Never Die Extra - Chapter 388
Louise Merdin, Recapturing the City (3)
Louise’s party defeated the Mahwa Tribes one by one and entered deeper into the castle. There were traps that aimed to shred the intruders, but they couldn’t fool Save’s eyes.
“Just a little bit more…”
Louise advanced forward as she swung her short sword in a frenzy, and her members followed her silently as they understood her feelings. With their improved teamwork during their dungeon conquest, they understood what their members wanted without the need to talk. Although their party was less than a year-old, their cooperation looked like those veterans that worked together for more than ten years. Even though the Mahwa Tribes grew stronger than their kin in Yo-Ma Great War 2 through this land’s conquest, they fell quickly against Louise’s party.
“Enemy in the front.”
Save spoke calmly as he wiped the blade of his halberd with a dried cloth. They were in front of the office where Marquis Merdin usually did his work. Louise’s party had already defeated the Mahwa Tribes guarding the door.
“These Mahwa Tribes are communicating with one another through some means. The one that’s in there already noticed our presence.”
“Yeah, but it doesn’t matter. Let’s go.”
Save nodded at her firm words and lifted his halberd on the spot. The blade of the ax crushed the door of the office. A man was standing there with a face Louise was familiar with.
“Oh my, so it was my sister. I was uncertain till the end…”
Silan Merdin narrowed his eyes as if he were pleased to see Louise. His clothing was the formal ones that only the ruler of the city could wear. With the black and thin cane which the Marquis always carried, he seemed to have perfectly copied the Marquis.
“With your fine acting skills, I almost fell for it. Luden, if I knew that you would become such an exquisite lady, I should have embraced you in my arms at least once.”
“Although this is a pointless question.”
Louise’s eyes narrowed as she opened her mouth.
“What did you do to our father?”
“You speak of an inappropriate topic. Your words are as if I harmed our father. He is, of course, healthy and well. Ah, and also, your mother…”
Louise’s eyes wiggled but didn’t react. Save spoke to her as if he were concerned about something.
“He is part of the Mahwa Tribe now. Not a human.”
She somewhat expected that things would turn out like this from the moment she encountered the Mahwa Tribe. Silan’s abnormal state was already presumed whether it was by the Mahwa Tribe coaxing Silan or the Mahwa Tribe encroaching Merdin as Silan failed to carry out his task properly. Whether that thing was a Demon that wore Silan’s skin and had his memories or was the result of Silan collaborating with the Demons…
“Either way…you were incompetent till the end, Silan.”
“Oh, this feels refreshing coming out from you, who abandoned your mother. I stayed behind to protect them by myself…”
It may be Silan’s fault that the Mahwa Tribes feasted in the city. She sneered and held her short sword.
“Hand over that position, Demon. Merdin is mine.”
“Are you really after this position? You, of all people? Think about it. Are you after Merdin out of your sheer will? And not of others? The Luden I know would never have such thoughts.”
Louise charged in. Her party was momentarily confused, but they supported her. Silan tried to block Louise’s charge with the mana shield he created by swinging his cane. Yet, the short sword containing purple mana made an eerie screeching noise and left a mark on his neck after destroying his shield.
Silan moved back, waddling, as he was unable to block her attack, but he still smiled. It was the smile of someone that looked down on others.
“You’ve escaped from your mother, who tried to take over the city by disguising you as a male, and now are you trying to become a clown for another god? You never change, do you?”
“It was everyone’s will except yours when they tried to entrust Merdin to me. If not, then do you seriously think that they were fooled by my disguise?”
Louise sneered and chased Silan, who was backing off, which ended with Silan falling onto the floor. The light that shined from her sword enveloped her entire body like a purple comet.
“It is solely my will to recapture Merdin. He just saw through everything and gave me the power to achieve my goal.”
‘He wishes for what I want.’
‘Following his will consequently leads to doing myself a favor.’
‘He knows everything about me, yet he provides me with all that I need.’
‘Yes, even my dark intentions and desires, everything…!’
“So, demon, stop imitating humans and die already.”
“What does ‘imitating’ humans mean in the first place!?”
After Silan shouted, Louise’s sword moved toward him like a viper aiming for its prey. A dark, misty mana attacked her from his cane, but Lin’s barrier blocked it.
Right after, a clean purple line became visible from the top of Silan’s head to his crotch. Instantly, dark and red petals blossomed from his body and filled the room. Enoch’s cleansing and Lin’s barrier reacted to completely protect the members but harming them didn’t seem to be the enemy’s purpose.
―Ha, he sure was a petty human till the end. I didn’t expect him to be this useless. Don’t you agree, marionette lady?
The members heard the thin and sharp voice of a woman. If Evan were here, he would have been amazed as he remembered it from seven years ago.
―Of course, this was quite interesting. Such plays were famous a few decades ago. Consume the family member first and humiliate and betray the surviving family members based on the memories of the consumed one, then plant another seed of Mahwa Tribe to them.
Flower petals and gruesome stems covered the office at some point. Nobody could pinpoint the location of the voice. But one certain thing was that Silan was no more than a time-killing doll.
But she couldn’t do anything about it. Although Louise and Silan competed for the succession, Silan was still her blood brother despite his silly mistakes in the past. The Mahwa Tribe intentionally disgraced him and taunted Louise. She tried her best to be cool and sliced him, but Louise considered it as a mistake.
