Ten minutes before a certain pair of letters were opened.
Mere moments after King Raphael decided to enter the mysterious room with only his advisor by his side.
A big group of people were surrounded by knights who wore adamantite armors and wielded swords that emanated an ominous but faint black aura.
And yet, no one was a bit intimidated by them.
Instead, they were being pitied by them.
Something that greatly confused them.
Furthermore, they even told them things like ‘you should rethink your life choices, young man’ and ‘you should try and join another order, kid…’, and so on, and so forth.
Thus, they did not notice the three women who had their eyes fixed on the opened door, nor they noticed when they smiled.
Here it comes!
That idiot king is going to open the letters when he gets there!!
Of course, I am focusing all my senses on him just so I can hear his reaction in real time!
Man, it was so hard trying to not laugh at him when I met him! I had so many things I wanted to tell him too!!
And all that confidence that was oozing out of him was incredibly funny!!
Hnnngh, that will only make his reaction even better!
"Fufufu~~, careful, dear. You’re entering ‘queen’s mode’. If you don’t calm down, it will show in your face. And you don’t want that, right?”
Ah! Right, right! Thanks, Nerinne!
One thing though, not counting him, that ceremony was nice. Did you implement that, darling?
"Just in a way. I only told them the idea of sharing pain and happiness as one would share food and drink with their family. They then made the ritual of alliance based on that."
And yet that idiot couldn’t care any less about any of that…seriously.
Also, I thought I would be able to dance a bit with Erevain and Gabrielle, but he went straight to the main attraction, huh. He really is too hasty, but oh well, that worked for us too.
"Indeed. I can’t wait for that girl to read my letter...kukuku...she will be quite surprised...kukuku..."
Darling, now it is you who is entering another mode...
"Oh my...you are right. You have quite contagious enthusiasm, dear~~."
I don't think that is the case but...anyways, we have a plan to follow!
First! I must clear Erevain's playing field! And that means…no distractions allowed!
"Gabrielle, Erica, it is time."
So I say as a confident smile appears on my face before I start walking out of the crowd.
"My, I was eagerly waiting for those words, my dear Master."
"To be frank, I did not expect Master to use such a simple yet absurd method to start all of this, but it is fitting."
Of course, Gabrielle and Erica are but a step behind me, with the former being to my left and the latter to my right.
And as you can see, Erica was surprised when I told her the plan, but I am glad she understood why we let the King come here and open the fake sealing room.
Because…well, if my beautiful Maid-Knights fell because of a tragic yet fake request to go somewhere, then it is only fitting for the King's fall to start in a similar manner.
"And I am still surprised that Master has a liking for things such as poetic justice...will I face a similar consequence for my actions, I wonder."
There goes Gabrielle talking in that flirty ojou-sama tone of hers...so nice...
"Hmph, it is only proper for me to give an adequate response to such...transgression. But I shall leave the details up to your imagination."
How's that?! I sounded so seductive, but still edge alter, right?! Hahaha! I'm the best!
"My, whatever shall I do with this anticipation?"
Nnng…that smile of hers as she says that….so good…
Also, we are now fully out of this crowd.
And of course, the Knights that have said crowd surrounded will not like that.
"Hey! Didn't you listen to the King? Stop moving or things will get messy, ladies!"
See? Oh, and not only that, but all the knights in front of us are now pointing their swords at us.
"Hmph, if you were to know who you are messing with, all of you would be begging for forgiveness. Here, let me show you."
With that, I slightly raise my right hand, snap my fingers, and make all the teleported ‘guests’ disappear.
"Wha—?! What did you just do?!"
So exclaims the same knight, utterly confused. All while the rest of the Knights quickly surround us and point their swords at us too.
"One more step and we will skewer that white skin of yours!"
"A shame for the other two, but they will get it too!"
"Come on! Try us! These weapons can kill anyone with just one cut!!"
"It will also be a painful death, so go ahead and try something if you dare!"
"It doesn’t matter what you just did, this is true power!!"
While most of the knights are saying those things, albeit with some variation between them, others are showing themselves a bit hesitant via their trembling swords, and it is probably because of what I did, heh.
In any case, let’s do this.
That is all I need to say for them to nod in complete knowledge of what I want them to do.
And so, they use their superior speed to disappear right before the eyes of the knights and take care of all of them.
"[Exploding Palm: Fourth Form]!"
Gabrielle appears right in front of the knights on my left flank while unleashing a palm strike with her right hand. But, as the name of the skill implies, it is not a normal palm strike, the force that is building up on it and its surrounding air surface make it seem like an unavoidable attack.
Which it is.
The moment it hits, it sounds like a balloon popping but louder, all while it produces a shockwave that starts from the point of contact in which her palm ended and grows outwards from there. The poor knight on the receiving end instantly goes flying, but he is not alone. Everyone who is beside him also receives damage from it and goes flying as well. Think of it as one of those attacks where the MC punches the villain, and his fist is carved onto the wall behind them out of the pure pressure and force of it. Something like that.
And there it is, they just crashed into a wall of the cave. Their armors are cracked, their ribs are obviously cracked, and they are clearly unconscious.
But these ones are just Gabrielle's victims.
As for Erica’s…
"Oh water blast them away, [Water Blast]!"
Well, you could say that they got lucky. Instead of a hard, explosive palm, they only received highly pressurized magical water, so they are in a better state than their friends. Nah, just kidding, they ended up pretty much in the same state after the [Water Blast] slammed them into another one of the cave's walls. I mean, water can both be like concrete and hit like truck-kun in the right conditions. Now imagine adding magic and her pact-given OP stats to that spell and well...you get my point.
With both sides now free of knights, my maids focus on dealing with those behind me while I smile at those lucky enough to be left, as in the ones who are in front of me, and say the following:
"So…what were you going to do again?"
They just fainted, foam coming out from their mouth and all...
I mean...I tried to smile smugly to change things up, but did it still come off as intimidating?
Oh well, at least I’m glad that no one wet themselves. The smell would’ve been bad for my sensitive nose.
Anyways, let’s move on.
"As expected of both of you. Well done. As for your next task...go and heal them, Gabrielle. But just enough for them to survive."
"As you wish, my dear Master."
"In that case, I will help move them, Master."
I nod at Erica's suggestion and they both go to the unconscious knights.
I mean, we could leave them as is, but I do not know if some of them were forced to join the Order throughout the years and so on...
Besides, my instinct is telling me that some of them can be redeemed. So, let's give them that chance.
"I am glad you sincerely think like that, dear~~."
Well, I'm an adult, I do learn from my past experiences...like with Ben and the other conscripted miners back at the village...
I don’t want to repeat that mistake.
While saying that, I raise my left hand, which is covered with dark attribute mana and 'pull' a certain 'shroud' off someone to my right. Someone that I had hidden for the sake of shock value.
Hm? What? How can I cast Luca’s [Shroud of Deception], you ask? Nah, it is not that one. It is based on it, yes, but it is different in that [Shroud of Deception] deceives as its name implies and pushes away the attention of onlookers. As beautifully described by Luca when I asked her about it. Written response, of course. Meanwhile, mine is the [Shroud of Emptiness], which tells the onlooker that they are just looking at an empty space, to nothing, nada, etc. Effectively turning someone invisible.
Why did I do it? Come on! I already told you!! Shock Value! Why would we waste the chance to shock the King even more by capitalizing on Erevain's resemblance to her mother? So, instead of revealing her 'upstairs' it is better to do it here. Don't you think?
"...you can go, Erevain."
She nods at my words and…
"Thank you, My Lord Auros."
WHAT THE HECK?! IS THIS 'KISS YOUR MASTER ON THE LIPS' DAY AND I DIDN'T GET THE MEMO OR WHAT?!
I MEAN...SHE LOOKED SO BEAUTIFUL...WITH THAT PRINCESS SMILE OF HERS...AND THOSE EYES! HNNNGH!
EYES THAT WERE SO FULL OF FEELS AS SHE LEFT RUNNING TOWARDS THE FAKE SEALING ROOM!!!
I'M SO REEEED!!!
"Fufufufuhahahaha, that speechless expression of yours was so sweet, dear! 2x1 days are a boon!"
And of course, you are enjoying it!!
Oh, Gabrielle and Erica are returning from healing and moving the idiot's knights.
"It is done, My dear Master."
Says Gabrielle, smiling as she usually does.
"Is Leader already in there?"
So asks Erica and yes, she and Gabrielle already knew about hiding Erevain as part of the plan.
"Yes, she is. In the meantime, I shall make a new teleportation circle here just in case Violet Death attacks while we wait for Erevain and we need. Thus, that shall allow Erevain and whoever she is carrying to return to the palace.”
They both agree with me doing that and start watching out for any possible knight reinforcements, all while I put myself to work and weave incredible magical energies to practically create a videogame fast-travel point, heh.
But ok, like some godly bald elf said in a certain RPG videogame...I’m sure you have questions.
So, I shall answer them while I do this and wait for the King's reaction.
The ‘people’ who disappeared were OP illusions of my OP light attribute magic. How did I make my illusions talk, you ask? Simple! I used my super speed to move behind each ‘talking’ illusion and I voiced them by using my [Shapeshifting Touch] skill to mimic the voices of the corresponding ‘guest’!
