Swordmaster Healer - Episode 50
Chapter 17 - Battle Priest Welrod (2)
"He's Welrod, part of the Empire's Battle Priests. It seems like he used the power of his sacred prayers in order to become aware of my existence," Rishubalt said, concealing himself.
"Were the Battle Priests involved in my death?" Sung Joon asked.
"The Awakening Dungeon opens wherever you had a grudge, my lord. Also, amongst the Empire's soldiers, you can consider them as all having a hand in your death."
"It looks like I'll be busy."
Sung Joon smirked and raised his sword. Welrod examined Sung Joon meticulously and began, "You're from a different world? How did you get here?"
It seemed like he was talking to himself. Responding to his question would be pointless, so Sung Joon quickly closed the distance between himself and the knights, and threw his aurclad dagger at Welrod.
Sung Joon's aurclad dagger couldn't be blocked by a simple prayer of protection. Welrod urgently threw himself to the side, evading the dagger.
"Buy me some time while I recite the prayer of judgment!"
Both of Welrod's hands emitted white light. The two knights drew their swords and rushed Sung Joon. A faint aura gleamed from their swords.
"Welrod is reciting the prayer of judgment!" cried Rishubalt.
The prayer of judgment.
Battle Priests used divine power in order to fuel this magical attack.
Sung Joon sifted through his memories and recalled the information regarding the prayer of judgment. He knew he needed to disrupt the recitation quickly, so he swung his sword at the knights.
Roukel's combat swordsmanship was difficult for even skilled swordsmen to predict due to its use of feints. The knights were no exception, as they had difficulty responding to Sung Joon's strikes.
If they failed to predict Sung Joon's strikes, they would die. Sung Joon beheaded one of the knights and he spurted blood like a fountain.
The remaining knight aimed for Sung Joon's neck. The Knight, who had been tempered through his training, moved at super speed* for just an instant. (*High-speed movement skill.)
It seemed like the knight's sword would reach Sung Joon's neck before he could withdraw his sword. Then there was only one solution.
Sung Joon's dagger returned to his left hand. Because his dagger had so suddenly appeared in his hand, the knight was taken aback. As soon as his posture crumbled, Sung Joon pierced the knight's left thigh.
The knight staggered in pain from the sudden attack and for the second time, Sung Joon swung his sword and slashed the knight's neck. The headless body fell weakly.
"You're too late! Holy Cross!"
He hurried, but the Prayer of Judgement was complete. Welrod raised a small cross and from it, an enormous cross was projected.
"The Holy Cross is an extremely powerful cross! You have to dodge it!" Rishubalt warned, but he was one step too late.
Sung Joon inevitably took a direct hit from the Holy Cross.
The huge shock, as if he had just been hit by a car, was transmitted across his body. Sung Joon's body flew back and was pushed into the wall.
It seemed like his bones were broken.
Welrod, seeing that Sung Joon was barely able to stand, said, "Speak, man from a different world. Why is the ghost of Sir Rishubalt following you around?"
There was no reason to respond. After Sung Joon treated his broken bones, he grasped his sword. Sung Joon could see the surprise written all over Welrod's face as he saw it.
"Sacred prayers, huh… Were you a Battle Priest?"
Welrod raised the war hammer at his side.
"If you don't want to answer me, that's fine with me. If I send you to the Empire's Torture Squad, you'll naturally open your mouth!"
Welrod disappeared from his sight.
They would usually aim for the rear, but Welrod reappeared right in front of Sung Joon, and swung his war hammer.
He should've been surprised by the sudden attack. However, when Welrod had first moved his feet, activating his high-speed movement, Sung Joon had already predicted his movements.
Sung Joon swung his sword at Welrod's neck. Rishubalt thought that the strike would be effective, but Welrod raised his war hammer and deflected Sung Joon's attack.
The one who withdrew his weapon first would win.
Whoever withdrew his weapon first would get the first opportunity to attack, and Sung Joon's longsword was much lighter than Welrod's war hammer.
"Ha!" Sung Joon cried out.
Sung Joon had withdrawn his weapon first, and with a short battle cry, stabbed at Welrod's heart.
Welrod quickly retreated, but the end of Sung Joon's sword pierced through his ribs. However, it didn't go deep enough to pierce his heart.
"Like hell you are!"
Welrod lifted his empty left hand and began reciting the sacred prayer. This had all happened because he had been taken aback by the unexpected counterattack, but he couldn't afford to be flustered in the midst of such a close fight.
If Sung Joon allowed Welrod use his 'Sacred Prayer', which had the same effect as his 'Heal', Welrod would be able to treat his wounds. He wouldn't let that happen. Sung Joon instantly closed the distance between them.
"T-This is Sir Roukel's high-speed movement!" Welrod exclaimed.
Although Welrod knew that Sung Joon's high-speed movement was imperfect, he also realized that Sung Joon's use of it closely resembled Roukel's.
While Roukel's swordsmanship was superb, he also had exceptional high-speed movement..
"S-Shit!" Welrod cursed.
Sung Joon had, at some point, gotten right in front of Welrod. He swung his sword. Thus, Welrod didn't have the opportunity to recite his Sacred Prayer. He simply cursed and raised his war hammer to block Sung Joon's sword.
It was a relief that his chest wound wasn't deep. If his bleeding had been severe, Welrod wouldn't have been able to continue this battle.
Although he was called a Battle Priest, his close quarters combat skills were inferior to Sung Joon's. As time passed, he received more and more injuries.
