Saron's impetus reached the high order. Even though his physique was smaller, his fighting style focused more on speed and explosive power, so one chest alone was enough to shatter the enchantment barrier on Leguna's leather armor. Not only that, his sternum was injured from the blow and his heart skipped two beats from the stress. Blood splattered out of his mouth before he was sent flying.
Saron extinguished Host of Flame and wiped Leguna's blood off his face, but he didn't wipe his hand clean and licked it instead.
"As expected of someone who can control shadow energy--" Saron spat the blood out. "--Even your blood can be that corrosive."
Leguna struggled to push himself up with both hands and looked up at Saron, disappointed to see that he was practically unharmed.
Is the distance between the two of us that wide? he couldn't help but think. Even though he used the 7th stage of Host of Darkness, he was still helpless before him. This disparity was so discouraging he almost gave up.
Strictly speaking, Leguna wasn't that much weaker to the point of being unable to harm him. The reason this situation even came to pass was due to Saron's odd method of evading damage.
Even now, Leguna still hadn't been able to find out how his attacks were avoided.
One of those times, he was so certain that he hit, so he relaxed his guard after landing the strike only to end up hurt by Saron's sudden counterattack. After that, he made some predictive corrections and attempted to strike at him once more.
Though, he ended up failing the second time as well and suffered another backlash from a second punch. Those two times were completely out of his estimations and took him off guard, leading to Saron's victory.
If he knew how the evasion worked and fought on even grounds, Leguna wouldn't have been in such a pathetic sate.
Regardless, there was no more point in contemplating the matter. His chest suffered a flaming fist squarely and there wasn't much chance for him to win.
Should he escape?
Even if he did, he wasn't certain he would be able to. But after some hesitation, he decided not to run. It wasn't that he couldn't, he didn't want to.
The only reason for that was Saron actually used such underhanded methods to hurt Eirinn! That alone was enough for Leguna to never forgive him, so even though he was badly hurt and far more disadvantaged than him, he didn't want to cower. Or else, he wouldn't be able to face her any longer.
So, he stood up, regardless of how weak he currently was. His body shakily steadied itself. He had never thought himself to be the strongest in the world, nor did he think being stronger than others was a given. He didn't care who was stronger or weaker. Even when Legg turned berserk in their fight, he didn't feel the slightest taken aback.
But now, tonight, he didn't want to lose, especially not to Saron. Even if he died, he would never let Saron live it down easily. He would take him down with him if it was necessary!
[Sorry, teacher. I'm going to use an even higher level of Host of Darkness.] He prepared himself to unleash his impetus.
Gahrona couldn't help but sigh. [I knew it would end up this way.]
After a while of mulling, she said, [Sorry, Ley, I can't let you use this power. So, I apologize.]
Saron was shocked to see Leguna's power jump in an instant. He knew that he only managed to have such an easy time because of his luck. Leguna was only marginally weaker than him, and if he got stronger now...
The thought gave him goosebumps. Would he really be defeated? Where would his reputation go? How would those folks in the Stokian magic school see him from then on?
But at that moment he was considering whether he should escape, something occurred.
Leguna should've been releasing impetus and absorbing it back into his body. But now, not a single trace of released impetus reentered his body and instead seeped into Lighteater!
[Teacher, what are you doing?!] He knew Gahrona was behind this. Only she could control his shadow impetus, since they were both shadow dancers. She was a saint one to boot!
[Before you came, I told you that even if you die, I won't let you use Host of Darkness beyond the 7th stage,] she said helplessly, [Ley, I can't let you do this.]
[Why?!] He didn't understand. He thought she was just saying it, but didn't think she would be so insistent.
[This... well, I've been asked to do this,] she answered vaguely without relaxing her hold over his impetus.
[Whyyyyyy!] he roared. What was Gahrona up to? Did she really not care for his death? Even if she didn't care for him, she should care for herself, right? He didn't understand, at the brink of breakdown. If he couldn't trust even Gahrona, he didn't know who he could trust.
He let out the third of impetus remaining in his body and didn't manage to increase Host of Darkness in the slightest. Left with only that and the impetus he expended, he could no longer fight.
But he didn't care about any of that. He was only enraged and despairing at her betrayal.
Saron didn't give him that much time, however. Seeing Leguna in shock, he snapped out of it and snickered before instantly casting a petrification spell and an air barrier, followed by a fireball.
Just as Leguna watched the fireball coming for him, Gahrona unleashed the impetus she held inside the sword, scattering the fireball and harming the stunned Saron.
But that kind of injury wouldn't do much to turn the tides. Saron's veins bulged in anger as he wiped the blood off himself and gave Leguna another punch.
Petrified, all he could do was watch the punch strike his nose. He heard the crisp sound of it breaking before fainting from the extreme pain.
Annelotte, who was meditating with her hands around her head at the table, felt a sudden fright. It was the most terrifying thing to happen during meditation. Loss of control of one's thoughts during meditation could cause her mana to go astray.
Is there an enemy?
She scanned her surroundings alertly and only heard the footsteps of the guards outside. Everything seemed to be in order.
After making sure she was safe, she shook her head. Perhaps Leguna and Eirinn worried her a little too much.
Seriously, why am I worrying about him? I doubt that cockroach would die that easily anyway!
But at that moment, Eirinn woke up for some reason and cried like a newborn baby.
Shocked, Annelotte hurried to hug her, but she wasn't that easy to console this time around. She did nothing but cry apart from mumbling Leguna's name.
Eventually, she managed to calm her down and knew why she burst out crying in the first place -- she had dreamt of him.
"I dreamt that Big Brother Leguna's head got cut off... and... sent to me like Teacher's and the rest..." she said with a sniffle as she burrowed her head in Annelotte's bosom, "Sis Annie, that dream's really scary! What if something happened to him?"
"Nothing will! Don't guess blindly! How could it?!" Annelotte's face paled at hearing that, but she soon realized she was speaking a little too harshly. Calming down, she toned it down and said as she stroked Eirinn's head, "Don't worry, Eirinn, Leguna can take care of himself. Not only that, I can help him. Not just me, there's you, Innie, boss and the others. We'll all help, won't we?"
"So, he'll be fine." Annelotte was just as much consoling Eirinn as she was herself.
It's just a coincidence, isn't it? The thought of the two of them worrying about Leguna at the same time seemed odd, but she wasn't that superstitious a person in the first place. She could only brush it off as happenstance.
Little did the glacial girl know that had Innilis in Melindor far away not pestered Kurdak endlessly, she would never be able to have any peace ever again.
Previous Chapter Next Chapter