

“….?”

Nero stopped the step he had taken and looked back as if he had been played.

“What’s the matter, Nero?”

Did you forget something? Just as Charlotte was about to ask such a simple question, Nero’s arm reached out to her shoulder and pulled her to him.

“What? What? Nero, Nero, what are you doing?”

Charlotte screamed as she was suddenly embraced passionately. Though she shouted as such, she provided no physical resistance.

“Safi! Use your most powerful defensive move! Now!”

However, what Charlotte heard was not a sweet persuasion, but a sharp command from Nero. It was also filled with a great deal of impatience.

Yes, Nero had sensed the impending danger at this very moment. His keen sixth sense told him that there was a tremendous danger approaching as he had never before.

Nero had never doubted his instincts before and had always acted on as they dictated. In the next moment, he understood that it was the right answer again.

It was a white dot of light.

At first, the light shining in the blue sky was so small and weak that it was easy to lose sight of it if you looked away. But then I realized that it was like a star, then the sun, and then the full moon, and its presence was increasing at an accelerating rate.

It was undoubtedly flying towards us. From far away, in a straight line at a tremendous speed, coursing through the sky.

The dazzling white light pouring down from the heavens made the people around me start to notice as well. But it was already too late.

White light flashed–

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