Book 5, Chapter 31

A Reckless Fight

Richard walked at a leisurely pace, adjusting his grip on the elven sword as he felt every inch of the hilt. A short while later, he would need to use it for the most difficult fight of his life. The blade seemed to sense the heavy atmosphere, pulsing with his breath as it awoke from its slumber.

He admired the sight from the tower on his way up, slowly adjusting himself to maximum power. Ensio didn’t seem to have bad intentions for Sharon like Voidbones did, but Richard could not accept being pushed out of the Deepblue. Sharon was more than just a master to him, and the Deepblue was a second home. He would not abandon this place, even if the price was death.

Ensio was standing on the terrace with his arms crossed, looking down at Richard as he walked out of the exit. Seeing him so calm and unruffled, the legendary mage couldn’t help but praise him in secret; however weak he was, this sheer strength of will was rarely seen even amongst true powerhouses.

It seemed like this disgrace to Sharon’s name didn’t grow up pampered in a noble bedroom. At least he’d experienced enough bloody battles in his life to overcome the fear of death. This fight would not be a disappointment.

“Come on, kid,” Ensio said with derision, “Hurt me and I lose.”

Richard didn’t seem to be angered by this, changing the topic with a question that was looming in his mind, “What will you do once you take control of the Deepblue?”

Ensio flashed an inexplicable smile, “The same thing Voidbones wanted to.”

*Whoosh!* That smile instantly froze. He barely managed to register Richard’s roar as he flashed ten metres away, watching the afterimages formed by Richard’s attack. The elven sword shot straight through his own afterimage, flying out from Richard’s hand as it fell to the ground a dozen metres away.

Richard seemed to deflate in an instant. His entire body was soaked through with sweat, starting to sway back and forth while his imposing aura disappeared like a receding tide. That one strike had embodied all of his current power, leaving him completely drained.

Ensio slowly turned his head, shock evident as he looked at the slit in his robes at the shoulder. A long gash was revealed behind it, going all the way from the upper chest to the arm.

The wound was quite shallow, only breaking the slightest bit of skin and drawing a scant few drops of blood, but it was a wound. Richard had managed to hurt him. The legendary mage stared at this wound for a full thirty seconds before he recovered, “You really did manage to hurt me… One might say I’ve already lost. But, are you really so naive as to think I’ll just hand the Deepblue over to you?”

However, that wasn’t the end of the surprises. Ensio looked up to find Richard intoning a spell, already on the verge of completion. A determined smile had crawled up the Archeron’s face. He frowned slightly; as a legendary mage himself, he knew exactly what spell had just been cast.

It wasn’t a powerful grade 9 spell like Time Stop, nor was it the sinister Finger of Death. Instead, it was a mere grade 8 spell— Call Shadows. Although the chant was longer than normal with some obscure words added in, the difference was minimal. He could kill the nightmare creature summoned from a grade 8 spell in one breath. Why was Richard smiling so openly? Was he resigning himself to death?

However, Ensio did not lower his guard. Richard’s attack just now had exceeded all of his expectations as well. He could feel the power of laws within that strike, even if it was to a minuscule extent. That was the only reason for the strike to land; even all of Richard’s life force would not be enough fuel to overcome the difference otherwise. Still, for someone whose aptitude had only been marked excellent in the evaluation, this was an unimaginable achievement.

Ensio could feel his heartbeat quicken, his other hearts starting to pump as well. He felt an intense omen of danger from the portal that Richard’s spell had just formed.

Most summoning spells just formed a tear in space for the summoned creature to walk through. Richard had summoned a majestic gate; rusted beyond all measure, but still formidable to behold. The shadowforce within was so dense that it seemed to be substantial, the gate engraved with complicated magic arrays and runes of unknown meaning.

The temperature of the surroundings suddenly dropped, an unusual silence reigning supreme. The ocean surface had bubbled violently when Ensio teleported over, but now everything was deathly still. Behind that gate lay a formidable power that suppressed all life.

Ensio watched in astonishment as the gate slowly opened up, revealing a deep, dark void. He finally recalled just where he had seen those runes on the door and suddenly grew horrified, “RICHARD! STOP! THAT’S THE LEGION OF NIGHTMARES!”

“I… know,” Richard said calmly despite gasping for breath.

“You fucking lunatic!” Ensio brought his hands together rapidly, condensing a mote of milky white light in his palms. He then launched the spot towards the opening gate. However, the void was already half-revealed by this point, seemingly gaining its own will as an incomparably powerful shadow covered the light. The mote continued to glow as it burrowed through the darkness, but it was slowly worn away.

Before the legendary mage could do any more, the portal jolted and an enormous shadow flowed out from within. Thousands of strange creatures could be seen within the darkness surging forward like a tidal wave.

“Go to hell!” Ensio’s voice turned hoarse. He immediately curled himself into a ball, white flames emerging all over his body to burn off the attackers. However, the countless nightmare creatures charged into him without any regard for their lives.

Richard had crumbled to the floor right below the portal, awaiting death in peace. A single strike from any random nightmare creature could kill him, but they all seemed to be focused on Ensio right now.

But that was just a temporary comfort. If this legion of nightmare creatures killed Ensio, they would definitely notice him at the side right after. After devouring him, they would disperse and kill everything in sight.

He didn’t know if the Deepblue’s resplendent defences had the ability to ward off these creatures, but he did not care. Sharon would definitely survive, and that was enough. All he needed to do was ensure that Ensio died. Voidbones possessed power far beyond his own, but it was power he could at least understand. Ensio was like a bottomless well of laws; the only time he had felt something similar was when the Tree of Life in the Forest Plane had advanced. He could not be confident that Sharon would be able to deal with him if she was pulled out of hibernation.

Call Shadows had worked as expected. With him already being a beacon for nightmare creatures, he had basically opened a gate to Norland for the Legion of NIghtmares. Although there was nothing of legendary might amongst these attackers, just their sheer quantity was enough to pose a lethal threat. Escape wasn’t an option either; having tasted Ensio’s blood, the nightmare creatures would hunt him across the myriad planes,

Goodbye, Master…’ Richard thought to himself in silence as he awaited the end of his life.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: YJH

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA