TL: This chapter number IS NOT AN ERROR. The author has skipped the number of chapter 196 entirely. I’m going to follow this numbering.
Chapter 197 – The final moment (14)
The dust and smoke slowly receded to a thin layer. Even though there was only silence where Veronica and Brendel were at, it felt even more ominous. The strong Mana had changed the shape of the landscape as a deep gully had been formed by the Wall of Chaos’s destruction.
Mana suddenly surged again, causing Brendel and Veronica’s hearts to skip a beat. Amman’s earlier monologue was to gain time so he could cast the Wall of Chaos. But he was currently nowhere to be found. Perhaps he had used a teleportation spell again during that interval.
“Boy, what exactly is that thing……”
Veronica took in a deep breath. Even at her level, she felt the Mana pulses in the area to be increasingly stifling. What kind of spell was Amman preparing now?
Brendel’s eyes were nearly shut. He could have an endless array of strategies when he had his Planewalker’s abilities and even shrug off Andesha’s Element Power to a certain extent, but he could not but feel like collapsing against the swelling Mana.
“Have you never…… heard of Mavekart’s Grimoire? To think…… that I will see it in this place.” Brendel gnashed his teeth.
“Is it really that cursed book? Why does Amman have it!” Veronica finally recalled that name.
[But the book was rumored to be destroyed in the Twilight War. How could it appear in Amman’s hands?]
Mavekart’s evil grimoire. It was the Disciples of Chaos’s bible, an evil artifact that was created in the Sea of Chaos where evil creatures resided, and was rumored to be a book that devoured everything to gain forbidden powers.
Its power rivaled nearly all divine artifacts.
Brendel watched the black-colored Mana gather into a single spot. It was as if a black hole had appeared in the center of the courtyard, sucking in the wind and fog in a spiraling manner. This phenomenon lasted only for a short while before the dark energy exploded in a circle, and it was followed by a physical shockwave that hurled Brendel and Veronica backward.
Several screams came from the nearby buildings. Scarlett pulled Faena and Sifrid, running away as the Dark Energy shattered the walls into rubble. The fragments were flung into the air, while the girls were knocked down onto the ground from the shockwave that reached them in the next second.
Andesha and Mephisto felt the world shake even though they were in mid-air. Several showers of spark rained across the ground as her claws met his greatsword. The Mana derived from nature was growing increasingly thin and Andesha found that she was nearly unable to maintain her dragon form. Her fury was causing her eyes to become bloodshot, but she finally tore her eyes away from Mephisto to peek at the courtyard.
Both Mephisto and Andesha felt a second pulse of Dark Energy that was no weaker than the previous one.
“Shit, he wants to kill everyone…… This spell is the Shadow Blasting Waves!” Brendel groaned.
It was a magic spell of the Eleventh Circle. Even though it was supposed to merely affect the ground area, the Eleven Circle was touted to be the limits of what a human could achieve and it was never going to be something straightforward.
The first phase of this spell was the ‘Chant of Forbidden Air’.
Mephisto and Andesha started to feel a great pull on their body. Mephisto was using his Element Power to slow his descent at appropriate moments to fight Andesha in the air, and he was surprised to find that he could not control his Element Power any longer. Andesha tried to beat her wings furiously but she could not gain any altitude. Both began to fall to the ground.
“You’re attacking everyone indiscriminately! Hamir, you insane fool!” Andesha screamed.
Amman’s freaky laughter transmitted over the thin fog. He was clearly doing it on purpose:
“Andesha. I need to thank you as well. You gave me enough time so that I can prepare this ancient holy artifact. It is unfortunate that you blood drinkers don’t understand the majestic dignity of limitless power…..”
He was never more confident of his victory, but his hands did not stop. The Mana gathered in the area was increasing at an exceptional rate. The third pulse of energy exploded once more, and this time it was the strongest explosion yet. The black trail of energy was like a whip sweeping through the entire valley.
