"Aggh!" Alissanda yelled in pain, being struck flying backwards.
"Damn!" Jast cried furiously, charging in with his lance.
"Hmph!" Saron smirked.
He didn't dictate a spell, instead choosing to simply simply dispersed a wind field around himself with his gift. It nearly broke the high-order warrior's nose.
Kurdak moved towards Saron's side solemnly. He had just joined the battle, and his stamina was the greatest of the three now entangled with Saron. The huge man dodged the field before activating Lava Blade.
Due to the stoneskin spell, however, the blade bounced off like it had struck obsidian.
The young crimsonflame demon solidified the surrounding air into a platform and stood on it stably.
"Even together, you three together only amount to this much?" he mocked.
"Hmph! Don't get cocky. We're here as well! You can't take us all!" a young knight yelled.
"You have no part in this fight!" Alissanda shouted.
The teenager's strength was only revealed by fighting him directly. Numbers could not fill the chasm between him and the three whom he now fought. His men would only be climbing into their graves if they joined the fight!
"You're not as foolish as I thought," Saron mocked again.
Alissanda picked himself up with great difficulty.
"I wounded you not too long ago. How did you recover so quickly?"
"It's only holy impetus. Did you think it would keep me down for more than a fortnight? Overconfident much?"
Alissanda's brow furrowed. He knew how troublesome his impetus was. It was very hard to deal with wthout an exceedingly strong constitution.
The purifying characteristic of holy impetus was the light aspect, healing miracles based on it, which most were, couldn't remove it. One could only recover naturally from injuries caused by holy impetus. Even if Saron was a gifted and recovered quicker than most, he had the constitution of a magus. It was staggering to recover from such wounds in just a few days.
"Any other trump cards?" Alissanda asked, narrowing his eyes.
"Feel free to guess. But you'll have to go all out if you want to test them." Embers popped out of Saron's hands like they were shooting out of a fire.
Alissanda gazed at his enemy gravely as he stretched out his hand, sending a stream of holy impetus into the heavily injured Jast.
Colour slowly returned to the injured warrior's face. Impetus Healing.
"You dare split some of your impetus to heal someone else at a time like this?"
"Jast, take the surviving men away. Kurdak, you leave too! This is an order!"
Pain flashed across Jast's face, but he still obeyed his commander and led the rest of the men away. One of the knights turned around, but Jast yelled at him and dragged him away by his ear.
Alissanda clashed with Saron once more. The magus didn't want to let them go at first, but thanks to Alissanda's interference, the 20-odd knights escaped.
"Why aren't you gone yet?" Alissanda barked when he noticed Kurdak still standing nearby.
"Don't be a fool, prince. How can you deal with him alone?" Kurdak returned.
"Obey my orders!" the prince yelled anxiously.
"Your orders can go to hell! I'm not one of your little knights!" the burly man yelled, "They followed me because they trusted me, and then four of them died because of me!! Gana, Jeff... They tried to cover our retreat, but were got turned into pincushions! It's all my fault! I have to avenge them!"
Alissanda didn't expect the old man would say something like that. Had they not been together for just a few days?
"This is war. Get used to it."
"Ah, I know already! But not today, not this time! I can't! They put their faith in me and their lives in my hands, but I let them down. I can't take it! I can't get used to this, not today! I want to avenge them!"
"Well said! That's my man!" Vera peeped from the side as she popped out of nowhere.
"Gah, why didn't you leave?" Kurdak yelped in a cold sweat.
"What are you saying? How can I go when you're still here?" she retorted, smiling.
"Now's not the time to flirt! Scram! You can't play around frivolously here!" Kurdak bellowed, his expression darkening.
"Who's flirting?! I've deciding to stay. Don't mouth off on me!" Vera dug her heels on; she wasn't going anywhere.
A vein popped on Saron's forehead as he watched the two bicker as if he wasn't there.
"Hey, do you guys know I don't have a girlfriend? Public displays of affection will result in horrible deaths!" the teen cracked through clenched teeth.
"Ah?!" Kurdak looked at Vera, "Hey, lass, did you hear? This kid still doesn't have a girlfriend! You think he's gone crazy from studying so much?"
"Hahaha, might be!--" Vera smiled seductively. "--Come here. Have a chat with big sis! I'll introduce my little brother to you! He's amazing; he already has three girlfriends, and he got them all by himself! They are the finest, too! Want to learn a trick or two from him?"
"Hey hey, you two..." Alissanda watched the two lunatics run their mouths and wondered where they got their optimism. They were facing the strongest in the younger generation! If they wasted more time, the men chasing Kurdak down would be here before they got to do anything! How were they still in the mood to joke around?
Alissanda turned to Saron and saw his expression dark as ink. His eyes flared with bursts of flame and the air around him billowed upwards, heated as if passing over an inferno.
"To hell with you!"
Saron quickly dictated a spell and breathed deeply. Flames over a thousand degrees burst out of his mouth.
Dragonbreath spell! Anyone hit could turn into nothing but ash!
Alissanda jumped towards his compatriots instinctively and unleashed all the holy impetus he could to cover the three.
Kurdak didn't stand idly either. He stepped in between Vera and the coming flame, holding his sword blade-at-the-ready to cut the flames.
Hmph! Did they think they could block Saron's spell with that? Saron emptied his lungs, spewing an endless stream of fire at his prey.
The three, engulfed by flames, started sweating. These flames weren't stopping! Shouldn't Saron have been out of breath already? Kurdak and Alissanda's combined efforts kept the flames away for a few seconds, but now their defenses were beginning to falter. A few moments more and their bastion would collapse, taking them down with it as the flames rushed in and consumed them.
Kurdak's mind raced. Damn, he should have attacked at that moment, right?!
A shadow congealed into a solid mass behind the crimsonflame fiend and sped at him.
It stuck to Saron's back, clasping a blade against his neck.
Saron faltered, feeling the cold steel against his skin. It felt like Death was breathing on his neck. He shoved a small forcefield between his skin and the blade to keep it from moving.
The shadow channeled all his impetus in return, pushing the blade towards Saron's throat with all his might.
The best result the shadow could get, however, was a small red line on Saron's throat where the skin was split.
"Guaah!" Saron groaned, shoving backwards with his hands.
An irresistible force slammed into the shadow, sending it flying into the roof of a building. It spewed out crimson blood and collapsed to the floor.
"Damn it, man! We'd be dead if you were any slower!" Kurdak cursed.
Their plan had not worked. Despite him and Vera creating the perfect change for Leguna, he had not come through and their only chance had been thrown away. Even worse, they hadn't even achieved their minimum objective. They had hoped to at the very least damage Saron's voicebox to make it impossible for him to dictate, but even that had not been achieved.
"I missed the first time, but I won't miss the second! Don't worry, Boss!" Leguna said as he stumbled to his feel, a bleak smile on his pale lips.
"So you came to die as well??" Saron asked, his voice course.
Though not out of action, his voice box had indeed taken a beating.
"I'm here to claim yours," Leguna didn't relent.
"You shouldn't have come. You could've grown into a powerful expert, a worthy opponent. But instead you want to die an early death."
"I had to come!" Leguna smiled as his eyes darted to Kurdak and Vera. "I could never grow stronger if I didn't face you today."
"That so?" Saron's expression turned serious. "Since one more has joined, it's time I got serious."
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