Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
Thales frowned and stared at Barney Junior, and only nodded after a long while. Nalgi looked at Thales, then at the vanguard. He seemed to want to say something, but did not voice his mind in the end.
“Um… about your question just now?” Thales coughed softly in that indescribable awkwardness. “The person who taught me this sword style was… Jines Bajkovic, the king’s lover.”
At that moment, Barney Junior’s expression changed. Thales noticed it.
“Hey, isn’t that the vixen from the Western City Police Station…” Nalgi smacked his forehead, his eyes lit up, and he spoke on impulse. But when he saw Barney Junior’s expression, he trembled and changed his words at once.
“Ahem-aaahhhh I mean to say the famous Timely Police Officer who has both looks and skill!”
Nalgi suddenly became serious. When he saw their expressions, questions rose in Thales’ mind. ‘They’
Nalgi adjusted his non-existent collar and said seriously, “Ah, that… It’s nothing, Your Highness. I think Vanguard Barney meant to say that… even if it’s the same sword style, when different people use it, there will be different styles, different ways of understanding it, and different habits. This is very normal!”
Nalgi patted his chest in a boisterous manner. He ignored Barney’s increasingly sour expression as he continued speaking wilfully.
“Even if it is the Northland Military Sword Style, we can’t be satisfied with just a single style, that will just make us stagnant, and we will end up limiting our progress. We must be good at discovering the advantages and constantly develop new ideas. Even if the effects of the new style cannot be seen for the time being, it is also valuable. Miss Jines’ attempt in strengthening the defense of this style is an example. It’s very inspirational. Aahhh! Wait, wait!”
Before he managed to finish, his ear was pulled by Barney Junior whose expression had turned ugly, and Nalgi was dragged back to the battlefield.
“Brother? Quill? Barney Junior? Vanguard Barney? Lord Vanguard? Lord Commanding Officer? Listen to me…”
“Less nonsense! Work!” Barney Junior shouted angrily.
They left Thales alone to stare at their backs with a dazed expression.
The screams of battle were reducing in number. Quick Rope walked up to Thales slowly and looked at the prisoners who were formerly Royal Guards. His expression was complicated.
“They’re very powerful.” Quick Rope’s words brought Thales back to reality. “They’re as good as the White Blade Guards.”
Thales sucked in a deep breath and focused on his task at hand. He looked at the Disaster Swords who decided to give up on fighting and were retreating, and nodded. “Mm-hm.”
Quick Rope sighed and said, “Have you thought about it? What are you going to say to them?”
Thales shook his head. He knew what Quick Rope was asking… but he did not know the answer.
Quick Rope went silent for a while before he laughed. He snorted softly and said, “Really? If you knew this was going to happen, then why didn’t you continue hiding? Why did you insist on jumping out?”
Thales was quiet for a moment. He snorted lightly and shook the key in his hand. “Then is your method wiser than mine? Allow me to remind you, you wanted to distract the pursuers and die in their hands?”
Quick Rope was startled, and he seemed puzzled.
“Die in? Who said that I was going to die?…” In the next second, he raised both hands and looked at Thales incredulously. “Wait, you didn’t really think that I was going to sacrifice myself… to protect you, did you?”
Thales felt like he was rendered speechless for a moment. ‘What?’
“But… you looked ready to face death without flinching, and fight to the bitter end…”
Quick Rope frowned. “Face death without… You’ve been reading too many novels about knights.”
Thales’ jaw dropped. He stared at Quick Rope blankly. ‘Huh?’
“Oh, this is a huge misunderstanding!” Quick Rope seemed to have understood something. He blinked and the corners of his mouth curled up in surprise. “I was giving a signal to Dean to cooperate and knock me out!”
Thales was stunned. ‘Giving a signal? Cooperate?’
“So…?” he asked tentatively.
Quick Rope pointed at Dean, who stood among the crowd in the distance. He did not know if he wanted to laugh or cry, so he gave Thales a look that said“Are you stupid or what?”
“Yes, I had a plan with Dean. We were ready to put on an act… until you jumped out.”
Thales stared at him with a dumbfounded look. ‘…What did he say?’
Thales gazed into the distance, at Dean who was gnashing his teeth with an expression of hate as he glared at them. Their eyes met.
‘You… You!’ Dean’s expression was fierce.
Thales had been slightly touched by Quick Rope’s actions before this, but at that moment, he understood what was going on, and was completely frozen in place.
