"We won't know whether I can win--" Leguna smiled and suddenly appeared behind Saron. "--we won't know until I try."
Chills ran down Saron's spine. He had witnessed Shadow Blink before, but this was different. Usually, Leguna would emanate black smoke before he blinked.
Theoretically, Shadow Blink worked when Leguna jumped to the next plane before reappearing in the former one. Thanks to his body being filled with shadow energy, he could pass through the human plane to the shadow plane and back.
The position on which he appeared in both planes weren't consistent, so when he jumped back to the normal plane, he would manifest in another location. That was how he was able to essentially teleport. The black smoke on the other hand was the shadow energy leaking out of the shadow plane when Leguna opened a path through.
But this blink was different. Not a trace of shadow energy leaked out. Instead, there was only a fine afterimage left behind looking like Leguna before he made the jump, and it looked as convincing as a magus's mirror image! Coupled with Ebony's curse obscuring Saron's vision, he wasn't able to tell whether the afterimage was real or not.
In fact, this happened because Leguna had even higher mastery over shadow energy after using Host of Darkness. In the instant he made the jump, he was able to fashion the black smoke into an afterimage of himself.
Unlike Balor's Shadow Clone, however, he wasn't able to control it. Not to mention, the shadow energy from the other plane was far too pure and couldn't exist in the normal plane for long even after his modification. It could last at most three seconds before dissipating.
But something like this would severely hamper the enemy's judgment. It would also make it harder for others to tell whether he blinked already, unlike before, and the edge of surprise could prove fatal.
Lighteater pierced directly onto Saron's back but the stoneskin spell and the ever-present Air Armor blocked the strike. Lighteater was only able to dispel stoneskin but wasn't able to do Saron any harm. He actually focused the power of the spell on the back of his heart, his throat, chest and other vitals, so Leguna's sudden attack didn't do much.
Saron leaped forward haggardly. Had he not jumped in the same trajectory as Lighteater, the spatial cut would've pierced his heart all the same.
Leguna didn't slow down after that either. He made another charge and followed up with Swiftshadow Slash.
That strike seemed ever so threatening to Saron that he knew he couldn't afford to take it. He grit his teeth and let his mana surge to instant cast dragon breath.
Flames as high as a thousand degrees were sent flying towards Leguna. He knew how powerful they were and didn't dare to take it head-on and canceled his strike to do a backflip to evade them.
Saron immediately sent two fireballs flying to force Leguna further away.
Even though Tamro's room was about seventy square meters wide, that kind of space wouldn't be able to contain the fight of two high-orders. Saron's spells didn't manage to harm Leguna by much, but his fireballs did put two large holes in the sturdy walls of the room.
After forcing Leguna away, he hurriedly applied another forcefield on himself.
Then, he used the air to suppress Leguna's movements while bombarding him with fireballs from afar. The room he took to be his bedroom was soon in smithereens, but he continued to toss the fireballs without a single care in the world. Leguna's evasion grew more and more savage as time went on.
"It's not enough! Far from it! You won't be able to defeat me with just this! If you don't try harder, I'll kill you!" Saron yelled derangedly as he tossed fireballs without regard for consequence.
Leguna wasn't in his finest state either. The solid air fields Saron applied was formless and hard to locate. If he ran into them, he had to hurriedly change direction to avoid a fireball strike, and that still wasn't enough for him to get out of the range of explosion. His short hair began to singe from the heat and his face and hands were burning red from the dragon breath.
Leguna tossed two shadow blades out, but they fell to the ground instantly thanks to Air Armor.
Another fireball came flying his way and Leguna focused his attention before using Shadow Blink when it was only a meter away.
Saron had predicted that course of action and exploded his impetus before sending a punch towards the reappearing Leguna.
But the next second, his face contorted into one of fearful error. Leguna had thrown the shadow blades to manifest the image made from shadow energy, not to attack Saron. He wanted to leave some traces of shadow energy near him and manipulated it with his control over the energy from a distance granted by Host of Darkness.
The moment he blinked, he molded the shadow energy into a human silhouette. What had appeared was merely a blurry image, and he wasn't able to tell thanks to the curse on his vision, which Saron attacked with full force only to find that he struck air.
Leguna had appeared behind him by then and Lighteater cut down towards his throat with high-order spatial impetus.
"It's over!" Saron couldn't help but cry with shock. This was a strike Leguna meticulously prepared for and wasn't something his defensive spells and Air Armor could take!
Lighteater let out a soft sound as it cut air. Leguna's strike was infused with his utmost anger and he was confident he could kill Saron with it.
At that moment, time seemed to slow. The flames around Saron gradually vanished and Lighteater gradually parted the Air Armor surrounding his neck.
Leguna was determined to see the strike through, so he couldn't turn back quickly enough and wasn't able to see the sight of Saron's head falling.
But at that moment, he felt that the whole thing was off. First, Saron's flames were extinguished, but that happened before he cut off his head, which didn't make sense! Second, even though he cut into his throat, no blood came out. Third, Leguna felt that the sensation of the cut didn't feel right. There was no feeling of parting meat and bone.
All those occurred to him in an instant and before he realized it, Saron's body burned with a terrifying temperature once more.
His punch landed squarely in Leguna's abdomen, causing him a pained wheeze before he was sent flying into the ceiling and smashing back into the ground.
Leguna spat out a mouthful of blood and cried out in. That strike just now had broken two of his ribs, but the burns were even more damaging, and the pain almost made him faint.
"Psyche!" Saron cackled as he stretched his wrist.
"Why…? Shouldn't I have cut you?"
"You're free to guess," Saron said as he rubbed his head and rolled his neck.
Leguna tried hard to recall what happened and had a theory.
He struggled to stand and downed a bottle of super elixir and looked markedly better.
He dropped the bottle and used Shadow Blink once more to appear behind Saron and pierce his sword into his heart and swinging it harshly to the side.
But just like before, no blood came out, and the resistance didn't feel right.
"A mirror image?" he wondered. Perhaps Saron did use a mirror image spell and surprise attack him from elsewhere.
When did he do all that? Leguna looked around alertly and thought.
But at that moment, the 'mirror image' burned brightly once more.
"It's too bad! You guessed wrong!" Saron smiled wickedly and sent another punch into his chest.
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