Translator: Kell | Editor: Ryunakama
Nevertheless, deflecting his weapon with all I got pushed the priest’s light body back. But he quickly regained his posture, lowered his body, and leaped into my chest. The scythe’s tip struck me in the gut. I darted backwards to lessen the impact, but still it managed to knock the wind out of me a little. When I landed, a rotten panel gave way under my weight. The priest’s scythe brushed past just above my head as my body lurched. I pulled my foot back up and leaped backwards, avoiding the priest’s follow-up attack. The suspension bridge shook wildly and creaked.
“Yo, Father. You want to fight out here? One wrong move, and we’ll both fall together with the bridge.”
The bridge’s handrail was higher than my waist. A swing from our weapons could cut the ropes supporting the bridge.
There was a lake below, but the water was shallow near the island. If we fell, we’d probably end up crashing onto the rocks.
But thanks to the priest being on the bridge with me, the soldiers couldn’t drop the bridge either.
“I just have to aim for your neck,” the priest answered nonchalantly, shouldering his scythe.
He was about two steps away from me, and I already knew he could close this distance in an instant. But only if he had a stable and solid foothold.
I gripped my sword tight, raised it high, then with all my strength, slashed the wooden panels between me and the priest. The fragile panels cracked and shattered, their fragments falling into the lake. Now there was no decent foothold between us.
“Sorry, but fighting cleanly isn’t my style,” I said. “Mercenaries do anything so they have the upper hand.”
The priest would have to carefully tread the panelless bridge with only the handrails as support. I wouldn’t have to worry about him decapitating me.
“Did you really think that would be enough to stop me?” The priest sneered. He bent down and jumped, landing gracefully on the handrail.
“Wh-What the hell?! Are you some kind of an acrobat?!”
Under the moonlight, I could vaguely make out the strings stretching from the priest’s rings. He seemed to have fastened the ends of the strings somewhere, creating a safety line for himself. Still his physical abilities were out of this world.
To make matters worse, the priest started running on top of the rope. Holding his scythe horizontally, he swung at my neck. I bent down to avoid his attack, then sprinted across the bridge while evading his scythe, keeping my body low as if crawling.
“Turn on the lights!” A command rang out from across the bridge.
Just as the voice ordered, the fires were lit. The dark surroundings suddenly brightened, stopping the priest in his tracks.
“Mercenary!” Zero shouted. “Behind you!”
I peered past the priest and saw ten archers standing in a row, bows at the ready.
“Nock your arrows!”
The archers drew their bows in unison. The creaking of the bow strings sent a chill down my spine.
“Are you fucking serious?! This is more than just putting your life on the line, man! You want to commit double suicide with me?!”
The priest and I were close to each other. If they shot me, they’d hit the priest too. Did he leave me stranded on the bridge while waiting for the archers to be ready?
The priest, however, looked just as pale as me. “Disgusting! Of course not!” he said. “Archers! Stand back, now! I told you not to interfere!”
Arrows flew. I couldn’t believe it. They were actually shooting at both of us.
Not expecting this to happen, the priest had stopped moving completely for a moment.
Don’t they know what happens if they point their weapon at a priest of the Church?
As the arrows zipped through the air, I lowered my body even further to the point where my stomach touched the panels. Zero was almost across the bridge, so I wouldn’t have to worry about the arrows reaching her.
Covering his eyes in pain, the priest jumped down from the rope and lay face down in front of me. The arrow passed right over our heads and lodged in the panels nearby.
“What’s going on, priest?! I thought you were on their side?! Why are they trying to kill both of us?!”
“How would I know?! I told them I’d take care of things. I didn’t recall ordering them to kill me too. What is going on—”
The priest let out a low grunt, and his body stiffened. His pants were red. Apparently the arrows grazed him.
Since I couldn’t use the priest as a shield, I needed to come up with a plan. Should I just jump into the lake?
“Cannon ready! Ignition, distance, aim, all good!”
What the hell?
There were two statues guarding the bridge, one of which was smashed into smithereens a while ago. But the other one was still intact, aiming straight at me.
Their plan was to use the archers to stop me before I got out of range of the cannon, and prepared the gun in the meantime. They realized that dropping the bridge was not enough to kill a Beastfallen.
At this distance, the shells would come flying straight at me. Taking into account their miss earlier, they had adjusted the aim perfectly as well. I would definitely die instantly if I took a direct hit.
The injured priest couldn’t possibly make it out of this predicament.
Quickly I hooked my claws into the priest’s clothes, leaped to the side, grabbed a hold of the rope, then went underneath the paneling to withstand the impact from the shell that just fired with a bang.
A direct hit tore the wooden panels to shreds, fragments flying different directions like arrows. My thick fur protected me, but the wooden shards hit the priest. Blood splattered from his body. Nevertheless it was better than getting hit by the shell directly. For now I needed to come up with something before the second shell fired.
The moment I stirred, the priest yelled, “We’re done for! The bridge won’t hold up!”
“Well, we can’t just hang around like this,” I said.
I heard the creaking of the rope and looked up. The shrapnel had ripped apart three of the four ropes supporting the bridge, leaving them dangling in the air. Even though the last remaining rope was sturdy, made from several thinner ropes joined together, it couldn’t possibly support our weight.
Under the bridge was a lake. But we were too high up. If we fell at an awkward position, the impact with the water surface could break all the bones in our body, then we would drown. I might actually survive, but the priest would die for sure.
The bridge sloped upwards from the island to the cliffs, and we were hanging right in the middle of it. If the rope snapped and we grabbed the one on the cliff-side, we might avoid slamming into the water. Unfortunately, the rope I was holding on to leaned towards Akdios. We’d plunge straight to our watery graves if the rope snapped.
“Fuck. What now?!”
The ropes creaked and my body dropped significantly. As I jerked back, my eyes suddenly went to the priest’s hand, to the five rings shining on his fingers.
If I recall, the strings are connected to his scythe.
“Hey, priest. Let me borrow your scythe for a minute.”
“Stop being stubborn, and give it to me! Do you wanna die?!”
“This weapon is my soul! You can have it when you pry it from my cold, dead hands!”
So even in this dire situation, he still has his dignity and pride as a priest.
The rope grated once more. It could barely hold us any longer.
“There’s no time to argue. If you won’t hand it over, I’ll just take it.”
I shouldered the priest’s body and snatched the scythe from his hand. In that instant, the rope holding up the bridge snapped. For a moment it felt like I was floating. I heard the sound of the wind blowing past.
“God damn it!”
I threw the scythe with all my strength. The blade pierced the retreating wooden panels.
“Mercenary! Mercenary!” Zero shouted.
The priest and I were plunging through the air.