Chapter 113: Bait, cloak and dagger
“Follow me. Doesn't matter if you're a little slower, just don't make too much noise,” Ayrin immediately told Moss.
“What do you mean, doesn't matter if I'm slow, just don't make too much noise?!” Depressed, Moss made a face, but then he opened his eyes wide the next second.
Ayrin immediately transformed into a faint blur in his eyes, even flowing like the wind inside the forest, not even breaking a single branch.
Only then did Moss realize that Ayrin really had the qualification to look down on him.
Because, not even mentioning not making noise, even if he charged forward like a mad bull and made as much noise as he pleased, it seemed he still would be far from Ayrin's dazzling speed.
“What drug did this guy eat, why does it seem like he suddenly became even faster than Wilde!”
Doing his utmost, Moss proceeded to move fast yet carefully, such a thought filling his mind.
After running maybe ten minutes on the hillside toward the entrance of the canyon, Moss started again to curse Ayrin loudly in his mind: “Are we buddies or not? Can't you slow down a bit and wait for me!”
Not only he couldn't see Ayrin running in front of him anymore. He couldn't even see Ciaran behind him either.
He knew full well that Ayrin was surely nearby, and that Ciaran was surely observing them from the shadows. Yet, this was a real fight, so he couldn't hold back his fear and anxiety.
He heard a small voice all of a sudden.
“...” He saw Ayrin in some underbrush not even twenty meters away from him as soon as he turned his head around. The latter signaled him with his eyes.
Moss rushed beside Ayrin, forcing down the urge to throttle him. Gnashing his teeth, he said against his ear, “What are you doing!”
“It should be right in this patch of woods in front of us.” Ayrin didn't even notice Moss' expression. He merely nodded quietly at the dense patch of woods in front of them. “Next, you walk in front and be the bait, I'll secretly follow behind.”
“Why am I the bait!” Moss almost passed out from anger. “Ayrin, I never thought you were so quick to betray your friends. Why don't you act the bait instead?”
“Because I'm much faster than you right now. I'll be harder to find when I act under cover. Also, I can use Evil Flaming Eye and sneak on him even from somewhat far away. You only know some close-combat skills right now, right?”
“I won't let you off if you screw up!” Helpless, Moss readied himself to find a path forward and act like the bait.
Ayrin smiled at him. “You be careful. Many dwarves died here, maybe there'll be departed spirits everywhere inside. Don't let the ghosts grasp your feet, and don't step on a pile of skulls.”
“You idiot. You're still in the mood to joke and scare me even at a time like this!” Moss' hair stood on end when he heard Ayrin. His vision went black from anger.
“Look at you acting so nervous, I'm just enlivening the mood. Do your best, brave warrior.” With a wide grin, Ayrin gestured at him to forge on bravely.
“This...where is he?”
Moss very soon came to a clearing inside the woods.
There was a bonfire on the ground. Small bones had been tossed into the almost-extinguished fire.
At first glance, they should be hare bones.
However, there weren't any footprints around the bonfire.
Moss stood where he was, looking in every direction around him, his mind on high alert, at a little loss what to do.
Right at this moment, an arcane master wearing a skintight arcane master uniform the color of dead leaves was watching him, not far away behind his back.
This was a young man with sparse, disheveled, light-yellow hair. His chin was very pointy, his eyes a little triangular. One couldn't help but associate him with a viper at the very first glance.
His eyes were extremely cold and sinister while he observed Moss. It seemed he almost couldn't resist the urge to act against Moss, but after a little hesitation, he still slowly retreated backward, trying to leave immediately without a trace or sound.
Just at this time, he suddenly felt a scorching aura behind his back!
This arcane master's expression changed all of a sudden. He faintly moved the little finger on his left hand. The clothes on his back suddenly split open, ejecting four thin ice-like blades half a meter long, forming a flower of blades fiercely shooting out.
At the same time, arcane particles sprayed and flowed below his feet. White flashes of lightning enveloped the lower half of his body. He shot forward at alarming speed.
A “Pa” exploded in the forest.
A soft Eh escaped Ayrin's lips after his surprise attack.
The bloom of blades cut off the Evil Flaming Eye he'd released into many parts.
These four thin blades clearly didn't come from a materialization skill, but were made from genuine metal. And the only reason his opponent had time to launch an arcane skill and make his escape was because he managed to fire these four blades via some unknown method and blocked his Evil Flaming Eye.
“He already attacked?! There's really someone hiding about?”
Moss jumped violently a step forward when he heard the vibrations born from the clash between the Evil Flaming Eye and the blades. He turned around, appalled.
“Evil Flaming Eye?”
That arcane master had already catapulted more than twenty meters away. Right now, his face became extremely pale.
White flashes of lightning appeared under his feet. Countless small bolts of lightning wrapped half his body. His body shot out more than twenty meters away, once again.
This arcane master halted, immediately stopping his escape. Cold sweat flowed nonstop beneath his broken clothes.
The moment he halted, Ayrin seemed to emerge from the shadows, not even twenty meters away from him.
“Are you an arcane master from Holy Dawn Academy?” This arcane master looked at Ayrin and Moss' obviously young and tender faces. He squeezed out a smile and said, “Maybe you're mistaken? Why did you sneak-attack me all of a sudden?”
Ayrin gestured at Moss to flank him, saying at the same time, “You must be called Paul right? You even used Flash Steps right now, I shouldn't be mistaken.”
“He doesn't look scared at all... Why am I so nervous and scared even my body seems heavier? Bastard, I can absolutely not look worse than him. If I made a fool of myself, he's going to make fun of me for sure!” Moss roared madly in his mind.
His fear and nervousness seemed to vanish gradually. With quick steps, he circled to this arcane master's lateral side.
“I'm indeed called Paul, but I really have no idea why you're attacking me.” This arcane master's face turned even paler.
Ayrin opened his mouth as if he wanted to speak with this arcane master. But he didn't say anything to him. Instead, he directly shouted at Moss as soon as he opened his mouth, “Moss, grow bigger!”
At the same time, he disappeared from where he stood and suddenly appeared on this arcane master's right.
“Grow bigger, is Multi-Sizing called grow bigger? Do you think I'll immediately grow bigger just because you said so?!”
Moss couldn't resist cursing Ayrin again in his mind. However, an indescribable heat ignited even more fiercely inside his chest.
His clothes immediately sounded as if they were bursting at the seam.
With an explosive “Pa,” Ayrin and this arcane master called Paul blocked each other's punches.
“Is that a beginner arcane master with only one open gate? How can it be like this!”
“Why is his strength so high!”
Paul fell back five steps in succession. The left arm he used to block Ayrin's punch was thoroughly numb.
After smashing Paul with a punch, Ayrin slightly jumped half a step back, about to resume his charge forward as if without the slightest delay.
But just at this instant, he saw the brilliance of arcane particles flashing on Paul's right hand.
“Swish!” “Swish!” “Swish!” “Swish!”
Five brightly-colored flashes flew and slashed his way.
Already leaning slightly forward, Ayrin's body changed directions with extreme coordination. His figure shook. Against all expectations, he directly charged through the five brightly-colored flashes.
An Evil Flaming Eye shot out at the same time from his left hand.
Paul's eyes suddenly stared straight at the Evil Flaming Eye, his movements pausing under its influence.
Just at this moment, an explosive war cry boomed from Moss' mouth. He jumped fiercely and smashed Paul with a punch.
Paul immediately splashed out, crashing and breaking through several small trees.
“Ah!” Moss couldn't help shouting miserably at the same time, however.
Several rows of tiny bloody holes had appeared on his fist.
“He's wearing bramble armor!” Ayrin shouted. He already vanished from where he stood, chasing after Paul's flying body.
“My fist's already like this, do I still need you to remind me he's wearing one of these bramble armors at twelve gold coins apiece!” Moss couldn't help but shout.
The instant Paul landed on the ground, Ayrin was already within three meters beside him. The brilliance of arcane particles once again flashed on his left hand.
But in this precise instant, more than a dozen cold beams of light appeared in his vision.
He tiptoed lightly on his feet, and, leaned suddenly backward, his body close to the ground, then flew away to the left in a slanted posture.
This posture would surely be extremely awkward for someone else, but at this moment, Ayrin flitted obliquely with astonishing grace and harmony, as if it were effortless for him.
Cold beams of light passed over him, one after another. One of them brushed against his waist, giving him the icy feeling characteristic of metal.
“He can dodge even like this!”
“Is he an arcane master with elven bloodline?”
Sprawled on the ground, coughing nonstop, Paul released two ring pulls from his right palm. Whether the revolving blades he released from his back at the beginning or the flying blades he shot out from his arm, all were masterpieces crafted by metalsmithing masters that he acquired at a great price.
This kind of elaborate but formidable metal spring weapons could complement an arcane master's level when it wasn't sufficient enough. Relying on the coordination of these weapons with body arcane skills, he'd even successfully killed opponents with three open gates.
But right now, he'd suffered twice in succession at the hands of two people who should be beginner arcane masters, judging from their looks.
Hugely afraid, he forcibly propped his body up and half sat down. He crossed his hands in front of him and made a gesture as if he were blowing out air.
Arcane particles continuously flowed out from his ten crossing fingers.
Scarlet fireballs fluttered outward like soap bubbles, one after another, densely bubbling in Moss' and Ayrin's direction.
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