Quick Rope shrugged, an innocent look on his face.
While he stared at Quick Rope, who seemed entirely unaware of Thales’ current emotional state, the prince felt embarrassed.
‘This is bad. I think I seem to have done something unnecessary.’ Thales averted his gaze awkwardly. Shame rushed into his heart. He tried to put aside his shame, which was so great that he wanted to crawl into a hole and die. He thought seriously, ‘Speaking of which, I still have something very important to do. I wonder how’s the weather today’
But at this moment…
“Hey.” Quick Rope snorted gently, turned his head, and said, “No matter what, thank you. Although I won’t die… I will not be happy if I fall into the hands of the Secret Room.”
Thales exhaled deeply. He could not hide his embarrassment. “Is it?”
‘Yes, it looks like it’ll be sunny today.’
Quick Rope sighed softly, and his eyes sparkled. For a period of time, countless emotions welled up in his eyes.
“Maybe we were wrong.”
Thales’s eyebrows rose slightly and he snapped back to attention. “Huh?”
He saw Quick Rope fold his arms over his chest. The man looked at Thales with a distant gaze and said softly, “I’m thinking that perhaps the myths about the calamities passed down by King Raikaru and the others… were wrong.”
Thales was stunned. He stared back at Quick Rope with a dumbfounded expression. Quick Rope watched the killing in front, and then shook his head before he said,
“Last night, you were hesitant to attack Dean. You didn’t attack me either.”
Thales felt his heart tense.
“You wracked your brain to save even those whom you were unfamiliar with from Stake’s hands, like Marina.” Quick Rope sighed deeply. “What kind of cruel, bloodthirsty, and crazy evil would do something like this?”
Thales went silent. He suddenly remembered that night in Dragon Clouds City, the night of the fight between Asda and Giza.
He also remembered the uncontrollable rise in his power, his subsequent act of knocking on the Door, and the feeling of no longer being himself. He thought of his calm and rational self when he lost control.
“But” He had yet to finish talking when Quick Rope interrupted him again.
“Let me tell you my greatest lesson over the years, Thales.” Quick Rope tapped his forehead. He seemed rather sentimental. “It’s to know the world through your own eyes, not your ears.”
Thales was quiet. “…That’s it?”
Quick Rope raised his eyebrows. “That’s it.”
He raised the Crossbow of Time in his hand and inspected it for a few seconds before he put it down slowly. Quick Rope sighed softly.
“F*ck myths. To f*cking hell with calamities.”
Quick Rope raised his arm and punched Thales’ chest!
Thales felt a numb ache on his chest. He bent down in pain.
“You are Thales. I am Quick Rope. I saved your life, and you saved me once.” Quick Rope smiled stiffly. “And now, we’re even.”
When he saw how pathetic Thales looked, he laughed loudly. Thales had difficulty breathing, and it took him some time before he could finally catch his breath. He looked up in pain and glared at Quick Rope through gritted teeth.
‘Even, my *ss! I saved you once from Stake, and then another time just now. I saved you TWICE. It’s two to one! You still owe me one favor!
‘Who taught this person arithmetic? Nicholas?’
“By the way…” Quick Rope’s expression became cold at once. He grabbed Thales’ shoulders and hissed through gritted teeth, “Stay away from her! I’m serious!”
Thales’ face went stiff.
At that moment
“Hey, lovebirds, you finished sweet talking with each other yet?”
Thales and Quick Rope were surprised. They instinctively looked up.
The hall had fallen silent a long time ago. The seven prisoners cum former Royal Guards had easily destroyed the dozens of Disaster Swords, making a mess in the hall during the process.
They were staring at Thales and Quick Rope with curious eyes. Thales and Quick Rope subconsciously let go of each other and flashed a smile together.
The looks of the prisoners returned to normal. They began cleaning up the battlefield. The expressions on their faces varied. Canon still trembled in the corner while he talked to himself from time to time. Beldin did not speak, and quietly wiped his weapon with an indifferent look on his face.
However, the others were far from being as quiet as the former two.
“Don’t move, Bruley, otherwise I can’t bandage your wounds… Hey, I said don’t move! I didn’t touch that place! Even if I did, it wasn’t intentional!” This was from Nalgi, who was binding a wound on Bruley’s buttocks while the latter grimaced in pain. But the both of them looked like they were having an intense wrestling match.