The change of seiyuu was painful...but necessary.
Where are everyone else then? Also...making a teleportation circle that only responds to Erevain is taking longer than I expected...
As for your question, Ludovica confirmed our suspicions of the King doing something at the ball and one of her spies told us about the teleportation circle beforehand.
I, as an OP space attribute user, seized control of it when it activated and tweaked it just a teeny tiny bit. Thus, making it only teleport a select group of people and not everyone while still being flashy. Which means that it only teleported the idiot King, Hilde, Erevain, Erica, Gabrielle, and me. While the rest were left confused by the sudden lightshow.
Oh, but that’s not all. Right now, those same people must be hearing all about New Glory from Ludovica’s mouth, along with Lorelei’s previously agreed-upon public confession, and a nice dessert of testimonies by Greese, Locke-chan, and Sven. Plus, a public showing and live reading of all the documents from the Church’s investigation and what we obtained through Lyra.
What does that mean? Well...that New Glory's fate is as sealed as brand new besto waifu figure! At least in the political part, heh.
Oh! They are at the pedestal!!
OOOH! HAHAHAHA…wait...Hilde just went 'poof' as in she literally disappeared after reading Nerinne's letter...how did she...
HAHAHAHAHA!! 'WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS?!' AHAHAHAHAHAHA SUCH A CLASSIC RESPONSE!!! HAHAHAHAHA TAKE THAT, YOU IDIOT!!!
AND NOW! BOO!!
I mean, I wanted to do some type of long letter mocking him about everything and so on. But then I got a feeling, not just via my instinct but also in my soul. That feeling told me that simple is best. So, I still mocked him by turning him into the joke. Heh. UMU, I’m a genius!!
Also, that perfectly timed P.S. and Erevain's arrival was a total coincidence. I did not make this whole plan around that glorious moment, not at all.
Or did I?
"Master, you seem happy."
I hear Erica's voice behind me, and I proudly nod at that.
"It is because I am, Erica. That King is about to receive the punishment he deserves."
A certain woman came out of a magically appearing icicle in a lonely hallway within the Royal Palace.
She had hair like the morning sun and a dress that combined perfectly with it.
While a very specific desire almost took control of her when she detected a certain person entering the sealing chamber, she managed to hold herself back and left using her magic.
After all, there was something else she needed to do, and she would never put her desires over her objectives.
Even if that desire was revenge.
And as she turned her gaze towards the direction she was going to take, her eyes turned into an icy blue.
"The place has been emptied...there was nothing left of the Emissary...only letters...and one was written by the Goddess herself. The King of Storms tricked us..."
She looked at what she had in her hand as she said that in a cold yet furious voice.
It was a crumpled, pitch black piece of paper that had words written in a sinister color blue.
And no matter how much she tried to control herself, the shivers that she felt by just looking at the letter never stopped.
Thus, the only thing she could do was look away, so she did.
Then, she nodded as if she was listening to someone else.
"Yes...I shall acquire the other objective then...Master Scath..."
So she said as she went deeper into the strangely desolate hallway.
As an absurd being weaved magical energies to manipulate space itself, a King who thought himself strong was suddenly being pushed back by the mere appearance of someone.
So exclaimed King Raphael, former husband of the chosen Queen Regent of the Kyrie Kingdom, Theresa vi Kyrie.
She had died in front of him and their children. But it was not sudden. No…it was an incurable illness, one that was caused by her exploits...specifically, the one that got her the title of Saintess and Hero.
Indeed, for protecting an entire nation's capital from a Dragon Lord's attack is nothing short of a miracle, but to then reflect said attack back to its sender was something that could be considered madness.
But she still did it.
And she paid for it.
She paid dearly.
For her power, her mana, was never the same after that, it was failing her. Some times it would suddenly go haywire, causing her a great deal of pain, while other times it would be depleted rapidly, bringing about a great degree of exhaustion.
She was supposedly retired from the battlefields because of it, but she always traveled to nations and places that were coincidentally in trouble by Draconic expeditionary forces.
'I’m there just for moral support.’
That is what she would tell her husband with that smile that always charmed him.
He sometimes just laughed at that.
‘Yeah, morale does indeed go up when you beat the crap out of the enemy commander.’
Sometimes he would say that.
But sometimes it was just not enough, and he would be rightfully angry.
'Why do you keep doing it?! Today it was one of your barriers suddenly failing! Tomorrow one of your spells could blow up in your face!! Why can't you understand that?!'
Indeed, he would exclaim that, but behind all that anger there was only a man full of concern for his loved one.
