Chapter 48 Nightfall Guardians
Editor: Amaranth, Neth
Shaar looked at the fellow standing in front, noticing a fiery spirit burrowed within his eyes. The deeply ingrained hatred shown in his gaze caused Shaar’s heart to waver slightly. Within his gaze he also appeared ready to attack at a moment’s notice; looking to rip out Shaar’s flesh.
Ah, Shaar finally remembered. The previous time they met, they sparred, but the martial arts he showed were all very strange. Every move looked similar to that of the simple movements used in cutting wood or any other normal task.
Could this fellow also have studied under that old man?
“There’s no need to speak, I won’t surrender.” Shaar’s eyes rolled. “Do you take me for a fool? Given your stance, do I really have another choice, but to fight?
Rahim was confident knowing his squad was nearby and fully-equipped. They also had their horses prepared and were ready to strike. This pitiful boy was fully surrounded, so it would be almost impossible to flee, even if he had wings.
Rahim straightened his lance while his eyes radiated a murderous spirit. “Good. I can cleanse this shame with your blood!”
In front of this wild boy, Rahim’s gaze held a deep hatred and a deathly aura. Let God be his witness as he had every reason to cut this boy into countless pieces and feed him to the hounds.
Rahim was a member of the noble order of imperial knights called the ‘Glory of Osgiliath, so he couldn’t recall the last time he was humiliated this badly.
Osgiliath… a lofty, honourable name! Within the entire continent, only one order dared to title themselves as such. This was due to the fact that ‘Osgiliath’ is also the imperial capital of the entire Byzantine Empire!
This order swore allegiance to the royal family and was under the direct control of His Majesty, the Holy Byzantine Emperor. The order was created by the sacrifices of their members, giving up an ungodly amount of blood and iron. They follow a glorious tradition which states that only qualified knights were able to title themselves under ‘Osgiliath’.
The order ‘Glory of Osgiliath’ also had another unofficial name; the ‘Nightfall Guardians’. This order was only loyal to the royal family, but their members were different from the regular palace guards. This order was a special division under His Majesty, the Holy Emperor’s personal army. Neither supervised by the Imperial Army nor the senate, these soldier’s salaries and costs were directly paid through the royal treasury.
Therefore, to differentiate between this informal knight order and the regular Imperial guards, the people started to call those fellows “Nightfall Guardians”. Since they were not formally established in the empire’s regular army , they all had to show exceptional bravery and power in order to join. The people also named them as such due to the fact that members of the order had the habit of wearing only black armour and only working during nightfall, rightfully earning them the title of ‘Messengers of Death’.
Every member of the order of ‘Glory to Osgiliath’ was carefully chosen from the army’s group most outstanding knights. Every member had a pure bloodline and was extremely loyal to the royal family, especially the emperor. It could be said that the order held greater loyalty towards the Holy Emperor than the empire itself.
In one such incident within the history of the Byzantine Empire 100 years ago, a civil war broke because a man usurped the throne and became the new emperor. However the ‘Nightfall Guardians’ held their loyalty towards the previous emperor and fought a bloody battle to resist against the new emperor. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, they fought and almost burned down the entire royal capital. Even when the previous emperor committed suicide due to fear, they never surrendered. As one final attempt to resist, the remaining group drunk on the desire to join their lord in death, decided to charge forward. Only a select few managed to break through and survive, but even then they refused to surrender because they solely held loyalty to the previous emperor and not the actual empire… which led them to flee the city.
(ED: whew… this was a tough one)
This small group of remaining knights were later found to have formed a rebel army and taken over nearby bandit territory near the empire’s borders. The empire took an entire year to suppress this rebel army.
After this, the new emperor actually decided to rebuild the order of ‘Nightfall Guardians’. Almost every imperial minister opposed the idea but the emperor heavily insisted it.
Using the words of the current emperor then, His Majesty the Holy Byzantine Emperor Svendara the First; “Which emperor within this world does not desire to have such an order of fierce knights who are forever loyal, even in death?”
Due to the heavy criteria for joining this group, the order had very few members. Historically speaking, even at its peak, it never exceeded more than 500 members.
Every member of the ‘Nightfall Guardians’ were among the elite, holding an infallible will and absolute loyalty. Every member held an esteemed status, even greater than that of the royal guards.
Rahim joined the Nightfall Guardians many years ago and earned the rank; Cavalry Captain three years ago. It was the highest achievement of his life. Although he was only small Cavalry Captain with only twenty people under him, however how could a Guardians Cavalry Captain be measured by normal means?
In the Nightfall Guardians a small Cavalry Captain like him, even though he had only a dozen of people under him, when facing an ordinary general in peacetime they did not have to bow to each other and saluted at the saw eye level. One could imagine how arrogant the Nightfall Guardians were!
Rahim’s temper was harsh and tough, his execution of commands were decisive and followed the imperial order extremely strictly. Simultaneously, he excelled in martial arts and showed a faint sign of superiority when compared to a dozen of other Nightfall Guardians Cavalry Captains. In the past two years, the regiment commander of Nightfall Guardians mentioned about a promotion of two younger members to vice regiment commanders and in Rahim’s heart a faint hope emerged because of it.
