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And… ouch, right after we’ve reached a good part on this arc.
Well, you need to wait for next week release for the continuation~
Chapter 43 – Cleansing Light
Searching further, we found out that the door was wide open. What to do now… it’s as if we were invited in.
[Fate, I will go alone from this point]
You want to go on like this? I couldn’t wipe this uneasiness away, this bad feeling.
Aaron put his hand on my shoulder and said.
[You should be able to sense it too. The Lich Lord is just beyond this door. No change to the plans, I just want you to stand back a little.]
I had no other choice….did I? It wouldn’t be much of a problem for me if only you asked me to come along fighting the Lich Lord.
Knowing Aaron, the memory from when he came here in the past might’ve resurfaced.
[Well then, let’s go]
Is this it!?
As Aaron and I entered the castle, the previously dark rooms were suddenly lit with light.
There were a lot of people standing in the central hall, all of them smiling and waving at us.
[Impossible….this…this can’t be]
Eyes wide open, Aaron lowered his holy sword. It was the same situation as in his past.
He wasn’t able to reach the Lich Lord because it had used his family corpses like puppets, blocking his way.
However, this time around these puppet corpses actually acted much like true living beings.
Two split out from the crowd. A handsome boy and a beautiful woman gladly greeted Aaron.
[Dear, welcome back. We’ve been waiting.]
Aaron’s face stiffened even more. He didn’t respond even if I tried to call out to him. Because what he saw was his long deceased family.
What should I do… while I was thinking about that, Greed spoke through the 《Mind Reading》 skill.
『This is bad……this is probably an illusion magic. It makes the undead to look much like the living』
[If that’s the case, I should be able to dispel the irksome illusion with the black scythe]
I switched the Black Sword into Scythe form,
『Wait, Fate! It’ll be like slashing through empty air. It’s useless to cut those people down. We have to take down the Lich Lord who has activated this illusion in order to dispel it.』
I reverted my weapon back into sword form. The black scythe form could dispel a skill. But only the direct effect of the skill. It cannot interfere with the following events that happened due to the skill. Thus the situation wouldn’t change even if I tried to cut down these people.
Moreover, those people were raised corpses, so it’s useless to cut them up.
The reason why Aaron came here was to free his family and people from the Lich Lord’s clutch. But in order to defeat it, we must not mistake the means for the end when the purpose is lost.
While seeing all these happening in front of me, I asked Greed about what really concerned me.
[What will happen if I cut down those people?]
『Right, the soul seems to be still confined within those body, so the Gluttony skill will consume it if you do. Why asking so suddenly?』
[…what I want to know is actually what will happen to the devoured souls. Will there be some salvation for them?]
Greed seemed to understand what I’m asking about. He was reluctant, but told me anyways.
『I think it’s better for you to not know……so are you sure? Very well, though I suppose it’ll be better if you think it as the way you did. Those souls consumed by Gluttony, will be forever locked within the skill. Struggling and suffering together inside an infinite hell. There will be no salvation for them.』
I could vaguely feel it already. But the answer was far more than what I had anticipated. Gluttony skill….truly deserving its title as Mortal Sin skill. However, it’ll leave a bad taste on my conscience if I ended up accidentally involving good people.
That’s why I decided to let those people be. Even though they were undeads controlled by the Lich Lord, I still didn’t want to see them suffer in the eternal hell without any chance for salvation.
And the Lich Lord is currently in….the central hall is full of its delicious smell, so I can’t really tell where to be exact. Probably, I was also caught under the effect of the illusion magic.
Tch……I could do nothing despite the frustration. What now….. What should I do.
Meanwhile, Aaron was still being impeded by his family.
He should’ve been able to tell that it was all a lie. But even so, it’s hard to deny when you have something that you really yearned for right in front of your eyes. If my father and mother appeared here, I would’ve fallen for the same trick too.
I could understand his feeling. But now,
I shook his body, trying to wake him up, and fortunately Aaron shook his head soon after. It appeared that he hadn’t completely captured by the illusion magic.
[I’m alright. Just got reminded of old days for a while.]
Scratching his head, Aaron admitted that it became harder to ignore such memories as he grew older. Then, he brandished his holy sword toward his precious family.
[I apologize for only coming here after so long. Now, I’ll ease your pain.]
Right then, a powerful and blinding flash of light engulfed the room. What was once before a beautiful decorated castle, now was desolated and corroded by rusts. This was how the castle should have looked like originally.
The citizens who were smiling at us before now had hatred on their face, with hoes, axes, and sickles in their hands.
Meanwhile, Aaron’s wife was toting a rod, and his son held a holy sword.
[Father, you are awful. You are always working, working, and working….to the point you abandoned us when we were attacked by monsters. And now you even think to kill us all.]
[Dear, please think again! Look, we are all alive and well here. Please stop this foolishness and join us. With you a holy knight in here, we’ll be even more safe and sound. Come now, join us here.]
Similarly, the citizen behind the two also started to reprimand, but were ultimately trying to seek their former lord’s help.
Even so, Aaron didn’t lower his holy sword.
[Fate, I am sorry….but can you leave my family and people to me?]
[Understood. I’ll go find the Lich Lord. I’m pretty sure that it’s lingering around here somewhere.]
[Then, let’s begin]
Aaron sighed and ran up toward his family and people. On my part, I switched my black sword into bow form and headed to the back of the central hall after bypassing the citizens. Aaron kept scanning the area for a sign of the Lich Lord while holding down.
Noises of holy swords clashing against each other resounded throughout the hall. I could hear the voice of Aaron who was now facing away from me.
[You’ve become stronger. It seems you obeyed my orders, and never neglected your training]
His son did not reply, as if the only way to communicate with him was through sword. It’s necessary to end this kind of thing as soon as possible.
I pushed through the crowd, heading toward the very back of the room.
Hmm? The Gluttony skill was tingling. Beyond there, if I looked closely, I could tell that there was a distortion in that space.
[Greed! Is it over there!?]
『Yeah, most likely. The Gluttony skill is telling us to go forth, to break through! Even so, don’t let your guard down, or else you might get swallowed.』
I already understood what Greed was worried about.
I jumped away to avoid the crowd, so that no one was in the way, and drew the black bow. Infusing the dust attribute to the magical arrow—and let loose the petrifying arrow.
The magic arrow sped up into an invisible space and disappeared.
Along with the bone chilling scream, a petrified bone arm fell to the floor.
At the same time, a scythe wielding and black garbed figure, the Lich Lord itself, finally appeared.
In a haste, I activated 《Appraisal》.
【Harbinger of Death】
Lich Lord Lv100
Skill(s): Illusion Magic, Magic Strengthening (Large), Spirit Strengthening (Large)
Its magic and spirit stats actually surpassed 4 million…. I wonder what would happen if I managed to consume its soul? All these time I’ve only consumed monsters with 1 million in stats. I’d been training myself to suppress my Gluttony skill, so should I really do this? Again, I remember the lamenting cry back at the Heart territory. At that time, I consumed a high leveled soul that I’m not used to eat yet, rendering the Gluttony skill to go wild.
Dammit, there was no time to hesitate since I’ve gone this far.
『Why are you hesitating now?! I assure you, you’ll be fine this time. It’s time for you to show the result of your trainings!』
[….yeah, I’ll do it. I wouldn’t know unless I try]
『Hahaha, that’s the spirit. It wouldn’t be interesting if it not going this way』
I couldn’t afford to let it reuse Illusion Magic and disappear from view once more. With the full extend of my agility, I rushed toward the Lich Lord who was falling to the side wall.
I reverted back my weapon to black sword, and tried out the sword technique Aaron had taught me.
The Lich Lord stepped in with the huge scythe in hand. Judging from its center of gravity, it’s trying to feint. If that’s the case, I’ll just use that feint to my benefit.
