Chapter 477: Something Lighter
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The shade of scarlet in the east began to wane and the sky grew brighter… but the atmosphere in the desert became increasingly strange.
Under the countless pairs of eyes, Roman, who was as stunning as a painting, stared coldly at Ricky, whose clothes and armor were damaged and was covered in blood, but also had no external wounds.
Thales breathed in deeply and turned to look at his surroundings. The cavaliers were in position, the mercenaries were nervous, the Royal Guards were filled with complicated emotions, and the smoke-shrouded Blade Fangs Camp looked like an exquisite miniature model of itself from afar.
He was deep in thought.
Finally, the Legendary Wing turned his head to look at Stake, who was guarded by Klein. Roman gazed into Stake’s eyes which filled with indignation and agony, and softly said, “Shadow… Shield?”
Stake returned the gaze of this handsome man before him and realized something. He stopped struggling pointlessly, and instead furrowed his eyebrows as he was immersed in his thoughts.
“More than that.” Ricky raised his arms with a smile on his face. “His relationship with everyone present here is more complicated than that. Other than being the mastermind behind most of the mayhem tonight…”
The leader of Disaster Swords pointed at the Blade Fangs Camp in the distance. His voice was mysterious.
“He was the main culprit behind the incident eighteen years ago. He colluded with the enemies, infiltrated Blade Fangs Dune, assassinated Herman Jadestar, and caused the camp to fall into enemy hands.”
Thales sighed. Stake closed his eyes indignantly.
In that second, the desert fell silent. The only sound they heard was the swooshing of the desert wind. Even the frightening gaze of the Legendary Wing had frozen.
In the next second, commotion erupted among the military officers in the first row of the cavaliers.
“What?” Frank furrowed his eyebrows in disbelief. “You’re saying… Ghost Prince Tower? And… the fall of the camp into enemy hands?… This man?”
In that very instant, countless eyes moved onto Stake at once. Ricky nodded and watched the commotion he caused with satisfaction on his face.
“A surprising gift, am I right?”
Zakriel, who sat on the ground—because it was clear that he was utterly exhausted—looked profoundly at Stake.
“Well damn, Samel, that fellow…” Barney Junior shoved Samel away from him, but did not continue to fight. Perhaps it was because of the bows and arrows around them. “You knew this all along?”
Samel merely pursed his lips and did not speak.
In this slightly chaotic situation, Thales looked at the man who had the greatest authority to steer the conversation. The Legendary Wing did not speak, nor did he suppress the commotion among his subordinates.
The knight in white only stared at Stake, whose eyes were closed. The knight’s attitude to the situation was unknown, and he did not move.
“That’s impossible!” Felicia the knight clenched her teeth while on her horse. It was clear that she had recalled an unpleasant memory. “I saw the execution site when I was little. The king had already dealt with the assassins who were there that night—”
But at that very moment, Roman, who had been silent, finally raised his right hand.
The whispers and discussions among the army ended right then. It was as though the raised hand signified supreme authority. Soon enough, the mercenaries and Royal Guards quieted down as well. Everyone wore a solemn face as they watched Roman’s actions nervously.
However, the Legendary Wing only turned his head slightly to look at Ricky. “Evidence?”
Ricky smirked. He reached for his chest confidently. “I have a letter…”
But as he spoke, Ricky suddenly thought of something. He put down his hand and looked at the prince in the distance with a strange expression.
“Ahem, I was saying… our prince has a letter left by the late Prince Herman. The inscription and the date of the day he died were written on it. It was the ‘trophy’ taken by this leader of assassins that day.”
Stake opened his eyes and stared at Ricky incredulously.
Roman immediately shifted his gaze to Thales. Thales shuddered, as if he was struck by lightning.
Yodel’s voice rang in the air, it slipped into Thales’ ear. “Hand it to him.”
Thales frowned and glanced at the Legendary Wing’s flawless face, but in the end, he took out the letter obediently and passed it on with a trembling hand.
