Chapter 372: Bloody Thorn Lizard
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The prince took another bite of food and suddenly felt very uncomfortable.
Dean still stared at him as if he was extremely interested in how he ate.
‘What’s the matter?’ Thales swallowed a bite of food and suddenly wanted to ask.
But he did not.
Fortunately, Louisa suddenly spoke, drawing Dean’s attention and removing the source of Thales’ discomfort.
“I feel like we have offended him, Dean. You know how Tormorden is.” Louisa sighed and said with a worried look, “Damn, could you believe that we ended up offending him even though we were trying to save his life?”
“It doesn’t matter, this would be the last time we would work for him.” Dean sighed and said, “After this, we will never do any business with Tormorden again.”
“The last time?” Quick Rope closed his eyes and let out a breath, “Desert God bless us! I am really fed up with that guy! Every time he opens his mouth he’d be saying who he knows…”
“The last time… Ah, that’s even worse. I can imagine how he’ll set us up behind our backs,” Louisa said in a mocking tone.
“I told you that we should not have come.” Mickey looked at Dean quietly.
“It’s my fault, brother.” Dean smiled regretfully at the Barren Bone man. “We should not have gone north.”
The bald mercenary’s eyes sparkled. “But we do not have to worry about Tormorden. I think, it’s time for us to leave Blade Fangs Dune… although I did not intend to stay for a long time there in the first place.”
The sentence made the mercenaries present stop whatever they were doing and look at Dean in unison.
Thales could not help but become curious. This bald mercenary seemed to have the power to attract the other people’s attention whenever he opened his mouth.
“Leave Blade Fangs Dune… Are you saying that we leave our current base?” Old Hammer repeated in surprise.
The mercenaries looked at each other, speechless. They seemed to be shocked by the suggestion.
Louisa cautiously asked, “Leave? Now? What are your thoughts on this?”
Dean shook his head.
“First of all, the Alliance of Freedom is going to wage war, and the Constellatiates have blocked the border of Blade Fangs Dune, and following that, something like this happened… I refuse to believe these things have nothing to do with each other.”
The bald mercenary took a sip of water and looked at the tents in the distance with a worried look. “Be it Blade Fangs Dune or the Western Frontlines, this land is no longer suitable for mercenaries.”
Quick Rope raised his hand in confusion.
“Wait, why can’t I understand? Alliance of Freedom, blockade of the border… What do these things have to do with this land being suitable for mercenaries?”
“Shut up.” Old Hammer gave him a serious look. “Listen to Dean and learn from him.”
Quick Rope blinked and looked confused, completely unaware of what was going on. Thales also looked at Dean, interested in what he had to say.
“It has been many years since the City of Faraway Prayers sent a sweeper team to patrol deep into the desert to protect the trade route. I heard from Raymond who concentrates on going west to conduct his business that even the patrol area for the guarding cavaliers has grown increasingly smaller.” Dean stared at the sand beneath his feet as he silently spoke.
“And now, the Alliance of Freedom has dared to openly provoke and challenge the Northlanders. This tells us a lot of things.”
Kant snorted coldly. He seemed to be very dissatisfied by the Alliance of Freedom’s actions.
Dean sighed. “It’s not just the City of Faraway Prayers, Prestige Orchid has also shrunk their line of defence. Korak, who always took that route, told me that he has not seen any Eckstedt forester in the region from Western Pine Forest to Ende Loess for a long time. Instead, he would meet Constellatiates who were sent by Overwatch City from time to time to enclose their territory—”
Quick Rope scratched and tilted his head. “So… what does it mean?”
Everyone gave him a judgemental stare and blamed him for interrupting Dean. But Dean did not mind and smiled.
“Obviously, the influences and presence in the desert from the City of Faraway Prayers and Prestige Orchid are weakening. These issues clearly and unambiguously show that the Dragon intends to retract its claws. Eckstedt is declining.”
Thales heard this and could not help but be struck by a thought. ‘So…’
“Why?” Quick Rope looked bewildered. “Why can’t I see that?”
“It’s politics, right?” Unexpectedly this time, the person who continued the conversation was Old Hammer. He shook his head in disgust. “Eckstedt re-elected a king six years ago.”
