Chapter 257: A Completely Transformed Stingham
No one moved to pull the metal zombie off of Stingham.
“Teacher Rui, what is this thing?”
Rinloran furrowed his brows as he observed the scene before him. He could feel the violent arcane energy fluctuations pulsing from the metal zombie as it hugged Stingham. It was undoubtedly more powerful than Stingham.
“It is very strange. I’m afraid our Holy Dawn Academy doesn’t have any records of anything like it.”
Rui concentrated as he too observed the zombie armor. As he slowly extended his hand, a faint light emerged from his palm and descended over Stingham.
A loud pop rang through the room as a yellow light abruptly flashed atop the metal zombie and the faint light was completely torn apart.
“It is indeed a defensive artifact.”
A look of shock emerged within Rui’s eyes as he continued, “So peculiar… it seems like someone’s materialization, yet it is able to be used by another person without a problem.”
“So it’s like Stingham has received an external defensive materialization?” Jano and Christine simultaneously exclaimed as they exchanged glances.
“Indeed. It should be using a portion of the arcane particles within Stingham’s body every time it is activated, but because of how strong it is, the defensive abilities it demonstrates is greater than anything Stingham can accomplish himself by using an arcane skill.” Rui nodded as he continued, “It’s appearance makes me believe that it is an external arcane energy armor or something similar.”
“I don’t want this arcane energy armor or whatever! Just hurry up and get this thing off me!”
“Why are you talking about appearances?! This is very clearly a zombie hugging my body!”
Stingham began screaming even more miserably than earlier.
“Can you not disperse it yourself?” Rui perplexedly asked as he looked at Stingham.
“It’s like its grown over my body. There’s no way for me to disperse it like a materialization,” Stingham replied as if he was on the verge of crying. “If I could get rid of it, then why would I be shouting for you all to help me?”
“What a peculiar thing. I’m afraid there might not be anything like this even amongst all the Kingdom of Eiche’s academies. But it truly is a great gift from the Black Witch. It will be able to help you block many attacks,” Rui comforted.
“What? Never seen before? I can’t get it off? I don’t want it! I don’t want something so ugly and terrifying hugging me!” Stingham wailed as he heard Rui’s words.
Rinloran immediately gloated over Stingham’s misery.
Other people might consider this thing an incredible stroke of luck, but for someone like Stingham who was so narcissistic and caring about beauty, this was a terrible stroke of disaster.
“It’s your own fault for picking first. But in all honesty, this zombie really suits you. Its face is so terrifying and fierce. If you walk around with it on the street, I’m sure you will be able to shock all of the lovely young maidens to tears,” Rinloran deliberately mocked.
“I hate you Rinloran!” Stingham despairingly wailed as he closed his eyes. He didn’t dare look at the armored zombie-like creature latched onto him any longer.
The waxy exterior of the yellow metal zombie was just too realistic as it tightly wound around Stingham’s body like a vengeful spirit. Its head was perfectly positioned right over his right shoulder, making it so that Stingham was just barely able to see the existence’s horrifying eyes if he ever so slightly moved his head.
“What? This thing is so powerful, yet you don’t want it? All of us wish for it, but it has already been taken away by you.” Rinloran unhappily sighed as he continued, “Your luck is just too good, and your actions were just too fast for us.”
“Rinloran, you bastard! I’m going to kill you and then kill myself!”
“Okay. Then when people see you at your funeral, there will be two corpses, you and the zombie still clutching your body. What a wonderful sight it will be.”
“What happened. Why is there such a loud commotion?”
Just as Stingham was shouting threats and everything was falling apart, Ayrin’s excited voice rang in from outside.
“Whoa, how come there is this thing on your body now?!”
“What is that thing on your body?”
Ayrin and Stingham simultaneously shouted.
Everyone else was similarly stunned.
As Ayrin stood in the doorway, a dark purple ball of light silently floated in midair by his body.
The ball of light was about the size of two fists put together and a perfect sphere. A crystallic glow emanated from its surface. From a distance, it looked exactly like a floating crystal ball. But as one looked closer, one would discover that its surface was covered with thin, lightning-like arcs of pulsing light which gave off an extremely profound and powerful feeling.
“This is the shadow ball from Death’s Energy: Shadow Ball of course!”
Ayrin’s face was full of excitement as he happily danced around and gloated, “This is the shadow ball I condensed from the deathly energy extracted from the Fire Caracal Lord’s body using the skill… It’s so cool. It goes wherever I want it to with just a thought.”
As he spoke, the mysterious dark purple ball circled once around Ayrin’s body and then shot towards Stingham, stopping right before him before returning to Ayrin’s side once more. Ayrin remained motionless this entire time.
As the shadow ball had suddenly approached him, Stingham had felt a terrifying arcane energy fluctuation and pressure wash over him as if he was about to be devoured.
As the shadow ball flew back to Ayrin, the sensation immediately disappeared.
