It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (103/116), enjoy~
Chapter 5 – Despair That Crawls Out of the Darkness
A group of horsemen was running.
It was an army that had been deployed as an independent unit on the battlefield.
The flag displayed was the sign of the demon race – two sharp horns crossed on a purple background.
Next to it, a coat of arms flag with a white horse with a single horn on a purple background is running gracefully through the sky.
With the same flag raised at the main camp, the third line of the Grantz central army is led by the Levering Kingdom army.
In the lead group, four-headed chariots were running.
With the wind blowing from the front, the queen of the Levering Kingdom, Claudia, with her purple and silver hair fluttering in the sky and a whip in her hand, is the queen of the Levering Kingdom.
“Isn’t it fatal not to be able to ride a horse on the battlefield?”
Claudia asked, dexterously handling the reins as the chariot shakes violently.
The masked young man was looking up at the sky with his arms comfortably draped over the edge of the chariot.
“So far, I haven’t had much trouble with the swift dragon.”
“Then why aren’t you on it? Aren’t you currently protecting the swift dragon?”
“Even though the wound is healed, it will open up again if she does anything rash. So I can’t let her push herself too hard.”
Hiro said, unfolding the map and placing the sword nearby as a paperweight.
But when he saw the map rippling violently in the wind, he crossed his arms in annoyance.
“What are you doing looking at a map in this situation?”
“There was something I wanted to check. It’s easier to imagine if you have a map in front of you.”
While they were talking, the map was torn by the strong wind and disappeared far behind Hiro’s cheek. Claudia sniffed in disgust at what she saw.
Hiro muttered indifferently, not wanting to argue.
“It seems that the Imperial Black Knights have succeeded in burning their rations.”
Claudia snorted as she heard the unconnected story. Whenever Hiro suddenly brings up a topic that seems to test Claudia, she always wonders what it means. He always throws out difficult questions, no matter what the situation is, in order to make her think about what it means.
“Did you treat Her Highness Celia Estrella in this manner?”
There was no answer, but Claudia concluded that it must be no different.
“When this battle is over, shall we have a word with her?”
It reminded her of the girl who had filled her with a divine atmosphere when they first met at the military council.
Although she was born into the Grantz Imperial family, the Red Princess was unusually born with a mysterious impression of purity and tranquility at the same time. Her well-proportioned limbs were graceful yet moderately toned, and her perfected form was so eye-catching that it reminded Claudia of a sculpture created by a master.
Claudia’s first impression of her was so strong. Their conversation was sure to be lively and enjoyable.
“I would definitely like to get to know her better for the future.”
“…..If you get the chance, do so.”
Claudia laughed happily when she was told without hesitation. The reason for this is because the eyes, which had sunk to the depths of the mask, showed human emotion.
Knowing that the means to get him is hidden there, Claudia feels her heart burning deep in her chest. But first, she needed to avoid upsetting Hiro and antagonizing him.
Claudia looked at the west side of the field, thinking that she should quickly mention the answer she had just given.
As for this problem, it was not so difficult. There was a definite change.
“If that smoke is a sign of burning rations, then the battle situation will change quickly from here.”
Hiro remembered that the letter he had left for Liz had disappeared from the swift dragon.
It was noted that there were remaining “Imperial Black Knights.” They had been hiding in Felzen for a long time, watching the movements of the Six Kingdoms.
“The Six Kingdoms were in too much of a hurry for results. If they had hunted down the remnants, the outcome would have been different.”
Or if they had changed their logistics ― the location of their supply troops ― the tragedy might not have happened. However, there is no point in talking about what could have been, and since it was a real problem that had to be faced, there was no choice but to accept it with open arms.
“The Black Knights’ ability to get things done without fail is nothing short of amazing.”
The black smoke rising from the west means that the plan has been activated, proving that the surviving Black Knights have burned the enemy’s rations.
“It seems that Aura did not miss this opportunity and started to move.”
When he looked at the Grantz’ main camp, there were many flags and a small cloud of dust.
Aura seemed to be planning to take the game to the next level by sending a message to the commanders of each unit.
“The morale of the Six Kingdoms will be lowered from now on, but they will still launch a desperate attack.”
“That’s right. So, this will be the critical moment.”
The Six Kingdoms will be upset that their expected breakthrough through the center has been discovered.
Then, what to do ― at this point, there is no choice but to reopen the door.
There was no way left but to move forward. The hole in the Grantz central army had been opened.
