TL: 3rd chapter.
Chapter 90 – The kings and the dead (6)
“I’m going to go behind his back.” Brendel replied.
The Spectral Knight was not going to stick around till it was finally killed by the cowardly mercenaries. Brendel checked on the HP of the monster and quickly prepared ahead. Once it reached about ten percent of its health, it would retreat decisively, and he could not allow his prey to escape.
“My lord, that’s too dangerous.” The Nightsong Tiger looked blankly at Brendel for a second before he guessed what he was about to do and tried to stop him: “Let me do it for you.”
“You know what I’m about to do?” Brendel’s incredulous reply came.
“You can teach me, my lord,” He answered earnestly: “We’re your loyal men, and you should leave this to us.”
“… I wish I can leave it to you as well,” Brendel smiled as he took out the long rope that was prepared earlier: “Sadly, you can’t do this task.”
“Why, my lord?”
“Do you know alchemy?”
The Nightsong Tiger’s mouth opened wordlessly before he rolled his eyes.
Brendel truly did not wish to do it personally. It was always up to him to clear up some form of mess in the past, but he had been worried about it every time he did so. Any mistakes here would not mean that he lost a level but death. The only safety line for him was the Unyielding talent, and as long as he protected his heart and head well, he could at least have a chance to survive, or at least write his final will.
The battle persisted for some time. The mercenaries used fortified crossbows that were banned, but most nobles closed an eye when it came to their usage. It was highly uncommon for most citizens because the people required at least 5 OZ in strength to use it properly, yet the damage done to the Spectral Knight was almost negligible.
In addition to that, the armor that it wore was resistant to physical attacks. The only time where it truly took damage was when the bolts struck critical points of the armor, but the Spectral Knight was not a wooden doll that sat there quietly. Despite the loss in speed from the debilitating effects from the magic bolts, it was still agile enough to avoid most of the projectiles.
Brendel was not in a particular hurry. The Nightsong Tiger had enough magic bolts to make the Spectral Knight weakened for at least ten minutes. With that amount of time, a dozen Iron-ranked mercenaries would deal enough damage to a Boss-level creature for it to retreat, and the current enemy was only an Elite-level undead.
He slipped quietly behind its back while it was distracted by the mercenaries. The distance he took was neither far nor near, about half a soccer field. It was the perfect balance for him. If he was any closer, the undead creature might notice him, if he was any further, his accuracy might drop too much.
His goal was not to backstab it. Even if he attacked the Spectral Knight, the damage done would not be effective to finish off the remaining 10% HP.
[If I am already at a Silver-rank, if I already learned some form of bow-related skill, if I managed to land a critical hit, just maybe……] (TL: Silver rank = Over level 31)
Brendel’s mind wandered a little as he explored the possibility of a backstab, but it was never going to work.
He glanced at the battlefield one more time before he concentrated on his task. The silence was deafening in this area compared to the battlefield. He parted the foliage and drew an Alchemy Magic Circle on the ground with his longsword.
Tamar would have persuaded Brendel not to do it if he saw what the youth was doing. After the Alchemy Magic Circle was drawn, he drew a Blood Magic Formation which was going to strip away his health.
He placed the rope onto the Magic Circle along with the Soul Crystal he took from the intermediate-ranking necromancer at Fortress Riedon. Brendel lamented over the usage of it. It was not going to be easy to get something like this again until many years later. There was no better replacement for it, otherwise he would not have wasted such a rare material.
He cut his finger with the longsword and dropped it onto the formation, and his heart tightened greatly. Brendel felt his vitality drain, and the Stats Window reported a loss of half of his health. Brendel had tried to prepare himself for it, but he still got a shock over how much health he lost.
He rubbed his forehead a little and was thankful that the Soul Crystal was not of a higher quality. If it was, he might have been sucked dry. But that notion suddenly made him remember that thing in his bag. He flipped it open and a golden light poured out from it. The light glowed and dimmed with rhythm, almost like it was an actual heart. (TL: The Golden Demonic Tree’s fruit, The Golden Apple. In case anyone was wonderin.)
Brendel sighed. This was a secret that he had not told anyone. He was certain that there was someone who placed it in his bag. What he did not understand was who the person was. At best they were mere acquaintances, but why would that person do something like this?
[What motive is there for that person to this… To make me a scapegoat? Or to test me?]
Brendel felt unhappy when he thought about it. This thing was highly important to some people, but it was not of much use to him. He needed about four more levels to reach level 25 and allow him to activate the second talent, and this thing in his bag was not something he needed. After a few moments of pondering, he still did not arrive at any plausible answer and quickly returned to reality.
His biggest trouble was still the Spectral Knight, and any other matters could be solved later.
He focused on the transmuted object in the Magic Circle. The ordinary rope had turned completely black and even gave out a shimmer from time to time. It looked quite impressive and he was reminded of a shiny new pair of handcuffs.
Brendel mocked himself for thinking of that. This was clearly a horrifying product of alchemy. It was merely a simple rope infused with the energy from a Soul Crystal. Because the quality of the Soul Crystal was so high, it actually turned out to look like this.
[If Tamar was to see this… He would come after me with his legendary scythe— Wait, he hasn’t reached the grandmaster status yet.]
Brendel corrected himself as he stood up to watch the battlefield again. The Spectral Knight had managed to graze a few mercenaries when Brendel was not there to interrupt it. They were bleeding slightly, but in exchange they became even more cautious than before. Just like Brendel had predicted, the battle took close to ten minutes before the Spectral Knight finally retreated.
Its upper body creaked loudly as the armor was hindered by the ice. The Nightsong Tiger shot the final Bolt of Ice at it, covering it with another layer of ice, but the speed at which it fled was beyond their belief.
[The Charge skill.] Brendel remarked to himself.
The Nightsong Tiger’s quick reactions allowed him to fire another Bolt of Wind, but the effect was not any better as it continued to speed away. The mercenaries wanted to pursue it, but the Nightsong Tiger stopped them. It was too dangerous for them to cross that invisible line. Once they did so, the undead monster was free to attack them directly without restrictions.
He was certain that his mysterious lord was planning something to stop it, and he simply cast his eyes into the forest.
Indeed, two dazzling bolts shot out one after another, causing two white lines to extend out in the dark forest— Such was the sight before him.