Chapter 282

Shuang! Shuash!

Every time he moved and drew a blue trajectory through the air, his heart felt liberated.

Rumble!

Befitting of its nickname of Azure Thunder, every time Thorca drew a sharp line through the air, it was accompanied by a thundering roar. The sound would drive fear into the hearts of the enemy, but Isla felt rather calmed by the blast. Ortiz did not seem to mind the sound emitted by Thorca as well.

Ortiz blocked, stabbed, and swung the silver-white spear with simple, concise movements. However, each one of his moves contained enough power to shatter boulders, and his speed was also one of the greatest Isla had ever faced.

Shishishing!

The spear broke apart the wind three times in a row and aimed towards Isla’s head. Observing the oncoming attacks with a calm, collected gaze, Isla dodged the attacks with a slight movement of his head.

The sharp strikes grazed the top of his ear and hair, but Isla did not feel any pain. His attention was engulfed by the attacks and the movements of his opponent.

Kakakakang!

Along with the consecutive sound of metallic ringing, the hand that was grabbing onto the spear ripped. As he wielded Thorca, blood droplets splattered into the air and mixed with spirit, blossoming like flower petals before quickly dissipating.

Fwoosh!

After avoiding his attack, Ortiz rotated his body while using his spear like a pillar, then linked the movement into a kick.

Kaang!

Isla immediately rotated Thorca to block the attack and felt a strong impact climbing up his wrist, all the way to his chest.

Strong.

The opponent was truly strong.

The opponent’s proficiency with the spear was so outstanding as he poured out all kinds of attacks. It was as if he had been born with a spear in his hands. Moreover, his spirit was fierce. It threatened to tear apart anyone in its path, and Isla could not let his guard down even for a moment.

It was the first time Isla met anyone besides his lord who was able to control their spirit so freely. At times, it followed behind the movements of the spear like turbulent waves, then suddenly transformed into a ray of light containing an ice-cold energy that aimed for the vital points.

Rumble!

“Keuk!”

“Ugh!”

Thunder broke out once again, sending the two cavaliers flying back into the dense clouds of dust.

“Hoo, hoo…”

“Suaa…”

The two people had shared dozens of blows without breathing even once. Now, they carefully observed each other while collecting their breaths. The eyes of the two warriors remained unchanged from the beginning, as if nothing had happened.

However, the expressions of the observers had undergone a massive change.

“…..”

What words could possibly describe their feelings?

Hundreds, even as many as a thousand people, were holding their breaths with stunned expressions. Perhaps they would have turned their heads in horror if it had been a terrible battle with splattering blood and splitting bones and flesh. Even though the two cavaliers in the arena were humans, what they saw was not a battle between mortals. It was something otherworldly.

The people of Valvas were used to bloody battles. However, the duel that took place in front of their eyes was a mixture of harsh iron cries, thundering roars, and flashes of light created by spirit. It was an extraordinary sight that they were unfamiliar with.

Moreover, it came as a greater shock to the fellow cavaliers.

“I did not realize the heights that Celso Ortiz had reached…”

The head of the Ades Clan, Samora Ades, murmured in a trembling voice. Inwardly, he had always considered the Valencia Clan to be his rival clan. He had been keeping a close eye on Lotto Valencia, who was discussed as the next head of the Valencia Clan, but now it turned out that the true tiger cub had escaped his sight.

He could not think of anyone from the Ades Clan capable of defeating Ortiz Valencia. About two or three people from the clan, including himself, could match Ortiz Valencia, but Samora Ades was not confident that he could defeat Ortiz.

“It’s not Ortiz you should be shocked about.”

Martin Claudio’s voice resonated.

Despite having drawn attention to himself, Martin Claudio’s gaze remained fixated on one person. He opened his dry, chapped lips.

“That man has already defeated six people today… And he is still fighting on equal footing with Ortiz.”

“…..!”

The cavaliers had reigned at the peak of Valvas for decades. However, a single sentence sent a cold chill down their backs.

They had forgotten. Ortiz was not the main issue right now.

If the Cavalier named Elkin Isla achieved victory, all of their plans would go up in smoke. Their plan was to consolidate Valvas under the name of the six clans after defeating him. Then they would join with the Pendragon Duchy and the United Southern Army.

After they achieved victory in the war with the Arangis Duchy, they would develop Valvas into an independent, self-governing territory using the title of Count Herreran, who would be no different than a mere puppet.

However, the knight who claimed to be the descendant of the Knight King was too strong, and now, he even held Thorca in his hands.

Even if Isla lost in the battle, today’s events would quickly disseminate throughout Valvas. He was the rightful owner of Thorca, the one who fought with the cavaliers of the Seven Clans in half a day. Countless Valvasians had personally witnessed a legend in the making.

“Ha, haha…”

Suddenly, a vain laughter slipped out of Samora Ades’ twisted lips. His eyes were blank, perhaps from the shock of the unbelievable turn of events. He murmured.

“I see. That’s what it was…”

“What do you mean?”

Martin Claudio asked with a frown, and Samora Ades turned his blank face.

“Don’t you see? This was all a part of Elkin Isla’s plan.”

“What…?!”

Everyone showed shock as his words, and Samora Ades continued weakly.

