My attack stat… – V9 Chap 275 – The Forsaken World (2)

The next moments completely derailed the trajectory of Eryn’s fate up to this point.

One guard charged forward, sneering at Claude’s glowing eyes. But then, Claude simply slashed horizontally with the sword in his grip. It looked like he missed at first, but then, the upper half of the guard’s body split off and fell backwards.

Like Claude had simply cut air, the blade cleanly sliced through the man’s raised sword, his armor, flesh and bone. The disconnected pieces crumpled around the bottom half that still moved forward. Eventually, his lower half tumbled to the ground next to Claude.

Eryn couldn’t believe what she saw. Just moments ago, Claude had trouble killing a slime.

Another guard angrily charged forward, one with a thick shield that looked like it could defend against the claw swipe from a dragon. But another swing of Claude’s arm sent the blade straight through the man like before.

The thick metal might as well have been paper as the two halves clattered to the ground. The man wielding it gawked with wide-eyes before the light within them faded, and he too toppled over like a severed doll, dead.

Now, everyone was stunned. Once could have been a fluke, but not twice. Not against men of such seasoned caliber. Only the might of heroes could manage such a feat.

But in that moment of surprise, Claude made his move. So fast, that it even surprised himself. The sudden gain of many levels warped his sense of speed. But still, he managed to line up his strikes. The two men currently holding Eryn suddenly found themselves with no arms. As they screamed in terror at the stumps where their arms used to be, Claude picked up Eryn and made some distance from the guards.

Now, a dozen paces from the nearest one, he set the shivering girl back down. She had been saved, but how? How was it possible for Claude to change all of a sudden? Eryn quickly scanned his stats, noticing that his level had increased to 14, all from killing two high-leveled guards that should have been untouchable for a level 2 fighter. Much more so given that his Attack stat was still abysmal compared to a normal person.

Reality begged to differ. As five guards moved forward to cautiously attack as a group, Eryn watched in awe as Claude’s sword slid right through them with zero resistance. It was like watching the power of the Gods at work.

As the swing ended, all five guards split into pieces, the veil of death covering them in an instant. Now, only three men remained, and only one of them unscathed. Their expressions were so twisted with panic and fear that they would have thrown up if their legs weren’t screaming for them to run.

And run, they finally did. Abandoning the carriages that they came in, they fled for their lives. Their cries faded in the distance just as the final specks of daylight extinguished to become night. And then, Claude finally turned back to her.

Bloodstained and still furious, Eryn couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by the man before her. The purple flames across his eyes gave his face an eerie glow. But then, his eyes softened, and the flames blew out. He tossed the sword off to the side before falling to his knees.

Claude reached up to his head with one hand as he slumped over, wondering what had just happened. The powers that he displayed were nothing like what he expected. And with no idea of how to control them, he simply lashed out. The result was people slain like they were strips of paper sheared in half by scissors.

“W-What are you? How could this…?”

Eryn didn’t know what to say. Had he been hiding his true abilities all along? She knew next to nothing about the person she summoned.

“I-I have no clue. I was angry, so angry because I couldn’t do a thing while they took you down. And I… something came over me when I finally decided that I couldn’t take it anymore.”

Given the utter look of dismay on Claude’s face, it didn’t seem like he was hiding secrets on purpose. And the little time that she spent with him suggested a straightforwardness that lacked cunning in his actions. Was this the might of an Electi? Did the blessing of the Gods work in such strange ways?

Eryn kneeled to look him in the eyes, no longer shivering from his fearsome might. She could tell that he meant her no harm. That what he did was for her sake… but why?

“Why didn’t you run? Why did you risk yourself with unknown powers to save me?”

Claude gazed at her red eyes for several moments, before his own dodging left and right in wonder. His brow furrowed and his lips twitched like he was unsure of the answer. But then, he reached over and placed a hand on the side of her head, stroking the hair around her ears.

“Because I thought you deserved better. That if I ran and left you, I would regret it for the rest of my life. Even if you summoned me here on a whim, I couldn’t just leave you. Because right now, you’re the only thing I have in this world.”

Those words took Eryn’s breath away. And without thinking, she moved forward to capture his lips with hers. It was a quick peck, only long enough for her to realize what she had done and pull away in embarrassment.

With Claude looking at her strangely for the sudden intimacy, Eryn felt like she needed to say something.

“You are… all I have left also… The Duke has taken away so much that I can’t help but want to hold onto the few things I can. But I, I keep losing them, no matter what I do…”

“Then, I’ll help you fight back against that!” Claude grabbed Eryn’s cold, trembling hands, letting his warmth wash over them, bloody but full of life nonetheless. “You summoned me here for a reason. And I just made it clear what that was. Even if I’m just a normal person unfamiliar with this world, what you’ve been through has been several times worse. This new ability has to be for helping you. I just know it!”

Claude was just an otherworlder with no understanding of the ways of this world. He came from a peaceful world where people didn’t throw themselves into combat or magic. But the Gods had decided to grant him the ability to fight back despite that.

When the purple flames lit around his eyes, he could see the weak points of everything around him. That was why his Critical stat was so high – to allow for any strike upon those weak points to become unstoppable. It didn’t matter how hardy an object or person was. Walls came tumbling down from a single touch. People were slain from a cut swung with minimal strength. There was no better person than Claude to tear away the world that did nothing but torment her.

Determined to protect Eryn from the Duke, the two of them marched right up to his mansion and went straight for the man himself. Even with a high-ranking noble’s entire resources, the result was an overwhelming victory. No number of guards could stop someone that killed from a single touch. No treasure trove could buy gear or fortifications that could withstand unchecked destruction.

Understanding that Claude’s eyes gave him the capability to see where to aim and his Critical stat made him tear through weak points, he was an enemy without equal. Before the guards at the Duke’s mansion could assemble, the front gate was torn to shreds, bodies strewn around the courtyard in pieces, and an inferno raged within the mansion.

Eryn discovered that her magic power and sword strikes had grown incredibly powerful in an instant, bolstered by the growth of her Electi. And because of that, she couldn’t hold back her attacks either. The surroundings were littered with casualties from overkill. Even the fire around them had been an accident made in haste.

But they were now before Duke Charlemagne, who was on the ground in his study trying to crawl away from them. The fear in his eyes as he looked around for his guards was like honey on Eryn’s lips.

“Don’t bother looking for help. The two of us took care of them. All of them.”

The cold, ruthless tone that she spoke in was different than what the Duke had imagined. A fierce chill ran down his back despite the stifling heat causing him to pour with sweat.

He had always seen a prideful girl, a reserved and dauntless girl, but this was far more fearsome. Perhaps, he had implanted the memories of her mother upon her, thinking that she would react the same. But now, the Duke only saw the eyes of someone hellbent in taking revenge. And if the blood that marred her sword was any indication, then that wouldn’t be the last blood she would spill.

“Pl-Please! I won’t have anything to do with you anymore! I beg you! Spare me!”

Eryn cocked her head at the Duke’s attempt at apologizing. But he literally had no other options. No protection from the men on his payroll. The head of his top aide was on the other side of the room, separated from his body. And even the Duke’s own magic was but a mere tickle as it collided into her.

She sneered at him before plunging her sword into his thigh, pinning him to the ground.

“Won’t have anything to do with me? I believe that’s far too late for that. Too late, after you turned my uncle and his company against me. After assassinating my best friend and my servants.”

Eryn walked behind the desk and pulled down a sword that was hanging upon the wall. Radiant Light, her mother’s sword, was kept by the Duke as a memento after he accidentally killed Gracia Faulkner. Tears streamed from her eyes as she drew it.

“Your fate was sealed when you decided to chase after Mother and Father and take them away from me.”

Claude looked away as Eryn brought the sword down upon his torso. A loud howl of agony echoed throughout the room, followed by whimpers of anguish. She had not opted for a quick execution. Rather, she sliced him in the belly, letting his entrails spew out as he was forced to cling to life.

In a desperate attempt to pull out the sword from his leg, the Duke reached for it. But in another flash, a pair of hands fell to the ground beside him, detached from the bloody stumps that remained. Another howl of pain flooded the room over the crackling of fire.

Claude winched, but he found it understandable. A quick death wouldn’t satisfy someone who had been made to suffer so much. He simply turned away and ignored it. He had already vowed to be on her side. Such fury was not for him to denounce, not until some part of her was satisfied and freed from her chains.

But that wasn’t the end of their troubles.

Since the Duke had been slain by someone with barely any rank, it caused a commotion in the Kingdom of Sistina. That was a given. The royal guards came for them, along with every possible weapon at their disposal.

Since they didn’t have a personal vendetta against the kingdom, Eryn and Claude tried to flee. To find some place new and restart their lives over again. But escaping from capture without killing became difficult. Their new abilities had grown an incredible amount from slaying the entire Duke’s army. And especially with Claude, he had difficulty controlling how to attack without doing irreversible damage.

“Leave the soldiers to me! You just carve an exit!”

Eryn quickly cast a wall of fire, strong enough to keep the typical knight of the Royal Guard from advancing. In the meantime, Claude eyed the outer wall of Engelberg, scanning for the place with the most cracks highlighted in purple.

The two of them encountered the kingdom’s guards as soon as they exited the Duke’s property. But that wasn’t unexpected. Such a disaster targeting one of the most powerful nobles was bound to attract attention. But they were able to flee from them up to this point, relying on the maze of city alleys to keep their assailants scrambling. It helped that Claude could just smash a hole in whatever path if they did end up at a dead end.

“Alright, I got it!”

The wall groaned as the surface cracked and ruptured. Claude’s strike turned a solid fortification, which could withstand a dragon’s charge, into a stacked pile of disconnected blocks. At his signal, Eryn cast Wind Blade forward. A moment later, the din of earthen rock tumbling over shook the area.

The two of them scrambled for the exit, but as they climbed over the wreckage, a few people were waiting for them.

One was obviously a strong fighter. His dark blue hair hung proudly around a fancy set of armor. A measure of pride hung upon his cheeks as he brandished his sword forward to greet the vigilantes.

The other looked more like a scholar, draped in a silky robe that gave off an air of intellect. Though his eyes were closed, he seemed no less aware of the situation than the man beside him. Rather, he possessed some kind of magic tool in his hands, as if ready to invoke its power.

Eryn paused and took a step back.

“Th-That’s Prince Oswald and Chancellor Magellan! For them to be here personally…”

“Huh? Two more important people at the top of the chain? Well, it’s not like we aren’t already in a big mess, we just have to bust through!”

“Wait, Claude! Stop!” Eryn shouted, trying to keep him from dashing off.

But before Claude made it halfway between them, a circle of mana suddenly hovered right in front of his vision. Surprised that it popped up right next to his head, he stepped to the side to avoid it. But then, the circle became clear, just before a gauntlet exited from it and punched him in the jaw.

Eryn watched as the surprise blow knocked Claude off balance. Before he could even right himself from it, another metal fist came out of thin air, uppercutting him this time. Eryn looked back over at the Prince and Chancellor, the latter looking like he was manipulating those mana circles while the former was delivering quick jabs into another set of magic circles beside him.

Her eyes widened as she connected the dots. Somehow, the magic tool in their possession allowed the Prince to attack from any angle, not giving Claude any chance to strike. They controlled the very space around the area. As she saw Claude finally collapse to the ground, she knew that there was no running away.

She raised her hands and surrendered. The two of them couldn’t beat the kingdom’s invincible duo.

My attack stat… – V9 Chap 274 - The Forsaken World (1)
My attack stat… – V9 Chap 276 - The Forsaken World (3)