Chapter 31: The Ascetic (Part 2)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Magic was a double-edged sword; when used improperly, it could cause harm to oneself. After all, Saleen was now maintaining three Fluorescence spells, four Water Shields, and one Fog of Confusion. He had never experienced such a depletion of mental power before.
The ascetic had sensed the danger the mage could bring, but the female Caucasus warrior in front of him was equally dangerous. He told himself not to be distracted. He reached his hand out to clutch the air and the metal gloves suddenly held a short golden spear, which he threw at Saleen into the Fog of Confusion.
The mental power of the ascetic was very powerful, and thus the Fog of Confusion was nearly ineffective on him. The golden spear headed straight towards Saleen’s chest. Sika’s cudgel had been lowered, the face of a magic beast appearing at its tip. The face was not particularly ferocious, but it carried an ancient prehistoric air and a force that towered like mountains.
The cudgel let out a heart shaking growl, and struck at the ascetic’s right hand. Fortunately for him, it was only the high-level magical tool golden glove which took the brunt of this cudgel’s blow. The metal pieces flew about, revealing the dried, branch-like fingers of the ascetic.
The ascetic turned pale out of shock, clenched his left fist, and hit the face of the beast on the cudgel.
The prose flowed speedily. The beast’s face released a chilly growl, and suddenly disappeared. As though she had been depleted of her energy, Sika released her grip and her cudgel dropped to the ground.
Saleen’s face fell like water. The short golden spear was about to stab through his heart. There was no time to hide. The shields of water instantly stacked up on their four corners and blocked the short golden spear.
Puff! Puff! Puff!
There were three continuous sounds, the three layers of water shields instantly broken. The short golden spear had dimmed, glided off the fourth layer of water shield, and diverted its direction to strike Saleen’s waist.
Saleen felt as though he had been kicked by a sprinting horse. Although the short golden spear did not pierce into his waist, the blow churned his internal organs. He could no longer sustain his magic, the ice arrow in his hands was released, and a white line flew towards the space in between the ascetic’s eyebrows at an even higher speed than the spear.
The ascetic smiled bitterly. An end by magic was not something he cared for. The holy prose on the intact metal glove on his left hand started to flow again, and he caught hold of Saleen’s ice arrow at once.
The ascetic’s bitter smile was frozen onto his face. The ice arrow that he had crushed had become a pool of liquid which splattered around.
The Grade 0 Acid Spluttering spell. That mage whom he had looked down on had actually completed his combined spell despite his injury. The metal glove corroded into fragments, and with that, the holy prose also stopped flowing.
Saleen was paralyzed within the Fog of Confusion. Sika kneeled on the floor with her weapons released from her grip. Pino laid on the ground, dead, because Sarah’s attempt to save him had been too late. Canghong’s soft whip was now wrapped around the body of the heavily-armored swordsman. He did not have any other weapons left. Lucas’ three-edged dagger was up in the air. Sarah grit her teeth and did not assist Lucas, but continued to attack the heavily-armored swordsman whom Canghong had wounded up.
If Canghong died, Lucas would also not survive. Other than the ascetic, their strongest opponent was this heavily-armored swordsman.
The small Falcon Regiment squad was faced with the threat of being completely wiped out.
The ascetic groaned in pain, burnt in one of his eyes by the sputtering acid. Letting out a squeaky sound from time to time, he doubled over in pain. Sika, who was kneeling in front of him, continued to chant in the Caucasus language. The boomerang at her waist flew out suddenly from its leather case, drawing an arc which no one took notice of, and flew past the left arm of the ascetic.
The ascetic gave another painful whine. The boomerang had cut his wrist and with a clang, the metal glove in his left hand had dropped to the ground.
Sika then slowly lifted her head and screamed at the ascetic, “If you wish to kill the priest, kill me first!”
She no longer had any energy left to attack, but her words were exceedingly determined. The ascetic with a broken hand and a single remaining eye was astonished by Sika’s demeanor. His decades of practice and prayers seemed inferior to the simplicity and flawlessness of Sika’s one sentence. How could her heresy be so?
The ascetic’s source of power had come from his faith. However, in that moment, Sika had crushed his faith.
The power of the magic beast on Sika’s cudgel and her own power were intertwined in spirit. The magic beast had been defeated by the holy prose embedded in his glove. She should have been broken mentally. How could it be so?! Could it be that even the gods were unable to suppress this heresy?
Saleen withstood the extreme pain. His extensive use of his mysterious family badge all throughout the year had given him a high pain threshold that far exceeded anyone else’s. Even if he was struck by magic that was entirely negative, he would not lose his consciousness or mobility. He did not examine the injury on his waist, but instead brought out the witcher spider from his pocket, dispersed the Fog of Confusion, and walked slowly over to the ascetic.
The ascetic’s only eye seemed abnormal, as though he did not see the mage approaching him. Saleen grabbed the front limb of the witcher spider and stabbed the area between the ascetic’s eyebrows with all his might. His hard skull was feeble before the claw of the witcher spider, and the life slipped out of the single remaining eye of the ascetic.
Saleen gasped for air. This attack had depleted him, but he did not have any time to recover. Lucas had been impaled by a sword blade, but his three-edged dagger had killed an opponent. Judging from this, it was fine to fight one-on-one but the price to pay for fighting two opponents was death.
