VOLUME 3: CHAPTER 180 – SOAR TO FREEDOM (ELKS CLAN) (1/3)
A man clad in black spoke to the swordsman beside him . He did so while watching the fierce battle occurring before his eyes .
“So that’s Ryutanu the Strong Arm . He’s probably the last power of the Elks Clan . ”
The black-haired swordsman from the Red King Clan had his mouth hidden by a muffler . His aura was so sharp it seemed he could kill with killing intent alone .
The black-haired swordsman, Shunrai, glanced at the man clad in black for a moment before looking back at the man fighting like a savage lion .
“No wonder the assassins couldn’t finish him off . ”
“…Weren’t you the one who said to inform you if we find a strong foe?”
The assassin from Webrus’ Dagger was implying that they simply chose not to finish him off .
Shunrai wielded his scimitar on his shoulder and snorted .
“Have the small fries withdraw . Everything within my reach will be cut . ”
For a moment, a fierce smile could be seen through his muffler .
The assassin narrowed his eyes and gave the signal for the lower members to change their encirclement .
“…Are you certain?” A voice from the shadows asked .
The assassin nodded . “If he fails, then that’s that . Besides, I want to put the Red King Clan in my debt . ”
“As you command . ”
Like the sea parting, a path opened up before Shunrai . At the end of that path was a man covered in both the blood of his foes and his own . He had buried countless foes with his axe, but its blade was already worn out and coagulated blood could even be seen sticking on it .
“You…” Ryutanu exhaled as he glared at the swordsman before him .
Shunrai replied with a sharp glare of his own . “The name is Shunrai . I’ve come to this lands in search of the strong . ”
Shunrai fixed his grip on his scimitar and lowered his center of gravity .
“Name yourself and that shall be considered your last words . ”
Ryutanu recognized the black haired swordsman who named himself Shunrai . He was a warrior responsible for slaying many of his fleeing comrades .
Ryutanu swung his axe in anger, but Shunrai dodged it as if he were dancing, then Shunrai took a step in, and with the scimitar over his shoulder – a scimitar that could easily cut iron by itself, and with Shunrai’s skill anything, be it black steel or diamond – slashed toward Ryutanu .
Unfortunately, Ryutanu’s stance did not break even after missing with his axe, and he immediately punched toward Shunrai with his tekko .
“Ho . ”
Both of those attacks were brimming with fury . Ryutanu’s axe missed, but the attack he sent with his tekko cracked the earth . Although it was only a little, seeing that made Shunrai raise his brows .
“The anger is real, but… you haven’t lost your calm, huh . ” Shunrai smiled in admiration and jumped back .
The fact that he was able to make such a big gap between him and Ryutanu made it apparent that he was no small fry .
But Ryutanu couldn’t withdraw from this fight . Behind were the remaining members of the Elks Clan . No matter how strong the enemy, he had to keep on fighting .
As he gradually closed in on the enemy, he suddenly accelerated and yelled . “Don’t look down on the commanding officer of the Elks Clan’s shock corps!”
Sounds of metals clanging resounded and sparks erupted like the buzzing of the dark of the night .
“…Hmm . As expected, that swordsman isn’t normal . ”
While the two warriors fought each other, the assassin from before calmly watched them and analyzed their respective prowess . Ever since forming an alliance with the Red King Clan, the Dagger of Webrus has had many opportunities to see the strength of the Red King Clan up close .
The Red King Clan was a large organization with many clans under it, but despite that, the adventurers under Brandika’s direct control had a might far beyond their peers . The assassin has already seen their strength many times, but he still can’t help but be shocked each time .
Being afraid of the assassin clans or the mid-sized clans was normal for weaklings .
Fighting an enemy head on would result in many casualties, but if an assassin were to be used instead to knock down the center pillar of the opposing organization, one could effectively neutralize it . That was exactly how the Dagger of Webrus operated .
From the assassin’s perspective, the weakness of the Elks Clan was their lack of members and a person powerful enough to to move them away from a beaten track . Even their clan leader, Touri, was only at the level of a human .
But the person fighting before his very eyes now felt like someone who has abandoned his humanity . It was both enviable and hateful, but the assassin would never show those emotions on his face .