Then, they will try to penetrate it completely. The main army of the Six Kingdoms will probably launch a desperate attack to choke off the central army of the Grantz.
“I hope it doesn’t backfire… because the momentum is still with the Six Kingdoms. They say the trapped mouse will bite the cat, and there’s nothing scarier than cornered prey.”
“You know that very well, don’t you? That’s why we are here, right?”
In order to prevent the Six Kingdoms from finding out about it, the neck is tightened slowly, like water soaking into cotton, and when they find out, the neck is twisted off in a single breath.
That is the inevitable and required result to achieve the best victory.
“We’re just buying time until the encirclement and annihilation tactic is complete… and we’ll be rewarded handsomely.”
Claudia stopped the chariot as she spoke.
They have reached the front of the third line ― in other words, the place where they wanted to be.
Around them, the Grantz soldiers lined up nervously.
They stood in an orderly line, all of them looking fearlessly at the Levering Kingdom army. Perhaps their commanders were well informed, but they did not seem upset when Hiro and the others appeared.
“There’s nothing to be pessimistic about.”
Hiro jumped down from the chariot and called out to Claudia as he felt the ground.
“You have entrusted me with an important role in order to reward me.”
In order to live up to those expectations――
“We have to get rid of those guys, though.”
Looking at the back of the second line, where the soldiers were jostled, a large dust cloud of cavalry appeared.
Like an evil demon, they kicked and crushed the Grantz soldiers blocking the way in front of them and were pushing forward.
Claudia frowned uncomfortably at the appearance of the unusual group, and the Levering soldiers following behind her took up fighting positions with their spears at the ready.
“…..They’re a creepy bunch, aren’t they?”
Claudia muttered without hiding her disgust.
“I think they’re called the “Ghost Squad” or something like that. I think it was a private unit led by the former commander of the Six Kingdoms.”
When Hiro responded with a curt response, Claudia listened with interest.
“You know a lot about them, don’t you? Have you ever fought with them?”
“No, unfortunately not. I have only heard of them in reports before. It’s not that I know much about them. I don’t even know what they’re capable of, but since they’ve come this far… I’d say they’re probably pretty strong.”
It is said that they are like beasts, slaughtering Grantz people without regard.
It would be in bad taste to send such dangerous people into battle.
Still, there were endless questions as to why the former commander’s private unit was still around, but no matter how much he thought about it, he couldn’t figure out the answer, and even if he did, it wouldn’t be enough to affect the outcome.
If they appear as enemies, they must be exterminated.
“You can’t go on from here. You know that, don’t you, Claudia?”
“Yes, no problem. No one in my troop is so weak-minded as to be intimidated by the evil spirits of rivers and mountains.”
“Then no worries. Let’s beat the living hell out of them, shall we?”
Hiro’s lips twisted with intense pleasure deep within his mask. Claudia raised her clear-blue sword with a condescendingly clear face as a signal.
“You are in the presence of the King. It is not polite to look down from above.”
Claudia smiled coldly at the Ghost Squad and waved her arm lightly. This is the only thing that is far from encouragement; it was an arrogant command.
Despite this, the Levering Kingdom army’s will to fight exploded.
“To the Ancestor King Rox! Let the prestige of our Queen reach them!”
Kicking the horse’s belly, the Levering soldiers rushed forward with their backs to the ground.
The tips of their spears, bathed in sunlight, flashed, shone, and glowed.
Every time the horseshoe stepped through the ground, the body bounced on the horse, making the armor creak.
With a squeeze of their sides, they held their spears in place and prepared for the impact of the “Ghost Squad” approaching from the front.
A moment later, the two armies crossed paths.
Blood splattered, heads bounced, arms flew. Their helmets broke, their bodies caved in, and their internal organs ruptured.
Even as blood spurted from their mouths, they clenched their teeth and pierced the throats of their enemies.
A blood-curdling clash, tearing at each other’s flesh, crushing their bones, crushing their souls.
They surpassed the fear of death and jumped into their own death zone with a scream.
All for the sake of the Queen, the Levering Soldiers slaughtered their enemies with pride in their hearts. But no matter how determined they are, there are times when they miss.
“Don’t worry about the back; go wild. I’ll hold them off.”
With a look of ecstasy on her face, Claudia attacked the “Ghost Squad” that had survived the onslaught.
“Dance madly and kneel before me.”
The snow fluttered around her, and under the clear sky, she unleashed a wild slash like a blizzard.
“Twist your ugly face, root your petty mind, and let me reap your miserable soul.”
It didn’t matter if she was on a horse or not. The enemies that appeared in front of her were quickly split in two.
The sophisticated sword dance raises the morale of not only the Levering soldiers but also the surrounding Grantz soldiers. In the midst of such a blood-curdling battlefield, there was a place that made one feel as if they had wandered into an extremely cold place.
“Will you let me eat that despair?”
“It’s so slow it makes me sneeze. Too weak to make me stay awake.”
A man who nonchalantly slashes down the Ghost Squad and attacks them without taking a single step from the spot.
“You can’t get revenge with that level of ability. Nothing can be obtained with that level of ability.”
With just one slash, the enemy in front of him fell to the ground like a puppet with broken strings.
An overwhelming fear that cut through the hatred that was floating around the battlefield was about to take over the battlefield.
With a roar that seemed to spit out hatred, the members of the “Ghost Squad” jumped from their horses, drew their swords, and charged at Hiro with great force.
“You’re not ready. What do you think you’re doing, and why have you taken on despair?”
In front of the masked man, a sword driven by a slight desire for revenge is nothing more than child’s play. It’s not like the ground can’t absorb the fresh blood and spit it out, but even so, there’s no way he can get blood stuck on his white coat.
On top of the puddle of blood, Hiro attacked relentlessly, wearing a tremendous air of supremacy.
“If you lose something, if something is taken from you, if something is broken, the feelings are all different ― no one is the same.”
Hiro rolled his eyes downward.
He slipped in a puddle of blood and glared at the fallen enemy soldier with empty eyes and then thrust the “Dark Emperor” into his neck without the slightest hesitation as he tried to stand up.
Hiro looked around as he pulled out his black sword from the poor wretch, sinking into a pool of blood.
“But despair is equal.”
He walked up to the retreating enemy soldiers and slashed them with a single slash.
As he gazed coldly at the crumbling enemy soldiers and spurting fresh blood.
“If you resent the absurdity of the world, you should have grasped the sky and hoped for change.”
Hiro looked up at the azure sky, wondering to whom these words were directed.
No one can see the expression hidden behind the mask.
Amid the ceaseless clamor, Hiro reigns over the pool of blood with a weak figure. Even to the untrained eye, Hiro’s appearance was full of gaps, and his presence was as fragile as a dead tree that could fall over with just a poke.
However, the “Ghost Squad” surrounding Hiro did not move at all, as if they were tied up in a golden binding.
In fact, some of them retreated even though it was a good opportunity.
A spear pierced their backs. The Ghost Squad was so focused on Hiro that they neglected to take precautions, and their hearts were pierced by the Grantz soldiers who crept up behind them.
The deaths of their comrades brought the “Ghost Squad” back to their senses.
There were no more people possessed by grudges there anymore. There was just the pathetic figure of a human screaming for death.
The “Ghost Squad” retreated for some reason, shouting with enthusiasm and life in order to survive.
“…..That’s why I said you weren’t prepared.”
It is a foolish idea to think that they can escape unscathed after being so entrenched in the central army of Grantz that they can reach the third line ― it’s mind-bogglingly ridiculous, and Hiro has no words for it.
“It’s a letdown.”
They were just weaklings barking at the top of their lungs, with the bluster of a beast in their skins.
“Congratulations. You were unmistakably human.”
He slit the throat of a falling enemy soldier with a precise trajectory and bisected the skull of an enemy soldier who let out a small scream.
“You were a human being who used the most cowardly and vile means possible.”
Hiro stabbed an enemy soldier who was trying to surrender by letting go of his weapon.
“Gahh ― A, aah…”
“Even if you ask for forgiveness, I will never forgive you.”
In order to avoid mass hysteria, Hiro slaughtered those who tried to surrender first.
Many people were tormented. Many people died of disappointment.
They were killed by the “Ghost Squad,” who had a twisted cause called revenge.
They were merciless even to those who begged for their lives, and they did not hesitate to kill women and children, and they gleefully attacked those who did not resist. In addition, they took pleasure in eating the flesh of the dead and playing the role of a murderer.
“I would never leave any of you alive, you know.”
“Aagh… Hyii, aaaaaagh!”
After decapitating one of them, Hiro threw his head down towards the “Ghost Squad,” who continued to resist in vain.
“I don’t need to say anything else. It was all for nothing.”
With his blade tip scraping the ground, Hiro shouldered his sword and glared at the Ghost Squad.
That was enough to make them all stop in their tracks.
The Ghost Squad must have realized this.
They began to shake their bodies and fall back as if in rejection, saying that they could not win against this man even if the heavens and earth were turned upside down.
They don’t show their backs because they instinctively know that they can’t.
They were thieves lost in a cage of ravenous beasts, so to speak, and they would throw away their lives at that moment.
Hiro moves forward.
He moved forward twice as much as the enemy soldiers had moved back.
“Let’s start from the top.”
Blood spurted from the neck of the stunned enemy soldier as the tip was lost. As soon as he was done, Hiro muttered to himself.
“Next one down.”
He swung his black sword lightly to the side with his next target in mind. The enemy soldier’s upper body and lower body were split apart.
It’s not that Hiro’s sword technique is fast or heavy. It was lighter than a child swinging a wooden sword. Hiro’s attacks were visibly slow.
But none of them could avoid the attack, and they fell to the ground.
“It’s still not enough. So please don’t give up and resist.”
They didn’t even know why they were being attacked. It seemed that no one understood how to prevent or stop the blade.
“Will you continue to resist until my craving is satisfied?”
The right eye of the mask ― a golden light-filled with a hair-raising sharp wariness is shooting through the world.
Even when it’s right under the sun, the glow doesn’t blur one bit.
If it were only his right eye, he might have been able to dismiss it as a “different color eye.”
However, even from the remaining left eye, the pupil filled with deep darkness was spewing out murderous intent like a sharp blade.
The “Ghost Squad” is clearly frightened by the eyes that seem to invade the depths of their hearts.
These two lights will never live together. Even if history is unraveled, there will never be a single person in this world who possesses both.
If there is such a thing, it would be outside the realm of human understanding, or in other words, outside the realm of human beings who possess a power equal to that of a god.
Therefore, when the “Ghost Squad” soldiers saw the miraculous collaboration, they stiffened.
“Don’t block my path with that level of determination.”
There is no holding back at all. Even if he weren’t in position, he would unrelentingly slash.
There is no option for forgiveness in Hiro.
The one-sided slaughter would not stop until the enemy was exhausted.
Just by confronting them, the difference in power is obvious.
If someone were to confront the two different eyes, they would be struck with a horror that cut into their soul.
Not even a scream is allowed.
Their hearts break as they realize that their resistance is futile in the face of God’s condemnation.
The hatred of the Ghost Squad was completely cut off, and their bodies were cut into pieces without even mercy.
Their hearts, which had been balanced only by hatred, were completely broken, with their throats clenched and full of despair.
“Ara… I thought they really had a deep-seated grudge against the Grantz.”
Claudia said in a dumbfounded tone when she saw the “Ghost Squad” abandoning their weapons and running away.
“…It’s a dreadful ending.”
Claudia relaxed her weapon as if she had lost the will to fight.
She followed the back of the Ghost Squad with a cold look as if she were looking at trash and suddenly tilted her head as if she remembered something.
“But can they escape the wrath of the King?”
The words that Claudia muttered without any emotion were directed at a young man.
His right eye exuded an unusually solemn air. His left eye was emitting a huge amount of deadly energy as he stared at the “Ghost Squad.”
Hiro, who reached for the blue sky, formed an eerie smile deep within his mask.
“Do you know what despair is?”
With that one word, the sky swirled wildly, and the ground shook and rumbled like a scream.
A vast torrent of power ― intimidating to friend and foe alike.
“Weep with pessimism, shed tears of disappointment, enjoy this despair.”
The ground caved in heavily.
The space cracks unbearably.
Everything is painted with awe, and despair spreads all around.
“Feed on their souls, Dark Emperor.”
Sound disappears from the world. Silence fell over the land as if the concept of sound had never existed in the first place.
“My name is the Black Dragon King.”
A sense of intimidation swelled up, and a mysterious sense of oppression took over the surroundings.
There was no way to escape the tyrannical silence.
While everyone was terrified, Hiro held the Dark Emperor horizontally as if to aim.
“He is the one who invites all life equally into emptiness.”
――Fear of death.
Time stopped ― no, only the sound of the heart rang through the world.
All living things in the surrounding area forgot the ticking of time. Whether friend or foe, horse, bug, or even grass, no matter who they were, all living things had stopped moving.
“Now ― let’s see how death plays out.”
As if he were the God of Death passing judgment on the condemned, Hiro put his hand on his mask and said.
――Dark Mirror Corpse Water
A jet-black jaw was manifested and fell into the world as if spitting out a curse.