The Master of the Brave - Chapter 149
The Master of the Brave
Chapter 149. The Successor
The black spears skewered him through the abdomen, arms and thighs, and Kelvin’s body, which had been fixed in mid-air, fell to the ground as the spears disappeared.
“Onii-chan, watch out…!”
Once again, countless black spears appeared aiming at Wynn, but Wynn and Leticia pushed most of them away with their swords.
“I see. You waited for Anastasia’s presence to disappear and tried to stage the young man’s death to coincide with this occasion when the Brave and the emperor were together. Oh, you who live in the darkness that spreads destruction.” Noale murmured, gazing into the void. “But your act in my presence can only offend me. No, questioning the reason for your existence, is it not only natural that you perform this act…? Yes, as a reward for reaching the level of the gods, I will crush one of the calamities that were to come in the future for you.” With these words, Noale looked at the entrance of the audience hall.
At that moment…
At the same time, they heard a voice grunting, the space opened and a figure collapsed on the floor. It was an old man wearing a tailed suit with a seemingly stern face. Seeing the person’s face, Kelvin, whose face was contorted in pain, let out a grunt.
“Jade’s assistant, the old man named Klaus.”
“You must not move, Vicecaptain Kelvin!” Cornelia, who had been casting healing magic at Kelvin with all her might, scolded him. Cornelia’s two hands that were placed on Kelvin’s abdomen were stained crimson with his fresh blood.
“Wynn! Isn’t that the man who led the knights when they attacked Seri-san’s village?” Locke pointed out, which made Wynn remember.
A group of bandits attacked Torque village, Seri’s hometown. Among them, there was a group of knights who moved in a coordinated manner. It was later discovered that the knights were from the Kingdom of Petersia, and the man who commanded them was this Klaus.
“Kuh… is this the power of a god?” Klaus, perhaps trapped in an invisible force field created by Noale’s divine power, writhed and showed violent resistance.
“You’ve been skulking around the cape spying, did you think you could hide from me too, as well as them?”
“That’s… a demon, isn’t it?”
Noale nodded in response to Leticia’s question.
“His real name is Belial. A demon with the rank of duke.”
Wynn and the others were stunned when Noale told them Klaus’ true identity matter-of-factly. In the past, about 500 years ago, one of the four high-ranking demons of the duke class, called the four high-ranking demons, manifested. The location of the manifestation was the royal capital of the Kingdom of Rentheim, which was said to rule almost the entire continent of Alfana at that time. According to the records of that time, the army of the Kingdom of Rentheim, completed the magic system that had been passed down to this day, and had the strongest military power in the world, was destroyed in less than a week. After that, the dragons drove him out, and the traces of the battle remained as deep canyons even today. If he fought Leticia, Simurgh would probably disappear. However, Noale, the God of Destruction, easily suppressed such a powerful demon.
“Well… Belial. Perhaps after the battle between me, the World Tree, and Anastasia’s blessed daughter, you would have killed her when she was exhausted. Or maybe you were planning to kill the young man she loves, and thus throw her into confusion… I’m sorry. I would like to watch these people in my dreams, and see what the future holds for them. That’s why I plan to intervene.” He opened his right hand and pointed at Belial.
“If you are the god of destruction and doom, aren’t your desires and ours the same? Why do you interfere in our affairs, God of destruction!”
“That is not true. I control pure destruction and annihilation. Therefore, I am not a part of anything. Which is why I was originally to be a spectator of your battle.”
The God who brings inescapable destruction to all tangible beings. That destruction would be given equally to all things, and demons were but a randomly created existence for the same purpose as Noale, the God of Destruction.
“Then why are you meddling with us?!”
“I told you before, demon. I like these people. I don’t care for you. That’s all I’m saying.” And then, looking at Belial, who was staring at him with an expression of pure ferocity, Noale clenched his fist tightly. With that simple gesture, Belial, who was a duke-class demon, turned to dust and dispersed.
An anticlimactic ending, without even the sound of the demon’s voice.
“This… is the true power of the gods…”
“However, I am the only god who can wield so much power. Many gods have poured most of their power into the creation of this world. I only retain my power because I will be responsible for swallowing and destroying everything when the world comes to an end.”
Noale said that Wynn had fought and won against him, but he himself realized how this God of Destruction had only held back his power.
“I can’t stop the bleeding! Vicecaptain Kelvin, please don’t leave us!”
He could not see and could not move his body. However, he could hear the voice clearly. It was Princess Cornelia’s voice. It sounded like she was casting healing magic on him, who had been severely injured.
“I happen to have more magic power than average, so it’s hard for healing magic to work on me, isn’t it?”
“Don’t speak, Vicecaptain Kelvin.”
Kelvin grabbed Cornelia’s hand, which was placed on the wound on his abdomen, with his trembling hand.
“He, hehe… I’m sorry. I have stained Her Highness’s hands with my blood…”
“That doesn’t matter.”
“Vicecaptain, why did you protect me…?”
“It’s you, Wynn-kun… Well, I didn’t tell you… did I? Me, the Captain, Locke, Wedge and Lino were given the task… to make you renowned…” Kelvin forced the words out as he coughed up a clot of warm blood that rose from the back of his throat.
“That’s why you protected me…”
“No… if we lost you, Leticia-sama’s heart and mind… You can’t die yet, you know that. Besides, I’m already…” In his fading consciousness, Kelvin let out a small laugh.
If I’m still alive, the day will never come when I’ll find a battle that satisfies me.
It was a distant memory that he could no longer recall clearly. He was still a child when he stabbed to death a bandit who attacked the village where he lived with a knife he was carrying. At that moment, he felt the thrill of sneaking up behind the twisted bandit without being noticed. The heat of the blood and the euphoria he felt as he stabbed him. He couldn’t forget that feeling, so he ran away from home and joined the Continental Anti-Demon Alliance. Many times he jumped into the battlefield, which could be called a deadly place, and fought against demons and sometimes against human looters. Those battles, which seemed reckless to others, caught the attention of Zaunas, the general of the Lemmrousell Empire’s army, and he was inducted into the troops of Royce, his senior officer.
…Those days were fun. Every day was a battle.
Always surrounded by enemies, enemies, and, on the other side, enemies again. Every enemy was a demon with far more power than any one person. The slightest carelessness could mean the difference between life and death. That tension-filled battlefield was the most comfortable paradise for Kelvin. However, that paradise came to an end at the hands of Leticia. His chances of fighting were greatly reduced. He had no chance to encounter enemies stronger than him. And he had only been able to have only one encounter with Leticia. And then, with a burning feeling, he saw the battle between his subordinates Wynn and Leticia, and an existence far beyond human comprehension. It was a pity that it was not he who had fought that god, but perhaps he would never encounter a battlefield that surpassed his own, even if he lived to see it. Kelvin closed his eyes and let out a small sigh.
If I have any regrets… two, I suppose. Captain, I would have liked to have had a real fight with you once. And as for my wife and children…
Royce, Count Elstead, who had lent his support to Crown Prince Alfred, would be in great demand in the future. Kelvin’s family living in Erz, Royce’s territory, should be safe. So…
“I am already… satisfied… I’m already… so… Captain, now it’s your turn…”
Finally, he exhaled deeply.
“I am sorry. I, who only know destruction, cannot heal him.” Noale apologized to Wynn and the others, who stood silently devastated around Kelvin’s cooling body.
“No… no, the Vicecaptain lost his life defending me. With a look of satisfaction…”
“Hmm… then I promise his soul will at least rest in peace.”
Wynn nodded to Noale, glanced once at Leticia and Cornelia, then turned to Emperor Alexei.
“Your Majesty. Squire Kelvin Wagner was a great knight with a rare war record during his career as a knight in the Continental Anti-Demon Alliance, in the Central Knight Order, and as Squire to Princess Cornelia.”
“Hmm. Squire Kelvin Wagner is an example of an Imperial Knight; a great hero. I award him the posthumous rank of captain and general.”
“Yes. And, Your Majesty. I believe that from this day forward I shall bear the title of Sword Crafter.”
Seeing Wynn’s profile looking at Alexei with an expression without hesitation, Leticia and Locke were filled with smiles of happiness.
“Mito-san entrusted me with the seal of the Sword Crafter, and Vicecaptain Kelvin saved me by giving his life. To return that favor, I have to become worthy of him. That is why I will become known as the Sword Crafter.”
“Your sword has reached even the gods. I think you are truly worthy of being called a Hero. Heroes are also on the level of kings and high priests. You have become a knight among knights, and the Imperial Palace will never close its doors to you. I will personally announce your name to the nations as the new Sword Crafter.”
As soon as Alexei announced this, all the knights of the Royal Guard in the audience hall offered their swords in unison to show their respect. At that moment, Wynn was recognized as the one to whom all knights of the Lemmrousell Empire were to pay the utmost respect, even if he did not hold a rank.
“Sword Crafter, Knight among Knights, appropriate titles for one who made his sword reach the gods.” Waiting for the excitement over the birth of a new “Hero” to cool, Noale, the God of Destruction, opened his mouth again in the silence. “Now, Wynn. I’m going to sleep again. I regret to say that I will not be returning to mortal form. It has been a pleasure.”
With those words, Noale melted into space and disappeared.
And the civil war that had shaken the Lemmrousell Empire accelerated to an end.
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