Chapter 1353: City of the Decisive Battle (10)
Shing! Shing! Shing!
Blade rays shuttled across the air at top speed. Little Five drifted through the air leisurely and in front of her, the blustering shadowy giant split apart, howled, and collapsed to the ground in pieces. Soon after, the giant’s shadowy fragments scattered on the ground, disappearing like melting snow. At that moment, Little Five nodded in satisfaction, flipped the sword over her back, and sheathed it. Then, she walked up to Catherine, who stood at the side blankly, pulled out a lollipop from the armful of snacks, and licked it all over. Catherine swallowed her saliva as she had watched the battle earlier and didn’t move an inch.
“This is so boring, and those monsters are so stupid to block our way… Hey, Catherine, what do you think we should do now? Mr. Rhode ran off somewhere and we’re the only two left now. There are also those troublesome monsters everywhere, and we can hear those…”
Before Little Five finished her sentence, a thunderous explosion boomed in the distance and the earth trembled. Soon after, they witnessed the tower shaking, debris falling like rain, and another tower collapsing onto the ground. And at that moment, Little Five pulled Catherine away hurriedly, which was how they avoided being crushed. But even so, they were covered in dust and sand that raised from the ground. Fortunately, they fled into the next alley in time, which kept their clothes from looking like the rags of refugees.
“Cough, cough… What a sick world… I miss my little nest… Then again, where the hell is Mr. Rhode? Really, why didn’t you bring him along when you ran up the stairs? Why did you have to go up there all by yourself? Besides, wouldn’t it still be useless even if you went up alone? Never mind, you’re my shopping cart now anyway, so everything’s good. Hold the snacks properly, especially the blue bag; I had a hard time finding it.”
After hearing Little Five’s complaints, Catherine nodded with a forced smile and didn’t say anything more. Rhode didn’t know how Little Five won her fight, but Catherine was well aware of it. In fact, when Catherine first witnessed the fight, she was concerned. The opposing Little Five didn’t talk much, but she attacked fiercely and looked quite strong. But perhaps due to the fact that Catherine had arrived at the top floor, Little Five didn’t want to embarrass herself or knew that things wouldn’t end up well if she continued to avoid fighting, so she rose up and fought back against her other self. But eventually, she still covered her head and sneaked away like a rat.
But when God closed a door on one, he also opened a window at the same time. Little Five didn’t have much talent in terms of battle. But in terms of chattering, her talent was at its peak. So even though she was being beaten up and fleeing, her mouth wasn’t idle at all. Unlike Catherine’s nagging, Little Five grumbled, mocked, and scolded her other self. She was apparently running away from her opponent and yet, she mocked her opponent for not knowing how to fight in the slightest, which was simply asking to be beaten up. Meanwhile, her other self, who wasn’t good with words, got so furious that she stomped her foot.
As a result… Her other self accidentally revealed her weakness after she was mocked too much by Little Five. In an instant, Little Five, who was jabbering on like 3000 quacking ducks, flourished her sword and punctured her other self, thus emerging as the winner. The plot twist was so drastic that it surprised even Catherine. If Rhode were here, he would certainly lament that summoned spirits were indeed summoned spirits; be it how unreliable they appeared, their attacks were still lethal whenever they were serious.
However, this move by Little Five was considered a deadly and indiscriminate AoE weapon that simply ignored the targets. In that battle, even Catherine who stood at the side also felt giddy from her constant babbling, not to mention Little Five’s other self. What was worse was that Little Five wasn’t only making a din, but her complaints were all clear and distinct. Unless one were deaf, otherwise one couldn’t possibly ignore her.
Perhaps that was why Little Five didn’t take this approach earlier. On one hand, the shadowy monsters couldn’t understand the human language and on the other, maybe Rhode would have slashed her with his sword before the shadowy monsters were even dead. One could only wonder where on earth she got all that talk from.
“It is noisy and messy all around, Mr. Rhode is nowhere to be seen, and I don’t know what’s going on with the others. This is just awful… Things will get worse if those guys are on our tail. By the way, Catherine, let’s go over there!” Little Five said and clapped her hands together as though she recalled something. Then, she pointed at the tower with a mental crystal emanating at the top.
