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81 The Fall of Black Whip

 Black Whip didn't have a clue where these suicidal buggers had come from.

All he'd wanted to do was go squish some frogs, in order to clear the way for construction upon Grey Fjord Port. Why were they suddenly being attacked by a whole bunch of tough customers like these?

They were a real challenge to handle. All his subordinates had already been locked down. The native frogmen themselves were barely contributing to the fight at all, trading blows with the skeletons over here, attempting some harassment over there...

Long years of combat experience had honed his senses to a razor's edge. Reaching behind himself, he snatched someone out of the shadows, just as they were about to stab him in the back.

Black Whip had never known the meaning of holding back. He took one glance at the other players rushing in to the rescue, then snapped his prisoner's neck with one savage motion. All of a sudden, the would-be assassin stopped trashing about, and went still-but Black Whip wasn't finished: Squeezing harder, he tore the head right off in a fountain of blood.

Tossing the corpse aside, he licked the blood off his lips. It was a terrifying sight to witness.

Normally, such a gruesome display would have been enough to make any approaching enemies wet themselves. Even if they didn't turn tail and flee immediately, they would have all but lost the will to fight.

And yet, these unknown assailants seemed to pay no heed to the death of their comrade, never breaking in their charge towards him.

Black Whip spat, drew back his whip, and with a flick of his wrist, sent the incoming attackers flying away from him!

A young mage nearby hurled fireballs and frost bolts at him. Somewhere in the flurry of spells were a few crossbow bolts as well, fired by a hunter.

It was all in vain.

The sinew from the tail of a Silkwhip Scorpion formed the core of his whip, which had then been wrapped in the leather of a Swamp Crocodile. From there, master alchemists and craftsmen had, through a complicated series of procedures, shaped it into the final product.

Not only was the whip impervious to blades, it could deflect anything short of advanced magic as well. It could strike with devastating force, and the finesse with which he used it made him a unique opponent to face. This was where he got his name from.

With the slightest twitch of the whip, he knocked aside the incoming projectiles.

"Huh?" As he was about to strike down those enemy Warriors closest to him before dealing with that Mage and his Hunter friend, Black Whip ducked suddenly, dodging a vicious slash from the side.

Having whiffed his attack, this Rogue moved to retreat back into the shadows, but Black Whip was faster. The whip coiled around the Rogue's throat and yanked him over.

"You again! How?" Seeing the man's face, Black Whip froze in shock. It was the same man whose head he'd ripped off just a moment ago.

Twin brothers? He'd heard rumors of assassin guilds training twin brothers for such purposes.

As he thought about this, he noticed the Warriors he'd beaten down earlier being healed rapidly by a young girl with silver twintails.

"Something like the Radiant Priests of the Brilliant White Church..." Black Whip's eyes narrowed. He twisted the whip, snapping the man's neck once again, then discarded the corpse as he moved to eliminate the girl first. He had no qualms about killing women. The only good enemy was a dead one.

"Joe, Taunt him!" the young Mage called out.

Another young man, who'd been lying on the ground, rolled onto his feet. Banging a fist to his chest, he roared, "Piss-wad!"

Black Whip felt an indescribable fury swell within himself. Actually, first he'd kill that twerp with the filthy mouth.

But he had a tight grip on his whip, and its innate magic resistance helped him to keep hold of his senses. Dismissing the last vestiges of that stray impulse, he proceeded with his original plan, and bore down on the healer girl!

He was right on top of her now. He only had to fend off another volley from the Mage-and-Hunter duo, and then nothing could stop him from ending the girl's life!

Black Whip stared as the girl hefted her iron-bound grimoire, and shoved it in his face.

"Phoenix Impact!"

What the hell kind of impact involved a phoenix?

As the hardcover tome knocked him into the air, Black Whip thought he saw the words 'Holy Bible' emblazoned across the front. Probably a sacred text from the girl's religion.

'Does your god know about how you've been throwing around his divine words!' he roared inwardly.

In his divine kingdom high above, Xi Wei saw what had been wrought, and he saw that it was good.

Black Whip fell hard to the ground, spewing blood, and decided that he'd taken more damage in that one hit than he'd suffered throughout the whole campaign.

"I see... I thought she looked frail and helpless, but it turns out she's your real trump card!"

No wonder the Mage and the Hunter had seemed faintly amused by his charge towards her, and had only made a half-hearted attempt to intercept him.

Black Whip felt he'd seen through the enemy's tactics, now.

The way things were going, it'd be best to retreat.

He brought his whip around to swat aside the foes who stood in his way, and then make good his escape.

This time, however, a bladed whip shot in from the opposite direction, tangling up his whip and preventing any further attacks with it!

Black Whip turned and saw an imperious figure, a young lady with golden hair, who regarded him with a wicked leer.

"It's all over! Your Society of the Secret Eye shows no concern for the lives of the common folk, pillaging and razing as you please, and trafficking in dangerous materials and creatures!" the young Mage declared grandiloquently. "Your defeat was pre-ordained! It will begin with the downfall of Valla!"

He raised his staff high into the air, and a blue radiance gathered at its tip. "Eat this! Frost-"

"Spear of Victory!" Eleena cried.

A ray of golden light lanced through the air. Distracted by the Mage and his extravagant flourishes, no one noticed that the girl had already impaled Black Whip to an enormous tree nearby.

"Blargh, I'm dead," Black Whip announced.

Edward stared. The orb of blue light quivered atop his staff. He felt as though he'd sneezed, and then had to suck it all back in. It was not a great feeling.

At last, he shot the blue light up into the air, as a signal. It exploded in the gloom of night like a brilliant blue firework.

"Black Whip has been slain! Resistance is futile! Surrender while you can!" Edward continued with his pompous grandstanding, urging the remaining Secret Eye troops to lay down their arms.