The Master of the Brave - Chapter 143
The Master of the Brave
Chapter 143. What is to follow
In the depths of Simurgh. It had been quite some time since they had started following the path that led to the Imperial Palace.
“Hey, hey, what’s that smell?” Lino was the first to notice. Thanks to the fact that she was the daughter of an apothecary and had an excellent sense of smell, she sniffed the air and then put a hand to her nose.
“Yes, I can smell it too. Is it a rotten smell?”
“Couldn’t there be a rat or something decomposing around here?”
“How could rats get into a place like this if there’s no food?”
“If not rats, maybe a stray dog or cat.”
“I don’t see any dead bodies in the lighted area.” Lino looked around as she said to Locke.
“This smell seems to be coming from where we’re going.”
“I guess it couldn’t all go so well.” As Lino said this, she heard the sound of scraping metal and footsteps coming from deep in the darkness at the end of the passage.
Exchanging places with Cornelia, who was in the lead, Wynn handed her the magic light and readied his sword.
“How did they find out about this path…?”
“Perhaps my sister Stacia knew about it…” Leticia answered Cornelia’s question.
The Ducal House Mavis belonged to the lineage of the imperial family of Lemmrousell. As the first daughter of the duke’s family, she might know something about the hidden passages of the imperial palace.
“It’s a small place. Your Highness, stand between us. Lino, stay with her! Locke, Wedge, watch the rear.” Holding Leticia, who was about to stand next to Wynn, Kelvin stepped forward. “Your Highness, how far is it to the Imperial Palace?”
“I can guess we’re pretty close to it. At least, I think we’re already inside the grounds of the Imperial Palace.”
In a place without any signage, the sense of distance and direction was hampered. It was Wynn who answered for Cornelia, who could not immediately respond to Kelvin’s question. He had been running around the Imperial Capital since he was a child, so he could predicted the approximate location of their current position based on the location of the girls’ dormitory, the straight-line distance to the Imperial Palace, and the time they had spent walking.
“Then it would be better to try to pick up the pace at once instead of getting into a fight in such a small place.”
The smell of death had already become so strong that even Wynn and the others could smell it. Finally, the enemy appeared within range of the lights.
“…I knew it…” muttered Wynn under his breath as he saw the figure.
The sound of footsteps echoed and the smell of death hung in the air. And since the place was the Imperial Palace, Wynn had some idea of the identity of the enemy. The others were not surprised to see them, so they must have had the same idea as Wynn.
“Those people are the ones who lost their lives in the battle of Peshlika, aren’t they?”
“That’s right, they are desecrating the dead?”
As Leticia said, the knights who appeared were carrying swords, shields and armor, and they walked stiffly, but their faces were pale and lifeless. Some of them had arrow wounds and sword wounds in places that would clearly signify a mortal wound, and they were stitched up in disarray. Their bodies were covered in a black haze. Wynn and the others had seen such deceased knights before.
“Conrad Heisenberg’s magic…”
A great mage who once planned to defeat the Demon King by bringing down the soul of a god into the body of the Saint. This was a forbidden magic whereby people with such great magical power capable of withstanding the power of a higher being were killed, and the higher being was made to descend upon their corpses to control them. The mage Reynard von Hoffman, who was hiding in the Imperial Palace and was studying the legacy of Conrad Heisenberg, kidnapped and killed nobles and knights who possessed strong magical power, and used his magic to create a private army. When seen at the construction site of the Sarah Ferrule Cathedral in Lyon, Reynard was also able to manipulate the corpse of a dragon. However, Reynard himself managed to obtain a part of the power of the God of Destruction, but lost his life fighting against Wynn, who was infused with the power of Leticia. If the knights who had lost their lives in Peshlika came back from the dead, it meant that there was someone other than Reynard who could control Conrad Heisenberg’s magic.
“Gruuuuuooaaaaaaaaaaah!” The undead knight who had run in the lead swung his greatsword horizontally with a scream that could not have come from a human throat.
The attack itself was a clumsy blow that both Wynn and Kelvin could easily dodge. However, the inhuman force of the attack caused Wynn to flinch. The stone walls of the subway passageway had been torn apart by the sword. It was the result of a heavy blow, using the sword in such a manner would cause the blade to nick quickly and would have been useless. However, wielded with the tremendous physical force with which it was wielded, a blow like that would cause the enemy’s flesh to be crushed and his bones shattered.
“If that would hit anyone…”
Kelvin, who quickly closed the gap between them, ducked under the swinging blade and slashed at a gap in the armor. The target was the shoulder joint. The deceased knight’s right arm, which had been severed at the shoulder, flew off with the momentum of his own sword strike, hitting the ceiling and rolling across the floor with a loud clang.
“We’ll cut our way to the imperial palace at once! Come on, Letty!”
Wynn and Leticia followed Kelvin as they rushed. The undead knights attacked one after another with inhuman strength and speed they had never had in their lives, but Wynn and the others slashed, mowed, and defeated them all. Kelvin then cut one of the knights in half with his sword infused with wind magic. Wynn for his part, cut the junction of shoulders and elbows. Leticia swung her sword with great swiftness, cutting through the armor and severing the tendons of their limbs. With the tendons severed, no matter how ridiculously strong they were, they would not be able to move their limbs. One undead knight, who had lost his sword due to a cut tendon in his arm, was blocked by Wedge as he tried to strike Cornelia. The wraith knights were being defeated, but that did not dampen their will to fight, and they rushed at them one after another.
