He was coming.
Because of the words of abuse that he uttered without even realizing it, the priest was running precisely toward him.
Belkir screamed as all his nerves stood on edge.
“I’ll take care of that priest for now! You guys clean up the rest of the mess and help me!”
Of course, there was no answer because he taught them like that himself.
Belkir calmly pulled an arrow and fired at the priest, and he hoped to deal some more damage before facing each other in person.
The priest, who already had two arrows stuck in his body, calmly swung his sword and deflected the arrow.
Belkir had a hunch it wouldn’t be so easy to stall for time.
Belkir drew the long sword he was wearing around his waist.
A sword made of Froststeel, a specialty of the northern kingdom, was the most precious of the items he brought with him when he deserted.
The first collision was heavy.
So much that he wondered if he really collided with a sword wielded by a human, but Belkir was no ordinary man either.
If he were an ordinary man, he would currently be rolling on the cold prison floor after being captured by the Northern Kingdom’s Rangers.
No, he was a man who carried the term genius for a long time.
Their swords repeatedly clashed with sparks jumping around.
Fortunately for Belkir, it seemed this opponent wasn’t that good at swordsmanship but was relying on raw physical ability.
Belkir’s judgment was correct.
It was a little less than three years since Marnak started learning swordsmanship properly.
Being a priest of corruption, he had to learn swordsmanship from the basics, of course, without anyone correcting his mistakes.
‘I have to stall for time!’
Marnak bit his lip.
This opponent was uncharacteristically outstanding.
Inside, he lamented that the game balancing was a mess and shouted out loud.
Belkir couldn’t understand what the priest was asking for.
Asking how many out of the blue…
Their swords collided and sparked again.
“What kind of nonsense is this?!”
Marnak didn’t answer.
Because he didn’t ask Belkir in the first place.
The dried hand in his pockets stretched out two and a half fingers.
Two and a half fingers.
With that many, it was the same as the most skilled Ranger who chased Marnak before.
A thief on the same level as that Ranger captain.
Shouldn’t bandits be low-level mobs? Marnak mentally grumbled and rushed forward.
He wanted to kill that thief even at the risk of a little damage.
As time dragged on here, he would be at a disadvantage.
He wouldn’t die from attacks without divinity, but that wasn’t to say he couldn’t be incapacitated.
If a limb was cut off, it would get quite difficult, and it didn’t mean it would be impossible, though.
Belkir noticed with his extraordinary senses that the priest had made up his mind.
But it was fine.
He could earn some time, and their preparations were already over.
Marnak, narrowing the distance, swung his sword as hard as possible to show an opening.
All his injuries would regenerate after some time, so he wanted to attract the enemy’s attention, readied to lose a bone to take flesh.
This was Marnak’s strategy.
Belkir didn’t attack at Marnak’s gap.
He just calmly struck Marnak’s sword, but the result was unexpected.
The sword, broken in half, flew through the air and fell in the pure white snow.
“Hahahaha! That’s why I use Froststeel!”
This was why Belkir had been relentlessly attacking Marnak’s blade.
How could a sword made of such cheap iron beat his sword that a master craftsman smelted from Froststeel?
Marnak, caught by surprise, sighed.
The difference in equipment.”
Belkir pointed the tip of his sword at the priest.
“You don’t seem to have anything, but I’ll let you go.
We’re leaving the area after this.
So why don’t we stop fighting and say goodbye?”
If that priest ran away without looking back, he wasn’t confident he could catch up.
Marnak smirked at Belkir’s polite suggestion.
“I’d like to suggest something too.
Quit being a bandit here and leave immediately.
Then I’ll let you off the hook just this time.”
“Are you serious about that? Do you really think we’re going to say yes?”
An arrow hit Marnak’s head.
With such a clean hit, Belkir couldn’t stop himself from laughing like a mischievous boy.
“You’re late, you bastards! I thought I was going to die!”
The man who released the arrow grinned.
“Don’t be so dramatic.
I saw you break that sword in half.”
“Hey, I didn’t do that by chance.
Every cut was made with careful calculations in mind.”
As expected, the leader is the best.”
“It’s been a day or two since I last showed off.
By the way, did you kill them?”
“Yes, I killed all of them.
Not one of them escaped.”
“Did you really kill them all?”
Marnak asked gently, pulling out the arrow stuck in his head.
Belkir and his men’s faces hardened.
“Why are you all so surprised? Like you’ve never seen anyone stay alive after being shot in the head.”
Belkir wanted to scream, ‘Because it’s the first time I’ve seen it!’, but Marnak continued slowly.
“I want you to answer my question.
Did you really kill them all?”
The face of the priest who asked the question was as serene as ever.
Belkir gulped and answered.
Everyone else is dead, so why don’t we just go our separate ways?”
“I’ve already given you the chance to go our own ways.
You answered me with an arrow to the head.”
Marnak knelt on one knee and slowly put his hands together.
“Dear Mother of Corruption, your son is in trouble.
I’m so embarrassed and scared that I don’t know what to do.
Don’t you think it’s time for you to try your best if you’ve been watching, too?”
He recited a rough prayer as he knelt.
If other priests had heard the almost playful prayer, they’d call it blasphemy.
However, a prayer was good as long as some sincerely offered it and those who accepted it.
Marnak wished, and the Mother of Corruption agreed.
A dark green light flashed in Marnak’s eyes as they opened.
Belkir realized that something was wrong.
“Hey! Shoot everyone! Shoot! Don’t just stare blankly, you bastards!”
Marnak quickly became a hedgehog bristling with arrows.
At the same time, a green light lashed out at the earth, drawing a huge circle around them.
Belkir gave the best order for their current situation with extraordinary perception.
“Hey, retreat now! Run, you bastards!”
The bandits rushing through the snow soon hit an invisible wall.
“I can’t get past it! Captain, there’s a wall we can’t see!”
“I know, you bastards!”
What stood in their way was the line that the living cannot cross, a basic skill that the priest of corruption learned when changing jobs.
It was a skill they must use in case of any unforeseen circumstances before exercising their power, preventing the living from escaping and hiding from the divinity of corruption.
Marnak, who had become a hedgehog, slowly opened his mouth.
“If you want to cross that border, either kill me or break my heart…or are you just going to commit suicide?”
Belkir clenched his teeth, drew his sword, and shouted.
“Hey! Everybody, take your swords up! No matter what a monster he is, he’ll die if cut into pieces! Don’t you think so?”
“That’s right! If we cut him into pieces, he’ll die!”
Emboldened by their groundless confidence, the bandits drew their swords as one.
Marnak replied casually, pulling out the arrows one by one.
“Your opponent is not me, but the one who is coming now.”
The air was torn apart, and a giant creature fell through.
Four huge arms, a head with only a mouth stretched over a featureless face, and a muscular body.
The giant slowly decayed and, simultaneously, gained new flesh in an infinite cycle of torment.
Finally, the giant’s mouth opened wide to let out a scream.
The first power obtained by Marnak for devoting 10,000 divinity from the first holy object, the Giant of Corruption, came to earth in response to his mother’s call.
Just in time for Marnak to pull out the last arrow from his head.
“You can do whatever you want.”
Its roar reverberated in the brain and seemed to forcefully pull out everything that was deep inside a person.
Belkir’s instincts screamed for help.
Those were Belkir’s last words before he was crushed by the corrupted giant.
“Save me, priest! Please save me!”
The sounds of tearing flesh and agonized screams could be heard.
Marnak watched the slaughter with a sense of calm.
He grinned as he slowly tapped the mother’s hand in his pocket.
“It’s the first time I’ve called that giant friend out, making my heart pound.
I really like this power, Mother.”
The giant screamed goodbye and disappeared as quickly as it appeared.
This time, I killed all my enemies as Mother wished, and my companions are all dead.”
I stepped up to save them but failed.
While I was organizing the corpses of the party in one corner, I searched one by one to retrieve their mercenary plaques.
“You want me to retrieve the divinity from the corpses right now? I can’t do that.
Mother, if I retrieve their divinity, the body will decompose and disappear.
Then I’m sure the mercenary guilds who will come to investigate the scene will find this situation strange.
As you know, it’s time for me to act cautiously.”
“I’ve heard your argument that we should absorb all the divinity, turn them into powder, and then go to another city.
But this son dares to oppose his mother’s words.”
“Look over there.”
In the place I pointed to were the heads of bandits beautifully gathered by the corrupt giant.
“That’s a head worth twenty-nine silver.
I clearly remember what I’ve been looking for, Mother.
The moment I was about to retrieve the mercenary plaque from Pierre’s chest.
His heart moved quietly, and Pierre’s bear cub-like body barely breathed.
I smiled brightly.
“We saved one, though, Mother.”
“I’m on my way there anyway, so please help me do it comfortably.
I will take this bear-like friend back to the Guise and save him.
I’m sure it’ll be a great help to my reputation.
So please help me, Mother.”
At the end of the short prayer, protection was placed on Pierre’s body to prevent the wounds from worsening.
I walked slowly, holding a 29 silver head in one hand and Pierre’s body in the other.
The Mother of Corruption shouted urgently.
I guess I can’t live without Mother.
I almost forgot.”
I picked up the Froststeel sword that the thief boss was so proud of and tied it around my waist.
“Thanks to you, Mother, I can now afford a sword.
When I go back, I’ll give you a hand massage.”
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