Sensing that the monster was approaching, Freya felt incredibly nervous but also a little excited. Much like tightrope walking, the activity puts the daredevil on thin ice; Irreversible danger would arrive as soon as a mishap happened. However, it was always moments like this that boost one’s confidence. The momentary sharpness of her mind had brought out her abnormal potential.
So this was what an adventure felt like.
Yet, the monster was closing in speedily. When Freya whipped her head around after running a few steps forward, it was already in her proximity. It was faster than expected. Freya’s anxiety grew. She willed to hasten her footsteps but she was concerned about attacks from the surrounding Pale Sons; it was at that very moment that a Pale Son flew straight into the back of her shoulder. The strength gap between silver and gold had Freya feeling like a dragon had crashed into her. She was thrown forward. The impact forced her into a few rolls on the snowy ground. The flag in her grip was thrown out to a distance in the process.
“Mmph.” Freya made a silent noise. Before she could even register the pain, the monster’s footsteps could be heard coming from behind. She hurriedly clambered up and picked up her flag. The Pale Son earlier seemed relentless, choosing to trail her again after making a round behind.
Freya’s light brown eyes settled. She took a deep breath and deliberately slowed down. As anticipated, the huge wolf took the bait. It growled lowly and pounced- which was exactly what Freya was waiting for. In that split second, she slightly inclined her body to the side, allowing the Pale Son to brush her by. The wolf’s sharp claws brought along a backset that grazed her cheek painfully. Blood was seeping through the light cuts created but the girl couldn't care less. Once the distance between her and the wolf was closed, Freya leapt hard and threw herself onto its wide spine.
The Pale Son immediately noticed that something was off. It roared and tossed around in an attempt to push Freya off the wolf’s back. This was Freya’s hard-earned opportunity, she was not about to let it have its way. With one hand, she strangled the demon’s neck with her flag pole tightly. With the other hand, she pulled on the Pale Son’s long silver hair. They could twist and throw however they wish but Freya was not getting off her spot.
Shocked and enraged, the Pale Son let out a low howl and began to dash maniacally. It was almost as if it wanted to borrow the chaos to push Freya off. Unbeknownst to it, its dash was what Freya was looking for. Though the Pale Son had only possessed Lower Gold to Middle rank powers and definitely much weaker than the silver monster; and thought its ranking had decided its physical constituent, there were no guaranteed gaps in other aspects.
Just like how a normal adult could never outrun a normal grey wolf or the difference between a wizard and a warrior at the same level of strength, this had nothing to do with power ranks. This was purely a focus on difference.
The Pale Son and the silver monster were similar. The silver monster was skilled at close combat and was able to use various magic. Its strength and dexterity were excellent, it was obviously a well-rounded warrior. Though the Pale Sons were four-legged canine animals of the Twilight species’ variation, it still retained some of its basic beast abilities. Speed was one of them.
Freya wasn’t all that knowledgeable. If Brendel was present, he would’ve analyzed it for her. But for a country bumpkin from Bucce with the slightest training received, it didn’t take much for her to understand that the wolf could run faster than her.
That was more than enough.
Caught in the chaos, Freya could barely open her eyes due to the wind. The bangs that curtained her forehead were dancing wildly and her tears were spilling due to the harshness of the wind. Hence, she chose to clamp her eyes shut and focus on pulling the Pale Son’s hair. The violent demon was growing aggressive. With no reservations, all of its limbs were off the ground. When the shake was strong, the heavy collision of the breastplate against her chest made Freya want to cough out loud. There were several instances where she was almost thrown away because of a slackened grip.
But fortunately, she took the time to look back. The silver monster had been left far behind. Though, she found it strange- Why did that thing bore so much hatred towards her? Yet, even so, it still continued to hang far behind her all the time. It seemed to have said something like ‘Goddess of War’. Freya too recalled Brendel saying the same thing to her. But Vaunte never had a War Goddess. Be it the Kirrlutzians or the Aouines and even the gods worshipped by the Wind Elves, there was only the War Dragon.
Unfortunately, she soon ran out of time to consider such detail. The Pale Son had brought her across a huge span of the battlefield and soon they would arrive at the valley’s bottom. Like a gust of wind, they passed through several locations where warriors were still battling against the giant wolves. Freya squinted her eyes amidst the strong wind to peer ahead.
The bottom of the Glacial Canyon was just right ahead.
She gritted her teeth and remained a hard grip on the wolf’s silver fur while reducing the pressure over its neck. Just as they passed a soft snowy ground, Freya landed the flag on it.
“Knights, gather around!”
Freya’s shout echoed around the mountains, the war flag erected proudly at the bottom of the canyon. Surrounded by a pack of wolves, it was difficult to make out what was underneath the war flag. At the same moment the flag was erected, the Pale Son had carried the Bucce bumpkin into a narrow gap among the glacier. Instinctively, Freya reached for the horn on her waist. She feared that her voice could not reach the others. Unfortunately, as the Pale Son shook violently, she lost her grip and the horn went flying away.
