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Chapter 285 – Followers of the End (4)

    Chapter 285 - Followers of the End (4)

    "Cough!" Fermut couldn't even scream.

    His heart, lungs, and ribs were destroyed at once, causing fatal injuries. The transcendental vitality of a sword master and the reflexive actions were barely recognizable. Fermut couldn't be saved, even if a cardinal found him. Orta was confident about Fermut's death and relieved that this fight was easier than he thought it would be.

    'The arrogance, that closed his eyes, and the foolishness, that didn't allow him to use his talent, killed him.'

    The Aura Ability to bend space was an innate talent. Fermut wasn't 30 years old yet, but he was in line to be the next emperor. As such, there was no one who could keep his arrogance in check.

    Where would a person like this experience adversity or go against a person they couldn't fight? Fermut was clearly strong, but in contrast to his strength, he had too many imperfections. It might be different at the first encounter, but when fighting twice against a seasoned veteran like Orta, he would soon be disadvantaged.

    If Orta looked at it calmly, it was a well-deserved victory.

    In just a few seconds, the blood coming from Fermut's mouth formed a puddle. It was at least a few liters worth of blood. An ordinary person would've died three times already from the blood loss.

    It was impossible for Fermut to keep fighting, so Orta just needed to wait until his heart stopped beating.

    Orta raised a hand in order to mercilessly stop the pain. "I won't mourn you, but go well."

    The space blade aimed at Fermut's neck―

    Chaaeng!

    It bounced off. Orta grabbed the broken index finger of his right hand as he faced an unbelievable situation. Fermut, who was supposed to be a dead body, wielded his sword.

    'This is impossible. Being able to counterattack with such a body...!'

    Then at the very next moment, Orta saw it.

    "Grrr...kuhu...kuaaaaah!" The blood vessels all over the face and body swelled up, while the round hole where Fermut's heart used to be was filled with chunks of flesh.

    It was too horrible to call it a human heart. Black blood flowed like tar, while his eyes turned black and unfocused. An unknown aura was filling Fermut's dead body, a power that was hostile to all life!

    Orta's eyes widened as he identified the origin, "Don't tell me... An ancient magic sword?!"

    It was on a different level from the magic swords which were often traded. Orta felt the alien power overflow from the prince's sword and started sweating anxiously. This was a magic sword that had the power of a demon infused in it.

    However, unlike the god sword, it wasn't for demons to use directly. Its purpose was the degeneration and destruction of other species. At first, it simply lent its strength, but now it dominated its master. The power was so formidable that idiots who would try to obtain magic swords from the Age of Mythology continued to exist.

    However, why would the crown prince be carrying a magic sword like this?

    "Hmph, I don't intend to just watch!"

    If Orta let it be, Fermut would completely revive. Sensing a crisis, Orta moved his hands at a dazzling speed, forming a total of 13 magic circles. Unlike his usual magic, this was a series of attack magic focused on lethal force.

    Elimination Sphere.

    Downsizing.

    Wedge of Ruin.

    The black sphere which had destroyed a gate in the past emerged as a few small shapes. It was a special magic that destroyed matter just by coming into contact. Orta didn't hesitate to shoot all of it at the prince's body. It aimed precisely at 13 of Fermut's unprotected vital spots!

    "Kuaaaaaack!" Fermut lost his temper.

    The bent space blocked some of the magic spheres, but Fermut's left arm and right leg were cut off. Three holes were made in his abdomen, and the regenerated heart was destroyed again. However, Orta didn't feel relieved.

    'He focused on protecting his head. Is the brain the only part that can't be reproduced? Furthermore, the magic sword's power has increased...'

    It might be a sword that regenerated the user's body in exchange for strength. By the time Orta inferred up to this point, Fermut's black eyes returned to being white. The tremendous impact brought back his sanity. "K-Kuooooh...! Y-You, see, soon...!"

    Using the sword's power to bend space, Fermut threw his own body a few hundred meters away. Of course, it was a distance that Orta could easily cover.

    "...Hrmm." However, instead of chasing after him, Orta raised a hand. He wasn't intending to leave future trouble behind. Orta could see beyond space. Despite being far away, he accurately saw through Fermut's body.

    'It is like he is already dead.'

    Fermut's life was saved, but he had lost his heart twice, as well as a large amount of blood that contained aura. This couldn't be reversed by the regenerative power of the magic sword or a cardinal's power. Furthermore, by maintaining his flesh using the power of a demon, he would suffer side effects.

    Rather than returning as a sword master, it would be lucky if he could even stand on the battlefield again. In the empire where the weak were suppressed, Prince Fermut's prestige would fall. It was time to prioritize the army's victory, rather than chase after Fermut.

    "Sending a command from the deputy commander!" Orta's voice resonated on the battlefield due to the communication artifact. "The enemy commander, Prince Fermut, has been defeated and has departed from the battlefield! From now on, we will focus our power on annihilating the Andras Empire's troops!"

