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Chapter 79 – Those who Covet the Blood of a Royal (5)
Azell and Kairen climbed the mountain as they were guided by the Guardian Shadows. The terrain of the mountain was rough, and on top of that, the sun had set. Even in the dark, their speed hadn't slow at all.
However, when they were halfway up the mountain, bandits hidden on superior grounds started shooting arrows at them.
The two of them were unperturbed. They had known beforehand that the bandits were there.
The two of them swung their swords. A transparent blue force followed the path of the sword as it blocked the arrows. While the ambushing bandits were confused, Azell spoke.
"Your entire body has completely assimilated the technique for detecting the gaze of others."
"It is a very useful technique."
Before Azell went into the Lance mountain to train, Azell had taught Kairen of the method behind detecting other’s gazes. There was a lot of overlap between Spirit Order and Dragon Arts, so the main concept behind the technique was easily understood by Kairen.
Moreover, Kairen had completely perfected his technique in the past 4 month. His opponents completely hid their bodies, and they didn't show any indication of life. However, they couldn’t hide the fact that their ‘gazes’ was on him.
"Still, these bastards are able to completely evade my eyesight. Incredible. Still, I think the one that kidnapped Seigar isn’t here?"
"I guess they have a lot of high quality individuals in their ranks. Even last time, there were men who used camouflage skill comparable to this."
Azell wasn’t just able to detect their gazes. He was able to read the mental waves leaking out of the ambushing men. It was natural for humans to naturally emit a mental wave when they were concentrating. Since they weren’t able to hide their mental waves, these men were inferior to the Dragon’s Shadow members inserted to kidnap Arrieta.
Azell and Kairen saw the enemies reload their bow, so they split up in opposite directions.
Then they ran up the cliff to attack the enemies.
The swords were moving like flashes of lightning, and blood was sprayed into the air. Azell and Kairen were too fast as the enemies couldn’t see their movements. The men weren’t even sure when they had been stabbed, but they fell as blood surged out of them.
"Why are they dying so easily?"
The magician was taken aback. He used an invisibility spell as he floated in the air. He was like the men from the Dragon’s Shadow, who worked with Niberis. He was affiliated with a lower level organization. This was also the reason he wasn't well informed on what was going on. Still, he was able to catch the scent of Kairen’s powerful Dragon Demon magic, so their group had been expecting the appearance of a Dragon Demon. However, the two who showed up was completely beyond their imagination.
A gruesome sound was heard from below.
The magician looked down with a dumbfounded expression on his face. His stomach had been fine a moment ago, yet he found something had erupted from his stomach.
'No. This can’t…'
It wasn’t an eruption. A sword had been thrown from the ground, and that sword had pierced through his stomach.
He tried to come up with some measure in the midst of the shock and horror he felt. However, it was too late. The sword that was planted in his body moved as if it was alive, and it was obliquely cutting open his upper body.
The magician fell as he screamed, and he immediately died as he impacted on the ground.
Azell changed the direction of the sword in mid-air, and it returned to his hand.
However, this was a deception. The sword suddenly switched direction right before it could be grasped by Azell’s hand. It passed through the boulder next to him.
From behind the boulder, an inhuman cry rang out. An enormous Orc immediately came flying out. It was about two heads taller than a regular orc, and it had a ruddy coloring. Its body was rippling with muscles, and blood was dripping down its chest.
Azell used telekinesis to bring his sword back to him. He looked up as he grasped his sword.
"So you are the Orc that’s purported to be the leader of the mountain bandits."
"You bastard! You are only a weak human, yet you dare!"
"You are a dumb Orc, yet you are quite fluent in the words of men. It means you aren’t a normal one. I don’t have time. Hurry up and come at me."
Azell glared at it. In the next moment, the Orc charged forward. It moved as fast as a Spirit Order practitioner. A human would have to use both hands to raise the enormous mace, yet it used one hand to swing its mace.
The sound of an explosion rang out as the ground exploded. The rock fragments shot into the air. It was powerful enough to crush one’s bones. Human knights, who boasted as being superior to other humans, were easily sent flying in the previous battle.
However, it missed. At that moment, the Orc moved its body as it swung the mace to the side.
The orc’s mace collided with Azell’s sword as a loud and resonant sound rang out.
Azell’s sword was slender compared to the enormous mace, and it looked as if it should shatter as it absorbed a hit from the mace. However, Azell’s sword was fine, and Azell didn’t even budge an inch.
Azell asked the Orc in a calm voice.
"Is this all you got?"
Rage made the Orc’s eyes turn the color of blood. At the same time, a powerful magical resonance poured out, and the mace started to let out a light.
Azell waited as he gave the Orc an opportunity to raise its mace. At the same time, he let his sword droop to the floor as he awoke his magic.
The Orc let out a yell as it brought down its shining iron mace.
At the same time, a thunder struck.
Suddenly, a blue light erupted in front of the Orc’s vision.
That was it.
Azell was surrounded by a blue light as he leisurely passed by the Orc. The Orc couldn’t comprehend the man’s unhurried movement, so it tried to grab the man with his hand.
At this moment, it realized something.
Its arm was gone.
No, it wasn’t just its arm. Half of its upper body was charred, and it was sent flying away. Azell’s sword had let out lighting, and it had cut off the arm holding the mace. As if that wasn’t enough, a large chunk of its body was sent flying with it.
'This can’t be……!'
Orc was in disbelief as it fell over with its eyes wide open.
Azell didn’t even look back. He started running immediately as he spoke to Kairen.
"If you took too long, I was going to help you. I guess it wasn’t necessary."
Kairen had already taken care of all the enemies that had been hiding in ambush. Azell spoke.
"What are you talking about?"
