Translator and editor: SaltyTank
‘King of men…’
Andre repeated Seide’s word in a murmur.
He had no idea what sort of concept it was, nor had he anticipated that things would unfold like this. Regardless, he felt repulsed at the thought of entering her embrace.
‘Indeed, swear loyalty to this one, and this one shalt grant thee true godly powers.’ Seide slowly raised her arms and held her hands into fists. ‘There is still a long way to go till this one’s complete resurrection. During this time, manage mankind properly, and this one will not treat thee poorly. Thou shalt become one of the most feared existences, ranking only below this one.’
‘Just for the sake of asking, by managing properly—’
‘Rise with the sun, rest as it descends. Live a regulated life as this one commands without leaving the designated area and doing anything unnecessary.’
Seide pointed her fingers out as she listed out the rules, giving Andre a smile as she did.
However, he instead stabbed his sword into the ground.
‘Don’t joke with me!’ Andre roared, no longer able to hold back at her haughty attitude.
Seide furrowed her brows in response.
‘Live at a designated place, live a regulated life as you command, is this any different from livestock! Do you plan on rearing humans like animals?’
‘No—Thou art king of men, ’tis only natural thou art exempted. Any requests, mention them to this one. This one shalt consider them and give thee an acceptable answer.’
‘You…’ Andre did not hold back with his laughter. ‘Aren’t you looking down on us a bit too much?’
Hilde wanted to stop Andre, but he took a few steps forward.
‘King of men? Did you really think we’ve fought all this time just for such a facile reason? For a title which we have to trample over our kind to reach the pinnacle? No way in hell!’
Seide remained silent as she frowned.
‘We raise our swords just to fight you monsters. Our only goal, is to be able to live our own lives on these lands!’ Andre pointed at the sky.
‘To be able to act freely, to live without the constant worry of being torn apart by monsters, without the constant fear of waking up to a ruined home… That is all we seek!’
‘But that is not what this one desires.’
Seide replied coldly.
Andre was unwilling to back down either and fired back.
‘So what? For our goal, we’ve endured so long and made so many sacrifices… I don’t mind spilling more blood to get rid of you, the final obstacle.’
‘Ha, it does sound nice in theory. This one shalt give thee one last chance. Art thou willing to become the king of men and rule the lands as this one’s proxy?’
‘Say what you will quickly, because we won’t agree anyways.’
Andre lifted his sword up and entered a battle stance.
‘That’s right!’ Hilde chimed in from beside Andre as she readied her two blades. ‘Ya bunch of mumble jumble, I don’t really understand it. But I really can’t stand the way you talk, sounding all high and almighty!’
As though Andre’s action was the trigger, even Marie lifted her sword and prepared for the battle to come. Only Jade hid behind the team because she had lost her magic powers; she also disagreed with Seide’s proposition though.
‘Looks like… negotiations broke down.’ Seide sighed and leapt back to the urn. ‘Thou art too stubborn, seeking the path of death. Do not blame this one.’
‘We don’t know who’s going down just yet,’ Andre looked at Seide with a grin.
‘Now that I think about it, if we weren’t affecting your plans at all, you wouldn’t even be here now. Offering us such a position, I’m sure we’re a threat to your resurrection, am I right?’
‘Say no more.’
Blue mist gushed out from beside Seide. The moment she waved her hand, all the brain cores scattered throughout the city, including the ones Andre’s group brought, levitated and flew towards her. Together, the cores gathered to form a massive crystal and landed next to her.
Just when they were wondering what she was up to, she waved her arm again. The crystal morphed into an eerie, shiny substance and twined around Seide. After a short transformation of twisting and wriggling motions, it turned into an armour that had the same tint of amethyst purple as her hair and a gigantic two-handed sword that was taller than Seide herself.
‘Come, fight me.’
Seide suddenly charged at Andre’s group at an alarming speed.
Perhaps Seide had removed the limitations on magic usage because she had to use it herself, Andre noticed that blue particles were radiating from his body once again.
Marie hurried to the front. Right after she lifted her shield, it was struck by a devastating strike from Seide’s two-handed sword which knocked her back a few steps. Marie came to a stop only when Andre and Hilde supported her from behind.
‘Jade, run away with your magic!’
Andre shrouded himself in a thick layer of magical mist and attacked from the flank as Seide retracted her sword. His strike, however, was easily repelled by her sturdy gauntlet.
Jade hurriedly summoned the wind and blew herself away to put some distance between herself and the ongoing fight. After all, she was completely no good at close-quarters combat.
She could see Marie charging in with her shield at the forefront while Hilde kept harassing Seide with slashes from the rear. The three were going all-out on the god, sending flurries of attacks her way.