Although the Elks Clan did not have a warrior possessing absolute strength among their ranks, they still managed to champion over a couple of fights in the east . They owed that to their leadership and efficient application of what little power they had .
It was an organization that inspired strong trust from its members, making it difficult to create a traitor within . Gathering information was difficult too . If the Dagger of Webrus could just find out the situation inside, they would surely find a way in, but alas… Another extreme example is the Red King Clan that had many clans under it .
Because of the above reason, as far as Webrus’ Dagger was concerned, the Elks Clan was their nemesis .
But one day, something happened and for some reason, the efficiency that the Elks Clan was so proud of suddenly dulled . Webrus’ Dagger never let their guard down around them, so as soon as that slight change in balance appeared, they knew .
The Elks Clan fought with the Red King Clan in that state, and obviously, they lost .
“The Elks Clan is over . ”
As Ryutanu the Strong Arm fell, the swordsman, Shunrai, wielded his blood-smeared scimitar over his shoulder .
As the assassin muttered to himself, he suddenly heard the sound of laughter accompanied by screams . With his heightened hearing, he could tell whose screams those belonged to . It was his men .
But why now? He asked himself, but no answer came, only the sight of blood splattering from one corner of their encirclement as his comrades fled for their lives .
 – CLICK HERE TO SEE A TEKKO, NO THIS IS NOT A REFERRAL LINK
“Ahaha! This is good! There’s so many to pick from!”
Laughter sounded as blood spurted about . Each time Vine swung her sword, screams would sound and corpses would rise .
“…Clan leader, your bad habit is showing . ”
The gnome warrior, Berk, frowned, but he continued to support Vine from afar, shooting down the foes that entered Vine’s blind spot with his magic .
The sharpened rocks were difficult to dodge in the dark of the night, but worse than that was the fact that even if one did manage to dodge them, the only thing waiting for them was Vine’s evil blade .
All that the eye could see, all that the blade could reach, all were dragged into the depths of the abyss by the evil blade of the Red Moon’s clan leader .
“Die! Die! Die! Ahahaha!”
“The clan leader’s opened a path . Now, go!”
At Berk’s behest, Pale ran straight ahead .
“Shurei, Rue, cover me . ”
Pale used her senses to find her foes within the dark of the night and shot at them with her small bow . With every arrow nocked, screams would resound . This was the skill of the sylph that surpassed even the precision of Berk’s rock bullets .
While Vine was happily cutting one person down after another, something managed to stop her, causing her to cry out in displeasure . As sparks flashed in the dark of the night, it became apparent that the one who stopped her was none other than the eastern swordsman who had named himself Shunrai .
“You look like you’re having fun . How about partnering with me?”
“Don’t put on airs around me! I’ll tear you into pieces!”
Vine shook off the flesh bits and blood clinging to her blade, then she sheathed it, smiled fiercely, and rushed up to the eastern swordsman .
In response, Shunrai slightly inclined his scimitar over his shoulders and lowered his gravity, allowing him to move anytime he wished .
For a moment, there was silence between them .
But it was only for a moment .
And in the next moment, Shunrai and Vine cried out, sparks erupting as their blades crossed . When they saw that they failed to kill their foe, they swung their swords once more .
Vine’s evil blade grazed Shunrai’s nose, while Shunrai’s scimitar cut several strands of Vine’s long black hair .
Vine was shorter compared to Shunrai, so she aimed for his feet, but Shunrai didn’t show any intention of defending his feet as he took a step in and prepared to cut down Vine from above .
Vine clicked her tongue as she sensed death, then she brought back her sword and – relying on her instincts – jumped to the side to avoid the descending blade .
In response, Shunrai swept with his sword, releasing an attack that was akin to a powerful wind . If that were to hit, Vine’s head would surely burst like a pomegranate, but as revenge for earlier, Vine jumped over his head instead .
In a contest of swords, one stakes his life in a moment . Sword technique, strength, vision, guts, speed… Even if one’s opponent surpasses oneself on all accounts, one must never doubt his sword, for to do so, is to accept defeat .
