Chapter 12 - Black Forest (3)
“Isn’t he Lightning Sword Hart”
“There’s also the Crimson Defender, Ragno.”
“Huh, isn’t this a gathering of all the Seven Great Northern Masters”
“What in the world are you doing”
“I’ve heard rumors regarding the Depuration this time…”
Zion glanced around the training hall, listening to the conversation of the mercenaries next to him.
Mercenaries were flaunting their skills to the fullest, advertising themselves in a bid to be selected.
It was not known what exactly the Black Forest was, nor why it needed to be subjugated.
Nevertheless, countless mercenaries were gathering in the lord’s castle.
The cause was the examining party, the young men and women sitting comfortably on the podium next to the training hall, looking down at us.
Did they say Seven Great Northern Masters
The Seven Great Northern Masters.
Seven supernovae, led by Rain Dranir, the only daughter of Lord Ruin, who had recently built up a terrifying reputation in the northern region.
Their skill was already widely known to those in the central area of the Empire, and some evaluated that one or two of the seven could possibly become “empyrean” ranked individuals in the future.
That woman is…
Zion focused on Rain Dranir among them.
Even now, as the leader of the Chilgeol1, she boasted tremendous ability surpassing her age…
However, Zion was well aware that this was not the limit of her potential.
She was one of the colleagues of the heroes who would appear in the future.
A divinely-gifted talent, appearing only once in a thousand years.
The Unrivalled Strongest Spear.
The Dragon Strike Empress2
The Deity of the Spear.
These were titles that would be associated with her in the future, and she would reign as one of the most powerful individuals in the Frosimar Chronicles, both in terms of status and power.
For now though, she’s still negligible.
Her transcendent talents blossomed as a result of a series of incidents.
According to Zion’s memory, the incidents were related to the events that led to Ruin’s demise.
At that moment, Zion heard a voice announcing his pseudonym.
Zion stood from his seat and slowly made his way towards the training grounds.
Zion’s hair and eyes had been coloured black.
The characteristic features of royalty had been erased from his appearance.
“Is it you My opponent”
There was someone already standing on the training grounds.
It was his opponent, a muscular man adorned with scars all over his body.
“Isn’t he… the Butcher”
How can that felon be here…”
The other mercenaries began to murmur as they caught sight of him.
The Butcher, Uro.
He was so merciless that the word “human” was rarely attributed to him, a wanted man who had dipped his feet into numerous crimes.
However, the magistrate was also reluctant to arrest him because he possessed skill proportional to his cruelty.
All they take into consideration is competence.
Uro thought as he glanced towards the podium.
He was right, Rain and the other Chilgeol on the podium were still simply observing him, cold expressions marking their faces when he appeared.
I have to show my best performance and win a recruitment ticket at once.
If he could join the subjugation this time, he would be able to go well beyond simply washing the sins he had committed and build a greater reputation.
Thinking so, Uro looked at his opponent once more.
His eyes were hazy and his body skinny, showing no indication of ever having trained at all.
On top of that, he was bare-handed.
He couldn’t understand why he had volunteered and how he had progressed this far.
“I don’t know if he’s going to kill this person.”
“Is the recruitment going to be suspended because of Uro”
“I hope he can fight with moderation.”
The mercenaries watching him were also looking at Zion with anxious eyes, as if they harboured similar thoughts.
That was natural, as they had never heard the name of Zion Harness.
Besides, his opponent was the Butcher, Uro.
Still, there might be some unexpected aspects to him, or he could be a wizard, so I’ll get this done as fast as I can.
“Hey, step down now.
Don’t waste our time meaninglessly.”
Uro muttered something he didn’t mean and took a stance.
Zion still did not move.
He just stood there, looking at Uro with languid eyes.
Was he scared
Even so, Uro stamped his foot with all his might from the start as he had no intention of dragging it out.
The explosive power originating from his huge muscles and his precise use of mana intertwined with one another, propelling Uro’s frame in front of Zion’s eyes at once.
His bear-like body moved at an incredible speed.
Soon after, Uro’s halberd, which had been lifted towards the sky at the same moment his feet kicked off the ground, came crashing down, as it to split Zion’s body vertically.
A smile spread across the Butcher’s lips.
And at that moment, Zion, who had simply been staring at Uro, finally moved.
Every movement that exists in this world has a specific emphasis.
Dozens of points of force came into existence before a movement was executed, and altering even a single one would distort the movement.
There was no need to use Astral Darkness.
It was easier for Zion, who had experienced thousands or tens of thousands of battlefields, to find the Butcher’s points of force than it was to overturn the palm of his hand.
Just half a breath swifter than the opponent.
Zion’s toes, extended with precise timing and a constant speed, slightly grazed the muscle next to Uro’s right shin.
With just as much force as a fist thrown by a four or five year old child to an adult male.
However, the result was completely different.
Uro’s body, which lost its balance as he let out a scream, bent sideways.
Naturally, the halberd’s blade passed by Zion.
With this, Zion lightly thrust his fist into Uro’s face, who had fallen flat on the ground.
Despite the fact that the blow was a light one, perhaps due to the recoil of the force exerted, Uro floated in the air as the sound of something breaking resounded, before promptly falling back onto the floor.
Uro’s body didn’t move an inch, as though his consciousness had left him.
“Why did Uro lose”
The mercenaries mumbled with their eyes wide open as they observed a result completely contrary to their expectations.
What in the world had happened
However, Zion immediately descended from the training ground, conveying that he had no intention of allaying their doubts.
It’s about time for ‘that’ to happen…
Zion’s eyes betrayed an expectant look as his gaze wandered around the hall, waiting for something.
