Chapter 18 Dragon Slayer’s Ritual (3).
Chapter 18 - Dragon Slayer’s Ritual (3)
‘Atein is going to revive….’
Azell had put his life on the line to take down his arch-nemesis.
The fact that he could be revived made him feel out of sorts. It wasn’t the fact that the dead bastard could be revived. It is strange to say it, but it wasn’t surprising to see someone dead be revived.
‘It is quite common to see the Undead.’
The incident of raising the dead through black magic was very common. At the very least, it was like that in the Dragon Demon war. After a difficult battle, they were able to kill the Dragon Demon race, but the dead bastards would come back not too long after as a half-rotten corpse.
They would yell……
‘I can’t crawl back into my grave until I have killed you all.’
The enemy who was burning for revenge had to be defeated once again, and this had happened around 10 times. The bastards killed by Azell came back as an Undead. Therefore, he could shrug it off as if it wasn’t a big deal since ‘it could happen’. Still, this was a bit different. A completely dead entity was trying to revive across a very long period of time….
‘Maybe there is a connection as to why I woke up in this time period?’
The idea was entirely groundless. Didn’t Carlos’ remnant say he didn’t know if the revival was possible or not?
However, the more he thought about it, his heart beat faster. Maybe it was destined for Azell and Atein to fight once again in this time period. Then wouldn’t this give purpose to Azell, who was separated from the people he knew and flung into this time period by himself?
‘However, I have to learn and adapt to this time period first.’
Azell took one deep breath, and he shook off the thought. Then he started focusing on his current reality.
Arrieta was looking at him as if he was a really strange person. It was funny to see a young girl stare at him like that, so Azell laughed.
‘She is a type I haven’t seen even in the Dragon Demon war.’
It was common to see teens fighting in the war. At the time, everyone who had a bit of strength had to fight.
However, even then there weren’t anyone like Arrieta. She was the Dragon Demon Princess. She was a living proof that the humans and the Dragon Demon could coexist with each other. He was curious as to what kind of fate she carried.
‘At the very least, it can’t be comfortable.’
Once the Dragon Demon war had ended, he expected a peaceful time to come where everyone would be able laugh. However, Carlos believed that humans were an unreliable existence. He predicted there would be another different disaster coming… At the very least, Azell thought that it would be peaceful until the world could heal from the wound caused by the Dragon Demon race. He went to sleep with this expectation.
However, by looking at Arrieta, he could surmise that the world hadn’t improved much in the past 220 years. This young girl had to fight in battles with her life on the line, because of the station she was born into. She was deeply skeptical of humans as if it was par for the course…..
Suddenly Arrieta asked a question.
“Why are you staring at me like that?”
“Mmmm. What do you mean by that?”
“It is as if you are looking at a novel(TLN:unusual) animal.”
“…my eyes are doing that?”
Somehow he couldn’t accept it. At the very least, she could have said it was a gaze filled with sympathy.
“Still, it was a weird gaze. Fortunately, it wasn’t perverted. If it was then I would have hit you.”
“I think princess is a bit too young for me to look at you like that.”
“You have an unknown background yet you are speaking like that towards a person of royal blood. If we were in the palace, you would have been charged with high treason.”
“Fortunately, we aren’t at the palace.”
“That is true.”
“Also, it is pretty dark right now so I think it is reasonable to look at you like that.”
“I don’t believe that you wouldn’t be able to see me in this degree of darkness.”
It was as she said. If he was a normal person then he would have difficulty seeing what was beneath his foot in this darkness. Azell and Arrieta had no difficulty seeing each other.
“Still, you said I’m young…. I haven’t heard those words in a long time.”
Arrieta mumbled bashfully, and it made her look like a young girl akin to when she was asleep.
‘Normally she must be self conscious so she puts on an overbearing attitude?’
She was able to get away with such an attitude, because her looks were very unique and beautiful. Her hair was white as snow, and she had the skin of a porcelain doll. Moreover, her yellow eyes and the green feather-like horn sprouting above her left ear came together to form her looks, which was extremely mysterious.
Suddenly Arrieta asked a question.
“How old are you?”
“This year… Mmmm. I don’t think I’ve passed 30 yet. Maybe 26 or 27?”
If he excluded the 220 years he was asleep then he was 26 year old.
“…..so you aren’t really that much older than me?”
“Jeez. Even if we consider the lowest age of 26, isn’t there a 9 year difference? When I was 9 year old, you probably weren’t even born.”
“Hmmm. That was then this is now. I don’t think I should be treated like a kid.”
“Did I offend you?”
“No, it was just peculiar. However, you don’t look that young in my eyes.”
“Really? How old do I look?”
“Maybe around 40 year old?”
Azell became sad. He had self-confidence that he was a tender young man. However, he had grown a scraggly beard, and he purposefully avoided grooming himself. Now he had to hear that he looked like a 40 year old!