Thales’ heart sank. That day, which happened six years ago, appeared before his eyes: That head. That crown. That… girl.
Dean sighed a little.
“Yes, I guess that’s why the border troops of the City of Faraway Prayers and Prestige Orchid have disappeared. Perhaps the infamous new king who killed his brother for his title is much more threatening to the archdukes than the desert border. Thus, they had no time to take care of the affairs in the desert.”
Kant snorted disdainfully. “The kinslayer king.”
Dean frowned, but he just nodded and continued to speak.
“The forces in the desert, whether they are the large orc tribes or the tribes of the Barren Bone people, would surely notice the Northlanders’ retreat and the changes at the northern end of the desert. Without the threat of an established army, these people who have been living in the deeper parts of the desert would try to head north and occupy the land left by Eckstedt, so that they could fight for resources and land for their continued survival.”
The bald mercenary drew a line in the sand, and Thales could somewhat make out that it was a map.
“At the same time, the decline of the Kingdom of the Great Dragon will benefit the Constellatiates. The Western Frontlines of Blade Fangs Dune may or may not expand, but based on their actions in forming the blockade this time, the possibility of the former happening is higher than the latter.”
Quick Rope and the others were dumbstruck after listening to what was being said, most of them were confused. Only Louisa still watched Dean attentively.
When he saw this, Thales suddenly understood how Dean earned his position as a respected person in this group.
Dean’s eyebrows were furrowed. He spoke with a serious face, “A small mercenary team like us would not be able to handle the large tribes heading north, or Constellation, expanding their territory westward. The number of business deals we will receive will decline over time, our livelihood will be more and more difficult, and there would be even more accidents. At least, within five years, we cannot stay in the northern and eastern parts of the desert.”
Old Hammer could not help but snort. “Haih, in the end, we’re just not powerful enough. If we were an elite, hundred-man group like ‘Blood Whistle’—”
Dean interrupted him with a tone that left no room for any disagreement. “No, we would then become cannon fodder in the tribal conflicts or the war between kingdoms, and we would perish even faster.”
Old Hammer smiled awkwardly. “Then, where are we going?”
Quick Rope widened his eyes. “Go back to the south and return to the Three Kingdoms of the Mystery Sea?”
Dean shook his head, expressing his disagreement.
“Sera Dukedom, the Norton Dukedom or Quer Dukedom are also facing the same problems as the northern end of the desert. It’s the same principle as always: when Eckstedt falls into internal conflict and decline, Constellation will prosper, even if Blade Edge Hill will suffer the most due to the war between the two kingdoms, which is bound to follow.”
“Without the threats and constraints from the Great Dragon of the North, Constellation will be set aside some resources and try to restore their influence and hegemonic privileges with the neighboring countries in the southwest, especially in the three small countries of the Mystery Sea. Once a monster like the Constellation kingdom comes back to the free world that is a haven for smuggling activities, free of taxes, an arena for sword fights, the home for Death itself, and which houses businessmen, thugs, rogues, killers, bounty hunters, knights-errant, and mercenaries… Take a guess, who will be the first to suffer?”
Thales breathed slowly while digesting the information he just received bit by bit. This was information that the mercenaries received, not the view of the world a certain Little Rascal received from the books in her study.
Quick Rope was so confused that he was practically seeing stars. “It’s so complicated, so where are we going?”
With a serious expression, Dean spoke softly with a dazed look on his face. “In simple terms, we’ll have to find a place where those in power and the influential forces are equal in terms of power, and are wary of each other. It would be best if they were both heavily wounded by their attacks against each other and are locked in a stalemate. That way, we’ll be able to find business and opportunities, and we do not have to face the disaster of war.”
Louisa nodded. “So, where would Dante’s Greatsword be heading to?”
Dean smiled faintly and pointed on the map on the sand. “It’s still the same plan. The temporary decline of Eckstedt is a matter that shakes all of the Western Peninsula. The Golden Passage and Camus Union will also be affected. There have always been many heavy internal clashes in Camus Union. Once Eckstedt also falls into internal conflict, Vine City, which is affiliated with Dragon Clouds City and has obtained the dominant voice in the union for decades, would be most affected. Conversely, the pressure on the four cities in the north will drop sharply, and they will welcome a new era where they will thrive.
“Good Flow City will serve as the capital of the four northern cities, and among them, only Vallier Union is formed by communities near the coast. With Sanlast as the main representative, even the southeastern states which have been stable for a long time will engage in a short period of war with Vine City after they lose that strong support of theirs. We aren’t sure how the internal conflict battle inside Camus Union is, but the businessmen will definitely need people like us for their internal conflicts. There should be many business opportunities in the small countries around Camus like the Maple Coast, Koyalak, and Northern Sea Kingdom as well.”
When he mentioned Good Flow City, Thales remembered the impressive marquis in Dragon Clouds City who abided by the “spirit of the contract.”
Dean continued, “With Vine City in decline, Camus Union will lose the power and strength to meddle with the affairs in the west and in Tarundy Collegium. Alumbia Kingdom will not miss this opportunity; they have been looking forward to it conquering Tarundy Collegium before Camus Union’s influence seeped into the collegium. That particular part in the Western Peninsula may face a peaceful political change, or a bloody war to conquer Tarundy Collegium. If we go there, our future will be uncertain.”
“As for the Golden Passage… we don’t have to consider the Alliance of Freedom and White Mountain. We aren’t too clear on the situation in Grand Banquet Hill and Wild Vast Mountain. Revol City is sandwiched between Camus and Alumbia, I can’t really tell whether they are good choices as well.”
“But a mercenary from Steel City told me that Anlenzo Dukedom’s Archduke Xeede of Dragon-Kissed Land is suffering from poor health. Needless to say, his children will begin the fight over the inheritance rights. The unrest created by the fighting rulers might cause the large and small cities and states around Dragon-Kissed Land to choose which of the rulers of the dukedom they have to support. However, the large countries at their borders will be busy with their own affairs. Camus is busy with internal conflicts, Constellation wants to take back the Three Kingdoms of the Mystery Sea, and Alumbia wants to swallow Tarundy. They have no time to take care of the matters in Anlenzo Dukedom. My guess is that once new outposts, likin , and even small groups of robbers and small-scale rebellions will appear will appear around Anlenzo Dukedom and the territories of the other archdukes. Businessmen will not like that place, but that’s an opportunity for small groups of mercenaries like us.”
Dean looked up only to find, to his resignation, that most of the people were staring at him with perplexed expressions. Even Louisa had a crinkle between her eyebrows.
But Thales’ clear eyes stunned the bald mercenary.
Dean coughed and cleared his throat. He moved the topic back to the present and pointed at the ground. “So, Camus Union or Dragon-Kissed Land, let’s choose one.”
The air became still.
“Although I don’t understand what you were saying, but you sounded really impressive,” said Quick Rope with a face full of admiration. He spoke with the rude, nonstandard slang of either the sea or the desert. “Are all mercenaries this cool?”
Thales also looked at Dean seriously.
‘Forget the other things, if I judge them based on their experience alone… It’s no wonder that Dante’s Greatsword can confidently go deep into the desert like this; no wonder they could gather these strange warriors with their own unique abilities together.’
Louisa giggled. “I don’t know about anyone else…” The captain looked at the bald mercenary’s eyes with an indescribable gaze. Thales could only read faint pride and sincere trust from her eyes. “But Dean? Yes. He’s just cool that way.”
Dean coughed again, he seemed rather embarrassed.
“We are mercenaries, Quick Rope. To survive, we rely not only on strength or luck.” He laughed, unable to help but feel a little awkward. “We also need to rely on our wits and cunning to make correct assessments of all situations. We need to observe every piece of information down to their last detail, and we also need connections all over the land as well as a great reputation.”
Thales listened quietly. ‘The life of a mercenary… So that’s how it’s like.’
Right then, Mickey suddenly moved. He quickly reached out and dug a handful of sand from of the ground! Both Thales and the mercenary group were shocked. The sand fell from the Barren Bone man’s fingers.
“F*ck!” This was the first time Mickey swore. He looked at the thing in his hand and clenched his teeth with a ferocious face.
The sand fell away completely. Thales then saw, very clearly, a small lizard struggling endlessly in Mickey’s hand.
‘A lizard, huh? …Wait.’
Thales realized that he knew this species… In fact, it could not be said that he ‘knew’ it, but rather, a few days ago when he was in a desperate situation in the desert, he had eaten this type of lizard.
When he thought of this and remembered that strange taste, Thales’ face turned pale, and his stomach churned against his will.
Under the firelight, the lizard was blood red in color. It was covered head to toe in white stripes, and there were sharp-looking but soft spikes on its skin. It writhed in Mickey’s hand.
“Wonderful, Mickey!” Old Hammer laughed happily. “Even a cat can’t catch a mouse like—”
But his voice came to an abrupt stop.
“No…” At that moment, once Louisa saw the lizard clearly, her face showed her disbelief, panic and fear. “Oh my god, this is…”
Thales looked at Old Hammer with a puzzled face, then at the other mercenaries. He found that most of them looked grave, except for Quick Rope who had just joined the profession.
“Do not panic.” Dean’s voice calmed all of those who were nervous. “At least we are all here.”
The prince’s gaze returned to the poor red lizard. Thales was full of questions.
‘Isn’t that just a lizard? Although the color is a little bit rare… is there any problem with it? It can’t be poisonous…’ Thales quietly touched his stomach. ‘Hang on, there shouldn’t be any poison that will only take effect after several days, right?
“Wait a minute.” Quick Rope’s expression froze. He pointed at the lizard. “I… I seem to have heard Tampa mentioning this thing. Red skin, white stripes… That’s, that’s…”
He trembled slightly and suddenly looked pale.
“Yes.” Mickey, the Barren Bone man who was born and raised in the desert, said coldly, “The Bloody Thorn Lizard. An ominous omen.”
As soon as he said this, the people’s faces turned even paler.
‘Bloody Thorn Lizard?’ Thales was struck by a thought. He seemed to have heard the name of this animal before. ‘Where have I heard it before?’
However, he could not remember right then where he had heard it, so he asked the group directly, “Ominous? Why?” Thales was perplexed.
Old Hammer sighed and shrugged while he looked towards the dim moon in the sky. “This lizard is a special species in the desert. Once food is not enough, they will call to each other at night and gradually gather in one place…”
He did not say anything any further. Instead, his face was full of worry.
Thales asked probingly, “To hunt together?”
“No.” Mickey shook his head, there was a fierce look on his face. With his desert accent, he slowly enunciated every word. The language Mickey chose was the lingua franca he was not used to speaking, and Thales had spent several days getting accustomed listening to it.
“They will start hunting each other… and prey on their own kind.”
Thales was stunned.
The Barren Bone man said coldly, “The Bloody Thorn Lizard that survives the entire ordeal can only rely on feeding on the bodies of its companions to fill its stomach and survive through this treacherous situation where food is hard to get by.”
Thales widened his eyes and looked carefully at the struggling Bloody Thorn Lizard.
Louisa sighed. “Killing each other and eating their own kind in order to survive. What creature in the world can do such a terrible thing?”
Thales was stunned.
“What a coincidence.” Dean sighed. “I know one kind… and they look exactly like us.”
“So the Bloody Thorn Lizard is one of the most ominous creatures in the desert.” Mickey frowned and said firmly, “The Desert God created them to serve as a warning for us here. The Desert God does not send disasters on us, the mortals are the ones who bring disasters upon themselves. If you eat your own kind, you’ll surely be punished by the heavens.
“It’s the most frightening and ghastly omen in the desert, and it’s worse than the crows that represent bad luck. People who have seen it, or those unfortunate enough to have eaten it, will have a life full of ordeals.”
Thales stared at the lizard with a dumbfounded expression.
‘No way, this is just superstition, right? Wait. It’s definitely superstition. It’s some unreliable metaphysics, or something… It definitely is—’
In the next second, Mickey exerted strength into his arms and ended the creature’s life without mercy.
Immersed in his panic, Thales jumped in fright again.
The Barren Bone man dug out a sandpit with an icy gaze and placed the Bloody Thorn Lizard’s carcass in it.
“If the Desert God does not suffer from disaster, then the world will be filled with disaster. If the Desert God does not forgive, then the world will be forgiven,” he mumbled something and filled the pit with sand.