Roman remained silent for a second or two as he looked at the fancy paper. He then slowly took the letter, unfolded it, and began to read it. Stake’s expression became even more dejected. Ricky remained silent while he waited.
At last, Roman put down the letter under the watch of thousands of pairs of eyes.
Ricky breathed out. “See, I am not lying to you. So…”
The Legendary Wing did not speak. His amber eyes flashed with a dim glimmer, and within them was the reflection of the boundless desert.
“Ah, Crassus… Did you think that if you used me and the prince as your leverage, he will let you go?” At that moment, Stake let out a laugh of despair with a dejected look on his face. “He is the Legendary Wing. He is decisive, relentless, cold, and cruel.”
Under the hateful gaze of everyone around him, Stake stared coldly at Ricky, the man who just sold him out, and said spitefully, “Whether he fancies your threat or not, clearly, wiping all of you out at once is more to his benefit.”
The looks on the mercenaries’ faces instantly turned grim.
At that very moment, a voice that seemed out of place rose up.
The crowd frowned and turned to look at the teenager who had been neglected this whole time.
“Can I have it back?”
Thales ignored Yodel’s anxious warning from behind him. He scratched his head, smiled foolishly, and extended a hand to Roman.
“You know… since it belonged to my… uncle?”
Everyone gawked at him. Then, as if someone pierced a balloon, the tense atmosphere instantly disappeared.
Roman scowled for a few seconds. He looked like he wanted to re-evaluate the teenager who dared to interrupt him once more. And Thales could only brace himself to endure Roman’s stare. His smile was stiff.
Fortunately, perhaps it was because his identity had been verified, the Legendary Wing did not threaten to kill him again. Instead, he extended his hand in silence and returned the letter to Thales.
“Tick-tock.” Ricky mimicked the sound of a clock with his eyes narrowed. “Time is passing, sir.” He pointed at the smoke-shrouded Blade Fangs Camp in the distance.
Roman did not answer. Instead, he turned to face the third sand dune. “Duro?”
On the third sand dune, a brawny knight dressed in rather casual attire rode out from a group of cavaliers and came before the Legendary Wing.
Thales and Quick Rope were both startled—they recognized him.
It was Duro. He was the Psionic Warrior they met on their way back, the Boss of the Freak Squad from the Stardust Unit.
“The boys are ready, sir,” Duro, whose left arm was much more muscular than the right, answered respectfully. “They can go anytime.”
Roman stared at the camp in the distance and nodded.
“Of course, if you want to, we can take the prince back right now.” Duro looked at Thales. He obviously did not recognize him, since the prince appeared even scruffier than his last trip into the desert. He then looked the mercenaries contemptuously.
“We can crush them all with a single charge. We won’t even need Carl’s troops.”
Duro’s stare, like the other cavaliers’, was filled with animosity and bloodlust. His words made the mercenaries and Royal Guards nervous.
Only Ricky let out a sigh in a relaxed manner. “I’ll give you another piece of information as a bonus, sir.” The current Crassus of the Disaster Swords narrowed his eyes. “The name of this lieutenant of yours seems to be… Duro?”
In the next second, Ricky pointed at Duro, then at Stake. “He has been selling information to Shadow Shield for a long time.”
Thales frowned. He recalled how prone Duro was to accumulating wealth through unfair means. He also remembered the conversation between the three parties in the tavern.
Duro was startled at first when he was called. His expression changed immediately afterwards.
He charged at Ricky on his horse furiously. “Scr*w your—”
In that very second, Klein and Yosef drew closer to Ricky instinctively, intending to protect the still smiling Ricky. The cavaliers on the first few rows also loaded their bows with arrows and prepared to aim at Ricky. Some of them drew their blades and swords out of their sheaths!
Even Thales felt Yodel’s grip tighten on his arm. The situation immediately fell into chaos.
In that very moment…
…there was a white flash.
