The moss-covered city was swarming with rotten undead. In fact, even the undead soldiers themselves were covered in a thick layer of moss. They lay in grass, wilted trees and rubbles, and it looked like they hadn’t moved a bone for centuries. The only reason they were still alive was because their powerful undead soul spark was sustaining them.
Pitiful fellows. Undeads are immortal, but what does it matter if it came at the cost of one’s soul?
"We need a different plan. There are too many guards in this place!"
Cloudway stared at the sea of undead on the ground with a deep frown on his face. "We’re already vastly outnumbered by the enemy, but I also spot Lich Kings here and there. I’ve witnessed their power myself, and I can tell that not even our best mages are strong enough to fight them. We will be routed if we continue like this."
I looked at black-robed mages in groups of three standing behind the palace lamps. Their horrifying faces was all I needed to see to identify them as the legendary Lich Kings. The Lich Kings were Level 210 Immortal Rank minibosses—I had gleaned their stats using Dark Pupils—and on the same level as the Bloodblade Ghost Generals, but unlike those skeletal knights they used ranged magic, and stood together in groups of three. As Prince Cloudway said, it would be next to suicidal to engage them by force.
The only thing we could do here was to seek out another path.
I looked to the left and suggested, "We’ll reach the smithy if we go down from there. There are less undead over there, and it’ll take us to the Eye of the Purgatory. Once you confirm the reason behind its recent abnormalities, your quest will be complete, and you’ll be able to return home, right?"
Cloudway nodded in agreement. "That’s correct. As soon as I obtain some concrete intel, I’ll return to the borders of Vanished God City and rally a million troops for an assault!"
"Let’s go then!"
This time, I was the one who acted as the guide and led the way. At the fourth junction, I walked down the stone stairs and arrived at an abandoned smithy. Most of the tools were completely rusted, and all that remained of the blacksmith was a skeleton lying on top of the table.
We avoided a couple of axe fighters and secretly made our way into the inner city walls. This was almost too easy. The undead were lax in their security probably because they thought that no human would ever be able to breach the military lockdown set up at the forest.
Up ahead, purple light was shining from inside the palace and illuminating many structures near the source.
Prince Cloudway shivered once before saying, "We’re here. I can feel the core of the Eye of the Purgatory from over here, and I can confirm now that they are summoning more undead from the Purgatory! Dammit! We need to move closer and see just how large and powerful this Eye of the Purgatory is!"
"Be that as it may, we need to stay cautious, Your Highness," I reminded.
Cloudway nodded in agreement. "Mn, I understand!"
There were 15 undead soldiers guarding the entrance. They were Level 210 dread-rank mobs, and they were led by a miniboss riding a skeletal warhorse and wielding a fiery red blade. It was none other than the Level 210 Immortal Rank Bloodblade Ghost General.
Lin Yixin said, "Cloudway, why don’t you leave these undead to us? We can enter the palace after we take them out, right?"
Cloudway nodded. "Please, young warriors!"
Alright, it was time to reap some experience and loot.
As Lin Yixin and I walked to the front of our party, I said, "I’m going to use Dragon Slaying Slash to aggro the mob. With luck, we’ll only aggro the Bloodblade Ghost General and 7 or so soldiers. I’ll keep the Bloodblade Ghost General busy while you three deal with the 7 undead soldiers. Sis, you’ll have to split your heals between Yiyi and me. Don’t let us die, okay?"
I raised my weapon, and a cyan blade energy smacked the Bloodblade Ghost General in the head, dealing 29837 damage.
"Roar! Damned intruders, die!"
The enraged miniboss charged me while 9 undead soldiers followed suit. That was two more than I had initially anticipated. Still better than 15 though!
Chiang chiang chiang!
The miniboss swung his weapon and hit me three times in the shield, dealing a not-miniscule amount of damage. Dammit, this miniboss was so powerful that it was almost bullshit.
I rapidly moved into position and completed a coordinated attack with Lin Yixin. It was devastating. Thousand Ice Slash + Burning Blade Slash + Ice Flame Slash + Ice Storm was deadly enough, but it wasn’t like the others were idle either. The Phantom Wolf King’s Purgatory Storm, Lian Xin’s Ice Spiral Matrix and Dimensional Storm, Beiming Xue’s Spiraling Arrow Blade and even the Ghost Chariot’s Ghost Chariot Slash deleted over half of the Level 210 dread-rank mobs’ HP in the blink of an eye. Even the NPCs were stunned by our combined DPS.
