Translator and editor: SaltyTank
‘So… What’s this mess about?’
Early in the morning, Andre and Hilde woke up and went to the common area to find things all over the place.
Marie who had been sitting in her corner seat for a while now shrugged to show that it was not her fault. From the workshop area came a tired-looking Jade, and it was apparent that she was the culprit of the mess.
She looked like she had burned the midnight oil, reflected in her wobbly steps. Hilde went over to give Jade a hand, then realised she was holding something wrapped up in tattered cloth.
‘I have something to show you all… Wait for me.’
Jade placed the item onto the table and stumbled her way back to the workshop area. Andre and Hilde were rather baffled and curious, but they thought it was not nice to unwrap the thing on their own, so they instead started cleaning the place up while waiting for Jade’s return.
After a while, Jade finally returned—with a god’s torso in her hands.
Everyone looked at one another, unsure what she was trying to do.
Jade picked up the wrapped up cloth and took out the item. They had not expected her to unveil a blade. It was around the length of an arm, just slightly longer than Hilde’s beloved daggers. The appearance was so rough and bent that it looked like scrap from a failed forging attempt.
‘What’s this? You spent the whole night on this?’
‘Yes, this is the god slaying sword.’ Jade folded the cloth around the end of the blade where the hilt was supposed to be and lifted it up. ‘This is the treasure Prommel has left us with.’
Clearly, Andre and Hilde could not understand what Jade was saying, claiming that a piece of twisted and crooked blade was the non-existent god slaying sword. She was still fine last night, so why did she look like something was wrong with her head today?
Just when Jade was about to stab the god’s corpse with the weapon, Marie abruptly stood up. Everyone could feel the danger looming and stopped everything they were doing.
There was no need for more words as everyone naturally knew what was coming, though they had not expected the gods to strike on the day they planned on leaving.
Andre and Hilde hurriedly put on their equipment, but they were still too slow. The surprise attack, just like how it had been for other villages, started with a beam of light that penetrated through the ground surface and blasted right into the base, almost hitting the two of them.
Still, the sequential collapse buried them with soil and rocks.
After a brief moment, the first to emerge from the rubble was Andre radiating in a blue aura. No longer filtered by lightstones at the entrance, nearby smog started flooding into the base. Andre could see the outside of the base just by looking up.
Three gods gradually descended from the sky, one of them wearing armour and holding a spear. Just the sight of the equipped enemy struck dread within Andre.
Hilde was the next to escape the rubble by turning into mist and re-materialising. Marie also forced her way out from beneath the rocks and pulled Jade up as well.
Under the protection of Marie’s shield, Jade was not injured, though she still looked like a mess with dust all over her. More importantly, the blade she made last night was nowhere to be seen.
Her so-called god slaying sword was lost beneath the rubble without even undergoing its trial. She immediately knelt down to dig the soil and rocks with her hands, hoping to to find the missing weapon.
Hilde and Marie did not have the leisure to care about Jade and went ahead to intercept the gods. They were not fully equipped, but time was not on their side.
‘Leave the spear monster to me, go deal with the other two and chase them out of the base!’
They then sprung into action, jumping out of the base before the gods landed. Marie lifted her shield up and charged at one of the gods. With her speed and strength, she bashed herself into the enemy and forced it away from the base.
Just when the other two gods were about to pursue Marie, Andre and Hilde had rushed over and joined the fray in an attempt to separate the enemies, not allowing them to team up.
The smog nearby was a lot thinner than the city ruins, as such the gods’ regenerative abilities were not as potent. The two ladies were still holding up just fine against their enemies.
Hilde was clearly less agile now after suffering from the grave injury and could only concentrate on dodging attacks with her magic, though that did not pose any immediate danger to her.
Things were different for Andre.
His horizontal slash was somewhat lacking in power. The god spun its spear to intercept the attack with the front shaft of its weapon and even knocked Andre’s sword from its trajectory. He also noticed that the blade was chipped just from that exchange.
Facing such an opponent while he himself was not fully equipped, it was truly an unfortunate encounter. The god’s armour was even tougher than its spear. For a few times, Andre managed to close the distance between them with much difficulty and struck the god, only for his weapon to bounce off its armour and fail to damage his opponent.
Andre spared a glance at Hilde who was sneaking in a few attacks here and there as she ran. She probably was not in danger for now, though the best she could do was to delay the enemy; he could not see her winning the bout.
The only hope was on Marie. If she could defeat her opponent and support either Andre or Hilde, they could instantly turn the tide of the battle. However, Marie was a vanguard whose role was defence. The damage she could dish out was very limited, and it would be difficult for her to win her duel in a short period of time.
The battle was in a stalemate as the three fought on.
Even so, Jade who was borderline within the battlefield was experiencing an entirely different emotion. She lost that thing—the god slaying sword she had spent the whole night on.
The gods arrived at a really bad timing. If she could just finish her demonstration, perhaps it could mark its meritorious debut in this encounter.
‘Where… Where on earth is it…’
Jade continued to scoop through the sandy soil and shattered rocks without caring too much out of urgency. Her hands were reddened, scratched, and bleeding, but she simply kept on with it.
It was extremely inefficient, not to mention she did not even have an idea of the general direction of where to dig. It was possible that she was digging in the wrong direction all this time, nor was there any way for her to find out.
Jade scanned her surroundings for tools but there was nothing suitable for the task. Trying to use a spare weapon lying around, it soon turned out it was not suited for digging and was only a hindrance.
Tears fell to the soil, immediately absorbed by the dry ground. Jade sat there, dispirited, with thoughts of giving up emerging in her mind.
Right then, a blade came flying towards her and buried itself into the rubble not far away. She turned around and saw that Andre’s sword had actually been snapped into half.
Jade tossed the sword she had tried digging with over in panic.
Andre could not catch the weapon. After dodging a flurry of spear strikes and claw slashes, he finally grabbed the sword up and continued his fight. Still, as though it had got the hang of it already, it did not take long for the god to shatter his blade again.
There were no more backup weapons within her reach. Jade could only watch powerlessly as Andre ducked and rolled in his struggle against the god. Bearing the pain in her fingers, she continued to dig up the soil while praying that she could find the god slaying sword.
Who was she praying to? The hypocritical gods, or the omnipotent Creator who simply left mankind to meet their demise?
Jade did not know either. She could only curse at her own weakness for failing at even such a simple task.
Power, I want it.
She stabbed her fingers into the rubble again, rocks drawing wounds on her delicate flesh. Scooping aside the sandy soil again, the tip of her fingernails chipped and broke off.
Jade prayed for power.
She came to an abrupt stop. That was it—she finally remembered that she was also a person who had consumed brain cores. If she willed for it, she could always become like Andre and the group who had magical abilities.
Indeed, she understood that the hidden power was a curse as well. Once used, there was no turning back; she could no longer be part of the human society.
‘At times when you need power, you can’t really care about the consequences, can you?’
Prommel’s resounded within her mind. Jade sat still in the ruined base, the sounds of everything fading away. Her mind was void of any redundant thoughts; the things she should do, the things she wished for, the results she hoped for, everything was obvious at this point.
She needed power, and now was the moment for it.
A massive torrent of dust gushed up along with the loud bang. Andre thought a bomb had gone off somewhere within the base, but how could there be a bomb when they used up even the last of their flares?
The storm razed through the area with no signs of coming to a stop, pinning Andre and even the god onto the ground. The centre of the storm, it was right at the middle of the tattered base.
Andre barely managed to open his eyes to find Jade radiating a light blue aura. The storm that originated from her palms blew rubble in the base into the air, almost creating a hurricane of rocks.
The moment she closed her fist, the storm came to a rest and disappeared.
Rubble and dust, everything was blown far off into the distance. A blade gradually descended from the air and reached Jade’s palm under the guidance of a gentle breeze.
Jade looked right into his eyes and tossed the blade at him. Along with a torrent, it quickly arrived in front of Andre. He received the weapon and held onto the part that was wrapped in cloth and could barely be called a ‘hilt’.
So this was the ‘god slaying sword’ she was talking about. For this weapon, Jade had made a decision she could never go back on.
Moved by her resilient look, he held onto the embodiment of her determination. Andre could not tell what the material was. It was way too light compared to conventional weapons, not to mention its ever so fragile appearance that looked like it could not even withstand a single strike. Could he even fight the gods with such a thing?
Not given the chance to think about it, the god struck again, its spear rapidly approaching his eyes. He had not smeared the weapon in blood, nor did he have the time to grasp the characteristics of his newly acquired weapon.
He reflexively parried the spear aside with the blade. Along with a crisp ‘clang’, his weapon bent slightly. Its toughness was way too bad.
The spear tip bounced off his weapon, but it soon came whirling towards him again. A torrent of wind blew against the polearm, slowing its speed. Andre cheered on the inside and silently thanked Jade for her assistance.
Jade had not expected herself to receive the ability to manipulate gases. She only held the thought that she wanted to remove the obstacles in front as she ignited the strength within her. The moment a light blue aura shrouded her, she immediately understood what her ability could do.
It was not really suitable for direct attacks, but it was good for supporting from afar. With Jade’s interference in the duel, Andre was slowly but surely making a comeback from rock bottom.
They crossed their weapons for another five bouts, the bend in his weapon now more apparent. Blocking the incoming spear for the sixth time, the god’s spear broke into two halves.
Andre was shocked, and he was not the only one, for the god was also startled for a moment.
Andre utilised the opening and closed in on his opponent, dodging a sweep from its spear shaft and a claw slash before stabbing his weapon into the god’s chest with all his might. Despite its bent blade that was not smeared with blood, the tip punctured the god’s armour and pierced through its torso.
Even in the past, Andre had never felt such a clean strike. The disgusting feeling was nowhere to be felt. The blade easily sliced its way into the god’s body, the sensation feeling just like that of hunting wild prey.
Confidence swelling, Andre mustered his magic and created a burst of blue mist around his arm, the blade also revealing a silver glimmer. He flicked the weapon up and tore the god’s head into two halves.
Its brain core dropped to the ground.
‘It’s a success… The god slaying sword really does exist.’
Andre looked at the weapon that was giving off an intense gleam, his emotions all stirred up and excited.
For years, he had never imagined something that could kill the ‘immortal’ monsters without the use of blood or magic had existed.
But today, there it was, lying right within his hands.
Prommel’s incomplete experiments and unfinished journey, with Jade’s hard work, had finally reached their destination.
Andre finally understood what this mysterious blade was made of—absorbing smog and enlightening the world, it was none other than the Tuninese treasure, lightstone.