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436 Part 1

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The Black Demon King

Chapter 23: Holy Maiden of Helvetia

Episode 436: Three Former Guards

 

“I-I’m … out of luck ….”

Born as a farmer, he became an adventurer because he did not enjoy working the fields. He then splendidly fell into poverty. However, when he was saved from the verge of death, he once again took his adventurer’s profession seriously. He took on jobs as a guard for the bandits, or other jobs in the gray. His life was in danger once again. Because the same person saved him that second time as well, he vowed and courageously received the “Recruitment of Gladiator Members” emergency quest.

Serving in the battlefield to defend the homeland Spada would —

“I’m really going to die this time, I ….”

An insignificant rank 2 adventurer named Zack, who was suddenly trapped in a mysterious barrier with a myriad of enemies smashed into the snow, muttered in despair.

The new battle-ax in his hands felt heavier than ever.

In front of him was overflowing with enemies, white enemies. They were so powerful and scary that his hair stood on ends. He was a skinhead, though.

“Haha, I guess my life only amounts to this —.”

“Well, I wonder. I think it’s too early to give in.”

The desperate words he let out with a dry laugh was suddenly interrupted by the man right next to him.

“T-that voice. Could you be …?”

The voice was familiar. He was not all that smart, but he was good at remembering people’s faces, voices, and names. The figure of the man came to Zack’s mind like a sudden illness that plagued a sick person.

“You’re Zack, aren’t you? It’s been a long time. I didn’t think you’re still alive.”

“As I thought, Master Rudra!”

Upon looking carefully, the man’s face that Zack envisioned was not there. Instead, the face of a white skull covered his real face. Even so, he could recognize it at one glance.

The dark golden long hair was tied together casually. He wore a black coat over his thin figure, with a sword hanging from his waist. Without the mask, his figure would be just like how Zack remembered it.

But above all, it was Rudra’s gloomy aura that made Zack recognize him for certain. Many men oozed dark auras, but this person was the only one with an intimidating dark aura as if he was a legendary beast holding its breath getting ready to attack its prey.

It was not clear what made him so intimidating. It could have been the atmosphere of a peculiar master swordsman, or that he was a sentient existence. Zack did not know much about that.

Zack only knew that this man was called Rudra. Both his real appearance and name were unknown. Recently, both Zack and Rudra were hired as guards by the bandits that had been disturbing Spada and Fahren. That was when Zack learned about Rudra’s transcendent swordsmanship.

“Oops, I probably shouldn’t have called your name since you’re hiding your face.”

“I don’t mind it this late in the game.”

“But I never thought we’d meet in a place like this.”

“There’s a golem that you’re familiar with over there.”

In the direction where Rudra was pointing, there was a golem towering over the marching adventurers. A one-red-eye golem with iron body was common, but …

“Woah, you’re kidding. That’s Gardin!”

Zack was only acquainted with one golem. Gardin was dull, he might not remember Zack. However, while Zack was thinking along that line, the mono-eye turned toward him and stared hard.

The next moment, the iron giant began approaching steadily. Both Rudra and Zack thought for a second that they should run away.

“Ah?! Hey, aren’t those two little and bald guys look familiar?”

“Shut up, you junk bastard!”

“… Gardin, you’re doing well surviving!”

Thus, the former guard trio of Fahren’s bandits reunited there.

“But we don’t have time to reminisce. I mean, look at this situation we’re in.”

They could not enjoy their reunion while being stormed by the attacking large army of enemies. No matter how sharp Rudra’s sword technique was, the battle situation was not something that could be overcome by a single sword.

“It seems that the Spada army has been trapped by the enemy’s tactics, but I don’t think it’s a desperate predicament.”

“Well, the master’s skill might probably turn the tide … or we might even be saved, right?”

“Of course.”

Rudra declared nonchalantly. In response to his unexpected response, Zack rolled his eyes while listening incredulously.

I wonder if that was a hope for survival.

“Kurono is on our side.”

It was an unfamiliar name in Spada. However, that name sounded familiar. To be precise, it was an unforgettable name.

If I’m not mistaken, I heard that name for the first time back when —

 

“Is he targetting us because I was in the rank 3 party called ‘Element Master’ with Kurono?”

 

Because of the greedy and stupid bandits picking a fight with an opponent they should never have messed with. Unfortunately, I was one of them. At the same time, I was fortunate enough to be the only survivor among them.

Had I’ve known that we were up against you, — I would have come up with the same excuse. That man took hold of my life.

I could relive the fear that felt like a black, tough, and cold wire wrapped around my body.

“Haha … seriously … I really hate it ….”

An evil nightmare certainly existed beyond the line of sight:

black hair, black and red odd-eyes. Kurono was wearing a black coat similar to Rudra’s, but any amateur would be able to tell that he was of a higher rank. His sharp and rugged expression was exactly like how Zack remembered it.

He was holding a big, unrefined black iron block. It was a mysterious thing that had never been seen before, but witnessing a huge lightning strike that killed a giant golem four days ago proved that it was some kind of a magical weapon.

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