The mission this time came directly from a letter with the Supreme emperor’s own handwriting. Rahim hoped that after he completes it with an outstanding performance he could add this big achievement to his own career history.
A few days ago, he wouldn’t expect to find his target and let her get away under his nose.
Moreover, three people fighting against a wildling actually ended up with one dead and two injured! One of his soldiers died and he, a Cavalry Captain was unexpectedly completely beaten in a fair contest against this boy.
How could Rahim endure so much shame?! For several days, he wholeheartedly hoped that he could find this boy and use his blood to restore his reputation. The pity he had for the boy before and respect for his talent were nowhere to be seen right now.
Kill him! I must kill him! I must defeat him under the watchful eyes of my men, I must kill him! In order to restore my reputation! Otherwise, if a glorious Nightfall Guardians Cavalry Captain lost to a wildling boy, not only I could forget about being promoted to the vice regiment commander when I am back, I will have to directly apply to retire from the Nightfall Guardians!
Rahim was not a fool, in order to become an officer in the order of Nightfall Guardians amongst all those elites, he was naturally not the type of person who did things mindlessly. After his previous disastrous defeat, he took time to calm down and made some careful analysis before finding two reasons for his defeat. First, unexpectedly the opposite party was able to block his strongest set of sword techniques – this set of sword technique was Rahim’s secret technique which he learned with great difficulties years ago from a master in the armed forces.
Rahim was quite puzzled about this, but besides the sword technique. Rahim was also very confident in his spear technique.
The second reason for his previous defeat, was his huge disadvantage at choosing his weapon. He did not knew the quality or material of this boy’s pitch black weapon was made from, however it was unexpectedly sharp and ended up breaking his weapon. This time he deliberately chose a cross-edged heavy spear as his weapon. This cross-edged spear was originally used for horse combat, but to someone like Rahim who mastered the art of weapons, he could use it while standing with the same efficiency. More, importantly this cross-edged spear was extremely heavy and long. Rahim made up his mind about breaking through with force!
Thinking about the wildling boy’s blade (He regarded the pitchfork as a blade because of its sharpness), if he wanted to break this heavy spear, it wouldn’t be easy like last time!
Not wasting any useless talk with Shaar, Rahim straightened the spear in his hand and rushed forward to fight. With a loud shout, under his arms a grey battle ki immediately erupted at the spearhead and with a roar he maliciously struck down at Shaar!
Rahim was a medium ranked second-level warrior and when he activated his battle ki. Before the spearhead hit him, Shaar could already feel the pressure of wind heading towards him. A huge vortex that tore apart the air formed at the spearhead!
Sticking out his chest, Shaar gripped the fire pitchfork with his hands and forward to meet his opponent’s attack. The pitch black fire pitchfork formed a black arc ……ping, ping, ping!!
Three consecutive strikes collided as the spear pounded the pitchfork. Each blow ignited sparks, and each strike from Rahim’s heavy spear forced Shaar to retreat a step back.
It must be said that after a medium ranked warrior displayed his battle ki, even Shaar had a bit difficulties to endure the power with his sturdy body. Both his arms went numb from the impact, because of rupturing vibrations coming from the battle ki. Although his fire pitchfork had blocked the spear, when the battle ki poured out the wind it created ripped apart Shaar’s coat. Moreover, the wind stabbed into his eyes disrupting his sight and his feet were being pushed back.
Rahim roared and suddenly turned his body to attack with backside of his spear. Like a python the spear swept towards the center of Shaar’s waist! Bang, a dull thud could be heard when the spear connect to Shaar’s body.
The strike swept Shaar from his feet and pushed him back ten steps. The clothes on his waist exploded and turned into a piece of rag by the battle ki.
Seeing his blow connecting Rahim finally relaxed in his mind since he was well aware of his own power. Just for a moment, he manifested the full potential of his battle ki and let alone a single person, even a horse would had its bones smashed to pieces with that strike! That kid’s lower backbone must be shattered to countless pieces right now……
However, he was somewhat surprised in his heart, since previously this fellow blocked all of his sword techniques, but this time he was actually was not able to resist his spear technique at all? Could it be that he did not know any martial arts?
Ah, he was probably just a dumb little barbarian wildling.
While he was thinking about it, Rahim put down his spear and just when he was about to speak, his eyes suddenly widened.
Standing up from the ground, Shaar was annoyed and patted the dust off his clothes. When rags were dancing around in the air, a piece of “scale vest” wrapped inside was exposed.
Stretching his waist, Shaar felt that it stung a bit, but noticed that there were no serious problems with him.
Sure enough, after smearing the Dragon blood on his body, his resistance towards physical attacks was surprisingly high! Shaar knew very well that this guy’s last blow would have broke at least two bones from him of the past. However, right now his waist was only a bit sore and his back hurt a little and that’s all.
Rahim’s eyeballs nearly popped out while staring at him!
Those Nightfall Guardians nearby who originally made an expression with apathy now also made a bewildered expression. All of them saw their Cavalry Captain’s powerful blow a moment ago and not only did this kid solidly endured it, right now he patted his ass as if nothing happened?!