Chapter 167 – Death
Amman was someone who could use a terribly rated Element Power to great strength. That was because he had covered the weakness of a Priest profession where he could leisurely cast his spells. A fully buffed Priest was strong enough to resist an offensive Mage class, let alone a warrior.
In the game, a fully buffed Priest was perceived as a God-tier profession, and the only professions that could match them were a Berserker with a raged status, as well as some specific advanced professions.
[There’s no possible way I can beat him in a duel. His level is much higher than me, and just casting a third of his available spells to buff himself is sufficient to wreck me……]
Amman spoke again with a cold smile when the youth laughed for a few seconds: “Are you trying to stall for time, your Lordship? Perhaps you are fearless because Lady Veronica does not want to kill you, but that does not mean others will receive the same treatment.”
“That loyal subordinate of yours is hiding nearby. But it seems like that pretty girl is actually your female companion, and I trust that your lordship wouldn’t want to see anything bad happening to her, right?” Amman said as he glanced at a tree.
[Failure. Failure, failure, failure, failure!]
Brendel was unable to find a way out of things. The only events that he saw were the deaths of all the Druids and the people that came along with him. Trentheim would fall and so would the kingdom. Freya, the Regent Princess, and everyone else was killed in the future.
The path to a bright future was closed.
[…… If that’s the case, then—]
Brendel gripped the sword with both hands and activated Power Break, forcefully tearing the blade out Amman’s hands. The latter was momentarily surprised by the sudden burst of strength and took a step back subconsciously, but with this retreat, Brendel pressed in and was already in a stance to attack him.
Amman thought that Brendel was moving so quickly to prevent him from his Element Power, but he was instead delighted to see him doing so. It was true that he was unable to use his ‘Shield’, but Brendel was similarly unable to avoid his attacks.
[A fool who doesn’t think of the consequences.]
Amman chortled and extended out five fingers, with each finger emitting a cross-shaped light: “Holy Smite!”
Five bullets of light fired at the same time. Amman did not use his full strength, believing that his attack was unlikely to reach his opponent given the youth’s skills. He was thus prepared to prepare a second spell, ready to predict and aim for Brendel’s escape route with a ‘Holy Word, Bind’ spell.
But the next event nearly made him misfire his spell due to the loss of his concentration.
Brendel did not avoid the bullets and instead rushed straight into them.
[Has this fool gone mad! Even though my spell is made in haste, all five of them hitting a Gold-ranker would still kill him immediately!]
Amman stared blankly at the Holy Smite spell piercing through Brendel’s shoulders and abdomen, the dull thuds resounding throughout his ears. However, he did not care if Veronica was going to be furious with him, the problem was—
That youth still moved like he was uninjured.
[How is this possible! Why do you move like you’re fine— A berserker?]
Even Veronica would be gravely injured for facing his spell head on. But there was sanity in Brendel’s clear eyes and he denied that possibility.
The moment of hesitation made it impossible for Amman to do anything, but even if the youth used Halran Gaia, it was unlikely for his attack to work. He had cast a new layer of protection onto his robes, which had an astonishing amount of protection in the first place and was used by generations. It was even capable of defending an attack from the Lernaia Hydra.
But Brendel’s actions were a feint and he hugged the old priest.
“Unhand me, you scoundrel!” Amman did not think that a Gold-ranked swordsman would grab him, but he quickly realized that it was an effective move against him, as he was unable to move his arms and hands.
As a priest who was respected by people, this was the only time where he encountered an attack like someone in a street fight. He fumbled in a panic, trying out ways to free himself, before he realized Brendel was moving towards a certain direction.
Brendel was effective here because he was too familiar with restricting the actions of wizards and priests in the game. It was not entirely effective to simply hold onto Amman, but he believed that it would work for a few seconds.
Brendel’s gamble paid off, and Amman was unable to find a way against this absurd tactic. Veronica suddenly cried out to the Archbishop: “Watch out!”
Amman turned his head subconsciously, and he immediately paled. The squires were unable to stop the Lernaia Hydra by drawing its attention, and there was a dragon head approaching the youth and him.
[This brat is trying to kill himself along with me!]
Amman had correctly guessed Brendel’s true intention. The Lernaia Hydra’s appeared bigger and bigger in the Archbishop’s wide eyes, and the monster opened its jaws to reveal individual fangs that were razor sharp. As it approached him, he could not help but yell out in a crazed manner.
“Let go of me now, have you gone mad!”
“Why, Your Eminence, you’re a revered Archbishop from the Cathedral. Do you still fear madness?” Brendel carried him towards the monster while he bared his gleaming white teeth while he smiled coldly.
“Brendel!” Veronica’s pupils shrank when she saw the youth rush towards the dragon’s head coming for them: “What are you doing, let go of him!”
She did not think that Brendel would be so bold as to kill Amman. Even though she did not think much of the old man, she would be a witness to the death of an Archbishop from the Holy Cathedral of Flames.
This situation would become complicated. And—
“Let go of me! Young man, you would perish as well!” Amman had never felt fear ever since he became a Bishop, his blood feeling like it was congealed in his veins, and he was on the verge of speaking nonsense.
“You, if anything, I will drag you down to the depths of hell,” Brendel snarled as he glared into Amman’s eyes.
Amman was stared into silence before he squealed like a frightened pig: “You…… dare to kill an Archbishop from the Cathedral……”
Brendel showed a face of fury and hatred and activated his Charge ability.
Both men crashed into the dragon’s open mouth at a dazzling speed, and a fang that was nearly half a meter long jutted out from Amman’s back as he stared at it in disbelief. With the combined force from Brendel and the Hydra’s charge, the robe failed to protect Amman.
The old Archbishop vomited a large mouthful of blood, and the immense pain caused him to flail his limbs as he groaned and coughed without stopping. Brendel was just as hurt as the fang pierced through his chest. He had managed to move his body slightly and was able to prevent the fang from going through his heart.
And it went through his left lung instead.
Brendel coughed out blood in a matter of seconds. Red warnings appeared in his retina, warning him of imminent death. It reminded him of the moment when he appeared in this world and got impaled by the skeletons’ swords.
[It’s not just a simple case of blood loss, the left lung has been damaged severely. It hurts so much that I’m seeing stars—]
“My lord!” Scarlett screamed.
The youth sobered up and shook his head. Grey colored words filled in his eyes, proving that the Unyielding talent was activated. But his hands were almost trembling and he felt weak all over his body.
[The damage is too severe? If this happened in the game, I would still be performing as though I was uninjured—]
Thoughts flashed through his mind like a quiet stream, but once he shook his head, he quickly assessed the situation in front of him. The Lernaia Hydra’s head was about to close and bite down on both of them. He knew that it would be all over if the mouth clamped down on them, and he released his hold on Amman, then drew out Halran Gaia and stabbed upwards.
The blade sank deeply into the dragon head’s soft upper mouth till only its hilt could be seen, and the monster lifted its head and roared in pain. Brendel pulled out his sword and aimed for the monster’s throat. A bullet of wind smashed through it and caused the mist to scatter like blood, and the feedback from it propelled him away with a tremendous force. His body sailed through the air like a cannonball and he broke through several tree branches, before crashing down on a bush. If it was not for his body stronger that was stronger than the average human by nearly a hundred times, this would have ended his life.
Still, he felt dizzy from the immense impact. Pain assaulted him quickly and he stumbled, but he got up once more through sheer will.
Brendel’s hand moved up to his lips as he started coughing to expel the blood in his throat. Bloodshot eyes started scanning the area, and he discovered Veronica drawing the fake Lernaia Hydra’s attention. The squires looked like they were lost, and Amman was probably dead.
Brendel heard Scarlett yell out to him, full of worry and tension.
“I’m not dead yet.” He declared.
