<Chapter 47. We Got a New Colleague! - 1>
Prince looked around, dumbstruck. Everything had gone well since they'd separated from Lee Shin Woo and entered the center of the city, so she didn't know how things had all gone to hell.
"It's a mess!"
What was with that huge ass cannon and the Spirit General tied in the middle of it? Putting aside the Archmage, who had appeared and summoned a ton of monsters as if waiting for them, why was the Annihilation Flame Sword God fighting against Seira (they had expected her to go wild, as if she were a crazed woman, so they weren't as surprised)? And where had Lee Shin Woo gone; the Heaven Defying General was supposedly helping him clean up the city, yet why had the Heaven Defying General shown up with the Metal God General, rather than him!?
"Kratia, there are so many level 8s rampaging about. What can we even do?"
"There's nothing we can do for now, Prince. Bring out the popcorn."
Lee Shin Woo had driven off the Lich, but the countless monsters he'd summoned still filled the battlefield. The golems and the Chi Pauls were diligently cutting down their numbers, but there were still so many of them that Kratia and Prince had a hard time dealing with all of them swarming the area.
If the Archmage could summon an endless supply of monsters, then he could defeat any army. This was the true power of the Empire! The Archmage had already disappeared, but their fear of him hadn't.
"Popcorn? I don't know what that is!"
"I don't really know what it is either. Shin Woo told me that it's something you eat when there's nothing you can do."
"Ugh. So where did my Junior go anyway...?"
"Shin Woo is..."
Kratia set her orb in the shape of an ice spear and cut apart the monsters nearby, then briefly looked at Lee Shin Woo who had appeared beyond them.
Lee Shin Woo had grabbed onto Seira Von Retadane, whose heart had been pierced by the Empire's strongest general and was trying to do something. That's what she saw, but... she felt like even someone as exceptional as Lee Shin Woo wouldn't be able to save someone with a pierced heart. Prince asked another question as if she'd noticed where Kratia was looking.
"And seriously, what is that? Is he really on our side? He seems like he's trying to help us. It really does seem like he's helping Seira! Why? Why is an undead helping us?"
"...I think we'll find out soon enough."
"Wait a sec. Do you know something? What did you do as you traveled with my Junior!? Uaaah. I can't stand it; there's so much I don't know! Fire Demon!"
Prince's mana responded to her cry of pent-up frustration and manifested a fire demon onto the battlefield once more. Through Kratia's special training, she had succeeded in modifying her summoning magic, which had been passed down through her family. Because of that, she was able to summon the fire demon without cross-dressing!
The Fire Demon was more powerful than before, yet the mana consumption was lower. This was all due to Kratia's help in fixing the structure of her summoning magic.
The unnecessary formulas that had been added as it was passed along were removed, and a more efficient magic formula was added through Kratia's in-depth knowledge of another world's magic. Thus, she could bring out the Fire Demon's maximum power. And with this, Prince now possessed power befitting a level 7 magician.
"I thought I'd gotten stronger, but... Ah, this is crazy!"
Of course, Prince was plenty strong, as she possessed magic befitting her level and also had her family's secret art. It was just that the people here were the most powerful individuals in the Empire!
All the more reason why she couldn't stand it. The only way she could further develop was through time. Lloyd and Erian seemed relaxed, as they weren't aware of this, but Prince knew. That there would soon be a battle that would determine the fate of the Empire! She couldn't afford to just lollygag around, especially if she wanted to do even a little bit more during that climactic battle...
Then, Kratia called Prince with her usual calm and composed voice. Prince yelled sharply in response and turned around, but noticed that Kratia was pointing at a certain spot.
"Look at that."
"The Spirit General? I saw her before. She didn't seem like she'd be an immediate threat... or that's what I thought, but what's with her?"
Just a little while ago, the Spirit General remained tied on the cannon, but now, she was letting out bizarre cries and was twisting her body around. The cannon responded in kind; her struggle caused the cannon's accumulated mana to struggle as well.
It had already been tense, but that tension had risen instantaneously. Why were they tense? They felt as though the cannon's mana would burst forth and evaporate everything in the area!
"If all of the undead curse within it explodes, then... We'll definitely become undead, right?"
"We'll be lucky to retain our forms as undead. There's a high chance we'll be broken down on an atomic level and disappear."
"Don't say something like that! Why did it become like that?"
"...There's a high chance it's the Archmage's doing. When the Archmage's body was destroyed by Shin... The Heaven Defying General, he must've given the Spirit General an order. It was probably a forceful activation."
Kratia was right on the mark. Ever since the level 8 Spirit General was tied to the cannon, the palace became capable of forcing orders upon her. And that authority was also given to the Archmage as well.
And when he'd been defeated by Lee Shin Woo, he ordered the Spirit General to fire, in order to eliminate all that threatened the Empire in one fell swoop. It was regrettable that the royal family would lose such a powerful weapon, but if the Annihilation Flame Sword God, the Metal God General, and the Heaven Defying General were to all die here, then the Emperor would have no other enemies remaining!
"...We have to stop it."
Kratia saw the Metal God General and Jin fight against the Annihilation Flame Sword God, as well as Lee Shin Woo struggling to keep Seira alive, and nodded her head as if she'd made a hard decision.
"Let's freeze her for now. If we stop the progress in its tracks, then Shin Woo will take care of the rest."
"I shouldn't be saying this, but aren't you depending on my Junior a bit too much...?"
"We're partners. ...Open a path, Prince."
"Tch. Easy for you to say!"
'If it was so easy, then I would've done it already', she wanted to say, but she raised her hands anyway so that she could fulfill Kratia's request. Then... a section of the nearby monsters vanished and the Chi Pauls appeared.
[We'll assist you, as per Lord Paul Zero's orders. I assume we have to stop that woman, right?]
