Chapter 414 - Volume 3

Chapter 193 Part 1 – The final moment (9)

When Mephisto displayed his strength, Andesha immediately sought to subdue him by force.

Both were proud people who did not stand down.

Conjuring a Greater Plant Creature was a Druid’s spell of the Eighth Circle. The Tree Shepherd’s variation of this spell distorted its nature greatly, raising its power and size by ten times by overloading it with her Mana and her staff’s powers. The Greater Plant Wyrm was now as powerful as a Warrior who perfected his control over his Element Power.

As the Wyrm’s head reached for Mephisto, part of its body suddenly scattered into countless vines and formed a net to block off all of Mephisto’s escape routes, forcing him to face the monster head-on.

But the Sword Saint of Ashes did not panic and instead lowered his greatsword behind his back. He looked up at the wriggling vine tentacles of the Wyrm’s head, appearing as though it was opening a mouth.

The World of Ashes expanded—

He swung his greatsword.

Even though the distance between Brendel and the two girls were nearly a hundred meters apart from the fight, they could feel the whole world turning dark. The only thing visible was the path of the greatsword’s swing; a grey line that sundered the air and sucking everything into its vortex.

Then time stopped.

The picture of Mephisto and the Wyrm was neatly cut into two, and its upper half slid down for a second before an ear-shattering crackle assaulted everyone’s ears and caused them to hear ringing in their ears. Every single vine was spewing green liquid from its severed sections and the remains rained down from the air.

Light returned and revealed the forest’s destruction; countless trees were cut down with an explosion of dust and soil filling in the vacuum of the severed space.

Visibility was once again limited.

Mephisto planted his greatsword into the ground and took in a deep breath. It was clear that he had used a significant amount of energy.

Andesha suffered just as much. Her spell was broken in a single instant, and Mephisto’s sword technique traveled through the vines and part of its power reached her. If she did not force an excessive amount of mana to sever the link between the Wyrm and herself, her body would have exploded.

She coughed out painfully glared at Mephisto below her as pain throbbed in her left hand; it was bleeding with green blood oozing out from her fingers. She had never suffered such a beating even when she fought against the Archmagi from the Silver Alliance. The Wizards were cautious and careful to make a move, but the crazy fool before her fought as though he did not want to keep his life. This mistake of assessing her opponent wrongly cost her.

“Hamir, you bastard, how much longer are you going to watch?” She finally roared: “Are you trying to reap the biggest advantage by standing on the sidelines until the last moment!”

[This woman has a helper? Even though I gained the advantage with that strike, I unleashed all the Grey Element that I have. It will take a while for me to recover my strength. I can’t even gather the scattered Element Power right now.]

Mephisto was surprised to hear that. He took another deep breath and started surveying the surroundings, and he discovered a man with red robes that was meant for rituals walking out from the smoke.

“You’re one of the bishops from the Holy Cathedral of Fire?” Mephisto was able to see his face.

Brendel also managed to see the robed figure’s face as the latter had raised his head to study Mephisto.

Amman walked past the trio who were hiding under the invisibility cloak, though even if he were to collide straight into them, he would have simply passed through.

The youth could not help but feel stunned after confirming that the robed figure was indeed Amman. However, the bishop had such a pale face that it looked it had a layer of wax on it. His arms had patches of red on the skin, which was a sign of livor mortis. This was certainly not what a living person should look like, and he instead looked like an undead.

[This seems like a particular spell to change a living person into an undead, and it’s famous because it changes the person instantly upon death. But casting this spell requires one to make preparations in advance, and the person who receives the spell needs to split part of their soul into a special container.]

It was not a vase or box that Brendel was thinking about. The way to store a soul was to store it in a living person who did not have theirs, and the way to make a living person into a container was unspeakable. This dark magic was strictly forbidden by every holy religion. Only Madara’s undead necromancers and unholy sects would pursue this magic.

Brendel was absolutely certain that Amman was a spy, but the latter’s relationship with Andesha was strange. The bishop was probably not a Tree Shepherd, but since there were many evil cults around, Brendel was unsure which one Amman belonged to.

However, the youth soon discovered a conspicuous black ring on Amman’s finger and narrowed his eyes. It was the symbol of the Unifying Guild.

[Well, the Unifying Guild and the Tree Shepherds belong to the bigger cults in the continent. It’s not surprising to find them here drawn to the treasures within the Dark Forest. But it seems like Amman doesn’t intend to hide his identity anymore by displaying the ring so openly.]

