Episode 234. Legend of the Heavenly Horse (1)

Ding dong ding dong.

The emergency bell at the Panthea base rang continuously. As if chased by the urgently ringing bell, the soldiers quickly found their spots and settled in while the commanders and leaders at the base gathered at the command post set up on the wall.

“What about the patrol?! Are they back yet?!”

“They’ll be here soon, sir!”

As people were shouting a group of cavalry appeared in the distance creating a large cloud of white dust. 

“They’re coming, sir!”

At the sharp-eyed guard’s report, the commander of the base, an old Paladin who was also the head of the Templar Knights, clicked his tongue and spoke solemnly.

“There’s a lot of empty spaces.”

It was clear that the cavalry had tried to buy the soldiers at the base some time and overdone it. How else would so many of the speedy patrol squad, who was faster than anyone else on the plains, die like that?

A large cloud of dust rose behind the patrol who was racing towards them at full speed.

“I can see the demons, sir!”

After the sharp-eyed soldiers and knights discovered the demons, they began counting them.

“At least 40,000 in the northwest, sir!”

“More than 50,000 in the central west, sir! The majority are large demons, sir!”

“The number of demons is increasing, sir!”

There had been countless battles so far, but this many demons had never gotten this close to the base before. 

The expressions of the knights and commanders were stiff as never before. 

“I think we’ll have to assume that the outposts have already been attacked, sir. They probably didn’t even have time to fire a signal.”

At the solemn voice of his deputy, the old Paladin drew a cross over his heart.

“May they live forever in the promised paradise.”

But it wasn’t possible for them to remain standing in memory of the soldiers in the outpost who had died. The demons had gotten so close that it was possible to see their ugly faces with their naked eye and the patrol cavalry had yet to completely shake them off. 

“They’re the Dire Wolves, sir!”

The black wolves, known to be faster than a somewhat decent warhorse, were snarling and nipping at the heels of the patrol. 

“Faster! A bit faster!”

“You can do it!”

The soldiers on the walls bit their lips as they watched the patrol team. They looked like they were going to be overtaken at any second.

“Just a bit more!”

“You’re almost here!”

The commanders’ faces hardened as they listened to the soldiers’ sorrowful shouts. 

“There’s also a King Dire Wolf, sir.”

A massive wolf could be seen amongst the fiercely barking wolves. The King Dire Wolf was a higher grader demon who led the other Dire Wolves.

Snarl.

The King Dire Wolf snarled and opened its mouth as it looked up at the wall as if provoking them. 

“They’re not catching them on purpose. Seems like they’re planning to use our men as bait and break through our gates.”

The wolf demons were sneaky enough to keep up with the patrol cavalry, but not catch them, as they looked for a chance to break through the gates.

“At this rate, even if the patrol safely passes through the gates, we won’t be able to stop the Dire Wolves from invading us. Sir, it may not matter if it was anything else, but we can’t allow the King Dire Wolf to storm in.”

“Our men are too close for the mages and the priests to stop the Dire Wolves. If things go wrong, there’s a possibility that our men may be caught up as well. But at the same time, if we lower our defenses to get accurate shots at them, it’s too difficult to make an impact on the Dire Wolves, sir.”

All the circumstances were terrible and were forcing the commander to make a painful decision.

“Commander, we have to lower the gate now.”

The demons coming towards them were so powerful that they could easily tear humans apart. The leadership seemed to be planning on giving up on the patrol team.

“Wait. Hold on a minute.”

“But, sir!”

“They haven’t given up yet, so we mustn’t give up on them first.”

The others tried to get him to change his mind, but he stood by his decision with a hardened expression.

“Have the Templar Knights stand before the gate and prepare for the possibility.”

At the old knight’s order to prepare for the gate possibly being breached, the bravest of the Templar Knights gathered at the gates.

“The moment our troops come through the gates, we push the Dire Wolves away! Be very careful not to be isolated outside the gates!”

“Keep in mind, our mission is not to kill the Dire Wolves! We just have to push them out the gate, so don’t tire yourselves out from the beginning.”

Although the Templar Knights were a demon’s natural enemy, the King Dire Wolf was still a formidable opponent for them. 

“Come on!”

“Just a bit more!”

The Templar Knights gathered their holy light onto the blade of their swords as they watched the patrol getting closer. 

Stomp, stomp. 

The knights raised their fighting spirits like never before, but there was a horse who calmly walked through the group. 