“But you will soon be,” Orthlyss’s voice wormed into his mind with a great sigh. “that was beyond reckless. It’s a miracle that you are not dead yet.”
“I know.” Brendel could not help but laugh, but his laughter was soon converted into a serious of coughs. The dragon head that he had injured was still dancing madly in the air, but he did not care and started moving towards the grey gemstone that dropped onto the ground.
“Amman’s gemstone.” Orthlyss was momentarily surprised.
“Indeed,” he said.
“You….. are still obsessed this trifling object at this juncture?”
Brendel laughed again as he picked the gemstone up, and this time his maniac-like laughter was successfully carried through the windless mist.
“A gamer’s soul…… I would say. Always aim for opportunities, I would say. I will never forget my origin, I would say……” Brendel’s voice was almost raspy and waning, his legs struggling to keep him upright.
“Gamer?” Orthlyss was confused.
“Yes,” Brendel nodded as the world around him turned dark, “that is…… my true self, no matter what…… I won’t forget…… my goals and motives.”
“My lord!” Scarlett called out to Brendel once again, this time appearing next to the youth, though her voice appeared like a badly-tuned radio to him.
“We need to leave this area…… It’s unsafe.” Brendel whispered in a hurry as Scarlett caught him before he fell to the ground, and placed his arm over her shoulder, helping him walk forward.
The girl wiped the corners of her eyes and nodded. The fact that he was still able to speak made her feel much more at ease. She thought herself as someone with resolve, but could not stop herself from panicking at the thought of Brendel’s death.
If she could, she would rather take on Brendel’s injuries and die instead, so that the anguish in her heart would not be felt. She gritted her teeth as she could not tell whether there was some level of selfishness to this thought.
The youth held the fragment in his hand tightly and closed his eyes, shuffling in and out of consciousness, not knowing if the Demonic Fog Nightmare was still chasing them. Eventually, Scarlett realized that the youth’s footsteps were getting slower.
“My lord! Please, you can’t sleep here! You must have a solution!” She cried out desperately.
Light returned to Brendel’s eyes. He thought for a moment and fumbled around in his bag, taking out several Health Potions. These were taken from Graudin’s collection. He had concocted a batch that was made with his Alchemy skills while being aided by Merial, but most of them were distributed to the youths.
“Here, my lord, these are my Health Potions.” Scarlett understood what he was trying to do.
He gulped down the contents of the five small bottles.
[It’s no good. I recovered a little HP, but the bleeding damage will eventually drain away everything. Health Potion number 21. It is really the weakest Health Potion out there. Even a priest-in-training could make them, but the effectiveness is awful. Gamers used to call it a painkiller–]
Brendel’s current HP went past the critical zone, but he knew that the injury was too grave and would continue to whittle down his HP.
[Luck is my only option.]
“Yes, my lord.”
“Listen carefully, if we continue south, there should be a Safe Zone.”
Brendel could not control his coughings. There was no time to explain, and the warnings in his retina were increasing. His life could end at any time given his condition. He took a deep breath and explained: “It’s the same as the White Cliffs of Divinity. Bring me there.”
“Perhaps we should go back to Lady Merial? Your wounds—”
Brendel interrupted her: “You are not to go back. This is an order.”
If Veronica managed to escape from the Demonic Fog Nightmare, she would most likely guess that the youth retreating back to Amandina, and they would be caught. If she somehow ended up getting killed, the Demonic Fog Nightmare’s mist was all over the valley. The chances to survive were equally bad.
[There is no retreat here. The only path to survival is to enter the Loop of Trade Winds. But I’m the only one who knows how to enter it. It is there that survival is guaranteed for everyone. And it’s the first step to find the legendary Valhalla, and light the Fire Seed of the Dark Forest. The first long-term goal that I set ever since I came to this world. The first step to changing Aouine—]
The youth did not tell Scarlett to leave him behind even though he knew he was dying.
The Unyielding Talent ended at that moment, and the world turned black.