Chapter 279: Mermaids! I Likey!
Dawn approached, signalling that almost a day had passed since the Kingdoms of Eiche and Doa began their concerted assault on Fallen Shadow Valley.
The number of battles atop the vast and open plain of Fallen Shadow Valley had long since dwindled, as did the number of Devil Snake Trees roaming around. But for the arcane teams still present, this current situation where everyone was covering their tracks and setting traps did not bode well. A tense atmosphere descended over the valley.
Erected in the midst the branches of one of the few Devil Snake Trees which remained standing was a tent which seemed large enough to allow five people to rest at the same time.
The colors painted on the outer layer of the tent well matched the branches and leaves around it, camouflaging it well within. Even if it wasn’t still somewhat dark, one wouldn’t be able to see it unless it was right in front of them.
Although the Devil Snake Tree looked fine on the outside, it had indeed already died.
Within the tent, four arcane masters wearing tight leather armor sat in a circle.
From the leather armor they wore, as well as the rest of their attire, these four were not Evil Dragon Followers, but arcane masters of the Kingdom of Doa.
At this current moment, a simple, seemingly hastily drawn, map was spread open on the floor of the tent before them. The map was littered with markings and lines.
“Boss Tranquil Water, the Ghost Claw team is in place. As for the Firestone team, they did see two Evil Dragon Followers, but they should just be passing by.”
A bald, middle aged arcane master with one disfigured eye and a hooked nose broke the silence as he gave a report to a pale skinned and delicate looking male youth beside. Although this young arcane master looked weak, his body exuded an incredibly bloody aura.
Upon hearing the bald arcane master’s report, the young arcane master’s brows twitched. He was about to decisively issue a command when he and the three other arcane masters within the tent simultaneously turned their heads and looked at the entrance.
A petite female arcane master had soundlessly and breathlessly entered their tent. Her hair was tied in a ponytail, and she wore dark red leather armor. Although she was beautiful, her body exuded a frightening coldness and bloody aura.
“Boss Tranquil Water, there are three arcane masters who have entered our targeted area. We have discerned them to be Ayrin, Rinloran, and Stingham of Holy Dawn Academy’s tournament team,” the female arcane master quickly reported in a clear voice. Afterwards, she added, “They should not be aware of our presence.”
“Those three fellows of Holy Dawn Academy? The academy and the Office of Special Affairs are willing to let these three geniuses traverse the battlefield by themselves and enter so deeply into this area?”
“But this is also good. You all have seen them compete… their strength and abilities are all incredibly astonishing. We can let them enter first, and then swoop in after to claim the spoils.”
The young male arcane master who had been called Boss Tranquil Water by everyone around him sniggered as he spoke, “Shauna, your Jade Ghost team shall follow behind us and be responsible for scouting around. See whether or not any other arcane teams or any of Holy Dawn Academy’s elite teachers are around.”
“Jilande, have the Firestone and Ghost Claw teams continue to stand by and wait for my order where they are.”
“Rinloran, why didn’t you say anything if you woke up?! Jumping off my back like that, it scared the hell out of me!” Stingham’s face was green as he reprimanded Rinloran.
Currently, Ayrin, Rinloran, and Stingham had arrived before an area covered with countless strangely shaped structures.
The area seemed about as large as the Cororin Town where Ayrin grew up. Even with the morning light filtering down between the buildings, the three couldn’t quite see its center. When they had first seen the scattered structures, they had thought that they had found a ruined manor. But after approaching and looking more closely, they realized that many of the stone arches, walls, and now rusty iron fences were erected without any clear pattern. Rather than a manor, the area now felt more like a park turned graveyard.
“Do the Evil Dragon Followers have no sense of aesthetics? Everything is so ugly,” Rinloran muttered to himself as he ignored Stingham’s shouting.
Rinloran’s eyes were glowing like bright stars as he observed their surroundings. Suddenly, he raised his head and coldly said, “Above us.”
He had only just spoken when a black shadow jumped out from the crown of a tree beside them.
“What is that?!”
Ayrin seemed to have felt something wrong as well as he raised his head and looked at the black shadow falling towards them. It was actually a giant Evil Toutou!
And different from normal Evil Toutou’s, this one’s body was a fiery red.
An intense arcane energy fluctuation rippled as scorching flames shot towards Ayrin, Stingham, and Rinloran.
“What a large Evil Toutou!” Ayrin exclaimed.
Before the Evil Toutou could even react, its body suddenly lightened as if something had grabbed it.
A loud bang rang out.
The excited Ayrin had jumped above the Evil Toutou, grabbed it, and then savagely slammed into a stone on the ground.
The Evil Toutou let out a miserable cry as the impact stunned it.
Ayrin’s stomach grumbled.
“So much meat!”
As Ayrin shook the Evil Toutou, and then observed the dense fur and muscle which covered its body, he couldn’t help but feel even more excited as he began to laugh.
“I’m too hungry. Let me eat before we enter.”
“Evil Flaming Eye!”
There was a loud boom as Ayrin’s Evil Flaming Eye turned a nearby tree into a flaming lump of red charcoal.
The Evil Toutou let out several wretched cries as it was spit roasted by Ayrin over the flames.
Although the flames were very strong, Ayrin was already very experienced.
After several moments, the enticing smell of barbecued meat slowly spread across the area.
“So good!” Ayrin shouted in satisfaction as he tore off a piece of juicy meat and devoured it.