Saleen raised his hand, and without chanting, used three Acid Spluttering spells to kill the spear swordsman. The face of the spear swordsman was corroded by the acid. As his skin and flesh dissolved, he dropped his sword blade and struggled to cover his face, but he was simply unable to stop the acid from causing its damage.
The last heavily-armored swordsman had already loosened the grip of Canghong’s leather whip. His heavy sword flew sideways towards Sarah, about to kill Canghong first, but he instead witnessed his compatriots dying one after another. To think that this mage still had enough strength to attack!
“Go to hell!”
Saleen raved with madness in both of his eyes. A green ray landed upon the body of the heavily-armored swordsman. The heavily armored swordsman was frightened, lost his composure, turned on his heels, and escaped towards the back of the cave.
Only a pair of legs had fled. The torso of the heavily-armored swordsman remained in the same spot. The green ray on his body remained for just a single second and then disappeared. The severed body had an injury with a crystallized surface and showed no signs of any fresh blood. When Saleen saw that his plan had been effective, both of his legs went weak, and he sat down on the ground.
His magic chords were completely exhausted. This had been his last Grade 1 spell – Ice Ring spell.
The Ice Ring spell was a unique spell in that it could only attack a specific target. The duration of the attack was only one second long. In this one second, the target would be encircled by a razor sharp ice ring. As long as there was no movement, this ice ring would simply disappear in one second.
Despite the huge power of the ice ring with its extreme razor sharpness and ability to slice through any high-end magic armor, it was deemed a worthless spell.
If the heavily-armored swordsman had not been startled and tried to escape from the spell’s clutches as soon as possible, this ice ring spell would not have caused him any harm. If he had been too petrified to move, this would not have been the end result.
This was all due to Saleen’s planning. He had dispersed the Fog of Confusion and used the witcher spider to kill the ascetic to mislead his opponents into thinking that he had depleted his magic chords. Then, with the speed of lightning, he had cast three Grade 0 spells to stealthily attack the spear swordsman and deal a blow to the spirit of the heavily-armored swordsman. This was followed by the Ice Ring spell and had caused the heavily-armored swordsman’s hasty getaway.
The spear swordsman had not died, but his face was corroded to the point of exposing bone. He had also been blinded in both his eyes and no longer able to cause any damage to Saleen and the others. In a single fleeting moment, Saleen had devised a plan to crush his opponents. That was the kind of power a mage could have.
As long as he could control his opponent’s soul, a mage would be undefeatable. Saleen recalled this sentence that Jason had told him, and only now understood its meaning.
The sounds of breathing in the tunnel had become labored and could be heard from a distance. Everyone had been badly injured. Sarah was even laying on the ground, unable to get up and not moving an inch. If it hadn’t been for her breathing, Canghong would have thought she was dead.
Saleen suddenly lifted his head. He looked at Canghong, who was walking towards him, and asked, “Canghong, do you plan to kill me?”
Canghong’s footsteps suddenly stopped. He met Saleen’s clear gaze, took a deep breath, and said, “Let me take a look at your injury.”
“No need. You should go take a look at Sarah,” Saleen said as he removed a metal flask from his waist, helped Sika up, and poured a big mouthful into her mouth. The restorative water would be of great help to Sika’s injury, but Saleen had no intentions of giving it to Canghong.
He understood a little of how Canghong must have felt. If he hadn’t insisted on killing the holy master, Canghong’s squad would still have had room to maneuver through the situation, and would not have to risk their lives.
Sika took a sip of the restorative water and the numbness in her limbs disappeared. She then retrieved her boomerang and inserted it back into its leather case. Canghong saw the humongous cudgel that Sika carried on her back, and knew that he was no match for her. He then turned and walked towards Sarah.
“Sika, are you alright?” Saleen had witnessed the scene where the magic beast on Sika’s cudgel had been demolished and was exceptionally worried. Sika had regarded him as a priest. He had heard that sentence clearly. No matter how precocious Saleen was, he was still extremely touched.
“Yes. I just temporarily lost some strength.” Sika flexed her limbs, but did not go and clean up the battlefield. Instead, she stayed beside Saleen, able to tell that Saleen was exhausted and would temporarily be unable to deploy any magic.
Saleen ruffled Sika’s hair, smiled, and said, “Sika, I am not a priest. Next time, do not risk your life for me.”
He had said it in the Caucasus language. Sika lowered her head and whispered, “Noted, chief.”
Saleen drew back his hand in embarrassment. Sika’s face was rosy and extremely beautiful. If it hadn’t been for her slightly dirty hair which was rough to the touch like the fur of stray dogs, Saleen’s heart would have fluttered.
To a mage, this was not a good thing, especially since the battle before them had not yet come to an end.
Saleen suddenly had a weird question. When he had first met Sika, she had called him a wild pig, but not a lecher. What was that supposed to mean?
Sarah’s injury was serious and she was still unconscious. When Saleen saw that Sika had nearly recovered, he passed the restorative water to Canghong while he and Sika started to clean up the battlefield.
Canghong’s emotions had also stabilized. He bandaged Sarah’s wound, fed her the restorative water, then took care of his comrades’ bodies. It was not right to put all the blame on Saleen. After all, Saleen had been hired by him. When faced with opponents, how could he spare any consideration for their positions instead of eliminating them?
His earlier killing intent had gradually diminished. Canghong watched Saleen as he used a black powder to ignite the bodies, and deployed the Fog of Confusion again. He began to consider the next steps he should take.