Joshua approached the greatsword that was nearest to where he stood.
It was a sword so huge that it could be considered extraordinary. However, it was not very detailed, indicating shoddy workmanship. Half of the sword's body was embedded in the middle of the stone-made floor. Even though the sword was only partially visible, it was already half the height of an average human. Although the body of the sword was a little rusty, one could tell that the core of the sword was still strong and durable. The gray surface of the sword was absorbing the light in its surroundings, making it look as if it was shrouded in darkness.
When he stood right before the sword, the tattoo on the back of his palm blazed brightly. Joshua fixed his eyes on the sword and stayed silent as if he was in deep thought.
One moment later, he reached his hand out, gripping the hilt of the sword.
A gust of wind suddenly rose from within the underground room.
Because of that, the smell of rust that overwhelmed the entire room was removed along with the wind. Meanwhile, the other weapons that were rooted in the ground all around the room began to quiver. No matter whether swords, spears, or axes, they resonated faintly, as if they were celebrating. Yet, these weapons emitted a feeling of sorrow as well. With the resonance of the countless weapons around him, Joshua glared at the sword as he attempted to pull it out of the ground, bit by bit.
Light that was formed from magic began to flow out from the void. With the creaking sounds of metal against stone, one could tell that the blade of the sword was gradually leaving the ground, exposing more of itself to Joshua. Even though the sword was covered in dust and dirt, it was not dull at all. Its sharp edges could still reflect the light as bright as the stars.
Looking at the light that continued to shine in all directions, Joshua had already pulled out half the sword. Now, he only needed to pull out the tip of the sword out from the ground. However, the sword appeared to be stubborn, as though it was refusing to leave the ground because something was missing.
"Why are you rejecting me?" Joshua questioned the sword softly.
[Brand the Mark]
Suddenly, a stream of words appeared right before his eyes. Joshua was a little surprised at first. However, an instant later, he reacted to the system notification and said, "Indeed I see it now!"
Taking a deep breath, Joshua kept all other thoughts aside, emptying his mind and soul. As he began to breathe steadily, his internal organs, bones, muscles and other parts of his body began to quiver. It went along his blood vessels and tendons, all the way to his right hand that was holding the hilt on the sword.
The burning light, also known as Combat Aura, began to condense along with the Origin Force of Searing Steel. Both forces swirled and gathered together at one point on his right hand before the forces were injected into this worn out greatsword, purifying its interior.
The rust was beginning to fade and the dents and cracks on the sword slowly vanished one after another.
Following the glittering radiance that overwhelmed Joshua's sight, Joshua's mark had been branded on the sword. Meanwhile, the last part of the sword, the tip, had left the ground. It was completely pulled out of the ground, leaving some dust flying about around the hole where the sword was plunged in long before.
A powerful blast of magical energy came out of the sword.Light orbs that look like fireflies slowly emerged all around the surroundings in the room. These light orbs then fell onto the blade of the sword like snowflakes. With relative ease, Joshua contained the sword as he focused his sight on the blade.
Right after that, a blinding light shone across every corner of the room. The hilt of the giant sword that he held in his right hand slowly turned into a soft hand. The hand then rested slowly and lightly on his palm. There was a black mark right on the wrist of the silky soft hand. Well, the mark looked similar to the mark he has on his wrist; of a snake entwined around a huge sword.
"Nice to meet you, Master."
The elegant voice that only a lady could have was heard. Joshua raised his head slowly to see a petite figure in a blazer dress standing right in front of him. This girl had a long silvery hair that flowed with the wind. Meanwhile, her two greenish pupils that glowed like fireflies were radiating with a strange vibe.
She smiled at Joshua and bowed to him like a butler. Then she gently pulled out her right hand and bowed at him again. "I shall obey the heir of the Radcliffes to fulfill the promise made in ancient times. You must be my master. I'm Acroll's Swordbreaker. You can call me Ying."
Joshua had a solemn expression on his face. Without saying a word, his gaze was fixed on this girl who had the vibe of an old butler.