Quick Rope sighed and patted the slightly dazed Thales. “Ignore him. Those Barren Bone people are always weird.”
The mood of the group instantly plummeted.
“Don’t be nervous, guys.” Louisa coughed and attracted their attention. “It’s dead. We only saw it once, and even if we did run into trouble, it’s nothing. Besides, it’s just a legend. Asides, no one’s stupid enough to eat it…”
When he heard this, Thales touched his stomach with a stiff expression.
“Go to your shifts. I’ll go, too,” Dean said with an aloof expression. “Trust me, keep your spirits up…”
At that moment…
“Wait!” said Mickey suddenly. His voice was stern.
Thales was stunned again.
Dean frowned. “What—”
Mickey gritted his teeth and looked at the Bloody Thorn Lizard that was partially buried. “This Bloody Thorn Lizard did not come for no reason.”
Old Hammer sighed and said, “Mickey, that’s just a legend—”
Mickey lifted his head swiftly!
“No, when it was buried in the sand, it was terrified and fled to the surface!” Mickey had a grave expression on his face, one that had never been seen on him before. “And this means that…”
In the next moment, Mickey laid down flat on the ground. He buried his ear in the sand and did not move.
In a great show of teamwork, Dean lifted his hand and made a shushing sound while he said, “All of you, be quiet. Let him listen.”
In an instant, everyone in the camp fell silent. Even Quick Rope covered his mouth with a face full of terror. The only sounds left were from the other camps in the distance, and they were like muffled background noises.
‘What’s going on?’
Thales stared at them, dazed. Even if he never had any experience being a mercenary, he still understood their actions in just a short moment.
A few seconds later, Mickey jumped to his feet. He swiftly reached for his dual blades, and he spoke quickly and urgently, his expression savage.
“There are people nearby. They’re everywhere, and their footsteps are very heavy—”
Before he finished speaking, Dean’s expression changed. He grabbed the battle axe beside him and roared towards the sky.
His roar was very loud, and it was a shout that came very abruptly in the desert’s night sky. The entire merchant group became quiet during this particular night.
In the next second, the merchant group’s camp was enveloped in chaos. It was filled with noise and bustling with activity. There were all sorts of sounds in it.
But over on this side, before Thales could react to the situation, Dante’s Greatsword shot up from the ground. Even Quick Rope moved in tandem with the others.
They pounced on their own weapons. Kant picked up his two-handed greatsword with a flourish; Mickey drew his dual machetes; Old Hammer untied the sackcloth that wrapped around his hammer; Schubert lifted his straight claw hammer and shield; Quick Rope drew a machete that had a knuckle guard; Louisa brought out her quiver and unsheathed the longsword by her waist. They had their backs facing the bonfire and, in a show of great cooperation, they spread out in formation.
Only then did Thales stand up and, in a flurry, he picked up the Crossbow of Time and started nocking an arrow on the crossbow.
‘What’s going on?’
Dean held an axe in his hand and looked at the sand dune as well as the terrain in the distance that was previously behind him as he asked in a level-headed manner, “Enemies?”
“Not sure.” Mickey shook his head. His tone was urgent, and he was still panting. “I can’t see the sand clearly at night, and sound transmissions through sand is horrid. That’s why they used this opportunity to… They’ll soon surround us. Our patrols…”
“Let’s be certain of their locations first.” Louisa’s expression was morphed. She gritted her teeth and brandished her longsword, then roared loudly, “Send a signal and notify Breeze and the others—”
But before she finished speaking…
Thales felt his heart freeze. A sharp sound suddenly rose in the darkness!
Kant looked like he had been struck heavily, and he stumbled backwards.
“AAAHHH!!” he roared in anger. He stabbed his greatsword into the sand and steadied his body, but he was shuddering slightly.
The observant Thales saw that a long arrow with sharp fletchings appeared on the Northlander’s shoulder.
“Enemy attack!” Dean howled furiously, then swung his axe to block an arrow.
Within a few seconds, the mercenaries either dodged or blocked the first wave of arrows that ambushed them amid the sounds of metal clashing against each other and of their boots moving against sand.
