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Chapter 267: Kingdom of Evil
"The fighting is already so fierce!"
Ayrin trembled in shock as he burst out of the Forest of Evil.
As he stood before the Path of Evil, he felt like a small, insignificant ant about to enter a giant anthill which was Fallen Shadow Valley.
Due to the fierce battles occurring atop the many Paths of Evil, the dark purple mist covering the valley had long since begun to stir and fluctuate violently.
As it continuously twisted into cl.u.s.ters of various shapes and sizes, the forest seemed to become filled with countless hideous monsters.
The moment Ayrin, Rinloran, and Stingham stepped forth onto the Path of Evil, they would enter the land known as Fallen Shadow Valley. As they continued to swiftly charge forward, they felt as if they had suddenly run headfirst into an incredibly mystical demonic world.
Countless storms of chaotic arcane energy surged as the horrific sound of gla.s.s shattering reverberated all around them.
The two person wide Path of Evil appeared and disappeared amidst the roiling dark purple mist and the fragmented images it created. At most, the three of them could only hazily see ten or so meters before them.
"The battles must be incredibly chaotic. With these storms of arcane energy, I might be unable to use any arcane skills, at least in a normal fas.h.i.+on!" Rinloran exclaimed as his expression completely changed upon seeing the particles of condensed chaotic arcane energy flying around him. It was like a sandstorm.
With the arcane energy around him being so chaotic, the arcane energy gathered by his arcane particles when he invoked a skill would be less than normal. If an especially powerful storm of chaotic particles appeared, he might not be able to use a skill at all.
Although he couldn't see what was occurring atop the other Paths of Evil, he knew that there were definitely several thousand paths like this one. Who knew just how many arcane teams were fighting at the same time.
If not for all of the dark purple mist covering the valley, the birds-eye view of the valley and all of the battles currently occurring within it could probably only be described by one word - epic.
Stingham perversely chuckled as he said, "With such chaotic storms of arcane energy, there is definitely someone strong enough to get rid of this disgusting thing for me!"
"This…" Ayrin dazedly mumbled at this moment.
As he was buffeted by the storms of chaotic energy, arcane particles slowly appeared within his body, causing him to feel a constant tingling sensation.
Ayrin immediately regained his senses. The environment around him was just too violent. With so many battles going on, there were many skills which were being thrown out. Thus, many of the chaotic storms of arcane energy buffeting him contained arcane particles within as well.
"Perfect! I needed to replenish my arcane particles anyway!"
An excited light flashed through his eyes as he immediately ran deep into the midst of the chaotic storms of arcane energy and allowed the storms to buffet him. Arcane particles slowly condensed within his body and turned into streams of light which poured into his arcane gates.
"Careful!" Rinloran, who was in the lead, suddenly shouted.
As the path opened up, flowing currents of what seemed to be lava and cl.u.s.ters of hot, fiery red smoke emerged around it. Several stone platforms, atop which several figures were standing, extended out from both sides of the path.
"Has another arcane team already arrived?"
But as Ayrin, Rinloran, and Stingham neared the stone platforms, they abruptly became petrified.
Upon closer inspection, they discovered that the figures atop the stone platforms weren't arcane masters, but several metal, chimeresque windup puppets.
Fortunately, these metal puppets were already destroyed as fragments of metal and broken parts were scattered all over the place.
Judging from the flames still faintly flickering within the holes atop the metal puppets, it hadn't been long since they were defeated.
"The Evil Dragon Followers quite like these metal puppets it seems?"
"Rinloran, let me take the lead!" Ayrin shouted as his figure suddenly swayed and he moved past Rinloran.
In this environment where it was so hard to use arcane skills, these metal puppets were much more threatening than normal.
Ayrin knew that Rinloran was growing increasingly exhausting from the constant, high intensity moving and fighting. As for himself, he was gradually regaining strength from the constant influx of arcane particles. Any previous feeling of exhaustion had been completely supressed.
In an environment like this, Ayrin's stamina was unparalleled.
The three of them swiftly moved at a break-neck pace like this for another ten or so minutes. Just as Ayrin began to wonder where the enemies were, he suddenly felt as if he had erupted from within water as his ears popped and he abruptly felt his body become lighter. It was as if the air pressure around him had suddenly dropped.
Ayrin suddenly stopped breathing.
The scenery around him had completely transformed!
It was like he had entered a completely different world as a broad and vast plain unfurled before his eyes and the sky above his head abruptly turned a dark purple color and became filled with roiling black clouds.
The plain was littered with protruding black stone pillars and magma revealing cracks which occasionally spewed flames.
Countless explosions sounded in the distance amidst the mounds which seemed to sit at the center of this plain world as a pillar of dark purple gases shot into the sky. It looked like a ma.s.sive volcanic eruption was occurring.
"We've already entered the innermost part of Fallen Shadow Valley!"
"This plain is the floor of the valley… I can't believe how large this Fallen Shadow Valley is!"
Ayrin opened his mouth in shock. He watched as distant cl.u.s.ters smoke and flames billowed into the sky in all directions like stars in the sky, signalling the occurrence of yet another battle between arcane masters.
The distant mounds, and several parts of the nearby plains, were covered in cl.u.s.ters of specks. It seemed like this central area was where the Evil Dragon Followers had constructed their base.
After being under the control of the Evil Dragon Followers for so long, this valley had long since become its own independent kingdom, a Kingdom of Evil!
"It's so vast… it seems like the central area even extends down further into the deepest recesses of the valley."
Stingham hopped forward. He had a similar appearance of shock as he said, "A plain like this, it's almost the same size as our Kingdom of Eiche's Golden Roses Plain isn't it? No wonder this operation was so large scale… Even with a thousand arcane teams present, we cannot see anyone."
"When the darkness before dawn twisted and whirled…"
"And the Evil Dragon's forces gradually unfurled…"
As Rinloran dazedly looked at the scene before him, the anthem of Holy Dawn Academy inexplicably began to resound within his mind. He felt his hands and feet go cold as he thought of all the arcane masters who had sacrificed their lives to prevent the invasion of, and suppress, the Evil Dragon Followers. Yet the Evil Dragon Followers had still managed to flourish to such an extent.
At this moment, three arcane masters suddenly appeared not far before them. Upon seeing Ayrin, Rinloran, and Stingham, the faces of these three arcane masters filled with astonishment.
"It's the referee?" Ayrin exclaimed as he immediately recognized the black arcane robes worn by one of the arcane masters as the ones worn by referees of the national tournament.
Another two voices suddenly rang over from the distance as two arcane masters wearing moon white arcane robes appeared closely behind the referee's group
Upon seeing Ayrin, Rinloran, and Stingham, these two arcane masters abruptly trembled as looks of disbelief appeared on their faces.
"Aren't those the two leading teachers of Abel Academy?"
Ayrin, Rinloran, and Stingham exchanged frantic looks as they immediately recognized the moon white arcane robes.
Of the two Abel Academy teachers, the handsome, blue-eyed arcane master with long hair abruptly exclaimed, "Why do you have Gucci's sword?"
Ayrin, Rinloran, and Stingham exchanged looks once more as wily looks emerged on their faces and they shouted in unison, "Gucci gave this to us. He forced us to accept it."
"Gucci gave it to you?!"
Blue veins violently erupted atop the foreheads of the two Abel Academy teachers. They could tell the three before them were lying from the expressions on their faces. Furthermore, the sword was Gucci's most important treasure. Losing his sword was like losing half of his strength. How could he give something like this away to others?
"Where are Gucci and the others?!" the two Abel Academy teachers shouted as a strong killing intent began to radiate from their bodies.
"They are all fine. They are right outside of here in the Forest of Evil," Ayrin replied as he apologetically scratched his head.
"That's right! You two aren't accusing us of robbing them, are you?" Stingham shouted defensively, "There are only three of us. How could we possible rob the six of them?"
"Gucci truly gave this sword to us!" Rinloran repeated firmly.
After examining Gucci's arcane skills, Rinloran had confirmed that this sword would be of great use to him once he recovered and was able to use it. Thus, he was extremely unwilling to part with it.
Furthermore, considering how the two Abel Academy teachers had coincidentally appeared here, it was likely that they had been in on the plan.
"I will go and find out myself! If you three did anything, I will absolutely not let you go!"
The handsome blue-eyed Abel Academy teacher shouted as he gnashed his teeth and abruptly left.
"So what exactly is going on right now? Are you referees waiting here to confirm that the teams have completed their respective missions? These are arrows we collected from some Evil Dragon Archers. They should be enough proof that we succeeded in accomplis.h.i.+ng the mission we were a.s.signed, right?" Ayrin said as he quickly took out several arrows and handed them over to the referee. He quickly realized it was the same vice-referee from the national tournament
The mission they had been given required them to reach a Path of Evil and attempt to hunt the Evil Dragon Archers situated around it. As long as they acquired some arrows, they were considered to have successfully completed the mission.
"Ayrin, I don't recall us grabbing so many arrows. Just where did these all come from?" Stingham couldn't help but questioningly whisper into Ayrin's ear as he saw Ayrin pull out so many arrows.
"They came from the Abel Academy team members of course. I didn't leave them a single arrow. Even if they arrive here, they will not be able to complete their mission," Ayrin quietly replied.
"A scoundrel. You are truly a scoundrel." Stingham's face was full of shock as he said, "Ayrin, you are not a good person."
"There is no time. Come with us."
A strange expression emerged in the eyes of the vice-referee and his two a.s.sistants as he nodded in response to Ayrin's question. Afterwards, the group of three moved in front of Ayrin's group of three and began to lead them.
"We are bringing you to gather together with the other successful teams."
"You teams consist of the geniuses of the various academies. Even though you must be tempered here, you must also be kept safe. Thus, several of the Office of Special Affairs' arcane teams swept through this area before the main offensive even began."
"But as you can see, now that the fighting has erupted everywhere, the situation has become tense once more. Once everyone arrives, more missions will be a.s.signed," the vice referee quickly explained as the group of six swiftly flew across the open plain.