And of course…he would sometimes cry.
'Why...? Look at you...my beautiful moonlight rose...you knew your personal barrier failed and you still covered those warriors. I know that the scars are your pride...I love them too...but you can't keep being reckless...we can't lose you...I-I can't lose you...please…don’t do that…to me…'
That is what he would say as he held the hand of his love while she was being treated by healers after another of her escapades.
He knew he could not stop his stubborn wife. After all, that was one of the qualities that had enamored him so deeply. But that stubbornness was what kept her going too. Her duty kept her going. Her sense of responsibility kept her going. The embrace of her husband whenever she returned kept her going. The eyes of her eldest son as she told him the stories of her feats while she trained him kept her going. The eyes of her middle son as she listened to him talk about how well he did in class, about what new thing he learned, or that light in his curious eyes whenever she told him something he did not know. That kept her going. And the eyes of her youngest daughter as she watched her laugh and discover the world step by step. That kept her going.
Until her body…finally gave out.
But not before entrusting her husband the future of the Kingdom they both loved.
"This is impossible...you...you died! You died before me!"
Yet that promise was broken the moment he was corrupted by his own hidden envy.
Oh so simple envy.
Not one born from that tragedy.
But one that was already there, growing in the back of his mind since his wife was named Regent.
One that never wondered if his wife could have been saved if he had been the Regent.
And chances were that history would have played out the same in that case.
That was why it was simple envy.
One that got worse every time someone else was recognized and not him.
An envy that was freed by the well-placed whispers of a certain person, and it ran through him like both sweet nectar and poison.
And oh, he knew it.
He knew it very well.
He knew how pathetic…and disappointing that was.
That was why he could not help but step back as that woman got closer to him.
For he was now face to face with that broken promise.
"You are not the man I once admired, nor the one I loved…and not the one I knew."
Said the woman in an oh so similar voice to that of his beloved, each word piercing his heart...
Something was wrong.
Her voice was similar but not the same.
There was something to it…or more like a lack of something…that sweetness that always grabbed his heart.
With that, he stopped moving and looked closely at her, his veil of regret having been lifted by such a small detail.
And yes…he was correct.
Her everything was similar but not the same.
She looked more like a daughter of him, but instead of resembling both, like Euphemia, she resembled her mother more than anyone else.
That is when he remembered it...a strange report that he had thrown out as a simple rumor or just coincidence in an obvious emotional response.
'There is a woman in the capital that closely resembles the deceased Queen Regent' that was the headline said and now he knew it was true.
Thus, anger boiled within him once again as he glared at the woman with those eyes that could stop even monsters and bathed her in his killing intent.
But she did not flinch at all.
"Those eyes only worked on me until I started seeing them in the mirror every day."
…she stepped forward instead and continued walking towards the king.
And as she did so, her clothes began to change. Finite silver magic particles covered her and revealed the clothes of a high-ranking servant, but at the same time they held some noble appearance. Such clothes were black with armored accents that shined in a silver grey.
Meanwhile, the King injected mana into one of his rings, a storage ring, and made a pitch-black great sword appear in his glove covered right hand, which he immediately pointed at her, its blade emanating an intense sinister mana.
"I shall only ask once. Who are you and why do you wear that face?"
It was clear that he was seething in anger, and yet the woman was once again unfazed by such thing.
"My Lord gave me the name of Eresh Kur, but..."
As she said that, the woman made a longsword appear seemingly out of nowhere, and in a swift motion she pointed its silver blade at him.
One that he recognized immediately, for he had watched over its forging and he knew its every angle.
It was the sword made for his first son.
"...you knew me as Erevain vi Kyrie, Father."
So declared the woman in a solemn tone.
And no sign on her eyes could denounce her as a liar, which made the King's anger even greater.
"...! [Crushing Fang]!"
So great in fact, that he immediately attacked the woman with his great sword, unleashing what was supposed to be a right sided circular slash, one that was immediately followed by a two-handed downward thrust that imitated the descent of a beast's fang. It was one of his strongest skills, capable of immobilizing his opponents and finishing them off in one fell swoop.
But the woman did not move to evade it.
She did not need to do so.
For she simply blocked the King's right sided circular slash with her sword, thus stopping the rest of his attack from happening.
The King then tried to follow through and crush her defense, but she did not budge at all.
It was as if his great sword had been trapped between two unmovable objects.
The woman then took two steps forward as her sword kept the King's in place and grabbed him by the collar with her free hand.
That is when her opponent freed one of his hands in an attempt to free himself, but it was useless as she immediately threw him like a ragdoll to a nearby wall.
"Get up, Father."
