Destroyer of Ice and Fire
Chapter 114: Betrayal
Moss screamed miserably.
Several black cup-sized burn traces suddenly appeared on him. His whole body fell heavily back on the ground under the impact from the fireballs.
“Swish!” “Swish!” “Swish!”
Ayrin successfully dodged five or six times in quick succession within a range of a dozen meters.
The scarlet fireballs seemed to completely cover the air in front of Paul. Yet, against all expectations, none of them landed on Ayrin!
Forcibly resisting his acute pain, already utterly frightened, Paul continued to shoot scarlet fireballs nonstop, fiercely jumping backward at the same time.
Drawing support from the blockade of the dense fireballs, he was once again more than a dozen meters away from Ayrin.
But just at this instant, he heard Ayrin's excited shout. “That should be good enough!”
“I probably won't die if I fight like this.”
At this time, Ayrin lifted his left hand.
Along with the dazzling flash of arcane particles, a huge white ball of ice suddenly appeared between Paul and Ayrin.
This block of ice was still a few meters away from Paul.
But Ayrin's right fist pounded forward without the slightest pause. Icicles sputtered forward one after another. The white ball of ice suddenly became a crown of ice and snow.
Paul shouted miserably. His scarlet fireballs landed one after another on this huge crown of ice and snow, but they simply couldn't impede the crown's advance. The crown's spikes struck him dead center.
“Perfect! Coming out with this kind of display for his very first mission, this guy is truly born to be a battlemaster. His performance in a fight is always better than during training...”
Ciaran wasn't even thirty meters away behind Paul at this time. She couldn't hold back the admiration in her eyes when she saw the sharp spikes of the crown come in contact with Paul. She knew that Paul had already lost all his ability to fight.
Moss had climbed up from the ground only moments ago. Seeing Paul lying stiffly on the ground, a patch of ice and snow covering him, he felt dazzled for a moment, then suddenly very ashamed.
“I absolutely have to train as if my life were on the line, or else this guy is definitely going to make fun of me in the future.”
Thinking back on it, it seemed he didn't help at all, apart from playing the bait at the beginning.
At this moment, seeing Ciaran suddenly flash beside Paul, Ayrin asked, “Teacher Ciaran, this guy shouldn't die with you here, right?”
Then he turned around all smiles towards Moss, saying, “Brave warrior Moss, you did pretty well.”
“Are you praising me or are you mocking me!” Moss shouted gloomily.
“Of course I'm praising you. You were a very good bait!”
“Just a very good bait, I knew you'd say that!” Moss thought his vision was going to go black from anger.
“There's no problem.” Ciaran said at this time, “You accomplished this mission very well.”
Paul was still struggling on the ground previously, but the moment he saw Ciaran's face and the red scarf around her, his face instantly became deathly ashen.
Ciaran suddenly moved her fingers at high speed. More than a dozen faint-blue bright star-like dots converged into one small rune after another, hitting Paul's forehead.
Paul trembled fiercely, utter despair on his face.
“Teacher Ciaran, what arcane spell is that?” Ayrin and Moss had already come closer.
“A method that severs some nerve connections. It will substantially decrease his perception of arcane power for a dozen days or so, to the point that he won't be able to sense the level of his arcane gates at all.”
“If he can't sense his arcane gates, then doesn't that mean that he can't even use his arcane particles or any arcane skills?”
“Right.” Ciaran nodded. “Search him first.”
“So these are spring-type metallic weapons?”
Very soon, Moss and Ayrin removed three bronze-colored metallic components from Paul's arms and back.
Seen from the front side, these were metallic plates as thick as two gold coins added together, with some grooves and patterns on them. However, they were greatly taken aback once they flipped them over.
On the back, beneath a thin slice of metal with many holes in it, many springs and gears were clearly visible, like labyrinths of metal full of a unique charm that could even suck someone's soul inside.
“Yes, this a spring weapon manufactured by dwarven metalsmiths,” Ciaran explained. “Before the War of the Dragons, at least ten thousand dwarven tribes lived in Doraster. Among them, half were cave dwarves, while half among this half liked to dig tunnels and palaces inside hard mountains. These dwarves were innately outstanding artisans. Some tribes among them smelted metal using the lava in the depths of volcanoes. Their meticulous and excellent craftsmanship allowed them to invent many kinds of weapons, spring weapons among them.
“These spring weapons belong to the second level. The power is equivalent to an arcane master with two open gates. With his level, it's merely equivalent to invoking one or two more arcane skills at the same time. But in the era of the War of the Dragons, the dwarven tribes with many melalsmithing masters in the Kingdom of Dowa even created formidable clockwork armies, even created sixth level dragon-killing crossbows and clockwork soldiers.”
“Is that merely a class lesson?”
