Chapter 173 – Hunting a Holy Knight (2)
At the same time…
Thanks to the expansion of Sacred Power, everyone under Shakron heard his voice.
“The owner of this Sacred Power…”
Of course, Shakron’s aide was among them.
A few minutes before, the captain had spread out the formation to find Darkness and quickly ran toward the fog.
The aide clearly remembered him saying, ‘As expected, you’ve appeared again!’ before leaving.
Had he found Darkness and decided to move alone? Then things were serious.
That meant he had asked for help because he’d found himself in danger while fighting Darkness.
It didn’t matter how much he thought about it—there was a huge chance he was asking to be rescued.
‘Ugh. Even if he’s confident… how could he think of facing Darkness?!’
The aide didn’t know that Darkness’s strength wasn’t comparable to before—he just thought that the captain’s greed had put him in danger.
After hearing the Knights rush toward the direction of the cry for help, the aide returned to his senses.
“Oh, yeah. I shouldn’t stay still!”
He picked up his wand and drew a magic circle on the floor.
For an NPC who couldn’t use ‘whisper’ like users, sending a message toward the surface from the Underground was a high-difficulty task.
Whir- The magic circle began blinking; the aide breathed anxiously.
What he’d just sent was a signal asking for support.
The captain had said that they probably wouldn’t need support, but from the aide’s point of view, they weren’t in such a relaxed situation.
“What’s about to become of the Heavens’ destiny…?”
The floor started to tremble.
“Wh-what. An earthquake?”
The people from the Heavens thought earthquakes happened when the demons of the Abyss wanted to mess up with the people on the surface.
Did earthquakes even happen in the Underground?
The aide soon realized that the vibration wasn’t something like an earthquake.
“Wh-what the…? The land is starting to float…!”
The scene on the horizon made his mouth fall open.
The place where the ceremony was taking place…
The heart of Darkness was starting to float along with the land surrounding her. The flat ground slowly rose to become a hill.
The vibration was from the shifting ground
“The Underground and the surface… are connecting!”
The ground rising wasn’t just a simple natural phenomenon…
The aide remembered very well what the sacred text said that happened when Darkness appeared. It said that, when Darkness appeared, a road that connected the Underground and the surface would appear.
The aide was seeing the meaning behind those words with his eyes.
“We should’ve moved according to the oracle! We have to destroy the Ruins before it’s too late!”
At the same time, he began feeling resentment toward the captain.
Even then, Darkness would be recovering her strength from the top of the hill, but the captain was too busy trying to obtain achievements!
The aide felt his emotions burn, but there was nothing he could do about it besides using the communication magic.
The only thing he could do was hope that his message had been correctly sent.
The entire place became pitch-black as the fog poured away in all directions.
At that moment, black wind hit Ain’s feet.
[You’ve been exposed to unrefined dark energy!]
[You’ve received 518 damage!]
[You’ve received 317 damage!]
[You’ve received 672 damage!]
A waterfall poured from the sky, and a dark pit filled with fog rested under their feet.
If someone wanted to move in that place, they had to be prepared to lose quite a bit of HP.
But thanks to Hyun controlling the «Black Wind» and moving the fog away, Ain wasn’t receiving that much damage.
Shakron, who didn’t have a similar skill, was receiving all the damage upfront.
“UGH! I’LL KILL YOU AT ALL COSTS!”
Shakron’s body kept shining.
The body of a Holy Knight could recover from damage.
His body constantly shining meant that his skin was being torn apart constantly and regenerating.
「Refill your HP! You only have half of it left!」
After hearing Hyun’s warning, Ain tore apart a vampire bat that was flying near her.
Thanks to «Absorption», Ain’s HP filled up instantly.
The devils were willingly becoming potions to protect Darkness’s life.
The lich’s magic was cast on the corpse of the bats, and those that lost their lives became undead and flew again.
That was also an order Hyun had prepared beforehand.
SLASH! Silver teeth and «Efreet’s Claws» clashed against each other.
Although flames and Sacred Power had clashed, it looked as if Sacred Power was clashing against Demonic Energy because the flames were black.
Ain tried to brush it off but couldn’t completely neutralize its damage.
[You cannot use «Efreet’s Claws» (Right) for 5 seconds!]
Whish-! One fire died down.
「Only for five seconds!」
The time during which they couldn’t use «Efreet’s Claw» was equivalent to the shock received when it broke.
Hyun activated the «Shadow Shield» when both weapons clashed, and thanks to that, the claws only broke for five seconds.
«Sword of Darkness»!
A greatsword appeared in Ain’s hand where the fire had deactivated.
As Ain turned around in the air, a wave of fog appeared and spread in all directions.
It was hard to imagine how much damage the fog dealt.
Even though Shakron was okay after receiving Ain’s attack, he couldn’t help but moan in pain whenever the fog touched him.
The attacks of the liches exploded around him once more, and Shakron screamed in pain again.
“AAGGHH, YOU LOWLIVES!”
Paf! The sword of chains brushed past Ain’s cheeks.
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She reacted at an incredible speed. No, it was a subconscious reflex movement.
That wasn’t a movement that could be made by simply reacting.
…But even Ain wasn’t expecting the next attack.
The chain that had brushed past her returned and sawed through her shoulder.
[You’ve received 18058 damage!]
[You’ve lost your left arm!]
Ain let out a low scream.
She hadn’t died thanks to ‘Recard’s Devil Armor,’ which reduced the damage from grazing attacks.
「I’m sorry, Hyun. Because of my… mistake!」
「No. Well done.」
As a lich used its magic, the arm that was torn apart was regenerated.
Ah! After seeing that her left arm had returned, she sighed in relief.
「If it were me, I wouldn’t have been able to dodge it.」
Hyun wasn’t saying that to make her feel good.
He was so focused on the «Wind Barrier» and other skills that he didn’t even notice that Shakron was about to attack.
「Really…?」Ain carefully asked while hunting a vampire bat to recover HP.
Pang! Suddenly, they heard the air around them explode.
The liches had finished casting.
Rather than as an effect of the magic, Shakron cried in pain from the fog that moved in reaction to the magic.
After letting out a cry loud enough to make the space around them rumble, he swung his chain sword again.
The devils that were attacked by the chains scattered away into light and exploded.
The number of liches casting on top of the waterfall was reduced, too.
「The cooldown time of «Invisible» has reset! Go now!」
He couldn’t let Shakron keep eliminating devils because that meant Ain’s way of recovering HP was being eliminated as well.
Their battle was a war of attrition to see whether Shakron used all of his remaining Sacred Power or if the demonic monsters died first.
「Good. I’ve also finished overlapping «Latent Potential Increase»!」
Paf-! Ain stepped on «Wind Barrier», and her body began melting into the air.
As «Invisible», «Acceleration», and «Black Wind» were used simultaneously, a fog rain poured on top of Shakron.
Even if a Holy Knight had high regenerative abilities, they weren’t immortal. If they kept recovering, they would eventually run out of Sacred Power.
…And Shakron felt that moment was getting close.
Darkness had clearly become weaker. Her attacks couldn’t reach him, and even if they did, they just tickled him.
Even if she used the absorbing greatsword again, Shakron was sure he’d be able to dodge it.
Shakron’s confidence wasn’t unfounded. After all, Ain wasn’t used to using the «Black Wind» yet.
But it was impossible for a human to predict the fog’s movements and dodge it.
Hyun had neutralized him not through specs, but through strategy.
‘Am I about to die?’
Was he about to lose against the traces that Darkness left behind in the past?
Even though his Sacred Power was about to run out, Darkness was still healthy. Not only that but there were still half of the devils left, so Shakron was in an even more desperate situation.
If he couldn’t leave that place, he’d surely die!
There were tons of devils and Darkness was hindering him as well, so it was impossible to go up.
After another wave of fog poured onto him, Shakron realized his fate.
‘If things are going to be like this, then I’d rather…!’
Shakron thought of his past and future in the middle of his desperate situation.
After a while, Shakron changed his goal. Even if he had to lose his life, he would get rid of Darkness—no matter what the consequence was.
His desire to leave his name in the history books as the one who had eliminated Darkness didn’t die down even a bit.
He was sure he’d be able to take Darkness with him if he used his remaining strength.
‘I’d rather die with you!’
Shakron endured the pain while looking for an opportunity.
He resisted and resisted… until that opportunity came.
Paf-! The moment Darkness stepped on air, Shakron made a mean smile.
At the correct time, he stabbed the chain sword into his heart.
The clash of Holy and Holy…
Boom- Shakron’s last will became a strong light and exploded.
The walls and floor crumbled, and even part of the fog disappeared.
The last fire of the Knight Squadron’s commander, a leader of hundreds of people, was intense.
He would probably be remembered as the person who had sacrificed himself to destroy Darkness.
Those were Shakron’s last thoughts.
「What is he doing…?」
「It seems like he fell for it again.」
Hyun and Ain looked at the fancy explosion of Sacred Power from a distance.
They’d first sent an illusion, and then they were planning to charge forward when the opponent exploded himself.
As the level-up effect covered their bodies, they could be sure that Shakron had died.
KAA! KA! While the bats that were flying around in the air cried in happiness, a message appeared in front of Hyun and Ain.
[One of the biggest Five Swords of the Holy Kingdom has broken. Although Shakron Neizar was greedy, he was someone loved by the Heavens. Let’s hope that, later on in the future, people will evaluate him properly.]
[You’ve put ‘Shakron Neizar,’ one of the top 5 Knights of the Holy Kingdom, into eternal rest!]
[You’ve succeeded as a party of two!]
[Calculating the contribution rate, leaving aside the help received by devils!]
[[…Skill points have increased by 6 (Ain) / 8 (Hyun)!!]]
Hyun and Ain looked down while sitting on top of the «Wind Barrier».
The waterfall of fog that fell from the skies swept away the light created by Shakron, and they disappeared into the darkness.
[That’s a disappointing ending compared to his name…] Ain mumbled, a bit disappointed while looking at the hole where the fog fell.
[It hasn’t even been a year since the servers opened. NPCs still haven’t developed much yet.]
Hyun smiled bitterly while thinking of the Asra times.
He remembered how Shakron looked in the past.
[I’m glad we were able to catch him now.]
Once the story of Light and Darkness properly began, NPCs would get a lot stronger.
One of the reasons was that, as time went on, their levels would increase, but the biggest reason was that Transcendents were going to start to appear properly.
Lots of other demons and angels besides Truth and Deception were going to start using ‘Empathy’, and thanks to that, the average NPC would get twice as strong, but the named ones would get three or four times stronger.
If it weren’t then, hunting Shakron would get a lot harder.
[You’ve obtained the item ‘Judge’s Sawtooth Chain Sword’!]
After a while, he got another message.
—One that said that a unique-rank item with a restriction level of 350 had dropped.