Masked Knight – Chapter 205

Lake Monster

 

It happened suddenly without any warning. During the time Rody and Gadar were sitting next to a barbecue stand at the edge of the camp, there was a young noble couple talking to each other near the lake. They were whispering and laughing. The young man’s adoring eyes and the young lady’s bashful smiles all clearly showed their courtship.

It was a very simple matter. Any young men and women had the right to pursue love. It was a natural thing to happen between two people.

However, there was something different this time. This was because it involved three people instead of two. It was obvious that the young woman had more than one suitor. Just when the man and woman had avoided everyone else to chat at the lake, another young man stared at them angrily from a few meters away.

The young man’s anger was justified as the woman that was smiling shyly at the other man was his fiancée. It was the same local noblewoman who had been spending time with him in bed the previous night.

Anybody would also understand why this man was angrily watching his fiancée chatting happily with another man at the side. After all, no men could tolerate being cuckolded.

So, the fiancé immediately drew his sword and roared as he rushed up.

The fiancée screamed when she was got caught by the fiancé. This was what Rody first heard.

Had things proceeded normally, the young warriors would duel for honor. For example, they would throw their gloves and then let their swords decide who was stronger and wash away their shame with blood.

Unfortunately, the man that seduced the lady was a coward. He took advantage of the time the other men went hunting to stay back at the camp together with other women. This had already explained his character well. When he saw the woman’s fiancé step forward murderously with a sword in hand, the first thing that came to his mind was to run away.

He had forgotten that he was also a noble and also had the title of a warrior (even though the title was just an exaggeration). He instinctively turned around and ran towards the lake!

It was easy to understand that when a young man and a young woman had a secret rendezvous, they would prefer to hide in a secluded area. They would not dare to have an affair in the open. The water was icy-cold, but the man still ran towards it as the shallow waters at the edge could not drown a person and he would also be safer from the gleaming sword in the other man’s hands.

However, there was a huge and sudden change which caused that nearby young woman to scream. The scene in front scared the wits out of the young lady.

The man had just walked a few steps into the lake. He tried to flee along the shore. Suddenly, two thin waves appeared on the quiet lake. Two thick tentacles then suddenly shot out from the water. The tentacles looked extremely ugly. It looked like a strange mollusk1 with sarcomas2 all over. The tips of the tentacles were filled with hook-like thorns.

It moved like a soft whip and coiled around that man running at the shore. That unlucky man wanted to scream. However, the sturdy tentacle coiled tightly against his chest. The numerous thorns on the tentacles pierced into his body. The tentacles had immediately shrunk and tightened its grip the moment it caught its prey. Its tremendous strength crushed the man’s ribs in an instant.

He only screamed for a very short duration before it was cut off.

The man felt extreme pain as his lungs were ruptured. The handsome face that seduced the woman had turned purple. He spat out blood and his eyes almost dropped out.

The woman continued to scream sadly. Her two arms were clasped lightly in front of her. Her legs turned weak and she could no longer stand. However, her legs soon no longer needed to stand. Another ugly and scary tentacle shot out from the lake.

The tentacle seemed to have been waiting for a long time. It suddenly appeared from the nearest part of the lake and quickly coiled around her legs.

It contracted and the sound of bones breaking could be heard as the woman’s legs were crushed. Her screams lasted for only a few seconds. The tentacle then flew upwards and threw the young woman to the center of the lake.

The dazed fiancé stared at the scary scene for a moment and finally recovered. He saw his beloved woman thrown into the lake by the ugly monster and roared. The fiancé was a courageous man. He rushed forward with a sword in his hand.

At that moment, he had forgotten about his fiancée’s betrayal. He charged towards the lake with bloodshot eyes and slashed at the tentacles on the shore with his sword.

The sword struck the tentacle, but it was tougher than bull tendons.

The tentacle of the mollusk was not as weak as the man had imagined. He slashed with all his might, but only managed to cut through a little of the tentacle. The tentacle then started to flail violently as if it was in pain and slammed into his body forcefully. He was immediately thrown a few meters back and crashed into the ground. From his looks, the man was barely alive.

It was at that point in time that Rody arrived.