The white spear suddenly appeared in the Legendary Wing’s hands, and he stabbed the sand under him with one hand! In that second, Thales felt as though the air around him had turned into water. All the noise and commotion stopped at once.
Roman began to speak softly, and it was as if he was whispering into everyone’s ears. “Silence.”
Thales felt a shiver. Roman’s words seemed to have some sort of power. It forced the chaotic crowd to stop talking and halt whatever they were doing.
Two seconds passed. Everyone no longer spoke or moved. Order and silence returned to the scene. They heard only the hissing sand in the moaning wind.
The Legendary Wing pulled his spear out of the sand and returned it onto his back. The crowd suddenly remembered how to breathe, as though they had just woken up from a long dream.
“Sir…” Duro’s mount raised its front hooves, hoisting its rider in the air before it stopped in its tracks. Duro pointed at Ricky angrily. His lips trembled with wrath as he began to speak incoherently, “He, he, this son of a b*tch… horrible, horrible man…”
But the Legendary Wing merely glanced at him with indifference. “Is what he just said true?”
When he stared at his commander’s face, Duro instantly became tongue-tied. But he immediately replied, “Impossible. I don’t know this so-called assassin…”
However, Ricky gently pushed Josef—who was protecting him—out of his way. He chuckled and said, “But he told me that your wife and daughter are terribly ill, am I right?”
Duro was dumbfounded.
“Perhaps you would do something unusual to save them?”
Duro clenched his teeth in rage. He glanced at the cavaliers around him and angrily said, “Don’t slander my name, you motherf*ck—”
At that moment, the Legendary Wing spoke again, “I. Abhor. Quarrels.”
These three words were like verses from the holy scripture; they instantly silenced both Duro and Ricky.
Roman raised his head slowly, and his gaze pierced through Duro like lightning.
“You only need to tell me whether the answer is yes or no.”
Duro panicked. “Of course not! I was trained and taught personally by you. I have always been loyal to y—”
However, he was interrupted by his commander once more. “But you do not sound very certain.” The Legendary Wing’s voice was calm and hollow, as if it came from the sky.
Duro was instantly stunned. He stared into his commander’s eyes and lowered his head subconsciously, as if he had begun to hesitate.
“They… my wife and daughter are quite ill, sir.” Duro’s tone of voice softened slightly. He rubbed his hands on the reins and said with difficulty, “My wages could not cover the costs. Sometimes, I would think of ways to… earn some money from the merchants.”
The Legendary Wing frowned.
Felicia, who watched Duro as he embarrassed himself, could not help but blurt out, “Sir, we should deal with this some time later. The camp…”
However, Frank rode to her side and placed a hand on her shoulder before she could finish. The middle-aged knight shook his head at the puzzled Felicia.
Thales, being one of the spectators, frowned slightly.
“Earn money? With information?” Ricky snorted lightly, and glanced at Stake. “Your wife and daughter were not sick. They were just poisoned by these assassins on a regular basis.”
In that second, Duro’s expression finally changed. He turned to look at Stake, who looked like he was ready to accept death.
“What?” Ricky said sarcastically, “No need to thank me, but this is the cause of their illness.”
Beside him, the bound Stake laughed so hard he could barely sit straight.
The Legendary Wing stared at Duro in silence. “So, you were indeed selling our information?”
Duro’s face turned red in anger. He glanced at the colleagues around him, panicking.
“They was just some insignificant information. You know, that Blade Fangs Camp doesn’t have a police station; the merchants are always worried about public security, and wanted to get some insider intel—”
His colleague, Frank let out a faint sigh. But Roman interrupted Duro again.
“For example, the information about the assembly of armies from other regions in Blade Fangs Camp, and the large-scale dispatchment of our main regular army this time?”
Duro was at a loss for words. “I…” He was terribly frightened, and he was stupefied by the accusations and questions that came one after another. “But sir, I had no idea that those ‘merchants’… I had no idea they were…”
The Legendary Wing responded with indifference.
