Chapter 14 : 1st Class Adventurer, Cradle⑤
「Hey, just now…what were you saying? I didn’t hear it clearly. I hate small fries who are all bark you see. Seeing such people always makes me want to kill them.」
Cradle glared at Lambert, eyes glinting dangerously as he spoke.
He was trying to threaten Lambert. And, considering the mere implication of 『You can’t run after picking fight with those weaker than you.』 made him attack Lloyd, obviously Lambert’s words were a blatant provocation he couldn’t just let go by.
There’s no way Cradle would let Lambert be just like that.
Undeterred, Lambert did nothing, merely standing there, waiting for Cradle’s move. And, his action apparently annoyed Cradle.
「Hey, just so you know. I am one of the five strongest members out of the seventy members of the 『Dragon’s enchanted metal』’s guild…you know my guild, right? A newcomer to the 『Spirit’s Dusk』guild is just like dirt in front of me. But you see, our guild master told me not to cause any trouble so…. Right, how about you take off all of that armor and prostrate in front of me naked? I might forgive you if you do that.」
A long time ago, Lambert was once a man who became one of the Four Demon Generals of the Kingdom of Regios. He was a warrior who stood at the top of hundreds of thousands of the Regios Kingdom’s soldiers.
Why would he be scared of someone whose rank was merely one of the strongest five? And five out of seventy at that.
Cradle saw that Lambert was unperturbed by his declaration and he was aggravated. Though, from this, he also realized that Lambert was not someone who could be threatened like that.
「Oi, you two useless tin cans over there, pretend that you never saw me in this place」
「Eh ……？ 」
「I said, act like you never saw what is going to happen in this place. It’s been a while…since I saw a bastard who dares to belittle me so far. Congratulation for making me this angry.」
「SHUT UP. If you’ve a complaint, say it to Earl-sama.」
Hearing that, the guard shut his mouth at once.
I see…it seems that Earl Aubock is colluding with 『Dragon’s enchanted metal』 guild.
The employer of the city guards was none other than Earl Aubock, the lord of Ainsaz City. So, he could understand the reason why the guard didn’t dare to do anything against Cradle. After all, their employer, the one who held their paycheck, was in cahoots with the 『Dragon’s enchanted metal』 guild. So, that explained the guard’s reaction when he saw Cradle’s uniform.
「Now draw your sword. You think that the outdated armor you wear can save you? Let this uncle teach you how to fight in a combat.」
Cradle drew his sword.
「Tearing you apart limb from limb is a simple matter for me, but it’ll be rather troublesome if you go clinging in tears to Earl-sama later.」
「BUH! BUHAHAHAHAHAHA! 」
After laughing loudly, Cradle rushed towards Lambert, ferocious as he could be.
「DON’T GET COCKY YOU FUCKING SMALL FRY.」
That sentence Lambert spoke had managed to hurt Cradle’s high pride, provoking him to attack. And, once Lambert won the fight, combined with his provocative words, he would be able to use himself as a bait to direct Cradle’s harassment.
Although he has no way to know how Cradle will get his revenge, Cradle’s own personality would ensure that he’d try nonetheless. However, Lambert was not worried over it. After all, Lambert had planned to visit Earl Aubock, the guard’s superior, later.
And since he would not have any regret if, for example, he’d made Earl Aubock his enemy, why would he be scared of Cradle’s revenge?
Still, his action could bring trouble to the 『Spirit’s Dusk』’s guilds members. So, he had to move in a way that wouldn’t bring trouble to them no matter what would happen.
In the first place, Lambert didn’t think that Fiona was Cradle’s sole goal.
After all, Fiona should have returned to the guild after a few days. And, it’s hard to imagine that Cradle had that much spare time in his hands just to harass the guild whilst Fiona was away, which he had obviously done. So, what was his other aim aside from Fiona herself?
Regardless of everything though, there’s simply no way for Lambert to let the girl who had the same face as his former lord go to a place that was filled with scumbags. After all, even though that very same lord had betrayed him, she was still his lord in the end.
「K-Knight-sama…. You can’t fight in this place! 」
「Please get back.」
He unintentionally used the very same tone he used toward his former lord, Aurelia, when he spoke to Fiona. Honestly, if he didn’t control himself sooner, he might once again accidentally call Fiona, ‘His Majesty’. Then again, his habit when he was still alive wouldn’t be easy to get rid of. It was carried over even when he had turned into an undead.
「DO IT! PLEASE KICK THAT ASSHOLE’S ASS! 」
Lloyd said as he tried to stop the bleeding in his mouth. His confidence in Lambert’s strength was born after he witnessed Lambert killing the thieves with ease. And while he was aware that Cradle, despite his shitty personality, had superb sword skills, he was sure that Lambert’s strength was equal, if not above Cradle’s.
「Let me warn you. I’ll start with stopping your movement.」
Cradle pointed his sword toward the gap in the joints of Lambert armor.
「Then, let me start by crushing your jaw with a frontal attack.」
Lambert didn’t draw his sword, he just pulled his punch.
「!!!!! Oi, Cradle is not that weak you know! 」
Though Lloyd tried to stop Lambert, Lambert was unperturbed.
Cradle kicked the ground, dashing forward with an extreme slouching posture. Then, he drew back the hand that was gripping his sword.
「Now kneel before me. First is your left fo-…」
Cradle’s sword already thrusted in the gap between Lambert’s armor.
W-What a quick and beautiful thrust. As I thought, that idiot isn’t just all talk.
Lloyd was looking at Cradle in awe. To him, it was an extremely polished thrust but…
The hell with this slow and monotonous thrust. Well he might not be a big deal after all if this is the extent of his skill.
Lambert thought, tracking Cradle’s movement that was as slow as a turtle. For someone as powerful as Lambert, that kind of thrust was nothing more than child’s play.
Sure enough, the moment Cradle’s sword tip touched the surface of Lambert’s armor, Lambert only took a little step back before smashing the sword with his fist at the exact moment the sword’s tip grazed his armor.
Unable to withstand Lambert’s move, the sword was flicked away from Cradle’s hand.
It fell on the ground. Cradle himself landed on the ground using his left arm and legs, while his right hand was grabbing onto the knife that he hid in his mantle.
「It seems that you’re not all bark and no bite. But, your mistake is making me go all out! 」
And then, against the fast approaching knife―― A fist that was even faster than the knife itself was already right in front of Cradle’s face.
「Eh… AGHU! ? 」
The fist that was wrapped in the armor crushed Cradle’s facial bones. At the same time, that fist also threw Cradle’s body back, making it land heavily on the ground like a sack of potatoes.
「A, AAAAH, K-KILL…… I’M GONNA KILL YOU…」
With his hand touching his face, Cradle glared at Lambert, all the while moaning in pain.
「I’ve been holding back quite a lot though. If I’m serious, you would have already lost your head the moment I punched your face.」
Cradle leaned against the wall, breathing quite rough while blood kept flowing from his mouth and nose.
「O… GofuGofu! 」
「I’ve been holding back just enough to kick your ass out of this place but…. It seems I ended up using too much power. And the reason was because you’re weaker than my expectation.」
Since he didn’t want to incur anyone’s enmity, Lambert countered with just enough force to cause minor wounds.
The guard rushed over to Cradle.
「S… Someone call a white magic user! 」
「…. That’s unnecessary. You guys saw nothing. Didn’t I tell you that in the beginning? 」
After the guards stepped back, Cradle once again turned to glare at Lambert with bloodshot eyes.
「You fool… Your life will be at least spared if you leave 『Spirit’s Dusk』. Don’t get cocky just because you’re a bit stronger. You don’t know the meaning of making me your enemy.」
After saying his piece, Cradle left the place while still holding his injured face with staggering movements.
Ha~h, it seems that only his pride is uselessly high. … Uhm, maybe I should scare him a bit more.
Thus, Lambert discharged part of his miasma toward Cradle, and as soon as he did that, the person he targeted instantly got a goosebump.
Cradle ran as fast as possible, before resorting to a crawl when he tripped over a pebble.
But now… 『Spirit’s Dusk』guild has became 『Dragon’s enchanted metal』 guild’s target huh. Most likely, Earl Aubock has been targeting 『Spirit’s Dusk』 guild from the very beginning. The hints about that Earl appeared from the most unexpected place huh.