Still, Seide looked completely untroubled despite the constant onslaught. Swinging her sword imposingly, it was like her weapon bore no weight at all. She was intercepting every one of their attacks with ease even when attacked on both her flank and rear.
The three could not deal any actual damage on Seide, but the same went for her as well. Eventually, she took advantage of a brief opening and escaped from their encirclement. She ascended into the air, holding her sword in her right hand, and summoned hundreds of light blue orbs to bombard them from afar. It was just like what the gods used to do, just that the quantity was overwhelming.
Jade immediately responded by clashing a strong gale directly against the downpour of light orbs. Half of the orbs detonated in a chain reaction in the air, splattering glistering dust everywhere.
Having Jade’s aerial line of defence made things a lot easier for them on the ground. They struck down the orbs with their lightstone weapons and survived the wave safely.
‘Such fine weapons.’
‘They’re created for the sole purpose of slaying you monsters.’
Enhanced by magic, Andre’s sword gave off a brilliant glisten, making Seide who was levitating above squint her eyes.
‘Such an obnoxious glow. Reminds this one of the unpleasant times.’
Jade tried to force Seide back to the ground by manipulating the air around her, but her armour suddenly spouted smog in large amounts to cancel out the rapidly raging winds, effectively countering Jade’s attack.
Seide swooped down through the smog with sword in hand out of the blue, apparently targeting Marie.
It was common sense that attacking the shielded vanguard was the least effective option, not to mention it was exactly what Andre’s team were aiming for. Seide’s unexpected actions threw them off and startled them a bit.
Marie dutifully blocked the strike with her shield. However, things started to change at that moment, for Seide’s armour started transforming.
Powered by smog, two large chunks separated from the armour made of brain core and turned into miniature gods. The two clones circled around Marie to attack Andre and Hilde.
Andre was rushing over to support Marie and was in close proximity when the clone struck him. Unable to dodge the sudden attack, his small round shield that had not been strengthened was shattered upon impact, injuring his arm slightly. Hilde evaded her enemy clone with magic but was in an equally difficult position.
They quickly retaliated with attacks of their own. Despite cutting the miniature gods into half, they simply flew along with the smog and re-embedded themselves onto Seide’s armour. Marie, without the aid of Andre, was hammered to the ground by the sheer weight of Seide’s two-handed sword and was struggling to crawl back onto her feet.
The sudden transformation really caught them off guard. Her armour now back in its original state, Seide laughed softly.
She immediately created more smog for her next round of attack, not giving the team time to regroup. This time though, Seide split her armour into three clones and sent all of them to fight Andre, surrounding him with enemies.
Andre fended off the miniature gods as he retreated with quick steps. Seizing the opportunity, Hilde swung her sword at Seide, hoping to land a hit when the massive two-handed sword was out of position.
Unfortunately, they forgot about something important—Seide’s weapon was also made out of brain cores.
The two-handed sword quickly morphed and split into two halves. The half in Seide’s right hand became a sword, suddenly accelerating as it headed straight for Andre’s waist. The other half in her left converted into a spear, with which she stabbed at Hilde’s throat before she could close in.
With a weapon in each hand, Seide hopped lightly on Marie’s shield and backflipped over the shielded maiden. Jade was awestruck by how smooth her attacks were.
The three melee combatants pulled back at the same time. Seide’s combat style was simply too versatile, and going with orthodox methods was not enough to put up a fight against her.
Moreover, Seide had seized all their brain cores. If the battle dragged on, she would not even have to finish them off herself because they would die of magic exhaustion.
‘Andre, what now? This is bad.’
‘Can’t give up just yet…’
‘I’ll do it.’ Marie actually spoke up during a battle, which was rare. ‘Andre, look for a chance.’
‘Let’s go with that, Andre, we’ll try and hold her off.’
Before he could reply, the two ladies charged at the god together. Andre, being left behind, caught up with them moments later to see that they were already engaged in combat. Despite desperately wanting to help them out, he could not let their determination and efforts go to waste.
Andre adjusted his battle plan and skirmished from the sidelines. Seven out of ten of his attacks were feints for probing Seide; his goal was to record her movement patterns and find an opening they could take advantage of.
This was easier said than done. As Andre observed Seide, he only got more and more agitated.
Still, his observations were not completely fruitless. Andre noticed that whenever the clones were hurt, noticeable traces of damage remained even after merging back into her armour. Regardless of where the clones broke off from, they would always return to their original spot on the armour as well.
His task now was to come up with an idea to exploit that feature.
Seide’s armour transformed once again. This time, it turned into countless spikes and speared at the three. Caught off guard again, they were unable to react in time and were struck, albeit only suffering minor injuries.
Immediately after that, three clones broke off from her armour and targeted Jade who was spectating from afar.