Chapter 9 – A Painful Past
With the horn blowing, everyone knew it was finally time for the battle to start, and waves of killing intent could be seen spreading throughout the camp. Elias’s grey eyes flashed with a strange glow as he released his essence into the air.
This was what he lived for, the thrill of the battle and slaughtering of people. He was not Royalty, not a Commander, not an Uncle or a brother, but simply a man who wanted to test the limits of his Martial Arts in the blood of his enemies.
“Get ready Solin, We will depart once the sun sets.”
Elias quietly whispered to his brother with a slight smile on his face, eagerly waiting for the start of the battle.
While the red sun was slowly setting, a massive army silently stood at the edge of the terrain as it faced a similarly sized opponent. Although it was eerily quiet, the bloodlust in the atmosphere could not be mistaken.
At the forefront of one of the armies, stood a mighty onyx black warhorse with a tall rider dressed in a dark blood-red suit of armor.
A few steps behind this figure was another warhorse with a pure white coat, while its rider carried a monstrous long bow behind his back. This was Solin.
Elias suddenly unsheathed his massive sword and raised it towards the heavens. He spoke a single word, but that word echoed throughout the entire battlefield, causing the hearts of the soldiers to tremble in fear.
Meanwhile, Marcus silently watched from the sidelines. He restrained himself from charging towards the battle behind his Uncle, and instead just observed the two armies. His guards remained on high alert behind him.
It was a complete massacre on the battlefield.
It had only been a few minutes since it started, but the smell of blood and gore had deeply infused with the air.
Desperate cries of agony and amputated limbs could be seen everywhere, as rivers of blood flowed around the corpses and turned the ground to a dark crimson hue.
It was as if hell had descended upon the mortal world, and in the center of this carnage, stood two figures bathed in the blood of their enemies.
While one figure cruelly butchered the soldiers apart like meat, another one used his vicious bow to puncture the throats of men.
They were aptly named, for they were given the title of the Twin Demons!
There was no sign of humanity within their eyes, and one could only guess how many people the two demons had killed, in order to achieve this level of brutality and savagery against their own kind.
Within the detached consciousness of Elias, he could not help but think that something was very wrong here.
The Kingdom of Gastron should have known that both him and Solin would definitely be dispatched to the war, but they still sent common soldiers against them.
Elias continued to slaughter his enemies, but the unease within his heart continued to grow.
On the other side of the enemy headquarters, a mysterious trio silently walked towards the center of the battlefield.
No signs of emotion flashed across their eyes as they walked through the carnage and bloodshed. The most shocking fact was that whenever a loose arrow or an elemental attack came their way, it was quietly incinerated before even reaching a foot from them.
The trio wore bright silver robes, and against the darkness of the night, their robes shone brightly like a collage of moons. Hidden under their robes, it was plain to see that all three of them were completely armored in metallic plates.
Two of them were male, while the third one was clearly a female from her slight figure and the shape of her body.
They did not exude any aura, so it was difficult to tell at which cultivation stage they were at.
The trio abruptly stopped after a few seconds, and in the hand of the woman, a slim longbow appeared from thin air.
The bow was decorated with intricate patterns and edged with a silver lining. The string was taut and extremely thick, and one could imagine the extraordinary strength that would be required to draw that string.
Condensing her essence into the shape of an arrow, the woman silently took aim while the essence around the arrow increased by the very second. The air around the arrow started to distort at the sheer amount of essence being gathered.
Suddenly, the earth quivered and the surrounding wind screeched as if being pierced by a thousand needles. The knees of every soldier on the battlefield trembled under the suffocating pressure, and even Elias and Solin were frozen by this oppressive display of power.
Their hearts felt like they were being crushed from the inside, and for someone to be capable of suppressing them both to this extent, it meant that the enemy was at least at the Saint stage.
The hearts of everyone on the battlefield suddenly froze.
Even the enemy Commander of Gastron did not know who these people were, and he hesitated to give any further commands to his soldiers, so he simply awaited the next actions of these ultimate experts.
Once the elemental arrow was buzzing with raw power, the woman quietly took aim, and suddenly released the arrow.
The sound of a loud explosion erupted once the arrow was released from the bow.
It was right at this moment, that Solin realized just where this arrow was aimed at. The only reason he could tell was due to his extraordinary talent in the cultivation of the Wind element.
Solin felt numb to his core, as he thought about the repercussion of what would happen to his kingdom if the arrow pierced through its intended target.
All blood drained from his face as he realized that his closest friend would soon die, and he would have to helplessly watch his brother fall.
Just as the elemental arrow was about to pierce Elias, Solin forcefully shattered his elemental core!
Solin’s blood started to violently surge through his veins, and his soul started to separate from his body as it developed a separate realm of its own.