First, he looked for Nicole. When he saw Nicole standing some distance away from the lake looking pale, Rody felt relieved.

At the moment, the other men had started to take out their weapons, but the pitiful man that seduced another person’s fiancée was still in the grip of that tentacle. The tentacle then shot upwards about five to six meters over the lake.

Rody walked up and pulled the fiancé away from the lake. After that, he shouted, “Shoot the arrows!”

His voice sounded abnormally clear even in that clamoring din. Before the others started to react, the two Lightning God’s Whip had immediately implemented their officer’s command.

Two Wolf Fang arrows shot out quickly. As their target was large, both arrows easily hit their targets. However, the tentacles were not hurt so easily. The sarcomas on the tentacles were unusually tough, acting like an armor. The two arrows had accurately hit its target; however, one arrow bounced off the tentacle. The other arrow plunged into the tentacle between the sarcomas, but barely one-third of it went in.

As the monster struggled violently, the pitiful guy was being shaken in the air. He had lost consciousness, but as he bled, his blood continued to splatter from the violent swings.

The women behind screamed in fear, and Rody’s expression looked grim. Suddenly, Rody took a bow from a man behind him. He then picked up the sword that the fiancé dropped onto the ground.

Whoosh! A light shot out as Rody used the bow to shoot the sword. The sword flew in an arc and chopped off five-to-six meters of the tentacle. The pitiful guy then fell back into the lake.

Two warriors looked as if they wanted to rush forward and drag the man back. However, Rody pulled them and shouted, “Fall back. Everyone move away from the lake!”

As if to confirm Rody’s words, the waters roiled and another five tentacles shot out from the lake. The tentacles then stretched out to those still at the shore.

Amidst the screams and shouts, the people frantically scattered away. The men had also retreated while they, at the same time, blindly shot their arrows.

The arrows were scattered, but they were not able to harm the monster. Fortunately, everybody ran very quickly and nobody else was caught. Meanwhile, the pitiful man had already been dragged into the lake. Three tentacles were wrapped around different parts of his body. The sound of ripping could then be heard as the man was torn into separate pieces. The tentacles then carried the body parts into the lake. The blue lake started to turn crimson.

Everybody had gradually retreated to the edge of the forest. They looked at the tentacles from afar as it waved and tossed around. The tents that they had set up near the lake were thrown into disarray by the sweeping tentacles. A horse that was tethered near the tent was not unhitched in time. It kicked and neighed in fear. As the tentacle swept around, it slammed into the horse. The one-hundred-kilogram horse was like a leaf as it was sent flying skywards. Its reins broke and it flew over a dozen meters away.

Following Rody’s orders, everybody gathered together and retreated into the forest. Rody and the other noble’s guards stayed at the rear, protecting the group. Although the guards all worked for different noble families, fortunately, most of them used to work in the army. Rody’s decisive orders had calmed them down. Rody held a sword in one hand and a bow in the other. When they had successfully retreated to the edge of the woods, his men set off some fireworks signaling the guards outside the hunting grounds to come rescue them.

Nobody else was injured by the lake monster but during the confusion, while running away, some delicate noblewomen tripped and fell, some crashed into each other, and some got trampled on. There were also a few noblemen who fell off their horses or even got kicked by them.

Fortunately, Rody had calmed them down. Although they were initially not convinced by Rody, a lowly Imperial Guard officer, they saw Miss Nicole still standing there, and he seemed to be in control of the situation as well. It was only natural to follow his lead.

Once everybody stopped at the edge of the forest, the Imperial Guards defended the place under Rody’s orders as there was a possibility that the monster could go on land.

After a while, the sound of hooves could be heard coming from the woods. More than three hundred Imperial Guards and a hundred Lightning God’s Whip arrived.

The Imperial Guards were Rody’s men and the Lightning God’s Whip were the Duke’s bodyguards. The Duke’s bodyguards were naturally respectful of Nicole’s lover and thus obeyed his orders unconditionally. They then dispatched a hundred Imperial Guards to escort the frightened nobles in the evacuation. The nobles were already extremely frightened. They had watched two people die in front of them. One of whom had been torn apart into several pieces. These people had never seen such carnage.

