Chapter 24:

Red Ruby III

Sword Quest

Cedric focused solely on what was ahead, on the illuminated red sword stuck firmly into the earth. Without hesitation, he dove into the water head first.

Under water, he heard no sound, and thought of nothing except moving forward toward his goal, his saving grace. He had never practiced swimming much, but he felt in that moment like he’d been born to swim through this water. Keeping the presence of mind to stay under water in case of another rope attack, he focused his eyes on the landmass ahead, until finally-


-he reached it.

Gasping, he pulled himself onto the tiny patch of land, uprooting handfuls of grass as he lunged forward. Just steps away, he extended an arm toward the red sword, the relic shard from the bloody tale that disgusted him so much. Even if Velagoras’ presence disturbed him deeply, he’d already decided- the original Shlank Heir’s sword would be used to save the Teutons.

It’s finely encrusted hilt felt cold to the touch, as if the relic had been stuck in the oppressive void he’d just felt in the forest. However, it quickly grew warm as he gripped it with both hands and, in one swift movement, wrenched it up from the earth.

In that moment-


A shrill laugh echoed from within the sword’s blade, as red light burst from the ground the sword protruded from, along with a roaring sound that shook the entire forest.


The second night’s shoreline battlefield was proceeding in similar manner to the previous one. The only large difference was that the infantry Go had been able to establish a solid formation with their V-shields, allowing the front lines to control the middle of the beach for some time. Eventually, the flagship suddenly pulled out and made for the eastern shores, followed by most of the fleet, and all the cavalry on shore. Thus, a drawn-out battle between infantry units had ensued.

“Why do you think the big shots pulled out so suddenly, Galg?” Ralin asked, taking a brief rest against the V-shield.

“Not sure, but I’d guess they plan to surprise Hydrick and Al’s armies,” Galgi answered, tending to a wounded shoulder while peeking out over the shield to observe the battle.

At that moment, a momentous roar echoed from the forest, and Galgi and Ralin looked up from behind their V-shield, apprehension plastered on their faces.

“What…. was that? Don’t tell me…”

“Could it be….Cedo…? Did he do it?!”


To the east, messengers had just arrived with news of the approaching Wolverine army. Al stood atop the wall’s ridge, staring out to sea. Next to him stood a heavily armored man around the same age, whose thin face and sleek long blonde hair contrasted his bulky appearance.

“Do they really think they can catch us off guard just like that? We’ve been waiting for this all night, haha!” Al smirked, turning toward the armored man. Just then, a bellowing noise came from the forest, and a slight gust of wind blew the man’s thick green cape about as the two men turned their gazes in wonder.

“Hah! Guess the kid took matters into his own hands, after all. Say, Hyd, looks like someone finally brought it back into action. What do you imagine your brother would be thinking? Valblin told me to leave it alone for now, so this has to be a part of the grand plan, huh?”

“I’m sure Hedric would want to watch closely, to see if this person is truly worthy of being the Heir,” Hydrick responded sternly, raising his fine silver helmet over his head. “Watch me closely as well, brother. Even if your Heir disappoints, I shall not.”


The half-open window of the apothecary ward shuddered as the forest roared in the distance. Tess, who had been staring out of it toward the empty castle courtyard with her chin in her hands, stood up with a grimace.


In the streets of Castle Town, two men walked leisurely together. Master Valblin and Master Gambell, upon hearing the rumbling from the forest, stopped in their tracks.

“Well, well, it seems the time has come, Headmaster.”
“Hohh? I wonder which of our brave young lads it is? Though, this is only the opening of the first door. Now we watch to see the first step. Hoh… I wonder, just what kind of resolve will this Heir show us?”


Deep in the trembling forest, not far from the cause of the sound, a group of twenty men donning red and brown uniforms ran, heading full speed for the lake at the center of the forest.

Running ahead of the rest, a broad-shouldered boy with jet black hair grew wide eyed in excitement upon spotting the moonlit lake.

“Ah, this is it! We’ve made it all the way here, and just in time, young Lord Velgo!” A man behind him exclaimed through bated breath. The boy stopped and took big breaths, staring viciously at the boy holding the red sword, engulfed in a bright red light.

“These damned frauds…. Let’s go, men. It’s time to take back what’s ours.”


On the side of the lake closest to the border wall, a tall man led thirty battle-worn men, their red-gold uniforms covered in dirt, near the lake.

“Uh, Lieutenant Suguile, are those…Shlanks?” a soldier asked.

“Pay them no mind for now,” the uninjured man replied in a cold voice.

“Our target is right before our eyes.”


On the other side of the lake, another boy watched closely as the scarlet waves of light swiveled around the boy holding the uprooted sword. Mel’s eyes bore a melancholic resolve as he stared unwaveringly while his friend struggled. Several meters away, a defeated Quentle watched with wide eyes, restrained by the bandit’s ropes.

On the small patch of island, Cedric was on the verge of being swallowed by the vortex of bouncing red light. It was consuming him like the relentless energy of a thousand raging soldiers. Within the light emanating from the sword itself, voices rang loudly.



“…..rgh…” A different voice groaned in pain.



Then a splashing sound, resulting in a muffled voice.

“You…guh!...who have drawn the sword….”

The submerged voice struggled to speak through what sounded like bloody coughs.

“You must use this sword…. gather the remaining shards…only then can Shuant… be defeated….”

Cedric listened closely, fighting to keep the light from suffocating him.

Only then…can the Teutons be saved.”

Cedric felt his own light within him burst at these words. Pushing the endlessly encompassing red light off himself for a moment, he turned to see a man climbing onto the small patch of island.

The familiar man, whose soaked and worn down red-gold uniform flapped in the artificial wind, began laughing maniacally.

So Mel’s father was lying…

That confirms it, then…

“So it was you!! Hahahaha, I can’t believe you were the one! I nearly killed you, and yet you end up giving me the sword yourself! Hahahahahahaha, I didn’t even need the damn contact!” The man ranted on, a savagely excited look in his eyes. Without a care, he approached the whirlwind of red light, even though the wind it was throwing about made every attempt to push him back.

The look in his eyes felt daunting to Cedric, even in the situation he was already in. He knew just how relentless this man was, even if injured. Part of him hoped that the red light would obliterate the man before he could reach him, reprieving him from having to struggle any more than he already was.


The man stepped into the light without issue, and had begun to lunge wildly at him with his short sword. Cedric recalled his previous meeting with the man, and the most recent engagements with the bandits. He thought about what he’d lacked in his attacks.

I can’t hesitate any longer.

If I’m going to be a knight…

If I’m going to be the Heir…

If I really intend to fight….

I must have the intent…

….to kill!

Battling the suppressing light with gnashed teeth, Cedric took a firm step forward, loaded up strongly from his right hip, and executed a swift dash across the man’s right side. Taking advantage of the sword’s longer reach, he delivered a precise blow through his ribcage, cutting through him before his short sword could close the distance.

The man, having lost his momentum, was pushed outside of the light, and crumpled near the edge of the island. He turned toward Cedric, mouth open with shock and blood.

“You…what…are you….”

“I’m Cedric Cintog. Just a brat playing knight.”

From his left knee, Cedric whipped the slightly bloodied sword around his shoulder. A wave of the red light dissipated, blowing outward like a strong wind. The wind carried the fallen man, sending him skipping across the water like a small rock, before scattering him across a thicket of trees.

This fierce energy…

Whether it’s Velagoras’ Will, or something else…

It doesn’t matter. If it will help save the Teutons…I’ll use it for myself.

His confidence now bolstered, he then stood tall and thrust the sword upward with both hands, roaring as he fought against the light swirling overhead.


This time, he sent the incessantly revolving light skyward, a solid red line bursting toward the Dome’s ceiling. Instead of fighting to keep it from suffocating him, he controlled the light with the sword, directing all the energy upward in one crushing blow.