Chapter 165 – Escape
Veronica was no longer as composed as before. The earlier explosion had turned her military uniform into tatters, and her pretty sky-blue hair was burned in several places.
The Abatement barrier did not protect her fully as she had constructed it in haste. The Combat of Goddess glared at Brendel with gritted teeth without a trace of emotion in her eyes. She regarded her hair with great importance, and just for a second, she wanted to kill him.
She lowered her sword, and the barrier was immediately gone. She then swung her blade with without warning, with three fingers supporting her right hand, and a green blade of Sword Energy went straight for the youth. Brendel only managed to react at the last moment and tilted his head to the side, allowing the attack to go past his face. But he could feel a hairline pain that radiated outwards, and he knew that the attack had hurt his face.
“You’re the rumored noble from Aouine, I remember now,” Amman interrupted them, and he lifted his finger up at Brendel. A cross-shaped light form at the tip of his fingers: “I heard that you are capable of using magic from the Sacred Church of Light?”
Brendel’s blood ran cold in his veins. But he did not dare to move carelessly as Amman was ready with his spell. He glared hatefully at Veronica.
[You caused the rumors? Why are you so different from the game?]
“I have nothing to do with the rumors,” Veronica answered upon Brendel’s gaze at her, but her eyebrow suddenly lifted. She recalled the image of Faena moving suspiciously with the other youths, and it caused her to realize the truth. She continued to answer coldly: “But you are free to pin it on me. I will answer your challenge any time you want.”
“Two people of great repute bullying a youth, have you no shame?” Brendel wiped away the blood on his face with a mocking laugh. Even though his tone was insulting, his body was tense and ready for a fight. Veronica would never stop here, and Amman was unlikely to let him go either. He could only risk his life here.
Brendel’s mocking smile revealed his white gleaming teeth, and the cold gaze on Amman was akin to the wolves that were driven insane by Mana. He was never one to put his life into someone else’s hands, and he would never submit to anyone.
[The nobles from Kirrlutz stated that the heathen possesses Halran Gaia. This sword he’s holding must be it.]
Amman did not seem to take in a single word Brendel said. Halran Gaia’s renown was not limited to the Beastmen of the Toquinin region. He was certain that his position within the Holy Cathedral of Flames would rise if he had the sword. It was not even important if Brendel was actually someone from the Sacred Church of Light.
“The heretics that do not repent must be killed.” He said while he stared at Halran Gaia. When he was done with his words, the cross-shaped golden light surged in an instant, and a bullet of light shot towards Brendel. However, a green flash happened, and Veronica actually used her sword like a whip to smack the bullet far away into the forest. There was an explosion of deafening sound and light that lit up the valley.
Veronica turned to Amman and said:
“If you want to kill him, you would need to seek my permission. Your Eminence.”
“Lady Veronica?” Amman was slightly confused, but he was highly capable after all and immediately understood: “I see. You want him alive.”
Veronica did not answer.
Brendel was secretly moving back. Both Amman and Veronica had mastery over their Element Powers, and it was impossible for him to fight against them. He sincerely wished for the two of them to fight each other because of their differences, but it did not seem like a feasible plan. Amman was trying to please Veronica instead.
A cold wind blew past the trees, causing the leaves to rustle, but the fog did not grow lighter.
“Very well, Lady Veronica. It is easy to force a heretic to capitulate if you capture him, but it is far easier to work on his companion.”
“Hmm……” Veronica merely said.
Amman turned to the direction of where Scarlett escaped from. Brendel’s face turned ugly as he could not read what Amman was up to.
“You dare!” Brendel did not dare to wait for Amman and rushed straight at him with Halran Gaia.
But Amman suddenly whirled around with a devious smirk, apparently waiting for Brendel to come at him. A sudden aura of light appeared around his entire body, and he disappeared into thin air. The next moment, he reappeared behind Brendel’s back and there was a crimson radiance on both of his hands.
[This isn’t a priest’s spell!]
Brendel was completely stunned by Amman’s actions, but his body clearly remembered a century’s worth of experience as a warrior. He lowered his head and avoided Amman’s projectile, which shot past the youth’s hair and caused it to flutter, before it ended up in a bush. The red flash of light immediately lit the vegetation of fire.
Brendel continued to use his momentum and rolled forward.
[A Priest class tends to only have Holy magic. That is definitely not any spell in the class that I know of. No, it resembles more like an Element Power, specifically Time or Space. But Amman’s Element Power is Ironwall……]
The Archbishop merely laughed when he saw Brendel rolling forward:
“Holy Word, Bind!”
