Chapter 44: Let’s Go! (9)
A tremendous chorus of battle cries rang in the area. A member of the cavalry cladded in iron armor rode to the vanguard, while their hundreds of well-trained comrades rushed forward with astounding force and trampled their enemies. They marched to the center of the ranch at once and flipped it upside down. The iron-bearing cavalry created a commotion and opened the path for the infantry to follow, which marched forward to sustain the great momentum their fellow soldiers had created.
The wave of horse hooves trampling the enemies was followed by an ocean of foot soldiers stomping on them. Those few who managed to survive and attempted to gather with their companions were soon greeted by spears. Again and again, the spears struck. Not even a shred of blackish energy remained where the army of thousand strong had charged past, and the place was wiped clean. Meanwhile, Chi-Woo was jumping up and down in excitement.
“Hey friend! The one with your head down!” Chi-Woo swung his club at the broken being groaning with its head down.
“If your heart is beating!” Chi-Woo smashed into its head. “Rise! Rise! All of you, rise!” He attacked any enemy on sight. “Rise! You b.a.s.t.a.r.ds!” He even forcefully lifted off the ground a broken being that had declared its intention to purge itself after being severely beaten up.
“Ah, you can’t get up because your heart is beating too hard? You should’ve told me sooner.” Chi-Woo struck a home run with this particular fellow, and it flew far away into the night sky, becoming one with the stars.
“Next!” Feeling exuberant, Chi-Woo’s eyes flickered in search of his next enemy. In the frontline, the thousand-strong army was grappling with a swarm of broken beings. As soon as he saw that, Chi-Woo gripped onto his club tightly and jumped into the midst of the battlefield.
“I’ll help!” He twirled his whole body and spun like the windmill. “Youuuuuuu!” Like a mad barbarian, Chi-Woo’s circular swings mercilessly thundered down on his enemies. If this had been a battle between humans, the enemy would have called him a madman and immediately killed Chi-Woo by plunging a spear into him. However, Chi-Woo’s enemies weren’t living people. Furthermore, the combination of Chi-Woo’s skill and weapon of choice, namely the Four Tiger Sword and his club, was effectively a calamity to these beings.
Every being touched by the sword’s sharp blades were shredded apart. Chi-Woo burst into laughter as they scattered like autumn leaves.
“Uh…” Perhaps, he had been too excited. After spinning his body around dozens of times continuously, Chi-Woo staggered in dizziness. Noticing the opening, the broken beings stopped running, their eyes glinting. They had run away when Chi-Woo rushed into the fray to protect the center like a mad man, but now, it was their chance.
Chi-Woo’s eyes fluttered as blackish energy rushed upwards like wet paint bleeding onto paper. Fortunately, their attempt of retaliation was met with an outpour of arrows falling all around Chi-Woo, making short work of those who had charged at him with a single-minded focus. They fell without letting out even a scream.
Face pale, Chi-Woo turned to look behind him despite the lingering dizziness and saw a group of archers pulling out a fresh batch of arrows.
Chi-Woo gave them a thumbs-up and thought, ‘I knew I could count on them.’ One of the archers returned the gesture. Then the iron-clad cavalry cut into the disarray frontlines and stomped over their enemies once again. They quickly parted to the sides afterward so that the infantry could advance forward. The archers shot their arrows as the foot soldiers covered the area. Like a fire spreading across the mountain, the place full of evil energy was purified.
‘This is war…!’ No, it might be more accurate to call it a one-sided annihilation. It was only natural. After all, this was the White Horse General, the top among the many heavenly generals.
Raphael had stated that G.o.ds lived and died by beliefs, and Chi-Woo agreed. However, it didn’t apply to all deities. There existed a hierarchy even among G.o.ds. Some were completely disinterested in human affairs. They led a merry eternal life without the need for human prayers; they were far beyond the level of lower-ranking bachelor G.o.ds, warlords, the Dragon King, and the like. Jesus, Siddhartha Gautama, and the Jade Emperor were some examples.
Even among this group, the Jade Emperor was the supreme G.o.d of Taoism and at the level of a creator. As someone who guarded the Jade Emperor closely, the greatness of the White Horse General was apparent. Thus, not even the most powerful evil spirit would be able to do anything against the general.
“Ha!” Chi-Woo smiled, having finally regained his balance. “How laughable!”
He landed a blow against a fleeing spirit and shouted, “To think that you were threatening me not long ago! Acting all impudent! You b.a.s.t.a.r.ds!”
Chi-Woo was the one acting impudent now. Then a sudden chill made him turn around, and he saw the lump behind the ranch. From far away, it looked like a mountain.
‘…What?’ Upon a closer inspection, he realized that it was a ma.s.s of broken beings forcefully clumped together to form a hill at the center area.
“Urgh.” It looked so strange and grotesque that he wanted to vomit at the sight of it. But the most important thing was that this clump of broken beings was burning up with a united rage at Chi-Woo. It let off pure bloodl.u.s.t, resentment, and loath. It was as if it was grinding its teeth while whispering, ‘because of you, if only you weren’t here…I will at least kill you at all cost’. Not only was it Chi-Woo’s first time seeing such a formidable opponent, but the bloodl.u.s.t he felt from it p.r.i.c.kled his skin. Nevertheless, there was no need for him to worry since he had a great ent.i.ty hundreds and thousands of times stronger by his side.
“Great general! It’s that guy!” Chi-Woo saw the general coming his way at just the right time. He rushed up to the general and said, “I think that thing is responsible for the sorry state this area is in.”
The general leisurely stroked his mustache and snorted. As expected of the Jade Emperor’s top man, the White Horse General was far from lacking in size, and actually towered over the clump. The general and the crane’s presence overwhelmed their enemies. The White Horse General raised his gilded guandao askew. The clump seemed to have felt the danger. It absorbed all the energy it had scattered in the area and inflated its body. The general’s crane made a loud, piercing sound while spreading its wings and approached the clump.
Everything happened in the blink of an eye. Without giving the broken beings even a chance to resist, the general marched up to the grotesque mountain and…
Chi-Woo could barely believe his eyes. The only thing he managed to see was the White Horse General swinging his guandao in a wide arc, followed by the crane piercing through the clump of broken beings and coming out the other side before soaring into the air.
Shrieking in pain, the clump collapsed like a rice roll that had burst on its side. The crane flew over it, and the White Horse General made a wide swing again. A faint flash of light sliced diagonally across the giant lump of broken beings, and the crane landed elegantly on the ground.
The clump split in half and let out a myriad of energies before it was all over. That was no exaggeration; the fight was over. Through their concerted effort—well, that wasn’t entirely accurate since Chi-Woo hadn’t even lifted a finger against the clump—the White Horse General had defeated his enemy with two blows. His attack was so powerful that the evil energy disappeared as soon as it spilled out.
Once the clump of broken beings was exterminated, the soldiers cleared the area and waited quietly in formation. Chi-Woo looked up to the White Horse General in awe; he had expected the general to be strong, but he hadn’t realized the true extent of the general’s power. The nauseating, dark energy disappeared like it had been washed away. Finally free from the darkness that obscured it, the moon shone upon all of them.
–…It ran away.
The White Horse General’s murmur made Chi-Woo pause while he was stretching his shoulders.
—One of them ran away. There’s a high possibility that’s the true culprit.
–That one had already distanced itself a great deal by the time I descended to this world. Even I could only faintly sense their presence.
The general explained that the being had been watching from afar when Chi-Woo arrived, and it ran away without looking back immediately.
–It probably escaped because it’s scared of you.
–Indeed, it radiated evil energy, but it seemed to be fundamentally different from the rest of the beings here…
The White Horse General muttered in a low voice and looked down at Chi-Woo.
–I don’t know why the being had made a mess of this place, but it would have received considerable damage since I wiped this area clean. Still, it’s good to be careful.
—I’m sure those beings would have realized that they couldn’t lay a hand on you on their own. The next time they come after you, they will do it differently.
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The White Horse General pointed his guandao at where the clump had scattered.
Instead of answering Chi-Woo, they pointed to the scene before them, opening and closing their mouths without making a sound. Chi-Woo could understand why they were acting like this, but his lips still twisted into a wry smile.
“I’ll be borrowing this for a bit!” From behind, someone whizzed past the middle-aged man like the wind. He couldn’t be compared to the General White Horse, but the newcomer was extremely fast for a human as he sped past Chi-Woo.
“Huh?” The middle-aged man blankly stared at the ground and reached for the sword attached to his hip, but found nothing. He looked to the side and blinked. His sword was missing. He looked up at the scene unfolding before him.
One swing, and the sword sliced through the monster’s neck. Its head fell to the ground while pouring out a pool of blood. It was an astonis.h.i.+ng sight.
“Huh, Mr. Ru Amuh?” Yes. It was Ru Amuh who had beheaded the monster that tried to attack Chi-Woo. Ru Amuh had been watching from the back and rushed out when the situation reached this stage as per Chi-Woo’s instructions. “Why are you here?” Chi-Woo asked while letting out a big yawn.
“I saw you leaving in the middle of the night, so I secretly followed you,” Ru Amuh said with an awkward smile.
‘At least he sucks at acting,’ Chi-Woo thought. It would have been unfair if Ru Amuh was good at acting on top of being handsome. Thankfully, it seemed that he wasn’t that perfect.
“Are you all right?” Ru Amuh asked with admiration in his eyes. This wasn’t an act; he was genuinely awe-struck.
“Yes. I didn’t do much after all.”
“You’re so humble, sir.”
“No, it’s just the truth.” Chi-Woo shrugged and glanced at the pile as more cursed beings broke off.
“Anyway, there seems to be quite a lot of them.”
Chi-Woo heard the currents of wind brought about by sword swings. Before he could finish his sentence, all the cursed beings that were approaching them had already lost their heads one after another. Chi-Woo rolled his tongue. It was impressive that Ru Amuh could do so much after losing his special powers, relying solely on his physical ability; as expected of a hero whose main weapon of choice was a sword and had resolved a star-cl.u.s.ter event before entering the Celestial Realm.
“I think I can manage by myself, but I think it would be difficult to fight while protecting another person.” Ru Amuh shook off the blood from his sword as he spoke.
“No need to worry, though.”
“As you suggested, I didn’t come here alone.”
Chi-Woo quickly let out a fake cough to shut Ru Amuh shut up. Although he had told Ru Amuh that it would be better if he brought some companions with him, it didn’t mean he should speak of this out loud in front of Eshnunna.
Soon, they were joined by more heroes. It was Ru Hiana and three more individuals.
“What? What happened? Who are those guys?”
“Senior!” Ru Hiana shouted, and Chi-Woo responded by pointing at the pile of cursed beings in front of him. He was telling her to take care of them first, and he would explain later. Without missing a beat, Ru Hiana joined in the fray. It didn’t take long before the cursed beings and the heroes were engaged in a ferocious battle.
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