“Ah.” Freya was almost dumb-founded. The horn was a token of the Folded Sword Squad. Little Pero and the others had reminded her repeatedly to take good care of it. She wasn’t expecting to lose it now. As the horn broke into several pieces against the hard icy surface, it was not difficult to imagine how upset Freya was.
“You damned animal!” screamed the girl, visibly irritated.
But the giant wolf was even more displeased than she was. How could it be pleased for the little rat stuck to its back hadn’t been lost after several miles? Suddenly, it felt the woman on its back loosen her grip. It immediately screeched to a halt and tossed its body sideways. The abrupt halt had produced great energy that was completely reflected on Freya.
Before she could even say anything, the inertia had lifted her off the back of the Pale Son. She hadn’t foreseen this change at all. When she realized that she was in the air, her heart felt like it was about to jump out of her throat. Even in that situation, Freya’s mind was still sharp. She had yet to let go, her left grip still tight around a tuft of silver mane.
Though she thought her arm was about to be twisted off, the tight grip had ultimately saved her life. She made a round in the air like a ragdoll before returning with a heavy thud onto the Pale Son’s back. The impact of the landing had her burst into tears.
Even the Pale Son couldn’t help but let out a low growl. It was obvious that the sensation was uncomfortable for it as well. But of course, its growl had borne more frustration and unsettledness as the pesky little rat on its back wasn’t coming off no matter how it tried.
Having dashed a couple of miles, the demon was panting. It was almost like it had inherited the similarities of its species- Great explosive force but lacklustre stamina. It had to slow down a little and it even had the idea of rolling on the ground in an attempt to peel Freya off its back.
But Freya had received enough of its torment. She was not about to let it rest. Just as the demon showed signs of rolling over, Freya was shocked. As if the moment had arrived, she drew her dagger from her boot and drove it into the Pale Son’s hip.
This was a subconscious decision. There were several unique approaches to stimulate warhorses, as taught in riding lessons. Although warhorses were the most intimate partners of the cavalry, knights had to learn these skills to face different circumstances on the battlefield in the absence of spurs.
Freya was applying everything she learnt, directly utilizing her knowledge on the Pale Son beneath her. And it worked as expected. The giant wolf let out a pitiful howl, its voice filled to the brim with displeasure and wrath. Sure enough, the pain had caused the demon to pick up its pace. It was almost as if it was desperate to escape the scary woman on its back. It rushed forward.
As it dashed, Freya continued to cling to the wolf tightly. She couldn’t help but wonder if this misery was completely self-inflicted.
This run continued for an extended period. Clung to the wolf’s back, Freya could only sense the changing scenery flashing by. They were moving faster and faster. The ice walls lining both sides looked like it was one complete piece, almost akin to a pale blue light.
She was in awe. Who would’ve thought that these demons were capable of such speed? No wonder it could track them down easily in the forest. Most knights in the Folded Sword Squad were of Gold rank No regular person could track them down, let alone catching up to them.
As she was deep in thought, her vision ahead went blank. After the glacial gap was an open valley. At the bottom of the valley, the cliffs stretched on with their rocky walls covered in thick ice and snow.
At this moment, Freya abruptly felt the giant wolf beneath it fall to its knees. Losing its centre of gravity, it tumbled forward. The female knight on its back was not spared from the fall. This time, the tuft of silver wolf mane that brought her luck could not save her. Freya was thrust into the air and with a scream, she landed among the snow.
“Ah!” screamed the girl in agony.
It took her a moment to recollect herself and clamber out of the snow. She laid flat on the ground, unable to pick herself up. She had no strength left and she felt like she was falling apart.
Thinking back at the series of events, fear couldn’t help but seize her heart. She would’ve never dreamt of experiencing something like this. This was all too crazy. Freya had no idea what influenced her decision, it wasn’t like her at all.
“If this goes on, I’m going to end up like that fella…”
She clenched her jaw and forced herself to sit up. Instinctively checking her surroundings, she noticed the silver humanoid figure approaching her from a distance.
Freya was startled. She was expecting the monster to still be chasing after her. Just how much did it hate her?! She turned to check on the fallen Pale Son- all signs of life were gone. Perhaps it had suffered sudden death from over-exhaustion.
“Ah, this can’t be it…”
Freya panicked, probably not expecting herself to kill a Pale Son in that manner. If she was still in Bucce, this would’ve been a great topic to boast around. But this wasn’t the case for now. She painstakingly stood up. Earlier, she desperately hoped to kill the wolf. But now that her temporary transport was dead, she couldn’t help but bite her lip and worry.
The monster was closing in soon and it was practically impossible for her to outrun it. Freya frantically studied her surroundings. She needed to figure something out fast!