The attack had been far too sudden to avoid. Before Richard even knew it, the dagger was embedded up to the hilt and thrusting in even further. Richard turned around to fight back, but he saw an expression of pure anguish on Melia’s face with tears streaming down her cheeks; it almost made him give up on countering. However, the pain suddenly amplified as the dagger started churning within his abdomen.
Richard immediately calmed down, his thoughts reaching peak speed as the entire world seemed to slow down before his eyes. Melia’s dagger was starting to tear apart his organs, but instead of fighting back immediately he pulled his consciousness back into his soul space.
Seeing the expanded web of lava that was his Archeron bloodline and the trees within it, he mobilised all of the power he could. The two planets orbiting him shook even as the energy rippled through the well of stars, travelling out into the void surrounding the soul space.
Melia’s hair stood on end as she sensed grave danger, letting out a piercing scream before leaping away. Distancing herself from Richard, she turned around and fled into the forest. An ashen ripple seemed to radiate three metres all around Richard’s body, turning the dagger to dust. For a moment. she saw the illusion of a pair of eyes opening up in the void, imposing their will upon all existence.
Even while his wound was starting to close up, Richard lifted a single finger and shot a grey light towards Melia’s back. She slowed down greatly, and immediately found a dozen fireballs heading straight for her. Each of the fireballs was shot in a straight line with seemingly no break, even faster than the continuous attacks of a swordsman. Each travelling at a different speed, they quickly merged into a single purplish-black orb the size of one’s fist. This fireball wasn’t particularly fast and didn’t look like much of a threat, but every elf in the vicinity shivered instinctively at the mere sight.
“What are you doing?!”
Several shouts echoed at the same time, the more powerful elves including the druids and hunters immediately heading over. Seeing Melia take flight while Richard launched a terrifying spell towards her, they moved to intercept.
Two green orbs and two phantom arrows shot out together, clashing violently against Richard’s attack. However, all of them were simply consumed as the fireball continued further, leaving the four in utter disbelief. However, the fireball grew in size and turned a dull red, making it clear that it had weakened substantially.
The two druids tried yet again, one of them shooting out a colourful stream of light while the other summoned lightning bolts to stop the fireballs. It took a few moments, but the attack was finally scattered away completely.
Before the two druids could even register the shock, the hunters moved forward to stop Richard from pursuing Melia further. The one spell had been terrifying enough to melt steel, and she certainly would not survive such an attack. Richard himself remained expressionless, the lava flowing within his pupils making their hearts almost stop in fear.
For the first time in months, Richard used a chant and gesticulated for a spell; a stream of ancient words flew out of his mouth, and in a few moments the world around him seemed to slow down.
This was the ninth grade spell Time Stop. It wasn’t a true stoppage of time— such a spell would be at least a few grades higher or require an understanding of time laws that was ridiculous— but it accelerated his own functions to such a degree that the effect was quite similar. He calmly took out his Book of Holding and summoned the two shamans, continuing to flip through the page and buffing them with multiple spells until they could rival saints. Sending another slowing spell towards Melia, he drew Extinction and threw it towards her. As the flying sword left his sphere of influence and seemed to grind to a halt, he returned the book to his waist and allowed the spell to end.
Melia immediately felt herself almost grinding to a halt, the surface of her body covered in a layer of frost. Now at less than a third of her prior speed, she would need an entire minute to escape into the woods. This was enough for Richard to kill her a dozen times over.
The two shamans quickly blocked the hunters, waving their staffs to strengthen their defences before moving up close. Their barriers were extremely strong, needing at least seven to eight arrows of attacks before they would be broken. This was more than enough to block the saints until Extinction reached its target. As for the druids, they just didn’t have the reaction time to do anything about it.
Extinction flew like lightning, leaving a trail of grey behind as it reached Melia in an instant. With her current speed, she had no way to dodge the blade at all. Once it pierced into her, its destructive energy would nullify her advantages as a daughter of the forest and kill her off instantly.
From the moment Melia backstabbed him to the launching of Extinction, it had taken less than fifteen seconds. In only two more, Richard would see her head being cut straight off her body. However, seeing her escaping figure he thought back to Tzu’s words. Tzu always had high hopes for the girl, and had explicitly told him to take good care of her. He couldn’t understand why she would turn this way, but from the one moment he had seen her face he knew something was amiss. It was only because he had no way to chase her that he had decided to kill instead.
And yet, just as Extinction reached the elven girl, it suddenly curved up and cut off a few locks of Melia’s hair. Embedding itself into a tree in the distance, it gave her the time to break free of the curses plaguing her and rush into the forest like lightning. Richard sighed and staggered back, but the four evernight elves continued to stare daggers at him as they prepared themselves for battle.
It was only when he swayed and fell to the ground head-first that his wound started spurting blood.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Styles
Edited By: Theo