Ch. 23: Recalling after Retaliation
“Don’t you dare look down on me!”
If he was losing in terms of strength, there was no need to rely on his arms.
Conjuring as much strength as he could, he planted a kick into the mock-goblin’s stomach. He was feeling a burning sensation in his mind, like someone had shot a burning steel rod into his head.
The kick withered the mock-goblin, pushing it off of Loren.
But the smile didn’t disappear from its face.
It believed that the human that lost to it in terms of strength was putting up a useless struggle, and that it would eventually beat him.
But Loren’s next move made its smile stiffen.
Loren immediately rushed at the goblin with more force and speed than before, completely giving up on defense. Although it was stopped by the mock-goblin’s club yet again, it widened its eyes at the impact that came through it.
As the mock-goblin took a step back, Loren took another step forward and attacked it.
The blow that Loren delivered, which was even faster than the one before, was again, stopped by the mock-goblin’s club. But the club, which had blocked all three of Loren’s attacks, couldn’t take the sheer power of the last blow and snapped in half.
The mock-goblin panicked and pushed goblins away from itself, as it tried to gain distance from Loren, but Loren continued to increase his speed.
Loren didn’t let the mock-goblin get out of his range, and the fourth strike that he released crushed all the goblins in his path, directly hitting the mock-goblin’s arm.
The sword cut right through the skin, flesh, and bones, splattering blackened blood everywhere.
The mock-goblin let out a roar from the pain, but immediately got flung backwards again by a tackle from Loren.
It couldn’t regain its balance, and all it could do was look at Loren’s great sword flash from right to left.
The next blow struck its right forearm, going straight across its body and out the other side.
It had so much force behind it, that the mock-goblin’s arm was still spinning in the air when the body crumbled onto the ground, blood spurting from the cut.
But Loren’s charge didn’t stop there.
Loren’s arms continued to accelerate every step he took, and his great sword was being swung so fast that a rumbling could be heard from the air around him.
He didn’t care if he was using the blade or where he was aiming at. As he swung his great sword around him at an unbelievable speed, his attacks became a single whirlwind.
Anything that the winds touched were cut down, gouged, and crushed into mere pieces and blown away.
Ritz and Jack saw the fierceness of the attack and nervously decided to stop fighting, and took a step back to where Nim and Quartz were.
They didn’t want to risk getting caught in windstorm that was raging on.
“What in the world is that…”
Jack muttered with a dumbfounded look on his face.
That was how fierce and one-sided Loren’s attacks, which looked like a storm, were.
The goblins who tried to apporach him were immediately reduced to black and red pieces and blown across the room.
Some of them tried to run away, but they were pushed back by the goblins who came in from behind them, all of them falling prey to the raging wind.
A few mock-goblins came as well, but even they were only able to take one or two blows from Loren before they ended up like the other goblins.
“Isn’t this just like the rumors? His body is as the wind, and after the wind passes through, nothing is left standing in its wake…”
“You talking about the mercenary << Slaying Wind >>? There’s no way, right? Why would a title-bearing mercenary become a copper rank adventurer?”
“Come on! Do you think that there can be two or three different people that can pull this off!?”
No one could give an answer to Jack.
Rumors said that the mercenary << Slaying Wind >>, who was said to be able to fight toe-to-toe with the strongest mercenary, could turn the tide of battle just by taking part in it.
Although he didn’t use magic like << Swords of Flame >> and << Blade Demon >>, his skill on the sword was said to surpass both. In battle, his existence was considered the same as the god of death, and Ritz nor his party could believe that a renowned swordsman like him could be the lowest ranking adventurer.
Putting aside whether Loren being << Slaying Wind >> was true or not, they couldn’t deny the fact that he alone was turning the tide of this fight, and started getting hope that they would be able to survive.
“Don’t you guys think this is going to work out somehow?”
“Overly optimistic. Not good.”
Nim said coldly to Quartz, whose voice was getting lighter.
“You saying that we shouldn’t be hopeful!?”
“No. It’s not good to leave it up to him. We have our pride as silver ranks.”
“That’s true, but…”
Jack scratched his head at Nim’s assertion.
Nim then pointed to Loren, who was still charging at the goblins coming towards them without even slowing down.
“That’s not good.”
“Huh? What do you mean not good?”
Jack and Ritz had no idea what she meant.
Nim was able to realize it thanks to elves’ excellent sense of hearing.
“That great sword. It’s about to break.”
What Nim pointed out was something Loren was already aware of.
Although he continued to change goblins into mutilated corpses, the sensation he was getting from the grip as well as the noises from the blade told him that the great sword wasn’t going to last much longer.
Loren knew that ever since he was a mercenary, getting excited or receiving a serious injury during battle pulled a trigger inside him, and that made him able to display strengths that he normally couldn’t.
He couldn’t choose when he wanted to use it so it wasn’t that easy to use, but Loren had been saved by this power more times than he could count.
Of course, there was a downside to it, and the recoil usually left him powerless and exhausted, but he decided that he was fortunate that it had activated.
Fortunate for Loren, but unfortunate for his great sword.
Loren knew that it wasn’t going to last as long as his body.
He used the strength in his arms and the speed that he was swinging it around with to make up for the weakening blade, but it seemed to be at its limit.
As Loren cut off the head of a mock-goblin, not even sure how many he had killed up till now, it happened.
As the mock-goblin’s head hit the floor, a loud clang sounded from Loren’s great sword, and the blade broke off.
Loren cursed without thinking, but his broken sword didn’t mean that he couldn’t fight.
The great sword’s blade was originally quite long, so he was still able to fight with the bottom half that was still intact.
But a shorter blade meant less damage, and although he could swing it faster, each blow did less.
“Hey, this is bad! His weapon broke! Are you done yet!?”
Ritz, who watched as the wind flung the broken blade at the wall, asked Lapis, who was still working on the control panel.
She glanced up as she heard the blade crash into the wall, but immediately returned her eyes to the control panel in front of her.
“Hey, how is it?”
“I can’t finish immediately even if you rush me.”
“I can see that! But your partner is going to be in trouble soon!”
Along with Loren’s damage, his reach got shorter as well.
It meant engulfing less goblins in his attacks, and he couldn’t keep it up for long.
If there was no chance of the flow of goblins stopping, Lapis was their only hope.
“I know, I know! I put in the commands for shuting down and stopping the goblins! But the last one…The end code isn’t going through!”
Lapis’ voice got louder and rougher from her irritation.
Ritz, who couldn’t understand half the things she just said, softened his voice slightly and asked.
“What do you mean?”
“To put it simply, the controls won’t stop! If this would shut down, the other commands I put in would go into effect, and both the ruins and the goblins would stop and would start falling apart!”
“If it just needs to stop, can’t we just destroy it?”
“Please do it if you can! This is something that survived for hundreds of years, and still works like it’s supposed to! It will stop if you destroy it! Please try!”
Ritz told Lapis to back off a bit, and swung his sword down onto the control panel.
But he couldn’t even make a scratch on it.
His sword got deflected off the control panel.
“There is a magic spell protecting the surface, it won’t break with normal attacks! We need something like a cursed sword to break it!”
Their conversation reached Loren’s ears.
He didn’t understand the technical parts, but he understood that in order to do something about this situation, they needed Lapis to stop the control panel or something to destroy it.
He also knew that Ritz had tried to destroy it, but a magic spell was protecting it and couldn’t do it.
After collecting all the information, he got an idea.
He had no idea if it would work, but he didn’t have anything to lose at this point.
“Lapis! Get away from there!”
He swung his sword in a wide arc and forced a bunch of goblins off of him, and shouted at her direction.
Without checking to see if Lapis did what he told her to, he plunged his hand into his pocket and found what he was looking for.
It was something that activated when the user willed it, but to make sure that it would activate for sure, he had to say he wanted to use it out loud.
Loren threw the object at the control panel and shouted at the top of his lungs.
The object flying through the air was a pendant that was emitting gold light.
“The << Mana Lost >> pendant!?”
Lapis, who was hurrying away from the panel, saw what it was and started moving away even quicker.
When the pendant landed on the panel, it released the charged-up mana it had gathered since the goblin mage had used it, and from Loren’s shout, disabled the magic that was protecting it.
“Come on, break!”
Loren raised the remains of his great sword above his head, and heaved it at the panel with all his remaining strength.
It flew across the room and crashed straight into the panel.
Even without the spell, the panel was quite hard, but it still couldn’t handle Loren’s full strength and force, and the sword sunk deep into it.
“W-whoa, that was dangerous…”
Although some of the pendant’s mana had recharged, it seemed that there wasn’t too much, as the range of its magic didn’t reach Lapis.
Even so, Lapis was about to complain that Loren could’ve made her lose control of her limbs once again, when Loren suddenly collapsed right in front of her eyes.
‘Wha-!? Loren! Loren, are you okay!?”
Ritz and his party watched Lapis panic and run towards Loren.
Around them, the words on the control panel slowly disappeared, and all the goblins around them dropped down one by one, as if someone cut the strings of a puppet.