“Ayrin, are you trying to kill me?! I’m already in such a miserable state, yet you still used your ball to scare me!” Stingham hysterically cried out as a cold sweat inexplicably covered his body.
“Ha ha. I just wanted to make sure you could see it clearly. Also, why is there a zombie clinging to you? It looks so scary. Is that what the Black Witch turned into? Is it going to bite you?” Ayrin embarrassedly laughed and then immediately asked Stingham.
Upon hearing Ayrin’s words, Stingham nearly fainted.
“He managed to learn a skill of that level in such a short time period?!”
Expressions of great shock emerged on Jano and Christine’s faces as they didn’t dare to believe what they saw. But the ball remained suspended in midair beside Ayrin. It was like Ayrin’s toy.
“Indeed… such a terrifying learning ability…”
“It seems like this shadow ball is able to last for quite a while, so why don’t you just let it be and save it until it’s needed against a powerful opponent.” Rui walked towards Ayrin as he inwardly admired the strangeness and uniqueness of the things and skills the Black Witch left behind. The shadow ball floating beside Ayrin seemed like its own entity as not a single trace of leaking arcane energy could be felt from it.
“Of course I will be saving it. When we meet another powerful opponent like Hanson or those other two, then I shall use this shadow ball to send them blasting off into the distance!” Ayrin said as he fiercely shook his head, his voice full of fighting intent.
“Do you guys still care about me or not? Hurry up and think of a way to get this zombie off of my body!” Stingham miserable cried out again.
But everyone just ignored him as Rinloran gave Ayrin a short explanation of what had happened.
“That thing is so powerful! Stingham, your luck is really so good! You managed to claim an external arcane energy armor for yourself!” Ayrin shouted in congratulations as his eyes widened from surprise.
“I hate you too, Ayrin!” Stingham shouted back.
“What’s wrong? You really don’t want it?” Ayrin looked strangely at Stingham, “Brave warrior, you have become even stronger after gaining this armor.”
“I don’t want it! If you want it, then take it. I don’t want to become stronger, I want to become more handsome!” Stingham wailed, “Hurry up and help me! I’ll call whoever manages to take this horrific thing off me boss! Otherwise, I don’t want to live anymore!”
“Don’t make it so serious. But are you truly certain that you don’t want this thing?” Ayrin scratched his head as if he couldn’t understand Stingham’s behaviour as he continued, “But it you really want it off, it should be pretty easy.”
“Easy?” Stingham suddenly froze as he stared straight at Ayrin, “You have a method? Boss Ayrin?”
“Of course. Although it is external, since it is like a materialization, I believe that it can be destroyed in the same way that permanent materializations like Rinloran’s sword and Iron Forest Academy team member’s weapons are destroyed. Once it’s limit is surpassed, it will naturally disperse.” Ayrin looked back at Stingham as he said, “As long as you endure enough blows from your enemies, the thing will reach its limits and naturally burst and disappear.”
“That’s right! How could I not think of this?!”
Stingham was completely stunned. Afterwards, he gleefully began shouting, “As long as I let others hit me a lot with their strongest attacks, this stupid thing will disappear!”
“Because you are an idiot! Of course you wouldn’t think of it,” Rinloran coldly commented from the side.
“Rinloran! I was wrong!”
Stingham suddenly rushed in front of Rinloran as he grabbed Rinloran’s hand in a friendly manner and said, “My past attitude towards you was indeed terrible. I was wrong all along. So please beat me up!”
“You too boss Ayrin. You should also come and hit me. In fact, all of you come hit me!” Stingham warmly shouted as he turned towards Ayrin.
“Let go of me!” the germophobic Rinloran screeched.
“Haha, we still have to complete our mission. We’ve already exhausted so much energy, how could we waste the rest by beating you up?” Ayrin scratched his head as he laughed and said, “Brave warrior, what you can do is let our enemies hit you while accomplishing our missions.”
“Okay!” Stingham seemed to be full of life once more as his eyes lit up and his shouted, “Let us hurry up and complete the mission!”
“You all wish to continue with the mission?”
Rui’s gaze silently swept across Ayrin, Stingham, and Rinloran as he said, “I’m no longer able to fight. In fact, I probably cannot even keep up with you guys anymore. I must spend the next few days resting here, treating my injuries and replenishing my arcane particles. So if you three wish to continue with the mission, I will not be at your side to help you.”
“Teacher Rui has been forced to withdraw… and so we have lost our team’s greatest strength.” This thought ran through Ayrin’s mind as he looked at Rui. However, he immediately nodded his head in response to Rui’s words as he shouted, “Of course we will continue. Even if Teacher Rui cannot aid us any longer, we will not give up! We cannot accept losing so easily!”
“If we can still fight, then we must continue!” Rinloran nodded as he thought about the other teams.
“Where’s the enemy at?! I must battle!” Stingham shouted as if he were a battle crazed barbarian.