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The Runesmith Chapter 423: Enforcing The Rules.

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Chapter 423: Enforcing The Rules.


In a darkened forest, conjured by complicated magics, two individuals stood facing each other. One was a handsome half-elf named Elythaes, adorned in silvery mithril armor that gleamed in the artificial moonlight. The other was the new Inst.i.tute Enforcer Roland who was having a rather challenging first day on the job. The tension between them was palpable, as he was unwilling to budge on the issue of trespa.s.sing.


“Detain me? My, my, you're quite the ambitious one, aren't you? You should be careful, my friend, challenging someone with Lady Castellane as their patron could lead to unforeseen consequences.”


Elythaes raised an eyebrow, clearly amused by Roland’s sudden change in demeanor. The confident smile on his face didn't waver as he looked at his opponent to a.s.sess the situation. Roland tightened his grip on his shield and shoved it into the ground so that it could stand on its own. He knew that standing up to a n.o.ble's bodyguard could bring about challenges, but he couldn't let his sister’s well-being be compromised any longer.


“I am well aware of the consequences, but my duty as an Enforcer is to ensure the safety and adherence to the rules within the academy. If Lady Castellane wishes to enjoy the training grounds, she must do so during authorized hours and under proper supervision. I cannot compromise the security of the academy for the sake of personal interests.”


Roland decided to play the role of someone who genuinely cared about the school rules, but in reality, he had a different agenda. Even in this moment, he could observe his sister's gloomy expression through one of the smaller spider drones. Though he was reluctant to admit it, something had awakened inside him. Reflecting on the contrast between the happy-go-lucky child she once was and how she was conducting herself now, his heart sank.


He was somewhat surprised by his own actions, as the old him would probably have just taken the gold. It was clear to him that he was changing, adopting a more emotional approach as in the past he used to avoid unnecessary trouble. The person he was facing was also an intriguing individual, possessing a rare Magic Swordmaster Cla.s.s that wasn't obtained through the mage cla.s.s.


From what he knew, a Mana Warrior cla.s.s was a requirement for a Magic Swordsman cla.s.s, and it could be attained in two ways. Either after the first ascension trial, the person would be given it, or after being given the Mage cla.s.s, as the second tier 1 option. However, it didn't seem like this man had gone with that route but instead had chosen some type of third option. Roland wasn't sure if it was a rare skill or something attained through other means, like blood crystals. But the probability that his status as a n.o.ble guard dog had something to do with it, was high.


“You truly are an interesting one, Enforcer. But let me offer you an alternative solution. How about we resolve this amicably? Lady Castellane has no ill intentions; she merely seeks a bit of adventure. What if we come to an arrangement that benefits all parties involved?”


Elythaes chuckled with a light-hearted sound that contrasted with the tension in the air. It appeared that this Magic Swordmaster wasn't taking things as seriously as Roland was, and he wasn't surprised. The man was a half-elf who likely had his fair share of encounters. His opponent, on the other hand, was just a random platinum adventurer in a magical suit of armor. Elythaes was probably convinced that he could bridge the gap between them before even one spell could be cast, a common weakness of most mages. One thing was also clear, this man would certainly never back down without a fight. Even now his hand was close to his swords which he had two off.


“An arrangement you say? On second thought, let me think about it…”


The half-elven swordsman smiled as Roland started examining the small sack of gold. Turning it around, he let the golden coins spill onto his palm, and there were quite a few of them - enough to sustain a regular family of four for several years.


“I knew that we could come to an arrangement, if that sum isn’t satisfactory I’m sure there are other things that I can offer the gentleman mage.”


Roland remained silent for a moment, but he wasn't truly contemplating the offer; instead, he was thinking about the battle that would soon ensue. Thanks to his spider drones, he could use the terrain to his advantage. The forest provided many trees, and utilizing them would likely boost his chances of victory. Soon, the coins were floating into the air, glowing red as he responded.


“Gold is a really soft and malleable metal, quite easy to shape with a bit of magical flames…”


The gold started to shift as the temperature around it increased. The coins began to liquefy and bond with each other, finally creating a large orb. This ball of gold contained various small runes on the surface, and soon the magic swordsman realized that the deal had fallen through. However, just as he was about to grab his sword and charge forward, he found himself sidestepping as the golden orb was propelled his way and promptly exploded.


