Chapter 14: Attack
Jin’s days at the Storm Castle were accompanied by constant rain. However, once they descended the mountain and reached the bottom, the scenery was white.
It was the Mitel Kingdom’s first snowfall. Moreover, a heavy snowfall. Within hours, the snow had piled up to knee-level.
Due to this pure white landscape, the carriage had to slow down its pace. The knights Jerome and Holtz got off and began to sweep the snow in their way with their swords.
“We should take refuge in a village nearby and wait for it to stop snowing, Young Master. Even if we were to reach the capital without stopping, we wouldn’t be able to use the transfer gate due to the snow.”
“You’re right. We’ve got no choice.”
Although this was Jin’s first time seeing snow in a long while, he wasn’t particularly excited about it due to their grave circumstances.
A carriage advancing slowly, and a snowfall that seems to be attempting to swallow the entire world whole. Jin was flipping through his notes—the transcripts of the secret tomes at the Storm Castle—in order to kill time.
But in the middle of the night…
Suddenly, the two horses pulling the carriage screamed out in horror.
The 3-star magic spell ‘Icicle Shot’ had pierced the horses’ flanks. The carriage shook as if it were about to flip over, and in the next second, the coachman was killed by the same spell.
“We’re being attacked! Please stay inside the carriage, Young Master!”
“It’s an attack!”
Jerome and Holtz shouted out loud. Immediately, Gilly covered Jin with her body and observed the situation outside.
The usual gentle and kind gaze was nowhere to be seen. Her eyes appeared to be burning with rage as she showed fierce killing intent.
“We’ll be alright, Young Master. You have me and two 7-star guardian knights to protect you. No need to worry.”
A calm and relaxed voice. Jin had seen Gilly behave like this a couple of times in his past life. It would happen everytime the Runcandels got attacked and Jin was in danger.
“There are around 20 assassins. They seem to be composed of magicians and warriors, but we cannot eliminate the possibility that they have archers with them. I have yet to determine whether there are 7-star or higher enemies.”
Gilly reported her own observations of the situation.
The Runcandel nannies were all 7-star or higher warriors. Before long, Gilly’s weapon—a claw—revealed itself from within her sleeve and gave off a sharp glow.
‘What a mess. An attack as soon as we left the Storm Castle? Who are they?’
Although Gilly was trying to reassure Jin, he was far more composed than the nanny was.
Fear due to the sudden attack?
There was no way that was possible. He had three 7-star combatants by his side protecting him. And if the worst was to come, he could use Orgal’s Pendant.
As long as the pendant was with him, he could definitely survive any threat a single time.
‘If they’re willing to attack a Runcandel carriage, these attackers aren’t nobodies. Since the knights couldn’t detect them beforehand, there must be at least a 6-star magician amongst them.’
Jin was calmly evaluating the situation outside.
‘The carriage wasn’t attacked after those first few spells, and I can hear weapons clashing in the distance. In other words, the enemies were hiding in the distance, and Jerome and Holtz went after them to counter… attack?’
As his thought process reached that conclusion, Jin realized that something was wrong.
“Yes, Young Master?”
“Jerome and Holtz. Those two weren’t sent by the clan. That, or they’re traitors.”
“Young Master, what are you talking about…? Everyone at the Storm Castle knows of their faces, including me. They’re definitely Jerome and Holtz of the clan.”
Even Jin knew of their faces. He had come across them a few times in his past life.
Nevertheless, Jin had his reasons for treating them as impostors or traitors.
“Gilly. The guardian knights of the clan never leave the Runcandel children unattended like this, even if the nannies are with them.”
“One of those two should’ve stayed next to the carriage. But Jerome and Holtz both went out to engage the enemies. They’re either traitors or impostors.”
Gilly checked the situation outside through the window. Just as Jin had remarked, Jerome and Holtz had left their positions as soon as the attack began.
Gilly’s face distorted in fury as she grinded her teeth. The anger was directed towards the two traitors, as well as to herself for noticing the situation only after Jin had pointed it out.
“…I apologize, Young Master. I will make sure to receive severe punishment for this oversight of mine once we return to the clan.
