TL: I have technically finished TLing the chapters for this month, I just need to edit it for grammar and stuff. I’ll probably release at least 1/day, depending how fast I edit them.
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Chapter 51 – King of the underground (2)
Occasional sounds of pebbles dropping on the ground could be heard.
Brendel’s eyelids flitted once before they opened feebly to see complete darkness. There were no signs of the others.
He spat out the dust in his mouth, and his consciousness started to return. He subconsciously called out his Stats Window and relaxed a little when he saw the green fonts appearing in mid-air.
The system indicated there were no broken bones or internal injuries, and he merely suffered some bruises, scratches and a minor concussion.
[I worry a little too much. The resilient body of a Gold-ranker isn’t something to joke about.]
However, no matter how high his perception was, he was unable to see anything if there was no light. He wanted to try and reach for his Light Crystal, but he soon realized there was a large boulder pinning down his body. It was at that moment that he remembered he was knocked out because the ceiling had dropped on him and caused him to faint.
[If I’m a normal human being, I would have been killed immediately, but I’m going to suffocate to death at this rate…..]
He took in a deep breath and pushed against the boulders on him and immediately caused the smaller rocks on it to fall off. He stopped for a moment and tried again, adding Power Break into his hands, and finally removed the debris that was on him.
Once he was free, he stood up and dusted himself off while subconsciously wiping his sweat off, before he realized that he did not work really hard enough to sweat. He took out the Light Crystal and saw blood covering his hand under the weak light.
[Damn it. There’s blood……]
For a moment, Brendel recalled the time when he came into this world. He was definitely skewered by the skeletons when he saved Romaine, but how did he survive?
He initially thought it was Freya who bandaged him and managed to stop the bleeding but was that it? His HP went below negative points, and only a potion would be able to let him survive. It should not be possible for a bandage to work and he would just die from the loss of blood.
He shook his head puzzledly and studied his surroundings for a while, discovering that one of the exits was not completely sealed off. The torches on the walls were extinguished, and the surroundings had significantly changed, making him unable to differentiate the directions.
He was about to check the exit when he heard a pained groan behind him.
[Ah, right, I should check for the others.]
He turned back and started searching for the source of the voice, and indeed saw Scarlett lying still under a pile of broken rocks. Her eyes were tightly shut, and her pointed face was as pale a sheet of paper. Her eyelashes were trembling, and she showed off a weak and quiet side that he had never seen before.
But he did not have time to appreciate this alluring side of hers because of the dripping blood from her forehead.
[This is an abnormal sign. A God Acolyte’s body is far stronger than a human being, and she shouldn’t receive an injury to her skin— Oh no.]
He suddenly thought of a terrible possibility and carefully walked over the unsteady ground and knelt beside her. He felt her forehead and was alarmed to find her skin scorching hot. He pulled back his hand and brought the Light Crystal nearer to her face. There was a subtle black tattoo on her forehead that was slowly but visibly growing along her cheeks.
This proved that Scarlett’s body was fighting against the corruption of the Blood of Gods. Each time she lost consciousness, it would be a harsh test for her. He took out his waterskin and poured it over her face, and took out a stone that was split into two.
It was the item that had been smeared with the Blood of Gods and could be used to control Scarlett, but he broke it into two to slow down the process.
He placed the two fragments on her forehead.
“Scarlett?” He said, “Wake up!”
The girl’s eyelids fluttered before they opened, revealing the supposed whites of her eyes dyed in a terrifying mix of black and red colors, but they quickly returned to normalcy.
A pair of burning amber eyes that seemed to boil with willpower and life.
“Commander Makarov? Eke?” She looked at Brendel in confusion and spoke in a weak voice.
“It’s me.” Brendel kept the stone fragments away and said.
“…… My lord?” She said after a moment of hesitation, and she closed her eyes again, faintly remembering that she had a nightmare.
She saw herself buried deeply in a red tree that resembled the color of blood. Tree branches coiled around her and the tendrils sank into her skin, draining away her blood constantly, but she was unable to move.
It was not the first time she had this dream, but it was particularly vivid this time. She was slightly uneasy and became conscious of the fact that it might have something to do with the Blood of Gods in her.
“Yes, how are you feeling? Can you still go on?” Brendel asked a little worriedly when he saw Scarlett closing her eyes.
When she moved a little, she instantly cried out in pain, as the injury on her leg sent warning signals to her mind. She lowered her head and found there was a long gash across her thigh, and blood had dyed her robes in red.
Her heart skipped a beat. Logically one would be injured from the falling rocks, but she should not receive such an extensive injury. As a Gold-ranked fighter, her resilience and healing strength was different from an ordinary person. She was also a God Acolyte, making it even more unlikely.
It was strange. She tried sitting up hastily, but the pain immediately caused her to hiss in pain and laid down again. She took in large gulps of air, and she had cold sweat forming on her forehead. Her pain was quickly replaced by dread.
[What happened to my strength?]
Brendel had told her that her source of power was because she had become a God Acolyte, but her feeble arms made her feel like she was weaker than a child. It was the same feeling back when she was young and had gotten sick.
She tried to put strength into her fingers, but it was clear that it was gone. Her eyes quickly became unfocused, and she was at a loss as she realized the gravity of the situation.
She had lost all meaning to her life when Makarov disbanded the Grey Wolves Mercenaries, which was replaced with a sense of despair that choked her. She was then captured by someone despicable and turned into an accursed God Acolyte.
It was Brendel who brought her out from the despair, and he accepted the majority of the Grey Wolves Mercenaries. It gave her an excuse to continue pressing on with her life.
Eventually, she climbed out from the pits of her despair with much difficulty and adapted to a new life. She was even a little fond of accompanying Brendel who treated her with importance even if was because she had power. It was unlike the past where Makarov had only eyes for Eke and Buga, while she was nothing more than an unimportant member who could be sacrificed at any time.
Her existence was needed by Brendel and the old Grey Wolves Mercenaries, and she was satisfied, regardless of how short it was.
[Mother Marsha, why are you so cruel? I have just gotten used to all these things, and you take away everything from me yet again? I’m no different from an ordinary person, no, I’m even weaker than one.]
She was afraid.
“What’s wrong?” Brendel asked her again when he saw her strange silence: “Does it hurt?”
[A noble doesn’t need a useless retainer. Amandina and Romaine are smart people who can help my lord handle administrative work. But what about me? A wild girl who knows nothing other than fighting?]
“My lord…… I-I lost my power.” She finally whispered.
Brendel looked blankly at her. He did not understand her answer and thought it might be due to her blood loss that caused her to feel weakened. But it was still a strange reply.
[What does this mean? Does she want me to help her up? If it’s little Romaine I can kind of understand, but the girl in front of me is pretty independent…..]
Brendel’s eyes sharpened. It was an odd situation. He quickly took a step back to get out of her attacking range and observed her carefully.
Perhaps she was faking her expressions in order to get a chance to attack him. But he knew the signs of a God Acolyte well, and no matter how much he observed, it did not seem like the Blood of Gods controlled her.
“What?” He finally said with a little confusion.
But Scarlett’s mind was filled with Makarov’s cruel voice that day, a figure whom she treated like a father and teacher, where he abandoned her in front of Brendel, and completely missed the latter’s actions in front of her.
She could only repeat herself while holding back her feelings of hopelessness:
“My lord, I’ve lost my power, and I’m afraid I can’t follow you anymore……”