"You're as smart as I remember you to be," Wayerliss said with a complex look on his face. He had witnessed Annelotte grow up. While he had raised her intending to eventually use her, it would be a lie if he claimed he didn't develop any shred of feeling for her.
"Apologies, Chairman. I don't remember many things," Annelotte said.
"But I'm the one who raised you, after all. Where do you stand now?" Wayerliss asked.
She looked at him, and back at Leguna, who seemed really nervous. However, she knew that he wasn't anxious that she would betray him. Instead, he feared that she was hurt by Wayerliss. Despite the fact that she had tried to kill him just moments before, he was still unconditionally trusting of her.
The thought of that caused a bright and warm smile to form on the cold tundra that was her face. She turned to Wayerliss and bowed. "Thank you so much for the years of raising me."
"Then, it's about time you paid me back for it, right?" His body blurred all of a sudden.
"Annie, watch out!" Leguna could feel the fluctuation in the sword intent around her. Wayerliss had tried to use rhetoric to confuse her to slay her while she was hesitating.
However, the sword aura wasn't able to harm her in the slightest. She had dictated a barrier on herself without anyone noticing. Her body gradually began to grow icy blue.
"The reason I did so much for the guild was so that I wouldn't owe you anything. And… I've never changed whose side I'm on, ever," she said while she activated Host of Glacier.
Bone-chilling cold breeze came blowing in. Leguna felt that every breath was enough to freeze his breathing track, and that was when she didn't explicitly focus her power on any one area. If she did, Leguna was confident she would be able to kill a high-order warrior instantly by lowering the temperature of the body and organs to subzero levels.
"Hmph…" The elf's grunt could be heard from the shadows. Her Glacial Domain also allowed her to sense the temperature differentials in the immediate area. Even an assassin like him wouldn't be able to conceal his body temperature to the point it was the same as Glacial Domain's. She could easily target any location with temperatures that stood out.
Pitch-black ink once more covered Leguna as he used Shadow Blink to warp behind Wayerliss, followed by a swing of his sword.
Wayerliss endured the discomfort brought on by the low temperatures. He swung his only remaining right hand to block the strike. Right at that instant, Annelotte's fireball spell came assailing from behind, blasting both of them away without discriminating.
The spell that had gone through Glacial Conversion had a temperature of below 200 degrees Celsius. The chilling 'fireball' didn't blow everything up due to the sheer heat energy it contained. Instead, its coldness came from a severe lack of heat energy. The deprivation of heat in the immediate area caused the different gases there to liquefy and be drawn towards the point of impact of the fireball, turning it into something of a black hole that drew everything in and obliterated it.
Even she gaped at her creation. It was the first time she had used Glacial Conversion to its absolute limits. The gift was limited in the kinds of elemental aspects it could convert and its amount and quality. Some high-level spells had far too much elemental aspect essence to convert that the effect wouldn't be cold enough. However, other spells would see their effects reduced if cooled down too much. As such, she had made all sorts of calculations and came up with the most effective conversion ratio for different spells. The most powerful one was the fireball spell. While it cost only as much mana to dictate it as it would a level-three spell, the glacial fireball's destructive power could rival that of most level-seven spells and even some weaker level-eight spells.
Leguna crawled away from the point of impact haggardly and complained, "Annie, are you trying to wipe me out as well?"
"I put a glacial-resistance barrier on you long ago," she said in an attempt to hide her own shock. While she didn't intend to harm him, the power of the fireball was far too shocking.
Leguna remained silent. He had a close brush with death just now. The vortex of air towards the center wasn't the main issue; the severe cold was. Had it not been for Annelotte's barrier and his impetus' corrosive properties, he wouldn't have been able to last through the cold.
When the two of them first met, Annelotte was a mere mid-order magus a few strata more powerful than him. But after he awakened Host of Darkness and obtained Shadowedge, he was confident he could defeat him by the sheer explosiveness of his abilities.
By the time the tournament came around, however, he came to understand that she possessed far more power than he did.
When she saved him from Saron, he found out that she had far surpassed him.
And now, he almost despaired that he wasn't able to truly fathom how truly powerful she was. She had grown to startling heights.
"Your power is growing more and more ridiculous…" he grumbled, scratching his hair.
"Your growth's just slow, that's all," she said icily.
"Cough… cough…" Wayerliss was slowly visible through the icy mist. The reason Annelotte and Leguna could chat that casually was they could feel his location the whole time. Now, their sight proved them right. Wayerliss's right arm hung limply and his skin was covered in a layer of frost. He laid on the ground facing skyward, breathing out visible puffs of steam and vapor.
The two of them stiffened, knowing that Wayerliss hadn't been mortally wounded from the previous exchange. He still had more than eighty percent of his fighting strength and was just as lethal.
"Well done!" he said as he gradually sat up and smiled at the two. "Even though I've lost an arm, I'm still a saint. Yet, the two of you were able to put me at a disadvantage. As expected of my loving students."
"Oh, come on, Teacher, you can't be serious. The battle isn't even settled yet." Leguna raised Lighteater with a smile. He had wanted to end the battle quickly and slay Wayerliss immediately, but the elf's relaxed attitude caused him to hesitate. He worried that there would be a trap in wait for him if he attacked rashly.
"Then, let me teach the two of you something else. I'm sure that at your level, you have an inkling of it now, right?" Wayerliss ignored Leguna's threatening move. "The saint and myth realms aren't something that can be attained with stratum, accumulated experience and power alone…"Previous Chapter Next Chapter