Which is why these two warriors have been keeping a firm hold on their spirit while focusing on the battle .
When Shunrai’s muffler was cut, the fierce smile hidden behind was finally revealed .
“What are you smiling for!?”
Veins bulged on Vine’s temples as she took a step forward, then as she unsheathed her blade, she sent an attack toward the eastern swordsman . It was a blood curling sight when her graceful features were covered in blood and twisted in that ghastly expression .
Shunrai received her attack directly with his own scimitar and laughed .
“Good, good! Give me more! Hee hee . ”
As fury burned within Vine’s eyes, she pushed back the scimitar with all of her strength, and when a big enough gap was made, she swept with her sword to claim Shunrai’s neck . But as Shunrai pulled back, the smile on his face did not vanish, and as he opened his eyes wide in excitement, he mimicked Vine .
Vine clicked her tongue upon seeing Shunrai’s eccentric behavior, and she sheathed her curved sword once more .
“I’ll kill you . ” Vine spat .
“Kill me? Saying stuff like that repeatedly only makes you look weak, little girl . ” Shunrai spat back .
Vine had always had a short fuse, so it comes to no surprise that when she heard those words, she immediately lost all constraint . She smiled a sublime smile, but her eyes weren’t laughing . Instead they emitted a powerful killing intent as she eyed the enemy before her .
As soon as that word was spoken, Pale ran past Vine, and Vine approached Shunrai to keep him from chasing after Pale, but Shunrai didn’t even glance at Pale and instead focused on Vine .
It was such a perfect decision that Vine couldn’t help but click her tongue . Vine had originally intended to take his head if he tried to go after Pale or showed even a little hesitation, but alas…
Shunrai knew that Pale only wanted to go where Ryutanu was . But as far as he was concerned, the living was more interesting than someone about to die, so he instinctively moved for Vine .
In the dark of the night, the battle of the crazed warriors was yet to end .
Pale couldn’t hear anything anymore as she ran . Not the battle occurring nearby nor the enemies nor her allies, nothing . The only thing she could focus on was her old friend, whom she embraced despite his bloodied body . Beside her was Ryutanu’s aide, the little girl that was hiding in the shed, looking like she was about to cry .
As Ryutanu faintly opened his eyes and breathed weakly, Pale swallowed her breath .
“… Tha…t’s… rea…lly… cru . . el… Wh, y?”
Ryutanu’s eyes were filled with tears as he looked up at Pale .
Pale thought he was blaming her, so she never stopped apologizing as she embraced him .
“I’m, sorry . If, I hadn’t left for the forest… . you, I…”
Ryutanu shook his head . Just speaking alone was already difficult for him and his arms couldn’t move well, but despite that, he still desperately tried to wipe away the tears on Pale’s eyes .
“It’s alright . It’ll be alright… That’s why, Ryutanu!”
Even just breathing was difficult . Ryutanu’s voice was already powerless .
“Yes! Elder Brother!”
Sophia wiped away her tears and held Ryutanu’s hands .
“Dism…iss… Elks… Live… as you… please…”
“No, no, elder brother! We will… always…”
“Princ…ess… Please… take… care… of… these…”
Ryutanu couldn’t even finish that last sentence .
“No, you’re joking, right? Ryutanu… Ryutanu!”
Pale openly cried while Sophia quietly cried . Shurei and Rue were protecting them, but that wouldn’t last forever . Rue did not have the power to resurrect the dead and Shurei was outside of his area of expertise .
But the ones most annoyed by this odd turn of events was the assassins surrounding them .
While the swordsman from the Red King Clan and the black-haired woman were fighting, they were done in by some women and children . That fact greatly hurt their clan’s pride, a clan that had crushed the Elks Clan .
“How long are you planning to let these women and children run over you!?”
Openly furious, the assassin ordered his members to attack Pale and the remnants of the Elks Clan . Shurei readied to defend Pale and Sophia, while Berk attacked the Dagger of Webrus from afar .
It was frustrating being hit with those rock bullets in the middle of the forest, so the assassins clicked their tongues and went after the source of the rocks .
A closer look would reveal that the rocks had been shooting from the same place all this time .