It was not an audible explosion of flames but instead a blizzard filled with hundreds of sharp ice blades. They shot out in all directions, and even though Elythaes used several spells to buff his stats to hasten his escape - bringing out a simplified mana shield and using his blades was also necessary. His hands moved at a surprising pace while surrounded by a thin layer of mana; even though there were many icicles, none of them were able to touch this swordsman's body.


“You will regret this!”


He called out, his tone now different but his words were met on deaf ears. When he looked around, there was no sign of his opponent; the only thing that was left behind was the shield that he planted into the ground. Soon after, echoes of Roland’s voice surrounded the entire area making it quite difficult for his opponent to find his position.


“I’ll give you one last chance, lay down your weapons and surrender. Otherwise, I will restrain you forcibly.”


Elythaes smirked, realizing that this Enforcer had more tricks up his sleeve than he initially thought. The half-elf scanned the surroundings, his keen elven senses heightened as he listened for any clues about Roland's whereabouts. The forest remained eerily silent, and it seemed as though Roland had vanished into thin air.


“Impressive magical display, Enforcer.”


Elythaes called out, his voice echoing through the trees.


“But I won't surrender so easily. You've caught my interest, and I'm not one to back down from a challenge.”


As the words left his lips, Elythaes gripped the hilts of his twin swords, his eyes narrowing as he focused on the shadows between the trees. Suddenly, a gust of wind swept through the forest, causing a cyclone that tore through the trees. Several of them were cut instantly and fell down, but there were still no signs of his enemy. Instead, from another location, a vast array of mana bolts materialized, all heading for the half-elven man brandishing his swords.


‘That’s some power, if I get caught by that attack, even my armor won’t keep me safe…’


Roland observed his opponent from a safe distance as the blades of wind tore through the forest trees. In just one slash, the magical swordsman was able to fell several thick tree trunks that Roland was using for cover. Even now, Roland was still on the move, shooting homing bolts of mana that his enemy was able to easily dodge or block. This opponent wouldn’t be as easy as the Knight Commander he faced; magic defenses were something this swordsman was capable of using.


This was Roland's first time battling against such an opponent. Magic Swordsmen were known to mix close and mid-ranged combat together. The slashes this man produced were as strong as regular tier 3 attacking spells, and he could unleash them without the need for chanting. While his physical stats were below that of a regular fighter type, he used various buffing spells that put him on their level. Coupled with various movement spells and some defensive options, he was an opponent that needed to be taken seriously. Thus, Roland decided to take a safer approach to measure his opponent, and leaving his shield behind was part of his tactic.


With a thought, he activated the runes on his shield from a safe distance. There was a reason why it was so big and bulky. It wasn't merely an item for defense but also a means to bring his creations with him. The backside of the shield started to ripple as the spatial spell was activated, and from within, his golemic creations began to emerge. Thanks to the substantial size of his shield, even his larger spider golems were now able to squeeze through.


The mechanical runic spiders crawled out, their legs making a metallic clicking sound on the forest floor. Roland had designed them with precision, each equipped with various updated magical enhancements. They were the newest products with superior specs and more specialized attributes. He had decided to program in a more army-based structure, as per his experience in the last ascension trial.


They were now divided into three main types: attackers, defenders, and support units. The attackers were equipped with more potent attack spells and a lighter body frame to allow them to move faster. The defenders, as the name implied, were there to produce shields and obstruct their targets from hitting the attackers. Then there were the supports whose main job was to provide energy for the other two types by carrying a supply of runic batteries. Thanks to those batteries, Roland could more freely use his runic repairing skills without tapping into his own mana reserves.


Thus, his little squadron of golems had emerged. Four defender units took their places in a ring around three main attacking units. Inside the ring, two support drones positioned themselves to lend energy and replace any used-up battery packs. Their forms were the largest in the group and the slowest, but potentially had the most important role of them all. The tactic was quite simple, and this would be their first real test run.


Elythaes spotted the emerging golemic creations but was somewhat preoccupied with dodging the many magical bolts of energy coming his way. His facial expression, previously very nonchalant, started shifting as he quickly realized that Roland was not a simple opponent. His first reaction was to attack the golemic creations, as he knew that a magician's minions could prove to be quite deadly.


His twin blades were brandished with extreme quickness, and while still dodging the incoming spells, he created blades of green energy that flew toward the emerging golems. The strike was precise and calculated, traveling at an angle that would take out multiple golems with a single swipe. However, to his surprise his targets took on a peculiar formation as four of them jumped forward.


