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Chapter 280 – Revenge (4)
“…Acceleration spell? No, it is a little different,” Zest muttered as he felt a subtle discomfort.
His sword couldn’t be caught simply by speeding up. As such, it wouldn’t be different if Randolph, who had an acceleration ability, was here. The ability to cut space was that powerful. Even if the attack was foreseen with ‘Pathfinder’, it couldn’t be caught with a fast speed. Theodore was only able to avoid it by turning to lightning.
Yet Gladio was somehow catching up with Zest’s sword.
‘Well, there is no reason to talk about it.’
Theodore knew the secret, but he didn’t open his mouth anymore. As Zest was feeling the discomfort, Theodore rotated his circles and gathered magic power. The amount of magic power surpassed that of a typical 7th Circle magician.
Theodore’s red robes flapped from the pressure, as dozens of fire spears appeared in the air.
Four Slots Open.
Quadruple Flare Lance.
The number of spears which could be created with one spell was seven, so the four Memorize slots were added to his spoken spell to create 35 fire spears. The chilly night air started boiling, and the darkness was driven away.
The Shadow Knights hiding in the darkness were exposed, and light struck the middle of the stage.
The 35 spears shot forward without hesitation.
Kwa kwa kwa kwang!
He didn’t think they would hit Zest’s body. A sword master could move a few dozen meters in one step, so lightning magic was more appropriate than fire magic if he wanted to hit a sword master.
Theodore knew all this, but he still chose to use fire magic. The reason for it was revealed shortly afterward.
“Kuk, this doll is quite decent!” In a sharp and violent manner, Zest shouted angrily as he took three steps back.
It was because the explosion of the fire spears swallowed him the moment Gladio struck with his sword. Of course, the damage to Zest was only marginal. As one of the most powerful sword masters, Zest’s defense meant he could withstand 5th circle magic.
The problem was that the fire spears were only the beginning.
Theodore unleashed three spells at the same time.
A net of lightning, gravity, and poisonous fog formed around Zest and Gladio. It was different for the non-living Gladio, but it was a deadly series of attacks for Zest’s body. ‘It is an attack that can easily be avoided if he is only dealing with me…’
Right now, Zest had to deal with the sword master and automaton Gladio that could catch up with his sword. The moment he tried to step away from the fog, Gladio’s sword aimed at Zest’s head.
Zest’s ankles sank down into the ground. “Damn, this shitty can!”
That’s right. Unlike Zest, Gladio didn’t receive any damage from the lightning, gravity, and acid. Theodore used this point to successively use wide-area magic. Additionally, a sword master’s defense was proportional to their aura. If Zest tried to block the magic with his aura, he couldn’t help being exhausted. If he tried to retreat, Gladio would catch his ankles, and if he tried to survive, his aura would be exhausted rapidly.
Nevertheless, the strength of the 2nd Sword, Zest Speitem, hadn’t reached the bottom yet.
Zest’s Style Space Cut:
Footwork Hidden Technique.
At first glance, Zest’s blade cut nothing but air. Gladio didn’t have an ego and didn’t care, but Theodore was suspicious. In retrospect, it was natural to think about the application. It reduced the path that the sword passed through, speeding it up. If this was possible, could it be used for something else?
Yes, let’s give one example.
―Cutting down the interval used to approach the enemy.
“Gotcha, kid.” Zest suddenly appeared in front of Theodore and aimed his sword.
Zest’s Style Space Cut:
The blade shone in the light. The space cut appeared behind Theodore and aimed for the cervical spine at the back of his neck. A red glow scattered like blood. In fact, it wasn’t actually blood because Theodore had jumped forward into Zest’s arms and aimed both palms.
Theodore suppressed his tempo at first because he had anticipated a surprise attack, then he borrowed Umbra’s power to escape to another dimension.
No matter how sharp Zest’s Aura Blade was, it couldn’t cut Theodore who was temporarily in another dimension. It might be different with the hidden technique he used in the past, but Theodore couldn’t be reached with a normal aura attack now.
Theodore used his courage and wit to move through the gap and reached out a hand.
Fairy Dance’s Direct Transmission.
Double Palm Hit.
Sun and Fertile Earth.
Zest was unprotected, and he was hit sharply in the stomach. It was a blow that reproduced aura with ether, strengthening the impact of the blows.
Zest’s body was thrown back with a bang. The blood flowing from his mouth was proof that his insides had been impacted. He wasn’t careless, but it was the price he paid for not doing his best.
Gladio mechanically chased him with his sword, while Zest raised his head.
Zest wasn’t angry about being hurt, he was just indifferent.
“I should go all out.”
The aura overflowing from Zest’s sword faded. No, it was converging with a much stronger density. That power which oscillated space gathered on the blade, transforming it into a sword that would kill anything it touched. Theodore saw it and knew it was a signal for the end.
‘He is bringing out his trump card.’
The first style of Zest’s technique, cutting through space to shorten the attack process, was just the basics. Zest’s true combat power wasn’t attached to preemptive attacks.
It wasn’t just the attacking process, but also the attack power that cut at the target. This wasn’t just physical strength, but a destruction that could make it through magical defenses. This was the true value of his space cut.
Theodore needed to avoid it unconditionally or use a magic that resisted the concept of space. There were only two ways to fight. Theodore wiped at his sweat and pulled out the trump card he had prepared.
Three Slots Open.
Triple Infernal Blade.
Infernal Blade compressed the 7th Circle magic, Inferno, into a single blade. This was an original spell that Veronica had once shown him, and he had received it directly from her. A sword of purgatory which could threaten a sword master…
Zest remembered seeing it in the last war, so he raised his sword and commented, “That is the Witch’s heat sword. You didn’t use this last time?”
“I guess that is true.”
“You have grown so much in four months…? It sounds like nonsense, but I believe it because I have been watching you.”
His frosty eyes said that he recognized Theodore as an equal power. At this moment, Zest Speitem decided to use everything he had to kill Theodore. He would abandon his pride as the 2nd sword and face the adversary in front of him. His determination sent a cold chill down Theodore’s spine.
Then at that moment…
“Huhu, your stubbornness is up to here. Sword Brother.”
“…You, didn’t I tell you to get lost?”
“I’m sorry, but I can’t. According to the ‘Revelation,’ I have to drive out all evil in this world. It is the reason why this Antonio lives.” Cardinal Antonio, who had been watching the two people fight from behind, walked forward. The cardinal ignored Theodore like he was dirt on the roadside and whispered to Zest, who didn’t lower his guard, “Why don’t you admit it? If you want to kill him with all your strength, it is okay to borrow my hands.”
“You aren’t refusing, huhuhu!”
This was a disadvantage for Theodore. He didn’t know the cardinal’s battle ability, but if the cardinal was on the same level as a crusader, he would be a master. Theodore had grown from his experience in the East, but he couldn’t afford to go against Zest and another master.
Would he have to call out Fafnir? Or he might have to take out what he had saved as a last resort.
‘Damn, they are a nuisance in Soldun and here.’
Then it happened when Theodore was busy staring at the disgusting cardinal and thinking of options. Someone saw a dull mist appear around Dofrun Castle. Between Andras and Meltor, another force started to intervene in their battle. They reached out to those who fell and died on the battlefield.
Indeed, it was a disaster.
* * *
In the night sky which was lit up by flames, arrows revealed their fangs toward their master’s enemies.
Sometimes, it was like a swallow.
Sometimes, it was like a strand of wind.
Sometimes, it was like a flash of lightning.
The two archers fired arrows at the same time and had similar thoughts.
‘Hrmm, a formidable opponent.’
‘This human, he is amazing…!’
The two archers, Edwin and the unknown bow master, watched the battlefield at an interval of 100 meters and pulled back their bows. Either way, the goal was the same—Theodore Miller.
The empire’s archer tried to shoot him, while Edwin stopped the attempt. Zest was a strong opponent, so it would be fatal for Theodore to be hit by the bow master. Therefore, Edwin was desperately trying to stop him.
He couldn’t miss a single one. Rather, Edwin was the one overwhelming the other side with the number of arrows. Unlike the bow master who needed to reload, Edwin used the power of elementals as arrows. There wasn’t even a moment when an arrow wasn’t loaded.
Jjang! Chaaeng! Jjang! Jeeeong!
Four arrows hit in the air and exploded. Edwin understood as he watched the scene.
