Chapter 30. Meeting With Angela (2)
Stefan’s head snapped back as he turned back to look towards the sound of people approaching. Stefan had trained in aura cultivation as a child, and had especially sharp hearing.
Two figures emerged out of the forest a short while later. Stefan smiled cruelly as he saw the flimsy chain armors and dirty clothes.
“Mercenaries just passing through? You unlucky bastards.”
He raised his hand, and two knights under his command mounted their horses.
The two knights spurred their mounts into a charge as they gripped their swords.
The knights closed in on the two figures.
The two figures that had emerged out of the forest were Luke and Kurotan. Luke was able to analyze the situation at a glance, as he saw the two knights galloping towards them.
“They want to kill us to silence us. It seems that they are trying to cover up some crime.”
“What should we do?”
Luke ordered without hesitation.
“We kill them. Take the left, I’ll take the right.”
Kurotan’s face brightened at Luke’s words.
“An order I will gladly obey. As you wish.”
Kurotan took his battle-axe from his back and kicked the ground.
Kurotan left a small crater on the ground as he rose up over two meters into the air. The knights that had been charging them widened their eyes in shock.
The knight Kurotan had jumped towards hurriedly lifted his sword in defense, but Kurotan’s aura reinforced movements were too much for him to handle.
Kurotan smashed the knight’s sword out of the way contemptuously, then swung his axe at the knight’s throat. It was at a speed that could not be seen, much less be dodged.
The knight’s head rolled to the ground with a chilling sound. The headless body let out spurts of blood before falling to the ground, and the horse continued to gallop, unaware of its rider’s death.
Meanwhile, Luke was taking care of the knight on the right. He had jumped off the ground as well, but instead of beheading the knight, Luke had kicked him off of the horse.
The knight tried to recover from his fall, but Luke had already closed in and was swinging his sword. Luke’s aura reinforced shoulder and arm generated a brute strength to the sword slash, cutting through armor and straight into the knight’s heart.
Stefan stiffened as he saw the two figures take out two knights in the blink of an eye.
“Wh-What the hell is going on? Who are those people?”
Angela was surprised as well. She had not paid much attention when the two figures had first emerged, assuming them to be mercenaries headed for a quick death.
However, the two ‘mercenaries’ had effortlessly dispatched two knights of the Tarpan Barony.
The knights from Nigel Viscounty also blinked their eyes stupidly. They knew from experience that even mildly armored knights could only be downed by a long clash of arms.
Luke roared as he and Kurotan slowly approached Angela’s carriage.
“We’ll defend this side, come out and form a formation.”
The morale of Nigel Viscounty’s knights instantly skyrocketed. The two strangers had shown enough skill that they could feel hope.
Stefan’s face turned uglier as he motioned for two more knights to slowly approach Luke and Kurotan.
“Who the hell are you two? Reveal your identities!”
“Us? We’re just passing by.”
“Then why are you helping those bastards?”
“Are you stupid? Were you dropped on your head as a child? The enemy of our enemy is our friend, you know.”
Luke smiled gratingly as he tried to anger Stefan.
“You must be an evil bastard, to try to murder two innocent passers-by. We’re simply trying to defeat the evil bastard in the name of justice!”
Angela hurriedly clasped her mouth with her hand as a laughter escaped her lips at Luke’s antics. Unlike Angela, Stefan was a boiling tea kettle ready to blow.
“Dirty mongrels that don’t know the fierceness of tigers. Kill them!”
“You are not the only one giving orders here. Kurotan. Kill them.”
Kurotan flung himself into battle as soon as Luke finished speaking. He had been gauging their enemies for weaknesses while Luke had engaged Stefan in verbal combat.
A knight hurried to raise his shield as Kurotan charged him. Unfortunately for him, the monstrous strength of Kurotan’s aura could not be matched by a human.
The knight’s body bounced back with an explosive sound, bumping into his comrades.
Kurotan did not let the opening slip.
Kurotan’s movements were fast and fierce, and he leaped into the opening like a tiger before swinging his axe. He held nothing back, unlike the tournament he had recently won.
The helmet of the knight who had been flung back split in half, along with his head. Blood and brain splattered to the ground. The knight behind him pushed away the corpse and tried to swing his sword, but Kurotan had already closed the distance into his range. Kurotan’s axe cut into the knight’s armor and separated arm from shoulder.
The knight, without his right arm, turned tail and ran off. Thanks to the knights that Stefan had sent over to reinforce him, Kurotan was unable to pursue the armless knight.
Tarpan Barony’s knights shivered as Kurotan, who already looked like a cruel bandit, licked the blood off of his axe with a maniacal grin. Stefan ordered them back with a shivering voice.
“Ta-Take the wounded, and back off.”
He had ordered his knights to attack after being goaded by Luke, but he was not stupid. He was the heir of a fiefdom, and he knew that the opponents who had killed three knights and crippled one in the blink of an eye were no simple opponents.
Nigel Viscounty’s knights reassembled their own formation as the Tarpan Barony’s knights retreated. Stefan cursed inwardly.
They still held the advantage in numbers, and might win should they engage in an all-out attack, but the losses would be enormous.
Unwilling to lose knights that his fiefdom had spent fortunes to raise, Stefan tried to negotiate.
“We will take the corpses and retreat. Will you let us?”
Angela swallowed nervously. She had already lost two of her knights, and the rest were exhausted. If she tried to keep fighting, she might lose all of her knights as well as her life.
‘It’s a pity that I won’t be able to secure evidence of their ambush, but…”
“As you wish. We will not pursue if you retreat.”
“Good decision, Angela.”
Still bitter about his almost successful ambush, Stefan nodded reluctantly and motioned to his own knights.
“Take your comrade’s corpses and horses…”
Stefan’s knights tried to move in order to obey, but Luke and Kurotan refused to budge. Stefan’s eyes widened in anger.
“What are you doing?”
“Look, you may have negotiated with that other party, but you haven’t finished negotiating with us.”
“What do you want?”
“Well, seeing as how we were forced to unwillingly exercise. Take the corpses, but leave the horses and equipment.”
Stefan bit his lips. He and his knights had secretly infiltrated into another lord’s fiefdom to carry out an ambush. It was impossible for him to leave behind any evidence.
And the fallen knights’ armors held the coat of arms of his fiefdom. Stefan extended a hand to his sword’s pommel with a cold expression.
“It seems that there will be no negotiations.”
Just as the tension between them was rising, Angela broke in.
“Excuse me, two sirs. Are all you want armor and horses?”
Luke nodded in surprise.
“I can provide those for you, if you wish…”
A smile spread across Luke’s face.
“That sounds wonderful.”
Luke and Kurotan sheathed their weapons and moved to the side. Stefan’s knights took the opportunity to speedily take their comrade’s corpses, as well as their equipment and horses.
Stefan glared at Luke and Kurotan through the whole process. The two people had ruined his ambush just when he was about to succeed.
Stefan growled as he turned his back, along with his knights.
“We will definitely meet again.”
Sighs of relief rang out as the knights from Tarpan Barony disappeared into the woods. Exhausted knights collapsed onto the ground.
“I know you all must be exhausted, but we must leave this place. Please, take care of the bodies of our comrades.”
“As you wish, Lady Angela.”
Angela made her way to Luke and Kurotan as her knights made busy.
“I sincerely thank you for your help.”
“Do not mention it… We were just passing by and decided to help.”
Angela couldn’t hide her surprise. The two men wore dusty clothes and looked dirty, but Luke’s show of etiquette was exemplary. His flawless etiquette indicated that he was most likely of a noble House.
“Would you let me know of your name?”
“Yes. I am Luke, a knight of Hansel Kingdom. This is my vassal, Kurotan.”
Angela’s eyes widened as she heard the words Hansel Kingdom. People of Hansel Kingdom rarely roamed the Sith Empire, as their two countries were not on good terms.
“Your prowess was quite something to behold.”
“Hahaha, not at all. We were just lucky to be well rested.”
“It seems that you are traveling in order to sharpen yourselves?”
“Indeed, I wished to wander the country as I polished my skills.”
A knight approached them with two horses as they conversed.
They were the horses of the two knights who had fallen to the swords of Tarpan Barony’s knights.
“Let me first gift you with these two horses. As for the armor…”
Angela hesitated before looking at Luke.
“I wish to gift them to you at my fiefdom, if you wished to visit it. In the case of armors, it is better for it to be custom fit.”
“Ah, we would of course gladly invite your invitation. We were starving, you see, as we had just run out of our traveling funds.”
Angela smiled at Luke’s exaggerated behavior.
“I will compensate you further for escorting us to our fiefdom.”
“It’s quite all right…”