Leguna's face was red. Though Saron had stopped using Host of Flame, he was still a high-order warrior in possession of abnormal strength. His right hand gripped Leguna's neck like a metal clamp and if it held for a few seconds more, his neck would snap.
But apart from the pain in his eyes, no trace of fear could be seen. He believed Annelotte, not that she would kill herself for his sake, however. He trusted in her abilities. After seeing what she could do, he now regretted not asking her to help.
She was far too strong! Even he didn't think she had progressed to that degree. There was no way she wouldn't be able to solve this predicament.
So, he trusted Annelotte like how Innilis trusted him during the attack on the alchemy lab. He didn't feel the slightest bit of fear and merely waited for her to act, believing that she already had a countermeasure for the situation and all he had to do was to wait for his beloved woman to save him, as embarrassing as that might sound.
Though, Annelotte reacted in a way different from how he imagined it. Rage and frustration manifested in her expression as she yelled, "He's not my beloved!"
Aaaaaagh! Leguna's heart rate doubled in an instant. Annie, my great lady and savior! Can you not fuss about that little detail at a time like this? What is wrong with your priorities? Are super geniuses wired differently from normal folk like us? I'm being choked to death here and you're clarifying our relationship? Gosh, that has got to hurt more than the hand around my neck now!
Leguna almost despaired at her reaction and soon, he passed out from the wounds he sustained and Saron's grip.
"Let him go!" she called in a hurry when she saw Leguna roll his eyes and activated a mental link she had created just now.
Saron's sadistic expression shifted into one of terror in an instant when he realized he was no longer able to move.
Behind him, a fist-sized rune let out a bright purple glow.
A binding formation?! he thought with despair.
Annelotte had long predicted that Saron would go for Leguna if he couldn't defeat her. So, she had laid a rune trap behind him with a level-eight binding formation spell.
The spell used a field to suspend a target's movement completely. Apart from breathing, blinking and speaking, the target wouldn't even be able to move his fingers.
Annelotte had designed that rune half a year back when Leguna joined the bureau. She made it to ensure Leguna's safety, but she didn't think she'd really have to use it one day.
"This battle was always going to play out only one way. When you hurt him, your fate was sealed."
Annelotte regained her cold smile after the barrier came into effect. It wasn't even certain whether her flustered reaction from before was an act.
"You lost," she said plainly, staring at Saron.
"No, it can't be!--" He snapped out of his stupor after a good moment. He could only barely speak. "--I can't lose! Not to you! What are you guys looking at? Wipe that woman out!"
The Stokian soldiers fell into a panic. They were already freezing up from Annelotte's Glacial Domain and were still in shock from seeing Saron lose. Even after hearing the order, most of them didn't react.
Annelotte didn't bother to stop him and merely stared at him. Before she killed him, she wanted to ruin his pride and arrogance completely. That was the price he had to pay for hurting Leguna!
Saron yelled a few more times to get the soldiers to understand that he was trying to call for help. Even so, they were still hesitating on whether to charge.
"Sir, do we attack? That woman is too powerful. We'll merely be getting ourselves killed, right?" an adjutant asked his superior.
The officer hesitated. The situation now was way beyond what they were prepared to handle.
They feared that the battle between magi would destroy Fort Kesta, so they requested Saron fight out of bounds of the fort. Since it was an affirmation for Saron's destructive ability, he was gracious enough to comply.
What he didn't think was he would be digging his own grave. With him being some five kilometers away from the fort, there was no way he could call for reinforcements. There was only the thousand soldiers he brought as an audience for the match and would they dare to attack? Every one of them was no doubt shuddering in fear.
Saron could also feel their fear, so he roared with all he had, "Capture her, or I'll make sure all you cowards die when I get out of here! I still have a body clone in the millennium capital, so I won't be dying here no matter what! You better remember this well!"
Hearing what Saron said, the soldiers stood up and got ready. Even though they didn't understand what a body clone was, they didn't doubt that Saron could hold on to his word. If he didn't die there and then, there was no doubt his retribution would come for them.
"Attack!" the officer ordered after weighing his options.
He concluded that Saron was more fearful than Annelotte. While Saron couldn't defeat her, there was no doubt he could easily obliterate them. They also didn't think that Annelotte could take on a thousand soldiers after fighting Saron.
The Stokian soldiers had no choice but to obey. They raised their weapons and charged for the girl that wasn't even close to their age.
Annelotte saw the Stokians run at her roaring as a sympathetic look flashed across her eyes. They were just sacrificial pawns in the struggle for profit between two nations. Annelotte didn't hate them personally, so she didn't want to kill them for no reason. But since they charged at her with the intent of taking her out, she wasn't left with any other option.
She sighed and began her dictation.
A great amount of deathly energy gathered before her and circulated around the formation rhythmically. In two short seconds, the mana she gathered terrified even Saron.
"This spell is… Banshee's Howl?!" Saron couldn't help but utter in shock.
Banshee's Howl was a level-nine death spell that could obliterate all lifeforms in a set area. If the difference in power between the user and the targets was too high, the targets could be exterminated instantly. Even if both sides were on the same level, the spell was still enough to wound the target gravely.
It went without question that the individual soldiers couldn't even begin to compare with Annelotte's strength.
The time it took her to dictate the spell was only three seconds. When she was done, a five-meter banshee's face of unspeakable beauty manifested above Annelotte's head.
Many soldiers were unaware of the nature of the spell. When they saw the beautiful visage of the banshee, they fell into a stupor. The next second, however, the expression of the face turned savage.
A murderous glint could be seen in the formerly gentle eyes and the blood-red lips of the banshee opened wide to the point that the sides of the cheek tore open from how wide the jaw was opened. Two rows of sharp canines could be seen.
The sound waves from the eardrum-tearing scream carried with them the dark energy of death as they washed over the Stokian soldiers. In an instant, the three hundred foremost troops lost their lives.
Annelotte's face paled as she breathed raggedly. She seemed rather taxed by it.
I better not let him see this kind of sight, she thought. Fortunately, she only triggered the trap after Leguna passed out. She didn't want him to see her slaughter away at hundreds of people and think she was a cruel person.
All the soldiers were dumbstruck at the ridiculous spell.
Saron continued to scream at the sidelines. "Go! Her mana's drying out! She can't harm you any longer! Attack! You must kill her now!"
The soldiers hesitated for a moment, but their courage returned when they saw how pale Annelotte's face looked and they resumed their charge.
Annelotte glared hatefully at Saron and started dictating again.
"Another Banshee's Howl?"
Saron's eyeballs were about to fall out. He mistakenly assumed her mana reserves were running dry because of how pale she looked, when in fact she only seemed unwell because of the scale of the slaughter. She still had ample mana thanks to Host of Glacier.
The spell wiped out another two hundred soldiers. Annelotte's face paled like paper as cold sweat burst out all over her body. Even though she had killed fiends, orcs and even humans during her time as a mercenary, taking hundreds of lives in an instant was something new and shocking to her.
So, after the second howl, she couldn't resist and used an elocution spell to announce, "You are not my match. Leave and you will be spared!"
By then, no matter how Saron cried, the soldiers all ignored him. So what if he came for revenge? At least they would get to live a few days more. Staying there on the other hand meant certain and imminent demise!
Annelotte turned her attention back to Saron after the soldiers left.Previous Chapter Next Chapter