Book 6, Chapter 52

Confrontation

A strong wind blew through the night sky as even the most excited of the barbarians entered their dreams, carrying dozens of snoring voices throughout the campsite. Amidst the thick clouds and heavy snow, it was a good time to kill people.

A sizeable group of shrine warriors were patrolling around the campsite, and the fact that there was an elder amongst them showed just how seriously the shrine was treating the participants’ safety. This had never been a thing in the past, but it allowed the barbarian warriors to rest at ease.

Although he was lying in bed, Richard was currently at the perfect balance of tension and relaxation for battle. His hands were glowing a deep red.

The darkness in his room tonight was quite different, almost sticky and alive as it constantly twisted around. Hundreds of nightmare creatures were hidden within, staring at him with bloodthirst, but they were far too scared and confused to actually attack. They didn’t feel a strong aura emanating from him, but the red fingertips forced them into a subconscious retreat. They would only approach him when that light faded away.

There were a number of concealed traps at the door, window, and roof. They would be nothing to a true assassin, but he was using them as a facade to lull the potential attackers into a sense of confidence. The true trap was the hundreds of nightmare creatures lurking in the shadows.

……

A black shadow stealthed up Richard’s roof in the middle of the night, circumventing all the alarms without issue. The matte black shortsword in the figure’s hand seemed to be alive and writhing, but even a powerful saint wouldn’t notice the presence without looking. The man was almost invisible despite the lack of any spells; magic was often useless in this trade because of how easily it could be detected.

Just as he was about to fall from the roof to enter the building, the assassin suddenly dropped prone and looked into the distance. A petite man who looked to be in his early thirties was sitting on another roof nearby, face completely bland yet possessing an aura of calm youth that was hard to forget.

The assassin broke out in a cold sweat; he hadn’t noticed this man at all. It felt like he didn’t notice either, but instinct told the killer that he had noticed and was just ignoring it to look at the clouds. A brief moment of hesitation flashed across the assassin’s face, but he decided to go through with the plan anyway. The Council of Elders had already agreed to the matter, so they would deal with any consequences.

The middle-aged man was still looking up at the night sky, but he shook his head slightly and muttered, “I don’t need to bother with this.”

The voice wasn’t particularly loud nor soft, just audible enough for the assassin to hear. It caused some hesitation, but only a moment later the killer regained his senses and rushed into Richard’s room.

However, the moment he touched the floor it felt like the darkness around him was trying to absorb him completely. Pain immediately shot through his lower limbs as something started biting right through, forcing him to jump up and try to get away.

The assassin’s thoughts raced like lightning to recall just what this was, and he almost screamed at the realisation that the entire room was full of nightmare creatures. These monsters of the shadows immediately sensed his life force and converged on him, but after a few attempts at hacking them apart he just screamed and fled.

This incident quickly aroused the other barbarians nearby, but when they came out they found nothing. The man sitting on the roof had long since disappeared.

Back within the room, Richard didn’t even get up as he reached out with a finger and slashed out in mid-air, the energy attacks ripping right through all the nightmare creatures nearby. He could have given chase and possibly caught up, but fighting someone so powerful head-on was undoubtedly a problem just before more fights. With the threat having been neutralised for now, he relaxed into his bed knowing that he could sleep cozily.

Of course, he still added a few more magical defences just in case. In the process, he also pocketed an image diamond and examined the scene. He didn’t understand why the assassin’s perfect stealth had faded a little, but unable to figure it out he just returned to sword practice.

……

A few minutes later, Archbishop Hendrick’s wrinkly face was drooping down as he examined the injuries of a skinny man, the assassin who had been sent after Richard. There weren’t many deep injuries on the body, but shadowforce had almost completely permeated his legs. Still, it didn’t take much effort on Hendrick’s behalf before the dark energy started to fade away, and he used the time to question the assassin about the attempt.

After a few minutes of conversation, the archbishop suddenly pressed down hard on one of the injured legs as he grunted, “Hidden Sword!”

The assassin was shocked as well. Hidden Sword, the Sword Saint, was a famous epic-class legend of the Millennial Empire. He could fight for a bit against normal legends, but against him there would be no chance.

The assassin was a bit puzzled by such a person’s presence, but he wouldn’t dare ask. He was already suffering under the Archbishop’s rough treatment, and he had no wish for the pain to grow worse.

Hendrick ran through a myriad of emotions before settling back down and waving the assassin away, “Go, remember not to mention a word about this to anyone.”

“Of course!” the assassin bowed respectfully and left.

The Archbishop grew more and more gloomy before walking out of his room, speaking to the paladin who stood up to salute him, “Prepare a carriage, we shall go to the shrine.”

……

A quarter hour later, several elders of the Council had gathered in a secret hall in the shrine. They were all seated, but nobody wished to speak. Scanning across their faces, Hendrick said sullenly, “Your Excellency. Since you have already arrived, why not come out?”

“I just don’t want to see your face,” a warm voice sounded from outside the door.

“I feel the same about you, but still, reveal yourself.”

Hidden Sword slowly walked into the hall and took a seat, his crystal-clear eyes sweeping across every elder present before he looked at Hendrick calmly.

“Why are you here, Your Excellency? Klandor’s snowy environment is sinister, if you do not return to Norland that will be a great loss for the Millennial Empire,” Hendrick said coldly, not masking the threat at all.

Hidden Sword smiled softly, “The Millennial Empire has deep roots and a number of powerful experts. My loss will be no big deal. But that is completely different from you, Archbishop. Without your filthy presence, your church will have nobody to do the dirty work for them.”

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: OMA

Edited By: Theo