“As of right now, Gilly McRolan will protect Young Master Jin as a member of the Runcandel Clan. Please be patient and lenient even if my protection ends up being somewhat drastic and violent.”
“While it’s important to get us out of danger, it’s also crucial to learn who these assassins are, since they may be allies who are here to rescue us from those two traitors.”
“Yes, Young Master. I will not bring dishonor to the clan.”
Gilly suddenly swung her claw diagonally while still being seated. The steel carriage was cleanly bisected and easily fell apart. Jin could now see the sky from inside(?) the carriage.
She then immediately carried her young master and jumped out of the metal, running like an arrow flying with the wind. Since the traitors had prepared the carriage, there could’ve been hidden features to prevent them from escaping. Therefore, the nanny had to be quick in order to avoid all the potential traps.
Due to the darkness of the night and the heavy snow, their visibility wasn’t any better outside. All they could see was some flashes and sparks about 200 meters away from them.
‘Since the both of them left to fight the attackers as soon as the battle began, they must’ve judged that they couldn’t stop the enemies alone.’
If the opponents that Jerome and Holtz were fighting against were Jin’s allies, then the boy and the nanny were about to be saved.
But Jin couldn’t discard the possibility that the attackers were, in fact, other enemies who had different goals than the two traitors. Nevertheless, Gilly carried the boy and ran towards the battlefield.
“Find Jin Runcandel!”
“Team 3! Block the one on the left!”
The voices of those who had attacked the carriage. At a closer look, Jerome and Holtz were fighting on equal grounds against 20 or so opponents.
“Young Master, why did you leave the carriage!”
“This place is dangerous. Please return to the carriage for now!”
Jerome and Holtz shouted towards Jin when they noticed him.
“Shut it, you dirty treacherous bastards. On whose orders are you two here? How dare you attempt to kidnap the young master……!”
Gilly wrapped aura around her claw and glared furiously. The face of the two traitors distorted visibly, and smiles began forming on the attackers’ faces who had surrounded the 7-star knights.
“That woman is Gilly McRolan! Jin Runcandel’s presence has been confirmed!”
“All men, prioritize the protection of Jin Runcandel!”
The attackers were indeed the boy and nanny’s allies.
Jin felt somewhat relieved. If Gilly joined forces with them, he wouldn’t have to break Orgal’s Pendant in order to activate it.
The battle came to a sudden standstill with Jin’s arrival. During this short moment in time, the boy scanned the armors and robes of his presumed allies.
‘A leaf and a black grebe. It’s the Yuta Clan and the Black King Mercenaries.’
The Yuta Clan was a clan of magicians in the Mitel Kingdom, whereas the Black King was a group of mercenaries that could be considered one of the strongest mercenary groups out there. Since there was only a single black grebe on their crest, it seemed that it wasn’t their most elite troops.
Nonetheless, each mercenary was in the 5-star realm, and the Yuta magicians seemed to be masters of their craft.
‘So they aren’t traitors but impostors. The horses and coachman were killed with the Icicle Shots… due to a failed preemptive attack.’
Having surveyed his allies and observed their strength and numbers, Jin came to a sound conclusion.
If Jerome and Holtz were truly 7-star knights, they could’ve easily decimated the twenty 5-star attackers—particularly in the darkness and heavy snowfall where everyone’s vision is restricted.
However, despite the battle having lasted for a long while, there were no visible casualties amongst the assailants. In other words, Jerome and Holtz weren’t true 7-star knights from the Runcandel Clan.
“I am Murka, Vice-captain of the Black King Mercenaries’ 3rd Corps! Having received a commission from the Runcandel Clan, we joined forces with the Yuta Clan of the Mitel Kingdom in order to rescue Jin Runcandel!”
Suddenly, the fake Jerome let out a small chuckle.
The odd laughter lasted for a long time. Due to the strange sense of incongruity, the Yuta magicians and Black King mercenaries readied their weapons as a chill ran down their spines.
Gilly stood before Jin and spoke.
“Who are you two?”