The battle continued. There was nothing especially worth mentioning about it except Lin Yixin’s exceptional movements. She maintained a suitable distance between herself and the undead soldiers and played them like a butterfly. She minimized the damage she took without forgetting to dish out the pain.
All 15 undead soldiers were taken out in less than three minutes. Then, they moved on to the Bloodblade Ghost General I was suppressing and killed it as well.
A pair of Earth-grade boots dropped from the Bloodblade Ghost General’s body; a pleasant surprise because his dead comrades hadn’t been as generous with their loot. I gave it to Lin Yixin since it was about time Snowy Cathaya got something substantial out of this quest.
When we turned our gaze at the now defenseless entrance, Cloudway said urgently, "Alright, let’s head in. I will witness the summoning of the devils from the Purgatory with my own eyes!"
We rushed in. Behind the steel door, there was a huge black vortex floating above the stairs with purple lightning spinning around it. It was so bright that it was difficult to look at, but I still noticed that this Eye of the Purgatory was exactly the same as the one summoned by Coldblade a long time ago.
The stone of the stairs was utterly crushed by the vortex’s power. Even now, more stones were sucked into the growing portal. The Eye of the Purgatory connected the mortal plane and the Purgatory plane, which was why roars could be heard from the other side of the vortex. Not only that, Corpse Eaters kept jumping through the portal and into our plane before they ran along the path leading to a nearby forest. The Eye was undoubtedly the reason the army of Night Creatures at the forest kept growing in numbers.
Cloudway clenched his fists and gritted his teeth angrily as he stared at the group of undead magi casting the summoning spell on the stairs. Suddenly, his eyes widened in shock, and he burst out, "Im… impossible! How could this be!? You… you’re the one who wanted to destroy the kingdom??"
An old magus clad in black robes and wielding a scepter suddenly let out a sinister laugh and lowered his hood, revealing an ancient face shrouded in dark energy. He shot Cloudway a terrifying smile and said, "So, you’ve finally arrived, my child, my best student, and prince of the empire—Cloudway!"
Clouway uttered through gritted teeth, "Sir Dios! You were my and my father’s mentor! You were the 300-years-old founding magus of our empire, so why are you serving the Bloody Finger? Why are you opening the Eye of the Purgatory and allowing the undead to cross over to our world!?"
We finally understood why Cloudway was so angry. Who would’ve thought that the main spellcaster behind the Eye of the Purgatory would be the founding magus of Vanished God City himself?
Holy Magus Dios (Immortal Rank Boss)
Magic Attack: ???
Introduction: A former magus of the Vanished God Empire. Having cultivated his power for 300 years, Dios is the mentor of many kings of the Vanished God Empire, and an incredibly powerful mage whose understanding of magic is nearly unrivaled. Unfortunately, far from being satisfied with his current power, Dios ultimately decided to betray the empire and submit to Ovia the Bloody Finger to obtain even greater power.
Dios watched the enraged prince for a moment before breaking into a sudden smile. "Don’t be angry, my child."
Cloudway grasped his sword and uttered, "Why have you betrayed the empire?"
Dios smiled savagely. "Betray? What is betrayal, and what is loyalty? All I ever wanted was greater power. Cloudway, you are too young to even comprehend what betrayal means. I, Dios, have served the Vanished God Empire for over three hundred years, but never once was I able to live a life that isn’t under someone’s thumb. I had witnessed nobles vent their rage against the commoners, rulers lying, negotiating and betraying others for their own selfish purposes, and I’ve seen more than enough hypocrisy than I care to see any longer. The only betrayal I see here is that of the current authority toward its citizens, and my answer to that, is destruction. If I cannot change anything, then I may as well destroy it!"
Cloudway unsheathed his sword and pointed it at his former mentor. "It takes time, but authority can be changed, and the nobles can be educated to serve the people eventually. But if you fall into the abyss even once, then you are betraying all of humanity! I, Cloudway, will stop your descent right here, my mentor! I—will—kill—you!"
Dios laughed after Cloudway declared that he would kill his mentor. "Very well, show me how much you’ve grown, Cloudway. Just as you’ll kill me without hesitation, I too will wipe out the future star of the empire without mercy. I will make that foolish ruler of mine suffer, hahaha…"
Lin Yixin and I unsheathed our weapons in unison. It was time to challenge a Level 215 Immortal Rank super boss!Previous Chapter Next Chapter