SYS (Novel) Chapter 285

C285 - Temar's First Tomb (6)

"So, who is Silderay?"

Jin had never heard of his name, neither in all his clan history classes at Stormcastle nor in his cadet days because the Zipples had erased every single record related to Silderay.

They still couldn't see Silderay, although they could sense a massive force of unknown capacity somewhere in the darkness.

It was like witnessing the emergence of a giant sea monster from the depths of the ocean. Jin didn't need to face it to recognize the immense power of his enemy.

He could feel his hair standing on end, along with a faint sense of exhilaration. Shing. Sigmund's pale sword left its sheath and gleamed in the darkness.

"He was one of Temar's ten knights. He could be said to be the progenitor of the Runcandel black knights. His surname was Jizek, but later he changed it to Runcandel when Temar did."

"The progenitor of the black knights. How interesting."

Murakan seemed completely taken aback by Jin's response.

"Interesting? In this situation? You're going crazy too. Right now, I'm incapacitated and unable to fight. If that guardian is an exact replica, then, woah. There's no way we can handle this. We barely have a chance of winning."

"You never know until you try. Who knows? Maybe we won't end up fighting. He asked if I came to pay my respects, so perhaps he'll be more accommodating than we think."

"That won't happen. It's not Silderay in person. It's just a guardian created in his image. And guardians are created with the sole purpose of mutilating all intruders."

The energy of the guardian drew near.

Murakan was right. Its energy was clearly filled with a desire to fight. Its fighting spirit was so fierce and immense that Jin could almost feel it burning against his skin.

"Tell me."

"Tell you what?"

"Silderay's exploits, as you remember them."

"Ten stars. And exceptional besides. Fortunately, he's not a swordsman like the pure-blooded Runcandels."

"Then I must pray that he's not a likeness of his firstborn. There doesn't seem to be a way to escape this plane, right?"

"We either put the same amount of Shadow Energy into the key or the guardian shows the way. It must be one of the two."

"Alright, the fight is inevitable then. Let's see what happens after I cross swords with him and assess our options then."

Jin assumed his stance.

Murakan observed him and thought to himself. For some reason, this crazy kid seems to be enjoying this.

To some extent, it was true.

Jin was satisfied to have the opportunity to fight against Silderay, one of the progenitors of the black knights.

However, his satisfaction didn't stem merely from his love for battle or his sheer recklessness as a warrior.

Each of the trials that Solderet had put him through was a test designed for him to overcome. Plus, he wouldn't have many opportunities to test himself against a ten-star knight.

There weren't many days left until the assassination of Barton Vichena, another powerful knight and black knight spy.

The guardian was the perfect opponent to experience firsthand what it meant to fight a ten-star knight.

And most importantly, Jin didn't believe he was as useless as Murakan thought.

If things go wrong, I can always summon my Lafrarosa brothers, although I'd prefer not to if I can avoid it.

Finally, the guardian revealed itself from the edge of darkness.

It wore armor similar to that of the Runcandel guardian knights. It had a massive physique, overflowing muscles that refused to be hidden under the armor, and a sharp, intense gaze that seemed capable of cutting through steel.

It wielded an impressive giant sword, larger than its own body. It was more solid than Luna's axe-sword and seemed to mock the fact that Silderay's name had never been passed down through generations.

Anyone who could wield that enormous sword at will should have been part of martial arts history.

The guardian halted about twenty paces away from the two.

It was a guardian formed from the same principle as Jin's Dark Light Calling.

Solderet had molded Silderay's soul and will with Shadow Energy so that the dead could temporarily appear in the world of the living when certain conditions were met.

Jin and Murakan realized this fact as they saw the guardian.

"I am the guardian of this tomb, Silderay Runcandel."

"Hey, Silderay! Don't you recognize me?" Murakan stepped forward and shouted.

The guardian fixed its eyes on Jin and completely ignored Murakan.

"Answer me, Silderay. Answer. I am Murakan, the Dark Dragon."

"I don't know that useless soulless one."

"What, useless soulless one?"

"Get lost. My business isn't with you."

"Wow! The things he says! Sure, I may have lost the powers of my prime, and yes, I may be completely devoid of Shadow Energy right now. But how dare you say those things to me, Silderay? I was your lord's guardian dragon, Temar."

"Mention Temar-nim's name once more, and I'll slit your throat without warning."

The guardian seemed resentful towards Murakan for some reason.

Being a perfect replica of Silderay made with Shadow Energy, its memories remained intact.

Murakan glared at the guardian with hatred.

The dragon wanted to beat him up, but that had always been quite a challenging task for Murakan, even in his prime. For now, he didn't even have Shadow Energy left, so he had to hold back.

"State your name, the last contractor of Solderet."

"I am Jin Runcandel."

Silderay's eyes turned pensive.

"Solderet has fulfilled his promise. Now it's my turn to fulfill the promise."

Whoosh!

Silderay gently swung the giant sword. The mere swing generated a strong sword wind that tousled Jin and Murakan's hair.

"I, Silderay Runcandel of the ten knights, will pass on my will to the last contractor of Solderet according to the ancient promise I made with the Shadow God."

The transmission of his testament. Its implication was simple.

"Contractor, Jin Runcandel. Prepare yourself to fight me."

"Guardian, Sir Silderay Runcandel. Please promise me one thing."

Despite his polite words, Jin stared into the guardian's eyes as if he wanted to make a demand, not a request.

"Speak."

"Murakan is currently unable to fight. Would you do me the favor of sparing his life?"

"As long as he doesn't interfere."

"Thank you."

That was more than enough, even though it hurt Murakan's pride.

"Accept the outcome of the battle humbly."

Just after uttering his final word, the guardian's giant sword flashed.

It was literally a flash of light.

It was the result of the giant sword's swift movement. No one would believe how fast this enormous sword could move until they saw it with their own eyes.

Shik, zas!

The giant sword clashed against Sigmund and emitted a deafening noise. The hard stone floor was crushed. The broken pieces of rock turned back into Shadow Energy and evaporated.

The shockwave ravaged the surrounding area.

Jin gritted his teeth.

If he hadn't spent the past year getting used to the battle techniques of the battle kings or had the chance to experience Vanessa's sword, he would have been dumbfounded at the first strike.

This is amazing!

The guardian's strike carried the weight of a mountain and the cutting edge of serrated obsidian.

Murakan was sent flying through the air. The shockwave from the first strike sent him tumbling across the ground.

Fortunately, he didn't seem to have suffered any serious injuries. Murakan finally landed and muttered all kinds of curses as he distanced himself from the battle.

The guardian didn't bother pursuing him.

The second and third strikes came at Jin.

Each clash of the sword brought the excruciating pain of bones on the verge of breaking and skin tearing. But despite the pain, Jin's body distributed and withstood the blow.

All my training has paid off.

Ten stars. One step away from reaching the Divine Star.

There was no way to know if the guardian was a perfect emulation of Silderay, who was supposed to be an exceptional ten-star knight, but Jin could confidently say that these simple attacks held the power of a ten-star knight behind them.

Their destructive force was on par with Vanessa's or the battle kings'.

Jin was countering the attacks of this guardian with pure sword skill alone.

But I don't see any chance for a counterattack.

That was the problem.

He was defending so desperately that he had no time to attack. The guardian's giant sword flickered several times per second to press Jin from all directions.

The guardian was clearly and immensely stronger than Jin.

But Jin had always fought against stronger enemies.

Every time he faced an enemy more powerful than himself, there was disorder with the element of surprise. His ability to respond calmly in battle came from knowing that his enemies didn't know all his cards.

The photon cannon, Myulta's rune, the Legends' lightning energy, Shadow Energy, and more. His movements consistently produced great results.

But would they work against a ten-star knight as well?

Jin realized the answer to the question was no when he fought through Vanessa's trial. At that time, she faced the photon cannon and Legends' sword techniques as if they were nothing more than intriguing tricks.

It was as if the element of surprise meant nothing to the master swordsmen who were at the pinnacle of what could be achieved with a sword. Any technique that didn't have a similar depth and mastery to theirs was nothing more than a trivial spectacle.

I must use the Battle God's Combat Techniques from the beginning. The rest won't work against him at all.

Of course, lightning and despotism were certainly powerful techniques in their own right.

But Jin couldn't execute them at a ten-star level yet. Using them to create mildly effective openings or illusions would only lead to his own loss.

First, I'll summon Tess to buy time and use the Battle God's Combat Technique, Erosion, to create space for myself. Damn it. The dimensional gate won't open! Is it another dead realm?

Jin performed the summoning to open the dimensional gate to the realm of fire, but the gate refused to open.

Jin knew from experience that the dimensional gate wouldn't open in dead realms.

This ethereal plane created by Solderet was another dead realm.

He desperately attempted the Dark Light Calling, with the same effect. No summoning was possible in dead realms.

"It seems you tried some things, but all failed. Nevertheless, I'm impressed that you haven't lost your composure."

The guardian swung the giant sword with even greater force this time.

That was when Jin retreated for the first time. The difference in their abilities was becoming more noticeable. Pure strength, precision, and experience. Needless to say, the guardian surpassed Jin in every aspect.

A drop of blood trickled from Jin's lips.

His mouth was cut by the impact, but his internal organs remained intact.

"Darn it. I had no idea this was a dead realm. Next time I enter an unknown space, I'll remember to first check if summonings work."

Jin caught his breath.

Although what he had saved for the worst-case scenario was blocked, that didn't mean everything was over yet.

He really didn't want to use this because the mission was still a few days away.

The lightning energy began to surge within his Light Heart.

If this didn't work, the only thing left was to pray and escape.

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