Chapter 295

Continuing to smile gently, Leon Johnbolt’s body slowly swayed forward.

“Sir Johnbolt!”

Irene shouted his name while rushing forward to help him. The soldiers and the maids followed suit and assisted him.

“Ah!”

Irene’s eyes widened after noticing something. Not only were there a sword and an axe sticking out of his side and stomach, but there was also a small dagger stabbing into his back.

“My lady…”

“Don’t speak!”

Her dress was reddened by the flowing blood, but Irene paid it no mind as she helped him inside and laid him down on the ground.

“What happened?”

Lindsay hurriedly turned and spoke to the soldiers. Leon’s injuries were so severe that she wasn’t sure how to help him. One soldier bowed his head before replying.

“It seems like the enemy hired mercenaries to launch a sneak attack through the cliff behind the castle, baroness. We came as fast as we could after hearing the news…”

“These people… Please don’t blame them… If they had not come to assist… We probably wouldn’t have… defeated the enemy…”

Leon advocated for the soldier in a weak voice. The soldiers had come to assist him after receiving news and helped defeat the mercenaries.

“Sir Johnbolt alone knocked down a dozen mercenaries, including their captain…”

The soldier spoke. He was the only other survivor from the initial group, along with Leon, and his body was covered in blood.

“Ah…”

Irene’s eyes, which were filled with tears, trembled violently. Leon shook his head with a faint smile.

“I’m sorry that I could not keep my promise to you… to come back safely… I apologize…”

“Don’t speak! Heugh!”

Eventually, tears began flowing from Irene’s large eyes. The soldier responded with his head held down low.

“I am sorry, my lady. When we arrived, he was already fighting the enemies in his current state. He also insisted that he knocked on the door personally…”

The soldiers’ faces were grim. Leon’s appearance was quite a horrifying sight, with several weapons embedded in his body. He had put his life on the line in order to protect the people in the main building. In what was deemed as the safest place, Leon Johnbolt had fought a life-and-death battle.

“I see.”

Irene wiped away her tears before standing up straight. She spoke to the soldiers.

“The battle is still ongoing, right? You should return to the battle and keep fighting.”

“Well…”

The soldiers weren't able to respond easily.

Just as she said, the fierce battle was still ongoing on the walls. He wanted nothing more than to return to battle, but he could not leave Lady Pendragon and the rest of the ladies as they were.

“Isn’t the situation so dire that neither my brother nor Sir Killian could come in person? Please return to battle. Go assist His Excellency the Duke. That should be your duty and priority as a soldier of the Pendragon Duchy.”

Irene spoke with a firm, clear determination. The soldiers nodded while responding.

“Then I will leave two fleet-footed soldiers. Then!”

The soldiers gave a military salute with all their hearts. Even though she was still young, Irene did not lose sight of her duty and dignity as the eldest daughter of the duchy, especially in such a dire situation. Irene turned her head after the soldiers quickly ran back, leaving only two people behind.

Leon was looking up at her while taking ragged breaths.

“I am… proud of you…”

She was still the same as when he had first met her. She appeared to be a young girl who didn’t know anything about the world, but she never retreated in the face of danger…

The one he was assigned to protect, Irene Pendragon, was always unwavering.

“I, I…”

Where had the dignified, imposing lady disappeared off to? Irene was once again a young, vulnerable, teary-eyed girl as she sat down beside Leon.

“My lady…”

Lindsay also took her place beside Irene while biting on her lips.

Even though Irene was young and inexperienced, she instinctively knew. Leon Johnbolt could no longer continue living. Her brother’s Shield of Healing had been used up a long time ago, and the castle doctor was currently stationed near the wall. There was no way to save Leon Johnbolt.

Even if Soldrake were here, she could not save a man who had already come to the end of his life.

“Heugh…”

Her tears continued to fall without stopping, and Irene took off Leon’s blood-soaked gloves and tightly held his hands.

“Please… do not cry… I only did my duty… as a squire of the Pendragon… as your guard… That’s all…”

Leon’s smile grew deeper, but his pupils became increasingly unfocused in proportion.

“I know. Sir… you fulfilled your responsibilities…”

“Heugh!”

Lindsay was forced to turn her head while covering her sobs. She could not watch anymore.

However, Irene continued to look down at the young man. He had risked his life to protect her, and he would remain a dignified knight of the Pendragon Duchy. She looked at him while tears continued to fall.

“A little more… I wanted to protect you… for a little while longer, my lady… I still had so many things to learn… from teacher… I wanted to… to be a confident knight… standing by the side of the duke… I wanted to…”

Snap.

Leon’s head bent sideways as he drew his last breath.

“Sir Jonnbolt…? Sir Johnbolt, wake up. Get up…”

The girls’ steaming tears continued to fall on her knight’s face, his face smiling even in death.

But the squire of the Pendragon Duchy, Leon Johnbolt, never again opened his eyes.

Leon Johnbolt.

The young man had gone from a jester of the royal family to a squire and a guard of the Pendragon Duchy. He died in Slain Castle after living 23 years on earth.

***

“Argh!”

“Kuagh!”

Two soldiers climbed the wall; they were immediately faced with Raven’s two blades. After stabbing the two soldiers, Raven turned his head.

Clang! Claang!

“Keugh!”

“Aaaargh!”

The situation on the wall was hopeless. Hundreds of enemy soldiers had already climbed on top of the second wall and were engaged in a fierce battle with allied troops. The situation was a little better on the first wall, which was being commanded by Viscount Moraine, but it was obvious that things would only worsen over time.

Most importantly, enemy troops were still climbing up the ladder, and one could not see an end to them. The allied troops were easily outnumbered many times, and it was only a matter of time before the wall was overtaken.

“Kuaagh!”

The Ancona Orc warriors and the Red Moon Valley elves started to tire in front of the endless troops. All of them were pushed to their limits after fighting nonstop for several hours.

“Ha! Heugh!”

The allied soldiers drew ragged breaths as they wielded their weapons, and their entire bodies were soaked in sweat. Most of the knights had long thrown off their helmets and plate armors. The soldiers turned sluggish after expending all their energy, and quite a few of them were taken down even though the enemy soldiers were relatively less skilled. The same applied to the orc and the elven warriors.

“Keugh!”

An Ancona Orc warrior was forced to his knees after being surrounded by dozens of enemy soldiers, swords, and spears piercing into his body. Orc warriors possessed great strength and stamina, but it wasn’t infinite.

Due to their nature of spontaneously exuding Orc Fear in excitement at the sight of blood, they were able to fight like monsters for a short period of time. But as time passed by, they would lose strength much faster than humans. For orc warriors, controlling their energy expenditure was impossible. With enemies in front of them, the concept of saving their strength was nonexistent.

After all, Ancona Orcs were a combative species that considered death in battle to be the most honorable, joyful occasion.

“Kuaaaaaagh!”

A red light erupted from the eyes of Karuta after observing his comrade’s death.

Boom!

Five or six soldiers flew away after having their limbs broken with a single swing of his steel mace. His weapon was much bigger and heavier compared to the other orcs’ weapons, and the soldiers broke apart like rotten old troops.

But even Karuta was not invincible. With so many enemy soldiers nearby, his entire body was covered with wounds from swords and arrows.

“Kyararat!”

Someone dropped behind Karuta with a roar.

Shuack!

A buffalo horn sword intercepted a soldier and decapitated him. The soldier had been aiming at Karuta’s back.

Puack!

She leaned against Karuta’s back while bathing in the soldier's blood.

“Don’t even think about dying until we’ve had a go! You stupid orc!”

Karuta turned his head and saw Eltuan standing behind him. He burst into laughter and replied.

“Kuhahaha! To think I would get help from an elf girl! You really get to see so many weird things after living a long life!”

“Live a longer life and have a fight with me!”

“Then let the rock, the land be split! Fine! Kuaaahh!”

Karuta unleashed Orc Fear at its full might, and he swung his steel mace toward the soldiers who were frozen stiff in fear. Eltuan followed suit.

“Well…”

A brief glimmer of admiration appeared in Raven’s eyes as he observed the two from above the gate. Karuta was incredible as usual, but Eltuan and the Red Moon Valley elves were remarkable as well. Without them, perhaps the second wall would have been occupied already, and the enemies would have pushed the allied forces back all the way to the courtyard.

Nevertheless, Raven’s heart was heavy as he continued to cut down enemy soldiers from above the gate. Judging from the current situation, they would be able to successfully defend this time around.

But the problem was what would come afterwards.

