Duke Pendragon - chapter 216
“Huh! Mister Karuta, are you okay?”
Viscount Moraine asked in surprise. With so many quarrels sticking out of his body, it would not be strange if Karuta died from the loss of blood.
Karuta slowly stood up with a grin.
“It stings a little, but I am okay. It was too much hassle to pick them out one by one, so I just left them in.”
Karuta started to roughly pull out several quarrels from his body without blinking an eye.
Viscount Moraine licked his lips in astonishment. He himself had been hit by arrows on the battlefield, so he knew how painful it was to pull them out. However, Karuta pulled out the quarrels as if they were nothing more than pesky thorns. He could see why orcs were a race born for battle.
“Did you kill them all?”
Raven spoke while looking around the field of bodies, and Karuta answered with a snort.
“Keung! Do you think I am tactless? I left some of them alive. Including that guy over there.”
Karuta gestured with his chin towards a boulder, and Raven and Moraine’s eyes turned towards it. A knight with crushed armor was lying on the rock with foam spilling from his mouth.
“Hmm, he seems to be dead…”
Viscount Moraine tilted his head, and Karuta shrugged.
“I think he should be alive. Scarecrows are weak, but they don’t die just because one of their eggs are crushed. No, maybe I wasn’t able to hold back my strength. I might have crushed both of them.”
Viscount Moraine let out a confused sigh.
However, Raven realized what Karuta had done and responded, finding the situation preposterous.
“Did you really smash it?”
“Is that not the best way to capture them without killing them?”
Karuta spoke with a sullen expression, and Raven shook his head.
“We should wake him up first. Hey!”
Soldiers rushed to raise the knight that Karuta had gestured towards.
Raven approached the knight, who was now held up by the soldiers, then slapped him several times. The knight groaned and opened his eyes.
The knight soon came to his senses, then groaned at the intense pain that permeated his body, especially a certain area. He instinctively lowered his eyes to his lower body.
Red blood was dripping down between his legs.
Something felt empty.
And when the terrible pain struck belatedly, the knight realized the situation and screamed. It was as if dozens of fangs were digging into that place at the same time
The soldiers trembled at the scream. It was full of emotions that all men could relate to. They felt an electric sensation spread over their lower bodies in response.
“Pff, stop making a huge fuss. You’re a fully-grown scarecrow…”
Above all, the hideous smile of the perpetrator instilled an instinctive fear into the soldiers’ hearts.
‘The devil. That is a true devil…’
The soldiers slowly turned their eyes from the knight. Regardless of whether he was the enemy or not, they felt sympathy for him. He would never be able to function as a man ever again.
“What is your name?”
Viscount Moraine asked the knight in a quiet voice. An endless stream of tears flowed from the knight’s eyes.
“J, just kill me… Keuheuk…!”
The knight howled, snot and tears covering his entire face. He felt indescribable pain in his groin and felt frustrated after having his troops annihilated.
But Viscount Moraine repeated the question without blinking an eye.
“Tell me your name and affiliation.”
The knight finally raised his head. He came face-to-face with the indifferent expression of a middle-aged knight who gave off a fierce impression. The two symbols engraved on the man’s scapula meant that he was a high-ranking commander of the coalition.
“My name is Oran, Riera Oran… Captain of the Knights of the Red Wheel.”
“I see. I am Moraine, Commander-in-Chief of the monster coalition.
Viscount Moraine gave a curt nod and before continuing.
“Sir Riera Oran, you have commenced an attack on a coalition carrying out the orders of His Majesty the Emperor and the Imperial Duke, Duke Pendragon. This is clearly treason. Are you aware that I have the authority to deliver the death penalty to you without trial in these circumstances?”
“Speak, who ordered you to attack?”
“I, myself and the Knights of the Red Wheel do not listen to anyone’s instructions…”
Oran’s head turned sideways. Viscount Moraine struck Oran’s jaw once more, which caused it to return to its original position.
“I am not a very patient man, Sir Oran. If you bullshit once more, I will kill you on the spot. Then, I will hold your family and anyone with a connection to you accountable for your actions. They will be accused of treason.”
“He, heheu… Do you think you have the power to do so, commander? And do you really think His Excellency the Ocean King will stay still?”
Oran rattled on.
Even if they were a united coalition to fight against the monsters, they could not go against the Arangis Duchy in the south. The primary objective of the coalition was to eradicate the monsters of the Great Forest. As soon as they turned their blade against the Arangis Duchy, they lost their cause.
“Heheu! And where is the evidence that I attacked first? In addition, the lord of Blago is the nephew of the Ocean King. It is no problem for me, who has maintained a deep relationship with him for a long time, to stay here. Rather, everyone will believe my words if I tell them that the coalition attacked me in order to take over the territory of Blago on the pretense of eradicating monsters. Heheheuu…”
Viscount Moraine’s thick eyebrows wriggled at Oran’s words.
“Well, is that it? I do not think there is a need to worry about such matters.”
Oran and Moraine turned their heads towards the quiet voice. A beautiful man with ash blond hair was looking down on Oran with a haughty expression. Oran intuitively sensed that he was Duke Pendragon.
Oran stared bitterly at Raven, but he responded with an indifferent look.
“I do not know what led you to such strange delusions, but there is no possibility of your words ever coming true.”
