Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
Several slovenly figures appeared one after another and passed by the breathless Thales. When they did, they cast curious or complicated glances at the prince before they engaged their enemies with no hesitation.
They isolated the prince from the battlefield.
Thales supported himself with the longsword and wore a smile.
He would never be lost.
This was one of the most precious gifts Thales received when he escaped from Dragon Clouds City.
Even in the Black Prison, Thales could sense that they were eighteen floors underground. They were a distance away from the bottommost floor where Zakriel was, but a small distance away from another group of prisoners.
Those prisoners were the most unique prisoners in the prison, but also the ones who made him sigh sadly the most.
When Thales shouted his first sentence in a seemingly exasperated fashion, the boy actually had doubts on whether Quick Rope could understand what he meant.
“‘Hide myself? F*ck off! We are eighteen floors underground! Use your rotten brain! Where can I motherf*king hide?!”‘ Those words were him hinting at Quick Rope of the one other place he could hide “people” eighteen floors underground.
As it turned out, after living and struggling in the outside world alone for six years, Quick Rope had gained a nimble mind and a strong desire for survival. He quickly understood Thales’ secret message.
“‘But I can’t help it! Have you forgotten? I’m just a shoddy thief who can’t even open a door!”‘ That was Quick Rope’s way of saying, “The cell keeping the former guards as prisoners? But I can’t open the door.”
Once they finished the first step in their communication, Thales felt at ease and handed the Alchemy Tower’s strange-looking key to Quick Rope. Their hidden communication, which relied on each other reading in between the lines, naturally followed.
“‘Don’t be a thief in the dark! Be a tough man! A bandit who will break a person’s door and rob that person in broad daylight!”‘ That was Thales’ way of saying, “Don’t worry about the door. Just take this key and open it!”
‘”Bandit? You say it so easily! I don’t even know how to be a bandit”‘ That was Quick Rope saying, “But how do I use this key?”
‘”You don’t know how to be one? If you don’t how to, can’t you f*cking ask?”‘ That was Thales saying, “Ask the prisoners inside, stupid!”
When he recalled the danger he was in earlier, Thales shook his head in a self-deprecating manner.
The people on the battlefield gradually broke free of the sudden chaos, which descended upon them. The winning side also became clear.
The strong prisoner who first crashed into the battlefield withstood a scimitar. He let out an indistinct snort before he exerted force in his feet and rammed into his enemy straight on, sending the person flying.
The man never seemed to stop. He held the weapon he seized from a mercenary and started to force his way through. Wherever he went, the Disaster Swords would be thrown off their feet, but Thales noticed that the man was very particular with his angle of collision. Every time he rammed into an enemy, he would do so in a way where he would suffer the least amount of damage in exchange for the greatest results in battle.
The unprepared mercenaries roared and screamed, but their formation was disrupted by the man. They could not form a decent line of defense.
“That’s Sol Bruley, the youngest son of Viscount Bruley’s family. It looks like he’s become much weaker. He used to be much more powerful before.”
The previous lackadaisical voice rang. The owner of the voice sounded like he had nothing to do.
“He used to be a guard affiliated with the Defense Division, and he followed Tony to keep the prince’s safety.”
Thales turned back curiously and found that the one who spoke to him was the same person from earlier. The man stood firmly beside Thales and played with a sword he had just snatched. It looked like he was not planning to go anywhere.
However, the former-Royal-Guards-now-turned-prisoners all appeared slovenly and unkempt. For a moment, the prince could not remember who he was.
In the distance, the sturdy Sol Bruley roared and drew a mercenary off his feet when he tried to ambush him. Bruley came out of it only with a scratch on his shoulder.
“But as you can see, Bruley acts like a bear when he decides to be ruthless. We all thought that he should have gone to the Vanguard Division, but when the second prince went up north, he brought along Sharp Knife Sousa, not him. The prince probably thought he talked too much.”
The lackadaisical voice continued while the intense sounds of battle rang all over them. Thales suddenly remembered. This voice sounded like it belonged to the one who sang in the prison.
The sound of rushing footsteps could be heard!
The prince’s eyebrows moved. A person drew close to the speaker’s back and rushed towards them.
Before Thales could anxiously warn him, the lackadaisical person lowered his shoulders and turned sideways, as though he had eyes behind him. He avoided a knife from the side just in time!
He parried his enemy’s second strike and delivered a clean kick to his enemy’s knee. That mercenary lost his balance, and the speaker instantly swung his blade!
Blood spurted out from the mercenary’s neck.
Thales’ warning died in his mouth.
The lackadaisical man turned his head around and wiped off the blood on his chin. He revealed his front teeth to Thales as if nothing had happened.
