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Ardis saw a dream.
But that was too realistic to be a dream, it was a replay of painful memories.
It should’ve been a dream. But if it wasn’t a dream――then what was it. Only the intense emotions that emerged from his heart made Ardis stood up.
「You―――! You dare……, you dare――! 」
「Wait, Ardis! 」
He ignored the voices from his side, Ardis launched himself towards his nemesis with a force that shattered the ground.
The innermost room of a fortress that took a hundred forty elites of the mercenary band to break through, the room that is likely the widest one in the fortress. Ardis’s yell reverberated in the hall that stretched more than fifty meters.
Opposite of him is a woman general with a crimson hair and eyes. The person who had welcomed Ardis and the others as the chief of the fortress said with a smile.
「It’s up to my own accord to dispose of my toys right? It’s not something scraps like you should be bothered with. 」
While dodging the heavy onslaughts with a calm face, she glanced at the black-haired mercenary.
The crimson jacket on her body swayed a little. Inside that is a set of metal armor that was crafted while preserving the body lines, and a short sword in a gorgeous sheath hung below her waist.
It is the proof that she isn’t a girl that is protected but someone who stands on the battlefield.
「Even though I prepared something special just for her, she was crying so much that I lost my interest. 」
With a scorning laugh, if only Ardis can rip that despicable mouth open, he wouldn’t regret selling his soul to a devil. Even though he would never forgive her even if she had her knees on the ground and begged for forgiveness, only his hatred for her only increased.
How much hatred can a person hold against another, there wasn’t a limit he can see yet.
「Don’t fuck with me! 」
While crying out angrily with killing intent, Ardis only continued swinging his sword. At the same time, he tried to take a distance, and sent flying swords from behind the woman general――.
「This much? Boresome. 」
With an uninterested expression, the woman general threw countless spherical objects towards the flying swords.
The small silver spheres spanning three centimeters each arranged themselves in the air into a wall, stopping the slash. Though there were spheres blown away because of the heavy slash, there would immediately be more spheres filling up the space they left.
「Not enough……! 」
Ardis realized his disadvantage while his face distorted.
At most sixteen flying swords can be manipulated satisfactorily at Ardis’s current level. If just moving more, he can easily add a few more.
But flying swords that could only do simple move means nothing and won’t work on any experienced fighter. On top of that, his opponent is the woman general who is a country’s best sword. Even if she is a rotten person down to the core, her abilities are real.
Flying swords that could not perform skillful swordsmanship are just as well as nothing.
On the other hand, the woman general had manipulated countless spherical objects to deflect Ardis’s flying swords. Needless to say, the spheres that the woman general can manipulate is much more than Ardis’s flying swords.
Even now, the sixteen flying swords could serve nothing more than accessories around the woman general.
「Then from the front! 」
Ardis took a sword in his hand and rushed in by himself. But the woman general did not even try to dodge him.
An invisible shield that defended against Ardis’s sword. A physical barrier made from mana.
「It’s so sleep inducing. Well, it’s better than the toys just now though. 」
Ardis’s eyes filled with more rage at the woman general’s provocation.
「――You bastard! 」
Ardis left himself to his emotions and swung his sword. A single stroke took down two barriers, then another took down three barriers.
But even so, only more barriers would be deployed as they are destroyed, Ardis’s sword could never reach the woman general. Even as he yelled and slashed, the barriers only stood in his way without faltering.
「You, only you, never―――! 」
Even so, Ardis’s hand didn’t stop. If he could bring forth judgement to the woman general in crimson hair who is laughing with scorn, he would need nothing else.
With a soul dyed only in rage as he swung his sword, he only continued slashing with all his entirety.
Even if he yelled with his all, his sword couldn’t reach the woman general.
The swords that he swung countless times were blocked by barriers. The woman general had blocked all the flying swords coming from different directions with the spheres, and stood against Ardis from the front easily.
In the first place, she isn’t someone suit to the sword. Easily blocking against all the slashes that came her way, the woman general swung her hand as if repelling an annoying bug.
Then suddenly, countless blades glimmering in red came at Ardis.
Ardis who had detected danger immediately stopped attacking, and switched into defending with his all. A thick barrier that would rival a five-fold barrier. However, the blades easily encroached and melted the barrier.
The voice that was heard from behind, Ardis quickly let go of his foothold and escaped upwards.
Right after that, a beam of light that carried a tinge of green shot through. The light that was fired from behind covered the woman general’s body, evaporating the surrounding floors and pillars, creating a large sunken floor in the hall that had become a battlefield.