“Eh?! You are actually eating it?!”
“You actually barbecued a fire mutant Evil Toutou?”
A cry of disbelief rang over from the distance.
“There’s someone else?” Ayrin exclaimed in surprise as he looked around and saw a middle-aged man wearing dark purple arcane master robes standing beneath a humongous stone arch not too far away.
Starting from his left eye, scar ran down the left side of this arcane master’s face. Combined with his short and vivid cyan hair, his appearance was extremely fierce.
A look of disbelief filled his face as he stared at Ayrin.
“What is so strange?” Stingham asked as he subconsciously muttered, “It’s not like this is the first time.”
Seeing the nonchalant attitudes of Stingham and Rinloran towards Ayrin’s behavior, the arcane master couldn’t help but tremble.
“That’s right, mister ugly, to appear here, you must be an Evil Dragon Follower!” Stingham shouted as he abruptly realized he was speaking to a stranger.
“Hah. Mister, do you have any more Evil Toutous? Why don’t you release several more?” Ayrin shouted.
The Evil Dragon Follower’s face turned green.
They had only been talking for a little while, yet pretty much only bones remained of the Evil Toutou,
“Come on and talk! I’m asking you a question, why aren’t you responding?!”
Seeing the Evil Dragon Follower standing speechless before them, Stingham stuck his hands on his waist as he proudly shouted, “Forget it. Now is not the time to talk. It is the time to rob! Alright, what goodies do you have on you? Hurry up and take them all out. Also, are there any other Evil Dragon Followers here? If so, call them over so we can rob them too. Oh yeah, I also heard that there are fragments of the Tree of Life hidden here. Do you know of any?”
“Time to rob?”
The Evil Dragon Follower seemed to have fallen into a slight daze.
“I don’t know if there is something wrong with your brains, but since you have discovered me here, prepare to die!”
“Wait! We didn’t discover you. You revealed yourself to us, alright,” Stingham rebutted as he pettily pointed out the Evil Dragon Follower’s mistake.
The Evil Dragon Follower felt speechless once more as he screamed, “Go die! But before you die, remember that it was I, Bowery, who killed you!”
“The Dark King’s Gift!” An invocation rang out from his mouth.
At the same time, four Heavy Evil Dragon Protectors thunderously jumped out from amidst the vegetation behind him and encircled him.
“It’s Heavy Evil Dragon Protectors again?”
Ayrin and Stingham’s eyes began to glow.
Due to their prior experience, they currently associated Heavy Evil Dragon Protectors with treasure, treasures which were waiting to be stolen away.
“What is this look?”
Ayrin and Stingham’s excited expressions caused the Evil Dragon Follower’s scalp to turn numb, even after he invoked his arcane skill.
A vertical plane of black light appeared before him. A wind began to gust out as if it was a door connecting this reality to the unknown.
A shadow appeared within.
The shadow had the upper body of a stunning woman and the lower body of a fish, just like a mermaid of legend.
But unlike the mermaids of the records, the scales covering the lower body of this mermaid were black and exuding black gases and its skin was a deathly dark blue. Arcane energy fluctuations rippled as a black crown formed atop its head.
“Such a thick aura of darkness!”
“This isn’t an avatar… it is a summoning! It’s the Dark Queen Mermaid!”
Rinloran’s pupils contracted as his skin turned numb and his body began tingling.
From the unique aura of vitality emanating from its body, it was very clearly a real and living existence. Furthermore, there had been no arcane energy fluctuations when the mermaid appeared.
Atop Doraster, there were at least ten creatures whose bloodlines naturally released an energy which would harm arcane masters just from being in proximity. These creatures were called dark creatures by arcane masters.
During the Era of the War with Dragons, the dark elves meticulously studied these dark creatures and ended up developing skills utilizing energy which could silently permeate into another living organism and kill them like the dark energy innately exuded by these dark creatures.
The most famous was the taboo skill Darkness Ray.
During the Era of the War with Dragons, this taboo skill had carved a name for itself when someone had used it to kill the Black Dragon from Hell, Xavier, as he stood amid the Evil Dragon Army.
As a descendant of high elves, Rinloran naturally had a higher understanding of dark creatures than most arcane masters.
And right now, this Evil Dragon Follower had summoned one of these dark creatures. It was the Dark Queen Mermaid which normally resided in only the darkest swamps and had many extremely powerful, but strange abilities and methods of attack.
But what caused Rinloran to truly feel shock was that this Evil Dragon Follower had managed to summon a Dark Queen Mermaid. Because from what he learned and remembered, the dark elves had never found a method to summon a Dark Queen Mermaid. Yet it was happening now right before him.
“Hahahaha! Go die!”
As the Dark Queen Mermaid fully emerged from within the dark portal, the Evil Dragon Follower cackled with glee.
But he abruptly stopped immediately afterwards as Stingham cheerfully shouted, “A Mermaid? I likey!”
“Why don’t you date me!”
A light lit up in Stingham’s eyes as he enthusiastically charged forward toward the Dark Queen Mermaid.
“No way?” Even Ayrin was dumbfounded as he exclaimed, “Stingham, you are even interested in something like this?”
“She is very pretty. What more can one ask for?!” Stingham enthusiastically replied.
“… Just who are these brats?!”
The Evil Dragon Follower felt as if he was on the verge of losing his mind. He felt as if he himself was already a very abnormal fellow, yet the three children in front of him were so abnormal that he couldn’t understand them.