Dominique and Eleanor even forgot that they had to get up to their feet as they watched the young man standing in front of two minotaur lords.
As the minotaur lord that knocked them two to the ground was running, another one had come running to its aid. Thinking that now it had the numerical advantage, it stopped running and now the two of them stood before the puny human, mocking him, opening their mouths into a jeer that gave a glimpse of their fang-like teeth.
However, the young man wrapped in a long black overcoat stood before the two imposing monsters. There was a black sword clutched tight in his right hand which was covered in a black fingerless glove that cut at the first joint. The blade was black, sinisterly black. From the quillon of his sword, something like a symbol was carved in a mixture of gold and black. What they meant, the two girls had no idea.
As they were thinking that, the two minotaur lords closed in on the young man at once.
They had been watching the three closely but they couldn track the movements of the minotaur lords. It wasn that they couldn see him. Even if they could see it, they were having difficulties following it around.
Minotaur lords were minotaurs but like an upgraded version of it. As its name implied, due to its strength and ability to control other minotaurs, they were called the minotaur lords. Their body structure was the same with similar muscular bodies and arms and two long horns sprouting from their heads. What separated them from normal minotaurs was their size and weapon.
Its size – they were double the size of regular minotaurs standing at almost four meters tall with their bulging muscles. Not to mention, the weapon it was carrying. It was a double-headed ax, called the Labrys. Like a regular ax, the end had a sharp blade, meaning it had two sharp edges. That meant no matter how it swung the large ax, the blade end had a high possibility of making contact with its foe.
The two felt like they needed to help the man in the black coat. If it were normal minotaurs maybe he could have handled but it was a minotaur lord which was ten times stronger than the normal ones. Not to mention, there were two of them. They had to help him. Otherwise, there was a high chance he might be killed. Here. Right in front of their eyes.
They managed to get up struggling with the pain. However, that was all they could do.
As they stood there, all they could manage were words of utter astonishment.
”Wow, ” Dominique muttered, not taking her eyes off of him.
As the two lords closed in on him, he also charged right toward them.
It was nothing but reckless to anyone who looked from a distance.
However, he continued, completely unfazed by the towering beasts.
The two monsters brought their labrys from the sides, trying to crush and cut him from both sides. They swung their heavy weapons swiftly. As the weapons closed in, he suddenly ducked low. The labryses passed right above him and when they struck each other a loud gonging sound was produced ringing Dominiques and Eleanors ears from the inside and out. They had no choice but to put their hands up against their ears.
Meanwhile, the lords were pushed back due to the force of their collision but without stopping, and instead, using the backward momentum to rotate from the same direction, they once again brought their weapons down on him from diagonally overhead.
However, he had already managed to slip beyond and behind them.
The heavy weapons got stuck on the ground and gouged it out, sending soil, dirt, and dried leaves up in the air. They quickly pulled their weapons out. A deep impression was left behind on the ground.
They turned around and faced the boy again.
Since the directions had now been reversed, they were able to get a good look at the young mans face.
He had long black hair, ending slightly above the eyes. His eyes were the same black color. Maybe it was due to the color being black, but there was a certain depth to his eyes. A certain force that pulled others in. Along with a touch of profound serenity.
And now that they were face to face with the man at a distance, they also got a good look at his condition. His handsome face was marked with marks of slashes and burns. His black overcoat had a gaping hole near the chest reason and the sleeves were torn as well. He was not standing now but crouched down. He was supporting his body with his two legs and his left hand was on the ground as well. He was panting heavily and his hair was sticking to his forehead probably due to immense sweat.
”We have got to help him out! ” Eleanor said. Dominique felt the same way. They started to manifest their weapons.
In the middle of it, however, they noticed the black-haired boy inhale a sharp breath.
He stood up upright and pointed his sword at the two minotaur lords in front of him.
A dark smoke-like miasma covered his whole sword. The air around him changed completely. A dark and sinister aura invaded the atmosphere and even though they were a bit far from him, they were able to feel his intimidating aura.
”Its a demonic aura, isn it? ” Eleanor muttered to herself. Dominique just looked at him, forgetting even to blink her eyes.
He brandished his sword and rushed at the two lords.
He was quicker than before. As if he was in a hurry, he rushed to the lord to his left.
Although a bit delayed, it raised its labrys high and swung it down at him. He didn dodge this time. He diagonally brought his sword up from his left. The sword was small compared to the long and thick labrys. Common sense dictated that the sword will either break or at the very least get nipped. But, contrary to such common sense, the black sword cleaved the blade of the double-headed ax in two. The cut was precise and clean.
The minotaur was dumbfounded.
Using its confusion to his advantage, he rotated his body and then delivered a sharp cut to its thighs. Black blood trickled down and it screamed in pain. It staggered. He jumped up without any run-up and reached its eye level. He was about to slash at its head but noticed that another minotaur was swinging its ax at him. Still, in midair, he ducked somehow. The ax was swung with a lot of force. So, although, the other minotaur wanted to stop, it couldn and thus one end of the blade stuck to the neck of the already injured minotaur.
”Aaarrrgggg! ” It let out a scream of pain. But, it didn vanish. The minotaur had somehow managed to forcefully stop the momentum of its blow and now its ax was jabbed halfway through the others neck.
Both looked relieved for a moment, however, it didn last long.
The black-haired man had no footing in the air. Having ducked the incoming blow from behind him, he was about to go down. However, he spun in the air and delivered a powerful kick to the other end of the ax that was fixed on the neck of the minotaur.
Due to the force of his kick, the ax moved ahead and ended up cutting its neck. With its head separated from its torse, it crumbled into dark ashes and disappeared.
Having its friend killed in front of its eye, perhaps, the other minotaur lord, let out a voice filled with rage and charged with its blade at him.
He leaped back and dodged the first strike. However, the frenzied monster didn let up and followed with blows after blows that were powerful and relentless.
He used his sword and deflected, parried, and blocked his every blow and even managed to scratch his legs, arms, and torso at the same time.
The exchange of clashes continued followed by the sharp sound of metal clashing against metal.
The young mans sword started to become slow. He looked battered even before the battle had started and the continuous exchange of blows had started sucking on his stamina.
He was losing focus a bit.
It was now he that was getting scratched here and there by the minotaurs blows.
At this rate, he might be in trouble.
Dominique and Eleanor both wanted to help him but all they could do was watch from the sidelines while gritting their teeth.
Tried as they might have, they knew they would be of no use. The exchange of blows was fierce and fast at the same time. There was no way they could keep up with them. Even if they did join the battle, they felt that instead of being of assistance they would only get in his way.
As the battle dragged on, more and more injuries appeared on the mans body. The minotaur was pushing hard, knowing that if it continued this status quo, it will eventually win.
The young man understood this as well.
So, he once again, inhaled sharply.
There it came again.
The black miasma, spewing from his sword like before.
The minotaur had seen what had happened to its friend before. So it immediately distanced itself from him.
The man stood there, clutching his sword on his right, with the tip pointing to the ground.
He lowered his body slightly and then dashed at immense speed towards the minotaur lord like an arrow fired from a bow.
He then started showering the minotaur with blows after blows of his sword.
His movements were faster than before. After every slash, his sword made, its after images were visible. The minotaur tried to desperately defend itself but was easily overpowered. His weapon was cut into numerous pieces and deep cuts appeared on its body. He didn even give the minotaur time to breathe or scream.
That black miasma – it was as if it were giving a power-up to the young man.
Eventually, the minotaur was felled. With cuts too many to even count and flesh and its black blood scattered everywhere on the forest floor, trees, and even leaves overhead, it made for a gruesome scene.
The man slowly walked up to the unmoving minotaur.
He placed his sword to the left of his neck and slit its neck. The minotaur offered no resistance and it then disappeared.
Silence descended upon the forest as if giving the victor time to catch his breath and bask in his victory.
The man in black looked up at the sky, which was partly blotted by the tall trees.
He just stood there, unmovingly and serenely.
Dominique and Eleanor were captivated by that sight but quickly snapped out of it when they saw the man stagger.
Both of them ran towards him, with Eleanor in the front.
The man was just about to fall when Eleanor caught him.
Now he was in her arms.
Dominique got to where they were and the two of them got a good look at his eyes from up close.
They immediately gasped.
Up close – his eyes – looked empty and hollow. As if there was no soul in there. As if he had lost something really important to him.
Still in Eleanors arms, he passed out.
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