Chapter 289

Swaaaah!

“No signs of it stopping anytime soon, huh.”

One of the soldiers murmured irritably. They were gathered close together under a tent, near a warm, burning fire.

“What’s wrong with it? I rather like it. Thanks to it, we don’t even have to fight, wouldn’t you agree?”

“Well, that’s true, but…”

A soldier grinned and shrugged at his colleague’s complaints, showing his yellow, rugged teeth.

It was much better to huddle around a warm fire for a while, even if they were hungry and cold, rather than die fighting the army camped right outside the castle.

“By the way, I heard that they have real demons among their forces outside. Did you hear about it?”

“Are you talking about the orcs? They are the real deal. I heard that they pull out your hearts while you are alive and devour it.”

“Uwah…”

One soldier made a grasping motion in the air and pretended to chew, and the others shuddered.”

“No… The real demons aren’t the orcs…”

Their eyes naturally turned at someone’s voice. A soldier was staring blankly at the sizzling flames. He was one of the only one who had survived the last battle and returned.

“W, what do you mean by that?”

“I saw them. The demons in green. They had the devil’s marks on their faces, and they hunted us like a flock of sheep. Heu…”

The soldier spoke with a horrified expression while drooling. The others gulped with fear. All the miraculous survivors of the last battle had said something similar.

Hundreds of green-clad demons had suddenly appeared and slaughtered themselves while letting out grotesque, terrible shouts that could not possibly belong to humans. The enemies had come crawling straight from hell.

“…..”

The soldiers fell into silence. They remembered their colleagues from not long ago. Soldiers had come rushing back to the castle gates, banging and kicking while begging to be saved, desperately asking for help.

When they thought back to the scene, it certainly had been rather strange. The escaping soldiers had been terrified out of their minds. They had scratched and knocked on the tightly sealed doors with tears and runny noses, continuing to beg and scratch even when their nails had fallen off.

They weren’t simply begging for their lives, they had seen ‘something’.

“Ah, what demons!? I’m sure they were just hallucinating. There’s no such thing as demons in the world.”

A soldier broke the tense silence with a loud shout.

“That is right! You are trying to make excuses because you ran away without fighting properly!”

“How shameless!”

Some of the people voiced their agreement.

They had to deny the object of fear if they wanted to overcome it. They had heard stories but never seen the enemies in person. Therefore, regardless of whether it was true or not, it had to be written off as a mere pipe dream. That was the only way they could endure the fear of the unknown.

Even if it was false bravado, the soldiers of Slain Castle had no choice.

“You guys don’t know… Heu…! Heuu…”

However, the one who saw and experienced it first-hand started to murmur once more. A strange silence enveloped the group once more, with only the sound of rain pouring down around the tent.

“Dammit! I’m going to go splash a piss.”

A soldier turned while speaking loudly, as if to conquer his fear.

“Huh? What is that…?”

Then his eyes narrowed with surprise.

“Oh, what’s wrong with you? It’s spooky enough as it is already!”

“Fucking hell…”

His colleagues frowned and rebuked him.

“No… Look over there. I don’t think they are the soldiers who guard the walls…”

The soldier, who had turned around to do business, squinted his eyes and raised his hand to point to the wall.

“Oh, come on! Stop it… What?”

His colleague started to shout, then let out a gasp. All of the soldiers quickly turned to where their colleague was pointing towards.

Blurry shadows were flitting across the walls on this dark night without moonlight.

“…..!”

The soldiers were momentarily frozen by the unrealistic scene. It was as if they were seeing a flock of ghosts.

“T, there…!”

One soldier screamed in surprise. He had seen that the ghosts were heading towards the gates of Slain Castle.

“Argh…!”

Then a series of terrible screams resounded throughout the castle.

“What, what is it!?”

Some startled knights rushed out of the buildings, and the soldiers basking in the warm fire shouted in an urgent voice.

“It’s the enemy! Enemy ambush!”

Krrrrrrr!

At that moment, the gates of Slain Castle began to open and the drawbridge started to descend with an ominous mechanical sound.

***

“There! Let’s go!”

Killian drew his swore and shouted loudly when he saw the bridge descending. The group of soldiers, including the heavy cavalry of the Pendragon Duchy, rushed out in unison. They had been hiding in the branches in the heavy rain until now.

“Charge! Charge!”

Dododododdoo!

Around a hundred warhorses darted through the heavy rain and wind.

“Let’s go!”

As the cavalry led the charge, the infantry also launched their advance.

“Uwaaaahhh!”

It was truly a spectacular sight. Thousands of troops were running toward Slain Castle like surging waves in the heavy downpour.

However, it was a nightmare for the soldiers of the castle, who were watching the terrible sight from the walls to the left of the castle gate.

“Ahhh!”

“Enemies! Incoming enemies!”

The panicked soldiers screamed loudly and pounded on the gongs to alert their allies of the invasion.

Shhik!

“Keuk!”

“Huh?”

Poison needles flew through the rain and struck their faces and necks. After the time it took to take a couple of breaths, their skin turned black, and they died while pouring black blood from their seven orifices.

Charararara!

“Keugh!”

Soldiers collapsed after having their throats sliced with boomerangs that flew towards them with a fearsome momentum, and red, misty clouds bloomed and fell like flowers in the rain. However, those on the wall who died without knowing their assailants’ identity were rather fortunate.

“Kyararararararara!”

 The Red Moon Valley warriors ran to the opposite walls, letting out blood curdling screams.

“Huwaagh!”