Without fail, I aimed at the Lich Lord’s chest. Its size was almost twice and a half of me. By going in, it wasn’t able to use its huge scythe to knock my sword away.
The Lich Lord also acknowledged this difference in body size. So it chose to have a prolonged battle by making use of its reach while considering the options available for it.
However, by doing so, its movement became rather dull.
『You are doing well, Fate』
[I can’t be a noob forever, can I?]
『Well said, onward!』
Not taking my sweet time after lunging into its chest, I quickly followed up with a fast sweeping slash. As a result, the Lich Lord was caught off guard, losing his scythe wielding right arm along with most of its fighting prowess.
I managed to do that in the nick of time. Now it also lost its remaining hand.
Another scream that I’ve gotten used to by now resounded on central hall. The The scythe fell to the floor in a loud metallic clang.
But even after losing both of its arms, the Lich Lord didn’t not simply give up.
It commanded the citizen crowding behind me like puppets to attack.
Chi, this monster doesn’t know what duelling ethics are. Because I was forced to retaliate, several limbs went flying in the process.
I couldn’t afford to kill them. Because that will make the Gluttony skill to eat their soul. Goddammit.
I sensed that the Lich Lord saw what happened, since it seemingly laughed to ridicule my action. Now, it ordered the people to surround it like a wall.
[I can’t attack those citizens]
『That’s not good. So what will you do, Fate? Will you fight while disregarding those people』
[I can’t. They’ll fall into the infinite hell if I consumed them.]
『I see, but I advice that you shouldn’t focus too much on those beautiful thoughts.』
Greed might be right. But I’m not fighting alone at the moment.
I could feel a sense of security upon hearing those footsteps.
[I’m sorry for the wait, Fate.]
Turning around to see the source of that powerful voice, I saw Aaron holding two holy swords in hand.
[Your family and other people…?]
[I cut their limbs or tendons, so that they become unable to move.]
Under the same circumstances I wouldn’t be able to do the same….unfortunately.
Looking at the situation I’m currently in, Aaron’s face distorted. It’s because he understood that the Lich Lord had used the people as its meat wall.
[Again with this….so it’s desperate.]
Aaron stabbed the holy sword he had taken from his son to the ground, and infuse magic into his original holy sword.
That’s the Holy Sword Mastery technique 《Grand Cross》.
[It’s alright. If I finish this as quick as possible, they wouldn’t struggle for too long.]
Lich Lord who had become uncomfortable with the situation, attempted to cast another illusion magic to sway Aaron. But he didn’t relent.
Grand Cross was activated with the Lich Lord as the center. The white light lit the castle brightly. The controlled corpses were purified then disappearing into the light.
There was only the Lich Lord remaining. It tried to withstand Aaron’s Grand Cross with its massive 4 million magic and spirit stats.
Aaron should’ve been able to finish it off, but I noticed that his face wasn’t looking good. Observing more thoroughly, I realized that his side was bleeding.
As I thought, against that many people, there should be some repercussion in trying to only sever their limbs and tendons to disable them.
I stared at the holy sword on the floor. At that moment, Greed told me through 《Mind Reading》.
『Once, only this once. I’ll let you use that holy sword to help.』
Greed who didn’t take lightly of me making use other weapons actually agreed this time.
Well, let’s not waste his agreement. I pulled out the holy sword from the floor, and started to cast Grand Cross alongside Aaron.
Aaron was surprised upon seeing my action.
[Fate, what are you trying to do?]
[Helping you out.]
This would be the first time for me to use the Holy Sword Mastery technique 《Grand Cross》. As I poured in my magic power, the Holy Sword started to glow in white light.
[Oh, that is….]
[Let’s finish this.]
[Fumu, why of course.]
We raised our voice together at the same time, pouring all of our power.
[ [ Grand Cross! ] ]
The castle was once again engulfed in blinding light, turning everything pure white.
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