A/N: 【Warning! 】Cruel depictions ahead.
「Shit! They were waiting for me to be alone! 」
While cursing, a swordsman at his prime was running through the forest.
The man who had a slightly crude impression was hunted by the prey he was supposed to be hunting and was now escaping in panic.
It was Ardis and Rona on his tail.
The next day after escaping from the fortress, they avoided their pursuers that expanded their search area while keeping a look out for the situation, eventually setting their eyes on one of the five men in the group that started acting on his own.
Both Ardis and Rona have gotten significantly stronger after the four years.
Even if they can’t stand against all five of them at once, they would never lose to them if it’s a one-on-one fight.
Naturally, they can easily overwhelm the opponent if it’s a two-on-one fight.
And that was the current situation.
「Something like this――! I must let the others know! 」
The man immediately tried to escape after realizing his disadvantage, but naturally, Ardis and Rona wouldn’t let him.
The dagger that Ardis threw grazed by the man’s leg, and Rona jumped at that opening when his movement slowed down for a moment.
「Guh…… this dog! 」
The man tried slashing at Rona to keep him away, but naturally his action was predicted.
Rona was nowhere near where the sword passed by.
Clicking his tongue, the man tried to escape again but Ardis’s sword attacked.
The sword that was swung by a strengthened arm easily chopped off one of the man’s ankles.
Along with a scream, the man lost his balance and fell on the ground.
「Hiiic……, my leg」
Ardis approached the man, as he was desperately trying to stop the bleeding by applying pressure with his hands.
「Shit, you bastard! 」
Ardis effortlessly deflected the incoming sword and stepped on the man’s hand that was holding the sword with all his weight.
With the sound of bones snapping, the man couldn’t keep his grip on his sword.
「Asshole…… don’t think that you can get away safely after this――」
Ignoring whatever the glaring man yelled at him, Ardis kicked the man’s face with all his strength.
Following that, he stabbed the sword he held into the man’s thigh.
The man yelled full of hatred.
「Kill! I will definitely kill you! 」
However, Ardis didn’t speak a single word.
He only kept his silence, kicking him again, and then sliced off the index finger of the hand he was stepping on.
「Giii……, you, fucker! 」
Just as the man raised his other arm, Rona who was on the sidelines watching, then moved to chomp on the fist.
Blood splattered in the air, and the man lost his pinky.
Rona spat out the pinky in his mouth.
Finally, the man broke down.
Losing his weapon, witnessing one of his hands with all its bones fractured, the other with a pinky chewed off, one of his legs gushing from the stab, and the other with nothing past its ankle.
If he knew how to use arts, then he would still have means to fight back with at this point.
But the man couldn’t use any.
For the man that had crossed through battlefields with only his swordsmanship, the only plausible way he could comeback in this situation was to try and bite his opponents to death.
However, the man no longer had the will to do that.
Even if he had any will to try and bite Ardis, he would just meet his end from Rona’s fangs.
「W-What the heck are you guys……」
The man’s expression showed that he had already lost all will to fight.
He is now a weakling with his life seized by his opponents.
The man tried to get answers from Ardis anxiously, but there was no reply.
Still keeping his silence, Ardis swung his sword again, cutting off one of the man’s ears.
Not letting any pause for the man to even scream, he then pointed his sword to the arm that he was stepping on.
「It hurts……, sto……! 」
As Rona tore apart the fingers that remained on the other hand, Ardis would occasionally land a kick on the man’s face and open a new hole with his sword.
「Stop! Please! 」
Ardis did not answer.
He only continued to carve into the man with his black eyes filled with hatred.
「Spare me, please spare me! 」
Eventually, the man started to beg for his life.
However, it did nothing to stop Ardis and Rona.
It was a horror that the man wouldn’t understand.
He wasn’t demanded anything, nor shouted at, he was only being sliced silently.
The man shed tears and pleaded for the torture that never ended.
「I beg you…… please spare me……」
At the point, Ardis’s hand finally stopped for once.
The man who was going to thank was immediately screaming again.
It was because Ardis manifested flames from his arts and burned his wounds.
The chopped off foot, fingers that was cut off or bitten off by Rona, and the stabbing wounds caused by his sword.