However, screams of fear and pained wails came from the camp belonging to the merchant group. The merchants fled in panic, crying for help as they quaked.
“Ah! It hurts!”
Thales listened to the seemingly familiar voices in shock and anger. He felt as if he had returned to the place he hated the most—the battlefield.
The battle began all of a sudden. In fact, even the shadows of the enemies ambushing them had appeared suddenly.
Old Hammer swung his hammer with a steady swing. His momentum was great, and the input of his strength was steady. His hammer collided against a weapon that came attacking him in the darkness.
While a loud bang that tortured the eardrums rose into the air, Thales saw in his shock that the strong Old Hammer swayed and took three steps back. He knelt on one knee and began panting in agony!
Enemies. Countless enemies. As though they had agreed on this, they appeared suddenly from the endless darkness.
Schubert’s shield came charging forth to ward off his enemy’s subsequent hit.
“Come!” Schubert roared, intending to call out to his comrades. “We first deal with this—”
But he soon noticed that he could not accomplish his goals. Almost at the same moment, all the mercenaries ran into other enemies.
“F*ck!” Mickey gritted his teeth and roared. He swung his dual machetes and blocked a weapon that had a thick spine, a long edge, and looked like a blade but also resembled a sword.
However, before he could counterattack, he rolled on the ground in a dishevelled manner. As sand flew in the air, he avoided a huge club that struck the ground. “They’re professionals!”
Louisa worked together with Dean’s axe in a level-headed manner and brandished her longsword, utilizing her nimble body to deal with three enemies laboriously. “Don’t panic! Gather into groups of two and get into formation!”
Thales tried to stay calm with every ounce of effort he could muster. Once he finished nocking his arrow by the bonfire, he lifted the crossbow and looked around him.
‘How can this be? How can this be?!’
The bonfire swayed due to the battle that had suddenly appeared. It alternated between flashes of brightness and darkness. Their enemies’ figures did not seem real and appeared indistinct. They surrounded the small camp and pounced on Dante’s Greatsword.
“F*ck f*ckity f*ck—”
Quick Rope screamed shrilly. He forced back an enemy with his machete, but the pitiful newbie fell on the ground. Fortunately, Kant drew his greatsword in a heroic manner and took over his spot. With a swing of his greatsword, he forced back an enemy who wanted to seize the opportunity to attack.
Thales instantly activated the Sin of Hell’s River.
‘Oh god.’ Cold sweat broke out all over his body as he watched everything transpire before him.
Those screams of pain never ended. The stench of blood was everywhere. Enraged battle cries and the sound of weapons clashing against each other filled the dark moonlit night.
In fact, a terrifying animalistic growl rose with a pained wail not too far away. Then, it was followed by frightening chewing noises. It was as if there were teeth ripping flesh apart.
‘Damn it. Damn it!’
With the help of the Sin of Hell’s River, the tense prince freed himself from the misleading firelight and the deceitful darkness. He could clearly see fifty burly, tall, and large figures on the sand. Almost at the same time, all these people came charging towards all of the camps in the merchant encampment from the flatland, from the slopes behind them, and from different directions and angles.
In fact, there were even non-humans among their ambushers, with all their limbs on the ground and long tails swishing in the air.
They encroached like fire. They gathered like ants before they attacked. They killed without mercy.
The sound of the wind came rushing towards him behind his back!
Thales gritted his teeth. With a speed he never managed to muster before, he lowered his body and avoided an axe’s attack!
The wind from the axe grazed his hair. Just one more inch and it would have cut into his head.
‘Damn it. Damn it!’
This was… a battle that intended to take their lives!
While the wind howled around him, Thales, in his surprise and anger, tightened his grip on his crossbow.
Their enemies’ rude curses traveled into the air, and they did not sound real to his ears.
The Power of Eradication surged into the prince’s thighs. Thales widened the distance between him and his enemy before he swiftly turned around to face the other party.
He directed the Crossbow of Time to his tall opponent’s chest and fiercely pulled the trigger.
A loud bang shot up. The enemy swayed in pain. His attack stopped, and his axe fell limply to his side.