Veronica lost her breath. The violent winds were causing her wind to flutter painfully. She turned to Brendel.
“As expected of Mavekart’s Grimoire, that artifact is something close to the power of the Divine. We are no match for him. Retreating is for the best.”
“It’s too late.” Brendel said through gritted teeth, struggling to get his words out: “If we run, we’re dead, but if we fight now there’s a chance for us.”
“How do we fight back?”
“Even though Mavekart’s Grimoire is one of the strongest artifact related to Chaos, it’s much weaker than the Twilight Dragon. In addition, the caster is definitely not from the Golden Lineage or even the Silver Lineage. He’s just a mortal being, undead or not, therefore we have a chance.”
“I have to ask again, how do you know all these things?” Veronica’s green eyes were full of curiosity.
“It’s really a simple observation, not my understanding of the lore. I think you can see the pattern here, Amman prattles on for a while before a new attack happens. Casting a new pulse takes time.”
[Is that really the truth?]
Veronica was doubtful of his explanation, but the youth continued speaking while he bit his fingers anxiously:
“In any case, there’s no time to explain. This is our only chance!”
[The timing to stop him is extremely crucial……]
The fallen bishop’s spell could not be stopped anymore. The Mana was still increasing and the youth could feel his skin blistering even from the considerable distance. Once it was released for the fourth time, no one would escape unscathed.
“But how are going to defend against his spell, boy?”
Brendel did not answer and merely squinted at a certain direction; Andesha was screaming as she tried to create a small boundary around herself to keep herself in the air.
Veronica immediately realized his intentions: “Boy, you can’t possibly be……”
But the fourth pulse of dark energy exploded yet again and Andesha could no longer keep herself in the air. The clouds suddenly parted as the Dark Energy fired up into the air, revealing a black Magic Formation that resembled a wheel.
[Arus, Cau, Tiamat…… Five seconds.]
Brendel counted in his mind. The gigantic formation lit up with the Rune Words activating from the outer formation before they led towards the center. Finally, when the center of the Magic Formation, a beam of dark energy struck Amman.
“It’s here!” Brendel stabbed his hand with Halran Gaia. The pain traveled up to his mind and shook off his body’s Frightened state that was dealt from the spell. “Let’s go!”
The youth activated his Charge ability and grabbed Veronica before he rushed to hide behind Andesha’s back.
“How dare you pull off this trick, maggots!” Andesha instantly realized Brendel’s goal and shrieked with fury.
Amman’s face was completely shrouded in darkness from the concentrated Mana, but his eyes started to glow with a deep purple color and an unrestrained blast of energy was unleashed from his outstretched hand that was pointed at Brendel’s back. The thin pillar of Dark Energy from the aerial Magic Formation expanded ten times as it flowed down to Amman.
A thunderous crash shook the ground, but it was Andesha who finally dropped from the air and was currently blocking the beam’s target. The dragon gasped as the clouds separated even further to pour even more energy onto Amman who wanted to kill the youth.
It was no longer the pulsing waves of energy, but a beam of absolute destruction.
“Haaaamir!” Andesha wanted to shred him into pieces, but the black beam of light was over ten meters in size and was shooting straight at her face. She could only extend her wings into a defensive shield in front of her and pour her Element Power out to repel the energy.
There was a deafening explosion. Andesha screamed, but her voice was swallowed up by an even louder blast of sound. A visible shield of light was conjured in front of her wings and it shook violently as the Dark Energy collided into it.
Spiderweb-like cracks quickly appeared all over the shield.
The landscape was already ruined from the earlier blasts of energy. The ground was uneven and filled with cracks, but this beam of energy turned the area beneath it into hollowed ground and destroyed everything into powder.
“Ahhhhh!” Andesha screamed with terror.