Felicia could not bear to watch this anymore. “Sir,” she said tentatively, “We sh-should go back to help the camp—”
But Roman interrupted her without hesitation. “The camp will stand firm and guarded against danger for eternity.” He peered at Duro’s sweat-covered face. The coldness in his voice even affected the air around them. “…But that is not always the case with my lieutenants.”
When they heard this, Frank and Felicia shuddered and fell silent at once beside him.
Duro’s whole body started to tremble. “Sir!”
Roman slowly approached Duro’s mount. “When your family fell ill… why did you not come ask for my help?”
Duro was obviously a few heads taller than Roman while on horseback, but at that moment, he seemed like a trembling mouse that bumped into a cat.
In the next second, Thales saw a white flash before his eyes, and it was immediately followed by Duro’s harrowing screams.
The cavaliers on the first few rows let out cries. When the startled Thales shifted his gaze back to Duro, the latter had already fallen on the ground.
The boss of the Freak Squad was not killed. He lay on the sand, panting, still in shock and filled with fear. He was eyeing the white spear pointed at his chest.
The tip of the spear was only a few inches away from his throat.
“Right, because you know that I do not care,” Roman said coldly. The Legendary Wing turned around, and the white spear returned to his back.
Duro finally heaved a sigh of relief, as did the other cavaliers.
“Snake Shooter.” Roman raised his voice.
On the third sand dune, a knight was given a shove from behind before he quickly rode towards his commander. He seemed rather panicky. “Sir!”
Thales recognized the man. He was another Psionic who worked under Duro. Thales met him once in the desert.
The Legendary Wing raised his head.
“You are the new leader of the Freak Squad from now on.”
The knight nicknamed Snake Shooter was startled. He looked at his leader Duro, lying on the ground.
“Huh? But I—”
Frank, who stood next to him, grabbed his arms and silenced the frightened Snake Shooter.
“As for you, retire from the army after today.” Roman stared at Duro as the man still lay on the ground with a dumbfounded expression. “Settle the money issue with Nikolay. The two of you have too many similarities—you are both foolish and insensible.”
He gave a cold snort, turned away, and let Snake Shooter and Felicia help Duro get onto his feet.
However, in the next second, the Legendary Wing walked towards Stake. This instantly drew the attention of the crowd.
Under Ricky’s instruction, Klein loosened his grip on Stake’s arm, but only slightly.
“So, it was you.” Roman glared at Stake coldly. “You extended your claws to the camp eighteen years ago. Now, you are doing the same to my army.”
The voice of the Legendary Wing was airy and hollow with a hint of coldness. “You…”
Stake froze slightly, as though stunned by his presence. He let out a sigh immediately after that.
“It was just a mission.” Stake lowered his head and coughed loudly, looking incredibly pathetic. “Just like you, Your Grace, I was only following… an order from my higher-ups.”
Thales thought of something and creased his brow slightly.
“I do not follow orders, assassin,” the Legendary Wing replied coldly, “I only protect my property.”
Roman strode forward. Due to the tone of his voice, his striking facial features seemingly transformed in that instant into sharp, steely blades, intimidating all those who watched him closely.
“And Blade Fangs Camp is my property. No one can touch it.” Roman glared at Stake. “No one.”
Stake gawked at him, seemingly frightened by how the baron acted at this moment.
“You don’t have to be like this, sir. I have surrendered, and I will cooperate with you.” When he realized the meaning behind Roman’s words, Stake appeared to have lost his composure. Still, he attempted to talk his way out of this situation.
“Everything that happened, including all the assassinations during the Bloody Year, was orchestrated by our master. His name is Teng. The Secret Intelligence Department must know about him as well. And I can help you, the Secret Intelligence Department, and Constellation find him.”
Stake glanced at Thales with resentment. “He keeps a horrible secret to himself, including the mastermind behind the Bloody Year. It is a secret that will decide the fate of Constellation.”
Frank and Felicia exchanged glances, even Zakriel pursed his lips tightly. However, Stake had miscalculated this time.
