Reincarnation of the Swordmaster Chapter 52

52. Master of the Abyss (5)

Shame and revenge.

Truly words unassociated with the demonkind.

Demons were beings that seduced and corrupted humans. They could be targets of revenge, but were not ones to seek it.

Yet, the demon, fluttering its small wings, declared boldly.

– There’s no point in clinging to old traditions! I am a new demon! I’ll toss aside outdated laws and live a life of freedom!

“To think submission to demons is freedom. What a servile new demon.”

– …Shut up!

[This is really amusing.]

The sword couldn’t help but burst into laughter. The demon’s face flushed red as it swayed its arms.

– Just die!

– Grrr.

– Hiss.

The dark hounds move slowly. The snake digs straight through the ground. The surrounding darkness deepens.

“Everyone, take up your weapons!”

Areina shouted with a firm voice. The demon’s eyes turned blood red.

– You think I’d just let you be! Go crazy! You humans!

“Argh!”

Groans spread around but they didn’t roll on the ground as before. They barely bit their lips and picked up their weapons.

– Huh? How are they resisting?

The demon exerted its power again but the guards were not significantly affected. It was expected. The demon’s power was only low-grade, its corrupt influence barely reached civilians.

Until now, the guards were confused seeing a demon for the first time, which had an effect on them, but now they were well prepared. Asher had explained to them earlier that they could endure if they focused momentarily.

“I’ll take care of the snake. Takan, you too.”

“Ah. Yes!”

“Kak. I want to kill the demon… but I’ll hold off for now.”

The guards and Takan formed ranks around the snake. As the snake thrashed its long body, the armor buckled, and members were flung away. They quickly filled the gaps and the battle commenced.

– Grrrr!

The dark hound. Lapelai lunged at Asher. It dashed close to the ground and swung its claws. Asher spun around and dodged with a kick.

Lapelai’s body burst into smoke and started to reassemble behind him, pushing its maw forward.

– Aaah!

Crunch!

Lapelai bit the sword extended towards it. The sturdy iron blade instantly turned into scrap metal.

“Tsk.”

Asher clicked his tongue, swinging his empty hand. The moment it reached close to Lapelai, he drew a dagger and aimed for the head. But Lapelai turned into smoke and vanished again.

“Annoying.”

Lapelai. The undulating dark hound is a powerful demon.

Armor-crushing strength, teeth that could grind anything. Movement that easily transcends human cognition. But more troubling was its lack of a physical form.

The dark hound could exert physical force but could not be hit in return. It was like a ghost. To defeat it, one would need to strike it down with holiness.

A demon that could single-handedly annihilate a whole order of knights, that was Lapelai.

The demon burst out laughing.

– Haha! I know you! Peaceful humans! That’s why you’ve forgotten about us! Do you think those who forget can defeat us?

“Not a wrong point.”

But that did not apply to him.

Asher spread his hand.

Lapelai was indeed a strong demon. But that was only when its relative measure was unknown.

– Grr.

The dark hound reappeared, glaring at him.

A needle was placed on his open palm. One, two, three, four. The count increased, and soon his hand was filled with dozens of needles.

– What are you trying…

Swoosh!

Asher waved his hand. The needles spread out in a fan shape, piercing through the darkness with a loud noise.

– Oh. Ohhh! What are you doing!

The demon, caught within the range of the needles, panicked and twisted its body to dodge. It screamed but Asher nonchalantly picked up another needle.

– Grr!

The dark hound lunged desperately but Asher lightly bounced off the ground and swung the needle widely. The needles flew into the encompassing darkness.

– What are you…

“Found you.”

A small shape squirmed among the darkness, dodging the needles.

Asher grabbed the great sword and rushed forward.

He closed the distance with a speed transcending human capabilities and struck down.

– Grrrr!

As the figure was hit, the dark hound screamed its death throes and disappeared beyond the darkness. This time, it wasn’t just hidden; it was banished back to the demon world.

– How, how…

“As long as you know the methodology, it’s not that tough.”

Asher dusted off his hand.

The appearing Lapelai in the spreading darkness wasn’t truly the dark hound’s body. Its body was hidden within the darkness, which meant chasing the dark hound wouldn’t kill it.

[Humans nowadays even figured that out. Astonishing.]

The sword expressed its admiration. Asher indifferently said.

“I’ve fought a lot.”

He had faced numerous demons, and he had reviewed every document detailing their features and weaknesses thoroughly. They were not contents light enough to be forgotten even if reincarnated.

– Oh, how… you should have forgotten.

“There are humans who haven’t forgotten.”

“Kuh!”

As he approached the demon, a crunching sound of metal and screams erupted from behind.

“Uh…”

“Cough.”

The situation with the guards facing the snake looked grim. Half were down, their armor crushed. Takan was barely standing but the situation didn’t look good. The snake was unscathed.

“Tsk.”

Though Asher wanted to grab the demon, there seemed no leisure for that. He pulled out a javelin, gripping it firmly, his muscles creaking and swelling.

Crunch.

As the ground shattered, the javelin was hurled. It sped like a ballistic missile towards the snake. The snake hastily twisted its body, but the javelin collided with its torso, disappearing beyond the darkness with a loud crash.

“Are you alright?”

