I Became The Academy’s Blind Swordsman - Chapter 175: Showdown (2)
Chapter 175: Showdown (2)
A girl stood in a pool of blood at the center of the altar.
Her platinum hair was the same color as the humans who lay bleeding all around her.
He had been ordered to exterminate a clan, but when he arrived, there was nothing left of the clan but a young girl.
He held the knife to the girl’s throat, blood dripping down her face, but her eyes never changed.
“What is your name?”
The girl’s lips parted, and her eyes held a depthless emptiness that belied her age.
That was his first encounter with Aizel Ludwig, the legacy of the Ludwig clan’s ability to manipulate time.
At first, it was curiosity.
It was clear that some kind of ritual had been performed at the altar.
What had they left for this girl?
I wondered if I could harness its power.
I wondered if I could make the power to manipulate time my own.
I defied the orders of the Legionnaire, who had ordered the complete erasure of Ludwig’s existence from this world.
Me and my men began to study the Aizel but sadly, we were unable to accomplish much.
What we have learned is that Aizel can manipulate mana and elemental magic like any other Ludwig.
It was far from the power to manipulate time that I had hoped for.
Furthermore, even if she did have that power, she had no idea how to use it. All the other Ludwigs who were supposed to teach her how were dead.
There hadn’t been much time so I had to get back to the Legionnaire before the war broke out.
And just when I was beginning to think I should give up.
Aizel made her escape but it wasn’t hard to keep up with the little girl with her narrow stride.
Let’s end this now.
Let’s pretend it never happened.
With that thought in mind, I chased after Aizel but before I could catch her, she fell off a cliff.
I thought she must be dead.
There’s no way a young girl could have fallen off a cliff this high.
That’s what I thought.
Then I returned to the Legionnaire with the heads of the Ludwig clan.
Although I did not get the head of the little girl who was their heritage, the Legionnaire had no way of knowing that.
I had earned the Legionnaire’s favor.
I had returned with the heads of the entire elusive Ludwig clan, and it was only fitting that I had accomplished a seemingly impossible mission.
The Legionnaire had sent them out just in case, but he hadn’t expected us to return with their heads.
As it turns out, we weren’t the only ones who were sent on that mission.
‘I hope there’s not a spark left.’
He asked me, the corners of his mouth curling up in satisfaction.
I bowed my head and replied.
‘…Yes, Legionnaire. The Ludwig clan no longer exists in this world.’
I firmly believed that at the time but I didn’t know then that my curiosity about the Ludwig legacy, that little bit of greed to take the power of the Ludwigs would come back to haunt me like this.
A piercing scream echoed from the forest, piercing my ears.
I turned to see a man with a white bandage over his eyes in the distance.
He was wielding a razor-edged red sword, and he was running into the middle of the enemy camp, cutting down one demon after another with speed and precision.
“What kind of power is that…?”
Albed frowned, a hint of bewilderment in his voice as he watched the blind man’s battle.
It was understandable since even I had no idea what that power was.
The blind man slashed at his adversary and immediately ducked into the ground.
The blind man disappeared from sight, only to reappear on the back of the demon who was shouting.
The blind man’s sword pierces through the demon’s chest.
The blind man seemed to be quite skilled in one-on-one combat.
It might not be a power that humans could handle, but he wasn’t a demon.
Several of the demons, disoriented by the sight of their companions being slaughtered so easily, started escaping.
Albed was about to use his powers, but before he could, the demons’ bodies were sliced apart as they disappeared into the forest.
I faintly marveled.
Squinting, I flicked the thread in front of my nose.
Upon closer inspection, I realized that the thin threads were spreading like a spider’s web from tree to tree, blocking the demons’ movement.
More precisely, it seemed to be blocking my and Albed’s approach.
I don’t think this will stop me from approaching… but it’s asking me to stay out of the way for now.
I flashed him a coy smile.
This was a funny guy.
He couldn’t be just a ‘normal’ blind man passing through, as he’d introduced himself.
“He must be a helper.”
I turned my head to look at Albed beside me.
“A helper…? Aizel’s?”
“If not, what other reason would he have to stop us, though it does seem odd that he hasn’t come with Aizel…”
I trailed off, recognizing his intent.