Said the woman as her eyes turned into an intense glare that was quite similar to his.
Indeed, those eyes...they were familiar to him, but that just could not be true.
It could not!
"Get up. Or is this the extent of your conviction? Where is the strength that you needed to betray Mother's promise and the Kingdom? Where is that strong will that let you condemn Ryze Village to death? Where is that unwavering heart the let you brand such good men as traitors? Tell me, Father."
"Stop spouting such obvious lies! You know nothing! Nothing! They were nothing more than mere tools for a better future! All of them! Fire pierce my enemies! [Fire Spear]!"
So exclaimed the white-haired man as he got up while he extended his hand and fired one fiery spear after the other at the woman.
"It is not a lie. None of it is, Father."
And said woman evaded those with ease as she said that.
"I only have one daughter and she is nowhere near this Kingdom! You are an impostor trying to stop me from reaching my true fate!! A better fate for everyone!! Fire pierce and skewer those who dare stand before me!! [Great Fire Spear]!!!"
But the King was not done, and he unleashed spears that were bigger and burned more vividly as they flew towards their prey.
Seeing how they were getting near her, the woman put her other hand on her sword's blade and started her chant.
"Moon I beseech you..."
All while man's eyes widened as he listened to the woman.
"...let your radiance dwell within this sword. [Moonlight Enchant]!"
With that, the woman's sword was suddenly covered in a silver light and her wielder immediately proceeded to cut down every singly fire spear in quick succession.
None of them remained.
And the King could not believe what he had witnessed.
"That sword, that attribute, those chants...to think that you would go that far to try and disturb my mind! To shake my will!! But that shall not work! It is but a desperate attempt to stop me!! [Juggernaut's Charge]! [Charging Fang]!!"
Thus, he charged at the woman with a great boost to his speed and with his great sword ready to impale her.
"Haa…it is anything but desperate, Father. Moon and Earth, I beseech you, protect me, [Magic Shield]!"
Once again, the King found himself being stopped by an immovable wall.
One that was made of silver light but was as hard as a mountain.
And the King was the one to feel the impact of his own attack all over his body, specially in his arm and shoulder.
"You have already been stopped, Father. New Glory's secrets and heinous acts are being revealed to everyone right this very moment. The forced conscriptions. The fake taxes. The starving of villages. No one involved in them will be able to escape. My Lord and Her Holiness did not waste time in preparations to make sure of that."
So said the woman as she pushed the King back with her [Magic Shield]. Her tone was solemn, her eyes were full of conviction, and her glare was never vanished.
Meanwhile, the King wanted to deny that woman's words.
To deny the fall of what he had built.
But the fact that he was being pushed back like a weakling was something that he could not ignore.
Which also made the fact that he had been robbed of the power that he had been promised even more clear.
If Lady Auros could do that, then what could have stopped her from tearing everything down?
From raining destruction upon him and his ilk…
Nothing at all.
Just as his efforts were nothing.
His organization was nothing.
He was nothing.
A King of nothing.
But he was not going to give his opponent the pleasure of seeing him despair.
He was not going to look down in defeat.
Not at all.
He would only do so in death.
And until that time came, he would glare at his opponent and fight with all he had.
So, he attacked again, and again, and again.
"This is but a courtesy that My Lord has extended to me...a gift for me to move on. For everyone who was betrayed to move on."
And the woman glared back at him as she kept pushing him back every time and returning him to his starting position, further reinforcing that his attacks had amounted to nothing.
'She is strong.'
Meanwhile, the King kept telling himself that.
No matter how much time had passed since he had been in a battlefield, he never let his body deteriorate. So, he was confident in his strength. He knew with absolute certainty that he was still at his peak.
And while the great sword he wielded was still the one he used back in the day, it had been enhanced, blackened.
For it was bathed in the powerful Black Mineral.
One that can bring death but also power if refined.
Of course, that was difficult to achieve, and his great sword was the only weapon where the mineral used was pure.
The other weapons and tools only had different levels of diluted mineral. Just enough to do their task.
So then why?
Why is it that he cannot beat her?!
The pesky emotion that is frustration reared its ugly head within his heart.
He was even close to losing himself in it.
Then again...letting himself be swallowed by his anger and frustration would only result in defeat.
And if he were to have even a slight chance of beating her, it would be by letting all those emotions out rather than letting them wreak havoc within him.
If he defeated her, then maybe not everything was lost.
If he defeated her, then he could retreat and work again from zero.
If he defeated her, then there was a chance to defeat Lady Auros.
Such thoughts passed through his mind as the grip on his great sword got tighter, his footing became firmer, and his fiery mana started to move in a more controlled manner.
