A battle raged on, warriors in bloodstained armour rode horses, their body riddled with injuries, as they clashed against each other across a vast plain in the dead of night.
Along this battlefield were corpses, lots of it, strewn all over the place. Most of them were mangled up, either losing an arm, a leg or severed in half, but all their facial expressions were ones filled with fear and deep terror.
One could only imagine what sort of ordeal these men had gone through till their last moments.
The battle was still ongoing, yet with one look, anybody would see that the end of this battle was near, and with only one possible conclusion to it.
Nevertheless, the sight of the current scene would shock any onlooker. Heck, most commoners might just fall dead, due to the sheer intensity alone.
Rocks shattered and the ground parted as a man in black armor swung his two short swords, taking ten lives with it.
Yet, the rest didn't bat an eyelid, before continuing their relentless assault, with neither side willing to give in.
The most eye-catching was a man facing an encirclement of the strongest twelve and giving them a run for their money.
His hair was black with blue eyes, his face fierce but also aged, 50 years old to be exact, wearing an armor black as night and two swords, one with an emerald glow, the other with a neon color.
The terrifying amount of pressure he emanated would have made most think twice before attacking, but with enough gold, even an old man would confront a lion barehanded.
For mankind's greed had always been insatiable, and it held true even more so right now.
In a nutshell, that is the summary of this particular situation.
With rows of enemy knights amounting to 700, and this was after the death of two thousand knights.
It would be wise to note that this was the weakest link, the largest unit but also the weakest bunch, the dispensable, the disposable, but most commonly known as, cannon fodder.
With fifty middle ranked knights at the adept stage and twelve more at the expert stage.
You can now understand why any bystander could come to a conclusion and also deem it accurate when such a force is pinned against formerly a hundred, now thirty knights on the defending side.
But of course, history has seen the likes of, and will continue to see, a variable that can turn a situation deemed hopeless into something not thought of, and create what some call a miracle.
Such was this situation, with the assailants attacking with overwhelming numbers which they had deemed as overkill.
So you can imagine the shock of the assailants upon discovering that the defending leader was on the cusp of becoming a master rank Knight.
The significance of such might still be vague at the moment, but know one thing.
This was the bare minimum qualification to be established and fully recognized as a powerhouse throughout the three known continents in this world.
A world named Orion.
Now, back to the main topic. The attacking knights were shocked at such a lack of information and quickly lost five hundred fodder knights before regaining a sense of cohesion and cordiality. The enemy leaders also had to promise a substantial increase in remuneration before all the expert knights launched an attack on the leader, aka the knight in black armor.
But the assailants could only be in complete dismay when both sides clashed, as they discovered that the weakest members of the hundred man team had the strength of an intermediate rank knight.
Nevertheless, the assailants surrounded the hundred man group, making sure to seal all escape paths.
The battle had been going for five hours now, and the casualties on each side kept stacking like a deck of cards. 𝗶n𝐧𝘳ea𝙙. 𝘤𝑜𝚖
Especially considering that half the expert knights had died fighting the black armored Knight, whose eyes had become bloodshot.
For the assailants, the cannon fodder had reduced to 440, with the intermediate knights having it worse with only 11 out of the fifty left.
But the other party wasn't much better, with only 19 members still alive.
As the battle raged on, and the remaining party members kept dying, the defending leader questioned the attackers with his anger apparent.
But none of the attackers gave a damn, as they made sure to continue cornering him.
At present, his armor was practically in tatters, with many parts chipped or broken, his skin cut on multiple sides, because at the end of the day, he was still just a half stage master, not a fully fledged one, and that had been the assailant's saving grace.
He could feel himself losing, gradually becoming weaker. He was bleeding a lot and couldn't heal himself.
The concentrated attacks of the remaining six hadn't given him a moment to breathe or focus to heal his injuries.
But he just had to know who those who wanted to take his life were, and if possible, why they had to do so.
Alas, all the assailants wore helmets and armor of good quality, with no specific markings or emblems to identify them, well, except for the cannon fodder, for they would be most likely killed after the battle was over, to keep things under wraps as much as possible.
Going forward, the battle's momentum tilted in the assailant's favor, with the Black knight witnessing the annihilation of his group of loyal comrades, whose bonds were like family.
In desperation, he broke out of the encirclement a few times to render help to the others, and even killed one more expert knight, but he could only do the bare minimum with the relentless knights on his heels.
A wave of powerlessness hit him, as his comrades died without him being able to assist, with himself about to fall at enemy hands.
He thought about how his life had been till now.
He was brought up from a humble household, neither rich nor poor, a home of pure hearted fellows and with his name being Kevin. The story of knights and mages excited him, as he yearned for adventure.
And so, at the tender age of 16, he enrolled in the army, only to witness the cruel reality most commoners face.
From injustice to betrayal and all sorts of horrible things. His talent was neither mediocre but nor was he a genius.
Yet, it was good enough to be recognized, for he had been practicing with various weapons while at his hometown, but with his naivety and innocence, he had most of the merits that should have been assigned to him either snatched or stolen, and because of this, his dream of adventure kept dying as the years passed by with only hope holding it.
Then, fate shined upon him as he obtained four artifacts from an endeavor meant to see him dead.
As a now veteran soldier, his thoughts were very clear about his fate as to whether to go back and curry favor with someone in a higher position.
But he quickly shot such an idea into the ground.
The nobles would never let him keep it, choosing to snatch it using all sorts of flimsy excuses, and would likely kill him to keep the existence of the artifacts a secret.
With a clear answer, he never returned to the army and traveled across the continent to a place far away, to start anew and hopefully gain higher ground in society.
And it worked out, well obviously not everything, but enough to make him feel proud of achieving something.
Yet here he was, with his comrades killed before his eyes as he watched on, powerless to do anything about it.
"Ughh!" Kevin groaned, as a wave of pain finally hit's him and he fell to his knees, the adrenaline coursing through him dying out.
The ground on which he kneeled was cracked and burnt. He looked to the side, and he saw the corpses of his closest comrades severed and the surroundings destroyed, the mana in the area whirring chaotically.
Had they fought a little more, they might have created a mana vortex.
This was when a knight began to talk.
"What a monstrous bastard" the knight said as he kicked Kevin, making him spurt a lot of blood.
"To think he was playing a pig to catch a tiger all this time"
Truthfully, said knight was terrified after seeing Kevin's horrifying strength as well as his weapon mastery, for his swordsmanship was bone-chilling, with no flashy moves nor feints.
No, each strike aimed at maximizing killing efficiency, and if not for them watching each other's back, and he was still able to kill eight of them, they would have been the ones annihilated instead.
As of now, he had already reached a conclusion, and that was…
'We can't let him live'
And he was sure that the other three were thinking along those lines as well.
"Why?!" Kevin asked again.
A question similar to a scream resounded, and a wave of killing intent they thought had been extinguished had been reignited from Kevin's body.
Yet, they lowered their guard upon seeing his state.
His armor destroyed, his hair disheveled, with his hands to ground supporting his body from falling face flat while holding on the swords whose glow seemed to have dimmed.
Nevertheless, the will of a man of war wouldn't break that easily.
Kevin, who was waiting for either his death or an answer, had a hand move his chin up, to make him look at one of the attackers.
"Hello Kevin" one of the knights said as he removed his helmet.
Kevin's face shook and quivered, before regaining his calmness and he slowly spoke.
"So it was you?"
And the knight, who wanted to see Kevin in despair, could only be disappointed when he kept staring silently, before speaking again.
"Why did you do this?" Kevin asked, as though seeing someone from the same empire hadn't bothered him at all.
A few seconds passed with both sides staring at each other before the knight dropped his chin, stood straight and answered.
"Because of you"
"What are you-" Kevin's questions were cut-off with another answer.
"Because of those two swords" he said, pointing at the emerald and neon swords, before pointing right at Kevin, and saying…
"Because, you refuse to yield" he said.
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