I could feel the faintest hint of divine power, but it was not, as he said, a cordon to keep me out.
I’d been feeling deafened since earlier in other words, it was a sound barrier.
His intentions were plain to see so I raised the corner of my mouth.
‘Are you trying to protect…Aizel?’
A helper who stood alone to protect her.
They said Zagoras was killed by the saint.
Then I had some idea of the source of this divine power.
I had a hunch that he had to be Aizel’s “helper” and one who had planned all of this.
I don’t know how he is related to her, or what he knows, but I’ll take his head and go to her.
I will give her despair, brutal despair.
I wanted to see Aizel’s empty eyes again.
As the demons were soon swept away by his blade, their numbers rapidly dwindling, Albed acted in time.
Using the power of domination, he began to control the demons.
Soon, the demons that had been at his mercy began to organize themselves.
“Albed, you won’t be able to get to his throat with your jokers anyway. I’ll use the drakkir. Be a shield.”
Albed replied briefly, bowing his head.
I lifted a finger and barked an order to the drakkir lurking in the shadows.
Bring me the blind man’s head.
The demon whose throat was deeply slashed falls to the ground, gurgling blood.
I neatly wiped off the blood on the ‘Sierra’, steadied my breathing, and scanned my surroundings.
‘The atmosphere…It’s changed.’
My eyes focused on Murka, who hadn’t made any move yet.
Beside him, Albed’s horns were naturally exposed as he used his magick, but Murka still hadn’t bared them.
He was still watching and analyzing me.
That’s the kind of choice Murka would make.
He craves power. I mean, what demon doesn’t? But he’s much worse.
When he sees a new power, he can’t let it pass him by.
He analyzes it and takes it. That’s Murka’s way.
What’s more, he’s a very good learner. Among demons, he can be called a genius.
Battle after battle, he understands, learns, and grows stronger.
In that sense, I thought my presence would pique his curiosity.
‘Well, for once, his lust for knowledge will be a rope around his neck.’
Just as I was thinking this, the reapers I sensed moved their feet.
The drakkir were already on their way.
The demons had been manipulated by Albed and had stopped talking at some point but there were still dozens of them left, despite the slaughter.
Are they planning a joint attack?
‘…I might have to use it this time.’
I decided that I needed to hide my power as much as possible until I faced Murka.
Drakkir, the faceless killers are the guys you’ll face when you take on Murka.
Drakkirs are not your average assassins.
They are killing machines and expendables, emotionally stripped from their early training.
They have no instinctive fear of death.
They move as one, unleashing a barrage of death-defying shots as they seek to tear the throats out of their enemies.
Even if their arms are severed and their legs are cut off, they will not hesitate to immobilize their enemies and bring them to their deaths.
As a result, there is a saying among demons.
If there are more than three drakkirs trying to take your head, don’t expect to survive.
There are five of them lurking in the shadows in formation.
Albed’s minions, who had also organized themselves, slowly surrounded me.
‘Dozens of demons with no regard for life, all at the same time…’
Anyway, I was thinking of a short-term battle, so I had to quickly bring my sword to Murka’s throat.
I reached out and retrieved Arachne’s thread, which had been spreading through the forest and maintaining its tension.
From now on, it would hinder my movements.
Sierra’s voice echoed in my head, as she, too, was aware of the drakkirs movements.
Albed’s minions charged at me in unison while the drakkirs, finally emerging from the shadows, hid among the demons and closed in on me at breakneck speed.
I clenched my hand around my sword and thought.
‘After I kill them…I will strike Murka’s throat.’
I had fought Murka before, in Edward’s illusion.
The corpses and weapons around him are all shields and weapons for Murka, who wields telekinetic magic.
It would be one thing to use Sheddie to devour them, but that would take an equal amount of time and concentration.
Do as I say, Murka.
The demons lunged at Zetto as one, and he leapt at them, too.
There was no shouting and only the sickening sound of tearing flesh echoed through the forest.
Zetto, who had been easily slicing through the demons under Albed’s control, now faced the drakkirs daggers.
Zetto parried the dagger of one of the Drakkir who had subtly gotten ahead of him.
He thinks he’s parried, but the dagger’s blade shatters and flies off, embedding itself in a tree on the other side.
