Book 3, Chapter 16

A Battle For Vengeance

A 1000-gold reward would be given out once the caravan’s route was confirmed. This was enough to attract most commoners and even some fighters. With the elite bats serving him, Richard had no problems communicating with Bluewater Oasis; those who wanted the reward could inform a liaison in Bluewater and he would know in at most half a day.

This second-class caravan didn’t have too many supply carriages; in fact, there were less than ten, making it seem like it wouldn’t make much profit. However, the 300 guards surrounding it exposed its true value. The size of the army and the Red Cossack flag would let them traverse the Bloodstained Lands at will.

On this day, however, a cavalryman jumped out from the dense fog in front of them, blocking their path ahead.

The corner of the leader’s eye twitched, and he raised his arm for them to stop. All the guards were ordered to be alert, while he sent a few messenger hawks off immediately. This man had wandered the Bloodstained Lands for many years; if someone dared block their path despite the flag, they obviously came prepared.

Richard halted his warhorse, staring icily at the second class caravan opposite him. He didn’t mind waiting for them to set up defensive formation.

Once the caravan finished preparing their defensive measures, he raised his arm and pointed at them calmly, “Kill them all.”

Squad after squad of soldiers charged past him, running towards the caravan in the most orderly of formations. The first row was made of barbarian soldiers with heavy shields, and following were the throwers. After that came the elves and the archers from the Demon Hunting Spears. Last of all were the foot soldiers from the Demon Hunting Spears.

First came the battle of arrows. The enemy archers were easy enough to take down with their own, but it was once the throwers were in range that Richard’s army revealed their true ranged might. A hundred sharp whistles rang out in the air, causing all the guards looking upon the rain of axes to blanch. The carriage walls definitely couldn’t block these terrifying axes!

Even if Richard wasn’t in control, his army was strong enough to completely annihilate this caravan. Not much time had passed, and Richard himself had never imagined that his strength would rise so quickly. In front of opponents he used to consider strong, he only had to order their execution and it would be done.

Richard no longer bothered with the situation at the caravan, instead slowly turning his horse. Even if those guards managed to block the first volley of axes, they definitely wouldn’t be able to sustain the second and third. It would be lucky if even half of them were alive once the throwers were through. With the support of the elven warsong, any decent number of them would have inestimable might.

Richard was waiting for the others. The ones that had killed Medium Rare.

A dry, warm wind blew across the red soil, causing it to roll and fly. Richard saw nothing besides this, but he would not completely believe his eyes. As someone familiar with the underworld, he knew assassins at or above level 10 had many methods of fooling the eye.

Three enormous bats flitted through the sky up above, and with their hearing sensed vibrations no human could on the ground. Richard could see ten vague silhouettes approaching his location in his mind’s eye, less than a hundred metres away.

His smile suddenly grew chilly!

“Flowsand!” a ray of divine light shimmered the moment Richard called out, landing on his body. Outburst was activated!

The blazing mana only strengthened Richard’s desire for battle. A stern look overcame his face as he roared thunderously, “BLACKWING!”

Blackwing!

Blackwing!

Blackwing…

His voice echoed through the dunes, twelve fireballs forming an eye-catching line of fire in the sky as they fell in the same region. The high temperature distorted space, the faint silhouette of a human figure popping into existence. This silhouette looked like it had come out of nowhere in the empty desert.

In that instant, Blackwing’s face was completely distorted from the shock. All he could see were the surging flames. Wave after wave quickly spread out, covering a hundred-metre radius. This left the assassin with no way to instantly escape unharmed, the flames drowning out his vision leaving him unable to find a line of safety.

Even if the area covered hadn’t been so extensive, Blackwing still couldn’t have escaped. He was still stealthed, limiting his speed greatly. By the time he even felt like something was off the first fireball had already exploded in front of him. He had blocked it with his own energy, but the impact forced him out of hiding. The momentum of the attack left him with no choice but to sustain the energy barrier and try to resist, leaving no chance for him to do anything else.

Looking at the stream of twelve fireballs heading his way, the assassin almost couldn’t believe his eyes. Had his mind been a little clear, he might even have thought there were eleven other invisible great mages nearby, casting alongside Richard.

Thankfully he found an opening in the last moment, activating all his energy to form a grey antimagic shield. This was a powerful ability attached to his leather armour, able to reduce the might of an offensive spell by two entire grades.

Even so, Blackwing was left in despair. This region with the twelve spells was like the abyss or hell. Even if he could hold on until the magic came to an end, he would still wind up gravely injured. This was the scary part about mages— their spells were so powerful that they could practically crush all others of the same level in direct combat.

Still, magic had an inherent time limit. As long as he could survive this, chances were high that he’d manage to escape.

The sound of the first explosion was drowned out by the whistling of the following spells, making it seem like it was completely quiet. Blackwing watched the tide of fire expanding soundlessly, drowning his body.

‘It hurts! It hurts so much!’ These were his first thoughts.

The agonising pain from these fireballs was much more intense than any he had faced in the past. He’d even braved a fireball head-on once, charging forward. But that wasn’t even half as painful as this! The last time, he had managed to get through the fires and cut the mage into a dozen pieces. Now, all he wanted was to escape!

“I need to escape!” Blackwing nearly cried out. However, instincts formed over years of battle caused him to hug his head and protect his body, crouching down on the ground. He did his best to minimise the area torched by the scalding fire that seemingly locked him into a small area. All his senses seemed to stop working, just staying there leaving him dizzy. Only lying on the ground like this could he still feel connected to reality.

Wave after wave of fire whistled past him, leaving him with a pain he could not describe. Under the threat of death, his staunch resolve began to waver. He even started to suspect that in the scant three seconds in which Richard had launched the twelve fireballs, the mage had also boosted their power.

Indeed, magic penetration and spell boosts did have many similarities.

The waves of fire struck each other and multiplied in power, their combined force much greater than their sum. Although he hadn’t been struck by all of them, by the time the last wave passed Blackwing swayed where he stood. He could somewhat see Richard’s figure through his blurred vision, and looking at another familiar silhouette getting somewhat close he heaved a sigh of relief and collapsed.

Richard swayed a bit himself, the feeling of all his mana being drawn out in an instant as terrible as always. However, seeing Blackwing forced out of stealth and falling, the gloomy aura hanging over him started to dissipate.

“Kellac!” he called out, and a vitality spell fell from the sky. Added to the effects of his own rune, his mana regenerated rapidly. The brilliance of divine spells shone once more; Kellac used a grade 5 protection spell that would greatly enhance his defence.

Only after the spell took effect did Richard turn back, flashing a smile at the assassin that was already within five metres of him.

When the assassin saw the divine spell flash over Richard, he was stunned. Being someone of experience, he instantly recognised it for what it was and was left feeling unsure. Be it in terms of protection or regeneration, divine spells were far more effective than mana-based spells of the same grade. Now, he would find it difficult to kill the mage with a single stab.

But so what? Even though Richard had noticed him, he was already so close. How could he let such a good opportunity pass by? If one stab wasn’t enough, then he would stab multiple times. Everyone knew how frail mages were, after all. The assassin cheered himself on, hissing as he left stealth to pounce on Richard like an eagle.

Before he could even recover from the shock, a tremendous strength that was difficult to block suddenly came from Richard’s long sword, knocking his dagger away. The follow-up came like lightning, cutting straight down at his body.

The assassin was absolutely shocked, brandishing his weapon at full strength to parry the strike. But he could not withstand the explosive power and fell backwards, frantically crawling out of range of the weapon.

Richard was in no hurry to pursue, his sword hand halting as he instead made a gesture. The glimmer of a divine spell shone once more; this time it was War Construct! A level 13 priest himself, Kellac was no weaker than Flowsand and her Book of Time when it came to supporting spells.

With Eruption and the two divine spells in tandem, Richard truly had turned into a war machine! A long hiss rang out, and he charged towards the pathetic-looking assassin with sword in hand. Tens of slashes were sent forth in the next moment, every strike lightning-quick yet filled with a blazing weight. A crescent flashed over his head from time to time.

In that moment, Richard scared the level 12 assassin witless!

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA