Isekai For My Ex Chapter 65: FRAGILE HEART OF THE STRONGES
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The corrupted beast turned towards Erneis who posed the highest threat to it by being able to cut down one of the extensions of its body.
The golden knight who had a floating shield in front of him as he wielded a deadly sword imbued with wind magic, announced his desire to slay the monster in front of him, and now he was in his stance and made the same move again.
Wind enveloped him as he propelled his body forward towards the beast, with the shields protecting him, and just like the raging wind, the more attempts he made the faster he moved and cut down the beast from limb to limb.
For every attempt the beast would attempt to throw unholy swords at him, however, Erneis was becoming faster and faster, at the same time it would be repelled by the metal swords made by Claire, the beast that was able to regenerate the lost extensions was shortly cut down by the golden knight that danced with the wind.
All Andrei, Gideon, Rara and Claire could see was the beast struggling with a golden gale, wounding it gradually, the creature wasn't able to fight back much, all it could do was make pitiful screams as its regenerated limb was cut down, or when it got sliced directly.
Runzulu who turned the body of the emperor into a corrupted beast started to panic as she couldn't catch the golden knight who was swift as the wind.
["Grrr… this old man! I'm taking them seriously already but still, I can't win, should I retreat? No. I should pay them back for this humiliation first]
Unlike his warriors who would have their souls crumble after leaving the human body, Runzulu's gift enabled her to travel human to human. She didn't fear of having the emperor's body die, she just had to transfer to a new body in a time limit.
Then an idea came to her mind, she knew how corrupt and selfish humans were which was why she was able to infiltrate Kydus successfully, but she also knew that some of them were the opposite, selfless, valiant and, "NAIVE!!!" she screamed to herself the answer to her worries.
She looked at the adjacent room and saw the three humans who were still finding a way to fight her, the two men were exhausted, the girl using the greatsword was having a hard time walking, only the girl wearing a green robe was able to give support to the golden knight.
Runzulu knew that the girl was the leader of the irregular unit that used the strange weapons, based on the records left by the elf-commander, she now had an idea to kill all of them once and for all.
Erneis who moved along the wind focused on dealing with the beast blow per blow, Andrei in the meantime knowing that his flintlock was useless tried to conserve bullets. Gideon channeled more mana so he could summon another phoenix, while Rara who hurt her leg, was almost unable to walk without her sword.
Andrei saw the hopeless situation turn over, he was confident that Erneis who was the strongest knight in Ethareri could defeat the best in front of them, however, something caught his attention.
While Claire was busy sweating concentrating on generating more swords, the beast's eyes turned towards her, the claw extension that was cut down was alive and was on the ground, but the ground was hollow as if something pierced it under.
He then remembered the nature of the dark elves, they prey on humans' weaknesses and wouldn't fight fairly, they commit any dirty and brutal tactics that they could use to take down the enemy and make them suffer.
"Don't tell me… " he muttered to himself, and shouted from the top of his lungs, "Claire! Get away from there!"
Claire broke her focus and the swords that floated beside her dropped to the ground, she didn't know the reason why Andrei suddenly called her name, but what came next was a horrible scene, he could see Andrei running towards her, and in a few seconds one of the limbs appeared from the ground and went towards her.
"Make it on time!" Andrei jumped towards Claire and pushed her to the side, with both of them falling on the floor, however even if they evaded it, the extension followed them.
"I won't let you!" Andrei stood and used his bayonet to pierce it, blood came out of it and it paused moving for a while, but in a second it only elongated and went for his head. He wasn't able to react quickly.
But Claire who saw this took her rapier and threw it towards it, which made it switch directions towards her, and without any weapons, Claire was slashed on her waist.
"NO!!!" Andrei screamed and slashed diagonally with his bayonet to fend it off from wounding Claire further, however, even his bayonet that was sturdier thanks to Rara couldn't cut the limb extension that was bigger than his torso.
The limb flicked him away easily and he was thrown to the wall with great impact, being a normal human, he hit his head and felt pain throughout his body, it was the first time he was able to experience such pain.
"It hurts… It hurts, help me!" Andrei thought has he felt pain all over his body that dulled some of his senses, such as hearing and vision, he wasn't able to notice but his head bled and blood ran down his face, as he breathed in and out as he felt his lungs weren't getting enough air.
With his blurry vision he saw Rara coming towards him propping herself with her greatsword, "Are you okay? Andrei!" she screamed but she couldn't hear her properly.