He was a King, not a mindless warrior, if he felt anger, he would control and focus it.
If he was to be frustrated, then he needed to change his tactics.
A simple answer only achieved by his years of experience and firm identity.
He was the rightful Regent of the Kyrie Kingdom, even if the Goddess never recognized him.
He would not be beaten by some woman wearing the face of someone of his past.
But he needed time.
He needed an opening.
That is why he would act once more, just like he did in the ceremony, and put on a play for the woman.
"So…in the end it is a simple and childish case of revenge. If you were truly who you claim to be, then I would be disappointed in you. To bend the knee to someone else just to fulfill that childish desire is pathetic. And if you truly are my son, then playing dress up to defeat me just soils your pride even more, 'Erevain'."
Thus, he tried to provoke the woman as he kept building up his mana. And even if he referred to the woman by the name of his son, it was obvious in his tone that he did not believe it. There was even spite on it.
But the woman simply smiled heavily as she sighed and shook her head.
Something that prompted the King to see his eldest son's image over the woman's, for even her mannerisms were like his son's...
"It would have been easier for me if that were all there was to this...but it is not, Father. After what happened...I should have been burning with anger and resentment towards you, towards Licht, and everyone else behind that. But I was not...I was simply...aimless."
As she said that, the woman put down her sword, but the King understood that that was a feint.
Something to lure him in.
Something that Theresa used to do too...
'Could it really be…?'
And that made such question appear inside his mind, if only for a brief moment for it was thrown away almost immediately.
That was because it did not matter if she truly was his son.
His sacrifice, his death, his removal was but necessary.
He was an obstacle, one who would never expect being betrayed by his own family.
So, if the woman in front of him truly was his son, then he only needed to finish her off for good.
"I had to ensure our survival in the forest where we hid, and we even protected a certain village to maintain some sort of...normalcy. But that was a desperate attempt to hold onto our pasts...my past...that is.”
A wry smile appeared on her face before she continued.
“At least until My Lord came to our lives. I do not know if it was fate or if it was a simple whim of hers, but everything changed after that. And this form I took is the materialization of the new path I walk now, Father. This is not dress up...this is me. This is the me who is no longer lost. But…I am still the same person who once shared a laugh with you while looking at the sunset in that mountain.”
Her glare disappeared for a moment and a nostalgic look in her eyes took over.
Meanwhile, the King was silent.
That one memory was as clear as day in his heart.
They had 'escaped' from Theresa, the palace's staff, and the Royal Knights, and went on a little subjugation and hiking trip.
'Let's go toughen you up a bit, son. It will help for when your mother decides to spar with you. And after that, we’ll go to one of my favorite secret spots to camp. It has a great view, you will see.'
That is what the King said that time.
He even made his son swear that he would never tell anyone else about it.
And knowing how serious his son was, he would take that secret to the grave.
"At that time…I looked up to you, Father. To your desire to never back down once you started to fight for something...to that old but earnestly taken care of great sword of yours. Back then it almost shined as bright as the sunset...but even that great sword has been tainted by your ambition."
With that, the woman pointed with her longsword at the great sword that the King was wielding.
"Father...I am disappointed, but most of all...I...I am saddened."
As she let out such words from the bottom of her heart, her eyes had a single tear coming out of them.
“Father…do you…want a hand?”
Indeed, those words were truly from the bottom of her heart, but they still fell on deaf ears.
"It is useless. No matter what kind of sentimentalism you seek to trigger with those words, I shall not yield nor will I abandon my objective. Regardless of you being Erevain or not."
So the King said while he finished with his preparations and pointed his great sword once again at the woman. Not only that, but there was nothing but killing intent in his glare once more.
She was no longer someone to be listened to, but someone to be defeated and killed.
"I know. That is why I shall make you understand with my blade."
And with the nostalgic look on her eyes gone, the woman disappeared from the King's eyes as she said that.
"[Crescent Moon Slash]!"
As the woman appeared in front of the King and made an upwards semi-circular slash, the King was barely able to react by protecting himself with the fuller of his great sword. But even then, the strength of the woman made him feel the impact all over his body. And that was with one of his most powerful skills in effect. The trance that fully realized the essence of his class, a tank with both great defense and strength.
Yet his feet were about to be taken off the floor but...
"[Hard Counter]! [Maximize Strength]! [Maximize Defense]! [Break Limits]!! HAAARG!!!"
...the King activated all those skills, firmly nailed his feet on the floor, and pushed back the woman's blade before going for a counter by slamming that same fuller on the woman's right side with all his strength.
The woman's face twisted as she blocked the attack with her blade, but found her blade being pushed back and the King's attack connecting.
The impact felt dull for the King, but...he did not stop there.
"[Guard Breaker]!! [Leg Slasher]!! [Pulverizing Barrage]!! [Great Crusher]!!"
The King seemingly overwhelmed her mercilessly with his flurry of attacks. And as soon as she blocked one, the King launched another one and one more after that. He was like an unstoppable force. His pitch-black blade's aura reveled in the violence of it all and grew stronger. Making the blade seem heavier and more dangerous.
His last attack had pushed back the woman to the position he wanted and so he unleashed his magic.
"Fire, burn my opponent in a world of never-ending blaze until they turn to dust! [Tortuous Fire Sphere]!!
With that, the King extended his right hand and fire started come under the woman's feet, encapsulating her in a fiery sphere that roared savagely.
"Return to the state you are supposed to be in, ‘son’."
So said the King as he watched the fire rage on.
And it did not take long for his breathing to become ragged, for he had used most of his mana and stamina mere moments ago.
He was even using his weapon as support while he activated his ring to get a mixed potion that would refill his mana and stamina back to normal levels.
But then, as he was about to drink it, a small silver glow appeared to be coming from within the sphere.
"[Full Moon Slash]!"
In that moment, the woman's enchanted longsword came out of the sphere as she cut it in half, effectively freeing herself from what seemed a fiery death.
The King tried to drink as much as he could of the potion as he hastily tried to prepare himself, but he was too slow, for the woman was already in front of him, knocking away his hastily raised great sword with the back of her left fist and thus she broke his guard with that. Then, with glaring eyes that showed no hesitation, she swiftly changed into a stance that was clearly for thrusting her longsword and unleashed her skill.
"[Shielded Moon Fusillade]."
Thus, the woman thrusted her longsword into the King repeatedly and in quick succession.
She thrusted at his shoulders.
She thrusted at his arms.
She thrusted at his legs.
Indeed, she thrusted and turned the King’s extremities bloody red, to the point that the white gloves he was wearing were no longer so.
That skill would normally be used with a shield, hence the name, for it leaves one unable to move while using it, but she did not need to worry about other people attacking her from behind.
After all, the woman she loved, and her close friends had already taken care of them.
And so, she thrusted one last time, seemingly bringing the fight to an end, but the King would not let it end like that.
Screamed the King as blood came out of his mouth.
Thus, all the damage he had received in those mere seconds was turned into incredible strength and speed.
So he gripped his sword and swung it with everything he had left but...
...the woman was expecting it and moved even closer to him, to the point that their foreheads almost touched each other and then...
...she headbutted the King.
The dry sound reverberated through the sealing room's halls.
And the King fell to his knees. He tried to reincorporate himself, but it was useless, the effect of his skill had left him.
Not only that, but his mana was so low that he could not even use his storage ring anymore.
Seemingly unable to do anything else, he looked at the woman in disbelief for his loss.
For he truly believed that he had prevailed over her just a moment ago.
"You taught me that skill, Father. There is no surprise in me expecting you to use it."
Said the woman as she looked back at him with a bit of blood coming out of her forehead, which proved that he had matched her strength with his skill if only for a moment.
But that wound quickly closed itself and disappeared completely, surprising the King.
"You...hahaha...you were holding back all along...hahaha...how despicable of you...but I guess I am worth that much..."
He said between heavy breaths.
His nose was a mess, and he was bleeding everywhere.
But then he noticed something…his great sword…it lied in front of him, bathing in his blood, making its aura and inherent mana grow more sinister.
"You have lost, Father. Everything you have built has been brought down. And you shall never reign again. Still, I have avoided your heart for all the years we spent as a family. But you are not forgiven. That is something only the Goddess can give you. Now, I shall bring a healer to stop your bleeding and make it so you can face the charges of the Kingdom and the Church."
So said the black-haired woman as she turned around.
"If you are my son then..."
He began to mutter as he forced his hand to move and removed his gloves. Gloves made of blessed cloth. All while his eyes were set on his pitch-black great sword.
"...I believe I taught you...to wait until...the enemy used...everything..."
He then reached for the handle of his sword and the moment one of his fingers touched it, the sinister aura of it quickly slithered its way towards him, and with nothing blocking its corrupting and lethal qualities anymore, it burrowed inside his arm.
The woman, feeling those terrible energies grow stronger, turned around once more, and looked in anger at the scene that was taking place.
"You would corrupt yourself for the sake of a lost ambition?! You are damming your soul for no reason, Father!! Why?!"
Thus, the arm of the King swelled in an unnatural manner, his skin turning gray and an excruciating pain coursing through his veins.
But even then, he stood up, his hand seemingly melding with his sword and brandishing a monstrous arm.
All while he looked at the woman with black eyes.
Eyes where the glow of reason quickly disappeared.
"Hahaha...how could you understand…? You were found worThy minUtes after being BORN...! While I was igNOred, tIMe and timE aGaiN! A SIMPLE SUBSTITUTE!! FOR YOUR MOTHER AND YOU!!"
So he screamed in a guttural voice as he walked slowly towards the woman.
The sinister aura had completely mixed with his own, which made the King twitch and move in a strange manner.
"WHY NOT ME?! IS IT PETTY TO ASK THAT?! SO, WHAT?!! I...honestly thought THAT I WOULD END THIS WAR...and show that Goddess that I was worthy like no other...I WOULD GLADLY SACRIFICE ANYONE FOR THAT...Ryze Village, the patrol soldiers…YOU! I WOULD'VE KILLED YOUR LITTLE BROTHER TOO, IF HE HADN'T OFFERED HIMSELF TO BE A TOOL! AND OOH...he so sweetly manipulated you...MAKING EVERY SINGLE PIECE FALL IN PLACE!! But now I must do it again...SO DIE, DIE, EREVAIN!!"
With that, the King jumped at Erevain, swinging his great sword with his monstrous arm.
"You truly are not the Father that I loved..."
In turn, Erevain let out one single tear from her right eye once more.
Then, she quickly muttered a chant and her [Moonlight Shroud] appeared around her.
But there was something different that she did not notice...her pupils were shining too, and with an intensity never seen before.
Her sword also started shining as if enchanted, even without her using the spell.
And so, she jumped at the monstrosity that was wearing the skin of her Father.
The same monstrosity that tried to cleave her in half, but it never could.
For Erevain's blade swiftly pierced its heart before he had the chance to do so.
And she kept going, screaming as all her feelings and memories about her Father ran through her mind...
...until she had practically nailed the monstrosity to the wall.
Having not given it time to recover, the monstrosity ceased any movement, looked down, and dropped its weapon, which broke into pieces as it fell to the floor.
Seeing all that, Erevain clenched her mouth as she took her sword out of the chest of her once Father, swung it to the side to take out the blood, and sheathed it in one swift motion.
In doing so, the King’s body fell onto her and she caught him.
She then fell to her knees and embraced it.
She knew that if she did not kill her Father, he would have killed her. Or at least tried to do so endlessly.
She knew that even if corrupted, the words he shouted were true due to his actions.
She knew all of that.
But all she could see in her heart at that moment was that sunset and her father's proud smile.
In that moment…Erevain cried, letting it all out.
She cried not for the monster that her Father had become, but the man who once was.
Furthermore, that moment seemed to stretch out for hours, but she knew she had to go back to reality.
The warrior within her told her that it was enough crying.
While her conscience told her that there was more left to do.
Lastly, the energies that connected her to the one she loves, and those who have always been with her, told Erevain that she was not alone.
And so, she stood up and stopped her tears.
Then, she placed the corpse of her Father in a way that made it seem as if he was resting peacefully on the floor.
Thus, the sealing room that looked like a mausoleum had truly turned into one.
With that, Erevain left.
Only looking back once before leaving her Father to rest.
I need to...
"Auros, you have to be strong. Not only for your sake, but for everyone’s too."
I know, Nerinne...
But still...‘fighting someone you care about is more terrifying than against your worst enemy.'
That is what she said...
I just hope that someday I can be as brave as her.
"In some ways, you already are, Auros. I would know sin—!"
"They are here. Violet Death and her armies are here, Auros."
To be continued...(cue illustration of Erevain holding her Father)
Thank you for reading! If you liked it, please drop a heart on it! And if you want to support me and the story, consider subscribing to my patreon!
Were you surprised by the reveal of a certain 'sunny girl'? Did you see it coming? Do tell me in the comments below! The main clue was in the names though!
Now, as you noticed, this chapter was longer than the other ones, that is why it took me this long to revise it. And the ones that are coming next are if not this long, at least similar in terms of density.
So, please understand if I can’t publish these incoming chapters in a daily manner! I’ll try my best though!
Although, I’ll be taking two days off this time, to work on volume 2!
Special thanks from the bottom of my heart to: EmbraceTheSleeb, Lord-Hollow, YukisoraRin, LordInquisitorSteele, Anon, Anon2, Tikku, Teresa, Ayth, Knight_Redundant, Schoookie, sumdudeguy, pokio and greatred!
Please do not translate my work without my permission. Favor de no traducir mi trabajo sin mi expreso permiso.
See you all this Wednesday!