Chapter 1186 Final Preparations
Morgan studied the distant army of Song and inhaled deeply.
Then, her face grew slightly somber.
"...There are countless nuances to war, Master Sunless, but at its core, war is simple. All there is to it is power, and application of power. The former is important, but the latter is more so. There is no point in being strong if one can't properly exert their strength, after all. The daughters of Ki Song might think that they possess more power... but look at them. I have them exactly where I wanted them, even if the path to this moment was not what I expected it to be. Ah, but that is another thing... one has to be flexible when waging war... rigid things are always the first to break..."
With a chill, Sunny realized that Morgan had been acting throughout the entire attempt at negotiations. She had never wanted the duel to happen. She had never wanted to avoid the battle... instead, all she had wanted was to lure the enemy into committing to it.
In the end, it was Beastmaster who insisted on proceeding with the battle, thinking that she had forced Morgan into a corner...
He shook his head in amazement.
'...Why is everyone in that family so devious?'
Well, it was not like he had anything to complain about. Morgan had said a lot of things, but conveniently failed to actually answer his question and explain what exactly gave her the confidence to face the superior force of Clan Song on the battlefield. Still, her confidence was a good sign for him.
Sunny let out a sigh.
Now, all he had to decide was how far he was willing to go to ensure that Valor achieved a sweeping victory. What was he willing to show, and what was he willing to hide?
The unpleasant answer was rather simple - Sunny had no right to hide anything. He had to give it his all unless he wanted to make every decision he had made thus far meaningless.
Even if abandoning his pretenses might end up putting him in danger...
It was time to go all out.
Morgan, meanwhile, turned to her soldiers and smiled.
Her voice echoed across the plain, sounding as sharp as a sword leaving its scabbard:
"Warriors of Valor! Today, we sanctify this field with blood. Have no fear! Have no mercy! Have no doubt!"
The thousand Awakened roared, and as they did, Morgan coldly looked at the Knights among them and gave a small nod.
In the next moment, something strange happened. Sharp steel flashed, and a dozen dead bodies fell to the ground, awash in blood. It happened so fast that no one even had a chance to react.
Morgan shook her head slightly and said with contempt:
"Did she really think that I wouldn't find her thralls..."
Then, she looked at the frozen soldiers with murderous determination, unsheathed her strange sword, and yelled:
"The traitors are dead. Be strong! Be sharp! Be my sword!"
And as she did...
The dim twilight was suddenly illuminated by a myriad of scarlet sparks. A hurricane of them, much larger than the one produced by manifesting Echoes, surrounded Morgan like a river of blood.
From that river, hundreds of swords slowly appeared, hovering above ground. All of them... all of them were Memories, and of considerable power at that. No sword was the same as the rest, each possessing a unique form, shape, and presence.
And there was something strange about these swords, too, just like there was about the one she was holding in her hand. Sunny stared at the cloud of swords, stunned, until he noticed a common detail that all of them shared.
Each had a symbol of an anvil pierced through by a sword either etched on its blade or engraved on its pommel.
'All of those... are forged Memories...'
Sunny watched as countless swords suddenly flew in different directions, each landing in the hand of an Awakened warrior. And as he did, he felt that he knew what these swords were, and who had created them.
Anvil of Valor... the King of Swords.
These swords had to be a conduit of his Domain, or at least a manifestation of his Aspect Ability.
Nephis received a silvery longsword, and Cassie received a slender rapier.
...Sunny and Jet, though, did not receive anything. Which was, honestly, a relief.
While the two of them were observing the grandiose bestowal of swords with guarded expressions, Morgan turned to them and smiled.
"Master Sunless, Master Jet... if there are any preparations you want to make, I suggest that you make them now. We are about to begin."
Jet silently leaned on her glaive, showing that she was already as prepared as she wanted to be.
Sunny, on the other hand, did have a few things to do.
With a sigh, he called upon several Memories. The Sin of Solace, the Dying Wish, the Shadow Lantern... and Morgan's Warbow.
When scarlet sparks swarmed around his hand, Morgan tilted her head slightly, as if surprised.
When the black bow manifested itself, however, one of her eyebrows shot up.
The princess gave him a strange look.
"...That is a curious bow you have there, Master Sunless."
Sunny glanced at it and smiled.
"Ah, yes... I might have forgotten to mention... but you sort of stole my heart once, Lady Morgan. It was a truly memorable day. Well, at least for me..."
The expression on her face was hard to describe, but it became even more incredulous when Sunny threw the bow into the air.
"Wait... you are..."
A moment later, a hand in a black armored gauntlet suddenly rose from his shadow and grabbed it.
Two crimson flames ignited in the darkness, and then, a towering figure in a fearsome suit of onyx armor stepped from the shadow, her silhouette both graceful and frightening.
Saint remained motionless, observing the distant army of the great clan Song with utter indifference.
Then, a demonic black steed rose from the shadows, wreathed in darkness. Nightmare lowered his head, light reflecting on his adamantine horns.
Lastly, a small fiendish creature made entirely of black steel appeared, staring at the horde of enthralled Nightmare Creatures with unmistakable hunger.
Shadows moved, flowing onto Sunny's body.
As they did, the light of day suddenly seemed darker and less substantial around them.
He placed the Sin of Solace on his shoulder and looked at Morgan.
"...Now, I'm ready."
Erdiul's Note: Damn, badass.