TS2 Book 2 Chapter 129

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Struggle

The Eye’s elders had rushed over. All three were high-order magi!

This was a huge move. The Eye was the largest magi guild on the continent, but nobody expected their might to be so great. Three high-order magi appeared within a minute of their vice-chairman dying.

The lone female magus was the most eye-catching among the three. She put up a force field to keep the rain off her the moment she stepped out of the gateway. A moment later she finished a levitation spell so her feet wouldn’t be stained with mud. She appeared to be in her twenties but no one could be sure. She might be an old crone hiding her appearance. That possibility didn’t change that she was a beauty.

She wore a light blue robe that matched her blue-black hair. She wasn’t as breathtaking as Annelotte, but her maturity and voluptuous figure was seductive and her expression was the epitome of pride. The other two followed behind her, clearly she was the group’s leader. Everyone recognized her; she was the guild’s vice-chairwoman, the other deputy leader, Frost Storm Marie Jinx.

Marie glanced around. She abhorred rainy days, not that she had much choice in the matter. The guild had notified her of Hladik’s life-signs vanishing, implying he’d died. No matter how disgusting she found the bastard, he was her peer. The idiots who’d dared to kill him would think the Eye week if she didn’t make an appearance. They, as the self-proclaimed greatest human guild on the continent, could not let this happen.

The enforcement party’s leader, a high-order warrior, stared at her reverentially. He knew of her… leanings… towards cleanliness; having to go outside in this weather put her in a horrible mood. He approached on eggshells and waited for her to speak first.

“What happened? Hladik was going to deal with a party with someone called Kurdak, yes? Why did his life-signs disappear?” asked she, furrow-browed.

“Madam Marie…”

The warrior bowed. They were both individuals with high-order strata, but his position could never match hers. He was a warrior, she was a mage, that alone was enough to put him several steps below her in the Eye. He recounted the day’s happenings and took up his position on the sidelines.

Marie’s eyes wandered to her two companions. They winced when they saw the shock and doubt on her face.

A 13th-stratum magus forced a 17th-stratum magus into a corner? A 14th-stratum assassin then killed him in an instant? Even the shakiest legends aren’t this ridiculous!

“We’d best make sure,” Marie ordained.

She floated forward. Several dozen meters in front of her two women and a werewolf stood. The one on the ground ought to be the young magus the warrior mentioned.

Annelotte’s corpse was still on the ground as Leguna had left her. Vera was wiping the rain and mud from her face incessantly.

She’s always been beautiful, Vera thought, Even in death, she’s still beautiful. Such dirt shouldn’t stain her face.

The girl’s beauty surprised the three newcomers. One licked his lips as he gazed at the corpse. He was a 16th-stratum necromancer. To most, corpses were just rotting flesh but to a necromancer… Oh, to a necromancer they were life itself!

She will be my doll… She’ll be my favorite release valve from now on!— He gazed at Marie, “—Madam…”

“What?” she answered, disgusted.

Her already foul mood was in utter shambles after seeing the corpse’s beauty. Why did the dead deserve beauty she didn’t have?! Utterly unacceptable!

“If it pleases you, may I have the corpse? I am preparing for an experiment that needs the corpse of a female magus.”

Marie creased. How could she not know what the bastard had in mind? She liked the idea of punishing the girl, even in death, but his words only showed how much men wanted the beauty she didn’t have.

“Fine. Only if you promise nobody will ever see her face again!”

“Of course, Your Eminence!” kowtowed the necromancer.

How lucky was this? He never thought he’d make such a haul on this dreary day. He made for the corpse. Doll-making required that corpses be soaked in death energy. He couldn’t wait to get started.

Vera hauled herself upright. She stood between the newcomers and Annie’s corpse, arms outstretched.

“Get away! You can’t touch Annie! I won’t let any of you get near her!”

“Step aside woman—” the necromancer grimaced, “—or I’ll make you a doll as well.”

Vera shook, she wanted nothing more than to disappear, but her feet didn’t move.

I ran away back then. I… I won’t run away again!

“You want to touch her? Over my dead body!” she yelled, her voice laced with as much fear as determination.

“No problem. I don’t mind getting two dolls instead of one. Variety is important too.”

