However, one man was left standing amongst this messy pile of corpses. A man who had a very majestic appearance.
He was of average build, but his sturdy body stood tall like a steel tower. His red robes were glowing with a holy light that even his shiny bald head seemed to emit. He had a prominently thick, short moustache, and his right hand held a bulky shortstaff with a valuable white crystal radiating divine power atop it.
Even if he didn’t recognise the iconic red moustache, the sheer power this man was radiating would tell Richard who he was. He was the priest of this branch of the Church of Valour, Essien.
All of the clergy that had participated in the ceremony had died to Richard’s fireball, but Essien hadn’t been harmed at all. He had relied on the protection of his magnificent divine powers, but he hadn’t been able to react in time to protect his comrades.
Essien glared at Richard, raising and pointing his staff towards the mage as he exclaimed loudly, “Hideous monster from another plane! Your greed and audacity will bring you endless suffering…”
Essien’s first words were already deafening, his voice as loud as thousands of people shouting in unison. A strange phenomenon occurred even before he could complete his words, the tilted statue of Neian slowly returning to its original position.
An indescribable fear suddenly hit Richard, and Flowsand suddenly yelled from behind, “Don’t let him finish! My powers are suppressed!”
Waterflower avoided a paladin to throw herself towards the priest, but Richard immediately yelled out, “Waterflower! Come back!” She was startled, but obedience was already an instinct so she flipped around in the air as she returned to the paladin. The Shepherd of Eternal Rest slammed directly into his unprotected face.
A fireball shot out of Richard’s hands, aimed at Essien’s left rear. It landed without exploding, spiralling continuously in place as the destructive energies within grew increasingly violent. This was another delayed fireball!
Essien’s pupils shrank, but he remained still as he furiously continued his chant. The holy power that had built up in the church for years was stirred by his voice, continuously gathering in front of his staff. The crystal began to emit milky white light that grew stronger and stronger, as if thunder was about to erupt.
Another fireball whistled past him, landing behind and to his right, but even this did not explode. However, a mere second later a third headed his way. This one landed right in front of him, but it wasn’t delayed. The three fireballs formed a perfect triangle with Essien right in the middle.
Essien raised his fiery eyebrows, and it looked as if his heart had stopped beating. No more sound came out of his wide open mouth, everything suppressed as the only thing in the hall seemed to be the ringing of the magical explosions.
*BOOM!* The three waves of fire broke out at the same time, a wave of heat sweeping through the church. The two paladins nearest to the fire were sent flying back, and even if Richard was outside the church his robes were pulled close to his body. He clenched his teeth, resisting the dizziness from the sudden drain on his mana as a fourth fireball formed in his hands, also shooting out with a sizzle.
A thick, bright beam of light burst out from the centre of the explosions, spreading out to extinguish the magic flames. Essien’s figure was revealed when everything dispersed, still standing tall in front of the altar with his staff raised. Although there wasn’t any holy light around him anymore, he was so majestic it seemed like the God of Valour had descended himself.
The priest turned to look at the hideous monster from another plane, but all he could see was a spinning ball of fire heading his way. It slowly grew larger, eventually completely filling his field of vision!
*Boom!* Another wild explosion rang out, followed by a raging voice, “I CURSE YOU ALL!”
Essien’s body was tossed into the sky, crashing heavily into the statue of Neian and tilting it once more. A deafening roar sounded as the statue slowly collapsed, several divine rays flashing from Essien’s body in the middle of the rubble. The priest leapt up, dashing through the back door of the church as he disappeared into the night.
Richard was caught by surprise, only able to watch on as Essien escaped. This fight had taught him a lot about the survivability of a high-ranking priest— having launched six consecutive fireballs, he was too drained to pursue the priest.
With the priest gone, the six paladins all around level 8 weren’t his opponents anymore. Flowsand managed to heal the injuries on Gangdor and the rest, although still only able to cast normal healing spells. Even with the source of its power destroyed the church still suppressed her abilities, and if not for the Book of Time she wouldn’t even be able to heal minor injuries.
Waterflower and the rest went looking for the defeated enemies without Richard needing to give the order, exterminating more than a dozen servants in the blink of an eye. They did not hesitate to rush out the back, surrounding the paladins’ quarters where the battle still raged on.
Richard remained alone, dragging his sword along as he walked towards the battlefield once he recovered a little from the discomfort. Although he did not have much mana left, he could still fight as long as he had his sword in hand. Moreover, both Gangdor and Waterflower had searched around so there was no chance of someone being left behind. After all, the thing they spent most of their time on in the Archeron death camp was forcing prey out of hiding.
The smoke and dust finally cleared up as Richard made it to the rear, and a flash of light suddenly caught Richard’s attention. A pile of stone fragments had fallen on the altar after the statue collapsed, almost burying it, and the flash was coming a corner of a piece of paper under the rubble.
Richard was shaken, walking towards the rubble to reveal the object below. The complicated formations of the altar had been destroyed by the fireballs, and it was no longer functioning. Richard could not recognise the symbols etched on it, the spell not something he knew. Anyway, what attracted him was that piece of paper.
The page was unusually large and made of unknown materials, and had been placed at the center of the altar. It was jagged on only one side, indicating that it had been torn off a book, but it was completely blank. Even the statue of the God of Valour had been destroyed under the bombardment of the six consecutive fireballs. And yet somehow, this page remained unscathed.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Mel
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA