Chapter 610 - Martial King (4)
『They made such a ruckus before. I’m not sure what Faceless and the Black Prince have been up to since.』The Spring Queen, Waltz, listened to Troy’s message as she watched the scene from afar.
She was looking at the village of the One-horned tribe. She wished for the village’s destruction several times a day, and finally, it was being destroyed with the help of a foreign being.
『Please give us your order.』
For Waltz, the whole thing seemed too surreal.
“So? Don’t you want to see the Martial King die? Will you act or not? If not…I guess you’ll just have to live your pitiful life the way it is. Hahaha!” The words Faceless had said to her were still ringing in her ears. He had told her that he would kill the Martial King in front of the One-horned tribe members. Faceless also claimed that he would make the Martial King walk into a trap with his own two feet and that the tribe members would not be able to do anything about it.
Furthermore, the Martial King would be entering an inescapable area, and there was no way that he would be able to come out alive.
Of course, Waltz did not believe what Faceless said. The Martial King that she knew would not allow himself to succumb so easily. Otherwise, Waltz would have killed the Martial King by now.
“Alright. If you don’t believe me, then watch us. Afterward, decide whether you want to join in or not. It’s your choice. What do you have left? Pride? Do you need such a thing? Your mother already abandoned you, no?” Before Faceless left, he offered Waltz and White Dragon the chance to observe the situation before deciding on their participation. Faceless stated that he would prove to them that his plan was foolproof.
Waltz accepted Faceless’s offer. She had nothing to lose. Arthia had already isolated White Dragon on the seventy-sixth floor as they took over control of the lower floors. White Dragon was constantly battling with the Fantasy Regiment and felt more besieged with each passing day. In such a dire situation, a gamble was necessary.
And now, Faceless was proving that his words were not an exaggeration. Waltz realized that the time had finally come to take a risk.
『Queen.』 Troy and her other followers stared at Waltz with burning gazes.
Finally, Waltz slowly removed her invisibility magic and commanded her squadron, “Begin.”
『We shall execute your order.』
『We shall execute your order.』
White Dragon immediately started taking action.
‘Huh? What’s going on?’ Sesha, who had been drawing on paper with her crayons, stopped what she was doing and cocked her head at a sudden aftershock. She realized that something strange was happening in the village, so she ran to the window. Was it fireworks? She could see the sky light up brightly. Sesha recalled that it was the day for the duel for the throne.
She heard that there would be a festival, and she had wanted to participate. However, she ended up playing alone at home because outsiders were not allowed to attend the festival. Sesha was told that she could go at dinner time when the event was over, and she was already planning to pick out an outfit later with Edora. However, the effects she saw did not seem to be a result of martial arts.
Sesha was a quarter-dragon, and her biological mother was a witch who had been blessed with mana. Thus, her sense and talent for magic were already developed. The phenomena she saw was definitely magic-based. In fact, they even exuded holy power. For a moment, Sesha grew pale. Her eyes trembled. She felt a dark foreboding. Goosebumps appeared all over her skin as little by little, the memories she’d almost forgotten began to rear their ugly heads. She grew strangely cold. “B-Brahm.”
Sesha called out for her maternal grandfather, but he wasn’t home. If only he were here…she would not feel so scared. Although Sesha smiled most of the time, she sometimes experienced traumatic episodes. Whenever this happened, Brahm would silently hug her, and without understanding why, Sesha would feel at ease.
“I’m…scared.” Sesha looked around. She felt as if something invisible was approaching her. The house that had always felt cozy and peaceful now felt cold and gloomy, like a monster that might devour her at any moment.
The aftershocks at the outskirts grew more intense as time went on. The ground rumbled loudly, and at some point, a hot gush of wind swept through the forest. Magic fields full of murderous intent started to appear here and there.
Without realizing what she was doing, Sesha sat down, covering her ears with her hands and shutting her eyes tightly, thinking that this would stop the invisible monster from finding her. She desperately wanted whatever fearful thing that was outside to pass by and leave her alone.
