Book 3, Chapter 13

Retreat

The saint glared at the maple knight, fire almost spewing out of his eyes. The severed right arm hadn’t been shattered— he could get it fixed back in the Church of the Eternal Dragon— but it had still caused irreversible damage. It would take a long time before he could return to his former capacity.

A loud, clear sound rang out from above them at that moment, “I guess even the Joseph Family is inferior to the Millennial Empire when it comes to arrogance?”

The knight raised his head towards the source of the sound, only to see a griffin diving down at breakneck speed. It covered the hundred or so metres to the ground in an instant, landing in front of him like a meteor.

A middle-aged man with a strong aura appeared before the maple knight. His hair, still flying from the impact, was an eerie lilac, the killing intent so strong that it materialised into numerous violet runes that floated around his body.

He took a mere three steps towards the knight, the purple aura expanding with every foot forward until it was a ten-metre tall pillar of fire!

Anyone could guess that this man was Earl Sully of the Joseph Family, a well-known level 20 powerhouse!

Still, the maple knight was unperturbed as he asked with indifference, “What are you doing here? Trying to rob an offering given to Richard Archeron by Her Excellency Mountainsea? Are you trying to wage war with the Millennial Empire?”

Sully stared at the knight for a good while. The colour drained from his face, but he still sneered, “Ah, Mr. Drakons! Am I seeing things? The commander of the maple knights is now a little guard that’s sneaked his way to Faust?”

Drakons smiled, “If I hadn’t come, then this skeleton would already be in your hands."

Steelrock huffed unhappily, but didn’t say anything. Still, his implication was clear; nobody could have taken these things away even if Drakons hadn’t been here.

“Ancient beast skeleton!” Sully’s shock was apparent in his high-pitched voice. His gaze grew piercing, energy surging as he shouted, “Isn’t Mountainsea the ruler of the barbarians? What does she have to do with the Millennial Empire?”

Drakons replied calmly, “Her Excellency is the granddaughter of the Empress, and a student of my master the Sword Saint. Of course she’s related to the Empire. Or have you been in Faust so long that you’re completely clueless about the continent at large?”

Sully’s face dropped at the mentioned of the Sword Saint. “Regardless,” he said through clenched teeth, “I’ll have to get my hands on that thing!”

Steelrock scoffed coldly and took one foot forward, about to walk towards Sully. But just as he raised his leg, he was quickly pulled back again. “This is my affair now,” Drakons stated.

One hand on Steelrock, Drakons’ eyes grew clouded and he asked Sully, “You want the skeleton? Sure. All you need to do is kill me.”

Sully laughed out loud as the purple energy around him condensed into an axe. “We’re both level 20 beings. You think you can defeat me just because you have the Sword Saint for a master?”

His words enraged Steelrock once more. The barbarian clenched his fists so hard his knuckles popped loudly, his face a smile filled with malice, “Where did this idiot come from? I promise: 3 minutes with him and I’ll have him begging for mercy!”

Drakons held out his arm to block Steelrock; even without making any direct contact, he still managed to stop the furious barbarian from acting. His swords did not leave their sheaths on their own this time. He instead grabbed them by the hilt, slowly drawing bout out. The half-drawn blades shone so brightly in the light of the setting sun it was impossible to tell their material.

He glared coldly at the Earl, “We’re both level 20? Great. Take ten attacks from me without dying, and I’ll let you off.”

All colour drained from Sully’s face as his hand around his axe trembled profusely. He knew full well that the moment both those swords left their sheaths, Drakons would fight to his full abilities.

Alas. The swords left their sheaths slowly, the blades vibrating in the process to create a draconic roar that only got louder with time. By the time they were finally out, Sully let out a scream and turned around. His hazy purple energy shrouded the saint and all the rune knights as he made a beeline for the Josephs’ floating island.

“Drakons! I’m not scared of you, just showing some respect for the Sword Saint!” the earl’s voice echoed from afar.

Drakons scoffed, returning his blades to their sheaths.

Steelrock was irritated that he didn’t get to have the fight he wanted and spat hatefully, “Why did that bastard run?”

Drakons had already returned to his non-threatening demeanour. With his mask pulled back up, he looked just like an ordinary maple knight. He laughed lightly at Steelrock’s complaint, “The Josephs are at fault this time. If this sparks a war with the Empire, the Sacred Emperor wouldn’t let him off. On the other hand, even if I did kill him it wouldn’t be of any significance. He came with such gusto but didn’t expect to be embarrassed by me. Naturally, he went running back in shame. Of course the word will spread through high society; the Joseph Family has completely humiliated itself this time.”

Steelrock profusely nodded in enlightenment, “They dug their own graves. But they insulted Her Excellency! This embarrassment isn’t enough to teach them a lesson, I’ll come back to the Sacred Alliance with an army from Klandor…”

Drakons was rather speechless at that. “Trust me, the punishment I gave them is far more than sufficient.”

Steelrock stared at Drakons for a while, only nodding hesitantly after he remembered the severely injured saint and rune knights just now.

The journey continued in spite of the of the unforeseen incident, no more fools trying to disturb the trip. The skeletons thus ultimately made their way to the old steward, rendering the atmosphere in the Archeron island even tenser than before.

The ancient beast skeleton was on the same level as a dragon’s skeleton; it was worth at least one intermediate sacrifice.

……

An angry growl rang throughout the Josephs’ island when the skeleton entered Archeron hands. “Bastard! This cruel bastard!”

Drakons was cruel, indeed. All ten of the rune knights’ mounts had been killed, and he had completely destroyed one of the runes on each of their bodies. This dropped the entire squad’s power by at least a third; they were a lost cause.

Sully was fuming, but he had no plans for revenge. He may be level 20, but he had no hopes of becoming a legendary being. He knew his place, and the confrontation with Drakons taught him that even people at the same level could differ drastically in power.

Sully was clear about something else as well. Even if he had been the stronger one today, he couldn’t have touched Drakons. Unless, of course, he planned to stay in Faust for the rest of his life to avoid the Sword Saint’s vengeance.

Moreover, if the protector of the Sacred Alliance found out about this, she would likely join the Sword Saint in chasing him down instead of stopping him.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA