While Shin was busy preserve to save his life, Junius and the twins were beginning their final struggle to defeat three Spirit Apostles. Junius’ clothes were dyed deep red as the blood from his wound dripped bit by bit out of his injury. Grasping his Azure Water Blade, Junius prepared himself for battle.
‘Ahhh… From the state of my injury, I can at most swing my blade thirty more times before the wound expands…’
Junius speculated on the number of strokes he could perform according to the current state of his cut. Currently, he was beginning to feel light-headed due to the lack of blood in his system. If his injury worsens, eventually he would be unable to function.
Blood trickled down his mouth as Junius used his front teeth to bite the bottom of his lip. To prevent himself from losing consciousness, he needed to sharpen his mind with pain. Glancing at his behind, he saw his two cute juniors with their arrows nocked, and bowstring pulled all the way back. Both of their hands were shaking uncontrollably as their faces were drenched with sweat.
Panting breathlessly, the twins were aiming directly at two black-clothed assassins. Using their first spiritual ability twice had a taken a toll on their bodies, and currently, they were on their third arrow. Once the icicle-like arrow was released from the bow, it was highly likely that Ella and Emma would collapse due to the lack of mana in their bodies. Hence, it really took all they had to even keep their arrows drawn for so long.
Junius clenched his fists in anger. He was not only angry at the assailants that forced them into this situation were his juniors had to suffer, but he was also mad at himself. If he were stronger, his juniors would not need to use their Spirits. If he didn’t rush blindly at his opponent causing the wound that he had, they could have dragged the battle for a while longer, long enough for reinforcements to arrive. If…
Countless what ifs rushed through his mind, but he knew that it was not a time for excuses. All he could do was to place his life on the line to protect the people he loved the most.
Junius lowered his sword from a battle stance and place it near his waist with the sword tip pointed straight at the enemy right in front of him. A pale blue aura could be observed as mana from Junius’ spiritual body was supplied to the Azure Water Blade in his hands. In an instant, the sword Spirit started to glow.
Thrusting his sword outwards, the Azure Water Blade extended itself and viciously attempted to penetrate the assassin that stood unsuspectingly. Although astonished at first, the black-garbed assailant quickly regained his senses and twisted his body to evade the elongated sword that was charging towards him at top speeds. Luckily for the assassin, Azure Water Blade only managed to barely scrape him even though he had reacted at the last minute.
His companions, however, were much more alert. Once Junius used his ability, they saw an opportunistic opening and pounced with the full intention of disabling the injured youth. Junius had expected the attacks of course. He was aware of the major flaw of his first spiritual ability. When the Azure Water Blade was elongated, his sides were open to attacks. Hence, whenever he used ‘Pierce,’ Junius had to be cautious of an enemy counterattack.
Before his opponents could even get within five meters of him, Junius halted his supply of mana to his Spirit. Thus, the sword that seemed to be able to extend to the ends of the earth dispersed and became liquid to water the earth, leaving behind the original metre long Azure Water Blade in Junius’ two hands.
Junius hollered in his battle stance. He had to end the fight within thirty strokes before his cut worsens and he fell due to the lack of blood. The two assailants were not shocked that Junius had regained his sword and begun their flurry of attacks.
Slash. Stab. Thrust. Slice. Hack.
Every single type of blade attack imaginable was thrown at Junius. The two assassin wielded two short knives. Thus, they were unable to match the reach that the Azure Water Blade provided Junius, but they made up for it with their numerous fast-paced attacks. Forcing his body to move, Junius barely managed to sidestep the barrage. He tried not to strain the area where his injury was while dodging but eventually, the two assailants forced him into a corner.
‘Here comes the first slash!’
Raising the Azure Water Blade above his head, Junius gathered his mana into the sword.
As Junius prepared to attack the assassins, a slight ripping sound could be heard. However, it was not audible to the assailants who were about to maul Junius. It was the sound of Junius’ wound tearing up once more. Blood started to gush out at a faster rate than before as Junius gritted his teeth.
‘I can’t give up now!’
Trying to ignore the pain, Junius used the Azure Water Blade to fend off the assassins. Soon, an extended exchange of blows commenced. Junius easily blocked the shorter knives of his opponents, but with every movement, he could feel his wound worsening. Finally, after twenty swings, Junius original grey-coloured shirt had turned crimson red.