Sung Joon thought he had attained victory, but at that moment… Knights poured in through the opened door.
It wasn't a part of the dungeon's system, but the Awakening Dungeon was connected to another world. Sung Joon had made a mistake by not being prepared for this unexpected variable.
"Sir Welrod! Are you alright?" an intruding knight asked.
The knights blocked Sung Joon, allowing Welrod to retreat to safety and recite his sacred prayer.
"Hoo!" said a relieved Welrod.
Sung Joon lightly bit his lip.
"We have to pass him over to the Torture Squad, so don't kill him," Welrod said.
The knights, with their swords drawn, slowly advanced. Welrod recited a prayer in order to protect the knights.
"He's reciting the prayer of protection. It seems like he's going to cast it on the knights," Rishubalt reported after figuring out the prayer Welrod was reciting.
Since none of the knights were injured, it seemed like Welrod planned to use the prayer of protection to increase the knights' defense.
The prayer of protection was complete before Sung Joon could act. The knights' armor glistened with sacred light.
"Ha!" Sung Joon cried.
Sung Joon swung his aurclad sword with a battle cry and his blade struck the Holy Armor. In the end, he had slashed deeply into the knight's waist, but the Holy Armor had resisted fiercely.
The Holy Armor interfered with Sung Joon's quick combat swordsmanship. While he was cutting through the Holy Armor, the other knights tried to pass by him.
'I can't let it go on like this.'
His aura wasn't strong enough to cut through the Holy Armor in a single stroke and he didn't have enough time to use his stealth. Then, there was only one solution.
Rather than stealth, or his Heal, he could use something else immediately: transcend.
Sung Joon drew out his mana and opened his mouth.
"You asked how I'm related to Roukel?"
"Let me tell you."
His mana burst forth and he transcended his body's limits.
"Your synchronization rate is at 20%! You're able to use 'Aura Slash' now!" Rishubalt reported.
Sung Joon had transcended his limits in order to temporarily increase his synchronization rate past 20%, so new memories poured into his mind.
Sung Joon sifted through his memories and found the means to attain victory. It was the 'Aura Slash' technique, which would launch a projectile made of aura.
The nearby knights stumbled due to his sudden burst of mana.
"I am Roukel."
When he opened his eyes, he was the Sword Saint once more.
"W-Where did he go!?"
Sung Joon disappeared. He was so fast that Welrod couldn't track him with his eyes. The knights, who had surrounded Sung Joon, collapsed and spurted blood.
With a synchronization rate of 20%, mere Holy Armor was nothing before his aura.
"Sir Welrod! We have to escape!"
The knights fell like helpless scarecrows, until there were only two knights remaining. While one of the remaining knights briefly blocked Sung Joon, the other knight advised Welrod to escape.
However, that also wouldn't be easy.
Sung Joon had, at some point, had slashed the knight's neck and rushed at the last remaining knights.
"P-Prayer of Judgment…!"
Before Sung Joon's ruthless aura, Welrod judged that his sacred prayer wouldn't do him any good, but he quickly casted his prayer of judgment anyway.
The last remaining knight fell. Meanwhile, Welrod had finished reciting the prayer of judgment.
Welrod summoned a spear which emanated sacred light, and aimed it at Sung Joon. However, Sung Joon didn't just sit there and take it.
Sung Joon had recollected the activation words of the 'Aura Slash' technique. He swung his sword in a large horizontal arc, and yelled out. A projectile, gleaming with the blue light of aura flew ahead.
Welrod's body was bisected as he was struck by the sword beam. He let out an agonizing scream and lost control of his Holy Spear.
The Holy Spear dissipated in the air.
"You're still alive?"
His upper body had been separated from his lower body, yet Welrod was still alive. But he would die soon. Sung Joon approached him and raised his sword.
"Cough! That's impossible… This is definitely Roukel's…"
"I told you. I am Roukel."
"That's not possible…"
Welrod struggled to speak, but Sung Joon ignored the end and pierced his throat. Welrod's body shook once and he died.
Sung Joon sheathed his sword and opened his mouth.
"Wait in hell. I'll send the others to you soon."
His cold eyes sparkled with the promise of revenge.
"My lord! Congratulations! You've advanced one step further!" Rishubalt said.
Sung Joon nodded his head and at that moment…
He suddenly felt the side effects of his transcendence. Although he had transcended his limits for a short while, the price of raising his synchronization rate by 3% was high. He was suddenly struck with pain across his entire body and it was difficult for him to even stand.
Sung Joon collapsed and could only writhe in pain for an hour. But at the very least, he had been able to ease the pain using 'Heal' after thirty minutes. Otherwise, he would have fainted.
When he had gotten a hold of himself, he absorbed the mana from the bodies.
"Why won't they disappear?"
When the Awakening Dungeon disappeared, it would give him a bonus reward to his synchronization rate.
Rishubalt sifted through his memories and responded.
"There seems to be an item here. I suspect it's at that altar."
Sung Joon walked over to the altar that Rishubalt had pointed out. There was a hollow space under the altar and inside lay a single storage box.
- Verifying the existence of a new item.
The measuring tool responded. As Rishubalt had predicted, it was an item. Sung Joon opened the storage box and found a priest's vestments inside.
He had tried to appraise it with the measuring tool, but as he had expected, it couldn't appraise it since it was an item from a different world. He wordlessly turned to Rishubalt and presented him with the vestments.
"I will appraise it now."
Rishubalt drew out his mana and appraised the item. Sung Joon raised his measuring tool once more.