“She’s not the only one with a say in this,” another voice suddenly rang.

Leguna had returned with no one noticing. His face was placid, his eyes cold as a night in the mountains.

He’d overheard the three’s discussion about Annie’s corpse. His blood boiled and words failed him.

{Are you crazy?!} Gahrona roared, {You might defeat a single magus in an ambush, but three? And after stepping out into the open and announcing your presence? Are you insane?}

She got no response.

He’s gone, he’s lost it… she lamented, her voice shaky, He’s going to kill himself using those three… Ugh… Whatever, dying this way isn’t too bad. I’ve lived my fair share anyway.

“So you’re the assassin that killed Hladik?—” Marie turned her gaze on the newly arrived brat. “—15th stratum? Why’d that idiot say you were in the 14th? Not that it really matters. Your fate ends here.”

Leguna stared at the women. He suddenly started chortling. It quickly became open laughter.

“How about this?”

Shadow-aspect impetus exploded out of his body. He forced out every once possible. 30 percent… 40 percent… 60 percent! Impetus surrounded him. It blobbed into a sphere about two meters across.

“What’s he doing?” asked the necromancer.

He hadn’t seen a fighter do this before.

Is this an original technique? Is he trying to kill himself?

The necromancer’s doubts were soon answered. The black sphere cracked. The cracks spread across its surface like a spider’s web. A few moments later it shattered and collapsed in on itself, vanishing back onto the boy’s body. It covered his entire body, hair by hair, in a thin membrane. When the three returned to their senses, they realized his stratum had increased. So much so they couldn’t tell his level. This could only mean one thing: he was more powerful than them! At the very least he was now a match for them each.

Guard us! Call over two more squads!” ordered Marie.

She evoked an incantation in her mind and, without dictating a single syllable, her skin turned to stone and she shot into the sky. She only stopped once she was sure she was out of the assassin’s reach. Her eyes wandered over her surrounding once more. The kid was already in the middle of the single enforcement squad present. Sparks flew and swords collided and blood spurted as steel cut into flesh. None of the mid-order warriors could put up a fight.

“Madam…”

Marie’s two companions joined her in the sky. How were they going to deal with this? Should they join the fight? If the three attacked the brat now, they’d hit their allies fighting with him. This would not end well for them if word got out they would sacrifice their own for a brat. But if they did nothing, the squad would be dead soon as well.

“Attack. Don’t hold back! He’s the bastard who killed Hladik! Now’s not the time to care about our honor! Kill him!” she ordered.

The incantations for enhancement spells flowed out of her mouth the moment she finished her order. Oxen Might, Leopard’s Speed, and yet more clung to the remaining warriors below. With her aid, the squad stabilized their position. The twelve men had just been handed their rears by a single assassin, and a brat at that. They couldn’t understand this turn of events.

The stream of spells continued. Soon, Leguna was the one struggling to hold on. A violent kick sent him flying, blood flowing out of his mouth as he did. He had barely touched ground when three spells flew his way; two disintegration spells and one Death’s Finger.

“Aaaaaah!”

Vera’s voice burst into the night as she watched the kid slump on the ground. A third corpse had joined the night.

The dust settled, but the corpse wasn’t there. Had the brat vaporized?

Vera’s ears twitched. She suddenly heard a heavy breathing that had not been there a moment earlier. Her eyes darted in its direction. There, she saw Leguna. He was about thirty meters from where the spells had hit, kneeling and spitting out mouthful after mouthful of blood. Good, he was still alive. They were not safe yet though. The Eye still surrounded them, they had no way to escape, and had to look after a little girl’s corpse, and the strange man standing next to her.

Wait, what strange man? Vera’s eye focused on the unfamiliar figure standing over Annelotte’s corpse. It was the strange man from the abandoned quarry!

The man’s face creased. The surrounding atmosphere darkened; it became cold and hot at the same time. I felt like flames were slapping the air furiously. His figure blurred and refocused in front of Leguna.

He grasped the kid by the hair and dragged him into the air. He lifted him until he could look him straight in the eye. Leguna didn’t dare struggle, lest he be left with only half a head of hair.

“I left my daughter in your care, and you treat her like this?! Huh?!”


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