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Backstory

        The worn out soldiers marched their way back home. The clank of armor rubbing acted like a signal horn, notifying the citizens of their return. In front of the city gate, there stood a white-haired lady looking at the army anxiously. She didn’t relieve until she saw the leading man.

        Once the man spotted the lady, he spoke a few words to the deputy and left the array for her.

        “Brynhild, I’m back,” said the man Sigurd softly, who was also the hero of this country. He had risked his life to rescue Brynhild, the maid of Valhalla. His bravery had won her heart, and the two of them vowed to each other, to protect the country from demons.

        Sigurd kissed Brynhild’s hand gently, but his affection was unable to calm her nerves. Stuttering for a while, she eventually spilled her thought out, “...are you sure not leaving here?”

        “I’ve made myself clear,” Sigurd paused and let go of her hand in a frown, and he continued, “this is my home. I’m not going anywhere!”

        “I know! I don’t want to abandon here too, but Odin said the place is difficult to defend. The resources nearby had already been harvested because of the war. If we stay, we’ll die of starvation before getting killed by demons!”

        Punching the wall, the agitated Sigurd said, “so be it, but I won’t sit back and do nothing. I’ll kill as many demons as I can, even if I have only one arm left!”

        “You——” Brynhild was stunned by his unwavering determination.

        Boom! A sudden explosion cut their quarrel off. Brynhild listened closely and said, “the noise came from the residential area…”

        “Demons! It must be those cold-blooded demons!” As Sigurd arrived at the scene as fast as he could, he found that the city wasn’t under any demon’s attack. Instead, it was by a hovering dragon called Fafnir.

        The dragon condensed elements into an energy sphere. With a simple flip, it shot the sphere to smite a few houses, as well as the soldiers nearby. Yet it wasn’t enough for Fafnir, which struck again at the injured civilians.

        “DON’T YOU HURT MY PEOPLE!” With a furious shout, Sigurd pulled out his sword and wrapped the blade in flame. He wielded the sword to bust the energy sphere with fire. As the sphere exploded, the shockwave forced Fafnir to descend.

        “How dare you monster wreck our home! I’ll put you evil creature down!” Sigurd pointed his sword at Fafnir again——

        “Wreck you home? Look around you,” said Fafnir as it pointed at the deforested land afar.

        “You humans destroyed the forest, and you wrecked the realm created by the primordial dragons! You will pay the price for that!” The dragon eyes scowled at Sigurd.

        “...Humph. If both of us are protecting something, then let’s see who is strong enough to be the protector!” Instead of chickening out, Sigurd was more encouraged than ever; meanwhile, the flame on his sword felt his passion, which started burning fiercer.

        Sigurd took a leap towards Fafnir, while Fafnir shot a swamp of light arrows at him. In the nick of time, he wielded the sword as many times as he could, slashing the incoming arrows. As
Sigurd had already arrived in close proximity, Fafnir decided to retreat to the air. Yet its intention was caught by Sigurd, who successfully intercepted it at low altitude. When he was about to slash downward——

        “WHOA!” Sigurd got blown away by the extreme wind pressure, crashing to the ground. Despite the nerve-wrecking pain, the expression on his face was the triumphant smile, for he had already made a gigantic cut on Fafnir. Blood was splashing from the wound, staining the land into crimson-red.

        “How dare you despicable human...I will kill you...No. I will maul you!” Enraged, Fafnir dived down and waved its deadly sharp claws!

        “Argh——!” Not only getting scratched at the back, Sigurd was being brought into the air. Meanwhile, Fafnir gradually tightened its grip, smothering him.

        “The heroic spirits! I now offer you the blood of a dragon. May our hero be blessed!” Brynhild sang the prayer, bringing the heroic spirits into the battle. As the spirits fused with the dragon blood, the liquid boiled immediately; next second, it flew towards the captured Sigurd!

        “This is…the power of the deceased heroes...and their hope!”

        The blood attached to Sigurd and his sword, consolidating into a blood armor.

        “You foolish dragon that upholds a false creed, accept the punishment from the hero of Volsung!” Sigurd struck the critical hit at Fafnir.

        “ARGHHH——!” Fafnir, stabbed by the sword, let out a tremendously tormented scream. Strangely, it began to crumble, starting from its tail to the whole body. At last, there was nothing left but a tiny piece of scale.

        “Was that...a phantom?” the confused Sigurd mumbled as he picked up the scale.

“Yes. The phantom was actually the energy and resentment remaining on the scale,” Brynhild said while coming over to Sigurd, and she continued, “it was here to testify our sins.”

Before Sigurd could argue, a soldier cut him in.

        “Captain Sigurd! Demons are invading the east!”

        “Humph! Filthy demons!”

        Lifting his head up, Sigurd stared at Brynhild with determined gaze.

        “I don’t care how many sins I’ll bear, if this is what it takes to protect my people and my love,” Sigurd made a statement ludly.

        Sigurd reached his fully-scarred hand to Brynhild, which was also the witness to his sins.

        “Come on, Brynhild. Let’s defend our homeland till the end and beyond.”

        “After all these years, he has never changed. He’s still a man of righteousness who is willing to risk everything, and I’ll always love him for that.” The moment Brynhild held back his hand, she was prepared to bear the sins with him…

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