“It’s an honor to meet you, Your Highness. I am Tae Nalgi.
“The son of Davon Nalgi, Honorary Earl of Eternal Star City.”
Nalgi pointed at himself, his expression as lackadaisical as his voice. Even the brand of criminals on his left jaw did not look so hideous because of his lackadaisical expression.
“Please be sure to familiarize yourself with me, Your Highness, if you can. It’d be for the best”
Thales listened to all of this with a stunned expression, but Nalgi’s words were interrupted by another sharp and mean voice.
“Tae Nalgi, one of the most worthless idlers in the Defense Division.”
It was another man. He walked past two people. A pair of sharp and gloomy eyes were visible underneath his long hair. He glared at Nalgi fiercely and looked quite frightening.
“If you entertain him too long, you’ll be unlucky.”
Nalgi stopped talking. He then touched his nose in a resigned manner.
Thales raised his eyebrows and saw the mean man holding a dart. Thales had no idea where it came from. However, when he faced off against a Disaster Sword who came towards him with a shield, the mean man was careful. He did not attack until the other party came rushing forward. Then, he nimbly dodged to the side.
The mercenary who held the shield brushed past him. Soon after, his neck bent to the side, and he fell to the ground like a collapsing mountain!
The mercenary fell to the ground in a lump, and his breathing gradually stopped.
Thales stared at the mean man before him. He could not believe his eyes.
He was surprised because he found a dart pushed into the deceased’s neck.
The mean man who threw the dart squatted down and quickly stole his enemy’s leather armor as well as weapons. He threw them to his other companions who had no weapons. Even the dart on the corpse’s body was not spared.
“Speaking of which, idler Nalgi, why don’t you come and give me a hand?”
Nalgi shrugged subconsciously and spoke eloquently.
“Protection is my only duty…”
The mean man stared at Nalgi in disgust. He threw the dart again and killed an enemy behind Bruley, who was charging forward.
When he saw the mean man turn around to join the battlefield, the idler, Nalgi frowned. He raised his hand to block his mouth and he whispered to Thales, as though he was complaining to him.
“That’s Sazel Naer, the damn second logistics official… Do you see how he kills people? That miserly way of killing is a total stellar example of the Logistics Division…
“When we went out on duty in the past, he gave us the worst inns every time. You know, shady shops where the beer tasted like horse piss, the bards sounded like pigs grunting, the beds felt like chopping boards, and the girls had d*cks when you touched them…”
Thales could only raise his eyebrows.
The noise produced by battle resounded through the air, but the chaotic battle lasted less than ten seconds.
The mercenaries had been ambushed, and they lost their leader. Nevertheless, the experienced ones adjusted quickly. They organized a counterattack and surrounded Thales. The sturdy Bruley immediately slowed down while he was at the forefront of the group. Naer was also blocked.
However, that amount of time was enough for the rest of the prisoners to get their weapons and arm themselves.
A prisoner who was covered in body hair, and resembled a savage caught the ax thrown by Naer from a distance. He then turned around and swung the ax!
The moment their blades clashed into each other,the savage’s ax jolted!
His enemy smirked.
This was their unique Power of Eradication. As long as…
Thales was shocked when he saw the situation. It was only then that he was reminded of an important thing!
“Be careful, their Power of Eradication”
However, before Thales could finish his sentence, the savage pounced and slammed into his enemy’s bosom fiercely!
His enemy died with his eyes wide open. The savage killed him at the cost of injuring himself. He then got up and forced another man back with his ax handle.
His disregard for his own safety and his unyielding methods caused Thales’ worried words to die in his mouth.
The savage roared to warn his companions, “There’s something off about their Power of Eradication! It’s similar to the traitors of the Tower of Eradication!
The mercenaries were shocked. They seemed to be surprised by how their identities were revealed.
“Don’t engage them! Attack their vitals! Kill them with one hit!”
As the other prisoners shouted their responses, the fierce and tough savage attacked his next enemy.
“Oh, the man who has that unreasonable defense from head to toe is Luton Beldin.” Next to Thales, the calm and composed Nalgi began to chatter again, “He’s a distant relative of the famous Beldin Family.
“Hey, he used to be a good-hearted person. He loafed around with us and spent his days idling away…”
‘He used to be?’
“Then the old captain promoted him unexpectedly. He succeeded Zakriel and became the Chief of the Discipline Division.”
When he heard that name, Thales’ heart sank.
Nalgi stared into the distance at Beldin, who stood among the enemies like a beast with a fierce glare. He shook his head and said in a sing-song tone, “There’s always a kind of person who’ll quietly back out when other people agree to be degenerates
“He’ll leave you alone and watch you as you continue to waste your life away…”
As he spoke, Nalgi’s face suddenly changed!