His purple hair wildly floated in the air and his emerald eyes flashed with an intense light.
Solin’s heart pounded against his chest when he felt the uncontrollable amount of power flowing through him.
He had just entered the Saint stage!
This transformation had all happened within a fraction of a second, and with no time to lose, Solin instantly rushed in front of Elias just in time to take the full-blown might of the elemental arrow.
Even with the might of the Saint stage, Solin felt a soul-crushing amount of pain wreck through his body.
Both of Solin’s arms were bent at odd angles, and even the white of his bones could clearly be seen against the dark red blood covering his body. Solin coughed up a mouthful of blood before spitting it on the ground.
What was this?
Solin thought while hanging on to his wavering life force.
This was not the might of an expert in the Saint stage, but the absolute domination of a Heavenly stage elementalist!
This whole time, Elias had not even realized that the elemental arrow’s real target was him.
As he looked down upon the almost lifeless body of the man whom he called brother, and the one who risked everything including his life to protect him, Elias’s heart burned with rage at the person responsible for this.
Rasping these words as he struggled with each breath, Solin weakly reached out his hand towards Elias, but suddenly collapsed as his soul left his mortal body. When he saw his brother take his last breath, Elias felt raging wrath churn his insides, as the fury within his eyes burned with an inextinguishable will.
A youthful voice suddenly boomed in the silence of the battlefield, as it shook Elias from his murderous thoughts.
He knew that the enemy was powerful if they could so easily defeat Solin even when he had sacrificed his core in exchange for the tremendous boost of power. Elias guessed that the enemy was at least in the Heavenly stage to be able to kill Solin in a single strike.
And moreover, there were three of them.
If all of them were at the Heavenly stage, how could Elias even dare to hope of surviving this battle?
His first and foremost thought was to immediately escape with Marcus.
When Marcus had abruptly bellowed, the mysterious trio of supreme experts were suddenly startled.
They guessed that he was also a member of the Royal Xurian Family, as he referred to the other man as his ‘uncle’.
Another elemental arrow swiftly appeared within the woman’s hand and she immediately released the arrow the moment it formed, without giving anyone the chance to register what was happening.
Obviously, for a person still in the Spiritual stage, the woman did not have to expend as much energy as before.
The arrow flew straight and in an instant, it completely drilled through Marcus’s head!
The boy’s head exploded, as parts of his brain and blood splattering onto the guards behind him. The guards did not even realize what had happened until the blood smeared their faces.
The prince of Xurian Kingdom had died in the mere span of a second.
Absolute silence on both sides.
The sound of someone’s core being shattered resounded throughout the battlefield.
“ARRRRGGGGGHHHHH! YOU BASTARDS! I'LL KILL YOU! I WILL ABSOLUTELY SLAUGHTER YOU!”
Losing every single trace of sanity left within his body, Elias sacrificed everything in exchange for a chance to kill this woman.
For the murderer of his nephew.
This was the first time Elias had truly wanted to kill someone out of pure hatred.
Taking the life that woman was not his duty as a soldier, but the righteous revenge of an uncle seeking retribution for his beloved nephew.
Just at that moment, Elias heard a snort.
“Haha, you will kill us? Do you even have the capability to threaten us? I will show you the power that separates us!”
Immediately, countless blades of wind coalesced around Elias and pierced through his skin, as it shredded his flesh like paper. Blood freely seeped from the cuts and even the body of a Saint stage cultivator could not protect him.
“Die like the insect you are! I can’t believe HE sent us out to dispatch you and your family!”
With a wave of her delicate hand, a hammer of wind formed above Elias and crushed him deep into the earth. Sounds of bone shattering and the painful screams of a man could be heard before a deep empty crater was formed in the center of the battlefield.
The last thought of Elias before he lost consciousness was:
Who were these people?
Floating above the ground, the trio looked down upon the crater and seeing no sign of life below, they quietly turned around and suddenly vanished in the blink of an eye.
No one knew who these people were, but they knew that on this day, the entire Xurian Royal Family would be massacred in their own city.
Sorrowfully opening his eyes, Elias looked at the carnage in front of his eyes.
The three assassins he had just killed, lay unmoving on the ground while their blood stained the soil beneath them.
He had somehow miraculously survived the war back then, and woken up the next morning with his entire body broken and with half a step into the world of the dead. Without the help of the school’s Head, Elias wouldn't have survived to this day.
Gazing at the young boy who reminded him so much of Marcus, how could he simply walk away when others tried to harm this boy?
He could not save the life of a child that day, but he would not make the same mistake twice.
He did not know what came over him, but on the spur of the moment, he abruptly turned his head around and quietly asked the shivering child.
“Boy, do you want to inherit my Legacy?”