The moment Rody dispatched soldiers to escort them, they could not wait to leave. Some of them did not even bid their farewell to Nicole. The Viscount Rody did not seem to plan on leaving, but it did not matter to them. This was the Tulip Family’s hunting grounds and the monster would be their problem. In the end, the nobles believed that their lives were more precious.

Rody had an imposing expression. He pulled Nicole aside and whispered, “You should go back first!”

Nicole’s face turned white and asked, “What about you? What are you going to do?”

Rody shook his head and replied, “This monster suddenly appeared in the hunting grounds. No matter what, I have to find the reason for this.”

Nicole’s hands were cold. She bit her lip and said in a trembling voice, “What do you want to do? That monster is in the water…”

Rody stretched out his arm to gently hold Nicole. He then softly said, “Are you still worrying despite my strength? This kind of thing cannot hurt me! This thing is too strange. If I do not find out the reason for this, how would I have peace of mind?”

Nicole thought silently for a moment. However, she still frowned and looked at Rody with a worried expression.

After the nobles left, Baron Gadar was among the three people standing next to him.

He had seen the scene earlier and was also frightened. However, he managed to remain calm. While the others had already escaped, he and his two subordinates remained. Gadar was not a simple man. Although he was afraid, as a businessman, it was in his nature to take risks. He knew that if he ran away, he would be looked down upon by Rody. Although he could not help, it would still be able to significantly increase the goodwill of the other party. How could he let such a good opportunity go?

Rody also saw Gadar and frowned. “Baron, why are you still here? This place is dangerous. You should follow them and leave.”

Although Gadar also looked pale, he smiled and lightly said, “Rody, you do not have to worry about me. This incident is really strange. I am also curious and I want to see it to the end. I have traveled a lot and have seen a lot of strange things. If I am not wrong, this monster is a Mythical Beast that should only exist on the Roland continent. If I stay, I might be able to provide some help.”

Rody frowned silently. He looked at Gadar with gentler eyes than before. Looks like this guy is quite courageous.

He then gently kissed Nicole on the forehead, and said, “You should also better go back quickly.”

Nicole shook her head and replied, “I will not!” She looked at Rody’s difficult expression and softly said, “Have you forgotten? I am not a weak woman. Last time, you could not defeat me!”

Rody looked at Nicole’s firm eyes and felt his scalp turn numb. He could only shake his head and order several hundred of his soldiers to line up. They then went back towards the lake.

About a dozen of the Wolf Fang followed Rody’s orders and guarded Nicole at the back. At the front of the formation, there was about a few dozen Wolf Fang carrying their bows and arrows. Although the bows and arrows would not do much damage to the monster, the Wolf Fang had great prowess in archery. Besides that, it would be impossible for the soldiers fight in close quarters against that powerful monster. As a result, they could only rely on archery for long range combat.

The camp that they had returned to was already in ruins and the tents had already collapsed. The lakeside was drenched in blood. The lake was quiet and the lake monster seemed to have already retreated into it.

Rody frowned, and realized something…

How did that monster appear? Rody looked at the bonfire that was still lit and the collapsed barbecue stand. He then stared at the partially-cooked game and made a guess. After that, he looked at the shore again and finally understood.

The nobles that hunted the game had gone to the shore to cut and prepare the carcasses. The blood that flowed into the lake was probably what attracted the monster.

With that idea in mind, Rody instructed his men to stay put. He walked quickly to the camp. The carcass of a wild boar was still there, and it had not been cleaned yet. Rody then picked up a spear and stabbed the wild boar a few times with it. After that, Rody threw it into the lake. There was a splash as the wild boar sank into the lake. The blue lake was dyed red again. Rody then took a few steps back and waited.

Translator’s Notes

1. A Mollusc or mollusk is a large phylum Mollusca of invertebrate animals. Basically, a specific group of animals that neither possess nor developed a spine. (Just like how mushrooms are under fungi.) Some have shells like snails.

2. A sarcoma is cancer arising from mucous connective tissues. They generally look like ugly black spots or a really huge swelling. Surgery is important in most cases.

 

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