Alissanda acted when Saron's attention was on Leguna. He gripped his lance tightly, ran, and leapt into the air, his lance glowing.
"Heartpierce Strike!" he cried, thrusting at Saron.
"Fool!" The magus turned his gaze to Alissanda disdainfully. I have my wind-aspect shield up. How could a physical attack get me?
The next second however, fright surfaced in his eyes. Alissanda's strike didn't touch him, but it still hurt him.
Heartpierce Strike was a developed by the fearsome Chinoan paladin, Kevin Eino. Holy-aspect impetus was gathered on the tip of the lance and injected into the enemy's body during an attack. While its physical damage wasn't high, the impetus more than made up for it. It could ignore magical barriers and inflict damage with the light element alone.
Saron grunted, losing control of his body, and collapsed to the ground.
His fireball exploded at the same time. The snow around Leguna melted. The winds tossed everything around and made it hard for Alissanda to see how Leguna was doing.
"Hey, partner!" Alissanda shouted. He didn't act the whole time because he wanted to recover some energy and see how the youth did. He didn't think the kid would be taken out in a flash.
"Hot, damn, it's so powerful!" Leguna answered, coughing as he climbed out from under the branches broken off the trees by the shockwave.
"How... how did you survive?"
Leguna's looked completely fine, save for a few singed hairs.
"A secret," Leguna replied mysteriously before slumping onto the ground.
It appeared worse than it was, though. He had forcefully taken the fireball with Shadowedge formed. He was struck with inspiration in the last moment and formed armour instead of a weapon.
Even the destructive fire aspect was dispersed when it came into contact with his impetus. Saron's fireball and Leguna's shadow armor ate away at each other and cancelled out.
He came out unscathed by the attack itself, but completely exhausted. That he'd managed to climb out from under the rubble before collapsing was a miracle already.
"Hey, you okay?!" Alissanda shouted, rushing over.
"Don't mind me. What happened to that idiot?"
Leguna still had enough sense about him to focus on what was important despite his state.
"Don't worry, he won't cause any trouble for at least a while."
"Oh? Who were you talking about?" Saron asked, appearing just ten meters from them.
He had a haggard appearance, his hair unkempt and messy and his robes stained with dirty snow. He even appeared to be having difficulty breathing.
Alissanda did not look the least bit surprised to see Saron.
"Don't force yourself. You must have done your homework, you know my gifts. Damage caused by holy-aspect impetus can't be healed easily. You cannot fight for at least a week and a half to a fortnight."
A vein popped.
Though Saron had no expression, his heart raged. He'd suffered his first serious wound since emerging onto the world stage.
"My impetus will stay in you for a long time. You might taint your impetus if you try to force it before you've healed naturally. Don't blame me if you suffer then."
"It'll be more than worth it to kill you!" Saron barked, licking his lips.
His fury had no bounds. He was willing to take any risk if it meant he could eliminate the two bastards in front of him.
"Are you insane?"
Was he going to fight to the death? Truthfully, Saron wasn't. His injuries were just far less severe than Alissanda thought. He could still fight.
"Die!" The red-haired youth gathered conjured another fireball and flung it at Leguna.
Guess I can't hold back anymore, the prince thought, watching the fireball intently.
A large figure rushed in at that moment, waving a greatsword in his hand, and cleft the fireball two. It exploded immediately, but the figure simply continued to split everything in his path.
"Hot, damn, the fireball really is powerful!" The man shouted, waving his sword.
"What's up? You two couldn't deal with a little brat?" Kurdak smirked casually.
Everyone could see Kurdak was facing the kid seriously despite his comments. He had sensed Leguna use Host of Darkness. If he could not defeat his opponent despite that, he was not someone to underestimate.
"Be careful, he's really strong! Has both a wind and a fire gift!"
Saron gazed at the old man wordlessly. While he had the advantage in the last two-on-one fight, three was a little much. Even if the little brat stayed out of it, this new guy was fresh. And his weapons appeared rather unusual.
Saron was no fool. He knew this old man's appearance made his mission impossible for the time being. While he believed he could kill him, he would be heavily wounded. Not only that, there were two other gifted nearby and he couldn't tell what other trump cards they had yet to reveal.
"Well, since you're an enemy, there's no sense in playing fair. I'll become your third opponent. Bring it on!" Kurdak shouted, reading himself domineeringly.
"You won't be this lucky next time." Saron spat, ignoring the old man, vanishing moments later.
A chilling breeze blew hugged the land. Kurdak was left standing facing nothing but emptiness.
He stood there as if he was petrified. He only spoke several seconds later.
"Did... DId he ignore me?"
"You forced him to back off, Senior." Alissanda smiled, shooting Kurdak in the heart.
"Damn you! I'm 24! Calling me Uncle is one thing, but Senior?! How old do you think I am?!"
Kurdak wanted to cry, but had no tears.
"Apologies... Old-- I mean, Friend..."
Kurdak ignored him, muttering to himself instead.
"I must shave my beard when I get back."
"Boss..." Leguna sat up laboriously.
"What's wrong? I just arrived and you're this haggard already?" Kurdak mocked.
"That guy is too strong," Leguna answered, ignoring the comment, "Where's Sis?"
"She's hiding. Don't worry, she's fine. I was worried, so I came to check. Boy are you lucky I made it in time. You'd be a roast pig by now otherwise," Kurdak continued.
"Good. Let's go. It should be fine now," Leguna nodded, continuing his ignorance.
"Follow us," he said to Alissanda, "I'm sure you're worn out. It should be better to have somebody by your side."
"Thanks," the prince answered.
"Hey, what is that guy? He looks decent," Kurdak whispered.
"He's Alissanda. He's the second prince," Leguna answered.
Kurdak knew the young man had some background, but he didn't think it would be this profound.
"What do we do? If we mistreat him, he'll have our decapitated!"
"Don't worry," Leguna whispered, waving his hand, "He's far easier going than his elder brother. It should be fine."
"You sure?" Kurdak asked, glancing at Alissanda suspiciously.
The prince shook his head awkwardly before cracking an awkward radiant smile.
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