Chapter 342: Breaking Through Piece by Piece

Chapter 342: Breaking Through Piece by Piece

At this time, Chris furrowed her brows and said, “How strange.”

“What is so strange?” Stingham asked, his eyes still glued on Belo’s disfigured hands. “Anyone’s hands will become like that upon contact with that burning floor.”

“I’m not talking about his hands Moss,” Chris replied as she shook her head. “I’m talking about those streams of golden flames.”

Stingham’s face turned ugly as he agitatedly exclaimed, “Chris, you are doing it again! I’m Stingham!”

“What is strange?” Ayrin interrupted.

Although it appeared as if the silver female metal puppets were only able to rotate where they stood, making them sitting targets, there were just too many of them. If Ayrin and the others attempted to force their way through without creating an effective plan, it was likely that over half of them would be knocked out here.

“As Belo moved faster, those streams of golden flames seemed to lose some power,” Chris replied as she apologetically looked at Stingham.

“The flames lost power as Belo moved faster? Could it be…” Rinloran had not noticed the subtle changes, but upon hearing Chris’ words, a light flashed through his eyes as an idea immediately emerged in his mind.

“Let me try something!”

Rinloran was like a wisp of smoke as he abruptly entered the chamber.

The eyes of all of the silver metal puppets immediately turned over in their sockets as they began to shoot streams of golden flames once more.

Rinloran immediately increased his speed.

He didn’t rush towards any particular metal puppet but remained near the doorway and just simply avoided the incoming attacks.

“It’s true!” Ayrin cried out, astounded.

He could clearly perceive the streams of golden flames becoming thinner and weaker as Rinloran moved faster and faster.

“Whoosh!”

Rinloran exited the chamber several moments later as billowing steam began to rise from the chamber floor once more.

Due to the conditions of the competition, he immediately began to explain his insights upon returning and providing Ayrin and the others no opportunity to interrupt. “These metal puppets have the ability to latch onto the unique aura of arcane masters. This is what allows them to continuously pursue us with their attacks. Furthermore, these puppets charge their attacks as long as the target is not moving. Thus, their attacks become increasingly weak the faster we move and the more often we move.”

“As a result, the best strategy for us to pass through this chamber is simply to move through it as quickly as we can. That said, we should also try our best to stick together as a group so that we can evenly divide the number of attacks which we face.”

“So it’s like this! It all makes sense now. In the past, there must have been an arcane master presiding over this area and guarding the exit, hindering anyone who entered from charging straight through even if they figured it out! Alright, let’s get ready to move out!”

Ayrin’s eyes lit up as he began twisting and bouncing in place to warm up his body.

“Haha! I can run rather fast now. Out of the six of us, you should be the slowest,” Stingham gloated as he patted Moss on the shoulders. “Moss, try your best to not become a roasted turkey, will you?”

“Idiot!” Rinloran cursed.

“All of you get down and lick this grandfather’s feet!” Belo shouted as he looked at the two rows of metal puppets.

Afterwards, Belo’s body began to contort as he transformed into a monster which was half wolf and half man.

“Are we all ready to go?” Chris asked as she tied her hair up in a ponytail.

“Let’s not waste any more time then. Go!” Rinloran shouted as he took the lead.

“Charge! Brave warriors!” Ayrin immediately hollered afterwards as he also charged forwards at a pace no slower than Rinloran.

“I’m coming! Wait for me!” Stingham cried out.

“What?!”

Stingham had only just entered through the bronze gate into the chamber when his eyes abruptly widened in shock… because a huge red blur had exploded by him the moment he entered. He watched as the blur passed dozens of meters beyond Ayrin and Rinloran before crashing to a stop and revealing Moss.

Countless densely packed streams of fire shot towards Moss.

“Boom!”

“Boom!”

“Boom!”

However, before they could reach him, they were completely dissipated by the waves of turbulent energy created by his constant explosive motions.

Just moments ago, Stingham had mocked Moss for being the slowest, yet now, he was the one who was closest to the exit.

“I forgot this guy learned such a skill… he doesn’t have to run when he can simply send himself flying…” Stingham silently despaired on the verge of tears as he realized at this time that he was the slowest.

Ayrin, Rinloran and Belo, who looked like a giant wolf as he ran on all fours, were all far ahead of him.

As for Chris, although her speed was comparable to his, she didn’t have to deal with any added resistance in the form of the weeds and saplings which were constantly growing over him.

As a result, even Chris was a good six or seven meters ahead of him.

By this point, Moss had already charged through the exit.

“What is this guy doing? Why is he coming back?! Did he bump his head too many times?” Stingham shouted as he dumbfoundedly watched Moss charge right back into the chamber.