The soldiers were shocked and stunned to see the appearance of the elf warriors without their black masks. Bizarre patterns were drawn all over their faces, which had become smeared with the rain, and their eyes glistened like hungry predators. They were like demons.

Slice!

“Kuagh!”

Every time the buffalo horn swords drew a line through the air, blood splattered with screams.

“Huah! Huaaahh!”

Some soldiers flopped to the floor and started to crawl away while pissing their pants, but there was no mercy. The swords penetrated straight through their backs. In an instant, the walls became filled with the stench of blood mixed with the smell of fishy rain.

“Kill them! Kill them all!”

The lord of the castle, Roberto, belatedly rushed out from his quarters. He screamed with desperation. He hadn’t had enough time to even equip himself with proper armor, but he unsheathed a sword and ordered the soldiers. Hundreds of troops came running out from the castle and madly climbed the stairs leading to the wall.

But at that moment,

Dodododododo!

An earth-shattering roar engulfed the sound of rain and caused the entire castle to go into a frenzy.

“Enemy cavalry!”

Along with the shouts, the cavalry quickly poured into the wide-open gates. They started firing their crossbows at the unprepared soldiers of Slain Castle.

“Argh!”

Without confirming that the enemy soldiers fell like withered trees, the cavalry moved throughout the castle and swung their spears. In an instant, countless troops fell.

“Shoot! Shoot!”

The archers of Slain Castle finally retaliated when a knight roared.

Ting!

The Pendragon Duchy’s heavy cavalry was adorned in thick metal, and the arrows simply bounced off. However, a portion of the cavalry belonging to the United Southern Army was shot dead and rolled off their horses.

“Die!”

“Kuagh!”

The shouts and screams continued to resound in the rain.

However, the number of people riding the horses gradually decreased over time. The number of troops on the side of Slain Castle was much higher than the number of cavalries that had rushed in.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

The drums started resounding in the distance, and soldiers with helmets and white bands around one arm rushed into the still-open gate.

“Ah!”

Roberto and the local landlords became shocked. They had been shouting from a safe place the entire while. As soon as the soldiers entered the castle, they split into three divisions and started slaughtering the soldiers of Slain Castle with shields and short spears.

“Kuaagh!”

“Argh!”

Blood erupted with screams from all over the place.

Chang! Clang! Boom!

The sound of the rain could no longer be heard, and only the sharp sounds of metal clashing and screams full of hostility filled Slain Castle.

Less than an hour after the gates were propped open, the feast of blood and death was nearing its end.

***

The heavy downpour had been coming down as if the floodgates of heaven had been open. But now, it had already turned into a drizzle.

“Heu…”

Roberto and the landlords backed with frightened eyes. They had been high up in the castle, on the way to the palace. A terrible sight was unfolded in the vast courtyard of Slain Castle.

Bodies, flesh, and gut were floating in large pools of blood, and even the incessant rainwater could not wash away the bloody puddles in the courtyard. Only around a hundred men were left alive, and the rest had died. But that was not the most fearful thing.

The soldiers of the coalition filled the ramparts and the courtyard like death reapers. The eyes of the reapers, who had transformed Slain Castle into a graveyard in less than an hour, were all directed to a single place. Roberto and the landlords trembled like sheep surrounded by a pack of wolves.

“Heuhh…”

The rain was slowly washing away the blood that stained the soldiers, and Roberto and the landlords drooled as the countless faces looked at them with devilish expressions.

Someone walked out from the midst of the troops. It was from a passage leading to the palace, the place where the battle had been the fiercest. Even though it was night, his silver-white armor was conspicuous. It caused a chill to run down the backs of Roberto and the landlords.

As he stepped towards the group, the soldiers bowed their heads and split like a wave.

Kwaaah!

The spirit of the knight emanated from his being and shone to silence the darkness. The fear of death and an indescribable sense of pressure worked together to vanquish the fighting will of the surviving Slain soldiers. They dropped their weapons with helplessness.

The knight took off his helmet and looked up.

He looked at Roberto and the landlords with a gaze that was colder and sharper than the light surrounding his entire body, and the recipients of the gaze trembled unceasingly. They felt a fear that was close to the same instinctive fear felt by a herbivore facing their predator.

“I am Duke Alan Pendragon.”

“…..!”

Roberto and the landlords stiffened at the short phrase that flowed out of the knight’s mouth. They felt a warm, spreading sensation in their already wet pants, and the knight spoke once again.

“How dare mere rats look down at my and my warriors? I think it is only proper that you lose your heads and fall to the ground.”

“Heuk!”

Roberto’s shoulders shook largely. Come to think of it, he was looking down at Duke Pendragon from a higher elevation.

“Eeuh…!”

Roberto and the landlords began to jump down from the balcony at the same time, as if they had been enchanted.

“Keugh!”

“Argh!”

Despite the broken knees and legs, all of them desperately crawled to Raven’s feet.

Raven slowly withdrew his spirit.

“…..”

However, Raven’s eyes were still glimmering bright blue as he looked down at the dozen or so people. Facing the gaze from such a close distance, they wet their pants with urine again.

“P, please. Have mercy…”

“Let us live, have mercy, your excellency…”

Even though they were struck with extreme fear, they implored with the determination to live.

“Your Excellency Duke Pendragon. P, please. Mercy…”

Roberto grabbed onto Raven’s boots and begged with tears and snot. In the gentle rain, Raven’s mouth formed into a gentle smile.

“Ah…!”

Their faces lit up when they saw the beautiful smile that brightened the dark, gloomy surroundings filled with death. But their elation lasted for only a short moment.

Slice!

Robert’s head was cut off with a frightening sound.

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