It wasn't because he was too shocked or whatsoever. Truth to be told, his thoughts were scrambled so badly that he could not even react to anything anymore. Not long after, realization dawned upon him.
Divine Armaments are not humans that turn into weapons but the other way round! I got it all wrong in the first place! Naturally, he did not voice those thoughts aloud.
Meanwhile, this silver-haired girl called Ying was still chattering delightedly. She was laughing with a slightly aristocratic demeanor. Then she said, "I've answered your call by leading you here. Your will shall be my hope as well. Now, our pact shall be fulfilled!"
"Henceforth, I shall battle by your side. I shall open the way with my conviction and complete all challenges with my strength!"
No matter how dazed he was, Joshua reacted naturally to the situation as he was now on the most important step of forming the pact. The power of the bloodline was gushing through every single vein in his body. With a serious expression, he placed his hand on Ying's forehead.
"If that's the case, the pact has been formed!"
With the influence of some mysterious force, their voices sounded ethereal. Both of them chanted solemnly in unison, "By obeying the ancient covenant, my life is in your hands. My honor lies in the blade that I am. With the blood pact that binds this oath of mine, I shall never turn my back on you."
At that moment, a soft glow appeared from nowhere. Joshua could feel a warm sensation being released from within his body, especially his right wrist. That was the special thing about a bloodline pact. Although Joshua had not gone into a pact with any other Divine Armaments, he was unconsciously familiar with the entire process. He noticed that his body also has an inexplicable sense of ability to adapt. If he could have children in the future, then his children should inherit this sense of his towards the Divine Armaments.
Upon completing forming the pact, the two of them let out a sigh of relief. Ying's sigh was even louder; she seemed very content at the moment, with no intention whatever to hide the evident joy on her face.
However, Joshua knew that "she" was just her outer appearance.
Ying might appear to be a fourteen or fifteen-year-old girl. However, as a condensed form of energy in a humanoid form, she was a Divine Armament after all. Her combat effectiveness in her humanoid state is definitely not weak at all. At the very least, she was much stronger than a large number of Silver-tier humans.
Meanwhile, the attributes of the girl were naturally available to Joshua by now.
[Name: Ying Acroll]
[Race: Divine Armament Race Skills: Divine Armament Transformation, Resonates with the Master who formed a Pact with her and transforms into a weapon.]
[Level: 23 Silver Tier (Challenge Level 16 Silver Tier)]
[Physique: Small humanoid form with a long lifespan from another world / Sword length 197cm]
[Transformational Weapon: Acroll's Swordbreaker]
[Class: The Seventh Generation of Divine Armament for slaying Aragami/ Servant]
[Innate Abilities: Spiritual Form Body, Sleepless, Food not required, Pro-Physical]
[Skills: Weakness Break, Oppressive Impairment, Focused Destruction, Sharpness Enhancement, Decapitate, Dreadful Gleam (Mutilation)]
[Equipment: Women's Double-breasted Blazer Dress]
[Divine Armament Transformation Level 1: Last for 1 hour. Cooldown 24 hours. Transforms into weapon state, providing the Master with half of Ying's own health and one-fifth of her attributes]
[Compliant to the Pact to get a new unparalleled weapon for observing the world.]
Attributes, Innate Abilities, and Skills. The power level is not weak at all. Meanwhile, this girl's just like a newborn Divine Armament. She'll definitely become much stronger than now if she's nourished correctly. No wonder the old count saw her as an assistant. It wasn't just because she could transform into a weapon.
Keeping the thoughts in his mind, Joshua knew that Ying was only a newborn. Even so, she already possessed the power level of a Silver while in her humanoid form. She could still transform into her weapon form when facing imminent danger to increase the power level of her master. As expected of the ancient races that had started the continental war. Her cute appearance could just be a guise that hides the fact that she existed along the races back them! She could potentially be just as crazy as the ancient races.