「Do it! 」
The person that released that beam of light yelled, then another person released an additional attack. What was shot was pure space that is compressed to its limits.
Ten points of distortion in space collapsed and shot straight towards where the woman general was.
Then as if stopping them, the silver-colored spheres stood as a wall in the air. As if rushing to their own demise, they were sucked into the points, but as the collisions of the spheres and the points happened, the distortion of the points became less powerful.
Eventually, when the ten points of distortion had dissipated after devouring multiple tens of spheres, what was left is the figure of a long-haired woman standing as if nothing happened. Opening her vivid red lips, the woman general had an irritated expression.
「You two again? 」
She was looking at the two persons. They’re mercenaries and Ardis’s comrades wearing the same outfit as him.
One having hair about the same length with Ardis, and the other has long hair that is tied at the back. Their difference is only that. Other than that, their faces and appearances look totally the same, they’re brothers that share the same birthday.
Even though they have faces that could easily charm woman even in a tavern, they chose to be mercenaries for some reason. The greenish silver hair and bluish eyes had a gentle impression but, Ardis knew that their power can be even greater than himself.
「Can you stop. You’re making me dislike twins more and more. 」
「That is exactly what we want! 」
「We don’t want to be liked in the slightest by you anyways! 」
The two fought back with words against the woman general who said so in displeasure.
「This much is enough for impolite and barbaric people like you who can’t even follow a simple order when asking for a dance. 」
The woman general’s hand waved, and then the clump of mana that was gathered sucked in rubble from the surroundings and formed a humanoid shape.
「I will get back to you two later, play with these for the time being.」
There were two humanoids constructed, the two humanoid golems started chasing after the twins with a speed unthinkable of something made from rubble.
「Sark, Elion! They’re not normal humanoid golems, be careful! 」
「Who are you telling that to! 」
「We know already, Ardis! 」
Even while warning the two, Ardis had not taken his eyes off the woman general a single moment. While sending glares that would be enough to curse the person still smiling to death, Ardis moved to his next hand.
Agitating the surrounding mana and gathering them to his sword’s edge, he manifested the greatest flame he could in order to incinerate his nemesis.
「Burn to ashes! 」
The same time when the sword was swung down, the white flame that was fed more than enough mana flared up and headed towards the woman general.
He knew that she isn’t an easy opponent. There wasn’t any room for him to hold back. The temperature that can instantly boil many types of metal was focused into one point, only for the cause of penetrating the woman general’s barrier.
「Don’t be arrogant! You scrap! 」
The woman general scoffed at him and welcomed the flames from the front.
The next moment, blue flames were born from the woman’s hand. The blue flames easily stopped Ardis’s attack, and in the next moment, overcame the white flames and became a counterattack.
Realizing that he couldn’t defend against the struggle of power between mana coming from the front, Ardis stopped his attack and focused on defense.
Even though he poured all his mana to make a barrier, that was only enough to weaken the blue flames a little for him to dodge it. The explosion caused by the two flames colliding easily levelled the surroundings, sending Ardis into the air.
As if looking to end Ardis who was blown by the shockwave into a wall, the woman general drew the sword on her waist and came at him.
「If that much is hard for you, it just means your limit is up. 」
The woman general that had easily closed the distance in an instant swung in a wide arc with her speed.
As Ardis tried to defend against it with his sword, the heavy blow threw his arm up in the air. Although the woman tried to follow up with more attacks, Ardis is also a warrior that had crossed the border of life many times already.
Instinctually gathering mana into a single point to form a strong barrier to block the incoming sword, he tried to get away from the wall that is blocking his retreat.
But even the barrier made with all his mana couldn’t completely block the woman general’s slash.
Although it wasn’t enough to completely shatter Ardis’s barrier, the shock wasn’t cancelled out completely, and Ardis was blown away once again.
The force of the woman general’s slash that came through the barrier shook his organs. While desperately trying to hold onto his consciousness even while he was blown away, Ardis swung his sword towards the woman general.
But as if that move was predicted already, the silver spheres blocked his arm that held the sword.
「How pathetic. 」
As if to wipe off the smile on the woman general’s face, there was a voice that came from Ardis’s back.
「Ardis, get down! 」
Realizing the owner of the voice, Ardis fell on the floor without hesitation. Then several sharp icicles grazed above his head. The sudden attack that was hidden by Ardis’s body rushed into the woman general’s face from a close distance.