Once they met, Prince opened her eyes wide. Although she should've hated the undead, she didn't really bare any hostility towards these chimeras.
A part of it was that the Chi Pauls had grown such that they could hide their death energy, but it was more that Prince had undergone a fundamental change. She couldn't understand it herself and looked on dumbfounded; the Chi Pauls just ignored her and charged forward. Their bodies were veiled in flames.
[This is the power that Lord Paul Zero bestowed upon us. Kill all those who go against him!]
[Open a path. This is the order he gave us!]
The Chimera Avengers charged, veiled in at least level 5 intermediate flames. Though the monsters were no pushovers, they could not withstand the Chi Pauls' might and just burned away. Prince watched them and briefly hesitated, but... She soon bit her lip and extended her hand towards them.
"Fire Demon. Become their flame!"
Her spell just looked like a summon but it was more of an amalgamation of her family's will and mana.
If she could control that will freely, then it didn't matter how the fire demon was manifested. And Prince, who possessed high proficiency in the spell, could share the fire demon's power with others! The Fire Demon followed her will and was absorbed by the Chi Pauls, strengthening their flames to its utmost.
[What tremendous heat... Alright, we're quickening our pace!]
"Good job, Prince."
"Hmph. Seira's already shown me what happens when you go crazy over the undead, so I can't do something stupid after seeing that."
Yeah, that's right. Perhaps the reason Prince could remain so calm in spite of all this was because she'd seen how stupid Retadane had acted. While she nodded in understanding, Kratia gripped her Orb with both hands and infused her mana into it; at the same time, she began casting.
"It is through the Winter Queen's grace that all creation remains in place. Her breath freezes blood and covers the skin with snow..."
"You should've told me in advance, you bad..."
Although the Chi Pauls were tearing through the monsters, the two of them weren't safe. Prince maintained her spell, reinforcing herself and the Chi Pauls, but also cast another spell to protect her and Kratia.
Fortunately, the Chi Pauls, strengthened by her Fire Demon, had brought them to the cannon before her barrier was broken. The Spirit General's struggles intensified, and even now, the vibrations of the cannon's accumulated magic was shaking their collars.
"It'll really blow. Hurry up and do something, Kratia!"
"I'm done! Absolute Freeze!"
Kratia extended both her hands and forcefully threw her Orb! The Orb broke into pieces midair, transforming into countless ice crystals, and rushed towards the Spirit General.
The monsters attempted to stop her, but the Chi Pauls and Prince stopped them in their tracks, allowing her spell to go unhindered and freeze the Spirit General. She had put everything she had into that spell, freezing both the Spirit General's movements and even her mana at the same time!
"Keuk. She's resisting... Prince, give me your magic!"
"Yeah, sure. Here, take it all why don't you!"
As a result of their special training, the two could now transfer mana to each other.
Kratia took all of Prince's mana without leaving a single drop, converted it into ice, and used it on the Spirit General. Although the Spirit General was a level 8, she was just an empty doll following orders, so she couldn't properly resist Kratia's high rank spell. Her movements were completely restricted. The flow of her exploding mana slightly ever so slightly calmed down.
"Did it work!?"
"You just jinxed it, Prince."
Both Prince and Kratia were exhausted, as if they'd fall over on the spot. Although they were breathing heavily, they still joked around. She didn't actually think it would fail.
Kratia's spell had been perfect, and the Spirit General's mana had been completely restrained. So long as the Archmage didn't come back, she wouldn't be able to break through it...!
[Impressive spell, Hero. Because of you, I can use this weapon more easily than before.]
Prince just had to jinx it. They then saw the Annihilation Flame Sword God atop the cannon. Though his armor was in tatters and rotten white blood flowed from his body, he seemed like he had energy to spare.
Prince immediately searched for any traces of the Metal God General... found him injured on the ground and sighed. She didn't know why he had helped them, but he wasn't able to prevent Seira's death or restrain the Annihilation Flame Sword God. He was completely useless!
[I thought I'd have to do much more but to think you used such an impressive magic formula to restrain her. You would be a good fit in Anti-Skull.]
"Regrettably, I already have a previous engagement after I die."
Kratia declared firmly, even in the midst of the Annihilation Flame Sword God's overwhelming pressure. He seemed even more taken by her grit, as he smiled.
[Is that so? You'll probably change your mind once you die. Like my little sister did...]
"Your little sister isn't here anymore."
The Annihilation Flame Sword God fell from the cannon. In his stead, Lee Shin Woo and Jin had appeared. Jin had brought him here at just the right time!
[Wait, my little sister is...!?]
The Annihilation Flame Sword God barely recovered from a light-speed kick, looked around, and yelled in shock. Of course, Seira could no longer be seen on the battlefield, as Lee Shin Woo had sent her away with his Heaven Door's Key.
The Annihilation Flame Sword God probably had no idea what had happened to her. Since he still didn't completely comprehend the Heaven Defying General's power!
[...What did you do with my little sister?]
"Your little sister died, just as you wanted. I couldn't save her, no matter what I did. ...Though I'm not so sure your little sister will be yours after death."
Lee Shin Woo said angrily and gripped his Death God's Shining Bone Sword. There was an incredible amount of mana within. It was a fitting weapon to use against the Annihilation Flame Sword God.
"But that's all. Don't think you can just make a mess on my stage and leave as you please, Seagald Von Retadane."
[I can't just leave. Since there's still something I want.]
The Annihilation Flame Sword God smiled and gripped his own sword. His Annihilation Flame blazed and his presence was erased from the world once more. In a sense, he was stronger than the Garuda... Lee Shin Woo gritted his teeth and charged at him.
The impact between Annihilation Flame and Dark Shadow boomed, resounding far and wide as if signaling the start of their battle.Previous Chapter Next Chapter