“Brave warrior Moss is trying to attract as many streams of flames as possible to lessen our burden,” Ayrin exclaimed as he quickly understood Moss’ intentions.

Ayrin looked around and quickly saw Belo and Chris becoming increasingly pressured by the golden flames behind him. As a result, he slowed down and let them approach him so that he could help receive some of the burden.

As flames cut towards him, Ayrin cried out, “Dragon Scale Absorption!”

Several flames occasionally struck Ayrin’s body, causing wisps of smoke to appear. However, they were only able to leave a faint mark on his skin.

“If this is it, then we should be able to comfortably pass through this area!” Ayrin thought to himself as his eyes flashed with excitement.

By this point, Rinloran had also reached the exit.

Meanwhile, his group of three was progressing towards the exit without any issues.

Although the metal floor of the chamber was steadily turning red, they fast enough so that their feet were only in contact with the floor for a short moment before they could be burned.

“Moss, did you come back to make fun of me…” Stingham cried as he burst into tears.

By this time, Moss had already exited and re-entered through the initial gate and passed Stingham once more.

“Boom!”

Moss closely followed Ayrin, Belo and Chris through the exit.

“Thankfully this chamber is only a couple dozen meters long. I have almost made it!”

Stingham frustratedly combed through his hair.

But in the next moment, his eyes nearly bulged out of their sockets.

Now that everyone else had exited, and also because he had slowed down to comb his hair, all of the metal puppets in the chamber had focused their attacks towards him. Flames swarmed towards him from all directions and completely enveloped him.

Ayrin, Rinloran and the others stood outside the exit dumbfounded.

Stingham had been a mere step or two away from exiting, and so they had not expected for something like this to occur.

“He wouldn’t have been directly turned into a roasted turkey right?” Moss muttered with difficulty. A feeling of unease spread though his body.

“Ack!” Stingham let out a cry of misery.

“Ding!”

In the next moment, Stingham’s body flew out of the chamber and crashed onto the ground before them.

“He’s not a roasted turkey, but a roasted lobster,” Ayrin and Rinloran joked. Indeed, although he was still smoking, Stingham looked just fine, except for the fact that his skin had been turned a bright red from the heat, making him look like a lobster.

“Stingham, you need to work some more on your speed!” Moss gloated as he pat Stingham on the shoulder.

“You!” Stingham despaired. He wanted to cry but no tears would come out.

“If you aren’t dead, then stop lying on the ground. Don’t waste this grandfather’s time,” Belo sneered.

“They actually managed to break through the first layer of defenses so quickly! And not a single one of them suffered any serious injuries!”

Looking down from one of the many bronze walls were several black robed referees and a team of medicinal masters. Their faces were all plastered with looks of shock and disbelief.

The light before them was strangely distorted. It was apparent that they had created a small breach in the Mirroring Refraction Barrier, creating a one-way viewing frame for them to observe Ayrin and the others.

“What kind of defense is it this time?”

As the six youths continued further into the labyrinth of walls, they quickly arrived before another one of temple-like buildings with an unlocked gate.

The only difference was the pillar above the gate. The puppet no longer had the head of a silver faced girl with golden hair, but the head of a golden faced male.

“Please don’t test our speed again. It would be best if it tested our defense,” Stingham muttered to himself.

“Ding!”

This time, Belo acted even more arrogantly and kicked the gate open.

An ominous and chilly wind blew out from within.

“There is only a single metal puppet this time?”

Ayrin’s eyes widened.

There was only a single metal puppet within the entire chamber. It was a little male puppet which looked just like a child and it stood exactly in the center of the chamber.

Its face seemed to be full of suffering and sorrow, and its face, eyes and hair were all golden. Embedded in the ceiling above its head were countless glittering phosphophyllite crystals, making it seem as if there were countless stars falling onto the floor and the metal puppet.  [1]


[1] It's a kind of greenish crystal. Wikipedia has an article on it.

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TReiji's Thoughts

I got called out, so I thought I would explain. I am aware that I have been nowhere near able to keep up with the number of chapters I have said that I will release these last couple of months. The reason is because I am first and foremost still a student in college - I have had a lot harder of a year than I expected due to certain classes and my involvements in other commitments (although I have not always planned/used my time in the most wise manner either). Now that I am done for the school year (and any trips; I was driving to and from Yellowstone this last week), there will be more chapters, and they will be released more consistently. So please bear with me. I picked up this novel last summer because I too enjoyed it, and I truly want to share it with you all. Otherwise, I would have disappeared a long time ago. 

Sincerely, knok knok

Anyway, this chapter is part of last week's four. The fourth chapter for last week and first chapter of this week will be out tomorrow.