Subscriber of the Gods Chapter 22 - Trial (2)
A commanding voice echoed.
The entire formation turned to look at the owner of the voice.
From now on, we will be facing a life-or-death situation. Reichardt is currently under the occupation of the Fire Dragon King!”
The one delivering the speech was a woman with a beautiful appearance.
‘Is she the princess?’
Reichardt was a massive city known as the second capital. It was densely populated, with numerous mansions and estates owned by nobles.
However, the city had suddenly fallen under the occupation of the Fire Dragon King.
He ravaged the city, devouring its inhabitants.
Naturally, the kingdom couldn’t remain idle in such a situation.
“Among those who joined the reclamation force, many have their family or friends there. Even your current commander of this force is also in that situation. My younger brother is there right now.”
Originally, the position of the commander of the liberation force should have been taken by the Royal Knight Commander of the kingdom.
However, the Royal Knight Commander became the lieutenant commander, and the position of the commander was taken by the Princess.
The iron-blooded princess, Lea Martinez.
‘One of the Seven Calamities.’
The trial that Ethan entered was related to an incident involving the Fire Dragon King Siegmund, who was known as one of the Seven Calamities.
The Fire Dragon King, who appeared out of nowhere, indiscriminately committed massacres and destruction, completely annihilating the major city of Reichardt.
‘The one who orchestrated the situation was said to be the leader of the reclamation force. I never expected the leader of the reclamation force to be the princess.’
This catastrophe weakened the power of the continent.
It was nearly on the brink of destruction, and there were no remaining records or information about it.
Most people live without even realizing that such a catastrophe occurred.
‘You can learn about it through the Quest of the Follower of the Moon.’
But even then, the information provided was fragmented and incomplete
‘The journey to Reichardt itself was rough. By the time they arrived, one-third of their forces had already perished.’
They said Reichardt was engulfed in flames.
‘I don’t know the exact outcome.’
Even Ethan, a stagnant water in MePan, didn’t have a complete understanding of this catastrophe.
But one thing was certain.
‘The objective of the quest seems to be to resolve Princess Leia’s regret. What is this regret exactly?’
The goal of this reclamation force was to retrieve Reichardt.
So would reclaiming Reichardt lift the princess’s regret?
“That’s why I understand your hearts. We will definitely reclaim Reichardt and protect our beloved family and friends.”
As soon as the speech ended, the troops rearranged themselves and advanced once again.
The front lines were composed of the strong, while the back lines consisted of relatively weaker individuals.
Ethan naturally found himself in the back.
Step by step, there was a tense silence, with no one uttering a word.
At that moment, a loud noise erupted from the front.
“It’s the Black Scorpions!”
“Everyone, get in formation! Black Scorpions ahead!”
A loud voice echoed from the front.
“If it’s the Black Scorpions, it must be referring to that giant monster, right?”
“They seem to be under the command of the Fire Dragon King.”
“I just came here on a whim.”
Among the weaker individuals positioned at the back, there were many who had never fought in a proper battle before.
While they likely had basic skills to participate in this reclamation force, their lack of experience made them highly anxious upon hearing the sounds of combat from the front.
However, being overly tense would hinder their ability to fight when it really mattered.
“Are you alright?”
The man in his late thirties, Murine, who had asked why Ethan had joined the reclamation force earlier, questioned him.
Ethan was so lost in thought that Murine thought he was just as nervous as everyone else.
Of course, Ethan wasn’t nervous at all.
He was simply focused. It was mentioned earlier that a Black Scorpion had appeared in front.
And Ethan knew it wouldn’t be limited to just the front.
“Now is not the time for that. Stay focused! We could really die here. I’m telling you this because you’re young. If a Black Scorpion or any similar creature appears, we must run. With our abilities, we have no chance of defeating such monsters.”
It seemed like the battle with the Black Scorpion had already begun at the front.
“The Black Scorpion is a monster with a level well over 50. Plus, it’s a large monster, so even creatures of the same level can’t compare to its power. If its tail pierces you, you’ll be impaled and die. That’s why you must run without hesitation. You need to stay alive to seek revenge.”
Murine spoke with determination.
“But don’t worry too much. Everyone positioned at the front is strong, especially the Iron-blooded Princess. She’s incredibly powerful.”
As he spoke, a menacing sound erupted from the rear.
The ground began to crack with a Kuakang-! And it shattered into pieces.
The people at the rear were taken aback.
Emerging from the ground was a sleek, black scorpion with a smooth body.
It was over four meters in size, with a menacing and sharp-looking tail.
The sudden appearance of such a large monster left inexperienced soldiers frozen in place.
Different from Fear, powerful monsters possessed a distinct aura.
“Run this way! Don’t engage in combat!”
At that moment, someone shouted.
It was the lieutenant commander and the fourth-in-command of the Royal Knights who was in charge of controlling the rear forces.
Since the forces at the rear were equally important, the fourth-in-command of the knight order was directly responsible for their command.
“We will handle them! Run!”
Upon hearing those words, the individuals who could move started running forward.
Perhaps excited by their movement, the black scorpion began to move forward as well.
Despite its bulky body, its speed was incredibly fast.
Kwang! Kwang! Kwang!
The scorpion charged forward at a terrifying speed.
The deputy of the Royal Knights cursed under his breath.
Encountering such large monsters often caused people to freeze in fear.
It wasn’t due to a lack of willpower, but rather because of the aura emitted by the large monster.
In an attempt to save as many people as possible, he shouted loudly once again.
“Move, hurry up! We can’t afford to die before reaching Reichardt!”
However, the black scorpion was faster than anticipated.
“You! Run! What are you waiting for? Run!”
Murine shouted at Ethan.
But Ethan didn’t even flinch.
Thinking that he was paralyzed with fear and unable to move, the man tried to pull him along, but it was too late.
“Damn it, I might end up getting killed too. I’m sorry!”
With no other choice, he started running away alone.
“Until your revenge, I…”
At that moment, Ethan started running forward.
Not in the direction, they were told to run but at the black scorpion.
“Wh-what are you doing?!”
The Royal Knight who had been running ahead frowned.
He couldn’t believe Ethan had lost his mind completely.
Surely, that would be a suicide.
“Everyone, run back! Move your bodies no matter what!”
Ignoring Ethan rushing towards the black scorpion, the Royal Knights shouted again to the others.
Meanwhile, Ethan had approached the black scorpion at close range.
The scorpion’s tail glowed and swung down as if it was about to pierce him from above.
Many onlookers closed their eyes, thinking that the young soldier would be impaled by the tail and killed.
But the sound they heard was not the sound of a body being impaled.
“Wh-what’s going on?”
Ethan’s sword collided with the tail of the black scorpion.
They were expecting Ethan to be the one who would get knocked back, but it was the black scorpion that was knocked back instead.
The scorpion made a threatening sound and retreated.
Upon hearing Ethan’s voice, the people who were unable to move started to flee.
Leaving behind those who hurriedly escaped, Ethan turned his gaze back to the black scorpion.
“Long time no see, Scorpion.”
Ethan casually raised the corner of his mouth.
He effortlessly dodged the scorpion’s attack by shifting to the left.
The Royal Knights who were charging forward were stunned by Ethan’s swift movements.
The others also wore astonished expressions.
The scorpion, frustrated, swung its tail once again.
“I know you well.”
He swiftly moved his body to evade the attack.
* * *
Ethan was very familiar with the Black Scorpion. It was because he had hunted numerous Black Scorpions while engaging in hunting quests to accumulate experience points.
The Black Scorpion had clear weaknesses, making it easy to hunt while providing a substantial amount of experience points.
While other monsters in the desert were annoying, if Ethan focused on hunting only the Black Scorpions, he could experience explosive level-ups.
Because of this, Ethan was confident that he could easily defeat a Black Scorpion even with his eyes closed.
‘Besides, this body. It’s not a weak body.’
Since entering the trial, Ethan’s body seemed in pretty good shape.
‘‘Of course, my skills remain the same.’
Not only was his body strong, but his skills remained intact as well.
Ethan could still utilize all of his skills, such as Heo’s Acupuncture, Whiskers’ Swordsmanship, and Hercules’ Breathing.
‘Moreover, the monsters’ weaknesses are even more apparent.’
As Ethan fully understood the Black Scorpion and the Monsters’ Calamity was triggered, he could see numerous weaknesses in the Black Scorpion.
The Black Scorpion swung its tail at a faster speed than before, as if it had gained strength.
Its attack now swept across a wider range, unlike the previous single-target strike.
With a swift motion, Ethan jumped and landed on the tail at the right moment.
“It’s quite ironic, isn’t it? Your greatest weakness lies in the very tail you predominantly use.”
Ethan focused on the tip of the tail, where a bright red spot was precisely marked.
‘The entire tail is a weakness, but the fact that there is such a vivid red spot indicates that it’s a critical weak point even among the weak points.’
With that in mind, he realized he could inflict significant damage.
‘There’s no point in prolonging this. I have numerous people behind me right now.’
Ethan knew he had to make his way with them to Reichardt.
No matter how weak they might be, they were crucial in reclaiming the massive city.
As the scorpion continued to thrash its tail, trying to shake off Ethan, he remained crouched, holding onto the tail tightly.
The scorpion eventually seemed to give up and fiercely charged toward the humans in front of it.
Ethan swiftly rose, gripping his sword in a reverse grip, and precisely stabbed the tip of the tail.
With a fluid motion combining Heo’s Acupuncture and the first technique of Whiskers’ Swordsmanship, he struck a single point accurately.
The charging scorpion, as it started to glow, began to collapse from its tail, disintegrating in an instant.
Ethan, floating in the air, safely landed.
As soon as the black scorpion died, admiration and cheers erupted from the surrounding area.
“He killed the black scorpion!”
Ethan was pleased with the reaction of those around him, but he didn’t forget what he had to do.
‘I must definitely take these.’
-You have obtained the Black Scorpion’s flesh.
-You have obtained the Black Scorpion’s venom.
-You have obtained the Black Scorpion’s hard exoskeleton.
It was important to gather these items for future use.
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