By forcefully plugging the wounds, he stopped the man from bleeding to death, and finally, Ardis spoke for the first time.
「Keeping silence is not allowed. No lies. You have no other choice than to answer my questions honestly. 」
The man didn’t even reply in words, but fearfully nodded his head multiple times.
「How long was Ruu…… Luciel imprisoned in the fortress? 」
Irritated at the man that showed confusion, Ardis sliced off the other ear.
「You asshole! You did those things! But even her name――! 」
「S-Sorry! Forgive me! 」
While having his face sliced up, the man begged for forgiveness.
Killing his rage, Ardis asked again.
「…………The black-haired girl in the underground prison, how long has she been in there? 」
「A-About four and a half years. 」
「Where did she came from? 」
「I-I don’t know where……i-it’s the truth! I really don’t know where! 」
「Who was the one that brought her there? 」
「It was the general. 」
「General? Rodelia’s general? 」
「Yes……Rodelia’s General Jelia. I don’t know where she was brought from but, 『If there’s no woman around, then this should serve well as your toy』, and said 『Even if she has no arms or legs, she is still usable enough』……」
The moment he heard that, Ardis’s rage reached peak.
「That, woman ――! …… WHY IS IT THAT WOMAN AGAIN! 」
The man yelped at Ardis’s rage.
「Always……! It’s always that woman――! 」
Rodelia’s Jelia of Crimson Catastrophic Butterfly, the person that had used their comrades in Wisteria like they’re insects.
Even after this many months and years, his hatred towards Jelia had not waned.
However, the hatred that he thought wouldn’t ever increase again, turned into jet black darkness.
With rage enough to dye his vision in red, Ardis continued his interrogation.
After being kicked out of Wisteria, the five-man group including Marty became Jelia’s subordinates as trainers.
Then, they were stationed at that fortress, and Jelia brought in Luciel who had her limbs dismembered there.
With Jelia’s orders, Luciel suffered humiliation as the venting outlet for the fortress residents.
Because of the cruel treatment, Luciel’s mind was broken one year ago.
Other than Marty’s five-man group, every patrol squad assigned at that fortress had used Luciel for that purpose.
While the soldiers that were only stationed there temporarily to train did not know about Luciel’s existence.
Suppressing his urge to kill him immediately, Ardis finally stood up after taking his time to interrogate every detail of it.
「T-This is everything……. I don’t know anything more. 」
After spitting out everything, the man begged for mercy from Ardis.
「S-So please spare me……」
However, the gaze that Ardis directed was very cold despite the unquenchable hatred within.
「Spare you? 」
「B-But…… I told you everything……」
「So? Spare you? Hah……. Hahaha」
Not showing a smile at all, Ardis was only making a laughing sound.
「What all of you did to Ruu, this much would never be enough for forgiveness! 」
Yelling angrily, Ardis once again swung his sword.
The first swing chopped off his right arm, and the second swing sliced his left arm into pieces.
But it didn’t end there.
Following that, Ardis chopped off his right leg from the thigh, and finally, even his last left leg separated from his torso.
Burning the stumps with fire to stop the bleeding, Ardis said, chillingly.
「Just even by a little, have a taste of what Ruu experienced. 」
Finally, the man understood that there was no chance for him to be forgiven from the start.
「Sorry! Sorry! Sorry! 」
With no other options left, the man could only beg for mercy with his apologies, but Ardis ignored all of that, and stuck a large piece of rock in the man’s jaws, who could only wriggle like a caterpillar at that point.
Then, they carried the man who could only groan at that point deep into the forest and dumped him at a place where there was no chance that help from the fortress would come.
「I won’t kill you to let you off easy. 」
Rather than being released from his pain in an instant, he was made to reflect in regrets while he breathes his last.
That was the punishment given to the fiends that trampled upon Ruu’s dignity.
The forest’s depths where no human set foot in is a paradise for ferocious beasts and heinous insects.
Losing all his limbs, the man who could not use arts would never have a chance to return to the fortress on his own, and nor did he have any means of protecting himself.
「Get eaten alive. 」
Behind Ardis who spat those words and left, the bloody odor gathered all kinds of large insects to the man’s body.