All the Royal Guards were chasing Gallam like an avalanche.
And the desperate dog act suddenly changed back to his true nature, awakening in a rage.
The dog spun with tremendous force.
Then the ground collapsed.
All of the ground where the weight of the Royal Guards were concentrated with Gallam fell down into a sinkhole.
The complete group of Guards tumbled in with the dog.
「Brothers, watch out!」
And as Gallam fell with them, he flashed his fangs in a dazzling display.
Matzo pushed the other guards away with both hands and took the hit of falling earth and sand as he then reached out to grab Gallam. The demon dog had changed position and evaded the torrent of falling earth and stones, landing unharmed at the bottom of the hole.
「Dammit! We stepped through the bedrock!?」
The Guard shouted and moaned in astonishment as they were hit with an unimaginable counter.
All of them tumbled into the bottom of a pit, half buried in earth and sand, unable to move.
Flames fluttered in the bottom of the hole.
「The embers of the Romalian flame flower! That was the underground cavity that Gallam tunneled through! Did he deliberately lure everyone over the weakest part? He even calculated their weight and what he’d need for it to collapse. Even with it collapsed he can’t use his eyes or nose, so he wanted to know where he was in the tunnel by using touch…even though he was almost dead! What a beast!」
Bradd said angrily.
No matter how big the beast was, there was no way it could dig through the ground, so he just moved through an already-made tunnel. And he used the cavity to get there as a trap!
We all came to realize what a horror that demon dog was.
Then the liquor that bathed the dog’s face ignited as rows of flames ran up his feet towards his face.
The liquor roared in a loud noise but the dog did not move, yet squinted happily.
「Dammit! He burned all the liquor off too! That was his real aim!」
The liquor that impeded the dog’s senses burned away in a flame and disappeared.
Right after we thought the dog had been burned to death by Romalia’s flame flower, we realized Gallam had used the flames to cleanse the liquor off of himself, and we all were shaken…even my usually-calm mother.
The demon dog regained that eerie red glow in his eyes and grinned after he saw me.
Now that feeling that he’s going to come after me is back!
In front of those immobile guardsman with their Captain covered and unable to aid them stood Gallam at the edge of the hole, trying to pull himself out with his front legs. There was a crackling sound of flames still roiling on his body, but he did nothing to stop it. His glaring eyes and fangs rose out of the edge of the hole.
Mother notched an arrow.
Bradd inhaled to prepare the last burst of his power.
He was exhausted, but still forced himself to smile.
「He’s still using the Blood Redemption, but he doesn’t have much time left. If we can prevent him from getting out of that hole and buy some time, we can win. That’s all we got.」
Mother nodded at Bradd’s final attempt at strong words.
「…sure, match your timing with my arrow shot.」
There was a tense air around us as they looked for a chance to attack Gallam.
There didn’t seem to be a way to win…but both of them were willing to die protecting me.
Stop! You don’t have to do that! I don’t want you all to die!
But the advance of the dog suddenly stopped. I could see there was some tremendous force holding the dog back…and Gallam was stuck. The demon dog scrambled to get out of the hole while his body sunk back down.
「You’re going to invite us to hell and then crawl out?! I don’t think so…」
From the bottom of the hole came a thick arm that clenched the hind legs of the demon dog. The dog’s arms now faltered and he hit his jaw on the lip of the hole as he sunk.
I already knew what happened.
There was only one man with wild strength like that.
The former confusion of the Guard turned into a cheer.
The earth and sand at the bottom of the hole was pushed away, and giant Matzo’s iron fist appeared.
I could see his massive eyes glimmer even with dirt all over the rest of his face.
「You’re not going to be able to resurrect yourself over and over like that, doggie! We don’t get stopped by a trap or two! And even if we’re caught in one, we don’t let our enemies stop us! You get enough rest?! Now it’s our turn to attack!」
Matzo said, jumping up as if he had been hit by lightning, and the rest of the guard getting up with him.
「This thing is aiming for the Duke’s daughter! Flee! We’ll make sure you get the time to get away…by the name of the Royal Guard!」
Matzo shouted, struggling to stop Gallam, who was still trying to get out of the hole.
One, two, then three punches to the back of the dog, sounding like explosions in the air.
The dog finally gave up trying to get out on the fourth punch and turned around, biting into Matzo’s shoulder.
「Yes! Bring it! Come fight the knights you ran from and abandon those we were trying to protect, because you’re not getting away from us! Our human faith will crush your bestial instinct!」
Then Matzo huffed all the air he could into him and girded up his strength.
His muscles swelled.
There was a terrible noise of crack crack crack.
The armor was made so that it could be released alone by four straps connected to the fixed metal plate, and there was a belt that was around his waist that also held it tight. Matzo’s muscles had expanded and blown all the leather fasteners off with his own might. There was a clanking as the chainmail stretched. Then the bodice that was tied to his trunk also tore.
Matzo had blown off the armor by flexing his muscles and exploding it off!
Even though the thing was built to withstand the stresses of battle…but it has to be expensive…is that really okay to do?
I had heard some of the secret stories of the other guards that Matzo loved destroying this expensive armor the crown had given him just to make a show.
「Oh crap…not this again.」
「Whenever he gets pissed, he always does it…he can’t help himself.」
Even though this was the first time I saw it, I heard it was a regular event.
Matzo screamed at the dog without trying to remove his fangs.
「You can take my armor! And in exchange, I’ll defang you!」
The beast’s fangs were locked in the armor, which he had discarded and slipped off.
Wait, is this the cicada molt technique?! Are you some kind of ninja now?
And so, almost like a nut popping from a walnut shell, Matzo’s rough upper body popped out of the armor.
Gallam’s fangs were dug into the armor and shook his head and pushed at the armor with his from paws, but the piece couldn’t be easily removed while Matzo punched at the dog’s paws with his fist.
「Hah! A man only has his body! And if you have something to say about mine, I can settle this with my fist! Taste this! A punch into the sky! HAAAAAHHHHH!!!」
A punch to the sky…well the the fist went to the sky, but not the dog.
And with all of his spirit, the iron fist plunged again and again into the body of Gallam.
Almost like he was beating a massive drum.
But this time, you could hear the dog moaning in agony.
「Don’t let me take him all myself!」
And seeing the strenuous battle, the knights jumped up with dirt all over them and jumped at Gallam.
They were brave and loyal men.
But most of their weapons were still buried in the soil.
「Hurry! Get away…I’m ashamed to say it, but I may not be able to hold him long.」
Matzo said as he smiled and punched the dog again.
Even with all the guard attacking Gallam, he will be hurt but just won’t die.
Unless his breathing stops, the dog just never gives up.
And it’s only a matter of time until the dog gets free again. A strong man like Matzo can’t kill him. Now I’m sure he should have brought his morning star.
But telling us to run away…where are we supposed to go where that dog won’t follow?
I was holding my head, hearing the continual beating of Gallam, a dog who doesn’t stop fighting even after his fangs are locked.
The invincible monster!
Wait…his breathing sounds labored?
The dog is breathing far too quickly.
Before the Blood Redemption, someone had mentioned the damage to the dog’s lungs…
Yes…that’s right…and there was that thing written that I read during my 108 lives.
Because of the dog’s heart, the dog himself couldn’t live long.
And when the trainer saw the dog fighting in earnest, he tried to stop him…probably because it puts too much strain on his heart.
I also heard that dogs with heart problems hyperventilate.
This had all been erased from my mind when that dog was resurrected with the Blood Redemption, but that might be his defective part! Bradd! You might have been right after all!
Bradd’s eyes sharpened as he heard my words and then focused on Gallam, still rampaging at the bottom of that hole.
「You’re right, munchkin…it’s an abnormal heart. His tongue is purple from lack of oxygen. The side effect of Blood Redemption is constantly leaking blood. Even truth comes from a lie…his heart is nearly at its limit. If you exhaust him more, the heart will stop…right?! Captain!」
I knew it!
After all the fighting with mom, Bradd, and the Guards, the invincibility was coming to an end!
Matz heard Bradd’s explanation, his eyes opened, and he grinned,
「Hear that, brothers?! This struggle is not in vain! Don’t try to kill it but grab on and exhaust the thing by killing his strength! We’ll get rid of him now!」
By that time, most of the knights were up right near the dog.
As expected, they were very well-trained.
And they sprung up and tried to attach themselves to Gallam like a bunch of human locusts.
Some of the knights that jumped up on the dog fell to the bottom of the hole again.
The knights were all shocked.
Gallam blurred for a second and then disappeared.
「Damn! He can use the blood-cherry butterfly move too!!」
Bradd was covered in goosebumps.
The blood-cherry butterflies…the same move that Bradd used to deceive the dog.
What a horrid monster!
No matter how close you think you are to victory, he surprises you every time!
The Royal Guard fought well, but were shaken off before Gallam was exhausted.
And they all are still ready to fight the dog all over…if they were normal knights, they’d be completely out of power.
Come on! Just one more push! We can beat him!
I took a deep breath and calmed myself.
Unlike all the 108 lives I had, this time I have so many reliable allies. No one has given an inch in their fight to protect me…so there’s no way I will raise the white flag of surrender myself! I would have laughed at myself before if I saw me in this mess now.
You can give up when you die!
Just think, calmly, and you’ll survive!
Bradd can no longer use his Blood Redemption…and my mother had no poison arrows.
If this was my old Queen’s residence, there would be high walls, cold ponds, many things that would strain his heart.
Wait, I have one!
On my manor grounds, there is an escape surrounded by water!
A place where the gardener used to threaten me when I was young during the other 108 lives…that said a huge dog had drowned and a ghost appeared. And that great swimmed, Bradd, was almost drowned by water weeds!
If I can lure the dog over there, then I can surely stop his heart!
Bradd groaned as he read my thoughts with his blood cheat technique.
「Okay…that pond? In that case I just have to row in the middle with that small boat.」
Yeah, even a devilish dog like Gallam will lose his composure and charge full on to devour me.
He will follow as fast as he can, even in the pond.
Algae and water weeds, and cold water.
Not only is the dog wearing armor, but is missing toes due to mother’s poison arrow.
And in addition to that, he’s already tired from all the fighting with the Guard.
His heart could never bear the burden!
We will kill him!
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