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Ethereal Paradigm: A Canvas of Black
Author :ICARUS
© Webnovel

67 Cavia Porcellus

"Every man must decide whether if he walks on creative altruism or in the dark of destructive selfishness."

-Martin Luther King

━━━━━━━━┓ ✠ ┏━━━━━━━━

Although this is my first experience, it's in in these types of suspenseful scenarios, that Ravel's 'Gaspard de la Nuit Le Gibet' will suddenly autoplay in my head. A perfect piece to depict the constant and treacherous presence of death...

In this recently-changed landscape, where dead bodies of monsters are omnipresent and the stench of their freshly-spilled blood corrupts the stale atmosphere with cut-downed trees on the circumferential region all executed by Grendel's avid momentum, an Arena has been set, amidst this cleansed portion of a sinister forest for my first real-time battle royale... but against a kingdom's count which also seems to be a hero of renown.

And a few meters away, stood the little girl whom they called as the 'Kurenai' accompanied by the priest and their subordinates who planted a curse for themselves that would blow off anytime if someone were to hurt Shiro with or without intentions. The little girl also showcased fragile hope written all over her face, that I can somehow defeat this opponent before me, unscathed.

Not so heroic now, ain't he, the big guy who even proudly spouted his success of beheading an 'immortal' Gorgon? What kind of a self-proclaimed man would challenge someone like me whom they even encouraged as a 'newcomer'? And seriously, what hero should he be? Resorting to brute force just to seize their prey, who is a little girl and has no proper knowledge of why all of this is happening.

Hmmm... Into the drivels again are we Jaiden? No matter, I just hope that the presence of the aloft full moon is somehow not bad-luck and not a sign of utter derangement.

"HERE I GO, KID! GHUAAAAAA!!"

Then with all of his strength, he dashed towards me in overwhelming strength. And with all of his heavy equipment, the slightest swing of his sword as he tackled begins to alter the direction of the surrounding winds and as his feet swiftly rashed, so did his every step cause large cracks on the ground.

All out on the first tryst huh...

I still can't control him for some reason, and it's not just this man, but also everyone who was with him prior. There is in fact an ill intent present on each of them, there's no doubt about that, but still, there's something that has been covering it restraining me to manipulate anything out of their self-generated darkness. For now, I should focus on not dying. I'll eventually find out what's been causing the restraint.

And so the first clash happens.

His gigantic sword which I think is twice my size began to hack through the thin air in an endeavor to reach me, but it's not gonna be that easy.

As some sort of a hasty-planned defense stance, I thickened some ink focusing it at one point, which I speculate to be the direct point of Impact. His greatsword as though anticipated failed to breach the on-point defense. Yet, as I received the impact, even with such defense, I'm still able to feel some jolts making my feet submerge a centimeter or two in the foundation which I'm standing in.


The concentrated ink-made shield, which I would like to emblazon as 'impeccable', is not that great in endurance as it received some dents from the continuous push of the greatsword, and it would only be a matter of time that this 'impenetrable shield' could hold out. So, as a minor offense, while still holding out to the defense, I manipulated the replicas of weapons on my rear to drive back the aggressive guy.

And the Joberwock then stepped back a little, knowing that being in a close range with my arsenal of replicated weaponries is going to spell lethal aftermath even for someone like him.

"GAH GAH GAH!! I COMMEND YOU KID... NOT EVEN A HALF OF MY ENEMIES ARE ABLE TO WITHSTAND MY FIRST ATTACK"

"Hmmm... Compliment accepted. But, how should I say this...hmmm... Was that, even an attack?" I said, which is clearly a bluff, but he considered it the other way.

"YOU LITTLE PIPSQUEAK! YOU'RE NOT GONNA GET OUT OF HERE ALIVE!"

Consecutively, he dashed towards me very recklessly while swinging his skeletal greatsword and all I could do is defend. He was driven by the taunting statement earlier...

Still, I can't help but notice that for quite some time now, he's been using nothing but physical onset. It might just be my imagination, but I think he is underestimating me.

"HOI!! YOU'RE NOT GONNA WIN IN THAT STATE YOU KNOW? WHAT'S THE MATTER? SCARED TO GET OUT OF YOUR SHELL, BOY?"

Yep... I guess what I imagined earlier is not entirely false.

While I took cover, receiving both consecutive physical attacks and verbal humiliation, little did he know that I actually have a hidden motive. I am fully scavenging his armor, observing for an item and the likes that I think are not letting me go through his mind. It would really be a game-changer to find something like that... or else, I'll have to move all of my body and utilize energy to defeat this guy, and that would be a major pain.

"Oy vey! I never knew that being both a count and a hero makes you this weak! " Yet, again I unequivocally taunted him with the same, but an elevated type of bluff to sneer him to come closer than his required range.

"YOU LITTLE PIECE OF SH*T!"

He continued swinging his sword whose force is increasing with each of its robust wages, while I also started to dodge, moving my muscles to a bare minimum while still finding new angles on his body to see if some item is somehow disrupting my paradigm.

Moreover, it's not just dodging and defending that I'm doing... If I can't get inside his head, I should just force my way in his muscles in the meantime.

As he continues in his rather short-ranged and vexed pursuits, swinging his skeletal greatsword, little did he know that aside from the vigor to locate a hidden item or some sort, I am also actually injecting some inks in his body from the replicas of weapons that he can stop like it's nothing. I envision drops of inks taking in the form of tiny needles whose tips are only .20 millimeters, hence not giving any pain when being injected. Good thing that his heavy armory is not that durable to objects which are still a little bit far to being sub-atomic particles, or else getting the ink in his body would be wishful thinking.

"COME ON! MOVING LIKE THAT IS NOT GONNA GIVE ME MAGICAL WOUNDS YOU KNOW!"

"Oh, it will."

"HAHH?"

And then he felt it...the excruciating pang even with the absence of outward wounds, as though having his insides continuously pierced by unprecedented materials.

"GUAHH!! W-WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME??!!" he slowly got down to his knees in front of me while spewing up blood as the tiny needles of ink inside penetrates his body's vital parts endlessly.

"Muscular system. Check. Lymphatic system. Check. Endocrine system. Check. Circulatory system. Check. Respiratory System. Check!... And it's only a matter of time before your nervous system will be penetrated next. "

"GUH?? WHAT A-ARE, Y-YOU SAYING?"

"If I were you, I should just shut that loudmouth of yours. As we speak, your heart, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels, are now bombarded by tiny holes."

" GAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" he screamed in agony as a way to meliorate the ongoing pangs.

"Count Rosewald!" His worried underlings came to his aid, leaving their positions as some sort of self-initiative when they saw their great hero slowly dying out in their sight. Well, they can't just ignore seeing that, can't they?

But then, the gradually dying count's greatsword suddenly glows in dark greenish color, and just like that, stood up like nothing ever happened and like nothing has been killing him from the insides... And the underlings, found themselves being deceived by the person who they looked up to.

"Sir! What are you doing?"

"Sir please no, my sick daughter's waiting for me.."

Faint voices escaped from the mouths of the first two who rushed for aids, as their penurious soul has been sucked out from them by the skeletal greatsword. The most cliched way for a villainous character to recover.

"I TOLD YOU... YOU CAN'T INTRUDE IN A BATTLE BETWEEN MEN" he said with an obscurely large smile, pinpointing the statement to his, now-dead lackeys whose souls just got sucked out... Imagine a lifeless body whose been frozen for millions of years at the peak of Mount Everest? That's the closest picture to describe them.

"YOU SHOULD JUST FOCUS ON PROTECTING THE KURENAI FROM GETTING CAUGHT UP FROM OUR DUEL"

"Yes. I understand... not sure about your caring-lackeys though" The priest answered undauntedly while the other lower lackeys in their party were unable to say anything.

"WELL THEN KID, SHALL WE CONTINUE? I STILL HAVE TO BRING THE GIRL BY TOMORROW SO I MUST HURRY UP."

"They were such nice servants ready to offer aid when you least expected the need for one..." I said.

"YES! OFFERING THEIR LIVES FOR ME TO RECOVER IS INDEED A VERY VALOROUS MOVE. GAH! GAH! GAH!" He replied as if we got ourselves in the mutual zone of understanding.

Hmmm. Is it just me or he misunderstood what I meant?... Either way, how arrogant and how selfish. I don't really care as to whatever happens to this man, but such cowardice is so overwhelming to witness and here I am, previously wishing that the denizens in this wold emblazoned as NÆthervale are far more intelligible than those back home. Turns out, it became 'partly' true, but in the most inconsequent ways. I should truly be careful what to wish for next time.

I have to express my greatest condolences though... Now that I know what's been keeping me from manipulating their negative aura...

An amulet with a small yellow crystal at its center wore either as a necklace, a bracelet or as a keychain for their weapons, have been boggling me now. How the hell would I know? Simple. I can see the item to be common for all of them. Even the priest has one left hanging on his scepter, the deceased two, and so did Count slash Dumb Hero Jobberwock Rosewald.

"Hey old man, I'll have you know that I'm not holding back now. Please do dance well and don't let the lives of those two you just killed lie in waste."

"Did... DID YOU JUST CALL ME AN OLD MAN??"

"Pffttt Ha...Hahahahaha"... Do pardon, but I can't help but let out a very eerie expression... seeing how dumb the person I'm up against, letting such words trigger him... Well, he might as well be an authentic specimen for me to explore the extent of my paradigm very well. So, will you be my first 'Cavia porcellus' (Scientific term for Guinea Pig) in this realm, Count Rosewald?

"WHAT'S SO FUNNY KID? AND WHAT'S WITH THAT UNFAZED LOOK? YOU THINK YOU'RE ALL SET TO KILL SOMEONE LIKE ME JUST BECAUSE YOU MADE ME PUKE A LITER OF BLOOD?"

"Yes." a simple answer indeed. No use wasting my saliva with the likes of him.

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