Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 173: One-on-One
Godwin Lopez stared at the Sword of Ruinous Fire in the center of the stone platform while clutching the hilt of the holy sword, Breaking Dawn, in his hand.
Once again, it had rejected him.
When Godwin first stepped into the center of the labyrinth a few years ago, this possibility hadn’t even entered his mind. With a determined momentum, he stretched out his hand and firmly grasped it.
Immediately, the blackening searing pain in front of his eyes instantly ignited in the palm of his right hand.
What he held wasn’t like a sword, but more like a red-hot soldering iron. In the heartbreaking pain, Godwin seemed to be able to hear the sizzling sound of burnt skin, but when he retracted his hand and opened his palm, the skin on his palm was as intact as ever.
[Anyone who feels guilty or confused in their heart would feel as if their palm was being burned like a soldering iron when they picked it up.]
It was the curse on the Sword of Ruinous Fire. It wasn’t that Godwin hadn’t heard about it, but he never thought he would meet the condition and trigger the curse. For so many years, he had never felt confused or regret in his heart. Perhaps there was some when he was still young, but now those immature feelings have long disappeared.
Everything in the world could be explained by reason, and he had always chosen the most reasonable path. Perhaps there was a lot of helplessness, blood and sorrow on this road, but it was indeed relatively the least harmful, and he thought he had a clear conscience.
But that sword obviously disagreed.
With the Breaking Dawn, Godwin had no obsession with the Sword of Ruinous Fire itself. After all, “only the Hero can use the Sword of Ruinous Fire” was just a weird standard set by Pope Dawn Quinn himself, and it had nothing to do with the prophecy.
Godwin cared about it for only one reason…
That was Flint Lopez’s sword, and he once took this sword to the bottom of the Abyss. The man was able to use the Ruinous Fire freely, while he couldn’t even hold it steady. He wasn’t as good as Flint Lopez, as his father had once said. He thought that he had come this far already, enough to surpass the unrestrained leader of the Tin Soliders Mercenary Regiment.
It wasn’t enough.
Godwin could feel a painful agony spreading from near his heart, flowing with the blood. If there was a bleakest memory in his life, it was the uncle he had never met.
“If my older brother’s child had survived, he would assuredly become the greatest warrior,” his father once said something like this, “But Zenni gave you to me, Godwin. Maybe this world only has a guide like me, because Zenni took the best one first.”
“No, not even close! You have that kind of power, Godwin. What did I teach you? Now you don’t need to take care of anyone. You have all the time in the world, but Flint was familiar with his swordsmanship when he was your age. Listen, you can’t save anyone if you go on like this.”
“Why hesitate? Why are you merciful? If the battle takes place in the city, it will bite off other people’s throats in the next second. You’re lucky this time. Remember, be as quick as you can.”
“You want to conquer the Abyss at this level? Pick up your sword and continue for me. Don’t be distracted. What are you looking out for? I have said countless times that you are different from them. To be a hero is to carry such responsibilities! ……Maybe my teaching is too much of a failure. If it was Flint… If my brother’s child had not died…”
Although his father had long since passed away, the torrent of that voice still pounded in his eardrums from the inside out. The most ironic thing was that Flint Lopez’s son wasn’t really dead.
Oliver Ramon was alive and well.
Godwin shook his wrist, leaving a warm and beautiful arc of light in the air. Yes, not only was Oliver Ramon still alive, but he may also have possessed strange powers that he couldn’t see through. He needed to confirm this matter, not only for the current task but also for some kind of obscure emotion of his own that was pushing him.
Meeting Oliver Ramon for the first time in Caleb Village and confirming the identity of the other party, Godwin initially felt vaguely relaxed and happy, followed by unexplained anger and resentment. The anger didn’t erupt immediately, but slowly and continuously burned his nerves like hot magma under the earth’s crust.
This was the son of the man you chanted to death, father.
At that time, Ramon looked like he had no pursuit, and it seemed that he was destined to have nothing to do with the prophecy. Scattered, short-sighted, without the slightest ambition or ideals. His temperament wasn’t much different from ordinary people who could be seen everywhere, but the talent was commendable, and the heart wasn’t bad, but three out of the four teammates had poor reputation creating an extremely unhealthy environment.
He obviously possessed such power, yet how could Oliver Ramon be content with the status quo and live like this? He never thought about how many people he could save if he used that power to the extreme.
As the leader of Horizon, as a competent older brother, Godwin stretched out his hand and issued a sincere invitation. If Oliver Ramon chose to go on the right path and relied on his talent, he would definitely make a difference. Ramon still had time to choose a life that wasn’t so unbearable.
But in the face of such a well-deserved invitation, Ramon refused him. His cousin didn’t even have the will to step out of the quagmire. Godwin thought that his wasteful cousin, who threw away his talents, wouldn’t appear in his vision.
But Tumbleweed’s actions were the opposite of plain, as it got crazier. As captain of the team, Oliver Ramon was very likely to have acquired dangerous forces that shouldn’t belong in this world during this period of time; enough to disrupt the current order.
As one of the only two remaining descendants of the Lopez family, Godwin believed that he had a responsibility to confirm the true situation of Oliver Ramon.
If the worst happens and Ramon really touches areas that humans shouldn’t touch, with his current status, he may be able to come up with a less bad outcome.
The edge of the stone platform.
Oliver finally walked near the center of the labyrinth. At this distance, he could clearly see Godwin Lopez.
His cousin was standing in front of the sword in the center of the stone platform, directly below the dragon breath stone orb. The leader of Horizon hung his head, as if he was lost in thought. The members of Horizon gathered to one side of the stone platform, in a pile so large, Oliver couldn’t immediately find where the former knight commander who had lost his powers was.
“Don’t look. Horizon isn’t barbaric. Adri should be detained in the tent over there. They won’t hang him upside down to show off.” Jesse didn’t sound worried at all.
Oliver stopped and looked back at the students who were following him.
“Go ahead,” he said softly. “Horizon is over there.”
But except for Leonard, who had agreed to act together in advance, the other three didn’t move. Hayden and Elmer didn’t even turn their faces, but Marilyn hesitated for a while, then gritted her teeth and retracted her outstretched feet.
“I want to stay if this could repay the favor of saving our lives. Even if it’s true that the academy wasn’t involved and it’s a misunderstanding from Horizon, they should see our attitude,” Hayden said. His voice was trembling a bit, but still stood firm.
“Oliver helped me a lot.” Elmer scratched his head. “Leonard is so stubborn. I don’t want to be part of the ‘rescued’ and be hunkered down in a tent watching you guys negotiate… Ugh, it makes me feel useless.”
“What do you mean, ‘stubborn’?” Leonard said disgruntledly.
“To be honest, I don’t know those two well.” Marilyn drooped the corners of her mouth, revealing a bitter face.” But… Alas, fuck this hostage situation thing.”
Leonard blinked. His face, which had been pale and tight, finally showed an expression similar to a smile. “Not going?”
“Good.” The little nobleman activated a loudspeaker array and opened his mouth to Horizon.
“Marilyn Lawler, Hayden Wilhelm, Oliver Elmer, Quentin Leonard. We are the students who were swept into the depths of the labyrinth. We’re all here, not one missing. It was Tumbleweed who saved us.”
He paused. “Mr. Lopez, I don’t know what information you got, but we have not been subject to any form of coercion or mental control. If you have any questions about this matter, you can send members to come and confirm.”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Leonard.” Godwin Lopez turned around with a serious voice. “Clementine’s request to us is to send you back to the academy in this way, and not do anything superfluous, including mental appraisal.”
Leonard tightened his jaw, wrinkled his lips, and temporarily stopped the effect of the voice amplifying spell. “It seems you’re right. There must be people in the academy waiting to make a fuss about this. If this was just an ordinary rescue, this request would obviously be an insult to Horizon.”
Tumbleweed may not know about the hidden intrigues between those in power, but Leonard, who grew up in a noble family, knew this well.
Horizon had a reputation, but this requirement was clearly to prevent them from intervening without authorization, falsifying evidence against Tumbleweed, or challenging the results after obtaining them. It was unreasonable, but effective.
If Godwin had abided by the rules, then he would have accepted all the results given by Clementine afterwards. If Godwin violated the requirements and really did a mental examination on them in advance, this violation would also put them in a position where they couldn’t argue. Even if Horizon found out that they hadn’t been manipulated in any form, the Mercenary Guild would not accept Horizon’s testimony.
If the academy just wanted the students to be safe, it wouldn’t do anything extra. What was irritating was that the relationship between Clementine Academy and the Mercenary Guild had never been good. Although this requirement was excessive, it wasn’t “abnormal.”
“It seems that we have to go with Tumbleweed.” Leonard shook his head.
Several students were silent, they were no longer teenagers. In their early twenties, no one would be happy to be used as a pawn at will. If they just wanted to protect themselves, it was the right choice to go with Horizon immediately. However…
No one moved.
“You guys go over there.” Nemo couldn’t watch it anymore. “Tumbleweed will be fine. Godwin… Well, you should know the measures he’ll take. No one knows what’s about to happen now, and you’ll likely be implicated if you get involved. We—”
Leonard glanced at him with stiffness and embarrassment in his eyes. The little nobleman shook his head, and before Nemo could finish speaking, he used the loudspeaker spell again, “Then I’m sorry. We have our consideration. Mr. Lopez, we’re going to stay with Tumbleweed.”
He glanced at Marilyn and continued, “And we have a lady here who is very unwell now. She needs a gentle environment.” Horizon should be able to understand this context.
Marilyn rolled her eyes and flipped Leonard off before she slid to the ground “softly and weakly”, making it look like she was about to faint.
The scene fell into a stalemate for a while.
In order to figure out the strength of Tumbleweed, there were several young people who were fooling around, but no one dared to do anything. Detaining Tumbleweed members was also only to prevent them for directly finding another escape route. No one really dared threaten the safety of the former Chief Justice of the Knight of Judgement. Godwin stood in the center of the stone platform while Oliver stopped at the edge of the platform. The two men looked at each other, both quickly considering the most appropriate way to deal with this.
At that moment, the last member of Tumbleweed returned to the team.
Ann didn’t look right. The female warrior, who had always been full of energy, looked as pale as a lime and there was no smile on her face.
“What are you doing?” She frowned. Her voice was a little hoarse. “What’s the matter with these little guys?”
Seeing Oliver still staring at Godwin, Nemo pulled Ann aside and briefly explained the current situation.
“Oh.” Ann didn’t show any expression similar to surprise. She threw the gray parrot at Nemo and strode to Oliver’s side.
“Captain, I have a request.” The tone of the female warrior was terribly serious. “I hope we can get out of here soon.”
Oliver turned his head and raised his eyebrows. He was just considering the possibility of a protracted battle.
“I heard Nemo say that Clementine locked down the academy. Combined with the information I have, I think I know what this is all about,” she said very simply. “Tumbleweed and Horizon have been used.”
“As long as we are still here, the academy can continue to be in lockdown. The principal is Salter, right? He calculated that Horizon could hold us back. If I guessed correctly, the teleportation array in the center of the maze is no longer usable. Seeing the speed at which Horizon reached the center, they definitely got permission to use the special passage for the royal family to come in—that permission can only be used once, and they are probably counting on using the teleportation array to retreat.”
“Assuming that the teleportation array cannot be used, even if it’s a group as strong as Horizon, it would take at least half a month to retreat from here. Taking into account guarding students and escorting us, this time is likely to extend to more than a month. Then in this month, Clementine had a reason to maintain a complete lockdown… Many things can happen in a month.”
“Completely offending Horizon, just to put the academy on lockdown?”
“They won’t offend. They’ll make an excuse to say that there was a problem with the teleportation array. After all, Lopez isn’t the kind of person who has nothing to do and would be obsessed with petty revenge. As for the lockdown… Do you know how many descendants of the greatest nobles are here? At the Clementine Royal Military Academy, the combat majors are more or less related to the military. If something happens outside, a group of perfect hostages are being held here, and those nobles are really going to get angry, and we’re going to take the fall.”
This Ann wasn’t quite like the Ann they knew.
The female warrior had always been forthright and open-minded. Although Oliver knew that Ann usually thought things through, she could occasionally be impulsive and would make lewd jokes. She was their comrade-in-arms and was always calm and intimate.
The current female warrior was slightly gloomy, with a faint aura of superiority that he couldn’t understand.
“Godwin Lopez.” The female warrior stepped onto the stone platform. “Let your people try the teleportation array to see if it can be used. As Delia’s fiancé, you should be aware of something.”
Godwin Lopez didn’t move but kept looking their way coldly. He waved his hand casually, and a Horizon member not far away ran towards the teleportation array knowingly.
Within a few minutes, the member ran back with a pale face and reported something in a low voice.
“It seems that it really can’t be used anymore.” Ann smiled wearily, putting a hand on Oliver’s shoulder. “Now you have two choices—one, eliminate us, depleting your own forces and implicating those lovely young people, then break out exhausted. Two, we cooperate and leave here as soon as possible.”
Godwin was silent for a long time.
“No,” he said, staring at Oliver. “You’re right. I do know some bad information, but I also have things that must be confirmed, so I want to choose ‘three’. Oliver Ramon, fight me. One-on-one.”
“If you want to know more about me, I can just tell you directly.” Oliver took a step back. “I don’t think we have to fight like this. Lope… Godwin.”
“Did you destroy the Withered Castle?”
“…Yes, if you must know this.” If they were to escape together, in order to cover up Nemo’s true abilities, it was impossible for him to not take action. Godwin will notice this sooner or later. Oliver took a deep breath, glanced at Nemo soothingly, walked forward alone, and finally stood opposite of Godwin. “Now we can—”
“Then it is even more necessary for me to have a fight with you.” Godwin murmured, raising his eyes.
If that desperate power really belongs to Oliver Ramon…
“Why?” Oliver raised his hands, indicating that he had no intention of holding a sword.
“Prove yourself.” Godwin curled the corners of his mouth. There was something burning quietly in his eyes. “I never cooperate with dangerous people of unknown strength. This is about the battle plan for Horizon after we leave the labyrinth.”
If Ramon was stronger than him, as the commander of Horizon…
“…If it’s for that, okay. To be honest, I don’t want to hurt you.” Seeing the other party’s resolute attitude, Oliver sighed.
“There is no need to fight to the death. According to the Articles of Association, I have to escort you to the Mercenary Guild alive,” Godwin said, coldly raising his Breaking Dawn. “Draw your sword.”
Oliver drew his Rest in Peace from his waist, but before his hand touched the hilt, Godwin spoke again.
“If you can, I hope you can use the one in front of you,” Godwin said in a voice so low it couldn’t be heard by others. “Use your father’s sword.”
Oliver was silent for a long time as he stared at the strange black sword between them. His gaze swept across the fire, leaping on the blade. Finally, he stretched out his hand, slowly grasped the hilt of the sword, and pulled it out of the stone platform.
There was no change on Oliver Ramon’s face as if he didn’t even waver for a single moment.
The author has something to say：
Tumbleweed is about to wreak havoc again! There will be dog food too~
Anyway, it’s just a small box made by your own team member, so go wild! (X
Jesse: (Making aggrieved noises)