Chapter 527: Vanden's Taunt 4
"Damn it, what the hell was all that?!"
Being unsatisfied with the result of the Gigantic Duel, Vanden grumbled till late at night.
On the records, the events of the day were even.
However, the Baroque Empire suffered more of a loss.
In particular, the death of two Swordmasters at the beginning was an irreversible shock.
However, the most outrageous thing for Vanden was Luke, who was thought to be involved in the matches, didn't even appear.
"You all speak very eloquently, but this is all because of those SS!"
Vanden saw the SS knights as the cause of failure.
If they were serious in the battle and killed Luke's men, then surely Luke would've jumped into the battle.
But rather, Vanden was the one jumping into a Gigant.
"This can't be. If we don't find a way to get that Luke out…!"
When Vanden was engrossed in his thoughts and plans, there were a few who sneaked out of the Baroque camp.
They were the knights led by Kurian, who had an unprecedented loyalty to be called as a simple deserter.
After silently escaping from the camp, they moved upstream. They quietly entered the water and swam toward Sherwood's city walls.
"Did the enemy notice us?"
"There are no such signs yet."
Kurian nodded with a content expression at the words of his fellow guards, who were swimming ahead.
They were currently in for separate operations.
Originally, if Luke participated in the Gigantic Duel, they planned on going all out to take down Luke's supply warehouses at the time regardless of what Vanden thought.
But Luke didn't play.
Kurian, who understood Luke's clever mind, thought that he could not enter the match, so he set up another strategy.
The second plan was an assassination.
Assassination, it was a messy task that no Swordmaster could think of. However, none of the Knights of Guard rejected it.
It was because everyone was a lot more loyal to Emperor Rudolf than to their own titles and pride.
‘If I can cut off the throat of the enemy, my face and pride wouldn't matter!'
That was their common idea and thought.
In front of the Knights of Guard, they crossed the southern wall of Sherwood and secretly approached the permanent manor.
However, the number of alarm magic installed in the manor was a lot less than expected.
That said, Kurian was feeling odd.
"Don't tell me. Have these men noticed our assassination operation…?"
"Could that even be possible? This operation was planned without the involvement of any other men."
"That is true. Perhaps the enemy's men are too high with their victory."
What the knights said was plausible, but Kurian quickly asked, "Tch, because of that, our work seems to have become easier, but it is only annoying me."
The cause of the enemy's neglect was the incompetence of the allies of the Baroque camp!
Kurian couldn't help but get angry.
He decided to get his anger by removing the rebels in the group and urged his step toward the manor.
Soon after, Kurian arrived at the nose of his destination and pulled out a pendent, which had an ancient pattern from his pocket.
It was a pendant, which Emperor Rudolf had specially given to him, an ancient artifact that had subspace magic.
Injecting mana into the pendent, he chanted the words.
"Out in Dimension!"
At that very moment, a black space opened in front of his eyes and 8 Hero class Atlas Gigants appeared.
"Everybody on board! We're going to break the entire manor!"
Even if the opponent was a Rune Knight with outstanding skills, he wouldn't be of much worth when he was suddenly attacked.
In particular, if they went inside the manor with their Gigants while everyone was asleep, then they wouldn't even be able to talk back.
Kurian found out which room Luke was staying at through the spies who were placed in Sherwood.
With the orders out, the SS Knights of Guard quickly boarded into their Gigants and went into the manor, wielding their huge swords.
"Die, you rebels!"
"Kuakk! I am going to crush you all flat!"
Still, as there was a king inside, there would be escorts and knights in the residence.
However, all the invaders were in Hero class Gigants and were Swordmasters, and there were 8 of them.
They thought that even if there were escorts in the manor, they wouldn't last long before their lives meet its end.
‘The problem was Luke de Rakan! He must be taken down before he wakes up!'
They entered through the wall of the manor. However, there was no one in sight.
Be it the king's escort or the king's servants, it was a harsh view to see. The Knights who entered through the walls didn't know what to think.
‘They couldn't have…'
When the anxiety began to swell up inside their minds as they reached for Luke's room, they looked through the window on the corridor into the brightly lit room only to see that no one was there.
‘I-I was sure that he would be in here… They didn't run away because of the Gigant's sound, right?'
Were they in a hurry to summon their Gigants that they didn't notice their surroundings?
It was when Kurian and the other SS knights were looking around...
"Huhuhu, surely, you never cease to surprise me."
… A loud voice came from above.
When everyone turned their eyes toward the roof, they saw the target they sought after.
"You rebel, Luke de Rakan!"
Luke unfolded his magic and jumped to the floor while laughing at the men.
"Rebel? Isn't that the words used for those who serve a ruler who built him an empire through rebellion and extortion?"
"Shut up! That was a story of 500 years ago! There is no reason to be fed up by it now!"
Luke's expression was calm while listening to the shameless response of the man.
It could have been in a distant past for everyone, but it wasn't the case for Luke.
"It was a thing of the past… Even then, you people can't seem to abandon your dirty traditions, applying for a Gigantic Duel then coming here to assassinate me."
It was a rule in the battlefield that had been passed down for a hundred years. No assault or attacks were supposed to be carried out during the Gigantic Duel.
"Kuak, everything is fair in war!"
"Yeah, that sure is not a wrong word!"
At the shameless words of Kurian, Luke had a thin smile.
Kurian could only feel more uneasy because of how relaxed Luke was.
‘What kind of plan does he have? Revealing himself with no fear, isn't he afraid of death?'
Luke wasn't holding any weapon, and the assassins were on a Hero class Gigant.
Nonetheless, none of the SS knights were able to launch an attack. It was natural that they all felt overwhelmed by Luke's calm attitude.
Kurian, who was deep in his thoughts, yelled while wielding his Impact Aura.
"There is nothing more to talk about! Attack him!"
With orders falling from Kurian, all the other SS knights went to attack Luke at once.
8 Hero class Gigants raised their core engine power to the maximum and wielded their swords toward Luke.
With extreme Impact Aura, all went straight for Luke.
There was no gap for Luke to escape.
‘Kuk, I am going to make him look very bloody!'
Kurian was smiling while thinking of Luke's death, but Luke was just standing still.
However, Kurian's smile soon disappeared when Luke's body hazed away after the Impact Aura fell.
It was because the body they were seeing was just an afterimage of Luke.
‘Where... Where did he go?'
Kurian looked around and saw a fellow Gigant coming toward him.
The voice of Luke came from the top of Atlas' head.
"You did say that everything was fair in war, right? Yeah, well, I will fight the same way as you people."
Once Luke was done speaking, he clasped his hands lightly.
It was then, suddenly, the landscape around them had changed dramatically.
From the gloomy Sherwood manor, it turned into a hot and dry wasteland.
Luke summoned his Avenger aboard and spoke to the flustered knights, "Welcome to hell, gentlemen!"
The moment Luke started his core engine, a purple light began to glisten from the body of Avenger.
When they saw the beautiful yet spooky purple light, Kurian was sure of one thing.
The fact that something was terrifyingly wrong.
Still, they couldn't just step back.
"Everybody, we will charge at him head-on!"
Upon Kurian's cry, the knights formed up a line and attacked Luke.
It was the beginning of what Emperor Rudolf had taught them, especially when their opponent was stronger than them.
‘Huh! With this formation, we could stand toe to toe even with the Emperor!'
Kurian and his men fiercely went for Luke.