“W, what do you…”
Oran shuddered and frowned.
Raven slowly moved aside. Oran could see several people standing behind him with dejected expressions.
Oran became dismayed. He was familiar with some of them, even though they had haggard appearances and their heads were hanging low. In particular, the one who stood at the forefront of the ragged group was one of Oran’s few friends.
“Toldo! Why are you…”
“I, I am sorry, Oran…”
Toldo dropped his head, unable to continue his words. Oran became speechless at the sight. Rumor had it that Duke Pendragon showed no mercy to the enemy.
As such, Oran had assumed all the nobles and the landlords that betrayed Duke Pendragon would have been killed before the duke arrived here with Commander Moraine.
However, all of them were still alive, including Toldo.
“Y, you… don’t tell me…!”
Oran’s blue lips quivered as he understood the situation.
“…I am sorry, Oran. That’s how it is. I… I need to live too.”
Oran spat and struggled to escape from the soldier’s clutch. Toldo hurriedly hid himself behind others in surprise, and Raven stepped in front of the struggling Oran.
“On the condition of being pardoned, all of them have made the decision to donate all their assets to the coalition and testify about today’s incident. Well, individually they are nothing, but with quite a few heads, the story should be getting around quite fast.”
Oran gritted his teeth while drooling. A cold smile appeared on Raven’s face, and he turned around towards Toldo and the former conspirators of Jian.
“Why don’t you tell Sir Oran about today’s incident?”
Toldo glanced around before slowly walking forward. He started to talk.
“T, the lord of Blago and the Knights of the Red Wheel conspired to attack His Excellency and the coalition. They sent Jian as the spy and threatened us to betray His Excellency Duke Pendragon…”
“Shut your filthy mouth! You dirty traitor!”
Oran screamed at the top of his lungs, and Raven turned to him once more.
“You shut your filthy mouth, you stupid, despicable mutt.”
The harsh, murderous voice of Duke Pendragon caused goosebumps to rise all over Oran’s body, and he drew a sharp breath. He could not believe such words had come out of the mouth of a great noble, someone who would have grown up learning manners and culture.
As he saw the blue eyes fluttering with fiery anger, Oran trembled. The surroundings had already dimmed, but the duke’s eyes seemed to radiate with light.
“But I must thank you for being so stupid. Thanks to you, I will be able to destroy the territory of Blago. And with all these witnesses, no problems could possibly arise at all.”
“Keuk! Is your plan to storm the lord’s castle? The lands of the traitors in the South must be brimming with monsters, wreaking havoc even in this moment!”
Oran made his last attempt at retaliation, to which Raven responded with a chilling smile.
“If there is a competition for stupidity, you might become the champion. Who said I was going to storm the castle? They will come of their own accord.”
Horror filled Oran’s eyes.
At that exact moment, a roar erupted from afar along with the sound of horse hooves, and Oran jerked his head towards it. It was as if everything had been pre-arranged.
“Save Sir Oran! The enemy is a single orc on the verge of dying!”
Oran fell into complete despair when he saw the troops running towards him with hundreds of lit torches. Many thoughts flashed through his mind.
Why had no one lit any torches even though the sun had set?
Why had they kept him here and continued to converse with him?
Why had the devilish orc let some of his companions run away?
Most of all, why was the devil preparing to fight once more with a huge grin on his face, and why had dozens of griffons and orc warriors lined up in front of the wider road…?
“N, no, NOOO!”
Oran’s desperate scream was buried in the roar of the moths rushing toward the flame to meet their death.
The eyes of Blago’s lord were colored with despair. Thousands of his knights and soldiers had been annihilated in less than the time it took to have a meal.
Moreover, they had been destroyed by the attack of the orcs warriors and griffons that numbered less than a hundred.
He had already fallen off his horse, and he could only watch his soldiers die as he leaned against a tree trunk in solitude.
“Such a dogshit…. Heu! Huhahahahaha!”
He crumpled under the tree with a broken smile. He should not have listened to the few knights when they came to him with a miserable appearance, begging him to go save Oran.
He should have headed back to the castle and grasped a full understanding of the situation first rather than rushing in. He did not care much for Oran’s life anyways.
However, he became greedy when he was told that there were only two enemies, the Duke of Pendragon and an orc warrior full of quarrels.
Oran was done for anyways, which meant that he could take the credit for taking care of Duke Pendragon. Since he was close to where the fight was taking place, he hurried with all his troops.
All he had to do was capture Duke Pendragon.
Then he could return to the castle and maintain an impasse until support arrived from the Arangis Duchy.
However, he knew something was wrong when he saw torches lighting up one by one in the dark. Soon, a baptism of arrows rained down on his forces, and the griffons dived from the sky and violated the rear. Now that they had passed through Aranka, nothing was obstructing the creatures’ flight.
The leading soldiers became the targets for the heavily armed orcs. Even though orcs had poor vision at night, their targets had been holding torches, as if screaming, ‘please come kill me’.
“Kekeuk! This is not true… This is not happening…”
“I am sorry, but this is happening, Lord of Blago.”
The Lord of Blago flinched when he saw a knight slowly walking towards him in the moonlight. The knight was not wearing a helmet, and he held a treasured sword in one hand and a curved blade in the other. Blago’s lord slowly opened his mouth.
“D, duke Pendragon…”