He took a step back, pounced on Thales, and pushed the prince down.
Thales coughed with his arms on the floor. In his surprise, he saw a hand ax flying over his head before slamming into the wall.
“Don’t worry, Your Highness.”
Nalgi got up from the prince’s body as if nothing had happened. He patted the dust off his own body and did not show any signs of being bothered by a flying axe attacking them.
“We have an expert responsible for dealing with snipes like this…”
Before he finished, Thales saw the mercenary who threw that flying ax at them in the distance. That mercenary widened his eyes as a sharp blade pierced out of his chest!
While he was still trembling and touching his chest, a pair of thin arms stretched out from behind him and dragged him into the corner. That mercenary was definitely dead.
Thales saw the prisoner behind the blade. He was the expert Nalgi mentioned.
Although his actions of dragging the body were incomparably skilled, that person was cowering. His eyes were terrified, he moved around in a stooped position, and he snuck glances around secretively as well as stealthily, as though he was afraid of being discovered.
Thales recognized that look of horror.
It was the prisoner who recognized the Shadow Shield’s footsteps in the dark.
“That skinny monkey is Jonah Canon. He’s a cavalry scout from the Vanguard Division, and he’s in charge of collecting intelligence, transmitting messages, and detecting threats…” Nalgi smiled and pulled the prince up from the ground. He gestured at the cowering prisoner with his chin.
“He was originally a private soldier of the Jadestar Royal Family. His family only has the title of a lord, but if you look down on him because of that, he can slit your throat in the middle of the night…
“If it weren’t for a temporary cold, the man would have joined the Starlight Brigade and gone out to war against the rebellion with Duke John.”
There was a slight, mournful tone in Nalgi’s words.
Thales was surprised to see Canon. He had a thin built and he stooped when he walked, stealing his opponent’s blade before throwing it to another person.
Another figure caught the blade that Canon threw before he entered Thales’ view.
“Hahahaha!” The desolate laughter he heard from a while ago rang again.
“The last time I swung my sword…”
This figure was very strange. He held a blade with his left hand and a sword in his right.His attacks with the blade in his left hand were fierce, while his attacks with the sword in his right were eerie. His attacks alternated back and forth, and they moved so quickly that they were too much for anyone to take in. It made those who watched him feel dazzled.
“…was in the Renaissance Palace…”
Blood splashed everywhere!
The prisoner who smiled as he faced his enemy withdrew his sword. His two opponents could not even deliver a decent counterattack. They just touched their fatal wounds on their thighs and neck before they slowly fell down.
He turned and zealously searched for his next target.
“The person who’s laughing hysterically and killing is Gutee Tardin. The Tardin Family are dignitaries in the Central Territory. They’re the same as the Beldin Family. They’re also one of the seven Jadestars Attendants. His great-grandmother was even a princess. You can see it from his fancy moves.”
With envy in his eyes, Nalgi watched Tardin as he held the sword and blade in his hands, searching for opponents to fight.
“But unfortunately, our Gutee Tardin rejected his father’s ‘evil conspiracy’ and avoided inheriting the family business in the end. He suffered the ‘tragic destiny’ of becoming a carefree loafer. For noble love, he ran off to become a guard.”
“Love?” Thales frowned.
“Yeah, everyone knows that he was enamored with Princess Constance…”
Even though he was engaged in battle, Tardin seemed to have exceptional. He yelled without looking back, “Spew any more rubbish, Nalgi, and I will gladly help you reorganize your kidneys!”
Nalgi flashed his front teeth. He first smiled innocently at Tardin. Once Tardin was not paying attention, he gave Thales a look that said, “I told you so.”
Thales shifted his gaze away from the former Royal Guards.
Bruley the “bear”, whose rampage disrupted the enemy’s formation; Naer, the miserly logistics official who cautiously threw darts to kill; Beldin, the beast who tore his opponents apart; Canon, the cavalry scout who moved about in the corners; Tardin, who brandished his blade and sword in a flourish; and Nalgi, the lazy idler who guarded him by his side
These six people with different skills as well as styles worked together and slaughtered the Disaster Swords until they were scattered. The Disaster Swords could no longer form a decent group, even though they were previously three times their number.
Thales furrowed his eyebrows.
‘This is… the Royal Guards of Constellation eighteen years ago?’
“We have become much weaker. If this were the past, we would have formed a formationAh! Jerky!” Nalgi puckered his lips and rummaged through a corpse on the floor.
He let out a happy whimper.
Thales shifted his gaze to the seventh person.