―This guy was a masterpiece. If it weren’t for this fool, it would’ve been impossible for us, the Mahwa Tribe, to spread our seeds into this city. He tried to borrow our strength to murder his own father, you know! He didn’t even know who we were, accepting me for some kind of an enhancing potion…
At that moment, Save chopped off the root of the stem without a sweat with his halberd.
“Enoch, Lin. Concentrate your holy power here.”
“…You really are a freak.”
“As expected from Save, trustworthy!”
As instructed, Enoch and Lin focused their holy power to the stem root that was chopped. The scream of the Mahwa Tribe became louder.
“It was quite hard to find it, but once you spot it, it’s easy to kill it. Good thing the Mahwa Tribe have weaknesses.”
―How, how did…Grrrrrgh!
That Mahwa Tribe must have had a lot of questions. ‘How did you find my heart?’ ‘How did you slice them all at once?’ or ‘What’s with the immense holy power!?’ among others. But the consciousness of the Mahwa Tribe ended completely before it was allowed to speak. Save calmly spoke as he watched the petals and the stems that covered the room wither.
“The battle is over. I don’t feel any presence stronger than that one nearby.”
Louise confirmed that she didn’t like Save. However, she was the one that told him to attack!
“Then, how should we proceed next?”
“To the shelter…the hideout. You’ve felt the presence of people in there.”
“Yes. But perhaps…no, it’s nothing.”
Save, who tried to say something, saw Louise’s stiff look, so he shut his mouth. Lucid, who was by their sides, silently yet precisely picked up the drop items.
“Unnie…uhm, I’m sorry.”
“Listening to your family history without your consent…?”
“I didn’t mean to hide it after all. You guys guessed it to some point anyways.”
They were off on their way to the shelter from the office of the Marquis. The Mahwa Tribes were bluntly avoiding them, but thanks to Save’s insane searching ability with Lucid’s covert movements, the members were marching forward as they eliminated all the nearby demons. That’s when Renail spoke to Louise, who wore a stern expression.
“Don’t listen to what those demons say, Unnie. They are deliberately insulting your family…!”
“No, if it were Silan, he would have called in the Mahwa Tribe willingly. He’s that much of an idiot. But it doesn’t matter.”
Louise smiled lightly.
“Master has given me the chance to solve my bitter past. It’s a waste of time to feel sad at this moment.”
“Then Unnie, in here…”
Louise mumbled to herself as she stood still.
“I know, so don’t worry.”
After pressing on an empty stone wall, the bricks started to move aside one by one, and a passage appeared.
“I won’t waste the opportunity given by my Master.”
Louise stepped in first, and the seven members followed after.
“Lucid, why did you appear all of a sudden?”
“Nothing. You can’t see me now, can you?”
“Yup. I can’t see anything.”
“Then it’s fine.”
The secret passage was very long, and the path split into several routes. But Louise walked through the secret passage very naturally, although she hadn’t used it ever in her life. After about five minutes of walking, they could see a metal door ahead.
“A door that can only be opened by the descendants of Merdin…”
“We can break the barrier with our holy power!”
“I am the descendant of Merdin, so everything’s all right.”
Louise smiled bitterly at Lan’s bright voice, who couldn’t read the mood, and she put her hand on the iron door. A soft blue light went across the iron door in the form of a complicated shape, and a vast space was revealed as the door opened inwards.
It was the shelter of the Merdin family. The food and drinks had anti-decay magic on them so that they could last for several years, and it had magic tools to observe the situation outside, and even arcade tools were there.
“As expected from the man of power…!”
“Enoch is always amazed by strange things all the time.”
While the members looked around and were amazed, Louise entered further inside. The shelter was quite long, but she soon reached her destination. There was just one door that had a lock on it.
“Luden…is that you?”
The voice of the person who dressed her as a girl and showed her the secret path four years ago was heard from inside.
Louise calmly answered and placed her hand on top of the lock. She couldn’t break it easily. Lucid came forward silently and destroyed the lock. Louise nodded at him as a sign of gratitude and opened the door without any hesitation.
“Luden…it’s really my Luden.”
In the same room, her mother was there with an appearance that she still remembered.
“Oh my goodness, you’ve grown up to be such a beauty.”
Her mother looked at Luden with a worn-out expression and smiled. Louise also smiled back and took a step forward. Renail stopped Save from saying something. As she shook her head weakly, Save bit his lip and stepped back.
“I’m sorry. I made you wear clothes that you didn’t want, although you were this pretty…”
“No, Mother. I didn’t hate them. I look well both in a man’s and a woman’s attire.”
It wasn’t her opinion. Rather, it was someone else that told her that. Come to think about it, it was a consoling word to ease the burdens placed on her, who was suffering from identity confusion, but maybe it was that moment Louise fell in love with him.
“So, you can relax, Mother. I can rule over Merdin well with my current appearance.”
“Our Luden ruling Merdin. Yes, everyone believed that this day would come.”
“Yes, the day has come. So, you can ease your mind.”
Louise laughed comfortably and stepped forward. It was that very moment that her mother’s expression wavered. But before that, Louise swung her sword without hesitating…and beheaded the member of the Mahwa Tribe who took her mother’s form.
“I’m very happy to see your face at the end.”
Louise’s sword danced in mid-air. All traces from the mother were reduced into mana and disappeared before she had a chance to transform like Silan. She turned her head calmly after destroying the crystal.
“Let’s kill the rest of the Mahwa Tribe.”
Her murderous intent faded as she left with her party. Then, it was after three minutes from then that the members confirmed the death of the creature that took the form of Marquis Merdin by “someone whom no one could see.”