Book 3, Chapter 17

A Battle For Vengeance(2)

The assassin could never have imagined that a mage would one day hunt him down at sword’s point. However, he didn’t find the irony in the situation humorous, focusing on a desperate escape.

If not for his speed and agility, he would have been sliced in two. The sword in Richard’s hands was far too sharp, breaking his dagger in two with only a few strikes. Even worse, sword lights flashed from the sword every now and then, sometimes narrowly missing his head and cutting off a few locks of hair. The assassin did not doubt that direct contact with this blade would leave him in pieces.

With only half his dagger left, the assassin had almost nothing useful on his person. Luckily he had a backup dagger, so he didn’t have to parry the attacks empty-handed. With Richard’s grasp of the dark arts, he could forget all about the idea of countering. If not for the awe-inspiring barrage of twelve fireballs earlier, he would have thought this person chasing him was actually a powerful assassin. No matter what techniques he used, he failed to widen the distance between them.

Richard used his sword skillfully as he chased the assassin. With the support of two powerful divine spells and Sinclair’s dagger on him, he could defend against almost all of the assassin’s tactics. The only thing the attacker could do was attempt to get as far away as possible.

At one point Richard suddenly slowed his pace, using what little mana he had recovered to cast an illumination spell. These kinds of grade 0 spells used almost no mana, only serving as a source of light. However, this light happened to fall on the hidden group of assassins that was nearing him!

The group of assassins suddenly realised that a halo of magic light had appeared above their heads. The idea of an ambush now was nothing more than a joke.

The moment he threw all the assassins out of stealth, Richard stopped in his tracks. He allowed them to increase the distance rapidly.

The one who had just fought him was close to tears, extremely agitated from the close shave with death. He only dared to turn back for a momentary peek, seeing Richard standing still with a meaningful smile.

The assassin turned around once more, suddenly beginning to scream as he understood something. He’d actually moved out of close quarters from a mage?

Of course, Richard wouldn’t give him the opportunity for regret. A flame arrow shot forth from his hands, a grade 4 spell that had more power than a fireball and could also follow a target. After the flame arrow came an acid arrow, and then another flame arrow. Richard had already turned his back once he cast the third spell, not even bothering with the assassin’s plight.

Of course, the rest of the assassins weren’t faring any better. Their faces paled at the sight of the rows of barbarian warriors closing in on them. This troop of warriors with heavy shields was basically a massive, mobile barrier when they assembled together. They were also surrounded by mounted desert warriors, and when Gangdor and Tiramisu appeared with their signature weapons they lost all hope.

Assassins were extremely lethal in specific situations, but a fight against heavily armed soldiers was bound to end in tragedy. In the faces of the heavy axes, falchions, and hammers, most of them were killed instantly.

Richard slowly returned the dagger to its sheath, lifting his head to look into the distance. Kellac walked over at the same time, “All the enemies are destroyed.”

“No, not yet.” Richard shook his head in disagreement. 

“The battle with the caravan is still ongoing, but none of them will be able to escape.”

Richard shook his head again, “No, I’m not referring to the caravan. Another person escaped, but forget it; we won’t be able to catch up.”

“Who?” Kellac asked. He didn’t feel anything out of the ordinary, but if Richard was this alert then the mage had to have sensed something he hadn’t.

An archer walked out from behind a huge rock that was hundreds of metres away from the battlefield. He put the eye-catching bow that was larger than his body away; there had been no opportunity to use the arrow he had nocked. He quickly stopped deliberating over the idea and whistled loudly, summoning a tall, black horse that had been resting under a nearby rock formation.

When he mounted his horse, the archer looked in the direction of Richard once more. His powerful vision allowed him to notice even the slightest of changes in the mage’s expression from such a great distance. Richard was stood firmly, pointing at him before pulling a thumb across his throat.

The archer shivered in fear, directing his horse in another direction and leaving quickly. He knew that a sniper like him was a nemesis of all mages. His enchanted tracking arrows travelled further than most spells, and had the force to pierce defences despite the distance. Thus, he was the one Richard would want to kill the most.