He was the calmest, most level-headed, and the most unique person on the field. He only held a shield and a sword while he slowly walked through the center of the battlefield.
He was like a cold ice cube, unmoving even in the face of danger. But whenever he walked past a pair of people fighting, he would swiftly attack them with both his sword and shield. His momentum was like an avalanche.
When the man passed by an enemy who was wrestling with Bruley, he sent his shield down and struck the enemy’s knees. The latter retreated in pain before Bruley crushed his sternum with a blow from his hammer.
‘The third offensive style: Cold Attack,’ Thales thought.
When the man walked past Beldin as he fought against two people, he suddenly charged into the scuffle. His shield blocked an enemy blade and his longsword drew blood from the other person’s neck.
‘The third defensive style: Defense Position.’
Thales clenched his fists. ‘This is a defensive style, but he used it to attack.’
When the man faced an aggressive enemy, he skillfully shifted his shield, pushing the enemy and causing him to stagger.
Then, Naer’s dart came out of nowhere and pierced the enemy’s throat.
‘The first defensive style: Iron Body Style.’
Thales pursed his lips. ‘It’s the first style I learned.’
When the man faced an enemy with a sturdy built, his longsword slipped out of his hand due to the enemy’s powerful strike, but the man used the momentum to let go of the longsword. He pushed himself into the enemy’s bosom, placed both his hands on the shield, and struck fiercely. He effectively used the corner of his shield to create a hole into the enemy’s skull.
‘The sixth offensive style and the second defensive style: Bushwhack Style and Phillip’s Cross Style?’
Thales recognized that those two styles were combined together. He marveled at the thought of them being used like that.
The man was now drenched in blood. He picked up his longsword, and just as he turned around, a torch struck him!
Sparks flew in all directions, and his clothes burned up.
The enemy used this opportunity to pounce on him.
Thales’ heart tensed.
Yet, the burning man did not retreat or even step back. Instead, he roared and took a step forward. He blocked the fire as well as his enemy’s longsword, and delivered a vicious strike with his shield!
The next second, the man’s sword pierced the enemy’s jaw, and the strong force threw the enemy’s head against the wall. He then pushed aside the enemy’s sword, which had injured his arm, before he slowly dusted off the ashes on his body.
‘The fifth offensive style: Counter Stance?
‘No, that seemed like the second offensive style: the Flanking Maneuver.’
“Quill Barney Jr.” Nalgi noticed Thales’s gaze and sighed softly.
“After Nolanur followed Horace up north, the old captain appointed Barney Jr. as the chief vanguard.
“There’s nothing much to say about him. He’s one of the few supreme class elites at the same level as the guards like Tony, Walker, and ‘Skull’. He’s a man whose determination is so strong that it’s scary.
“As you can see… he doesn’t rely on his body to fight. He fights with his life. He is as deadly as he was eighteen years ago.”
‘Quill Barney Jr.’
In a daze, Thales stared at the man with the sword and shield in his hand. He watched him as he either worked together with his partners or attacked alone. Every single time he took a few steps forward, he would effectively defeat a person.
Every time he attacked, he did so efficiently, and his battles all ended swiftly.
He did not drag his fights. He never engaged the enemy for long periods of time.
Thales was puzzled.
‘It’s the same Northland Military Sword Style.
‘But why is it so deadly in this man’s hands?’
“Northland was once the Empire’s toughest barrier. It was the first gathering place for the knights. It was the first place where humans, who were then like scattered sand, gathered together and fought against their enemies. This sword style bore witness to an era full of war, blood, death, and hope.”
He did not know when, but that familiar voice traveled into his ears. It was steady and cold.
Thales frowned, and he looked at the murderous Barney Jr.
“No matter who taught you this sword style…
“The seven offensive styles and three defensive styles… Seven to three; there is a reason for this ratio,” said Quill Barney Jr. He drew a longsword from a corpse and stared at Thales with unfocused eyes.
“Back in those days, if you didn’t have the courage to die with the enemy and risk everything
“Then this sword style is meaningless.
“The human empire, which enjoyed boundless glory, would not have been built either.”
At that moment, Barney Jr.’s gaze was aggressive with the bloody background behind him.
“No one involved in the most primitive of killings cares about how many people you kill, how fast you are when you deliver your attacks, or all that nonsense about attacking and retreating”
Barney Jr. glared at him harshly and severely.
“They only care about trading a life for a life!”
Thales listened dumbfoundedly to the other person’s firm words. “Even if you gamble on your life, you won’t necessarily win. But if you aren’t willing to bet on your life, you’ll definitely lose!
“If you don’t lose now, you’ll lose sooner or later, prince whom I’ve never met.”