“The results of the duels were not relevant in the first place. He only had one purpose, to imprint on Valvas that he was the new Knight King!”

Boom!

The hearts of the frustrated cavaliers felt liberated for a moment. They finally realized.

Elkin Isla.

The knight of the Pendragon Duchy had not journeyed to reclaim the rightful throne of a distant, blurry past. He had made the trip to discover his true self…

And for that, he was risking everything, including his own life.

Boom!

There was a loud blast, but the sound was insignificant to Isla. His focus was solely on the flow of spirit in his spear and the sensation transmitted to him from the weapon. He blocked the opponent’s onslaught of attacks and countered.

Whizzz!

Isla could see a shimmer over Ortiz’ shoulders. It was climbing over his shoulders and down his arms, concentrating on his silver-white spear.

In that instant, his raging spirit disappeared and condensed into the spear.

“Kuaaaaaah!”

Ortiz had maintained an unshakeable stance until now and his breaths had been frayed. As he exploded with a beastly howl, blood flowed down his mouth. His appearance became blurred, and dozens of spears appeared in front of Isla.

Kwakwakwakwa!

The spears aimed at Isla’s head, torso, arms, and legs like a fierce predator. As soon as they made their appearance, Isla swung Thorca.

Rumbleee! Booom!

With a thundering sound, the griffon’s wings were spread once again. Four vortexes appeared around the two men and engulfed the entire area. The swirls threatened to suck everything in, and it was evident that the spirals were much bigger and more intense than the first time.

Crack! Craaack!

He felt his shoulders dislocating. But Isla, or rather, Thorca, which was filled with the soul of Mara Valencia, did not stop. The Knight King’s spear devoured Ortiz’ attacks, which resembled a meteor shower.

Kwwaaaaang!

Sounds of clashing metal resounded endlessly within the clusters of light, and soon, a deep, long sound resonated for the last time. Dozens of metal pieces scattered through the air.

Kwaaa…

The blinding light surrounding the two people disappeared.

Ting!

Pieces of metal as big as a finger started to descend to the ground around the two men. It was the remains of an object that had been called the weapon of the Valencia Clan’s Guardian Spear.

“Keugh!”

“Ahk!”

Both men threw up blood at the same time.

However, Isla was struggling to remain standing while using Thorca as support, while Ortiz stood tall with a smile on his bloody mouth.

“Ah…!”

The crowd became wide-eyed at the outcome. The duel seemed to have resulted in Isla’s defeat.

“Keugh! Ugh!”

Ortiz slowly parted his lips as he stared at Isla, who was constantly churning up dark, red blood.

“Knight… King…”

Boom!

After barely managing to utter the short words, he fell forward while maintaining his smile.

“Hoo…! Hoo!”

Isla endured against the pull of gravity and held on to Thorca while letting out harsh breaths. He turned his eyes towards the sky. It did not matter to him that hundreds of people had their gazes fixed on him.

He could see the blurry faces of the old couple and Cain from his childhood. Then, a new, blurry face appeared in front of his eyes as the three people slowly disappeared. It was the face of a man who trusted himself unconditionally, just as three people once had.

‘Elkin Isla, knight of the Pendragon Duchy. I have completed my mission.’

He opened his lips, but he could not bring the words out into the world from his throat. Isla’s vision became dark.

“El, Elkin!”

The last thing he heard was the voice of his uncle, Count Herreran.

***

“Hmm?”

[What is wrong, Ray?]

Raven had been quietly riding his horse, then suddenly narrowed his eyes. Soldrake tilted her head in response.

“Nothing. It’s just… I had a bad feeling.”

Raven looked back towards the long line of troops out of worry. He could not see anything wrong with the carriage that Lindsay, his two sisters, and the women were riding in. It seemed he was worried for no reason.

[Little Pendragon is healthy. You do not have to be worried.]

“Ah, it’s not necessarily that…”

Raven muzzled his words at Soldrake’s assuring words. However, he could not deny that the most important concern for him currently was Lindsay and the unborn child in her belly.

Suddenly, Raven turned towards Soldrake. She looked back at him with indifferent eyes, no different from usual. But Raven felt apologetic somehow.

Soldrake was as precious to him as his family. He was worried that she would be a little disappointed that he was making a human family.

[I am fine.]

“Huh? Ah, yes…”

After having his innermost thoughts discovered, Raven looked even more sorry.

[Ray will forever be Ray to me. Just as mountains, rivers, and air will always be there, Ray will always be Ray.]

“…..”

Raven felt a little emotional. He remembered what he had always known.

“Yes, for me as well, Sol will always be Sol.”

Would the soul change with the passing of time and as the situation changed?

That was his relationship with Soldrake, an immutable bond transcending time and space. That was what a contract of the soul was.

[By the way, Ray. Congratulations on getting another one.]

“Hmm? What do you mean by that?”

Raven became puzzled by Soldrake’s sudden words. However, her following words caused his eyes to grow large in surprise.

[Little Pendragon, you have another one.]

“What…?’

[The child named Lindsay is carrying not one, but two.]

“D, don’t tell me…. Twins…?”

A warm spring breeze greeted Raven as he received a pleasant shock.

But he was unaware.

He was blessed with twins, but at this moment, he had obtained something somewhere in Valvas, something that could drive the world into turbulence…

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