She was unwilling to accept this outcome and glared at Amman with wrathful wide eyes. If she was at the peak of her strength, she could have defended against the spell. However, the vegetation that Brendel grew did not just sever her connection with nature, it even distorted the Mana in this area. She did not even have half of her original strength left.
The beam of light was now a tidal wave that warped Andesha’s shield of light. The scales on her wings cracked and were torn off mercilessly. Blood spilled out in large amounts, and showers of blood drenched the ground.
Her screams continued amidst curses.
“Ahhhh! Hamir, I curse you!”
The dragon was actually hurled far away by the Dark Energy. There was a tiny explosion, followed by uprooted trees and soil flying into the air.
Brendel’s eyes lit up as the beam of Dark Energy finally subsided. Andesha did not exceed the limits of a mortal body yet, and the Shadow Blasting Waves dealt quite the fatal blow on her. There was no need to worry about her any longer.
“Now!” He roared. “I need just a few seconds!”
Veronica immediately reacted. She activated her defensive magic equipment and poured her Element Power to form a light green barrier that reduced the burden of the pulsing Dark Energy on the youth.
Brendel calmly took out his Shale Longbow again.
He took on a closed stance to create a steady form to ensure a better frame alignment that was reinforced with his back muscles. His feet shuffled back slightly as he drew the bowstring in one quick motion.
He exhaled violently.
All his senses were cut off. The sensation of the powerful gale against his skin did not register any longer. Roaring sounds of the wind did not reach his ears. The scent and taste of the dragon’s blood were sealed off. His eyes did not perceive the destruction of the landscape.
Amman’s shrouded figure was the only thing that he wanted to have in his mind.
There was a dim shimmering light on Mavekart’s Grimoire, and on it was Amman’s pale bony hand that was shriveled up like a raisin. He laughed like a madman despite the hastened aging on his body:
“Andesha or Veronica, you’re no more than ants in my eyes…… Hahaha—” He laughed so hard that he coughed a few times: “You make me laugh, hahaha……”
Brendel took in a deep breath and his senses came back again.
It was impossible for him to match the truly talented archers in the game. They were capable of superhuman feats. Firing point-blank shots, splitting projectiles in mid-air, or even catching the enemies’ arrows to fire them back. The videos about them leaping around by making use of their environment made it seem like they rehearsed a choreographed dance, all while shooting arrows freely in every angle possible. Some players even joked about them having a Mind’s Eye where they simply needed to think where their target was and shoot with absolute accuracy.
But Brendel was nowhere as gifted as them. What he had was merely a polished system that he gained through countless shots.
His current aiming style was different from his usual preference. It was a modern style that was catered for sports, not for battle. But that was his goal. Three fingers from his right hand pulled the bowstring and anchored it onto his lips, while the left hand held the bow’s grip loosely without letting his palm touch it.
It was going to be a single shot that required accuracy, not repeated firings.
[Distance. Slightly over a hundred meters. Time taken to reach target. Less than a second.]
The size of Amman’s figure was no larger than a thumb, but with his high Perception stats, he could see it with reasonable clarity. The problem was the harsh wind and pulsing Dark Energy. It was as if he had to thread the eye of a shaking needle with a thick string in a single attempt.
His arm was raised slightly. Even gravity affected his arrow, and therefore he had to account for the angle. His projectile was not going to travel in a straight line.
He put his focus on the wind and adjusted his aim.
Time was not an issue.
Amman was continuing his monologue.
Another breath was taken.
But this time he exhaled lightly.
Finally, his right fingers released and straightened at the same time, while his left hand hung loosely. The arrow was shot out as it bent left and right from the vibrations before it corrected itself, rising into the air in a beautiful arc as the Shale Longbow rotated downwards smoothly. The youth’s form was almost ethereal, and it looked like he was performing a ritual to send off the arrow to its victory.
The projectile sailed through the wind and Dark Energy that was now resembling a tempest.
Surely, it was an impossible feat.
And yet it somehow pierced through the shrouded figure.