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< the="" time="" of="" evil="" spirits="" and="" storms="" (part="" 1)="">
A large group of Reavers surrounded the Heavenly Power Rock. They didn't appear to be an ordinary group. Zin and Ramphil knew that a Slaughterhouse couldn't deploy so many Reavers, enough to look like an entire army.
The team was far away and couldn't be spotted from their position on the hill.
"It's the Group," Zin said. Ramphil nodded in agreement. Leona and Cho-Yul exited the AV to observe the situation. Cho-Yul became nervous when he heard the word "Group."
He had sensed the "Star of Disaster" and knew that he would cross paths with SoSeoLan at some point. However, he hadn't expected the meeting to happen so soon.
"It looks like they have some business with the Heavenly Power Castle," Zin remarked.
"That's impossible! There's no way SoSeoLan knows about the castle. My master only told me about it."
The emperor had built the castle when he wasn't yet a.s.sociated with other Immortal hunters. The Heavenly Power Temple and the Immortal hunters didn't have any ties between them and the hunters rarely visited. Not many knew about the seal on the Immortal. Goo-Yun only told Cho-Yul about the temple's existence and location. He had known about SoSeoLan's ambition and thus didn't tell her about the temple's existence.
This current situation in which the Group led by SoSeoLan surrounded the temple was strange. Cho-Yul didn't know what was going on.
"They're probably not after the Heavenly Wind," Zin explained.
"The Heavenly Power Temple is the heart of sorcery. It's a strategic point."
The Heavenly Power Rock standing high above the land looked both grandiose and suspicious at the same time. The Group would be interested in taking it over even if they didn't know about the existence of sorcerers.
It seemed like Asura wasn't aware of what the Heavenly Power Rock possessed.
It wasn't a coincidence that the Group was planning to take over the castle. Its appearance and importance as a strategic location made that inevitable.
"What timing. What an inconvenience," Ramphil muttered with a wry expression. Even though the team had a Wargrave AV, the Reavers were heavily armed.
Zin and Ramphil continued to observe the Group's movements.
"They are well prepared."
They were armed with heavy artillery as well as launchers and bombs. Their camp was also in a good location. A Wargrave AV would turn into sc.r.a.p in a matter of seconds if the Reavers started firing their rocket launchers.
The Heavenly Power Rock had two main strategic advantages. First, it stood high above the ground, providing a better view of the surrounding land. Second, it was an ideal place to perform sorcery, which would benefit the Group's leader, SoSeoLan. If she controlled the temple, she could then utilize stronger sorcery.
"Can't we negotiate with them?" Leona asked, lying down next to Zin. "If we tell them that an Immortal is sealed in the rock, wouldn't they run away?"
"They are a tough group to negotiate with," he replied. "It'll be almost impossible. They are an army of crazy Reavers after all."
The army of Reavers was most likely very cruel and violent. They would attack as soon as the team moved within firing range. Approaching them would be an act of madness. They had to figure out a way to make the Reavers retreat.
"Strange. Even though are camped near the rock, they can't do much," Zin noted.
The Reavers would find it extremely difficult to climb up the cliff face. Even if they were to climb up, the castle's residents could easily kick them off.
Additionally, the castle was self-sufficient and the residents could survive even if the Reavers laid siege to the castle. They couldn't possibly starve the castle into surrendering.
Zin and Ramphil closely monitored the camp.
Conquering the castle was a difficult feat, but destroying it would be easy.
The Reavers were drilling holes into the cliff.
"Crazy b.a.s.t.a.r.ds!" Zin cursed as he observed their actions.
"Are they going to destroy the whole cliff?" Ramphil asked.
"It looks like it."
Zin began thinking as he observed the Reavers' attack.
The Group is trying to take over the Heavenly Power Castle. They're armed with rocket launchers, rifles, and grenades.
They plan to completely destroy the castle if they can't take it over.
This is more of a threat. They are threatening the castle into surrender.
If the Heavenly Power Rock crumbles, there is a risk that the seal on the Immortal breaks. That will be a huge problem.
The Heavenly Power Temple won't be able to fend off that many Reavers.
We can't negotiate with them. They probably won't listen at all, but we can't overpower them either.
We can't charge toward them. This is an open field with no place to take cover. We won't be able to take them down.
Is SoSeoLan there? I'm not sure, but it seems like she isn't. That's fortunate.
The team would be able to enter the castle if they fended off the enemy. The only way to do that was to fight the Reavers, but victory was unlikely. The team could attack with the AV's plasma gun, but the Reavers would focus their fire on that.
At the same time, they couldn't possibly wait it out.
Zin continued to think.
We don't need to kill them all. We just need to make them retreat.
If we kill them, more Reavers will come. It will be better to fend them off with bad weather.
If SoSeoLan is not here, they won't be able to counter sorcery.
Looks like we'll need Cho-Yul's help here.
After a.s.sessing the situation, Zin looked at Cho-Yul, who was nervously watching the scene.
"You have some work to do," Zin said.
"What work?" Cho-Yul asked.
"Send them a storm. I'm sure they will run away if there's lightning striking down on them. You can do it even without the Heavenly Wind, right?"
It wouldn't be much of an issue for an expert sorcerer like Cho-Yul to call a storm. He could cast a stronger storm with the charm, but it wasn't impossible to call a weak one.
Cho-Yul pondered for a while as Zin talked to him. Shortly after, he nodded with a serious expression.
Making the Reavers retreat with a storm was their best option at the moment. The team could only hope that the Reavers would leave when faced with stormy weather.
Ramphil and Leona refused to believe that Cho-Yul could call a storm when the sky was clear. Cho-Yul prepared to summon the storm.
The Reavers were focused on drilling into the cliff face and were not aware of what was happening.
"Do you need anything to cast the spell?"
Leona knew that performing sorcery required preparation. Summoning a storm was probably not a simple task.
However, Cho-Yul washed an empty C-Ration can and filled it with water. When Leona saw the can of water with oil floating on the surface, she thought that it seemed mysterious.
"As a sorcerer becomes more skillful, they need less preparation time and materials," Zin answered Leona's unvoiced question. Cho-Yul, an expert sorcerer, didn't need much preparation. Leona nodded.
"I really didn't expect that holy water would be replaced with water in a C-Ration can," Zin clicked his tongue in amazement.
Cho-Yul prayed in front of a can filled with oily water. Usually, sorcerers prayed in front of a bowl of pure water in order to prepare for their spell. Using oily water instead of holy water was quite unthinkable.
"We don't have the proper items for the prayer or any other options," Cho-Yul explained, then closed his eyes.
His expression calmed as prepared to summon a storm.
"Let's not disturb him," Zin advised.
The three of them backed away from Cho-Yul and continued observing the Group. The Reavers were still drilling holes into the rock. If they were to detonate multiple bombs in it, the Heavenly Power Rock would collapse.
"Is it hard to cast storm?" Leona asked, curious.
"Well, performing a ritual for rain is a common task for sorcerers. It should be simple."
"Can any sorcerer do it then?"
"There is a saying," said Zin, smiling bitterly, "that the ritual for rain will last until it rains."
"What does that mean?"
"It isn't hard to perform the ritual, but if it is performed by an amateur, the ritual will take longer to have an effect. Most of the time, natural rain would fall before the ritual works."
"That does not make sense at all." Leona shook her head.
"There are some sorcerers who claim to have cast the rainstorm even though the ritual had not yet taken effect."
Sometimes, it took months for the ritual to be effective. There were many fake sorcerers who would "cast spells" even though they didn't know how to perform a ritual. As Zin continued to explain, Ramphil cut in.
"What, so are you saying that a ritual is useless?" he asked in disbelief
"Usually, yes," Zin replied.
After a ritual is performed, it could take a while before rainfall. Ramphil and Leona began to doubt the practicality of sorcery.
"This is the perfect opportunity to see if Cho-Yul is different from all the fake sorcerers out there," Zin smiled.
He wondered how a high-leveled sorcerer's ritual would differ.
"To be exact, Cho-Yul is not performing a ritual for rain. He is casting a powerful spell that is summoning both storm and rain," Zin explained as he curiously observed the Group. He watched them in amused antic.i.p.ation.
It took five hours for Cho-Yul to complete the summoning. A powerful spell took many hours of preparation, even if a high-leveled sorcerer cast.
Cho-Yul opened his eyes and threw the water out of the can.
The "holy water" sprayed out into the air and evaporated into white mist, rising up into the sky.
Night fell and Cho-Yul sighed as he finished the ceremony.
"Did it go well?"
"Yes. Fortunately, heavy rain is in the forecast. It will succeed because of the power of water in the surrounding area. Also, it looks like SoSeoLan isn't around."
Even though Cho-Yul was a high-leveled sorcerer, he had to perform a five-hour long ceremony.
"A storm will come soon. Let's go inside," he said.
Zin thought that five hours was a short period of time to cast such a big storm. All was quiet. Only the sound of drilling could be heard.
The four members went inside the AV and waited for the storm to arrive.
A couple of days ago, a suspicious person visited the Heavenly Power Temple and demanded that the lord surrender.
The person wore the mask of Asura and looked vicious, with a voice that sounded like grinding metal. As soon as the person arrived they had threatened the lord.
This place is both strategically and spiritually important. I am going to use it as a capital and base of operations for my empire.
Who are you? What sort of absurdity is this?
You should surrender now. If you surrender and join me, I will let you all live. How does that sound? Keep in mind that the mountains and lands in the north are all under my control.
Please go away. The Heavenly Power Temple is a place of peace. It will never be used as the center of chaos.
Are you rejecting my offer?
There is no point in considering it.
Even though this place is elevated above the ground, it is still part of the earth. I will return just before you are about to be crushed.
The person left the temple like the wind. It seemed like they were confident that the temple would be easily overpowered. A few days later, a large number of Reavers surrounded the castle and began drilling holes into the rock. They were calling for the castle to surrender.
The Heavenly Power Castle was a place that should not be controlled by an evil power. The lord believed that a disaster would ensue if someone with evil intent discovered the secret of the castle.
The castle's residents were unarmed, but the lord had to do something against the intruders. They were skilled in sorcery since they were responsible for protecting the seal on the Immortal. They couldn't perform strong spells that a high-leveled sorcerer could, but had invented many more spells than the Immortal hunters. They could use sorcery to attack.
Without knowing that Zin's team was nearby, the people of the Heavenly Power Temple prepared to defend against the Reavers.
"My lord, everyone has gathered at the temple."
"Does that include the children?"
"Yes. We are all ready and should be safe from evil spirits."
All of the temple's had entered the temple itself. They didn't have anything special planned, only preparing to protect themselves from what was about to happen.
"Let's show these Reavers what we're made of."
What the lord planned on doing was bad, but he believed he could only endure in this current state of emergency. He stood before a giant headstone on the temple lawn, situated at the center of the temple.
It was an important structure of the castle. The lord stretched out his hand.
Soon, the headstone started to vibrate and the characters on it began to move. The Immortal was sealed in this place. Many evil spirits were attracted to it. Additionally, the absence of the Heavenly Wind had lured the Treacherous Spirit.
"As the lord of the Heavenly Power Temple, I order the Heavenly Power Stone to cease its duty."
The headstone was the key structure that prevented evil energy from invading the castle. Now it was about to cease its function. If the evil energy perforated the area, many evil spirits would evidently get drawn to the energy. Therefore, the lord had gathered all the people inside the temple, where a strong force field had been set up.
"After everything is over, we will need to perform many exorcisms."
The headstone changed in appearance and began to emit dark energy.
The temple would remain safe from the evil spirits while the Reavers would be devoured.
"I hope I didn't make the wrong decision," The lord murmured as he looked at the headstone.
He wasn't comfortable making such a radical decision.
A high-leveled sorcerer had summoned a storm.
The lord of the temple had summoned a group of evil spirits.
The time of evil spirits and storms was quickly approaching.