Stabbing his sword into the forest floor, Junius supported his wobbling body. The severe loss of blood had rendered him delirious. It took him all he had to even stay awake at this point. Evidently, facing three opponents by himself was too much for him.
‘I can’t… Fall…’
Junius tried his best to remain awake, but with every second, he could feel his consciousness leaving him. Not wanting to give the vulnerable youth a break, the two assassins teamed up to finish the boy once and for all. The fallen leaves on the forest floor flew as the assailants sprinted towards Junius. But at this moment, Junius’ Azure Water blade began to glow in a blue light.
Pulling the blade out from the ground, Junius spun around once to form a ring of water. The water ring remained floating in the air as the currents inside of it started flowing at a rapid speed. The sharp, suffocating aura of the Azure Water Blade transferred into the ring of water and eventually, the wounded youth uttered a sentence.
“*Water Ring, EXPAND!!!!*.”
Junius used his final attack before dropping to his knees. The ring of water expanded expeditiously and brutally collided with his attackers. Unable to dodge in time, the black-garbed assailants brought their knives together to block the spirit ability.
The ring of water sliced at the knives slowly chipping away its blades. Eventually, cracks began to form and the weapons the assassins wielded, broke. Once the knives were damaged, the ring of water lost its form and faded into water droplets that rained onto the floor. Their hands shaking from the shock, the assailants paused to regain their senses.
However, the reality wasn’t so kind to them. As they stood still, two arrows whistled through the air and targeted the immobilised duo. Before they could even realise the looming threat, a sharp pain could be felt from their abdomens.
The both of them wailed in anguish. A cold air permeated through their bodies as they felt a biting icy pain coming from their stomachs. Looking down, they saw an icicle-like arrow protruding out of their bodies. Some frosty ice could be seen coming out of the arrows.
The twins, who had drawn their bows since the beginning of the fight, had finally released their arrows. They had aimed for the perfect time to strike the opponents, and thankfully, they had managed to hit their targets. When Junius used to pierce, the twins endured. When Junius was being bombarded by attacks, the twins endured. When Junius was supporting himself with his sword, the twins endured. Ella and Emma held out and only struck when they were absolutely confident that their arrows would hit their targets.
However, once the arrows were released from their bows, the Ice Bow Spirits that they had summoned faded into nothingness as the twins fell over due to overusing their mana. Similar to Junius’ current state, they were unable to lift a single finger to fight.
The remaining assassin, who was watching his teammates fight Junius from a distance, finally rushed to his fallen allies. The two who were hit with the ice arrows tried to pull out the foreign object that was invading their bodies but every time they touched the icicles, they felt an unbearable pain surge through their bodies.
Wanting to help his partners, the assassin who was uninjured attempted to help pull the arrows out.
“Ignore us! Kill them first!”
One of the wounded assassins barked. He had even forgotten that their primary target was Shin. All he wanted to do was to eliminate the people who had caused him the agony he was in.
Nodding to his words, the unscathed assassin picked up his blade and rushed maliciously towards the three orphans who were trying their best to remain conscious. At their current state, all they could do was pray that a genie would fall out of the sky and save them.
‘I guess this is the end…’
Junius shed a tear as he saw the assailant charging towards him. He was unable to defend and could only wait for death. However, what caused him the most pain wasn’t that he was about to die, but that he was unable to protect his cute little juniors from harm. Once he died, Ella and Emma would be next to go. And finally, the five assassins would gather together to kill Shin.
‘Ella, Emma, Shin… I’ve let you down…’
Moments before his head was about to be separated from his head, Junius mentally apologised to his family.
As Junius was saying his final goodbyes, a thunderous tremor rocked the forest. Distracted by the noise, the assassin halted his advance. The next instant, a red light bolted through the numerous trees of the forest and ended up in front of the fainting youth.
“Who dares to injure my pupil!!!!”
A behemoth man, who was as tall as an adult bear standing upright, emerged from the light and stood in front of Junius, protecting him as if a mother hen would. His face was red with anger, and his veins began to show.
Ella and Emma shouted. Although they were unable to move, they were able to see that their Instructor had finally arrived to save them.