Joshua knew better than anyone about his followers. They were handsome men and women all the way. So even if they couldn't get a powerful pet, they would still pick those that look pretty and nice. Some of them even attempted to do their research on the Outside World and Demonology just so that they could summon a leprechaun or a succubus. Well, that was for the mages only. As for the other people, finding a good pet was more convenient. A normal fighter would already be better off if they could get a mount.
He could imagine how crazy the melee combatants would become when the powerful and adorable race called Divine Armaments was exposed to the public. Well, Joshua had no interest in this and he did not follow any of the related news as well. All he did was focus on slaying the bosses in dungeons. However, he would still hear many things about the Divine Armaments. Mostly because the ladies that went along into the dungeons with him would talk about it on the public chat. Well, that should be sufficient to prove how famous that 'thing' turned out to be.
If Joshua was still in his initial world, and those people in his party discovered this, they would definitely be envious and outraged that their leader who only knew how to hack and slash managed to form a pact with a Divine Armament!
"My name is Joshua van Radcliffe."
He reached out his right hand to the silver-haired girl right in front of him. Joshua lowered his head a little while looking into the eyes of the girl seriously. He said, "I would love to continue our chatter a little more. However, time is running out. Now, I have to fight my enemies. Are you up for it?"
Meanwhile, Ying had also reached out her right hand. Her silky soft hand was too small to grab his palm fully. So she could only rest her hand on top of Joshua's palm. She looked Joshua in the eyes, smiled, and bowed again. "It's my pleasure to fight alongside with you, Master. I'm born for this."
"Very well." Upon ending the conversation, Joshua nodded and turned around. Then, he headed towards the hall beneath the ground, "Then let's depart now."
Ying followed along without saying a word. The two of them headed out of the dark room.
At the same time, the aftermath of Joshua infiltrating the city had only begun to show.
"Incompetent trash!" Infuriated, Danlya fiercely slammed the table in the main hall of his mansion where he usually welcomed his guests. "Fifty heavily equipped soldiers! How can you all fail to last for even a few minutes?! Are you saying you were all defeated by merely a strike?!"
Without having anything to refute, the messenger could only lower his head, observing the situation from the side. He also cursed quietly at soldiers' incompetence. At the same time, he was also praying that Danlya would take it easy on him.
"Keeping silent, huh! So you call yourself one of the strongest mercenaries in the north? You're Silver tier, yet you only know how to retreat! You can't even provide any information about your enemy? Not even his strength?! So what good can you actually do then?!" The chubby man roared at him. He then panted heavily, with the veins on his head visibly popping.
The messenger could only keep his head low and hope for the best that he would not become Danlya's punching bag.
Well, Danlya did not intend to throw a tantrum at the person before him. Although he seemed furious at the moment, his mind was intact, already thinking about something else.
Could it be true that Joshua is so powerful now? No, his talent has always been more superior than my brother's. It seems that after he survived the bloody battle with the orcs, he somehow managed to find a new way to enhance his strength in this time of crisis... now... even the silencers are no match for him. That would mean I have no one left to stop him.
"You, summon the three samurai mercenaries that are hanging around the backyard." After coming to a decision, Danlya commanded the messenger, while frowning. "Tell them I'll even pay more than they requested. Just tell them to stay close to me! Protect me at all cost!"
Finally, the messenger was able to leave the dreadful hall. He quickly stood up and walked out of the hallway as fast as a rat trying to escape. Then he quickly headed towards the backyard. He did not dare to look back at Danlya's cold eyes when he left.
"The Radcliffe family has only been a family of a single heir. Even if there are other descendants out there, most of them would be sent to the south of the Empire, the origin of the country to become merchants like myself."
After the messenger left, Danlya had no reason to keep his look of fury any longer. He frowned and started thinking. "For generations, my family has been keeping gold to themselves. There must be something, some secrets I have yet to discover... Well, that can be resolved later. However, that Wilson family can't be trusted at all. Their intents have been devious since the beginning. I should place more attention on them rather than on Joshua."
After saying all that, he revealed a cold sneer on his face while he rubbed a huge sapphire ring on his thumb.
"Treating me like a puppet, huh? That's adorable! Do not underestimate a merchant who can make a lot of money!"