The sniper looked up, seeing a few bats circling in the skies. Their familiar black shadows cut across the horizon, only growing his fear. These creatures were definitely related to the great mage, and might even have been the ones that had discovered Blackwing and his subordinates. However, the fellow had never heard of bats that could fly such long distances in the sweltering heat before, forget such mythical beasts.

Although he had killed more than a dozen mages, Richard’s barrage of fireballs and his swordsmanship were truly unbelievable. The mage’s skills changed his entire understanding of magic, hanging over his very existence like an unforgettable trauma.

Richard didn’t bother about the archer any longer, walking towards Blackwing who lay unconscious on the ground with green fumes coming out of his body. He didn’t even bother looking at the assassin’s face, preparing to stab down with Sinclair’s long dagger. He clearly intended for the death to be thorough; the blade had the extinction enchantment.

As one could infer from its name, the extinction enchantment contained powerful destructive energy. It was the nemesis of all life, making even the tiniest of injuries difficult to heal. Spells below grade 5 were directly rendered useless, while those above were greatly weakened. It would be great if they could perform to a third of normal potential. Regardless of whether Blackwing was still alive or dead, one stab with this dagger and death was guaranteed.

Just as Richard was about to stab down, Blackwing suddenly sprung up and stabbed forth with his dull blade. However, Richard’s reaction was much faster than he had imagined. His longer blade pushed the other dagger away, still managing to pierce the assassin’s chest. Blackwing’s expression grew malicious as he ignored the injury, firmly pushing the weapon in further as he tried to take Richard down with him.

However, the blade suddenly changed directions and forced Blackwing to lose his grip. All of the assassin’s strength was used to stab through Richard’s robe, only barely managing to reach the flesh. Richard’s skin felt as tough as dragon scales!

At that moment, Richard’s blade had already pierced through Blackwing’s heart. He expressionlessly shifted to a two-handed grip, squeezing softly to tear it apart.

Blackwing’s eyes went lifeless. He realised his dagger couldn’t go a single centimetre farther, and it was all he could do to stare at Richard and pant heavily. Only then did he remember the magical light that illuminated Richard’s body, everything suddenly making sense.

Richard was still blessed by two immensely powerful spells. The idea of trading lives was just wishful thinking. Blackwing fell to the ground once more, and this time he would never stand again.

The sight of Blackwing’s shock and grief just before his death left Richard feeling an inexplicable happiness and satisfaction. He’d known from the start that Blackwing was only pretending to be dead; the assassin had planned to make a final try once he grew closer, and he was all too glad to oblige. He had moved to Blackwing’s side for the sole purpose of giving him that extra chance, to give the man some hope that he could complete his final mission in life.

The divine spells still in effect, Richard’s body had been no different from that of a magic puppet. Still, even though Blackwing knew this, he had no choice but to give it a shot. Had he continued to feign death, Richard would have sent him on with a final stab.

Richard suddenly realised that it was only this kind of cruel, gory murder that could vent his emotions. He now understood why some characters were always shouting about how satisfying a kill was on the battlefield.

The battle with the caravan was nearing its end. The waves of flying axes had left the defence a mess, and what followed had been a massacre. The mercenary archers and foot soldiers showed their great skill for the first time in battle, not letting a single soul escape.

The aftermath would naturally be handled by his subordinates, and Richard had no interest in what exactly populated the carriages. No matter what, the goods of a second class caravan would be worth somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 gold.

Richard dug out Blackwing’s shattered heart, summoning Tiramisu. The ogre bathed his brother’s skull in the blood.

Rays of light shot out of the skull, absorbing the fresh blood to create a pattern on the bone. Red fumes emerged from the nasal cavity, carrying a faint sound of the dead ogre’s roars.

The red fumes floated around in the air a few times before they were all sucked in by Tiramisu. The ogre blanked out, as if he didn’t understand what happened. Only after what seemed like half a day did he fall to the ground and hug the skull, wailing out loud.

Medium Rare’s soul was freed from the skull, but this also meant that the ogre had truly left the world. He would have to co-exist with his brother in another form.

Richard just sighed as he patted Tiramisu on the back, no words of comfort to be found.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: JT

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA