Chapter 4: This Disdain feels Familiar (4)
The sensation of pushing one’s body to the limit was also a proof that he was still alive.
Jezel narrowly avoided the orcs’ attacks and took them down one by one.
Watching his movements, Scovan swallowed his saliva. He couldn’t move as smoothly even with the ability to use mana.
“How can a high priest move like that?”
It was clear that he was struggling, but there was no hesitation in his movements, both when avoiding and attacking.
Scovan had never seen such swordsmanship before.
It was such a perfect movement that one would want to learn it as a sword master, even without the ability to use mana.
“No, maybe more than that…”
Although others might consider it a crazy evaluation, it was almost close to the truth.
The Seven Strongest on the continent were all beyond the realm of humans. The skills they possessed were not just simple techniques, but insights that penetrated through battles.
Therefore, even without mana and with a weak body, Jezel’s accumulated experience and skills allowed him to surpass his limits.
As Jezel swung his sword, another orc fell, vomiting blood.
The orcs began to hesitate and step back.
From the twenty orcs, only five were left. Most of them had been killed or stabbed to death by Jezel’s sword in that brief moment.
“Hey, is it over already? I’m not even warmed up yet. Am I really a combat race, showing such a weak appearance?”
Jezel aimed his sword at the orcs and taunted them.
Of course, his inner thoughts were completely different.
“Ha, I’m going to die again at this rate. I just want to lie down. Was I this weak at this time?”
To wield power beyond one’s limits, one must pay a price.
Jezel’s weak body was starting to ignore him.
As blood splattered, the orc fell. Scovan, who had been running frantically, stopped in his tracks.
Jezel chuckled calmly and swept her hair back.
“Heh, the mission was a success.”
The orcs began to retreat again. They seemed to think that Jezel had purposely shown a weakness as a lure.
But Scovan looked at Jezel with a confused expression.
“Really? Did you really deceive them? But why are you limping like that?”
It wasn’t just her leg; the hand holding the sword was also slightly trembling.
It was a sign that her muscles weren’t responding properly.
However, Jezel’s expression was incredibly relaxed, as if she had just gone for a walk.
If it was really an act, she had a talent that would make her a great actor in the extreme.
As the orcs and Scovan watched each other warily, Jezel made a decision.
“This won’t work. I have no choice but to reveal my weakness.”
Earlier, he had arrogantly told them to watch the spectacle, but now it was time to move the soldiers.
Honestly, it was difficult to move his body. However, he couldn’t afford to show weakness here.
If he showed such weakness, the enemy’s momentum would only increase.
Jezel looked back at the soldiers with a stern expression.
“At this point, you should be able to handle them well enough. Now attack the remaining orcs!”
But the soldiers only blinked their eyes and didn’t even consider moving.
While it was true that Jezel had shown impressive skills, it was an unexpected event, so they had not adapted to it.
Jezel also blinked and looked at the soldiers.
“Not even one… is moving?”
At that moment, he realized how badly he had been mistreated during these times.
Even if he was a rascal, he never thought the soldiers would ignore him to this extent.
There was no other way. At times like this, he had to be precise and command them directly.
“Ricardo! You too, come out! Block the front!”
He called the guy he knew, but the handsome Ricardo screamed in terror.
“No, I don’t want to, please don’t make me! Why are you doing this to me?”
“Wow, I’m going crazy. How come there’s not a single person who listens to me?”
Since the soldiers didn’t listen, he had to be the “real” commander.
“Skevon! What are you doing! The orcs are running away! Why aren’t you moving? Do you all want to die, you bastards!”
After hearing Jezel’s roar of anger, the dazed Skevon finally regained his senses.
“Yes? Yes! Yes! Everyone, attack!”
Indeed, the “real” commander was different. As soon as the order was given, the soldiers moved like a well-oiled machine.
Scovan quickly stood in front of the orcs.
Although the orcs had already turned around and were running away, he was a knight who could use mana.
His movement speed was faster than anyone else here.
As Scovan moved around and delayed the orcs’ escape, the soldiers began to surround the area.
Jezel also tried to move to deal with the remaining orcs, but his body wouldn’t listen.
“Ugh, it feels like my bones are twisting.”
Eventually, Jezel gave up moving and sat gracefully on the ground.
In battle, momentum and confidence are everything. You should never show weakness.
This was the basic skill of mercenaries, “bragging” and “showing off.”
Fortunately, Scovan was a fairly skilled knight, so it wasn’t difficult to deal with the remaining orcs.
Before long, all the remaining orcs also fell.
Jezel, who was sitting and watching with ease, laughed.
“We caught them all. Did anyone die or get hurt? How was it? Wasn’t it all worth it?”
In response to Jezel’s question, the soldiers all nodded silently.
To be honest, they felt like they should say something, but they couldn’t find the words.
As far as they knew, Jezel was just a pathetic trash.
Despite being weak and not properly exercising, the protagonist was full of pretense.
However, that trash suddenly showed incredible swordsmanship and single-handedly slaughtered nearly twenty orcs.
If such a skilled person had been known, they wouldn’t have been ignored for so long.
“Your Grace, are you okay?”
Scovan looked at Jezel with trembling eyes.
His feelings were no different from those of the soldiers.
This doesn’t make sense.
Even the commander of the Knights of Perdium could not have shown such swordsmanship.
He wanted to grab Jezel and ask how this happened, but Jezel took the lead.
“Oh, I’m fine. By the way, are we going back to the castle now?”
“Yes, since we caught all the orcs, we should go back to the castle.”
“Good. Then go back to the castle right now.”
Although Scovan was curious about Jezel’s urgent tone, he didn’t ask him why.
“Move this body as quickly and safely as possible to the castle. I can’t afford to die again.”
Jezel fainted and collapsed as soon as he finished speaking.
The mercenary’s pretense and appearance had its limits.
* * *
Jezel breathed a sigh of relief as he opened his eyes and saw the clean ceiling.
Due to pushing his physical strength to the limit without using mana, Jezel fainted and lost consciousness.
He still felt pain all over his body due to the aftereffects. The fact that the current situation was not a dream was a clear sign.
“Oh, this place is…”
It was a room that was not very big, but it was neat and elegantly decorated, as if a nobleman had stayed there.
Jezel looked around the familiar environment inexplicably and tilted his head. It seemed like memories were trying to resurface.
“Did I return to the castle? Was this my room?”
It seemed like he had lost consciousness for a considerable amount of time.
Suddenly, the door opened and a person walked in. They looked at Jezel, who was looking around the room, and shouted in surprise.
“Young master! You’re awake!”
The woman, who was dressed neatly and had her black hair tied up, clapped her hands as if she were pleased.
Her face looked familiar.
Jezel was surprised and called out her name.
The woman standing in front of him was clearly Belinda, his personal maid and family tutor.
She was the person who always sided with him even when everyone in Perdium treated him badly.
He couldn’t believe he was seeing her again like this.
Jezel sprang up from the bed and hugged her tightly.
“Why are you doing this all of a sudden? Did I do something wrong again?” Belinda chided him in a soft voice. Jezel stepped back, grinned widely, and replied, “No, it’s just good to see you.”
“You see me every day, so why are you suddenly so happy?” Belinda gave him a suspicious look and Jezel met her gaze, speaking seriously.
“Well, to be honest, I died and came back to life…”
“Yes, yes. You died by the hands of an orc and now you’ve risen from the bed. Wow, how amazing.” Belinda cut him off before he could say anything more.
“…no, it’s not like that.”
She whispered into Jezel’s ear as she approached him gently. “My lord, you know you’re in a dangerous position right now? If the maids hear about this, you’ll be locked up for sure.”
Jezel nodded his head in resignation. It was true that it was hard for someone with a bad reputation to convey sincerity.
“By the way, where is this place?”
“Where do you think? It’s your room, my lord. Anyway, it’s good that you’ve woken up.”
He looked around again. It was definitely a place he remembered, with a familiar atmosphere that brought back memories. It was clear that this was the room he had used in his younger days.
As he looked around the room with fresh eyes, Belinda spoke up again. “Your body seems to be okay now… You’ve sweated a lot, so you should take a bath first.”
She turned and shook a golden bell on the table.
Soon, the door opened and a few maids rushed in. “We’ll help you with your bath, my lord.”
Jezel was surprised and let himself be led away by the maids.
* * *
After finishing dressing, Jezel stood in front of the mirror again.
The reflection in the mirror was much clearer than his reflection in water.
“I can’t believe it,” he thought.
The man in the mirror was a completely calm nobleman. There were no scars on his face, no cruel eyes, no frightening expressions. Only the Jezel of the past, handsome and cheerful, was visible.
When he gazed absentmindedly at the mirror, Belinda chuckled.
“You must really like your face, don’t you?”
“Yeah, I really do.”
Jezel replied confidently without any hint of embarrassment.
“You need to rest a little more.”
With those words from Belinda, she left the room trembling and shaking her head.
Even after she left, Jezel kept staring at the mirror for a while.
How long had it been since he looked into the mirror when the door opened slightly and a girl pushed her face in.
Jezel was surprised when he saw her face.
The girl with blonde hair who looked about sixteen or seventeen years old was his younger sister, Elena.
Seeing her, Jezel felt his heart drop.
He had suddenly been transported back to the past, fighting in battle and hadn’t had time to sort out his thoughts.
But when he saw his younger sister’s face, a memory from among his jumbled recollections surfaced vividly.
“Wait, how many days are left?”
After the eradication of the expeditionary force in his past life, Jezel faced an enormous amount of criticism.
Though he had caused many accidents, it was the first time that so many people had died.
“If only I hadn’t given such shoddy orders.”
The high-ranking officials said they had to imprison the Grand Duke, and unable to bear it, Jezel decided to leave his family.
“Yes, the battle with the orcs was just the beginning.”
His heart began to beat faster and faster.
While he was struggling with his complicated feelings about leaving, an event occurred.
The accident that Elena had was the deciding factor that made Jezel leave his family.
Jezel called out with a terrifying expression, and Elena replied, startled.
“How many days until the festival?”
“Uh, a week?”
Jezel wrapped his hand around his face to keep Elena from seeing and laughed silently. He couldn’t hold back his laughter.
If he had decided to leave his territory after receiving all kinds of criticism for the failure of the orc suppression, there was a day that changed his life.
Even though decades had passed, how could he forget?
Thick energy filled his two eyes that were covered by his hand.
“The day I wished I could turn back time. A memory that tormented me my whole life.”
A week later, Elena would die.