The owner of Blade Fangs Camp, the Legendary Wing, Roman Williams, stared at Stake as he spoke softly, “But Blade Fangs Camp belongs to me. It only belongs to me.”
Thales watched them in silence.
Stake panicked. “Certainly, and you have taken good care of it. Listen, I know who else was involved in this operation. The Northlanders, Secret Room, even the other parties… I can lead you to them. My subordinates still have plenty of resources at their disposal. You can use me as a…”
In the next second, the Legendary Wing made his move. A strange white light flashed across the air in that instant, turned into a spear, and aimed for Stake’s chest!
There was a sound of flesh being torn apart. Thales tensed up.
In the next second, Stake lowered his head in a daze and looked at the blood that gushed out of his chest in a constant stream.
‘No…’ He did not quite understand.
The Legendary Wing continued to speak. He was still indifferent and emotionless, as if he had not heard what Stake had said at all. “It… is mine.” He looked down at Stake condescendingly, as though he was staring at a powerless bug.
Stake seemed to have realized his fate at last. He looked up from the mortal wound on his chest, forced himself to curl up the corners of his lips into his last aggrieved smile with difficulty, and it immediately turned into a ferocious sneer.
“As, as long as the Shadow Shield does not die, they will…”
But the white light flashed again, this time right across his neck! Stake’s baleful last words came to an abrupt halt.
“Whoever attempts to mess with the camp will pay the price.” Roman held the severed head with an emotionless expression, and he simply allowed blood to flow down the spear in his right hand.
Stake’s headless corpse collapsed on the ground. Thales’ eyes widened as he watched the scene unfold.
Stake of Shadow Shield, a man who had been secretly pulling the strings in Dragon Clouds City and Blade Fangs Camp, had died quietly, just like that, in a corner of the desert. He did not even finish his last words.
In the next second, Roman retracted the spear, turned it into a shorter weapon, and stuck it into the mouth of the severed head!
His next move made Quick Rope cover his mouth in horror.
Thales, shocked, watched Roman as he sliced the flesh off the severed head with his shortened spear in a relaxed and well-practiced manner.
‘He’s dissecting it?’
Everyone’s faces changed.
As the soft and frightening sounds of metal scraping against flesh and bone rose up, flesh flew into the air, and blood spilled on the ground. Roman’s moves showed how skilled he was in this task, and there was a poised look on his face. He looked like he was cutting vegetables.
The crowd felt a chill as they watched.
Fortunately, Roman was not much of a talker, otherwise Thales guessed that he would have started to hum a tune as he did this.
Soon enough, Stake’s eyes, which had remained open even after he died, were gouged out, leaving two empty, bloody sockets. His lower jaw, too, had been separated from his skull. The severed head became more and more gruesome. Blood dripped from it endlessly.
Thales was petrified as he watched. Meanwhile, Roman withdrew his spear, and rotated the severed head in his hand—now cut in half—with a look of intrigue. His expression …
‘He looks as though he’s admiring a piece of art.’ This realization gave Thales chills.
Everyone wore grim faces. Frank coughed and said, “Sir?”
The Legendary Wing turned around and tossed Stake’s bisected head to Frank. The latter caught it, refrained himself from feeling terribly disgusted by it, and turned the bloody, empty eye sockets away.
Roman’s expression was calm and emotionless, but Thales thought that the former was in a fairly good mood.
Roman scooped up a handful of sand and rubbed the blood off his hands.
“Process it on the spot first, then bake it properly after the battle.”
‘Bake?’ Thales furrowed his eyebrows.
“Chief Khelza Shattered Stone was not too bad himself.”
Under his subordinates’ peculiar gazes, Roman rotated his shoulders, and tapped the hideous, bisected orc skull on his left shoulder.
“But after almost two decades, I grew a bit bored of it, so now…”
The Legendary Wing pointed at the gruesome human head that was being tied to the horse by Frank, and softly said, “I want to change it to something lighter.”