The holy sword sparkled. Like a dazzling light falling from the sky, Estellade pierced through the air.
Estellade cut through the leader’s chest and stomach. It was a critical attack, and the leader quickly backed away. Zich didn’t follow him and fought off the underlings around him instead. Among Zich’s opponents, there wasn’t even one person with a trace of their past confidence, and they all stared at the shining holy sword with fearful eyes.
Sling! Sling! Sling!
Bright lights flashed in the dark passageway multiple times, and every time a light lit up, an underling’s head fell off. The underlings appeared so weak now that it was hard to believe that they had cornered Zich and his companions recently.
Zich stopped moving his sword. Estellade’s blade was completely covered in scarlet blood. But a moment later, all the blood flowed down its body and Estellade returned back to its original, clean state. Estellade was a sword that always maintained its pure white blade and didn’t accept any sort of uncleanliness. Soon, Zich’s eyes traveled to the only opponent left—the leader. The leader was heaving near the entrance like he was running out of breath.
“Do you want to do a kind act before you die? I won’t ask you to do much. You just have to tell me all the information you know.”
The leader laughed. It was terrifying to see a smile appear on his cold face, and he smiled like a viper.
“Yeah, I thought so.”
Seeing that the leader wasn’t going to say anything, Zich raised Estellade.
“Urgh!” the leader groaned.
Estellade still hovered in the air, but the leader hadn’t groaned because of Zich’s attack. Something was happening inside the leader.
Strange sounds came out of the leader’s body, but Zich remained calm.
‘As I thought, they really are connected.’
Like the leader of the assassins at Suol and Osupirin, this man also transformed. As his physique expanded, his muscles became exposed, and his human figure changed into a monstrous form. Even the wound that Zich inflicted on him disappeared without a trace.
‘It’s fast.’ Zich clicked his tongue.
The man in front of him was not only stronger than the previous assassins, but his transformation was also much faster. While transforming, the man didn’t give Zich and Lyla any time to attack him.
“Kuaaaaah!” he cried out.
It wasn’t a human’s cry. Lyla flinched in response, but both Hans and Snoc remained calm. Then, Zich and the leader rushed towards each other. Lyla prepared an incantation in case of an emergency, and Hans and Snoc closely watched Zich’s fight.
Crash! Crash! Crash!
It was hard to believe that this was a battle between humans. They heard monstrous shrieks and running, but a shining white blade intercepted the violently swinging fists. If the ruin wasn’t protected by a mysterious energy, their surroundings would have been demolished by now. Their collisions created a ripple strong enough to blow Hans and Snoc away. The two quickly escaped behind the pillars, which seemed to also be under the ruin’s protection. However, Lyla didn’t budge. She spread out a barrier with one hand and prepared to strike her enemy at any moment with her other hand.
Unlike the past guys who only relied on their increased physical abilities after transforming, the leader continued to use sophisticated skills. It seemed as if he had done training in his transformed state. Still, he couldn’t change the flow of the battle, and soon, the fight was over.
The monster couldn’t escape as Estellade pierced his stomach. Zich coldly pulled out Estellade again. The monster’s hand flew towards Zich, but Zich evaded it by simply arching his back. Then, he stuck his sword into the monster’s thigh.
Blood spurted out of the monster, but the monster endured it and tried to hit Zich with his elbow. Zich smirked.
‘If your wish is to lose your leg, I shall grant it!’
Zich increased his grip on Estellade. Mana extended out of Estellade as streams of light raged violently over the blade.
One of the monster’s legs exploded. Blood, skin, and bone fragments shot out, and Zich backed away to avoid them. Blood dripped down from Estellade’s blade as it shone.
The monster groaned continuously, but Zich approached it like an executioner.
The monster threw its sword at him.
Zich easily struck the sword away. Their positions were reversed now; the only difference was that although Zich had Estellade to rely on before, the monster was really at its end. Zich placed Estellade on the monster.
“I am asking you for the last time. Do you have anything you want to tell me?”
The monster spat at Zich. Its saliva was mixed with blood.
Before the monster could even finish its curse, Zich sent its head flying.
Zich turned around and replied to Lyla, “Yeah.”
Lyla canceled the spell she prepared. Hans and Snoc also came out from behind the pillars.
Zich stuck Estellade back into its original spot.
“…Why did you put it back?” Lyla stared at him incomprehensibly.
“Because I’m not going to use it.”
“It doesn’t match me. If I carry this, it will make me look like I’m some hero of justice or something.” Zich shuddered at the thought.
“…Are you saying that even after knowing the sword’s capabilities?”
“Did you not see me just using it? I admit that it’s a great—no, impressive sword. But it’s not my style.”
“I can’t believe that you’re not using ‘the holy sword’ Estellade just because it doesn’t fit your style…” Maybe it was just a feeling, but Lyla thought that Estellade’s glow seemed to dim a bit at Zich’s words.
“Of course, I have other reasons. That’s just one reason. Even if I don’t use that guy, I have a replacement for it.”
“What kind of replacement could there be for Estellade…” A thought popped up in Lyla’s mind, so she stopped mid-sentence. “…Are you thinking about taking Tornium?”
“As expected, you know about it.” Zich was not surprised that Lyla knew about Tornium, but he was surprised by her reaction. She pursed her lips and her red eyes stared intensely at Zich.
She grabbed onto Zich’s sleeve and dragged him.
“What are you doing?”
Even though she didn’t drag him with much strength, Zich let himself be pulled. From a distance, Hans and Snoc watched them without moving. It was because the atmosphere looked too serious for them to intervene. Lyla didn’t have to drag Zich far—it was only a few steps, and she stopped right next to Estellade.
“Pull it out.”
“Pull it out!” She stressed her words with great strength. “Use this instead of Tornium. As you know, Estellade is a good sword. It doesn’t lose in abilities to any other sword, and it looks more luxurious and better than Tornium.”
“Hey. I’m going to say this again, but I’m going to use Tornium. Also, there’s another guy who is going to use that.”
“How could there be an owner for an ownerless sword? It’s not like Estellade didn’t approve of you. It acknowledged you.”
“But that’s not enough of a reason for me to use that thing. I’m not going to be swayed by this sword’s decision. Even if Estellade chose me, I’m the one who decides if I want to use it. I’m the one who makes the final decision. To me, Estellade is just one of the many swords I can use. And I don’t really feel like using it.”
“…Are you planning to become Moore?”
It was then that Zich finally realized what Lyla was concerned about. ‘Demon Lord of Strength, Zich Moore.’ She was worried that Zich might become a Demon Lord if he used Tornium.
“You said you were going to live a kind life. That’s what you told me in the bar and when we were going on our dates. Then, you should pick Estellade instead of Tornium.”
“…Even if I decide to live a kind life, it doesn’t have anything to do with me picking Tornium over Estellade. Even though Tornium falls into the demon sword category, it’s only because of how strong and ferocious its strength is. It doesn’t make people become evil.”
Of course, if unskilled people used it, they would cause huge devastation around their surroundings or destroy themselves. This was the reason why it was called a demon sword. However, this would never happen to Zich, as he possessed excellent mana control and skill.
On the other hand, Lyla refused to accept this answer. She grabbed onto his sleeves even tighter. “…Take Estellade, won’t you?”
Zich looked down at Lyla without saying anything and then–
Zich scrunched up his brows. One of his fingers hurt. Zich stared down at his finger, but there was nothing on it.
‘What the heck?’
Just as this thought appeared in Zich’s mind—
Estellade vibrated. At the same time, a strange aura began to spin around Zich and a whirlpool appeared in front of him. Snoc and Hans were shocked. Zich and Lyla were inside the aura, and Hans and Snoc were outside of it.
Zich stared at Lyla, but she shook her head. “I didn’t do this.”
“But do you know what this is?”
“It’s not a magic device. But I think it’s an aura that forcefully makes a teleportation portal in the air. I think it’s trying to forcefully teleport us to a specific location.”
“The most likely suspect is probably that thing right?”
Zich and Lyla both stared at Estellade that vibrated just a moment ago. But Estellade was now completely still, as if it was pretending to be innocent. Zich tried to go outside, but he couldn’t get past the portal. Zich even pulled out the sword and swung it around, but he was unable to slice through it.
‘Damn it, I’m going to get dragged in without a choice.’
Zich stared at Hans and Snoc; both of them were confused. “Wait for me here, and if I don’t come back after a while, just go ahead by yourselves! Wait for me in the lodging!”
“But Sir Zich, you’re the only one who is able to open the secret passageway.”
‘Oh yeah, I forgot about that.’ Zich frowned at Hans’ reminder.
Hans asked, “Should I try barging through it?”
“That’s probably going to be hard. Even while I was fighting with that leader guy over there, not even a scratch appeared on the walls of the ancient ruin. We can’t just think that the door of this secret passageway is just like any ordinary door.”
If they searched the corpses of the robed figures, they might find an item that would let them open the doors. But the robed figure could have also entered this space in a completely different way. Was there no choice but for Zich to come back and save them? But he wasn’t even sure how far this portal would send them. Zich was about to ask Lyla how she was able to come here.
But before he could ask, Lyla put her hands in the whirlpool.
A tiny hole appeared in the wall of the whirlpool. Lyla took out something from that hole. It was a small ring. “If you have that, the door will open for you.”
“Wow, you’ve got all sorts of things.”
“Can’t you stop this teleportation pool with what you just did?”
“No, that’s too much. Just doing that took an enormous amount of energy. It’s impossible to create a hole big enough to pierce through the portal or for both of us to go in.”
Upon closer observation, her complexion did look slightly paler. It really seemed as if she had strained herself. Hans carefully picked up the ring. The gold ring was elaborately decorated with red jewelry. Even from a glance, it looked extremely precious. Hans held the ring as if it was glass that would break any moment.
“Sir Zich, please be careful.” Even though Hans and Snoc barely worried about Zich, the situation was too bizarre and sudden for them to not worry about him.
But Zich smirked. “Just worry about yourselves, you punks.”
Even till the end, Zich was Zich. The last thing they saw was his self-assured smile, and then he disappeared. Hans and Snoc stared at the place Zich disappeared off to with concern, and Estellade continued to show off its brilliance to all those who laid their eyes upon it.Previous Chapter Next Chapter