Gideon used another magic to fend away the claw from Claire, canceling his plan to create his deadly phoenix that was supposed to down the monster as it was weak to the purifying flames of the phoenix.
He immediately knelt down to Claire and pushed his hand to the wound where it emitted a green aura, similar to the healing spell his wife used, Andrei felt a bit rest assured that Claire was being healed.
Rara finally arrived at him and carried him on her small shoulders.
"So this is pain huh… I underestimated it, but.. " Andrei couldn't move most of his body, but he gripped and never dropped his flintlock along the way. "Hahh… Hahh… Hahh," his lungs were damaged severely and he couldn't breathe properly.
"Hold on a bit Andrei, Gideon will heal you, once he's done with Claire" Rara said as she took Andrei on her shoulders, unlike men of his age, to her Andrei was lighter, and didn't have much muscle. Tears welled in her eyes, as she realized that Andrei didn't have the body of a combatant, but still he gave his all to protect Claire even in close combat, realizing that bullets won't stop the beast.
"That was supposed to be my job," she muttered to Andrei, "didn't the queen tell you to just shoot in the distance."
Erneis was still fighting with the beast more fiercely as he saw Claire being slashed and Andrie being flicked towards the wall, seeing him getting more desperate the beast now smiled, as it saw two of its attackers taken down, it now knew the efficient way to kill them all.
Another claw went underground, Erneis saw this and knew that if he wanted to go after it, he would have to cut down the claws attacking him.
"Damn!" he swung his sword in all directions and moved together with the wind, cutting them but they kept regenerating one after another, and the wounds he inflicted to the beast directly wasn't that deep, "if I go after it, my back will be unguarded, and I'm running out of mana already"
Andrei was brought towards Claire, and there he saw her unconscious face, "wake up Claire! You shouldn't be sleeping like that!" he thought to himself, as he couldn't speak anymore with his lungs damaged, doing everything just to breathe.
The cut on her waist was deep, and Gideon was sweating to heal her with all he could. "My magic can't keep up with the bleeding!" Gideon was desperate that he couldn't detect the danger coming to them anymore.
Unaware, a limb went underground towards them, Erneis screamed to Gideon to protect them but he couldn't hear it, given how fast Erneis was moving and Gideon's desperation to save Claire.
Andrei's eyes were locked to the unconscious Claire, her beautiful face that didn't have a sign of struggle to it, she just laid there and peacefully closed her eyes.
"Why the hell are you sleeping there Claire… " his heart sank as she saw her dying in front of him, it was because of him that she was hit by the claw, he couldn't fathom the idea that someone sacrificed herself for him.
"Again… I'm letting it happen again, even in this world, I'm useless, and powerless… I attempted to save someone, yet she saved me instead, how pathetic can I get? I thought that this time with the knowledge I had from my previous world I could finally save the people dear to me, I got too confident, my weapon didn't work and now she's there… unconscious, because of me, because of my weakness," Andrei balled his fist as he saw Claire desperately being treated.
But as he lamented his weakness, another tragedy approached them.
As one of the claws extended underground, it appeared again to kill them, but at the same time the golden gale disappeared, Erneis appeared in front of them and summoned a shield in front of him, but the old man's mana was too low. The shield easily broke and the claw went through the old man's heart, together with several claws that followed him.
As the golden knight fell, and was caught by Gideon, he looked at Andrei's eyes and muttered his last words struggling to open his lips.
"Every… one… I leave… to … you," after a few seconds memories surfaced on the Erneis' mind, the new batch of children that he was taking care of, Michaela and Claire who have grown to be beautiful and wonderful women, and finally, he saw the King whom he had given his loyalty to.
As he saw him standing in front of him, standing on top of the water as the skies extended behind him, he asked, "King, forgive your servant, I may have failed to fulfill the mission you gave to me," he bowed towards him, however, the king just smiled and held out his hand, "no, you did a great job, let's go and leave the rest to them" Erneis wept as he saw the first batch of children he took care of appear together with the King, they came to him and hugged him, he could feel the warmth of their embrace overflow as the light flashed and enveloped everything.
Erneis' breath came in ragged, shallow gasps. Seconds passed as he laid there, he heard voices. Andrei, Gideon and Rara swarmed all over him, trying to help him, he realized.
They wanted to save him. However it was far too late for him to be saved, with all the holes on his body pierced by the claws of the enemy, Erneis wanted to be able to leave all the pain behind as he closed his eyes happily joining the loved ones that have left him too soon.
With this the fragile, human heart of the strongest and wisest Golden Knight of Ethareri beat one last time.
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