Return of the Unrivaled Spear Knight

Side Story Chapter 263

Side Story Chapter 263

“Kireua!” Anna dissipated the wind around her as she landed on the ground.

Isaac arrived a little later and paused to take a look around. Aside from Kireua, who was lying on the ground unconscious, there was no one to be seen—no one alive, at least.

‘…There is the headless corpse of a knight,’ Isaac noted. Had Kireua managed to cut his kidnapper’s head off before he lost consciousness?

‘But this wound is…’ Isaac frowned as she got a closer look at the cut. Judging from the distinctive icky residue left on the surface, demonic power had been used like aura for the knight’s decapitation. However, something didn’t add up if the perpetrator had clad their sword in demonic power.

‘If his head was cut off by a sword, the surface would have been straight, but it’s not. Did the perpetrator stab the knight in the neck first using the tip of their sword and then cut through? Or… did they use a knife-hand strike?’

Isaac was already at the level of a Superhuman as a martial artist, so she could notice the subtle differences that a swordsman would likely be ignorant of. The most plausible weapon was simply a hand coated with demonic power. Based on that deduction, Isaac could roughly picture what had happened. The perpetrator had been on edge, as if he were being hunted.

‘Did Kireua Sanders wake up on instinct and then cut off the knight’s head?’

Isaac pondered the idea, but after analyzing the wound from various angles shook her head. That wound couldn’t be made from Kireua’s position. The perpetrator had attacked the knight from the front.

‘There was a third party at the site,’ Isaac concluded—however, that only deepened her confusion. Judging from the traces of power left in this place, the battle had only taken place a matter of minutes ago. Isaac couldn’t sense the slightest trace of the perpetrator even though she was capable of locating an ant within a one kilometer radius…

‘But most importantly, the power left in the wound is very similar to Grand Duke Lucifer’s.’

That stood out to Isaac the most. Was Lucifer alive? She had witnessed the moment of his death with her own eyes…

“Kireua! Wake up! Kireua!”

Isaac turned to look at Anna, who was checking on Kireua. If Lucifer was alive, Isaac had to change her opinion about Kireua’s victory.

‘Is it really impossible to change destiny?’ Isaac thought with a bitter smile.

Regardless, it was difficult for her to come to a conclusion right now.

“…Take Kireua Sanders and get out of here right now.”

“What?” Anna flinched.

“Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed the large group of people coming in our direction.”

Anna focused on observing the area, her wind elemental making her adept at sensing presences as well. It didn’t take long for her to find the people coming toward them—hundreds of them.

“Are they from Swallow?” Anna asked anxiously.

It would be perfect if those people were from Avalon; the chances were low, however, because Swallow had taken action first.

“Sylasien! Carry Kireua for me!” Anna shouted.

A breeze gently enveloped Kireua and lifted him into the air.

“Are you going to stop us?”

Isaac scoffed. “I wouldn’t have given you a heads-up if I were planning on it.”

“…What in the world are you planning?” Anna asked, watching Isaac warily.

“It’s just… a little bit of greed. If nothing is certain, perhaps I can dream?”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“…I guess there’s no point in making you understand. Go now.” Isaac waved Anna away.

The group was now so close that people who couldn’t use mana would be able to feel them.

“I’ll stop them,” Isaac quietly said.

“…You’re living in your own little world. I really can’t tell what’s going on inside your head.” Anna grumbled, although she didn’t turn down Isaac’s offer.

Anna immediately rode a gale away, but didn’t forget to leave behind a warning.

“I’m saying this just in case, but don’t have any false hope. I know his type, and it’s not you!” Anna shrieked through the wind.𝒩eew updates 𝒂t n𝒐vel/bi𝒏(.)com

Isaac burst into quiet laughter. “It’s a little comforting to know that there’s a woman who’s more deluded than me…”

* * *

Bel stood atop the fortress he’d seized from Avalon and took a deep breath. He’d been dreaming of this scene.

“…Joshua Sanders, now you have no time to relax up there.”

Bel grinned as he looked north.

Not many places on the continent would allow one to overlook the Martial God’s entire country, but the snow mountain where Joshua was trapped was one of them. Joshua’s goals were to annihilate the Demon Spirit and save the world, but Bel didn’t think that would remain the same after Joshua’s country was trampled and his family was butchered.