She had finally found a place to call her own, and it was a place where she had a lot of family and friends. She wanted to hold onto this peacefulness somehow. However, she was weak and thin, and there was nothing she could do. She could only tremble and suppress the sound of her breath. However, despite her best efforts, the invisible monster seemed to home in on her and arrive at her front door.
Sesha recalled a fairy tale that Uncle Yeon-woo had told her long ago about three little pigs. A wolf disguised as the pigs’ mother went to the pigs’ house to catch and eat them. Sesha felt that she was one of those little pigs with the wolf outside the door. When the little pigs realized that the wolf had arrived, they had grown terrified. Who did they look for? Rumble! Bam!
‘M-Mom!’ When there was an explosion near her, Sesha’s panic and fear reached a climax. However, all of a sudden, Sesha felt a warm hug, stronger than Yeon-woo’s and warmer than Brahm’s. The hug was also soft and fragrant. It was a familiar hug that Sesha missed very much. She had not felt this touch and warmth in a long time. A hand gently caressed Sesha while telling her that everything would be fine.
“M-Mom?” Sesha opened her eyes wide and raised her head. The soothing warmth disappeared. There was no one nearby. Sesha immediately turned her head to the bed where Ananta lay. Sesha was certain that she had felt Ananta’s touch, but Ananta was still comatose, as usual. Was she mistaken? However, Sesha felt a warm wind blowing around Ananta. Moreover, the pocket watch by Ananta’s bedside was vibrating violently…! However, Sesha’s thoughts were interrupted.
As he rushed to protect Sesha, Phante’s expression changed. He had always told Sesha to call him “brother” or “uncle”, but she never listened. However, Sesha always called Edora “sister”. Of course, it was not the time to be concerned about such petty things, so Phante controlled his expression while making a mental note to resolve this matter later. “We should get out of here first.”
“I’ll tell you the details later, hurry up and get your mother…! Damn it!” Phante suddenly grabbed Sesha’s hand and pulled her into his arms.
Bam! The house exploded, throwing Phante and Sesha out. Phante tumbled on the ground as he held onto Sesha. He had raised his barriers at the last minute, but the explosion was so sudden and the impact so great that his body screamed in pain.
“Mister, are you OK? M-Mom!” Fortunately, Sesha was unscathed. She remembered that Ananta was still in the house and lifted her head. Fortunately, Ananta and her bed looked intact despite the explosion, thanks to the protective magic that Brahm had put in place over his daughter and granddaughter. However, the explosion had shattered Brahm’s protective measures, and there were strangers standing near Ananta.
“Is this the right person?”
“The coordinates sent by the spy, Hyena, pointed to this location.”
The Spring Queen, Waltz, quietly nodded in response to Troy’s response. Hyena was the codename of the spy that had given detailed instructions on the village layout, the arrangement of the tribe’s forces, and the political situation of each tribal family within the One-horned tribe.
Although their identity was unknown, Hyena clearly had a fairly high position in the tribe, considering the quality and quantity of the information they provided. Thanks to this, White Dragon completed their invasion very smoothly. At this moment, White Dragon’s troops were advancing along the paths that Hyena had marked out, preparing to destroy the village.
Waltz was sure that no matter how powerful the One-horned tribe was, they would not escape a major blow. It would be the worst damage that the One-horned tribe had ever experienced since their founding or the birth of the Tower. However, Waltz personally despised Hyena. After all, Hyena had sold out their tribe due to his own resentment and greed. ‘No. Hyena also provided information on people related to the Shadow King. If things go smoothly and we exert influence over the One-horned tribe, it won’t be a bad idea to support Hyena as their next king.’
With cold eyes, Waltz reached out to Ananta. Waltz heard that Hyena had a very big grudge against Yeon-woo. One of the conditions of her participation in this operation was to deal with tasks related to Yeon-woo, which suited Waltz well.
Rumble! However, before Waltz could lay a finger on Ananta, a red lightning bolt smashed down on her. “Ugh!” Waltz quickly raised her defenses, stacking several layers of magic shields around herself.