    Orta used magic to magnify his voice on purpose. The order rang out in the middle of the battlefield, raising Meltor's morale while lowering Andras'.

    Prince Fermut, who was the next emperor, had been defeated! The defeat of a master was painful, but it was also the departure of the chief commander and head of the army. The Andras troops realized the severity of this situation.

    It only took an hour for them to be slaughtered.

    The Andras soldiers were reduced from 30,000 to around 2,000 and were suffering from major losses due to the battle. Meanwhile, Meltor's casualties were less than two-tenths of their fighting force.

    It was a one-sided victory. As Orta thought, Prince Fermut of Andras never showed up in battle again. Even for the white tower, it wasn't easy to find out what happened to him once he returned home.

    *     *     *

    Kaaack, kaaack.

    For humans, the battlefield was a terrible horror, but for hungry beasts, it was a feast. Crows, wolves, and many other wild animals gathered on the riverside after the two armies had left.

    The victorious Meltor took away the bodies of their casualties, but the busy Andras Empire abandoned the corpses of their casualties as they fled. There were around 30,000 corpses strewn around.

    "Huhuhu, this is a good smell," a man remarked as he walked through the pit filled with the stench of blood and putrefaction. "The air of the battlefield where blood and death are overflowing! I don't know how long it has been since I've seen so much blood."

    His red hair and red eyes were such an uncomfortable color that anyone would frown if they saw it. It was quite different from Veronica's beauty. The man's body was covered in a dark red color, like dried blood. The beasts, who had been drawn by the smell of blood, felt something ominous and withdrew.

    He was the Red Rider of War, one of the four horsemen like Hipatia. This man was one of the lunatics who wanted to bring peace to this earth through war and slaughter. At first glance, his polite tone and stylish clothing were all a sharp contrast to his nature. The red knight's eyes flashed with joy, and he spread his arms widely.

    Ominous lights flashed one after another, and the blood on the floor started to wriggle like slime.

    Kullong... kullong kullong...

    On average, only a few liters of blood spilled from each body. However, the amount of blood that had flowed out from 30,000 bodies was so much that it was like a large red river, despite the blood being dried up.

    The mass of blood was sucked into the body of the red knight.

    "Kuhuhuhu...! Okay, this is good. Very good! This is such a great and splendid banquet. Like Hipatia said, that magician really is our king!"

    Theodore had used it as an excuse, but the warlocks close to the battlefield became certain. They collected the blood, corpses, and ghosts, turning them into their strength!

    A large number of sacrifices that couldn't be obtained even by annihilating one village often occurred in a war. If possible, the red knight wanted to take them when the blood was still warm and the bodies were in good condition... However, Meltor's army was too strong. It might be possible if all of the riders took action, but it was impossible to go against them with just two knights.

    "―Don't be rash, Red," an elderly man leaning on a staff rebuked the red knight. "As Hipatia said, there is still a corner of the child's spirit that hasn't been convinced yet. If he really is our king, we need to figure out why he is in Meltor and why his memory is incomplete. Keep in mind that you shouldn't make contact with him."

    "Of course, Black Knight."

    That's right. The elderly man, who seemed like he would soon fall down and die, was another of the four horsemen who had come to confirm the king's resurrection-the Black Rider of Famine.

    The old man struck his staff down once, and all the dead rose up around him. It was a white shape, a form that would be contaminated and reborn as evil spirits. The black knight nodded while swallowing the souls. "...This situation is also satisfactory for me."

    They had been hiding since the last war. The Central Continent had long stopped fighting, so they had to hunt for blood and death elsewhere. It might be a bit of an exaggeration, but the number of sacrifices they had collected over a century was much less than what they had just accumulated over the last few days.

    'I'm not sure yet, but there isn't much doubt.'

    According to the records, it had been a wait of 1,000 years, and there was no reaction from their vigilant senses.

    The black knight had thought it wouldn't happen in his own generation, but Hipatia was immediately convinced. The red knight was in the best position, and the last one wasn't even human. Among them, the black knight was the most cautious, so he was put in charge of this task.

    As a specter of black magic who had already lived for over 200 years, the black knight gazed at something with empty eyes. "This land is unusual."

    The northern powers that maintained an unnatural confrontation, and the empire that abandoned the function of a proper nation...

    The black knight gazed in the direction of Andres' capital, Belfort, and gulped. 'The empire of swords... It is ridiculous.'

    Was it visible only to the vision of a warlock? A whirlpool of energy soared into the sky of the distant horizon.

    'I'd rather call it the empire of evil energy.'

    As the two warlocks stood there, the war continued. Meltor had the overall advantage and pushed to the border. The loss of so many of the empire's Seven Swords and their hidden cards meant that half of Andras was lost. This was the moment when Meltor's victory was confirmed.

    However, the warlocks sensed it. This war wouldn't end so smoothly. More blood and more magnificent deaths would overflow. As if confirming their intuition, the situation changed drastically.

    Finally, the emperor of Andras moved. Simultaneously, this unification war headed in a direction that no one had imagined.
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