Chapter 166 – What tactics?
“Archbishop Amman, stop him!”
Veronica knew that she was unable to stop the youth and could only ask for help from the nearby priest. At the same time, she quickly swung her sword at one of the Lernaia Hydra’s head that was coming for her. The Azure Sword smashed heavily into its nose with a ghastly glow of energy, but it turned into mist and was compressed before it recovered its shape. Instead, the resulting feedback pushed her away from where she was by ten meters.
With her retreat, the second Hydra’s head rushed towards her at an acute angle, and she could only growl inwardly to avoid the monster’s attack. The concentrated mist struck the forest’s ground like a violent projectile, and the wind generated pushed all the black pine trees to and fro. Veronica’s long hair flailed against the wind and blocked her line of sight. She shook her head in order to get the strands off, and her eyes caught the Holy Cathedral of Flames’s squires using their lives to give Amman time to recover.
Amman hesitated as he crawled up from the ground, wondering if he should stop Brendel or deal with the Lernaia Hydra. There was only one chance, but if he were to stop Brendel, then none of his men would be likely to survive this ordeal. But greed towards Halran Gaia triumphed against reasoning, and he raised his right hand. A visible flame was drawn into a magic pattern with his agate ring on his thumb, forming a sign of the Holy Cathedral of Flames: “In the name of the Flame, you will not escape here no matter how much you run. Return to whence you came from, Flaming Invocation!”
Brendel nearly stumbled when he heard these words.
[You actually used a spell that’s higher than a Seventh Circle— Are you fucking kidding me?]
There were only two professions that could use the Holy Words magic, the Witch and Priest professions. The Curses from the witches and the Prophecies from the priests were considered as something alike to the Languages of the Gods. There were plenty of spells that were powerful enough to hinder someone.
It was especially effective for a warrior with low Will stats. Even though Brendel had put in levels into the Elementalist profession, it was simply too low and useless to resist Amman’s magic. As soon as the archbishop’s words ended, he found a sea of flames right before his path.
The youth turned around and glared at the smirking Amman. He gnashed his teeth and said: “It seems like Your Eminence intends to keep me here.”
“Naturally,” Amman said.
“I hope you don’t regret this!” Brendel did not continue complaining. He drew out his sword with both hands and rushed towards Amman.
“You audacious cur,” Amman’s facial muscles stiffened. A normal person would at least feel hesitation and fear when they go against the Holy Cathedral of Flames, but Brendel’s decisiveness made it seem like he was threatening his authority: “Shield!”
A shield of light with six edges extended from his palms and Brendel’s blade smashed across it, drawing sparks.
The youth knew that it was not a magic spell but Amman’s Element Power. Amman prepared a new spell and a fiery-red light enveloped his robes. It was another layer of protection.
“It would be wise of you to surrender,” Amman said as he cast a new spell. He dismissed the six-edged shield and grabbed Halran Gaia with his bare hand. There was a grating noise of metal rubbing against each other when his skin met the blade.
Holy Magic spell, Iron Fist.
A Priest buffing himself with spells would have enough combat prowess to match a warrior with a full set of equipment. Even though there were just two buffs on Amman, Brendel could feel that the Archbishop’s strength was on par with his own.
“Even though your Lordship is a heretic, the Holy Cathedral of Fire and the Sacred Church of Light are not at war. With the rules of the nobles in place, you can trust in this humble servant that I speak for the Holy Cathedral of Fire and not hurt a noble like yourself. You can even pay for your own ransom—” Amman laughed darkly, while he cast a glance at his men to see if they could still hold on against the Lernaia Hydra.
[Why is this bastard’s laughter so familiar to me?]
A thought streaked across Brendel’s mind, perhaps recalling a villain of the past, but he did not dare to ponder on it. He was still in battle, and he tried pulling out his sword, but the sword refused to budge out of Amman’s hand. He then scoffed and gave a disdainful smile in response:
“Oh? What does Your Eminence want me to pay in exchange for my life?”
“Halran Gaia, and whatever Commander Veronica wants, that would be a fair deal, right?”
In Amman’s eyes, killing Brendel would be the safest option, but Veronica would not agree to it and he could only acquiesce to her.
Brendel started laughing.
[Surrendering Halran Gaia? There are going to be countless monsters in my path to activate the Fire Seed in Valhalla. I will automatically fail. Helping out Veronica is a waste of time and it will only lead me to fight Andesha at the end, and she’s stronger than these two right here—]
Fury rose within his chest. The Centaurs’ blood was on his hands. Not only that, if he were to fail here, the entire Trentheim would be in danger because of the Dark Forest would be overrun by monsters and Chaos, no longer protected by the Laws from the Green Tower’s Fire Seed. After Veronica stated that she was not the one who spread the rumors, he immediately knew that Faena and the companions spread the rumors secretly without her permission.
But the source of troubles that started it all was because he recited an oath.
If it was not for him, the Kirrlutz Empire would not be here. Perhaps the Holy Cathedral of Flames would be here doing whatever it was, but it was unlikely that Amman would corner him like this. It was his own fault that things turned out this way.
[There’s no use crying over spilled milk…… Amman, one of the Regional Archbishops. Even though his position isn’t the highest, he was one of the most challenging foes within the Cathedral. Even though his Element Power, Shield, is considered to be one of the weakest Element Power, it does not equate to how strong an opponent would be. Even the highest Fantasy-ranked Element Power isn’t considered as invincible.]
Brendel’s mind assessed the situation as fast as he could.