Klink, klink, klink, klink.
Today as well, the Crest Master silently continued to carve tattoos.
Although he grumbled about being fed up and whatnot, the still hours he spent with his tattoos were the peak of the Crest Master’s existence.
The hand carving the tattoo stopped.
The Crest Master had a puzzled look on his face.
He could hear the cacophony of something battling something else.
A lizardman leaped into the small room. He quickly rattled on and on about something.
“Enemy, here! Village, attacked!”
The Crest Master understood the words the lizardman said.
The Crest Master grasped the entire situation.
I see. So they want my head.
If complete victory is out-of-reach, then at least the enemy commander’s head—the desperation of the other commander was almost palpable.
…Once you began praying for such a miracle, you lost your chances of victory.
The Crest Master jeered at the enemy commander in his heart.
“Run. Stronger than expected. This place dangerous.”
In response to the lizardman’s words—
The Crest Master put his finger on his chin and muttered.
“That doesn’t sound too bad, but… Well well, what to do…”
The Crest Master’s lips formed a small smile.
“Our goal is the Crest Master’s head, nothing more! Don’t falter!”
Alencia and his squad invaded the lizardmen colony with great vigor.
Having realized the impending attack, the lizardmen stood in front of them in an attempt to halt their advance.
“DON’T GET IN THE WAY!”
Alencia roared, bisecting the lizardmen with his sword.
He could tell they were the so-called enhanced lizardmen from the number of tattoos on their body, but they didn’t hold a candle to Alencia at that level.
The reason Alencia himself stood in the front lines—
While it was true that it was to increase the morale of his elite soldiers, it was also because he held the greatest combat ability.
Alencia’s skill with the sword was top-class in the kingdom; Even a high-grade knight wouldn’t be able to win against him easily.
“OOOH! As expected of Lord Alencia! Mere lizards are of no match!”
After seeing Alencia’s heroic figure, the elite soldiers’ morale went up another level.
Riding on the momentum, the elite soldiers mowed down the enhanced lizards one by one.
“GO GO GO! Hurry up and make sure the Crest Master can’t escape!”
That’s how worried Alencia was. The lizardmen colony was spacious; Everything would be for naught if the Crest Master ended up escaping after realizing the commotion.
It was at that moment.
“And who exactly is gonna run?”
Alencia heard a voice—
one different from all of the elite soldiers.
When Alencia turned around, a tanned-skin man accompanied by several lizardmen stood in his sights. He was dressed in loose clothing and had a turban wrapped around his head.
Strange tattoos were carved all over his face and arms.
Alencia didn’t even need to ask who he was.
Luck is on my side, after all!
Alencia was in an ecstatic mood. Far from running, he called out to Alencia and served himself on a silver platter!
Regret that arrogance of yours in the afterlife!
Alencia yelled, pointing the tip of his sword at the Crest Master.
“My name is Alencia Luminous! I am the Supreme Commander of this squadron! Your life ends here, Crest Master! I’ll do you the favor of lopping that head of yours off with the sword bestowed by the king!”
The Crest Master whistled.
“Wooow! You will? I came to laugh at the sad lot who got the short end of the stick by their dimwitted loser commander, but to think the big shot himself took the stage!”
The Crest Master continued after bursting with laughter.
“Have you resolved yourself to an honorable death? Or maybe you want a burial ground? Do you plan on deluding yourself with some thoughtless strategy!?”
The Crest Master instigated Alencia.
However, Alencia’s heart didn’t waver in the slightest.
His retort didn’t hit the mark, nor did it strike a nerve.
He knew that only victory awaited his future.
Alencia paid no heed to his ineffectual mockery. In the end, it was nothing but a plebian viewing Alencia with his plebian values.
Alencia responded with an indifferent voice.
“Unfortunately, I don’t plan on dying here, nor did I plan on making a strategy with no chances of victory. I’ll take your head and march gloriously back to the kingdom—that’s the future set in stone.”
The moment he spoke, the Crest Master unsheathed the curved sword by his waist—a scimitar.
“The Supreme Commander went out of his way to turn up. I’ll uphold my honor and be your opponent. Whaddya think of settling the score with a one-on-one?”
Alencia couldn’t help but shake in surprise after hearing that. He never once thought the Crest Master would propose something like that. A one-on-one was the best Alencia, who would reign victorious if he just killed the Crest Master, could ask for.
Could this be some sort of trap—
“Your face is telling me you think it’s a trap.”
The Crest Master laughed evilly.
“Anyone would conclude that. But don’t worry—I won’t do something so cheap. I’ll make sure these guys won’t butt in either.”
The Crest Master said something to the surrounding lizardmen.
Alencia didn’t understand lizardman speech, but judging from the commotion the lizardmen made after hearing him speak, he could tell it was something along the lines of “Don’t interfere.”
The Crest Master looked at Alencia.
“Now then, what’s your move? Personally, I don’t really mind a massive free-for-all with everyone involved, but… Maybe Mr. Supreme Commander isn’t confident in his sword skills?”
Alencia resolved himself.
There were no other options from the start. If the battle turned into a free-for-all, there’d be a high chance that the Crest Master would get away.
There was no other path to victory other than defeating the Crest Master right here, right now.
“Fine then, I accept. However, I won’t allow stopping mid-way.”
Alencia slashed at the Crest Master, who was laughing mockingly, in a single step.
A sharp metallic sound reverberated. The Crest Master staggered backward after being overwhelmed by Alencia’s attack.
“…Woah woah, easy now…!”
Alencia relentlessly continued his offense, rushing down onto the Crest Master with nimble slashes.
This guy underestimated me!
He probably downplayed Alencia’s skill with the sword; He probably guessed that Alencia was a mere commander with hardly any battle experience.
However, that was a huge mistake on the Crest Master’s part.
Hehehe… The difference in ability almost makes me pity him!
Alencia was overwhelming the Crest Master. The Crest Master was reasonably skilled with the sword; He was probably around the level of a novice knight. In other words, he didn’t even amount to soles of Alencia’s feet.
His composure from before vanished, and he was desperately fending off Alencia’s sword—completely on the defensive.
Alencia’s upward strike caught the Crest Master in his tracks, a singular blow that went through his left hip to his right shoulder.
Alencia thought this was the strike that would settle the match, but—
“What a close one. Another step forward and I would’ve been dead.”
The Crest Master laughed while staggering backward.
He was sure he landed a direct strike, but all it did was cut the Crest Master’s clothing. Alencia could see his tattoo-covered body under his torn clothing.
Thereupon, something suddenly weighed on Alencia’s mind.
The strength of a lizardman varied based on the number of tattoos they had.
The Crest Master seemed to have tattoos engraved all over his body, but where was his strength? As of now, he was on par with a regular human…
…Aah, who gives a shit! It doesn’t matter as long as I cut his head off!
Alencia stabbed the Crest Master’s left shoulder with his sword.
The Crest Master took the full brunt of his attack without dodging. With a scream, he fell onto his back.
The Crest Master looked up at Alencia with an uneasy look.
“H-Hyaaah!? W-Wait, wait a minute! Someone help me!”
Alencia wouldn’t spare sympathy for something like that.
“Shut up! This ends it!”
Taking a large step forward, he swung the treasured sword bestowed by the king.
A glint of steel flew towards the Crest Master’s neck.
The tip of Alencia’s sword broke into two pieces, scattering away.
Spinning through the air, the pieces of his sword pierced into the ground.
Alencia murmured, looking at his broken sword in a daze.
He couldn’t believe what just transpired. Alencia’s sword should have cut the Crest Master’s bare neck, but—
The Crest Master’s stifled laugh resonated throughout the silent colony.
While rubbing his neck, the Crest Master looked at Alencia.
“Somebody help me, huh—hehehehe, HAHAHAHA! That was quite the fine performance, wouldn’t you say? We’re you able to fantasize about your own victory a bit, little boy!?”
This was a pretty long chapter. I’ll be working on the poll for a bit, then I’ll post another chapter later as usual. See you guys then. EDIT: No second chapter today, sorry. Please check my announcement, thanks. Also check out the poll.