Upon seeing her action, Catherine nodded without saying a word. Even though they had absorbed one personality each, their personality didn’t change greatly. Thus, as usual, Catherine let Little Five make the call just like how she let Rhode do it. Now that Rhode wasn’t around anymore, she could only rely upon Little Five.
It could also be said that… Both of them didn’t grow at all.
Fortunately, Rhode didn’t know about that. Otherwise, he would be entirely speechless. And now… He didn’t have the time to care about Little Five and Catherine any longer. Because he was also facing the same problem.
“These guys are everywhere.”
Looking at the trio that surrounded him and Eleanor, Rhode couldn’t help but curl his lips. This was already the fifth ambush and he didn’t know where this team found such patience or hatred to target him for so long. And he also didn’t know if it was due to the fact that his team had fewer members than them, but they no longer fled after failing their ambush like they did in the beginning.
On the contrary, they shamelessly opted for a siege, attempting to make him and Eleanor expend their energy. Unless absolutely necessary, they would never leave. Rhode also realized that these three mental projections had no intention of retrieving any mental crystals either. Instead, they seemed to be stalling for time, which felt quite strange.
Logically speaking, all mental projections would choose to attain their three rightful mental crystals in the shortest amount of time possible. However, these three seemed to be oblivious to that and had no similar thoughts or plans at all, which Rhode found to be a bit strange. No, really strange. He even wondered if they had some inside information that compelled them to do this. But no matter how he asked, they just wouldn’t say a word. Left without a choice, he could only continue his actions. After all, that was the only thing he could do.
At this thought, Rhode collected his scattered thoughts and exchanged a subtle glance with Eleanor who leaned on his side. Then, he dashed ahead abruptly, flourishing mighty blade rays across the air that glowed like a large, blooming flower. The massive blade ray transformed into a violent storm that slashed his targets. Facing this attack from him, Dona, who stood opposite him like a wild beast, advanced instead of retreating. In a loud bellow, she extended her claws and pounced on Rhode.
Cling! Cling! Cling! Cling!
Although Dona was unarmed, she waved her arms cleverly to resist the thrust-out sword from Rhode, forcibly stopping his assault. But Rhode wasn’t a fool either. After his attack was nullified, he pulled back his sword and withdrew all the blade rays, coalescing them into a solid barrier, which he dragged downward. At that moment, the weapon in his hand didn’t look like a sword at all, but rather a hammer that came down at Dona heavily.
And although Dona reacted promptly, she couldn’t match his speed. Perhaps in the game, a level 85 player could be as quick as him, but in the mental world where he had the attributes of the Void Dragon, even the deity wardens couldn’t match up to him, not to mention card spirits. So even if Dona dodged well in advance, Rhode’s increased speed of attack stabbed at her chest accurately. In this menacing strike, Dona let out a grunt, flew off, and slammed onto the wall heavily, before collapsing to the ground.
The confrontation between them lasted for only a moment. The instant Dona withdrew from the battle, the Grim Reaper and Little Five also attacked from both sides. One of them was full of ghostly aura, and the other one was like an elusive specter. But even so, they weren’t able to gain any advantage over him. After all, there was another person beside him.
“Apologies, this path is closed.”
With a playful laughter, Eleanor swung her scythe across the air, stopping Little Five’s rapid assault. Then, the former turned her slender body to the side, deflected the sword in Little Five’s hand, and struck the long handle of her scythe on Little Five’s body. Even though Little Five was immune to physical attacks to a certain degree, perhaps due to the fact that both of them had the ‘death’ attribute, Little Five wasn’t able to dodge Eleanor’s attack entirely and was struck away.
Despite that, she didn’t end up as miserable as Dona. She somersaulted in midair to counteract the impact. Meanwhile, on the other side, the other Grim Reaper on her team chose to give up after witnessing two of her teammates suffering defeat. Almost in the blink of an eye, they quickly lifted Dona, who hadn’t gotten up from the ground, up and disappeared from Rhode’s and Eleanor’s sight.
“Sigh… What a headache.”