“It’s really him, Bishop Amman!” Faena tugged Brendel’s sleeves and mouthed.

Brendel nodded: “The Unifying Guild is everywhere in the human world.”

Amman smiled at Mephisto: “You have a discerning eye, but that is merely one of my identities.”

“A bishop becoming a member of the evil cults. The people of Kirrlutz have fallen beyond imagination.” Mephisto’s tone was condescending as he eyed him.

“Count Mephisto, I have to disagree with this statement. Bishop Amman is an extreme example of a deeply hidden spy, and he’s not a citizen of the Empire too. How can you lump the Empire’s citizens and him together?”

Another voice suddenly came from within the forest’s smoke and dust.

Brendel raised his eyebrow.

[Veronica? Wait, what’s crazier is the fact that Mephisto didn’t turn her into chopped liver. They definitely met and came here together. But why? Isn’t he chop-happy with his sword?]

His thoughts about how he received unfair treatment from Mephisto were suddenly interrupted as he noticed a green light from the forest.

Amman had raised his hand like he was about to cast a spell to attack the stationary Mephisto, but there were noises of urgent flapping of wings that caused him to falter. In the next moment, green birds broke through from the trailing smoke and flew straight for the bishop.

The translucent birds seemed like they were made out of light and the youth took a moment to admire their colors and shapes. However, it was a different story for Amman, as he knew what kind of danger was behind these stunning creatures; each of their feathers was sharper than a real sword.

These birds were made out of Veronica’s Sword Energy.

“It’s Lady Veronica!” Faena could not help but whisper when she saw a familiar sight.

Amman promptly took a few steps back. Eight Runes appeared at his side and a huge six-sided wall was constructed in front of him. Ripples could be seen flashing across the wall as the birds smashed against it, but they eventually faded.

It was one of the strongest defensive spells within the Holy Cathedral of Fire. It was capable of defending any types of attack, but the effect was greatly weakened when Amman cast it. After he had become an undead, the compatibility of casting the Holy Spells went down significantly.

It would not be long before Amman’s flesh started to rot, and once it happened, he would lose his ability to cast the Holy Spells permanently. But he was currently still a powerful bishop of the Holy Cathedral of Fire.

Veronica finally appeared from the forest. Amman took one more step back, looking warily at the newcomer. Brendel tilted his head slightly and stared at Veronica’s wielded longsword with a strange expression.

If he was not wrong, that was Mephisto’s spare weapon.

[Erm, when did this two have such a good relationship? He even allowed her to use his backup weapon? His hatred for the people of Kirrlutz is a lie? …… Or did Veronica seduce him? But she’s over a hundred years old. Yes, sure, she looks like she’s just slightly older than thirty…… No freaking way, you can’t be serious right? Wait, that dude isn’t that young either. I think he’s pretty close to her age.]

Brendel thought that it was a strong possibility. Veronica might appear to be attractive to Mephisto, and perhaps he fell within love with her when she was in her weakened state? Maybe it was a fine line between hatred and love?

“Hey, Faena,” he could not help but ask, “why are those two together? Did Lady Veronica seduce him?”

“W-w-what the hell are you talking about! Lady Veronica would never do something like that!” But Faena was looking incredibly shocked as well and her words were not convincing.

Brendel suddenly felt worried in his mind. He glanced around, hoping that Scarlett did not come. But the outcome disappointed him, as he quickly spotted the red-haired girl emerging behind Veronica.

He sighed.

[Damn it, you’re giving me trouble, Lady Veronica.]

“Let’s meet up with Lady Veronica,” Faena suggested.

But Brendel immediately grabbed her arm: “Wait, we should take a look at the situation first.”

“What do you mean by looking at the situation. Even your little lover is here, are you going to make her wait?” She looked at him from the corners of her eyes.

Brendel faked a soundless cough when he heard her words: “Tsk. Are you really an aristocrat? The way how you form your words is just nasty. Also, stupid girl, we’re completely hidden and the enemies are out in the open. We will lose our chance to strike their backs if we reveal ourselves.”

Faena took a moment to get what Brendel was planning, but she suddenly realized that she indeed sounded unrefined and blushed: “O-of course I’m one. And I’m not as despicable as you, trying to stab people in the back all the time. Are you even a noble?”

“Are you serious? Stabbing people in the back, poisoning, assassinating, these are all the specialties of the Kirrlutz’s nobles. I think I actually fit your Empire’s values pretty well.”

Faena was at a loss for words and glared at him with clenched teeth.