The Star of Annihilation
Chapter 38 – Flaws (4)
Written by : eleven
* * *
The ground heaved up and cracked apart with the Giant’s fists clasped together as they slammed against the Earth in a forceful manner.
Lucius grit his teeth and circulated his ki into his feet to stabilize himself.
Roy was in his arms currently, knocked unconscious.
Hopping through the air as he kicked off the flying stones to gain placement of balance, Lucius started to unfold his swordsmanship techniques.
‘I’ll have to start using a higher series…’
Lucius thought to himself.
Against Argenta, the Dragon of the Violet Night, Lucius had used up to the Fourth Series of Imperial Swordsmanship.
There were several different types of Imperial styles that focused on different parts of the sword.
Each series that Lucius had learned, only increased in difficulty in terms of mastery, the higher one went up the numbers.
Even he hadn’t mastered the First and Second Series of Imperial Swordsmanship completely.
He had mastered some of the moves, but even as a Swordmaster who had transcended human limitations,, the highest numbered series were styles of swordsmanship that put such a heavy strain on his body that was highly dangerous for him.
Gritting his teeth, Lucius started to rouse his aura.
As he did, he inwardly berated himself.
‘Dammit… Just why the hell is this happening?’
It was likely that this move would kill the Giant, but he had no other alternatives unless he wanted to be killed in turn for going easy on this opponent which was becoming a danger to all.
The worst part of all this, was the implications this could have if it got traced back to him that an Empire’s Swordmaster murdered a member of the Giant Race.
The sword in Lucius’ right hand started to shine brightly and he brought the blade down as he looked at the Giant, whose eyes were completely pitch-black.
Imperial Swordsmanship Second Series : World Cleaver
The entirety of the surroundings turned bright white as a blue line cut through the sky like a string of yarn atop a piece of blank paper.
* * *
Roy started to blink his eyes as he awoke and tried to gather his senses.
Groaning from the pounding headache he had, he quickly tried to recall what had happened.
Looking around, he realized it was night time.
There was a dimly lit campfire that was burning quietly as the embers crackled in the night air.
Roy asked with a confused expression as he saw his master.
The two of them were currently still in the Demon’s Territory, but much farther away from the border where they had been suddenly attacked by the…
‘Why was a member of the Giant Race there?’
Roy’s confused thoughts started to spiral.
“Hey kid, you’re up.”
Roy mumbled as he inadvertently ignored his master’s greeting and kept in his thoughts.
“Ow! What the hell was that for?”
“Are you seriously ignoring your master with such disrespectful speech?”
“Okay! Okay! Just please stop!”
Roy exclaimed as he rubbed his forehead that was red from the rocks Lucius had flicked at him with the power of his transcendent body’s limits.
“Ungrateful little brat… Are you finally done resting?”
“Huh? I guess, I just…. What exactly happened?”
“They’re dead and we’re here.”
“Where’s here, and who’s ‘they?’”
Roy asked with a quizzical look.
Lucius slowly started to explain what had happened and why he had to knock Roy out unconscious.
Roy felt a bit bitter that he was so helpless, but understood that it was for this reason that he had decided to go on this trip to become stronger and not be a burden anymore.
“… As for where we are right now, we are in the Eastern Parts of the Demon’s Territory. Now, I have a question for you : Have you ever heard of the Seven Great Demon Families?”
“Just bits and pieces, why?”
“Well… we’ve gotten ourselves into a bit of trouble. For some reason, after killing the Giant, I decided to take the body with us of course, to look at later, but it seemed one of the Seven Great Families might be responsible for this.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“When I killed the Giant and stored the corpse in my spatial pocket, I realized we started to get a tail. They were only following for brief amounts of time before swapping with different units. I tried to shake them off, but they were too determined and I encountered them….”
“What happened between you and them?”
“In short, they’re from the Serpentine Great Demon Family. They were highly skilled but had no intentions of speaking. And quite frankly, we engaged in combat because they clearly had a goal and didn’t intend on leaking any information as they attacked first. What I could tell from the brief exchange, was that they were highly skilled for mere ‘tails’ and were likely to be under direct orders from someone very high up in their family.”
“How high of a position?”
“I’m not too sure about the inner workings of each family and whether there are any succession fights going on for the throne in their families, but it seems like they were very loyal as I had to use…. other methods to try and pry for information once I subdued them.”
“And… they didn’t speak?”
“They killed themselves on the spot.”
Roy fell silent at the information.
Strictly speaking, the Demon Territory was divided into seven major territories and were governed by the Seven Demon Kings and Queens that were incredibly powerful.
If the Empire were to engage in all out war against the Demons, Roy was certain that the Demons would win overwhelmingly if the Empire did not have it’s own alliances with other kingdoms.
Though, in the terrible past life of his, Roy had been a part of a war against the Demons when he was 17, for the Empire, and Howard had been the Emperor at the time.
They had entered a ceasefire and even temporary alliance after the appearance of the Dragons, which had made their appearance known much later than they were now.
In this new life, although the movements of the Dragons seemed to be more premeditated than Roy had thought, he was determined and forced to think that he had gravely underestimated them.
‘I’m not going to be belligerent. It’s clear something is fishy here, and I can’t help but think that the Dragons and Demons might have potential ties…. But if that’s the case, why would the arrogance of the Dragons, which they were known for, change to work with what they called ‘lower species’?’
Roy felt befuddled.
He couldn’t help but think things were sorely amiss with his calculations.
He had become too blinded with rage once more, and he felt that if he hadn’t, he would be able to find the connection and missing link much faster than being stuck on it like he was now.
“Something feels wrong… There’s something else here at play.”
Roy spoke up and voiced his thoughts to his master.
“I agree, but that much was already determined when it’s clear that the Giant Race is involved. Though, I don’t think it’s something they willingly are part of, since I don’t know any living and sentient creature would want to be experimented on like that Giant was.”
Roy felt like saying what was on his mind, but forced himself to stop.
He couldn’t possibly explain why his hunch that the Dragons might be involved in this somehow. It would obviously be questionable, even if Lucius was his new master.
“…What’s our next steps then?”
Roy asked after much deliberation.
Lucius then looked at him and continued with a serious voice.
“It’s time to take our training to the next level. I have two goals in mind for teaching you over the span of the next two years we spend wandering in the Demon Territory.”
* * *
On the outskirts of Lazarus, Capital of the Empire
“Are you ready?”
Nate replied with a coarse choice of words.
It was something a little odd for Dante, who was a naturally very energetic and outgoing person, but he did not doubt for a moment that this boy in front of him was someone destined to walk the path of spearmanship.
“Let’s go then.”
Dante spoke as he roused his ki circuit.
Although Nate was training as a magician at the same time, Dante was certain that this boy had the capabilities to surpass him as a Spearmaster and had great potential as a Magic Spearman.
Their destination was the home of the Tentaheim Council, the Land of the Elves.
Chapter 38 – Fin