Get Up, Old Friend
No matter how Marolyt saw him, he still treated him as a friend.
"Old friend, if you had won that fight, would you have killed me?"
"I wouldn't," he said after some thought, "What are you doing mentioning this? You defeated me, even though you had the help of a god."
"Yes… If I didn't have my Lord's aid, I wouldn't be a match for you."
Some ten days back, right before Leguna returned to Melindor to live his happy life once more, Marolyt reached his destination after leaving Darklight alone.
He remained in the Dusk Zone because he wanted to look for an elf -- the dark elf saint-realm assassin, Wayerliss Deepshadow.
He was at the foot of a volcano in the Dusk Zone. Live volcanoes like that were quite rare on that plane. While it was rather dangerous to stand there, a swordsaint like him wouldn't be in any danger at all.
He reached an empty plot of land nearby and saw Wayerliss. That elf had a tent set up there with some basic daily necessities in it. He was building a fire with which to cook the meat of some wild beasts he hunted in the Dusk Zone.
"I thought elves were strict vegetarians." He spoke so matter of factly that it seemed that the two of them had lived together at that place for quite some time.
"You should know that I am quarter human," Wayerliss said as he eyed the roasting meat. "Not to mention, I've lived there for two whole decades. I'm more than used to human dietary habits and meat is a staple for me now. I quite like its taste too."
"You're an odd elf, you…"
Wayerliss's body stiffened before he slowly turned around and eyed Marolyt venomously. "Didn't I warn you never, ever to call me that?"
"Or else what?" he said without a care in the world. Even though Wayerliss's scarred face was enough to make a little girl cry on sight, Marolyt didn't even bat an eye. "You should know my bottom line. Why did you go cross it?"
"I've never touched your bottom line." The harsh look on his face disappeared. He recovered his calm demeanor and said, "I only wanted to achieve my goals."
"What lengths are you going to achieve them?" Marolyt asked, suppressing his anger, "I went to Starfall back then and entered Moonshadow's base. Your alchemists are still researching the matter of transferring gifts! Do you know what that means?!"
"Of course I do. As long as it succeeds, a new form of power never before seen will be created," he replied nonchalantly, "And power is the most important tool for me to realize my goals."
"You won't get your way! As a gifted, I have more right to talk about this than you! You can definitely not control that power!"
"I don't need you to tell me that. But, who said I would be the one to control it?" His lips curved into a puzzling smile.
"What?!" Marolyt froze and processed what he said for half a second. He soon happened upon a thought that chilled even him.
"Don't tell me…" He shuddered at the thought, but Wayerliss didn't give him time to complete it.
He bit onto a piece of meat as usual. The moment the meat reached the corner of his mouth was the moment Marolyt felt the most terror. Wayerliss's eyes flashed as his figure disappeared right in front of the swordsaint's eyes. Right after that, a few undetectable spatial ripples manifested behind him.
He managed to react in the last second. He bellowed and let his impetus surge. The blue barrier from the time he took Bigsby's Vajra Palm for Leguna manifested once more.
Wayerliss felt his longsword hit steel, but he knew better it was anything but. He continued to apply force and paid the cost of breaking out from stealth for a deadly slash.
"Guaah!" Marolyt cried, but he still managed to roll forwards agilely. By the time he found firm footing once more, he already had Azureflash in hand.
It happened within the fraction of a second. The piece of meat Wayerliss was holding only fell to the ground after Marolyt got back up.
He looked at the calm elf and asked, "What is the meaning of this? What do you mean you won't be using it?"
"You're still hung up on that problem even now?" he said mockingly, "Don't you think I could have just been trying to mess with you by saying that?"
"You wha--" At that instant, he knew it wasn't time to be thinking it through. There was a saint-realm assassin he had to take care of!
Wayerliss entered stealth again the moment Marolyt widened his eyes in shock. While he was Leguna's teacher, his style was completely different than his.
Leguna was adept at stealth, disguise and assassination, but he came to understand over the years that combat prowess was sometimes the only solution to his problems. With Host of Darkness, Shadow Blink and Shadowedge, he was more than capable of taking most enemies head-on. For him, stealth and assassination were only complementary tools rather than the core of his arsenal.
Wayerliss was different, however. Due to certain reasons, he focused all of his efforts in perfecting his ambushing and assassination skills. He tried to perfect the art of killing with one knife from behind, so he seldom engaged people head-on. Even in an extended fight, he would find ways to keep himself in the dark to take out the enemy in unconventional ways.
Marolyt didn't panic after seeing him disappear. While Wayerliss did know him well, that went both ways. He knew the elf would always go for the most critical strike, but…
He couldn't help but laugh derisively at that thought. "Two decades ago, you were merely a coward who only hid in the shadows. Haven't you changed one bit since then? You're not even brave enough to face your enemy! It's no wonder you lived the rest of your life in the shadows!"
Right after he said that, Wayerliss's Wave Blades came for him. In an instant, he executed the move eight times from all directions with his target in the center.
Marolyt jumped up to evade the strike and landed on a large rock. "Back then, I took the strikes because I was afraid Annie would get hurt. Do you really think I didn't have a counter for that move of yours?"
Wayerliss didn't respond. There wasn't even the slightest trace of him. It only looked like Marolyt was jumping around and screeching like a madman. Fights with Wayerliss always seemed odd.
"I can't see you, nor can I feel you. It's as if you don't exist," Marolyt said relaxedly.
Well, how would you attack a nonexistent enemy then? he thought some distance away from Marolyt.
"Back then, you did indeed borrow that kind of power and broke through to become a saint. But, that has also become a shackle that limited your growth. Today, I'll show you what a true saint is like!"
He looked down at his azure sword and mumbled, "Get up, my old friend. Today, we shall once more team up to kill our foe."
A few minutes passed and nothing happened. Azureflash still looked like before as if nothing had changed.
Did Azureflash lose its power? Wayerliss thought hesitantly. He didn't know whether he should take that chance to give Marolyt a slash. But the thought of his terrifying power made him decide to fight safer. It was a fight he had a good chance of winning. There wasn't a need to take that kind of risk.
Marolyt scratched his head in annoyance, looked at his sword, and smacked his head. "Darn it… I actually used the wrong incantation… It was only a word's difference! Azureflash, you're a really picky one… Now I have to say something so cringey a second time…
"Ahem! Awaken, my old friend! This time, it's really your time to shine!"
Wayerliss watched with his jaw agape as Azureflash buzzed like a hornet before it began to change. The glow on the sword began to shift from a more greenish tint to one with more blue like the name of the sword implied.
This was the true state of the divine weapon, Azureflash.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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Ryogawa and Prince