“The corrupted Martial God. Hehehehe.” Bel chuckled in delight after picturing Joshua in such a state.

“…Hmm.” Bel raised an eyebrow.

A part of the snow mountain suddenly vanished. If other people had seen it, they would think it had melted in the sunlight, but not Bel.

“The world’s destruction is definitely progressing quicker than before. Haaaaa.” He let out a yawn. “Just imagining it bores me to death. Destroying things is much more interesting than protecting them.”

Absolute or not, Bel had no interest in saving the Human Realm. The idea that he would have the same goal as the Martial God irritated him too. Watching the world hurtle to its doom was going to be a lot more interesting than trying to save it. Joshua had dedicated his life to saving the world, but if the Human Realm was destined to be destroyed…

“...Then everything you’re doing is ultimately meaningless, Joshua Sanders. I hope you realize that as soon as possible so that you’ll break out of that ice boulder and go for a round with me,” Bel murmured before he turned back.

One of his men climbed the walls, disrupting Bel’s solitude. There was nothing Bel hated more than being interrupted, so the man had waited patiently for Bel’s attention.

“What is it?” Bel asked.

“We just leaked the story of the Sword Emperor’s death in the Avalon camp.”

“Is that so?”

“Yes, those in the camp were quite shaken.”

“I’m sure they were. We’re talking about the Sword Emperor…” Bel trailed off, a grin creeping onto his face. Bel preferred not to bother with strategy, but he knew better than anyone how to make a war interesting.

“Spread a story in the Avalon camp that the Sword Emperor is actually alive.”

“Pardon…?” The subordinate tilted his head in confusion.

“It doesn’t matter if they stay cowering in their home since we can barge in and smash everything, but it’ll be quite a nuisance if they get too scared and bolt. Tracking down people isn’t exactly interesting.”

“You mean…”

“These two stories will put them in happy agony. It’ll eventually make them abandon their defenses to save the Sword Emperor.”

The subordinate let out a wordless exclamation.

“It’ll be all-out war from that point onward. We just have to wait for the moment,” Bel said firmly.

“I understand. It sounds like information manipulation is the key…”

“What do you mean by ‘it sounds like’?” Bel demanded, displeased by the uncertainty he heard in his minion’s voice.

“I’m not sure they’ll believe our story—”

Bel exploded with a tremendous amount of murderous energy, shutting the man’s mouth immediately.

“You can’t even do that much?” Bel growled.

“S-Sir Bel—”

“I conquered the fortress and killed the enemy commander. How long do I need to spoon-feed everything to you?”

“M-My apologies.” The subordinate bowed quickly.

“Most of our enemy’s main forces have retreated with Selim Sanders. All you have to do is to capture the people who stayed behind to buy time.”

Ideally, every single one of them needed to be captured for this ploy. It wasn’t going to be easy, but they’d already been defeated once.

“In fact, you can kill all of them. It doesn’t matter if you silence them for good. Is that still too difficult?” Bel sarcastically asked.

“N-No, sir. I’ll get right to it.”

Bel seemed to relax now that the man wasn’t so doubtful. “Do you want my help with this too?”

“It’s okay. I’ll send out my men to see if any of them slipped away and whether or not their scouts are still present around the fortress.”

“No, no. I was too harsh on you. Even if you do this as discreetly as possible, someone from Avalon may be unexpectedly skilled and find out what’s actually going on here…”

Bel tossed something over to his man. The subordinate's eyes widened—it was a human head.

“Make a puppet out of this. It’ll be enough to fool the people watching us from afar.”

“I’ll get to it right away, sir!”

The man looked at the head again. It belonged to an old man with pure white hair. His eyes were still wide open despite his death.

Anyone else on the continent would be shocked to see what was going on right now.

The old man had been over one hundred years old, making him older than most people could ask for. On top of that, he had been the most respected swordsman in Avalon—no, the most respected of the Nine Stars. In fact, he was still respected by so many knights; it would take centuries for another swordsman like him to be born.

The Sword Emperor, Avalon’s Duke… his name was Geschhard kon Tremblin. The fall of the greatest and most brilliant of the Nine Stars was beyond doubt.

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