She had also realized that the two knights were not the Runcandel knights she knew of. Just like Jin, she was aware of the might and strength that true 7-star knights held.
“Kek, what a stupid question, Gilly McRolan… We have nothing to say to a mutt who licks the boots of the Runcandels.”
The fake Holtz also let out a sickening chuckle and repositioned himself. They didn’t seem to be willing to give more information.
“…What should I do, Young Master?”
Jin answered Gilly’s questions without an ounce of hesitation.
“Kill one of them and cut the arms of the other before you bring him to me.”
“Your wish is my command.”
“You may be powerful, Gilly McRolan, but you shouldn’t underestimate us.”
“Murka of the Black King Mercenaries. I shall leave the Young Master in your care for 30 seconds.”
Gilly ignored the fake Jerome’s retort and addressed Murka. The vice-captain immediately ran before Jin with his men, and formed a line of defense.
‘I haven’t seen a 7-star knight’s battle in a long while.’
As Jin thought to himself, Gilly had already shot towards the two impostors. As she flashed across the snow-filled landscape, the air tore as a sonic boom blasted.
She was a speeding arrow. The mercenaries and magicians couldn’t believe that one could reach such speeds by running on this thick layer of soft snow.
The three-pronged claw tore through the fake Jerome’s neck.
The impostor couldn’t even react to the nanny’s speed. He only noticed his incoming death when his head touched the snow.
The fake Holtz who was next to Jerome turned around in order to find Gilly’s figure, who had shot past them.
However, he couldn’t follow her movements with his untrained eyes. As he tried to retaliate by swinging the sword in his hand…
The sound of his right arm and sword falling into the snow reached his ears.
The fake Holtz somehow managed to avoid Gilly’s follow-up dance of fury a couple of times.
However, that was his limit. Without his right arm, his unbalanced body couldn’t properly follow his mind’s orders. Before long, Gilly’s claw cleanly cut off her enemy’s left arm.
Barely seven seconds had passed since her involvement in the battle. Gilly used the remaining 23 seconds to stop the blood pouring out of the victim’s wounds. She cut off the dead Jerome(?)’s long hair to tie up Holtz(?)’s armless stumps.
The mercenaries and magicians couldn’t help but watch the phenomenon occurring before them in astonishment.
‘S-Such a powerful woman is merely a nanny?’
‘She’s in a whole different realm compared to us…!’
On the other hand, Jin was wearing a satisfied smile.
“I have carried out your command, Young Master.”
Gilly dragged the fake Holtz behind her and walked towards the boy. As snow kept entering his mouth, the armless victim couldn’t even scream in pain properly.
Upon her arrival, she grabbed the impostor’s head and anchored it firmly before Jin’s feet.
“It seems like the one who was underestimating their opponent wasn’t Gilly, but you two. If you were attempting to assassinate the Runcandels’ youngest child, you should’ve sent three or four 8-star knights instead.”
As Jin spoke in a cold tone, the fake Holtz spat out.
“Keuk, Kuhuhu… This is merely a warning. The Era of the Runcandels is, urgh… coming to an end.”
“That’s actually something I look forward to.”
Jin’s statement sparked surprise and confusion amongst the mercenaries and magicians.
“Because the Era of the Runcandels will end, and the Era of Jin Runcandel is about to begin.”
“Glory to the Zipfels!”
“Oh, so you’re a follower of the Zipfels. I guess there’s no need to take you back to the clan and torture information out of you anymore.”
Jin covered his fist in aura and slammed it down next to the impostor’s head. He had learned how to wield aura through his martial arts classes with Khan.
“Men, kill him!”
“No, I didn’t mean it like that. Try your best to survive and return to your base in that state, Mr. Impostor. It’ll teach your comrades a lesson. Well, this was a waste of time. Gilly, throw away this little piece of junk somewhere.”
“Understood, Young Master.”
Gilly picked up the armless man and threw him away in the distant snowfield.
Jin thought to himself as he watched the fake Holtz coughing in the snow.
‘Geez, what naive lunatics. Did they think the Zipfels would be thankful to them for doing something like this?’