After fighting since dawn, hundreds of soldiers from the United Southern Army had been killed. Thousands of enemy soldiers had been slain, but they still had thousands more. In addition, the enemy’s reserve forces were still in perfect condition. If they attacked once more in the afternoon or early tomorrow morning, Raven wasn’t sure how the situation would turn out.

‘Will we be able to defend until Ian arrives…?’

“Huat!”

Raven stabbed again and again, preventing the enemies from reaching the gate after climbing up the second wall. A knight had been fighting alongside Raven, and he shouted urgently after spotting the horde of incoming enemies.

“Your Excellency! I think it might be best to head over to the first wall and…”

“No! We must protect the gates! If the enemy secures the gates, it’s over!”

Raven shouted in a loud voice and continued to stab and swing his two blades. He had participated in a considerable number of sieges during his time in the demonic army, thus he knew the importance of securing the gate.

“Argh!”

“Kueeeagh!”

The enemy soldiers were terribly lacking. They appeared to have been farmers or peasants who were forcibly recruited into the army. They were easy opponents for Raven, the elite knights and the soldiers. But the enemies continued to pour endlessly, and the allied force on the gate numbered less than a hundred.

“Heugh! Hagh!”

In the end, the soldiers became exhausted. The crude spears of the peasant soldiers began to find their marks on the allied soldiers.

“Kuagh!”

Soldiers fell to the ground after being stabbed by several spears at once.

“Keugh!”

Raven’s eyes were filled with anger. But he couldn’t raise his spirit like in the beginning. At the early stages of the battle, he had vented his spirit to raise morale and intimidate the enemy, but without knowing when the battle would end, controlling his energy was essential.

So Raven continued slaughtering an endless wave of enemies using pure swordsmanship.

***

“Kuhahahaha! Victory is almost within our grasp! It won’t be long!”

Alberto Berna clapped his hands and burst into maniacal laughter.

“Did you see that? Kehehehe! This is how a battle is fought! Moreover, if the hired mercenaries are successful in infiltrating the castle from behind the cliff, then… Kuhaha! War is truly a game of numbers! The man with more heads takes the victory. Kuhaha! Kuhahahaha!”

The other nobles and landlords voice their agreement.

“Hahaha! You are absolutely right!”

“Even Pendragon and Moraine are nothing in front of Lord Berna’s strategies! They’re completely distraught by your brilliant tactics!”

They were once cornered rats, but with the sacrifice of thousands of soldiers as the steppingstone, they could practically taste victory. Smiles bloomed on their faces at the optimistic thoughts of the future.

“Kuehehe! But we shouldn’t be relieved just yet. The real battle will begin once we take over Slain Castle and capture Duke Pendragon. That means! The real battle begins after Prince Ian arrives.”

“Of course! You are absolutely right!”

Even though he was cruel and cowardly, Alberto Berna was no fool. He was still considered a traitor. If he could capture Duke Pendagon, then use him as a hostage to strike a deal with the prince…

“M, my lord!”

An alarmed voice of a knight tore apart his sweet imagination.

“What is it!?”

Alberto Berna jerked his head without hiding his anger. But the knight took no notice of his lord’s anger, pointing to the distance while trembling.

“Over there. Over there…!!”

“What! What the hell… Uah!”

Alberto’s slanted eyes widened in shock.

He saw dozens of dots in the distant sky. Underneath, hundreds of horses were galloping across the plains, filling a portion of the horizon.

“W, what the hell is…? I, Is it the prince!?”

They were few in number, but Alberto Berna hurriedly picked up his telescope. He could not hide his shock at the sudden turn of events. But thankfully, the flags he spotted with the telescope did not hold the emblem of the imperial family and army.

“Phew! Fortunately… Huh?”

He let out a sigh of relief, then suddenly felt suffocated. The flags did not belong to the imperial army, but as a southern man, he was all too familiar with the symbols.

“V, Valvas Clans!”

The strongest group of warriors in the South.

On an individual basis, it was said that even the Arangis Duchy were inferior to the reapers of the battlefield. The Clans of Valvas were heading towards them while flying their flags, centered around ‘a single person’.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

DantheMan's Thoughts

Okay I wasn’t expecting Leon to die either… It’s a shame, I was looking forward to his future endeavors, but i guess not everyone can be the protagonist in a novel that’s only 430 chapters long :(