Neither Rhode nor Eleanor had the intention of chasing after them. Because they were well aware that it wouldn’t serve any purpose. If they weren’t within the range of the mental crystal, such battles were meaningless. Of course, it also wasn’t entirely so. As long as they captured, knocked the three of them unconscious and brought them to the respective mental crystals, they could secure the victory without having a fight there. But no one knew if that would work. Besides, the trio fled so quickly that Rhode didn’t wish to waste time pursuing them. Not only that, but he was also starting to feel a little annoyed.
Based on so many encounters with them, he realized that those three personalities belonged to the ‘instincts’ of their respective mental world, which was the toughest personality to deal with. As the saying ‘a leopard never changes it spots’ went, nothing was harder to deal with than one’s instincts. But… What exactly were they trying to achieve?
While Rhode pondered, he didn’t know that the trio that fled from him and Eleanor had already flown past buildings after buildings. They still didn’t communicate with one another and were not even making a sound at all; they simply flew across the air like they were being pulled by an unknown force.
After a few moments, the trio arrived at the roof of a tall building, which didn’t have a mental crystal and was just an ordinary high-rise. But they didn’t seem to care about the crystals at all. They stayed quietly on the rooftop as if waiting for something. Shortly after, they heard a squeak. The heavy iron door on the side of the rooftop opened and a figure appeared in front of them. When they saw that figure, they neither attacked nor approached it. On the contrary, they took a few steps back like fierce beasts as though facing some kind of enemy. Not only that, but their eyes were also filled with vigilance and hostility as they glared at the figure.
“Jeez, I thought I’d get better treatment.”
The person who appeared in front of the trio was the one who started this competition, Karin. But unlike the Karin Rhode remembered, this young lady displayed a wry smile. She had her hands around her shoulders and squinted unpleasantly as if she were sizing up some experimental animal.
“Never mind… I knew it would turn out like this. It looks like you guys seem to be in a mess, but that’s not surprising, though. According to the estimation of my core, Mr. Rhode’s strength is at a pretty high level. If he wanted to, he could beat the three of you without any difficulty. But I didn’t expect him to not have any reaction in the face of your repeated attacks. I wonder if it’s because you, Big Sisters, are really bad at it or there are some other reasons behind it… Forget it, that’s enough for this topic…” Karin came to a pause as she unmistakably sensed the hostility surging in them. But even so, she didn’t look threatened in the slightest. “… Let us continue then, Big Sisters. You don’t have much time left. If you don’t want the core to awaken, you need to give all your strength. Right now, on the outside…”
It was at that moment when another loud collapse sounded. Karin stopped speaking, narrowing her eyes as she stared at the slowly-collapsing tower. A dangerous smile flashed in her eyes.
“There’s not much time left. Everything is going according to plan. I hope that you will continue to work hard, Big Sisters. If you don’t want to be eaten after the core awakens, you should try to seize the present and grab the opportunity for your existence. But you must also be careful; my two other selves seem to notice that something is wrong. Jeez, I don’t want to be exposed. At the very least, it’s still meaningful to me now that the experiment isn’t completely over.”
Karin spoke, lifting her head to look at the dark, gloomy sky and curling her lips slightly. Although her smile seemed gentle and soft, it gave one an unsettling and pressurizing feeling. And perhaps sensing this feeling, the three of them backed up once again. Upon realizing their reaction, only then did Karin withdraw her gaze on the void and smile at them as if she were looking at her satisfying experimental subjects.
“Alright, now that the stalling mission has been accomplished, you can follow the previous plan to activate the next mental crystal. But be careful, don’t meet people you shouldn’t, or even I won’t be able to help you.”
With that said, Karin gently lifted the hem of her skirt and bowed to the trio in front of her. She smiled softly, stretched out her fingers, and snapped. Along with that action, a white, flawless card flew out from her hands. In the face of the card that Karin flicked out of her fingers, Dona reached out her hand and received it silently.
“It seems like this is the limit to your abilities. But don’t worry, I’ve also prepared my trump card. The next time you fight against Mr. Rhode, activate this card if you encounter a tricky situation beyond your grasp. I think it will give you a big surprise. Alright then, I’ll take my leave now… Hoo-hoo…”
Along with the laughter, the heavy iron door closed itself. At that moment, the rooftop of the high-rise was empty.