“Indomitable Duke?”

The Templar Knights’ eyes grew big as they recognized the knight on top of the white horse dressed in extravagant gold armor.

“Close the gates after the patrol cavalry comes in.”

Before they could understand what he meant, the knight from Adenburg went out the gate without looking backwards.

“Oh, god! The Indomitable Duke has gone out the gates on his own! Notify the Commander!”

Just as the Templar Knights were panicking at the sudden situation and trying to inform the commander, a junior officer jumped into the command post above the gate.

“What’s going on?”

“I have a message from the Indomitable Duke to the commander, sir.”

“The Indomitable Duke?”

The old knight, who had been staring at the patrol cavalry and the Dire Wolves running towards them without even blinking, looked back.

“The Indomitable Duke said he’d take this fight alone!”

“What?!”

The old knight’s expression seemed to be asking, ‘what nonsense is this,’ but before he could understand what the officer meant, another report came in.

“The Indomitable Duke went outside the gates alone, sir!”

“What do you mean?!”

“He also told us to close the gates as soon as our troops passed through them, sir!”

Even before he finished, the Indomitable Duke appeared on the other side of the gate as he rode on a narrow and twisting passageway.

“Indomitable Duke!”

When the old knight shouted out his name in surprise, the Indomitable Duke raised the visor of his helmet and looked up.

“This fight, I’ll take it.”

There were tens of thousands of demons and tens of thousands of demonic creatures swarming towards them. Even if he was the Indomitable Duke, there was no way the old knight could allow the duke to jump into the endless waves of demons alone.

“No, you mustn’t! The base has perfect defense, so it won’t be difficult to defeat them if we work together to stop them. So, quickly, return…”

Clank.

The Indomitable Duke lowered the visor of his helmet and tucked his lance under his arm before the commander finished talking. Then, he slowly began to increase his horse’s speed.

“Indomitable Duke!”

The old knight saw the white horse gaining speed shockingly quickly. He called after the duke with a stunned look, but the duke didn’t look back.

“Hut!”

There was no stopping Kim Seon-Hyeok. By the time the old knight came back to his senses, the Adenburg’s knight had charged in and disappeared into the sea of wolves.  

***

The world seen through the gaps of his helmet was very horribly narrow.

The only thing Kim Seon-Hyeok could see was the appearance of his panting allies and the hundreds of black wolves that followed closely behind them. 

“Turn your horse around!”

The patrol cavalry running in the front screamed at him. However, even that sounded far away because of the helmet on his head.

Huu, huu.

Kim Seon-Hyeok was breathing heavily inside his helmet. As if he was breathing fire, the inside of the helmet quickly heated up.

“It’s dangerous...”

The warning going right out one ear, Kim Seon-Hyeok rode in between the patrol cavalry. The group of cavalrymen disappeared from the narrow gaps of his helmet and he forgot about their existence.

All he could see now was the enemy.

Let’s go, Stella. 

The horse huffed as if to answer him and took on the form to charge forward. He too held his lance under his arm and lowered his body.

“Wind Piercing.”

***

“You reckless!”

The patrol captain who had been desperately rushing forward cursed as he saw a knight pass by him. He was stunned by the knight recklessly charging at the hundreds of Dire Wolves and the greater demon, the King Dire Wolf alone. 

But he couldn’t stop. If he slowed down now, he would be caught by the demonic creatures and shredded apart. 

Bang!

At that moment, there was a massive explosion behind them. The patrol captain forgot about their desperate situation and unconsciously turned around. His mouth dropped open.

The fierce wolves that even the Templar Knights would have a hard time fighting against were blown back with one move.

Just one knight had perfectly penetrated through the middle of hundreds of Dire Wolves.

“Captain! It’s the gate!”

The captain stared with wide open eyes and only turned to face forward again at his subordinate’s shout.

Dozens of Templar Knights stared in his direction as they gripped their swords covered in the holy light.

“Woah! Woah!”

The patrol cavalry went through the path the knight had created for them, and the moment his horse slowed down, the captain jumped off of it.

“What on earth is going on? Who the hell is that?!”

One of the Templar Knights responded to his excitedly shouted question.

“He’s the Indomitable Duke.”

“Ah…”

The patrol captain exclaimed when he heard the name of the legendary knight. This had been so dire for him that he hadn’t recognized the famous knight. He could finally understand the incredible charge.