I don’t care what other guys says, but he felt sad when a beautiful girl said it. Azell promised himself that he would immediately cut off his beard when he had the spare time.
“I learned how to wield a sword since I was seven year old. When I came of age at 15, my mind had to become like one of the warriors.”
From that moment on, she had to go out to battle and fight. The throne decided where she should be deployed, and she was praised by the people wherever she went.
‘The throne has sent the Dragon Demon Princess to fight for us. She is the born from the union of the king and the Dragon Demon race. She is the proof that we can live along side the Dragon Demon race.’
This was what her subjects thought. The Dragon Demon Prince and Dragon Demon Princess were significant existences.
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard myself referred as being young after that. That is why I said your words were peculiar.”
“That kind of life…. What do you think about it?”
Azell carefully queried. Arrieta blankly stared at the empty air, while answering back.
“Truthfully, I don’t know. Since my childhood, everyone told me it was my duty. I was born for this reason, and I have to live this way……”
“Weren’t you scared?”
“I was scared when I entered into my first actual battle.”
After she finished her coming of age ceremony at 15 year old, she had stepped on to a battle field for the first time… Arrieta could never forget that incident until the day she died.
“It was nothing. In fact, I didn’t even get a scratch.”
However, others died instead of her. She had hesitated, while not really understanding the situation. During this time, the powerless soldiers had died. Arrieta could never forget that incident. Even now the faces of the soldiers, who had died at that time, would emerge in her mind.
Suddenly, Arrieta asked a question.
“How about you?”
“What do you mean?”
“You first actual battle.”
“Mmmm. I don’t know.”
“You don’t remember it?”
“I don’t remember it exactly. However, I think I was around 10 year old.”
“Ten year old?”
Arrieta was surprised. The Rulain kingdom’s conscription age was 15 year old. One could enlist only after having one’s coming of age ceremony.
Azell laughed bitterly.
“I don’t remember most of it. However… It was a time when everyone was starving.”
The Dragon Demon War erupted when Azell was 7 year old. It lasted 17 years, and it had concluded after leaving a huge scar on the whole continent.
“It was a period of time when everyone was starving, so there were a lot of people turning to banditry.”
When humanity faced the enormous enemy called the Dragon Demon race, everyone joined forces and it transcended nationality, gender or status. However, not every human was of noble character. Inside the chaos, there were a mountain of humans that acted worse than beasts.
Azell explained an appropriately edited version of the truth.
“Men like them raided the place I lived. I fought and kill them. That was my first real battle.”
Azell didn’t have any memories of his parents. He was able to find out about his surname, ‘Zestringer’, through the keepsake left to him. He was one of the orphan refugees produced from the Dragon Demon war. He wandered around following other people, and he was able to settle in the mountainous regions until he was 10 year old.
His first battle was standing up against the attacking bandits, and it was also the memory of his first kill.
Arrieta was shocked.
“Such things happen in this world…..”
“I had no power, and I was young… When the moment came, I had no choice but to fight.”
“I asked about a useless matter. I’m sorry.”
“It isn’t something you should apologize for. I asked about princess’ past so we are even.”
“Is that so.”
Arrieta looked at Azell with curious eyes.
He was a strange man. He had endless amount of suspicious characteristics, yet she discovered that she trusted and relied on him. She was so comfortable with his presence that she unwittingly told him her story she had bottled up within.
For a moment, there was an awkward silence. Arrieta hesitated before she remembered a topic.
“Who did you learn your swordsmanship from?”
“I didn’t learn it from one person. The first sword art I learned was from an old militia man in a town I was staying in.
Azell never had a master, who had taken responsibility for him and taught him from start to finish. Little by little, he learned the swordsmanship and spirit order from the people he had crossed path with.
It was a common occurrence that happens on the battle field. Unless one is born from a warrior family, one doesn’t systematically learn martial arts and spirit order, while growing up. If one had money then one could invite an instructor to learn from him, but there weren’t that many people born into such blessed environment.
It was hard to progress when your situation was like a barren desert. However, only those who can survive through it is revered as strong.
“If I had to name my masters, then I would select about 5 people.”
These were the people who had helped Azell over the walls he encountered when he was growing up. The current Azell wouldn’t exist if not for these people who had guided him and gave him what they had without sparing anything.
“I’ve never seen someone fight like you.”
“Is that right?”
“I was especially surprised that you don’t have any attachment to your swords.”
“Weapons are disposable items.”
“The people who taught me about the sword said I should think of my sword as my life.”
“They were knights.”
“Well, you can think of it like that. However, I think differently. I’d rather let go of the sword and live rather than die while holding the sword.
Azell fought like that since his first real battle. He didn’t have any weapons, so he had led the bandits toward a trap. Then he stole their weapon and killed them.
“You are really an amazing person.”
“I guess that’s better than hearing that I’m weird.”
Azell also smiled at her.