“Come here. Let’s distribute the supplies and weapons… or do you really want to wear a pair of underwear to fight?” The Second Logistics Officer Naer searched through the corpses as he threw all the suitable weapons and armor to his companions, fulfilling his duty. While he did this, he spat out aggressively, “Their skills aren’t much, but their equipment is pretty good. Hey, Tardin, why are you eating that? Don’t you know that everything we seized must be declared?!”
“Awesome!” Tardin sat on the ground with a dumb look on his face, and he clutched an enemy’s waterskin to his chest. He chewed on some dried food he had found from some unknown place, and began laughing wildly as he said, “We’re out, we’re out! I don’t have to f*ck the wall anymore!”
As the person with the highest rank, Vanguard Barney kept his arms folded over his chest while he stared at Thales with a frown. He appeared to be pondering over what they were to do next.
In this disorderly and strange atmosphere, Thales and Quick Rope looked at each other, and saw the wariness in each other’s eyes.
This group of former guards who had slaughtered the Disaster Swords right after they got out of jail seemed as dangerous as they were before they were sent to prison. Were they reliable?
The most important thing was: What was their next step?
Thales avoided Barney Junior’s gaze, lowered his head, and whispered into Quick Rope’s ear, “What did you say when you let them out?”
“What else?” Anxiety appeared on Quick Rope’s face. He whispered back, “Naturally, I took up the status as your attendant, Wya Caso, and asked them for help, for the prince who was in danger
“By the way, the man who’s laughing madly right now even went on his tiptoes to touch my head. He said, ‘Wow, Wya, you grew so tall! How are your parents?’ I could only chuckle at that…”
Thales did not listen to the second half of his sentence…
…because in the next second, all the guards fell silent as if a cold gust of wind had suddenly attacked them!
Canon no longer trembled, but widened his eyes and opened his mouth. Tardin spat out the dry food in his mouth and touched the sword beside him. Bruley let out an uneasy, low growl. Nalgi threw away the bandage in his hand. Naer coldly distributed the last piece of leather armor to Beldin, who narrowed his eyes while he exuded a murderous air. Barney Junior’s expression did not change. He slowly picked up a torch from the ground.
They all stopped whatever they were doing and stood up in tacit agreement. Their gazes were solemn as they faced one direction:
The stone steps of Black Prison.
*Thud, thud, thud…*
The heavy footsteps echoed slowly. Every step sounded as though the person walking was stomping on their hearts.
*Thud, thud, thud…*
Finally, a figure they had not seen for a long time appeared on the stairs. He walked up the steps towards them, and into the firelight.
After he identified the person, Thales and Quick Rope cast each other a glance. They sucked in a sharp breath simultaneously in their hearts. The Royal Guards’ breaths quickened in unison.
The person who came carried something heavy. He stood before the light, and his face was turned towards everyone in the hall.
The person slowly shifted his gaze to look at the slovenly group in front of him. He spoke softly, “Chief Vanguard Barney, Chief Penal Officer Beldin, Second Logistics Officer Naer…”
No matter how many years had passed and how many changes he had experienced, he still recognized everyone as if he was calculating his own valuables and examining his weapons.
Barney’s face was tense, Beldin’s expression was complex, but Naer’s face was full of hostility.
“Canon, Tardin, Bruley… Oh, and you, the idler Nalgi?”
The person who came called out their names one by one, his tone was calm, but for some reason there was an oppressive force in his voice that made them hold their breaths. Thales swore that he clearly heard Nalgi gulp subconsciously.
Strangely enough, the prisoners did not speak right then. They just nervously watched the person approach them, like animals that saw their natural enemies.
The person who came smiled, and threw the weight on his shoulders down on the ground.
Thales and Quick Rope’s pupils shrank!
It was a corpse.
The true leader of Dante’s Greatsword and the secret agent of the Secret Room, the mercenary Dean, was laid on the ground. His body was drenched in fresh blood.
His soulless eyes were wide open under the firelight. His mouth was agape, but he was not breathing. He stared at the empty ceiling… and did not move. His expression of surprise and horror before he died was frozen on his face.
“You missed one.” The person grinned and shook his head, revealing the brand of criminals on his forehead. He reached out and gestured to the body on the ground. “You’re welcome.”
His tone was soft, as if he was making the most casual greeting. Everyone frowned.
The former Watchman of the Royal Guards, the Knight of Judgment Zakriel, showed a gentle smile. His gaze shot through the crowd and landed on Thales, whose heart was in turmoil.
“…I missed one, too.”