‘Seeing the future… it is an annoying ability.’
It might be a little exaggerated, but the ranged attacks were basically shooting in the ‘future.’ After 1 second, 2 seconds, maybe 10 seconds…
It was the ultimate goal of an archer to envision future attacks, an area which could only be reached by raising accuracy through experience and talent. However, the bow master observed and shot in the future. Even before Edwin’s arrows had finished their acceleration…
The arrow was deflected. A powerful shot was fired even before Edwin’s arrow left his bow. The difference in half a tempo caused him to be suppressed. Edwin didn’t feel like he was losing, but neither could he win. If this situation continued, the enemy would continue to antagonize him until the enemy’s quiver was empty.
“Hmm, it doesn’t feel bad.”
According to what he could see, the battlefield was flowing slightly in Meltor’s favor.
Despite the superiority of the Shadow Knights’ encirclement, Theodore’s unit wasn’t easily pushed. It was due to the strong combination of war mages and elves, who possessed magic, spirits, bows, and swords, compared to the knights who could only use the sword.
‘It is our first time working with humans… This is a very interesting scene.’
The elves competed against the knights with the sword, while the mages supported from the rear with various support and recovery spells. In the end, the elves pushed their enemies away and the magicians didn’t miss this gap, pouring offensive magic toward the exhausted knights.
This combination was surprisingly good. If the opponent wanted Edwin to collapse, he would have to push through with firepower or defeat Edwin with one well-aimed shot. It was impossible for the Shadow Knights to get close to him.
“…Then the problem is over there.”
There was a reason why Edwin didn’t think the winner was certain yet. It was the people wearing white clothes embroidered with gold.
They wore sun symbols symbolizing their god, and the priests sang soft songs which didn’t fit the battlefield. It was a wide-range hymn that drew out the divine power in their bodies, interfering with the magicians’ concentration and restoring the body of the knights.
The chants from the Lairon Kingdom were truly annoying.
A golden light wrapped around the knights. Knights with bones burned by fireballs, knights hit by shock waves, and destroyed knights stood up in just a few minutes.
Of course, they weren’t completely cured. However, the impact of being able to continue in the battle was quite large. In the case of Meltor, it meant they couldn’t kill the enemy unless it was a blow that caused instant death.
They overwhelmed the enemies with an efficient combination, but more enemy reinforcements would arrive over time or their magic power would run out.
“Shit! Attack those damn fanatics!”
“No! The shields of the knights are too hard. It looks like a titanium alloy…”
“It is supposed to be a rare metal, so why is there so much of it?”
“Son of a bitch! They aren’t zombies, so die already!”
Someone mentioned zombies. It was a type of undead that didn’t react even if their limbs were broken or torn off. The knights restored by the priests were indeed like zombies. It was just lucky that they didn’t smell bad. As someone laughed at the joke, another knight raised himself from a pool of blood.
Strangely, the pool of blood indicated that it was definitely a lethal blow.
The priests couldn’t restore all the lost blood, no matter how good their divine power was. The wounds were filled up, so maybe this knight was overcoming the limitations of his body with mental force?
The moment the Shadow Knight tried to get up, a fellow colleague tried to help him.
Kwaduduk! He got bitten. The Shadow Knight’s mouth, revealed by the broken helmet, struck the neck of the colleague who had come to support him. People gawked at the bizarre sight. Blood rose from the torn carotid artery, and the bitten Shadow Knight slumped down.
“Who used Berserk magic on that knight?”
“Are you crazy? Why would we make them stronger?”
“And even if that magic was used, it wouldn’t turn them into a cannibal…”
The confused Shadow Knights and magicians forgot to fight for a while because they couldn’t understand the situation. Before they could figure out why, the truth was revealed.
The knight, who had been killed after being bitted, groaned and raised himself up.
“U-Undead?” The word emerged from someone’s mouth. It was like a door had opened during the fight.
Not just one or ten… There were sounds of dozens, maybe more, footsteps in the darkness. Once they got closer, everyone realized it. The area had been contaminated by the magic of death, and it covered both Meltor and Andras.
The public enemy of everyone on the continent, the warlocks…
The darkness, which caused hundreds of thousands of casualties every time they emerged, appeared in Dofrun Castle.