Several people had been done in as they closed in, but Berk figured Shurei would probably be able to handle them so long as they blocked the rocks .
Having decided that, Berk decided to make his appearance .
“I’ll make you regret for making an enemy out of Webrus’ Dagger,” the assassin declared, thinking Berk was hiding deep inside the forest .
But then a voice suddenly replied .
“I wonder,” it said .
The assassin turned around in shock, and lo and behold, the gnome warrior was right there behind him .
“Why, are you… How did you get here!? You were over there!”
“Hmm… You mean this?”
As the rock bullet floated in the air, it flew to one direction, then it drew a curve and shot out from the same location as before, blowing away another assassin from Webrus’ Dagger’s ranks .
“It’s a game we play back in my hometown . Looks like it was pretty useful this time around . ”
The assassin jumped back in a panic, but Berk didn’t allow him to, and before he could, his body was cut in half .
“Hmm… What are you supposed to say at a time like this again?”
Berk leisurely thought himself like that as he took a breather .
“Berk Alsen has taken the enemy general’s head!!”
When that voice resounded throughout the forest, the members of Webrus’ Dagger cried and scattered about like frightened baby spiders .
 Battle cries . Doesn’t really mean anything .
The twin red moons of Ervi and Navi shone upon Pale’s eyelids .
The eyes that were closed by her brethren gradually opened as the moonlight goddess, Vardina, bestowed Pale her blessing .
But ironically the first thing those eyes saw was the hopeless sight of a comrade’s lifeless body .
“AHh, AHH!! Ryutanu!”
That nostalgic face was wet with blood, his body was covered in blood . How long had he been fighting? It was no longer even possible to distinguish whose blood it was that covered him anymore . Was it his or his foe’s, no one knew, but much of the blood had already dried .
Why was this cruel world so quick to take the things she cherished? Pale wondered, but no answer came .
“Ahh, too late, eh?” A friendly voice called out to Pale .
It was none other than Vine, who was fighting with that eastern swordsman just a while ago .
Her overly lax attitude caused Pale to glare at her .
“What, got a problem?”
But Vine just laughed as if she didn’t mind Pale’s glare .
“Unfortunately, there’s no point in glaring at me . The one who killed that was Webrus’ Dagger and you not making it in time was your own fault . As someone who offered you assistance, there shouldn’t be any reason for you to be glaring at me . ”
Pale swallowed the emotions that sought to well up .
She didn’t think she was wrong, so she averted her gaze .
“Hmph . Well if you have enough self-control to keep yourself from yelling at others, then I guess that’s good . So, what are we going to do now?”
Around them was the river of blood and corpses that Vine, Berk, and the girls had made .
“You want vengeance, right?”
Within Pale burned the flames of hate . It was an emotion that demanded she consume everything or go insane . It was her first time feeling such emotions .
“The real enemy isn’t the Dagger of Webrus . Behind them is the Red King . ”
Sophia wiped her eyes and then glared at Pale and Vine .
“The Red King…” Pale muttered in blank amazement .
“Heh…” Vine nodded .
“What’s your name?” Pale asked .
Pale Symphoria gazed at the darkness within her heart, and the abyss gazed right back at her . What reflected on those beautiful pair of jewels she had for eyes was her own body being burned by the black flames of vengeance .
“Sophia,” the girl replied .
“Ms . Sophia… I intend to exact vengeance on the Dagger of Webrus and the Red King . Would you like to come with me?”
Sophia wordlessly nodded, and so did the rest of the remnants of the Elks Clan .
“Ms . Vine . ”
“Shurei, Rue… There won’t be any combing back after this . ”
“I-It’s better than abandoning our comrades!” Shurei replied
Rue nodded .
“From now on you’ll be following my orders . Mark my words, the Dagger of Webrus and the Red King will pay!”
The shadow of the Goddess of Vengeance appeared within Pale, and she was aware of it .
If you find any errors ( broken links, non-standard content, etc . . ), Please let us know so we can fix it as soon as possible .
Tip: You can use left, right, A and D keyboard keys to browse between chapters .Please download our sponsor's game to support us!