Thales shuddered, but it was not out of fear or panic. Those emotions had long since been almost entirely erased over the countless dangers he had experienced. The unfair match between him and Nicholas had also let him sense how direct and brutal these fights to the death were. No, he was shuddering because that was his instinctive reaction when the Sin of Hell’s River filled his entire body.
…It was the desire for battle.
The prince sucked in a sharp breath, then threw away the crossbow while he moved forward.
In the chilling wind, sand chafed against the soles of his boots and fell away. It felt so familiar Thales felt as if their presence was like JC’s dagger, which he had immediately drawn from behind his back and held in his hand.
After his fight against the Star Killer, his Power of Eradication had improved, and even his reaction in battle had very clearly become better. The Sin of Hell’s River also constantly burned in his blood.
He knew that this was the desert. No one would save him here. He could only fight.
‘Kill him. Kill him!’
With a speed his past self could never imagine, Thales instantly pounced on an enemy who was bent over due to pain. Then, as he exerted force on his legs, he climbed up and thrust forward with his right arm!
The dagger burrowed deep into his enemy’s neck!
“Ah!” Thales roared in anger and twisted the dagger with all his strength while he felt blood leave behind a wet, sticky, and warm sensation on his arm.
He hated, and despised this feeling the most. It made him remember the day his destiny changed. On that day, he had done this as well…
“NAAAHHHHHHHH!! Kukala!” With a sonorous voice, his enemy cursed in a language Thales could not understand while it was in pain.
In the next moment, Thales felt a huge force attack his chest, and pain burst forth in him!
With the huge force that struck him, the prince was violently thrown to the ground. Pain, and the feeling of something pressing against his chest, appeared within him at the same time.
‘This is bad.’ This thought rose in Thales’s head as he breathed in discomfort.
His large enemy wailed in agony. Blood gushed out fiercely from his neck, but he did not look as though he had felt it. He yanked the single bit axe from the ground, an axe that was practically as tall as Thales, and whose ferocious and wide blade even took up half of the axe handle.
Thales, having crashed hard into the ground and was still trembling from the crash, could only stare helplessly at that black-red greataxe.
‘This is bad. This is bad!’
He wracked his brains amid the pain to think of a way to escape, and breathed with difficulty. But he could not move his body because it had not recovered just yet.
“Sel, sel, sel!”
His tall and strong enemy roared at Thales while he was on the ground, as if he wanted to pour all his energy into his shout.
Above Thales, his dangerous opponent raised his arms above his head, bringing the greataxe high above him like an executioner.
He swung his head furiously, as if he had gone mad. Crimson blood gushed out of his neck and spilled onto the sand.
‘Wait. Sel? Sel licca? This sentence…’ Thales felt his skin crawl. ‘Where have I heard this before?’
In the next moment, his enemy’s ferocious axe cut down without mercy.
During that instant, his face was directed straight at Thales’. In that moment he could see his enemy clearly, the prince was stunned.
‘This face… Just what sort of face IS this?’
His enemy’s huge face contorted and shivered in pain. His facial color was dark gray, his forehead was wide, his hairline was high, and his eyes were thin and narrow.
The flesh on his cheeks connected with each other in a zigzagging fashion, and it shrank violently under his course, gray skin.
There were practically only two thin slits acting as its nose. It opened its big, black mouth, and as it roared, it showed its terrifying fangs.
Hideous, ugly, and jagged.
These were the words Thales could think of to describe those fangs.
As his enemy roared furiously, the terrifying axe blade sliced through the air and went down towards the ground, aiming for Thales’ chest.
In the dark, the sound of battle seemed to be much more muffled.
In the end, Thales gritted his teeth, then stared at the falling greataxe, feeling hopeless.
‘No,’ thought the prince in despair. ‘He is not a “he”. He’s not human, but an “it”. It!’
“F*ck this f*cker’s balls!”
Old Hammer’s indignant roar exploded in the night on the flat desert. His voice was shrill, and his tone was firm. It was as if the entire world’s hatred and pain had gathered inside him.
“It’s those gray mixed breeds! Those damned, b*tch-raised orcs!”
 Likin: A form of tax in the Chinese Empire or Republic which was first introduced as a means of financing the largely locally recruited armies to suppress the Taiping Rebellion. (Source: Wikipedia)