Murka wondered if it was a coincidence that the dagger shattered with a single swing, and he wondered why Zetto hadn’t cut down the drakkir.
Clearly, there was an opening to slice through the subtly outmatched creature but Zetto didn’t cut him down.
‘Maybe he instinctively recognized that he was outmatched.’
Murka thought, but the truth was that the movements Zetto had made a moment ago were driven by the red lines in his eyes.
The red line on the drakkir body, his weakness, had been cut off in the middle.
If Zetto had ignored this and plunged his sword into the drakkir body, the drakkir would have grabbed Zetto’s sword mid-slash and held it there.
The subsequent attacks from the other four would have decapitated him.
Zetto would have lost his only sword, or his head.
Either way, the result is death.
As if on cue, the daggers of the other four Drakkir sprang from all directions, pointed at Zetto’s throat.
But Zetto, who had already lowered his stance, swung his sword fluidly and shattered their daggers.
Murka let out a questioning sigh as he had missed his movements for a moment.
‘When did he lower his stance…?’
It didn’t matter if the daggers of the Drakkirs were broken, there were plenty of masterless blades around…but a sword that was beyond the Drakkirs perception was a different story.
Making that quick judgment, Murka turned to Albed.
“Bind his feet.”
Albed bowed his head in response and immediately gave the demons their orders.
The demons continued to throw their bodies against Zetto’s sword, even as their throats were slashed.
Zetto swung his katana, but there were too many of them, and it wasn’t long before his sword was bound into a drakkir body.
The drakkir stood stiffly, despite having his throat half-slashed, and desperately grasped at Zetto’s blade as it passed over his neck.
The faceless killer, whose entire face was covered in tattered bandages, grinned maniacally at the thought of accomplishing his mission.
Soon enough, demons and drakkirs rushed at Zetto like a tidal wave, surrounding him on all sides.
Eventually, Zetto was trapped in the flesh of the demons.
“It’s a shame I can’t take the head with me, but…I can’t help it.”
As he speaks, Murka’s forehead reveals a jet-black horn.
He slashes through armor, daggers, and everything in between with his strange swordsmanship and his speed beyond the perception of the drakkir.
Amazing, but if that is all you have, then die now.
With that thought, Murka clenched his hand where he had gathered his magic and was about to cast Spiral.
All he had to do now was twist his hand, and Zetto would join the demons while his body would be twisted beyond recognition.
Meanwhile, trapped by the demons with his sword strapped to him, Zetto smiled to himself.
Everything was working out as he had intended.
This, of course, did not reach Murka, who was on the other side, obscured by the bodies of the demons.
‘Are you laughing…?’
Only Albed, who was sharing his vision with the demons holding Zetto , could see it.
“Murka… Something… Something’s wrong…!”
Albed exclaimed out of nowhere and Murka tilted his head.
As far as he could see, Zetto’s sword was still clamped to the drakkir neck while the rest of the drakkirs had a firm grip on his blade.
‘What more can a swordsman who can’t wield a sword hope to accomplish…?’
Murka pushed the question from his mind and cast Spiral.
It was a split second.
Murka opened his mouth, his wrist rotating slowly.
Following his fingers, the area where Zetto had been twisted into a chunk of earth.
At the same time a strange sound echoes through the flesh of the demons where Murka’s spell, Spiral, had been directed.
The clear, sharp sounds of flesh cracking and twisting were heard.
Surely Zetto’s sword was still bound by the drakkir, but…Dozens of inexplicable red sword beams erupted through the flesh of the demons.
Murka, who had been squinting, quickly finished.
Had he only revealed his power at the end?
A power beyond comprehension…A strange power, but it’s over now.
Murka thought, but the thought didn’t last long.
From the liquid that oozed from the flesh that had been distorted by his magic…There was no sign of human blood.
‘He escaped…through the gap.’
Then…Where is he?
As Murka pondered these questions there was a sudden flash of light and a blindingly bright flash of light appeared in the otherwise dark forest.
Lightning struck from nowhere in the area swept by Spiral but Murka’s gaze was immediately drawn away.
Zetto had appeared close to Murka.
And a pure white light shone from the red sword he was wielding, followed by an ear-splitting thunderclap.
Zetto’s sword fell toward Murka’s throat.