A new chapter of Re;Blade
Hope you enjoy
Chapter 42 – Inside the mines
As they entered deeper down the mine, the light from the entrance grew smaller. Soon it was nothing but a faraway dot of light in the sea of darkness.
It was still there, showing the way back. However, when they reached the first turn, that dot vanished, and they were in the complete darkness. Without any order, a few soldiers lit the torches, blinding everyone for a moment.
When Alonso’s eyes grew accustomed, he stared at the pale flame dancing meekly, his face empty. Though he said nothing and kept walking, the soul in his sword knew what he was thinking.
You’re right, my wielder. Even those weak flames are huge targets in this darkness. But it can’t be helped. Without seeing, you’re all rats in a trap. No… we all are…
As the soldiers walked, each step they took echoed, making it seem as if hundreds of thousands of people were with them.
Even with her senses impaired due to the high concentration of raw living metal, Tetsuko could see how everyone was afraid. With each stone anyone stepped, with each rock the metal boots kicked accidentally, the soldiers looked around, their hands clasping hard on the handle of their weapons.
However, those were the only sounds. So far, they hadn’t found anything. There was no trace of the worshipers.
When they turned around yet another corner, they stopped. In the middle of the corridor, there was light coming from the ceiling.
“It’s here,” someone said. Even though their voice was so low Tetsuko had no idea it was a man or a woman who spoke, it echoed as if the soldier had screamed.
Slowly, they got closer until they were under the light, looking up.
One of the traps on the surface… Worshipers fell here, Tetsuko realized. Then she looked around. No matter how much she tried, she couldn’t sense anyone other than the soldiers and her wielder. Where are they? There should be at least some blood from the fall…
“W-we need to move,” Alonso whispered after a while. Even he was having trouble hiding how nervous he was. “We can’t keep still in one place for long.”
None of the soldiers seemed eager to leave the little natural light they had found. Even so, they obeyed and soon the light vanished, and the torches were all they had to push away the darkness.
When they found a four way path, which was also the center of another pitfall from the surface, Alonso stopped. He looked in the other three directions, but before he could decide where to go, they heard a voice.
Despite being a whisper, it made everyone draw their weapons, the sound of metal filling the mine. The soldiers with the torched raised it to cast a light in the direction of the voice, but there was no one.
“Fake god,” a voice came from their right.
“If they can’t accept the True Gods,” a worshiper said from their left.
“Death is the only way,” spoke someone in the path they had come from.
We’re surrounded, Tetsuko shouted to her wielder.
“Get ready! Stay in the formation as practiced!” the lord shouted, drawing his sword.
As his voice exploded in every direction, the soldiers obeyed at once, forming a circle at the center of the four way path. Those with swords remained in the inner part. The ones with shields in the outer part. And between them were the soldiers with a spear-like weapon.
Now it’s time to test the naginatas, Tetsuko thought, her blacksmith’s soul speaking louder than the blade inside her.
Since there was no time to figure out how to adapt the folding technique with living metal to create the spearhead, Tetsuko suggested making a naginata instead. Baltasar was more than intrigued by the idea, since he had never a weapon like that in this world.
As they waited, the only sound was the metal rattling as the wielders trembled. That and the worshipers slowly getting closer.
Then they were finally within the bleakly flames’ reach.
Four of them… Coming from every direction…
To make matters worse, the worshipers weren’t leaping at the soldiers. Damn it… They can tell the naginatas are made of living metal… Or at least they’re wary… This is gonna be hard…
Despite what was in her mind, Tetsuko felt her energy coursing faster.
The worshipers were so close the soul in the sword could see their faces, could see their wild eyes reflecting the flames. But they didn’t get closer, remaining outside the reach of the naginatas, searching for an opening without whispering anything.
The silence was too eerie.
Tetsuko heard as many soldiers’ breathing became rapid and shallow. Crap! Don’t attack! Alonso!
However, it was too late. No matter what her wielder commanded, there was nothing he could do when one of the soldiers panicked and broke the formation. As he shouted and thrust the naginata, the woman dodge, grabbed the shaft and pulled him.
Even if his companions tried, they couldn’t hold him, only watch as the worshiper broke the soldier’s neck with ease and tossed the limb cadaver aside.
Then everything happened at once.
As the fear filled through the soldiers and the shouts the cave, the other three worshipers charged against the circle of shields.
The swordsman turned around and stabbed Tetsuko at once of the worshipers who had leapt towards. It wasn’t enough to kill the man, but it was enough to break his impulse.
As he fell on the ground, the soldiers on that side screamed and stabbed him with the swords until the body stopped moving.
The soldiers weren’t as lucky with the two worshipers who had pushed inside the group. In the midst of the confusion, it was hard to hit the enemy without hurting a friend. And the longer reach of the naginata became a disadvantage in a narrow space.
One of the worshipers pinned a woman down. Before she could kill the soldier, Alonso brought Tetsuko down on her. Thanks to the sharpened energy, the edge tore through the woman’s neck with a clean cut.
The other worshiper inside the circle was stabbed by the swords and naginatas, but he didn’t stop, breaking metal and bones as he swung the fists.
The lord tried to kill him, but there were too many people between them.
Alonso, look out!
The only worshiper who hadn’t jumped got the naginata from the soldier she had killed and swung at the circle. The living metal blade tore through the shields as if they were made of paper. And then she thrust the weapon.
With all the confusion, they didn’t realize and four died at once.
A woman managed to block the blade with her sword. With a shout, she let go of her weapon and grabbed the naginata’s shaft.
The worshiper was surprised for a moment. And that moment was enough.
Other grabbed the shaft of the naginata and pulled. With that many people, even the bestially strong worshiper was dragged. Before she could let go of the weapon, she was within the circle’s reach.
Shouting, the soldiers stabbed her several times until she stopped breathing.
There was only one alive now. But even stabbed and pierced, he leapt towards Alonso.
Despite stabbing the man with all his strength, the swordsman couldn’t stop the worshiper’s impulse and was pushed out of the circle. When his back smashed against the wall, he bit his lips and held on to Tetsuko with all his strength.
The worshiper grabbed the sword through his belly with one hand, not letting the wielder pull the weapon back or to the side.
The soul in the sword flowed her energy, sharpening as she had done it before. As her edge became sharper, Alonso could move her to the side a little.
The worshiper noticed and poured his energy into the sword.
Tetsuko felt sick at once as the vile energy forced itself in her like poison.
Her mind was spinning, her sight getting blur. What’s… going… on…?
“My only desire was to offer your life to the true Gods,” the worshiper shouted in a sinister voice. “Since I can’t, I’ll at least take this damn sword once for all. This weapon won’t stand in the true Gods’ path again!”
He’s… after… me… Even in that state, Tetsuko could feel the man flowing the energy in his body and focusing on his hand. He… wants… to break… me…
Alonso kicked the man between the legs, but it had no effect. He took the left hand from the handle, pull a dagger from his waist and stabbed at the man’s open mouth.
Even though the tiny blade went through the back of the head, the man didn’t die.
Tetsuko’s metal body was burning. At any moment, she would break.
Before that happened, however, several naginatas pierced the man body from the back.
Even a worshiper couldn’t handle all that.
Despite her state, Tetsuko felt the man’s energy growing thinner until it vanished. At the same time, his eyes faded and no longer had any life in them.
Alonso kicked the cadaver and pulled the blade. In the pale light from the flames, he looked at Tetsuko with worry.
I’ll… be okay… I think…
The swordsman pulled a cloth from his clothes and cleaned the blood from her.
“It is as the true Gods says. That wretched sword is back,” said a calm voice, coming from somewhere outside the light.
All the soldiers and Alonso turned as another worshiper walked slowly to them.
Her closes were like the others, a simple straw colored tunic with patches here and there. But the presence she emanated was completely different.
She’s… the Grand Priest, Tetsuko realized at once.
Thanks for reading.
Hope you enjoy the chapter.
If you don’t wanna miss any chapter, sign up to my newsletter