SYS (Novel) Chapter 304

C304 - Temar's Second Tomb (2)

Her tone was oddly friendly.

Unlike Silderay, who treated Murakan like any tomb guardian would treat an intruder, the guardian of the second tomb greeted him like an old friend.

'Sarah... I heard her name on the recording device in the first tomb. She's the Runcandel who's supposed to have led five Sorcery Swords to the Tower of Tales, where three hundred dragons had gathered.'

Sarah smiled as she looked at Murakan. It was quite strange to see the smile along with all the Shadow Energy coalescing on her face like blood.

"Late? What are you talking about?"

"I killed all those wretches before you arrived. To be precise, I swept them all with Fadler. You're late again, you know? Where have you been loafing around this time?"

"Sarah."

"Fadler, that fool. He's injured. I'm fine, as always. But that weakling is going to need some training from you and the patriarch."

Sarah, wake up! Murakan was about to shout, but Jin grabbed him by the shoulder. He tried to communicate through his gaze that the person before them wasn't the Sarah Murakan knew, but only a guardian made in her likeness.

The Shadow Energy flowing instead of blood was proof of this.

Murakan was being dragged into the same emotions that had tormented Jin when he slashed at his enemies in the great Mitra desert, even though he knew they were only mirages.

The guardian was identical to Sarah Runcandel in every way. The way she spoke, walked, and even how she treated Murakan.

It was impossible to distinguish beings created from Shadow Energy from the real person, especially if they had been infused with the soul.

"Murakan, why don't you answer my question? You're late already. You won't tell me you can't be bothered with such trifles, will you?"

"It seems you've been fighting for too long, Sarah Runcandel." Quikantel stepped forward and spoke. She, too, remembered Sarah.

The guardian stopped and directed her gaze at Quikantel.

"Oh, look who it is. Quikantel. I can't believe the spectator has finally decided to come to the battlefield. Although, of course, the battle is already over."

Murakan and Quikantel felt terrible.

A thousand years, that was the time during which the guardian had protected the second tomb in the dark ethereal plane all alone.

Her scar-covered body and the thousands of skeletons surrounding the area were evidence of the terrible battles she had fought. In fact, the guardian's sword was broken, with only half of the blade remaining.

The guardian couldn't distinguish past from present anymore, and at times, no longer remembered what her duty was. This very moment was a prime example of her state.

She wasn't in her right state of mind. It was the price of all those years she waited after killing the Zipple Magicians who intruded into the tomb a thousand years ago.

"Who are these friends you brought? They're new faces."

The guardian approached. Murakan seemed to have made a decision.

He transformed into his true form and spread his wings. Quikantel transformed right after him and unleashed the power of the silver dragon.

"My old comrade-in-arms, Sarah Runcandel. I apologize for being late. I will help you relieve the old burden you've been carrying."

The guardian suddenly stopped at Murakan's words.

Upon closer inspection, the group could see that she was much more injured than they initially thought. If she had been bleeding instead of oozing Shadow Energy, just staying on her feet would have been a miracle in itself.

"What are you talking about all of a sudden?"

"Take up your sword."

"What? Are you challenging me to a fight?"

Twisting tendrils of Shadow Energy began to spread behind Murakan.

Shadow Energy Release; the guardian must have known that Murakan used this move against enemies he had to kill.

"This has got to be a joke, right?"

"Jin and the others, listen up. She may be severely wounded, but remember, Sarah was always mentioned as the strongest of the ten knights of the ancient Runcandel clan. You can't afford to face her without serious resolve," Murakan said.

They wondered if it was possible to fight in her current condition. Indeed, her sword was battered and damaged.

However, she had managed to fight off thousands of Magicians all by herself. All the members of the group drew their weapons.

There was a brief silence between the group and the guardian.

Soon, a great fighting spirit began to emanate from the guardian's body in the form of a tidal wave.

"I see. I see. Murakan, you bastard. You didn't arrive late. You deliberately waited for me to tire after the fight."

A great light burst from Sarah's sword. If Murakan hadn't covered the area with a veil of Shadow Energy, most of Jin's companions would have closed their eyes to shield themselves from the light.

And if the guardian had been in perfect condition, everyone who closed their eyes would have been slashed without exception. Sarah Runcandel's prowess at her peak was very close to Divine Star level.

"Don't tell me you've fallen for the spectator's trick. Or is it that you, despite your braggart ego, have also come to fear the Zipple? Everyone had their hopes on you, you dirty turncoat."

Every word she spoke pierced Murakan's heart.

Covered in Shadow Energy, Murakan's back had never looked smaller and fainter than it did now. Each encounter with his unforgettable past made Murakan feel like he was being stabbed with a sorrow deadlier than any blade.

The guardian raised her sword, which gleamed with an aura.

"It's better to get ready. Maybe I'm broken, and my own comrades have betrayed me, but remember, I am Sarah Runcandel."

Fwooosh!

The sword flared with a new layer of fire that covered its aura.

Blazing flames also appeared around Sarah, much like the Shadow Energy tornadoes around Murakan.

'Is that magic?'

She was a pure-blooded Runcandel who had lived before the days of the humiliating pact they had signed with the Zipple.

She was a Magic Swordsman.

"Gilly, Alisa, and Kashimir, protect Enya and Jet. Jin, cover us!" Quikantel shouted as she gathered energy for her breath.

Murakan was already targeting the guardian with thousands of nails formed from Shadow Energy.

The nails fell to the ground without warning or sound. The massive amount of dark nails flew toward the severely wounded guardian.

But it only took one sword strike.

That was all the guardian needed to obliterate each and every nail that rained toward her.

The broken sword posed no problem for her. Flames erupted fiercely from the sword and did not wane after eliminating the nails.

She immediately created a sea of flames.

The guardian's flame could not only reduce its target to ashes but also cleave it in half. A blade-sharp fire. Strange as it sounded, the fire possessed qualities that truly fit the description.

Shadow Energy and fire intertwined in the air and continuously tried to consume each other. Quikantel breathed and used her divine power of time to occasionally contain the guardian's flames.

But there were too many flames.

They outnumbered what Quikantel could contain with her powers. Stopping the flames on one side only led to another flame choking another part of the battlefield.

It was an incredible sight. Despite her injuries, the guardian's strength did not fall short in the face of the two dragons' power.

Sarah Runcandel, the goddess of fire, that's what people called her a thousand years ago. The long battle and loneliness might have limited her from unleashing her full power, and her name might have been completely lost to history because of the Zipple.

But her flame still burned in the desolate ethereal plane.

"Murakan, what is this about? This can't be the extent of your powers. Are guilt and memories holding you back or something?"

The flames grew by the seconds, pushing back Murakan and Quikantel's powers as they invaded and expanded their territory.

"Or are you going easy on me out of sympathy?"

"It's not that, Sarah."

"What is it then? If you've already decided to betray the Runcandels, don't beat around the bush!" Sarah shouted as she leaped.

Her strike forced Murakan to hastily deploy a shield barrier while Quikantel twisted her body to bite the guardian.

Sarah used her flames as support to maneuver freely in the air. She hurled her sword forward.

Sparks flew everywhere. The clash of the dragon's claws and teeth against the sword produced deafening noises, and the resulting shockwaves traveled through the ground, breaking the earth.

A lightning bolt pierced through the flames and Shadow Energy.

It was the Sword of Legends: A Bolt. The abrupt strike made Sarah tremble. She then scanned the battlefield.

"This is the power of the Legends. How does a Zipple possess this power?"

"That boy is not a Zipple. He's a Runcandel. His name is Jin. He's a descendant of the Runcandels, the lineage you have successfully protected."

"Jin? Nobody is named that among the Runcandels."

"Sarah, a thousand years have passed in the world outside of this plane. This is Temar's tomb, and we've come here as part of Solderet's plans to-"

"Perhaps I'm fatigued and weary, but that doesn't mean my mind has given in. It's only been two days since I arrived here with Fadler on orders from the Patriarch. Can't you see the countless corpses around? The Zipples will fall. Nothing less than by our own hands!"

Despite being the guardian of a tomb, she didn't seem to realize that Temar was already dead.

The guardian was trapped in time, a thousand years in the past when Temar led the Runcandel swordsmen. Back then, bringing honor to the Runcandel name stirred many hearts.

It was cruel to witness.

Granting her eternal rest as soon as possible was the only thing Jin and his companions could do for the guardian.

The guardian descended to the ground and looked Jin in the eyes. "State your true name, Zipple boy."

"I am Jin Runcandel, the twelfth Flagbearer of the Runcandels."

"I gave you a chance, yet you continue to answer me with lies. Yes, that's how the Zipples are. You try to paint the whole world with lies. Now, it seems you even covet the Runcandel name."

"Regardless of your opinion, Lady Sarah, my true name will never change. I have come to inherit the will of the ancient Runcandels, and I am Solderet's new contractor."

Jin placed Shadow Energy over Sigmund, which was already filling with Lightning Energy.

Sarah's eyes flickered. "The Shadow Sword."

She couldn't accept how Jin could wield Shadow Energy since Solderet could only grant power to Temar if he were still alive.

But there was another way. She remembered there was another way to wield Shadow Energy without being Solderet's contractor.

"The witch. It must be her doing."

Helluram. The eerie witch-like creature.

According to Sarah's knowledge, the witch Helluram was the only being who could handle Shadow Energy without entering into a contract with Solderet.

Fwooosh!

All the flames that had spread around the area converged back to Sarah. Seeing the flame's movements, Jin readied the Shadow Sword.

"Today, right here, I will find my end. But in doing so, I will make sure to end you too," Sarah said.

The guardian's body burst into flames. Murakan immediately released all the Shadow Energy he could gather and covered the entire group. Likewise, Quikantel's gaze sharpened as she let out a roar.

Sarah had initiated a secret sword technique of the ancient Runcandels.

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