However, the blood-red lightning bolt crushed her shields and barriers before hitting the floor, its impact pushing Waltz back. There were deep grooves where she had stood.
“Crazy bitch, who are you thinking of touching?” A frowning Phante appeared where Waltz had stood. Blood-colored lightning bolts leaped up and down along his skin, growling like beasts. His power was truly overwhelming.
Waltz stared at Phante and the suffocating force that made her heart cramp with a stiff expression. His destructive power was considerable, and Waltz recognized its martial arts origin and skill: Blood Lightning. It was also called the Blood Lightning of Justice, and it was the martial arts skill created by the Head Elder! “How are you…related to the Head Elder?”
“What about that ancient fogey?” To Phante, all the adults in the tribe were fogeys. The Martial King was the old fogey, while the Head Elder was the ancient fogey.
“I’m asking you a question!”
“I am his one and only student. Enough?”
“You’re the head of White Dragon, right? I remember seeing you a few times. By the way…” Phante bumped his fists together and increased the Blood Lightning to its maximum. “It was bad enough that you set your dirty, half-blood feet in our village, but now, you’ve gone even further and tried to harm someone that I’m protecting? I’ll tear you apart and kill you.” Bam! After pushing off the floor, Phante pounced on Waltz.
“Hey! How dare you!”
Two players who served under Waltz jumped in.
“You worthless fellows should know your place!”
Sss! The two were torn to shreds by the blade of Phante’s hand. Nothing was left of their bodies. The Blood Lightning surrounding Phante was intense and destructive, tearing through everything it touched as though it were equipped with vicious, serrated teeth.
Bang! Soon Phante’s Destroying Mountain Fist collided with Waltz’s Half-Dragon Palm. A plume of dust rose up as energy shaped like petals shot up while a blood-red lightning bolt pounded the ground.
“Did you call me a…half-blood?” Waltz glared menacingly at Phante as if his remarks hit a nerve.
Seeing her reaction, Phante smirked and mockingly called out, “Yeah. Half-blood. You don’t even have a horn, so if you’re not a half-blood, what are you? A disabled idiot?”
Waltz raised her power to the maximum. The afterimages of her hand instantly filled the air as she tried to grab hold of Phante.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
『Sesha, I’ll try to buy some time for you, so get your mother and head out of here!』 Phante’s voice rang in Sesha’s ears.
It wasn’t just for the sake of arguing that Phante had provoked Waltz. He did it to draw her attention solely on him.
Once the alarm magic had been triggered, Brahm would have immediately come, but he was nowhere to be found. Furthermore, Phante had a difficult time contacting Yeon-woo. In order to keep the defenseless Sesha and Ananta safe, Phante had to make sure that they escaped to a safe place.
Luckily, Sesha had a mini-teleport scroll for emergencies just like this. Unfortunately, Sesha’s legs were frozen in place.
“It seems that you’re the Shadow King’s nephew or daughter. You’ll have to come along with this grandpa.” Troy stood in front of Sesha as the corners of his mouth rose. He tried to put on a warm smile, like a friendly grandfather, but his actions only frightened Sesha even more. In fact, at that very moment, Troy was thinking, ‘Jackpot!’
If he could secure this child, he would be able to avenge all the humiliation he’d suffered at the hands of Yeon-woo and Arthia.
“D-don’t come near me!” Boom! Boom! Sesha cast all the magic spells that she learned so far, but her spells helplessly crumbled before they even reached Troy.
“Hmm. Such a disobedient child. Cute, very cute. You seem to have some talent, so I might raise you as my disciple. Of course, I will have to erase everything in your head.” Laughing viciously, Troy reached out for Sesha.
‘Mom…!’ Sesha instinctively shut her eyes. She needed another miracle to happen, like the time Yeon-woo saved her from Agares. Right then…
Boom! With a tearing sound, Troy’s hand stopped before it could reach Sesha. Troy’s shaky eyes looked down. A sword had pierced through his side and was now sticking out of his neck. Troy slowly turned his head.
“Get away from my daughter!” Ananta growled with wide eyes.