“But why did the Indomitable Duke go alone…”

Clangclang.

He heard the sounds of chains being pulled and then a dull sound, as if something heavy was being dragged across the stone. Reflexively, he turned towards the sound. Then, the patrol captain’s eyes grew wide as he watched the gate slowly descending. 

“The Indomitable Duke is still outside…”

But the patrol captain couldn’t finish his sentence again. Another group of cavalry had appeared in the distance.

“Ack! What lunatics are standing in front of the gate?!”

The soldiers who had gathered in front of the gate in preparation for the worst saw the cavalry suddenly storming towards them and threw themselves in all directions.

“Move! Move!”

The cavalry dodged the gathered soldiers as they raced towards the gate.

“They’re gonna hit it!”

The gate had already lowered to the height of a horse’s head. The soldiers screamed out at the cavalry without even realizing it. But, as if the cavalry were teasing them, the men lowered themselves onto their horses as they raced out the gates like acrobats.

While that was happening, the gap between them and the gate was steadily narrowing, but none of the cavalrymen were hit by the gate. The very last cavalrymen out the gate even did a trick as he turned so that he was hanging off the side of the horse

“Hm? What’s going on?’

When the old knight asked after hearing the commotion in front of the gate, a soldier who had appeared in front of him reported the situation.

The Northern Cavalry who came with the Indomitable Duke!”

“What about them!”

“They went out the gates, sir!”

Boom!

At the same time, the gate completely closed with a dull sound. Pale-faced, the old knight ran to the end of the wall and looked over.

Dudududududu.

The cavalry racing along the winding road on the other side of the gate, especially the man who was leading the group, were all recognizable to the old knight.

“Heyahoo! I, Darun, am coming!”

***

Puu, puu, puuuuuu

A northern cavalryman followed after Darun as he blew on a horn. It was a signal for the brothers stationed outside the base.

Before the horn trumpeted a few times, tens of thousands of cavalry appeared east of the base. They quickly darted forward and joined the cavalry behind Darun.

It was a matter of seconds for the tens of thousands of cavalry to get into formation. It was truly an amazing sight. 

“Are your thighs full of fat?![1] You’re so freaking slow!”

But Darun clicked his tongue, dissatisfied as he watched them. Of course, the rough northern men didn’t care a whit about their chief’s abusive remarks. They just dug a finger into their ear, looking as if they heard a dog barking at them. 

“You have no respect for this great chief!”

Darun shouted at them as if he was used to them acting like this.

“Why don’t you work for your meal for once, you good-for-nothings

Then, without waiting for an answer, he began racing towards his good friend who was fighting with the black wolves in the distance.

***

Clang!

The Dire Wolf impaled on the lance cried out in agony as it fell off, and the remaining wolves began to slowly retreat.

Ahwooo!

When the King Dire Wolf gave a long howl, the Dire Wolves turned and started to run away.

Kim Seon-Hyeok watched his scene before turning to look at Stella’s condition. 

Neigh.

Perhaps it was because of the hero’s holy power, but, as if she had returned to her heyday,  Stella seemed confident and full of energy.

I can still fight.

It felt like he could hear her voice inside his head. 

Huu.

With a short exhale, Kim Seon-Hyeok grabbed his lance and glared at the tens of thousands of demonic creatures that had gathered around him. 

“Seon-Hyeok.”

Just in time, Darun called out to him with the thousands of cavalrymen behind him. 

“Excellent horses always lead the herd and your horse has the qualifications to lead the horses of the grasslands.”

When Darun raised his hand, the tens of thousands of cavalrymen settled into a wedge formation with Kim Seon-Hyeok at the front.

Neigh.

Even with tens of thousands of horses and warriors exuding fighting spirit behind her, Stella didn’t shrink at all. Instead, she raised her head high as if it was natural. 

She looked as haughty as a queen who led a herd of tens of thousands.

She was a famous horse who had been at the lead of the most prestigious cavalry in Adenburg. Kim Seon-Hyeok stroked her mane with a proud face.

Just like before. 

Kim Seon-Hyeok started racing forward. Behind him, the fierce northern cavalry pounded the earth in unison.

“All of you.”

With the slowly rising speed, the wind began to gather around him.

“Charge.”

At that moment, tens of thousands of cavalry exploded forward. 


1. The original used the word oil, but I felt that didn’t fit contextually in English

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