“How was it Amusing, right”
Hart, who had been watching the battle between Zion and the Butcher from the podium, smiled and spoke to Rain next to him.
“That’s how it’s always been.
They were all overpowered with minimal movement.
That’s how you usually fight when you’re superior to your opponent… I think it’s because his body is like that.
He moves in the most efficient way possible.”
At Hart’s words, Rain stared at Zion’s back as he descended from the stage.
With a body like that, only moving in such a manner would allow him to subdue the opponent.
“Why do you care about someone so insignificant”
At that moment, Ragno, the giant tattooed man who had been listening to their dialogue, snickered and opened his mouth.
“He seem to have pretty good technique, but isn’t that something any of us can do Besides, we all know that if he falters even slightly in a fight like that, with his body, he’ll be at death’s doorstep in no time.
If we took him with us, I think he’d be more of a hindrance than an asset.”
“I feel the same way.
Just now, the guy named Zion Harness seemed to be walking on a knife’s edge.
I can identify traces of training on his body, but… he seems to be inherently weak.”
At Ragno’s words, the neat-looking man with glasses, Lian, nodded.
Lian was also one of the Chilgeol, but unlike the others who were friends, he served the Dranil family as Rain’s servant.
“He seems to have an excellent battle sense.
It would have been better if he had become a wizard so as to not waste it.”
“It seems there is no more talent over there.”
Rain had the same thought.
She sighed and buried herself in her chair.
“Hah, is there no one…”
Was it because she hastened to recruit mercenaries Not a single person had caught her eyes in the last few days.
At this rate, she might not even be able to organise a proper subjugation.
No, I can’t delay it any longer… Hm
Rain’s eyes were tinged with an inquisitive look as she looked at the mercenaries with a tired face.
Then, someone entered from side entrance of the outer castle leading to the training hall.
This man was walking towards them with an imposing gait.
Up until then, nothing was out of the ordinary.
Since it was a subjugation hosted by Chilgeol, it was not strange for participants to be nervous or overconfident.
However, what Rain was observing was not the face of this man, but his feet.
She caught a glimpse of the man’s ankle hidden beneath his trousers.
The tattoo of a six-headed beast was faintly etched on his ankle.
Gradually, Rain’s eyes widened.
“How can the bastard of Jeonghwagyo be here…!”
It was a religion that had spread like a disease in the northern part of the Empire, including the city Ruin.
It consisted of a small group that worshipped the “evil” sealed in the Black Forest that Rain is trying to subdue.
Unredeemable trash that committed crimes ranging from kidnapping to murder and human sacrifice.
They were filtered twice, so how…
No, now was the time for action rather than contemplation.
Rain, who had quickly come to a decision, grabbed her spear firmly.
It was terrible for the Purification cultist to have appeared while they were recruiting mercenaries for the Black Forest suppression.
It was when the other Chilgeol members called out to rain from beside her with questioning eyes that she reacted.
“The six-headed beast will come.”
The Purification cultist spoke his first words to the people after arriving at the training grounds.
Many people began turning their heads towards him, their minds blank and unresponsive as they heard the sound of the fanaticism that tinged his voice..
“All we have to do is pave the way before the One arrives.
The cultist, who had been speaking in a resounding and confident tone, removed his clothes and revealed his upper body.
“To purify these ignorant fools.”
Then, they caught sight of a heart protruding bizarrely from his chest, reddish-black blood vessels extending throughout the body from it.
“T-that, what is that!”
The cultist’s heart began to beat at a frenzied rate, the veins that extended from it beginning to undulate like snakes.
“Fuck, stop it!”
“You will be enlightened by death.
Realising the gravity of the situation, the mercenaries in the vicinity rushed toward the cultist, but the cultist’s body reacted slightly faster, swelling up like it was about to explode.
With the sound of something being smashed, the cultist’s head disappeared from above his neck, a spear replacing it.
A moment later, a streak of lightning extended from the podium to the training hall.
It extended to the middle of the training hall, with Rain appearing where it ended, still holding the spear that smashed the cultist’s head.
A bolt of lightning that still lingered around her began to fade.
It was truly a majestic sight to behold, akin to the descent of the Thunder Emperor.
Soon after, the other Chilgeol rushed toward her, shouting Rain’s name.
“For now, I think I’ve stopped…”
Rain began to mumble as she looked at the approaching Chilgeol, but her words were cut off, her eyes becoming laden with bewilderment at the same moment.
Rain’s eyes caught sight of a woman, swelling like a balloon at the entrance to the inner castle beyond the training ground.
It was a decoy!
Rain, becoming a bolt of lightning once more, launched herself at the swelling woman.
However, the distance was too great.
A distance that neither she, nor anyone else here, could traverse in time.
She wouldn’t make it.
It was too late to escape.
Too late to throw a spear.
Rain’s eyes turned toward the inner building just behind the cultist.
She caught sight of the building that housed the office of Richard Dranir, the city’s lord and her father.
A sharp scream burst out of Rain’s lips.
It was at that moment that a huge explosion finally resounded from the swollen woman’s body.
Through vision blurred and darkened by the evil cultist’s resentful explosion, Rain saw it.
The void next to the explosion, where nothing existed.
What appeared there was a darkness more alien and ominous than the accumulated resentment of the cultist.
A darkness that swallowed all the explosions in existence at once.
T/N: I had some announcements to made but it’s not finalized yet so I’d really appreciate it if you guys could join my server and later when it’s getting finalized, I’ll made my further announcement there.
It’s easier for communication anyway.
FootnotesSeven Great Masters.If I’m wrong do correct me.
Thanks 용격제(龍擊帝).Jeonghwagyo (淨化敎)