Seeing Ciaran not paying the slightest attention to himself, explaining the details to Moss and Ayrin instead, Paul completely felt as if they were looking down on him. For a second, he even had the urge to shout, “Whatever happens, at least pay attention to me.”
“There are only a few silver coins, and a map of St. Lauren's surroundings.” Moss and Ayrin very quickly completed the search. Paul didn't carry anything superfluous on his person, not even some army rations. It was no wonder he had to hunt for hares in the vicinity.
Ciaran nodded. She coldly looked at Paul: “You must know why we ambushed you here, right?”
Without waiting for his answer, Ciaran added immediately, “You're closely familiar with arcane master Mori from Gooseberry Townlet's gnome store. We've already ascertained that arcane master Mori is related with the arcane master who tried to assassinate Ivan. Now clearly tells us who on earth are these two people, and what kind of role you assumed between them.”
“I...” He probably knew that he couldn't even dream of escaping from Ciaran's hands, and that continued resistance would only result in a more tragic end for himself. With grief and distress on his face, this arcane master who was only a small character in St. Lauren said, almost sobbing, “The only thing I know is that arcane master Mori calls that person lord Pattinson. I just listened to their orders and helped them with some things. If I could complete certain missions, they would let me...”
When Paul paused, looking as if he couldn't say it out loud, Ciaran coldly continued, “Let you become an Evil Dragon follower, right?”
Cold sweat covered Paul's face. Moss and Ayrin could tell that Ciaran's words hit the mark just looking at his expression.
Ciaran breathed in deeply. She slowly said, “These men called Mori and Pattinson, they're both Evil Dragon followers already?”
“The one called Pattinson should be one, but that Mori shouldn't have accomplished enough mission, so he hasn't become a real Evil Dragon follower yet,” Paul said, his mouth twitching.
“What's the goal of their activities here? What did you do for them?”
“I don't know. I just helped them gather some intelligence about the activities of the elite masters inside the city. I also helped them pass on some news. I gave the intelligence I gathered to Mori in the gnome store. After that, Mori gave me secret documents and I passed them on to Johnny in the city.”
“Johnny? Iron Forest Academy's Johnny?”
Seeing Paul's nod, Ciaran fell silent.
“Who is Johnny?” Ayrin couldn't help but ask.
Ciaran said, “An elite arcane teacher in Iron Forest Academy.”
Ayrin stared blankly. “Even elite-ranked teachers, just like teachers Ciaran and Minlur, want to become Evil Dragon followers because of their lust for power?”
“You, what do you mean elite teachers like teachers Ciaran and Minlur?” Moss shouted at Ayrin, depressed.
“Quiet.” Ciaran whispered to Moss and Ayrin, her face solemn all of a sudden.
“Someone's coming. Who is it?”
Ayrin immediately heard piercing sounds as well, like something tearing through the air.
A tall figure appeared in their lines of sight within a few seconds.
This was a man over thirty, wearing Divine Shield Academy's uniform, his long brown hair tied in a ponytail.
“Makkany?” Ciaran recognized this person the moment his figure appeared.
“Ciaran, what are you doing here?”
This man took in the sight in front of him, and also seemed a little stunned.
“Did you receive a mission as well? You took these two students with you?” he asked Ciaran, looking as if he recovered immediately.
“First ambush mission.” Ciaran nodded. She quickly asked back. “What are you also doing here?”
“I first received a mission to lay an ambush in the wilderness not far away from Gooseberry Townlet. But they received the news not long ago that the gnome store's owner might pass by this place. That's why they changed the mission and let me come to this canyon to prepare an ambush. I just came not long ago and heard the sounds of battles here. I thought another arcane team already encountered that gnome store's owner,” that man explained, his expression relaxing a little.
“Teacher Ciaran, who is he?” Ayrin couldn't help but whisper.
“An elite teacher from Iron Shield Academy. They often call on him for missions like these,” Ciaran answered softly.
“He's the target of your ambush? It merely looks like a special training for elite students.” Sparing only a glance for Paul's figure lying on the ground, the elite Divine Shield teacher Makkany said with indifference, his tone rich with contempt, “Even an arcane master with that kind of level actually fantasizes about becoming an Evil Dragon follower?”
Ciaran glanced at Paul on the ground and was about to say something.
Suddenly, a sense of extreme danger arose in her.
“Careful!” She bellowed, her expression changing abruptly.
She flickered her hands. The wild winds she conjured immediately swept Moss and Ayrin away in the air.
Two tiny beams of lightning flashed through the spots where Moss and Ayrin previously stood at.
At the same time, falling swiftly backward, Ciaran groaned, the color of blood emerging from her ten fingertips.
“Don't tell me this guy is also...” Spinning dizzily in the air from the wild gusts of wind, fear and anger bubbled forth in Ayrin's chest.
He could tell that, in order to rescue the two of them, Ciaran already suffered damage from some sneak attack.
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