Episode 178. The Cursed Land (3)

Just as Seon-Hyeok insisted, Redvern did not suffer after devouring the banshee. On the contrary, the wyvern licked its chops while expressing regret for the quick meal, and Geheimnis was left speechless at the creature’s appetite.

“Looks like it’s done digesting the banshee, seeing as the attribute stat increased.”

In the end, Geheimnis sighed as she spoke, looking at both the wyvern and its master as though they were crazy.

[You were lucky this time, but it would be wise not to expect this to happen again next time. Demons are not to be underestimated.]

Seon-Hyeok did not deny the fairy dragon’s words.

He had enjoyed an easy victory because they came face to face with a poison attribute creature, but he was not delusional enough to expect that to happen again.

He was not that naive when it came to battle.

“I never underestimated it. Also…”

Seon-Hyeok clutched his lance as he peered beyond the cursed land.

“It’s not over yet, is it?”

A banshee’s wails could be heard from afar, as though responding to his question.

[So, you knew that what you just faced wasn’t the creature’s true body.]

“It’d be strange if I didn’t realize that with all this demonic energy emanating from that thing.”

Having experienced the energy once, Seon-Hyeok began to notice a number of things that slipped his attention previously.

The melancholy wails of the polluted land, and the demonic creature’s energy that swallowed up these death throes.

Seon-Hyeok once again climbed onto Redvern and rose up into the air.

***

“I don’t know what the Queen Regent expected from us when she sent us.”

Lafayette sighed as he saw Drachen fight what seemed to be a demonic creature in the distance.

“We could’ve at least tried something against that first creature…”

Roland nodded, his expression full of shame as he responded to Lafayette.

His eyes were trained somewhere far away in the sky.

Even the bizarre creature that first appeared seemed difficult to handle, with its unpredictable and strange movements. The griffin riders were shocked as they saw the banshee’s resilience in shaking off the powerful charge unique to Drachen - an attack they had experienced themselves.

However, even that creature was nothing compared to what followed.

The fluttering, curtain-like appearance was similar to what preceded it. However, its threatening nature was anything but comparable.

The dark red membrane was large enough to completely cover one portion of the sky. It was as though a red curtain had suddenly dropped down from above.

The heavens stained with blood. The demon they witnessed seemed no different from the sky itself.

The two knights lost their fighting spirit because of their fear of this irresistible existence, and they did not dare to even think about helping Drachen.

However, Drachen rushed unwaveringly towards such a terrible monster. No, rather, he did not just rush in, but he even successfully tore apart that giant monster from time to time.

Even though the banshee recovered quickly, the mere sight of the dragon rider destroying the body of the sky-covering monster was truly majestic.

“How did we ever think we could beat such a person?”

“Ugh.”

There had been a short period of time when they thought they could win against such a monstrous figure. The griffin riders’ faces burned as they thought back and realized how absurd their delusions had been.

However, the Drachen from then was not the same person that he was now. Lafayette and Roland could tell that Drachen was incomparably more free-flowing with his powers now.

Incredible winds gathered at his lance in an instant, and the direction of his attacks was skillful and unpredictable.

“He’ll win, won’t he?”

“He will. If Drachen can’t stop it, then nobody can.”

That said, the collective Knights of the Azure Sky might also be able to subdue that beast if they were backed by a large contingent of mages.

“After all, who else in the world could stop that beast by himself?”

Lafayette nodded as Roland spoke in a defeated voice.

“At the very least, nobody acting out in the open could. I can assure you that.”

Of course, the true monsters among monsters hidden in their royal castles might be able to demonstrate similar prowess. However, these were dignified individuals who were slow to act even at the behest of their monarchs, and they rarely moved about in the world.

“In any case, given the scale of this disturbance, someone should be coming soon.”

Lafayette mumbled uncomfortably as he watched the commotion of the battlefield.

They were now knights of Adenburg, but they had once called Griffindor home. There would be no less enviable situation than coming face to face with others they recognized.

“I sure hope it ends before anyone shows up.”

“Should we join in? Don’t you think we could speed up the battle a bit?”

Lafayette gave an absurd look at Roland’s question.

“You want to join in that?”

At that very moment, the winds generated by Drachen collided with the black energy emitted by the demon.

Boom!

Roland immediately shut his mouth upon hearing the terrible noise that made him unknowingly shrink back.

*** 

The seemingly unending battle was coming to an end.

The demonic creature was powerful, but it began to falter, unable to overcome Seon-Hyeok’s storm-like momentum.

However, Seon-Hyeok had no intention of letting the beast go.

“Let’s go!”

As the spirits swirled around him and generated even more wind, a light gathered at the tip of his lance.

Shriek!

The banshee rushed back towards him after seemingly backing away.

Left, right, up and down. Everywhere he looked was a dark red membrane, and there was nowhere to run. Despite this, Seon-Hyeok did not panic as he calmly raised his lance and charged.

With a roar, the body of the banshee threatening to devour him was torn apart, and Redvern shot through the gap.

“It won’t die! It just doesn’t die!”

The demonic creature was too large. Even if he surrounded himself with the wind and stabbed with his lance, all that resulted was a scratch in the creature’s giant body. No matter how much he stabbed and slashed, the beast demonstrated an unreasonable tenacity in restoring itself.

Even Redvern’s giant appetite did not work against such a creature. At this rate, he would be exhausted before he could finish the creature off.

The only source of solace was that the demonic beast likewise had no means of defeating him.

“Hm?”

Seon-Hyeok wondered whether he should retreat and be satisfied with having this encounter adjusting to demonic energy. His attention was suddenly jerked to an unfamiliar energy.

Surprisingly, there was a presence coming towards him, traversing through the tainted land threatening to corrupt all that it came in contact with.

Chirp.

The banshee spread its body to swallow him up in the short moment he lost focus, and Redvern signaled its owner about the incoming threat before spreading its wings to rise up.

“Whew.”

Seon-Hyeok strained his eyes to look at the unidentified figure after putting some distance with the banshee to catch his breath.

“Is it a Griffindor knight?”

The approaching individual’s attire was far too plain for him to be a Griffindor knight. The plain and practical armor looked closer to that of a regular infantryman, and the sword resting on his shoulder was almost comically large, unlike the well-balanced blades favored by knights.

He could not get any sense of who this approaching person was, and even more surprising was that he was able to relentlessly walk through the cursed land as though it was nothing of note.

Whoever that may be, I don’t think he’s an enemy.

Even while crossing the ominous land tainted with demonic energy, the man emanated a clear and clean aura. It seemed to be the very antithesis of the surrounding area.

Shriek!

During the moment Seon-Hyeok spent catching his breath, the demonic creature restored its fragmented body before letting out a wail.

“Persistent bas… huh?”

He thought the banshee would charge at him, but surprisingly, it was flying off in a completely different direction.

It almost looked to be in a hurry to run away.

However, Seon-Hyeok could not understand why the banshee would suddenly want to retreat, after fighting neck-and-neck with him all this time.

The only difference now was the appearance of that unidentified figure.

Is it avoiding that person?

It was a ridiculous idea, but he could not think of any other explanation.

“You’re not getting away from me this time!”

His baseless speculation proved correct. The man rushing across the blackened land roared angrily at the banshee trying to escape.

Shriek!

After not once showing weakness in their battle, the giant banshee cried out in fear at the man’s appearance. Seon-Hyeok unknowingly loosened his grip on his lance at the strange sight.

“Help me make sure it doesn’t escape.”

Seon-Hyeok pondered for a moment, but his answer was as good as decided.

He had no way of knowing the man’s identity, but was certain that his bright and clean aura was opposed to the demonic energy surrounding them. Seon-Hyeok decided to listen for now when he heard such a person ask for assistance.

“Hap!”

He once again raised his lowered lance and charged towards the retreating banshee. He immediately caught up and pierced the banshee’s back.

Before, he would have gathered the wind to tear the banshee’s body into pieces, but he changed his approach this time. Instead of spreading the wind like a sharp blade, he gathered it to create a blunt force and redirected the lance.

Shriek!

The pierced beast wailed before being dragged towards the circling Redvern.

“I won’t be able to hold on for long!”

It was truly difficult trying to hold onto a creature trying to scatter itself. Hearing his urgent cry, the unidentified man shouted in response.

“I only need a moment!”

The man unsheathed the greatsword on his back and pointed it towards the banshee.

Whoosh!

A dazzling light emerged at that moment.

“Ah…”

Seon-Hyeok never saw such a holy light before in his life. Just looking at it made him feel purified and at ease from the sacred energy.

Shriek!

The beast exposed to the holy light shrieked, and its body, after regenerating itself following every attack, began to burn and release a black smoke.

“This way! This way!”

The man approached as Seon-Hyeok admired the holy light. He raised his sword high before shouting out.

Seon-Hyeok grumbled to himself as he came to his senses.

He sure is demanding.

But regardless of how he felt, he unhesitatingly pointed his lance, with the pierced banshee, towards the man.

“Corrupt and evil being, return to dust!”

The man uttered these words like a holy command before forcefully bringing down his sword.

A miracle happened at that moment.

“Ah…”

The holy light surrounding the sword bisected the banshee’s body as it swung in an arc.

Shriek!

After looking as though it would never disappear, the demonic creature let out a pained scream before slowly dissipating.

Crumble. 

And soon, it turned to dust and completely vanished.

[What a coincidence! Could there be anything more peculiar?]

As Seon-Hyeok blankly stared at the unrealistic scene, Geheimnis, pushed far away during the fierce battle, exclaimed.

[To think that we would meet such a person as we journey into the Dark Lord’s realm! This is destiny!]

“Do you know who that person is?”

Having been curious about the man’s identity, Seon-Hyeok gave a pleased look when he saw that Geheimnis seemed to know something.

[Of course! It has been a long time, but how could I ever forget that unparalleled, clear light!]

After looking at the now-exterminated creature and the faint light left behind, the fairy dragon turned to look at the unidentified man.

[He is the master of the Holy Sword.]

Geheimnis had never expressed such awe even in the royal vault full of weapons imbued with old magic.

Seeing such a creature express her surprise, Seon-Hyeok could tell that the Holy Sword was no ordinary object.

[The Holy Sword would only choose a true hero as its master.]


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