“…Ah. Yes, thank you.”

Areina staggered up.

“What on earth… I’ve never seen a demon like this. Even the blade did not cut

Arueina bit her lip. She too was familiar with a multitude of demonic creatures, but there was no information about this snake.

– Ssssh.

The snake slowly approached from the darkness. Asher groaned. Despite using his full power, not a single wound was visible on the snake.

‘How should I combat this?’

There were many types of monsters. It wasn’t strange that there were some Asher didn’t recognize. With a serious expression, Asher drew his weapon.

[The army of Slark.]

The sword muttered indifferently.

***

“What?”

[Slark. A monster harder than any other. Moreover, aren’t you going to dodge?]

– Ssssh!

The snake slithered straight toward Asher. Asher hastily retreated and swung his greatsword. The floor shattered, and fragments struck the snake, but it seemed unfazed and kept smoothly approaching him. Asher slowly backed away.

“Do you know about this thing?”

[Yes. You don’t know it? I thought about it, and it’s not a monster that appears as frequently as Rapellai.]

“…How?”

[Who do you think I am?]

“A sealed one.”

[That’s correct, but I am a being from before. My body has lived through a different world than yours. Although I have no memory about myself, I remember these trivial creatures.]

The sword spoke as if it was nothing.

[I suppose it’s safe to say I know all about monster types.]

“Why were you quiet before?”

[I wanted to see how you dealt with Rapellai first. You handle it well and know the tactics. I didn’t know about this one. Need an explanation?]

“Obviously.”

Monsters are abnormal beasts. Beings of the demonic realm. Thus, each one has distinct, strong features, and simple brute force can’t overcome them.

Understanding their characteristics and discerning their weaknesses was key to defeating them. With the sword’s knowledge, battling them became straightforward.

[It’s simple. You can’t defeat it with brute force.]

– Ssssh!

As the snake lunged, Asher focused on the sword’s words. Its movement was simple, so avoiding it was not too challenging.

[It’s one of the toughest among monsters. It has high endurance and is resilient against shocks. Even its insides are harder than trained steel, so piercing it won’t work either.]

“Should I use holy power then?”

[No. But it does have one weakness.]

The sword leisurely murmured.

[Look closely at the neck.]

“The neck?”

Asher scanned the snake’s neck area. His enhanced body strength also meant his vision was exceptionally sharp, so scrutinizing was not a problem. He noticed a scale that was inverted.

“That one?”

[Yes. The inverted scale. In the past, it was called the achilles. Just pierce that and it should die.]

“Damn tiny.”

[No complaints now.]

The scale was too small for even the tip of the sword to fit properly. Asher grumbled but drew his rapier.

– Ssssh!

The snake flew through the air. Opening its maw, it headed straight for Asher’s neck. As Asher waited quietly, Arueina almost screamed, but at that moment, the rapier moved.

***

After defeating Slark, Asher began treating the wounded guards. The demons had already fled unseen.

Asher wrapped a bandage around a guard who was stabbed by armor shards.

“Your organs aren’t hit. You’ll be fine after a few days of rest.”

“Th-thank you.”

The guard awkwardly expressed his gratitude. Asher nodded briefly and approached Takan.

Takan was largely unscathed. Although their opponent was a monster, he too possessed the skill to respond.

“You’re amazing, as expected.”

Takan smiled faintly in response to Asher’s approach.

“Catching such filthy monsters so easily. Plus, I didn’t even know their necks were their weak spots.”

Takan seemed amused by this realization.

“You look unharmed.”

“Obviously.”

Asher left Takan and headed toward other guards. After completing the emergency treatments, he sat down.

“Sword.”

[Why.]

“Do you know about other beings, not just monsters?”

[Generally.]

The sword responded indifferently.

[I might not know everything, but I probably know a lot more than you guys.]

“That’s reassuring.”

The world was strangely twisted. If anyone could provide answers and reveal identities, it would be the sword.

As they were talking, Arueina approached Asher.

“Thank you.”

“It’s nothing.”

“No, really, thank you. Thanks to you, no one died. Without you, we would have been annihilated.”

Arueina looked at Asher with admiration. Not just her, but other guards felt the same. They had been unable to inflict even a scratch on the monsters, yet Asher alone had defeated two. They felt a sense of awe.

“How did it come to this? He should be here…”

“Are you referring to the master below?”

Arueina nodded with a sigh.

“Yes. He’s strong. With him, everything would be resolved. I don’t know what’s in the end, but if we check and then escape, he will surely return someday.”

Hope shone in Arueina’s eyes. Asher was about to say something but then closed his mouth.

[Hope, huh? It will be in vain.]

“…It’s not certain yet.”

“What?”

“No. Nevermind.”

Asher shook his head.

The sword laughed.

[Both Rapellai and Slark are upper echelon monsters. Do you think such beings would appear in this world without a price? You know, right? The person you remembered won’t exist anymore.]

“…….”

[Still, I’m curious. He called his disciple, they said.]

Asher’s eyes darted toward Gerun. Earlier, he was uneasy, but now he was nearly insane, frantically biting his nails.

[Did he call before he went mad, or after? If it was after, what was his purpose?]

“We’ll know soon.”

They were close to their destination. Perhaps he was there, waiting like typical masterminds do.



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