"That Orc smells similar to a mutated Orc I knew."
"Which mutated Orc?"
"I’ll give you a more thorough explanation at a later time."
"You have a lot of things you’ll have to explain to me. Keep that in mind."
"If this happens as I expected it to, the number of explanations I’ll have to give will mount. Let us go."
The two men followed the Guardian Shadows as they ran.
There were eyes that were watching the two from a very far away distance. Jaress was one of them. As a Keeper of Prophecy, he was given the codename of Omicron. Jaress clicked his tongue.
"He is very cool. He killed the Orc that troubled the knights under the Dragon Demon Prince with one blow."
They had made sure that Azell wouldn’t be able to sense their gazes. The reason why they were able to avoid detection from Azell, who had the ability to detect gazes on him, was simple. They weren’t actually looking at him.
Including Jaress, there were four Keepers of Prophecy here, and they all had their eyes closed. A Guardian Shadow was floating in the air, and they were looking through its eyes. The Guardian Shadows had the unimaginable ability to share the information on its surveillance of the Dragon Demon King worshippers. They had the ability to see out of each other’s eyes from a far distance.
The group started to speak amongst themselves.
"Isn’t he completely different from Leone’s report?"
"A little bit of time did pass, but… It was only half a year."
"A human could change so much in that small amount of a time?"
"I guess. At the time of your report, it was said he was very outstanding in terms of skills. I think what he showed right now just confirms that assessment."
"Hmm. Is that how it looks through the eyes of a high rank Spirit Order Practioner? He looked overpowering to me…"
They evaluated Azell’s martial skills. Jaress spoke.
"This is a bit different from what we planned, but we can work with this."
"Instead of testing Azell Zestringer, shouldn't we be saving the Dragon Demon Prince from the Dragon Demon King worshippers? "
"There’s the Guardian Shadows, and Epsilon has taken out the ‘Guardian that Never Sleeps.’ I don’t see it as a problem."
"Well, let’s just observe for now. I realize the other task is more important."
Jaress snickered as he left. When they heard Jaress’ unreliable laugh, the other Keepers of the Prophecy frowned as they looked at each other.
As Azell suspected, Laura Aunsaurus had already subdued Seigar.
Seigar was strong. However, his power was only passable in an outside world where the true techniques had been erased. Seigar had an unbelievable amount of fighting spirit for a 15 year old teen, but he wasn’t even able to harm the hem of Laura’s dress.
However, it had taken Laura a good amount of time to subdue Seigar. The cause being she wanted to take him, while causing the minimum amount of damage. It had been about two hours, since Seigar had fallen from exhausting his power.
At that moment, Laura encountered a totally unexpected problem.
'How is this possible? '
The Guardian Shadows were tracking her.
She had deployed her subordinates carefully in an attempt to avoid the detection of the Guardian Shadows. She had readied bandits that most wouldn’t call Dragon Demon king worshipers. She used them to trick the Dragon Demon Prince to come out to a location where there weren’t any witnesses.
She had been in luck when the Dragon Demon Prince separated from his party to scout. It really made her wonder if he really didn’t realize how valuable he was.
In her original plan, she would have disguised herself as a human, and she would have lured Seigar out. Then she would have used Vitan’s Maze on him. However, when Seigar separated from his main force, she was able to omit the middle portion of her plan. The main force was destroyed without them finding out how Seigar had gone missing.
There was no reason why the Guardian Shadows should intervene, yet they surrounded the Vitan’s Maze as if they had been waiting for her.
The Vitan’s Maze was a pocket dimension that severed her from the outside world. However, the exit from this space was fixed if she decided to unravel it.
Laura had tried moving slowly for the exit, but the Guardian Shadows weren’t fooled. They continued to chase after her.
'This is getting difficult.'
As time continued to pass, the Guardian Shadows from various regions would congregate, and their number would grow. When Laura comprehended this, Laura used a hidden card she had readied.
She had called out the Thunder Dragon that was living deep within the mountain.
The Thunder Dragon was mobilized using the Dragon Slayer’s Ritual as bait. The Thunder Dragon unhesitatingly attacked the Guardian Shadows. However, even then another unexpected situation occurred.
'They brought a Dragon too?'
The Frost Dragon that lived nearby appeared, and it started to fight the Thunder Dragon.
One couldn’t just snap one’s fingers to get a Dragon to move. One had to negotiate beforehand. One had to agree to do the Dragon Slayer’s Ritual. This was an immemorial contract, and it was unforgivable if one lied during the negotiation.
This was the reason why the Plain of Darkness had to go into the negotiations expecting to participate in the Dragon Slayer’s Ritual.
It was quite possible that the Guardian Shadows predicted the kidnapping of the Dragon Demon Prince. Laura had moved with that worry in the back of her mind.
However, she had no idea how they could have prepared a Dragon too. It wasn’t as if they had predicted this kidnapping. It was as if they had been sure this would occur.
'How can this be?'
Still, she didn’t feel any sense of crisis. Her role in this endeavor had pretty much ended when she suppressed Seigar. If she bought some time, the reinforcements would be here. They would get her out even if they had to sacrifice their lives. From that point, she’ll go to a place where she would be able to use the legacy left behind by the Dragon Demon King Atein. She’ll be able to use the 'Road of Emptiness' to escape her enemies.
With that thought in mind, she had been observing the outside situation, and something unexpected happened.
'That man is…….'
The organization had taken the trouble to ready a mutated Orc, yet the red haired man had killed it in an instant. Laura knew about the man approaching her location.
Niberis was the direct descendent of the Dragon Demon King, and she was Laura’s rival. This mystery human was responsible for Niberis’ failure.
'That man really looks similar to that person.'
Curiosity bloomed in Laura’s eyes.