Strange runic symbols shone over the shiny chrome-like bodies as they produced a layer of octagonal shields. These shields were positioned in a specific way and direction, intercepting the attacks coming their way. The first shield shattered almost instantly, and so did the second one. However, after the green magical blade of wind reached the third one, its speed had lowered, and even after it shattered the third one, when it collided with the fourth, the decrease in power and speed was apparent. Even though the attack collided with the bulky spider, now it wasn’t strong enough to pierce through the metallic defenses.


“How?”


The half-elf asked himself, not expecting this result. While his attack collided with one of the golems, it only left behind a gash without destroying even one of these constructs. Then, quickly after, several blasts of magical energy flew his way, which he now needed to dodge. Even though he didn’t use his full power, the fact that he wasn’t able to take out his opponent's minions quickly was unacceptable.


Roland watched with a sense of satisfaction as his golemic creations proved effective against the skilled Magic Swordmaster. The defenders had successfully absorbed the brunt of the attack, showcasing their durability, and the attackers retaliated with a barrage of magical energy. The support units continued to supply energy for the others, ensuring a sustained a.s.sault.


Elythaes, now forced to split his attention between the incoming magical onslaught and the resilient golems, began to realize the depth of the challenge before him. He gracefully dodged and parried the magical bolts, using his twin blades to create barriers and deflect the attacks. However, the relentless a.s.sault from the golems made it increasingly difficult for him to focus on both offense and defense.


“How is this sustainable? This doesn’t make any sense! Come out and face me, coward!”


The man shouted as his facade of a gentleman in control of his emotions started to shatter. Elythaes was perplexed by the sheer amount of magical power coming his way and the speed of the spells. Even though they were simplified ones, it was inconceivable to fire off so many for such a long time. He had been already running around for a good five minutes while draining himself of stamina and mana. This was not something that he could sustain for too long, and this should be the same for his enemy, yet for some reason, it didn’t seem that any of the spells were wavering. Even when he fought back and damaged the spider-looking golems, through some strange skill, they were rea.s.sembling themselves.


“Do you think that you’ll get away with this? Do you really want to make the Castellane house your enemy?”


“What if I do?”


A voice sounded from behind Elythaes where his blind spot was. His enemy had somehow gotten behind him as he was jumping through the air. With haste, he contorted his body in an unnatural way to turn around in less than a second to deliver a powerful slash at his attacker. However, to his surprise, what his magically boosted swords collided with was not the Enforcer but instead a cube made of metal. As his blade was going through it, a foreboding feeling washed over him that made him look up. There before his eyes was his opponent, his body glowing in a strange purple haze as he descended down with a large warhammer in both his hands.


The warhammer descended with incredible force, crashing down onto the half-elven swordsman and creating a shockwave that sent ripples through the air. Elythaes, caught off guard by this unexpected turn of events, tried to use his magical abilities to create a protective barrier, but the impact was too much for him to handle. His swords were utilized in a cross guard to accept the blow, he planned to redirect the hit and nimbly escape.


Elythaes activated all the enchantments he was in possession of. Both his armor and weapons were magical items that allowed him to use potent defensive and offensive magics. In his mind, there was no way for him to receive a wound. After redirecting the attack, his opponent would open himself to a counter.


However, Roland's strength exceeded Elythaes' expectations and for some reason, none of his enchantments activated. It was as if something was blocking them from heeding his order. The Warhammer struck with such force that it shattered the magical barrier and sent the half-elf flying backward. His swords didn’t offer much protection as without their enchantments they were pushed down as if they were made from cardboard. His chest received a ma.s.sive hit and he could feel his ribcage shattering in the process.


Once the man collided with the ground, a ma.s.sive amount of dirt and rocks flew everywhere. Roland landed gracefully a few meters away from the crash site that had created a ma.s.sive crater. He observed the half-elf struggling for a moment before pa.s.sing out on the spot. The mithril armor cracked and dented from the impact. The once confident and composed Magic Swordmaster was now lying in a pool of his own blood.


“Good, he is still alive…”


Roland held his hammer over one shoulder while canceling his skills to get rid of the purple aura. He had used some diversion tactics and disabled the man’s magical equipment before going for the last strike. While some might consider this way of fighting cowardly, there was no reason not to use the environment and his skills to his advantage. Now the battle was won, and just one last task remained.


“Now to those kids…”

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The Runesmith Chapter 423: Enforcing The Rules. summary

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