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Chapter 224 - Old Revenants (2)
The Dragon Demon King worshippers were unable to dig themselves out of the chaos caused by Atein’s revival. Azell’s party took advantage of this. They pushed hard against their enemies, and they continuously achieved result.
An orange colored flame raged. A frightening amount of heat was dominating the surrounding. In the middle of all of this, a Dragon Majin girl with long white hair raised a white sword. It looked as if the sword was carved out of a bone.
“Rage! Roaring Fire!”
The Dragon Majin girl had polished her words of power through the Dragon Arts. It amplified the wave of Dragon Demon magic emitted by Arrieta. At the same time, the fire that had been radiating in all directions gathered in a single location to turn into an incandescent flame sword. The flame followed the trajectory of the sword. It sliced through the barrier around the magician like b.u.t.ter, and his body was cut into two.
The heat was so concentrated within the flame sword that it instantly cauterized the wounds. There was no blood shed from the severed body. She had killed the troublesome magician with a single blow, and a Dragon Majin warrior used this chance to rush her from behind. The flame around her was gone, so he thought this was his golden opportunity. He used his Instantaneous Movement.
Arrieta blocked the thunderous attack that had been unleashed from behind her.
Was she out of balance?
Her stance faltered as she was pushed backwards.
“I will take you with me, Dragon Demon princess!”
The Dragon Majin warrior was confident in his victory. He kicked Arrieta, who had lost her balance. He brought down his sword towards her from above.
At that moment, a sphere made out of fire hit the Dragon Majin warrior from the back. He was sent flying. He died without being able to scream. A fiery silhouette descended upon him. It was shaped like a bird.
Soon, the flame burned the Dragon Majin warrior. The body was burned black as it collapsed into ashes.
“As expected, I cannot be careless.”
When Arrieta checked that the battle was over, she caught her breath. A phoenix that was as big as her was circling around her. It was the Dragon Demon weapon called the Crying Phoenix.
It was capable of fighting on its own, and its power was on par with a Dragon. The Dragon weapon was able to move freely as it emitted fire from its body. Since Arrieta was excellent at manipulating fire, her overall power had made a drastic jump.
“Koo-ook, impious sinners…….”
Suddenly, she heard a voice next to her, so she turned her head.
It was the magician she had cut in half with her flame sword. Was it because his wound hadn’t bled? He hadn’t died instantly. Still, his life force was slowly extinguishing.
“I’ll make it painless”
Even if he was an enemy she had to kill, Arrieta didn’t enjoy causing unnecessary pain. That wasn’t her style.
“You are all foolish. You might think you have won. Rejoice in that a.s.sumption….”
The magician was dying, yet he snickered as he spoke. Maybe, the pain of having his body severed in half was making him lose his mind.
“We aren’t dying…. His apostles…. This world will once again…..”
He gasped for breath. He mumbled the words as he died. Arrieta furrowed her brows.
“Is something wrong?”
The one to ask the question was Leticia. Azell and Laura were destroying the waypoint from within. Arrieta, Leticia and Kairen remained outside. They were killing the soldiers that were lured outside.
“He spoke some ominous words before he died.”
“What did he say?”
“It was a religious story. He said he isn’t dying… Basically, he said he’ll come back to life as Atein’s apostle. That was the gist of his story.”
“I want to say you shouldn’t worry about such nonsense, but…….”
Leticia furrowed her brows.
“It does make me worry. We’ll have to tell the others about this.”
Atein’s revival had taken 100 hours. Two weeks had pa.s.sed from that event, and Azell’s party had destroyed eleven waypoints. That wasn’t all. The members of the Guardian Shadows from all over the continent sent reports stating their victory.
The good news didn’t end there. Niberis and Kieren had left the Plain of Darkness. Reygus turned his back on Atein.
Despite all the good news, Azell’s party couldn’t shed the ominous feeling.
“There are 144 waypoints left….”
Kairen mumbled to himself.
After Atein had been revived, they had pushed themselves a bit harder. In total, they had destroyed 80 waypoints to the Road of Darkness. They had greatly reduced the mobility of the Dragon Demon king worshippers.
“So why hasn’t Atein and Almarick stepped forward?”
“In fact, none of the high ranked officers are coming out. I believe they are trying to stop us with outside members only.”
When Azell’s party attacked a waypoint, the Plain of Darkness couldn’t send any reinforcements. In the beginning, Azell used Extreme Extinction to disable the waypoint, then their party started the attack. They hadn’t failed once using this strategy.
However, it was a different story when the other members of the Guardian Shadows attacked a waypoint. Even if they tried to end it quickly, one or two mistake gave the other side enough time to bring in reinforcements.
“I can understand why Atein isn’t coming out, but Almarick isn’t coming out either. We haven’t seen any high rank officers recently…. I can’t believe this, but it seems they are no longer prioritizing the defense of the waypoints. Why?”
“There are two possibilities.”
“I wonder what function the Road of Emptiness serves. Maybe, the Road of Emptiness isn’t important to Atein’s plan.”
If what Yuren had said was true, Atein didn’t plan on recreating the Dragon Demon war. His goal was to create a world where no one would be able to carry out evil.
“If Atein has a subst.i.tute for the Road of Emptiness, Yuren wouldn’t have gone through the trouble of stealing the White Flame Phoenix…..”
“I agree with you on that point.”
Atein didn’t have a Dragon Demon weapon that boasted excellent mobility like Azell’s Storm Dragon’s Wings. Atein could imitate the abilities of the Dragon Demon weapons with his magic, but there was a clear limit to what he could do. Above all else, he wouldn’t be able to take his companions along. The difference in what he could do was stark depending on the presence or absence of the Dragon Demon weapons.
“As expected, it means he doesn’t care if the Road of Emptiness is destroyed.”
“I believe so. I am unsure as to the reason why that would be true.”
“This is a tricky situation.”
“I’m also unsure as to whether we should modify our strategy. If he isn't fixated on saving the Road of Emptiness, we might be wasting our time.”
“I disagree with that opinion.”
At Azell’s question, Kairen explained his reasoning.
“Let us say he is letting us destroy the waypoints in order to buy time. Even if that’s true, that plan only makes sense if we are capable of invading the Plain of Darkness right now.”
Atein might be enacting a ma.s.sive magic ritual within the Plain of Darkness right now.
Would they be able to stop Atein if they went to the Plain of Darkness right now?
It would be impossible.
If it was possible, they would have already invaded the Plain of Darkness before Atein was revived. Unless they were able to take the Road of Emptiness, it was almost impossible to lead a large force there. It was a land of intense cold, and not many would be able to survive the journey there.
On the other hand, numerous Dragon Demon king worshippers lived within the Plain of Darkness. As the Great Darkness as foundation, countless defensive magic had been erected over the years.
A magician’s power depended on how much resource one had. A magician’s power changed in thousand different ways depending on those resources. When one considered that Atein was within the Dragon Demon castle, his power would be impossible to a.s.sess. Above all else, it would be impossible to create a scenario where Azell would be able to fight a one on one battle with Atein.
“We have to continue our original plan. We’ll destroy the waypoints to decrease the mobility of our enemies. The only difference is that we’ll speed up the timeline. Let’s take advantage of their new approach.”
The goal of Azell’s party hadn’t changed. They would decrease the elbowroom of their enemies by destroying the waypoints. Then they would take advantage of their newfound freedom to destroy the Pillars of Darkness.
“It doesn't matter what Atein is planning. In the end, he has to rely on the large magical system called the Great Darkness. Our enemies will come out once it is threatened. At that time, we’ll use the remaining Guardian Shadows to overwhelm our enemies with numbers.”
“That’s true, but…….”
Kairen spoke correctly. Despite knowing this, something didn’t sit right with Azell.
Kairen spoke to Azell, who was deep in thought.
“There is something that also worries me.”
“Are you talking about Reygus, who seems to be a friendly force?”
“He said someone will come towards us in the near future. He didn’t reveal the ident.i.ty of this person, and he never said when this person will come to us.”
When Leticia mobilized the Guardian Shadows to save Niberis, Reygus had appeared. He told Leticia that he had left Atein’s camp. He also explained his intention.
‘I’m not saying we should join sides to fight Atein. I don’t care if we do, but I’m sure you guys are hesitant to do that. Maybe, Azell might believe me. On the other hand, you guys might be suspicious that I might be unwittingly a p.a.w.n in Atein’s plan.’
‘I’ll follow the young lady to the Albatan forest. My party member, who wants to be your ally, will search you out.’
‘What do you mean by that?’
‘You’ll have the pleasure of finding it out on your own. I want to tell you, but this person doesn’t want me to say anything. I’ll let you discover it on your own. ’
After he spoke those words, Reygus had left. They hadn’t heard any news in regards to Reygus after that.
“Do we need to go to the Albatan forest?”
“I’m thinking about it. What do you think, Duke?”
“I think there are two reasons why we have to go there.”
“Hmm. Are you talking about Reygus’ whereabout?”
“No, Reygus’ whereabout isn’t that important. We don’t have to actively search for him.”
When Azell became puzzled, Kairen gave an explanation.
“We are already keeping surveillance on the waypoints. If Reygus runs into trouble with the Dragon Demon King worshippers, we’ll know immediately. The more urgent task is to track down the whereabouts of Reshoo.”
Azell ruminated over Kairen’s words. He knew that the possibility of facing Reshoo as an enemy was real, but he didn’t want to bring that issue to the fore.
“As someone that learned the Dragon Soul from him, I don’t want him to be our enemy. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if we found out that he is working with Atein already. I don’t want to be taken unawares like the time when Atein ambushed us.”
“You are right.”
Azell had been sniped by Atein, because he had been taken completely unawares. A part of the reason was the fact that Atein had sniped him with a very high ranked spell. However, the bigger share of the blame lie with the fact that he hadn’t worried about the possibility of Atein being revived at that point in time. It had been a near fatal mistake.
He couldn’t make the same mistake again.
“We have to check if the worst possible scenario has come to fruition. Albatan might agree with Atein’s cause. There is a possibility that Albatan might have become our enemy”
“Do you really think that’ll happen?”
Azell became surprised.
It was a possibility that Azell hadn’t thought about. From Azell’s perspective, Albatan had never been his enemy. During the Dragon Demon war, Albatan had been steadfast in being a neutral party.
What if Albatan had become their enemy?
It would be an unimaginable calamity. Kairen was in charge of coming up with strategies, so he had thought about the worst case scenario.
“I want to ask you a question in response. Azell, what do you think he’ll do? You know about Albatan more than me.”
Azell had a serious expression on his face as he mulled over the question. This was too important to do otherwise.
“…I cannot say that the possibility is zero. The current situation differs from what occurred during the Dragon Demon war.”
“As expected, you think so too.”
The world Atein was trying to create didn’t clash with Albatan’s ideals. Every member of the society would be monitored by the enormous system. Their thoughts and actions would be under surveillance. As soon as someone broke a law, a punishment would be given out. Basically, the weak beings being protected by Albatan would be guaranteed their survival.
“It is as you’ve said, Duke. We have to check this out as soon as possible.”
“I don't want you to go by yourself. If Albatan has decided to work with Atein, your life will be forfeit by going there.”
“I already know that.”
-You don’t have to do that.
Suddenly, a voice intruded between the two of them. It wasn't a voice of a living person. It was more like a message that was delivered through magical energy.
In a flash, the chairs fell over. They unsheathed their swords in a flash as they got into a battle stance.
However, the two of them couldn’t find their foe. The voice was so close, yet they couldn’t feel the gaze or the magical energy of this being.
-I’m over here.
She spoke towards the two tense men. Somehow, Azell thought the voice sounded familiar.
‘Can it be?’
In front of the shaken Azell, a form rose up from the ground. She was like an illusion as she pa.s.sed through the earth. Azell became shocked when he saw her.
-It has been awhile.
In human standards, she looked like a 14 or 15 year old Dragon Demon girl. She had long white hair, and grey horns. Her eyes and Dragon Demon stone was slate-grey.
However, everything about her had no substance. She was translucent as one could see through her. She looked like a ghost or an illusion being projected by magic.
Azell knew very well as to who this Dragon Demon girl was.
-You remembered me.
She was Atein’s third queen, and she had possessed magic that made her on par with the Dragon Demon generals. She had made the human allied forces shake in fear. She was such an existence, yet she was laughing in front of Azell like a shy girl.