Zich and Lyla scowled. Shadows swarmed around a wide trench. Most of the shadows were uninterested in the two, but some approached them.
“This place is certainly the shadows’ headquarters.”
“Move.” Lyla stepped forward.
She raised both of her hands and cast a spell.
Lightning started to bounce out of her hands. She completed the spell and stretched out her hand.
A noise that sounded like thunder filled the trench and made Zich scowl more. But it had a clear effect. A flash of light shredded the trench’s insides and swept the shadows. When the bright light began to disappear, all the shadows were gone without a trace.
“I finished them.”
“…You did this on purpose, right?” Zich said while flicking his jittering hand.
Lyla smiled teasingly. “It’s a complete headache to take out the area you are in from my shooting range. It also takes more mana to do that when I know it won’t affect you much anyway.”
“You could’ve at least told me in advance,” Zich complained while walking past her.
The Key That Distorts Destiny was pointing to the center of the trench. As if they were near their destination, it not only pointed towards a direction, but it also began to vibrate.
Lyla also noticed this. “It seems like we are almost there.”
“Yes. I see something over there.”
The two walked a bit faster, and the key began to vibrate harder. When they arrived at the trench’s center, the key’s vibrations reached its peak and came to a sudden stop.
“…Is it a sword?”
There was something stuck in the center of the trench. Like Lyla said, it appeared to be a sword, but it also didn’t seem quite right to call it that. Its ends were pointy, so it definitely was something similar to a sword, but its shape was completely different from ordinary swords. If one had to describe what the thing looked like, it looked like a tree branch.
From below, the sword’s blade was stretched out into multiple branches like someone had chopped a branch with many twigs and stuck it into the floor. In addition, the metal part of the handle was exposed and made it look even shabbier. However, Zich and Lyla didn’t say anything for a while. They felt a strong pressure seep out of it, and they were sure that the object was a remarkable item.
The key that was in his hand hovered in the air. Zich and Lyla stared as it slowly flew towards one of the sword’s split blades. Unlike the other blades, the blade which the key approached had its edge cracked. The key landed on the blade’s edge and matched the missing part of the blade. It almost seemed as if the key was the missing piece that had fallen off the blade, and the slight crack between the key and blade disappeared like someone had rubbed it like clay. The Key That Distorts Destiny perfectly assimilated into the blade.
Zich asked, “What is that?”
“I don’t know.”
“It wasn’t part of the future you saw?”
“Those dreams are useless.”
“Shouldn’t you know what that is? You had it inside your finger the whole time.”
“I’m not the one who stuck it inside me.”
The two bickered until—
The sword rang and interrupted their conversation.
Wing! Wing! Wing!
Like its heart was beating, it began to ring rhythmically. Lyla pushed Zich forward. “I think it’s calling you. Try pulling it out.”
“Don’t use me as an experiment to test the unknown.” But even as Zich said this, he walked to the front of the sword. After all, he was curious about its existence, and how the sword seemed to have been the original form of the key he had wondered so much about.
Zich grabbed the metal handle, and he was surprised.
Zich had expected a cold touch of metal, but as if he was grabbing onto a person’s hand, the sword handle exuded out warmth. Zich slowly pulled the sword out.
The sword that was stuck to the floor revealed its complete form. Zich raised it and glanced at its appearance. It was as if the designer hadn’t considered its practicality at all, and it looked even more like a tree branch from close up. However, each of its stretched-out blades was sharp and poured out strong energy.
Zich’s heart thumped. Mysterious energy traveled from the sword handle to his hand. The energy didn’t feel threatening, but it felt as if the sword was expressing its excitement and curiosity.
His heart thumped faster, and the sword resonated with his heartbeat. The energy coming from the sword smoothly cycled through his whole body once, and as Zich’s mana welcomed it—
With Zich in the center, a mana wave exploded. The air roughly howled, and Lyla, who stood nearby, covered her face with her hands and backed away a couple of steps. Her clothes flapped wildly.
The mana wave didn’t last long, and the swirling winds soon became calm. Lyla put her hands down and stared at Zich. He was tightly holding the sword that looked like a tree branch.
“Haaa!” Zich breathed out. It was a happy sigh, and the color of his face brightened up. Zich looked down at his hand. Then, he closed and opened his fist several times.
“…Zich?” Lyla looked at him warily, but Zich gave her a bright, confident smile.
“This thing is awesome.”
* * *
“Hah!” Hans swung Estellade. The holy light from the sword drew a beautiful curve.
The troll that was running towards him was split into two. But it didn’t end with just that; Estellade let out its light and slaughtered a few more orcs before it dimmed.
“Haaaat!” Snoc let out his battle cry.
Nowem’s cries could also be heard.
The ground rippled, the stones flew, and the monsters were lifted in the air. The two of them continued to defeat the monsters while heading towards the city gate. The city gate was already completely crushed and looked worn out. Even if they were able to somehow close the gate, they wouldn’t be able to stop the monsters from coming in.
“Snoc! Close the city gate!” Hans ran towards the gate and shouted to Snoc. Hans destroyed all the monsters that blocked his path; Estellade showed off its abilities. Its light split the sea of monsters in half.
‘Good thing I prepared for this!’
After Hans brought Estellade out of the ancient ruins, he didn’t just loiter around. Estellade definitely boosted Hans’ strengths to new heights, but if he couldn’t control its power, he would be swept by the sword’s strength and have more openings in his fights. For that reason, even though it was for only one day, Hans fiercely trained himself to wield Estellade. Since Zich was not there to watch his training, he couldn’t say for sure that he had perfectly prepared himself, but he was confident that he was now able to utilize Estellade somewhat.
Estellade let out a light in all directions and cut down all the surrounding monsters. But Estellade didn’t stop there. Hans took a big leap forward and pierced the sword towards the gate.
The light spread everywhere and struck all the monsters that were blocking the gate. Hans continued to attack the monsters in the gate. Streams of light continuously came out and more monsters fell down. It only took a few moments for all the monsters in front of the gate to fall down. The gate was now empty.
Snoc put his sword on the ground.
The neatly laid stone floors rose up from the ground. The stones and rocks underneath the ground also came up.
All the rock and stones flew towards the gate.
Thud! Thud! Thud!
The rocks and stones began piling up inside the gate. The big rock pieces roughly blocked the gate and small stones filled it up. In an instant, the gate was completely filled with rocks.
Monsters screeched behind the gate; sounds of monsters colliding against the stones could also be heard. However, the solid and strong gate that Snoc and Nowem made completely blocked the monsters’ entry.
“Nice!” Snoc raised both of his hands.
Hans let out a sigh of relief. Now, they were able to utilize the city’s walls properly and block out the monsters from coming in. The soldiers who were also blocking the monsters let out shouts of cheer.
‘First, we have to kill all the monsters that came inside.’
If they waited just a little longer, reinforcements would arrive. If reinforcements joined them, they would successfully be able to block the monsters’ attacks.
“Snoc! Let’s first defeat the monsters inside the city’s walls!”
The two of them began killing every monster they saw. Likewise, the soldiers followed their lead and pushed the monsters back.
One soldier shouted, “The knights have arrived!”
From the middle of the city, knights with shining armor and sharp swords were riding towards them on horses. The soldiers’ morale increased even further. Hans and Snoc also welcomed their support. Knights possessed an entirely different strength compared to ordinary soldiers.
“Kill them all!” The leader of the knights raised his sword and shouted out loud.
The knights began coming down from their horses since fighting on top of a horse was cumbersome in a city. If they used mana, they could run as fast or faster than riding on a horse. With great speed, the knights ran towards the monsters. The knights wielded their swords and raised their shields. The monsters that were already being driven to a corner were now being slaughtered.
“Soldiers, move up the city walls! Attack the monsters beneath the walls!” With the captain of the knights’ command, the soldiers began climbing up the city walls.
Everything was stable now. If they defeated all the monsters inside the city walls and started defeating all the monsters outside, they would have successfully dealt with this sudden ambush. Most of the people held this belief, including Hans. However, the uneasiness in him did not dissipate.
‘Is everything really over like this?’
Hans recalled the last words of the guy inside the ancient ruins—he said that everyone in the city would perish. Was he talking about the monsters’ sudden appearance?
‘…I don’t think this is it.’
Just when Hans was thinking this...
The rocks that were blocking the gate exploded.
The soldiers hit by the flying stones screamed. There were casualties among the soldiers near the gate.
Even though the monsters also received some damage, there were many more humans who received damage from the explosion, since there were more humans than monsters inside the city walls. However, this was not the only problem.
The monsters outside the city gate began shrieking again. They were trying to come inside the now open gate.
The knights hurriedly ran towards the gate to stop the monsters from coming in. However, what came towards them were not monsters but a ferocious attack from the darkness.
The knights’ armor were cut and their bodies were sliced. The knights screamed and collapsed onto the ground. Most of them immediately died, and the few who survived were critically injured. Rather than monsters, a robed figure was the first one to walk through the city gate.Previous Chapter Next Chapter