“Finally, the back palace!” Wynn’s eyes caught sight of a staircase. He could see the lights shining down from above. He was getting a little tired from fighting the knights, but the light he saw gave him the energy he needed to push his way through the crowd and up the stairs.
“Is this a training ground?”
The place at the top of the stairs was familiar to Wynn. It was the training grounds of the imperial palace. In the Imperial Palace, with the exception of some areas controlled by the Court Mage Corps and the infirmary, there were barriers that blocked magic. The purpose of this was to prevent enemies from entering and attacking with spells, but that did not apply here in the training grounds either. For this reason, it was often used for the training of the Royal Guard knights who guarded the imperial family in the Palace. However, as expected, there were no Royal Guard knights training at this time of night. But…
“What’s going on?”
Noticing the signs of battle, the knights and soldiers of the Royal Guard who had been patrolling for safety gathered.
“This is bad… reinforcements have arrived!” Lino shouted as one of the undead knights almost hit Cornelia with his sword.
“Shall I attack them with everything I’ve got?” Leticia said to Wynn to know what to do next.
As she herself had said, Leticia had held back quite a bit in combat so far. If she fought with all her magical power, she could turn all the people in the place to dust. She could probably even blow up the Imperial Palace. However, while it wasn’t right to blow up a deceased knight, it really wasn’t right for Leticia to fight a living knight either. Wynn didn’t know what to say to her. But while Wynn did not know what to say, the knights of the Royal Guard gathered one by one on the training field.
A fierce battle was raging in front of the knights of the Royal Guard. On the one hand, they were all unfamiliar faces, with a pale complexion that showed no signs of life. But for some reason, they were all wearing the uniform and armor of the Western Knights Sector of the Empire. And seeing the way they were fighting, it looked like they were trying to stop the others from entering the imperial palace. This meant that the Western Knights, who should not be here, were their friends. A captain of the Royal Guard spotted a figure among the few who appeared to be intruders. Cornelia Lau Root Lemmrousell. The figure of the First Imperial Princess of the Lemmrousell Empire. Recognizing Cornelia’s figure, the Captain gave orders to the knights and soldiers of the Royal Guard present.
“To all the knights of the Royal Guard, listen to me! We are the sword and shield of the Imperial Family! Do not allow any ruffian to turn against Her Imperial Highness!”
“All men, take up your swords! Charge against the enemy!”
With a valiant battle cry, the knights of the Royal Guard attacked the undead knights. The undead knights, who were completely alien to the others, were quickly annihilated by the onslaught from behind.
“The Royal Guard Order… what the hell is going on?” Locke, who was breathing heavily, said in surprise.
“Your Highness! Your Highness! Are you all right?!”
When Wynn and the others were bewildered by the aid of the Royal Guard Knights, they were greeted by their captain, who had cut off the Undead Knights with his men.
“I am Colonel Cailum, Commander of the 6th Company of the Knights of the Royal Guard.”
The captain of the nearby guard knights, who called himself Cailum, called out his name as he cooperated with his subordinates to thwart the attacks of the Undead knights with his shield. Cornelia called out to his back.
“Colonel Cailum. I appreciate your help. But I am now on the side of the crown prince, who has been declared a fake by my brother Neumann. If you take my side, won’t that leave you in a bad position?”
At Cornelia’s question, Colonel Cailum, who had left the battle in the hands of his subordinates, turned around and knelt down, bowing his head.
“Princess. Our mission as Royal Guard Knights is to protect the royal family. Who could blame us then for protecting you?”
And although he didn’t say it out loud, Cailum thought something else.
Undoubtedly it is Her Imperial Highness Princess Cornelia. And with her come also the Brave and Squire Wynn. These unidentified people could be members of Prince Neumann and Marquis Cliffdorf’s army, but if Cornelia-sama is being attacked by them, then Prince Neumann’s claim that the Crown Prince is a fake is questionable. No, I even think it is safe to assume that it is a lie. Then it is our duty to render aid to Princess Cornelia.
Colonel Cailum knew that Wynn, who had become a squire, had been training here. And some of the young knights of the Royal Guard who were fighting here had now crossed swords with him. They, too, seemed to have no objection to lending a hand to Wynn and his companions in defending Princess Cornelia.
“Thank you, Colonel Cailum. I give you the highest praise for your loyalty.”
“It is a great honor for me to receive such words from Her Imperial Highness.” Saying this, Cailum stood up. “Her Highness has expressed his desire to see Your Majesty. Leave this to us! Your Highness, we will fulfill our duty!” Then Cailum drew his sword and pointed it straight to the sky, shouting. “Hear my words, my knights of the Royal Guard and soldiers! It is the duty of every knight, soldier and warrior to swing their sword for the noble princess! Do not waste your lives in vain! Let Her Imperial Highness see the full extent of our valor!”
A tremendous sense of elation emanated from the Royal Guard Knights. Wynn and the others were amazed at the high level of morale. The undead Knights and the Royal Guard Knights then clashed violently.
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