Brendel’s fingers gripped Halran Gaia tightly till they were numb. He was unable to dodge in this position, and it was difficult for a low Gold-ranked swordsman like himself to resist a high-level character like Amman.
[Why do the gods in this world refuse to bless me? Why am I being punished repeatedly for reciting an oath?]
For a moment, despair and rage filled with his heart, but there was a sudden stroke of genius in his mind.
The golden rays of light burst forth and shot at Brendel, but a Gate made out of light abruptly appeared, and a majestic stag trotted forth. The spell struck the ethereal beast. If it were a physical projectile, it would have passed through the stag, but Amman used a Holy Spell and the White Deer Statue was clearly an artifact that belonged to the Holy attribute. The spell was clearly ineffective against the stag, and even the basic binding effect did not work.
“A Sage Deer!” Amman could not imagine in his wildest dreams that Brendel would summon a creature like that.
But the battle was suddenly interrupted with a savage gust of wind, and it forced them to close their eyes.
“My lord, be careful!” Scarlett suddenly yelled out.
She had been hiding for a while and waited to see if Brendel escaped, but since he did not appear for a long time, she went back to check. To her dismay, she discovered that Brendel was forced to stay. She wanted to help him, but she was worried that she would instead be a burden and drag him down.
Since she stood away from a distance to assess the battlefield and hope for a chance to help her lord, she discovered a white dragon head suddenly appearing over the trees.
It was one of the Lernaia Hydra’s heads.
Veronica was the second to notice it. She was about to make her move when she saw the Archbishop’s spell failed to hit its mark, but a sudden instinct got her to use the Abatement Barrier instead. With a swing of her sword, ten-odd waves of green energy came together to form a barrier. It was at that moment that she discovered the dragon head coming towards her with a bite.
She raised her Element Power to the limits and put everything into the barrier.
The fangs that were made out of mist smashed into her barrier and caused it to shake and crack. Brendel rolled on his back and discovered the fangs going past his nose, causing him to gulp and perspire profusely despite the fact that he was uninjured.
Amman was the unluckiest person out of the three. The dragon’s head was just like the Mist Knight. It seemed to hold an ethereal and physical property at the same time. The fangs moved across the field wildly and one of the fangs managed to snag itself onto the Archbishop’s robe. Barriers formed, but they were all punctured save for one. Amman was sent flying through the air and even rotated several rounds before he crashed onto the ground. He would have met King Gatel if it was not for the last layer of protection. At the same time, a grey gem dropped out from Amman’s collar and dropped into the nearby bushes.
Brendel and Veronica were the only ones to see that. Amman’s mind was completely rattled by the sudden attack that he did not notice it. The squires from the Holy Cathedral also did not manage to see the dropped artifact.
“Boy,” Orthlyss suddenly chose to speak at this moment: “That gemstone looks a little familiar to me!”
Brendel woke up from his stupor, only to be stunned again at Orthlyss’s words. The Heroic Spirit was someone from an ancient era, and for it to be familiar in her eyes, it could only be from the distant past. He wondered where Amman got the gemstone, but there was no time to ponder over it as the fake Lernaia Hydra began attacking them with renewed fury.
Three dragon heads appeared, with three pairs of eyes overlooking the humans on the ground. They emitted a roar that agitated the ground and began moving towards the perceived insects in the forest.
Brendel was delighted to discover the three dragon heads going for Amman and Veronica, and they did not even target him once. Even though this Demonic Fog Nightmare was not the real Lernaia Hydra, its original strength was still not something that he could deal with at all. Amman and Veronica quickly found themselves in danger. The squires from the Holy Cathedral of Flames wanted to save their superior, but two of them were killed in the blink of an eye.
Even though he did not know why he was not attacked, he did not waste this chance. He hurriedly turned and rolled away, using the shrubs as cover, before getting up to prepare for his escape.
“Stop right there!” Even though Veronica was busy with the Lernaia Hydra’s attacks, her attention was on Brendel. She raised her sword in anger and pointed it at Brendel. A ray of Sword Energy shot towards him, but this hasty attack could not find its mark. She wanted to pursue him, but two dragon heads blocked her path the moment she lifted up her foot, and she could only watch Brendel run further and further away,
“This damned monster!” Veronica cursed through gritted teeth for the first time on this journey.