‘What’s going on?’ The Vaishya was confused. He was given the most comfortable mission that a Vaishya could accept. Take on a few men and burn down a forest. Compared to the suicide mission that his fellow comrades had to take, this was by far the least risky. All he needed to do was to use his Enkindled Scepter to torch the forest and kill anyone who got in his way. The mission didn’t even require him to attack a Spirit Lord or anyone more powerful than himself.
Arson. It sounded complicated, but in truth, it was the most straightforward crime to commit. Especially during the dry season where it hardly rained. Being a fire-elemental Spirit User, the Vaishya had set numerous forests ablaze for the Black Mask syndicate, and on paper, this mission that he was doing right now should have been no harder.
‘So why… Why are my forces getting mauled down so quickly?!’
The twins’ spiritual combinations had been refined to a tee. Ella with her Icicle Barrage and Emma with her excellent marksmanship. Each arrow that leaves Emma’s bow would result in a kill, making her the most proficient sniper that the Vaishya has ever seen. How was she able to accomplish such a perfect ratio? Watching her ponytailed sister would provide the answer.
Ella would weaken the Spirit Beasts through her constant bombardment. Her speed was as rapid like an engine’s as dozens of icicles flew out from her bow per second. Ella’s arrows may not be able to pierce through an ordinary Spirit Beast’s hide, but it would sure as hell hurt. Furthermore, to blind her opponents, the sharpshooter executed her third spiritual ability. Splitting her icicles into frosty, fairy dust, Ella could temporarily disrupt the Spirit Beasts’ vision, allowing Emma to land the fatal headshot.
On the side of Kanari and Isadore, they too managed to keep their foes at bay with superior speed and power. Shudras were strong. They had to be at least in the Rank 30 Spirit Adept realm with ample of combat experience outside. Nonetheless, facing the two top martial artists in Imperius Academy was a stretch, even for them. Furthermore, Kanari and Isadore were being assisted.
On their wrists and ankles, five beautiful pearls circulated around each joint, supplying a tremendous amount of mana and support. With the help of Elrin’s third spiritual ability, ‘False Armament.’ Kanari and Isadore were able to move with much more speed and power. One punch from Kanari was equivalent to that of a dozen elephants charging, while one kick from Shizen could propel him hundreds of metres in an instant.
There was no comparison. Before the Shudras could even execute their spiritual abilities, Kanari and Isadore would have already sliced through their throats. Thus, they were forced to keep defending, even though they outnumbered their foes.
As for the mindless Dalits that had next to no spiritual power, they were all blown away almost instantly as they charged in on Kanari and Isadore. The men that he had relied upon to completely decimate the Moon Mercenaries were now being annihilated before his very eyes. The Vaishya had intended to continue incinerating the area, as per his mission and leave immediately when the forest was beyond saving. However, he wasn’t even five percent complete before Shin, and his friends showed up.
‘Tskkk! What should I do? I can’t fight those assholes and wait for their reinforcements to arrive. Huuring City might be small, but they have a few Spirit Lords and Kings within their grounds. If even one of them shows, that would be the end of my mission!’
The Vaishya contemplated on the best move to take. He had a mission to finish! Though he might be able to take down all of those brats, it would lead to disastrous results for him!
‘No choice! Time to burn it all to cinders!’ Ignoring the risk to his life, the Vaishya attempted to burn a part of his Spirit’s Essence to cast the strongest fire spiritual ability that he had. The ruby in his scepter turned into a dying sun that was about to go supernova, forcing every single soul to turn their attention to the Vaishya.
“Shin!” Kanari cried out. The mana that the Vaishya gathered was unusual. If detonated, perhaps the entire battlefield would be wiped out.
“I know!” Replied the youngster. Snapping his fingers, a hundred water spears formed above the Vaishya’s head and sped down relentlessly, disrupting the cast altogether. The water spears were as sharp as any standard weapon used in the Himmel Empire’s military, and yet, it was unable to pierce through the first layer of skin that the Vaishya had.
‘A Spirit Spectre’s body really is built differently.’ Shin thought to himself. If he were hit by that strike without any mana strengthening, it would undoubtedly end in him taking a few trips to the hospital. ‘I need to find a way to weaken him…’
“You…” A low-pitched growl echoed itself into Shin’s ears. While his cast was interrupted, the person himself was mostly unharmed. In fact, he was extremely agitated. Isadore, Ella and Emma all instantly felt an immense pressure weighing down their shoulders, bringing the posture further and further down. Even Shin, who was the best of the lot, couldn’t help but bow to release some of the pressure. There was, however, one person who was utterly immune to the Vaishya’s powers.
“Brat… How are you not affected?!” The Vaishya barked at Kanari, whose face was as bright as a pearl, without a single drop of sweat.
“Take a guess…” Not wasting her breath anymore, Kanari released her own spiritual pressure, one that could almost match the Vaishya’s. Though there was a distinct difference, Kanari’s pressure seemed fractured and mostly incomplete. It couldn’t overcome the Black Mask’s spiritual pressure, but it was pretty darn close.
“You’re at Rank 39?!” Immediately deducing Kanari’s spiritual rank, the Black Mask bellowed out in complete horror. Judging from her appearance, Kanari was no more than twenty. A twenty-year-old who had reached the peak of the Spirit Adept realm?! Who on earth was this young girl?
“Hmph!” Strengthened by Elrin’s ‘False Armaments’ as well as her ‘Sacramental Boost,’ there was no need for Kanari to fear the Vaishya. Kicking the floor, Kanari propelled herself right in front of the Vaishya and landed a straight jab. Flung backwards like a ragdoll, the Black Mask coughed out while regaining himself in the air.
‘The hell?! A few more of those fists, and I’ll be a goner! Who the hell are these freaks?!’
Plop… Plop… Plop…
While the Vaishya was busying thinking about the brats’ identities, he felt a wet sensation hit the top of his head. His hair, which should have been as dry as a bone, started to become moist as more and more drops fell on his head.
‘No… way…’ Turning his head to the sky, the Vaishya finally noticed that the clear blue hue that had dominated the dry season was now completely covered by grey clouds. The few droplets of rain turned into a slight drizzle. The drizzle quickly turned into a steady rainfall until eventually… An entire deluge of water flooded the burning forest, instantly sating the fire god’s wrath and preventing Huuring City from being burnt down.
“Rain… Right now?” The Black Mask couldn’t believe his own eyes. The one nemesis that he couldn’t control, the weather, had bitten him in the ass. “Is it the fate that I fail today?”
“There’s no such thing as an invisible fate.” Shin walked forward with a haughty smile. The Vaishya was mentally preoccupied, and Shin had to keep him that way until Kanari and the rest fully incapacitate his subordinates.
“Are you saying that… You created this rain?”
“Of course!” Shin exclaimed. “Look at the skies above Huuring City! Do you see clouds?”
Seeing that Shin’s words were valid, the Vaishya felt like he was about to have a mental breakdown. “N-No… No way… You can even control the weather?! Are you God?!”
“God? I wish.” Shin laughed. If he were God, Shin would have long resurrected Ariel and see her smile one more time. “I knew that putting down a fire that could spread quickly, as long as you’re supplying even more flames, would be difficult. Hence, I decided to borrow a hand from mother nature herself. I created loads of water overhead and evaporated them into vapour. Additionally, I found all of the remnant moisture in the air, trees and ground to rise it all to the clouds. It took some time, but with my little push, an artificial rain can be created within the region, taking out the fire and you with it.”
“You created rain that way…”
“Vaishya. Give up. You can’t beat us. And even if you could, there are hundreds of experts rushing over as we speak to claim your head. Surrender now, and you will be able to live a happy in life in prison. So long as you speak about the Black Masks and the Allfather of course.” Shin’s whispers were akin to a jug of wine for a vagrant in the desert who was starved of water for a month. If the Vaishya were part of any other criminal organisation, Shin would have gained crucial information about his leader.
Alas, the Allfather’s connection was too deep.
“I… Can’t lose. The Black Masks will reign forever! The Allfather will demolish all of you! You don’t know what’s coming! You don’t know what’s coming!”
Reverting back to his fanatical state, the Vaishya prepared to take down Shin, even if it meant throwing his life away. He had already failed the mission assigned to him by the Allfather. There was no point in returning anymore.
“You just have to things the hard way!” Shin roared. Waving his hands, the young man created another hundred water weapons. Spears, swords, hooks, halberds, chains. They were all military-grade arms that could be used to equip soldiers. “Let’s take you back to the Alliance Headquarters!”
“Hmph! I’ll like to see you try!” The Vaishya harrumphed and swung his scepter around once, creating a vortex of fire that torched the water weapons out of existence.
‘Tskkk, this Vaishya really is annoying.’
“Kanari! Isadore! Are you guys done?!”
“Just finished!” Knocking out the final Shudra, Kanari leapt to Shin’s direction, leaving Isadore to deal with the bindings. “The two of us should be able to take him down. Ella! Emma! Help Isadore in restraining the fallen!”
“Elrin, boost me!”
“Yeap! Don’t prolong the fight!” Casting ‘Sacramental Boost’ and ‘False Armament’ on Shin, Elrin did her best to keep the mana supply going. While her auxiliary Spirit was among the top of its class, the mana expenditure it took was tremendous. The most that she could support Kanari and Shin was about two minutes.
“Don’t worry…” Shin went into his left breast pocket and took out ten Yellow-Eyed Dragon Needles. Throwing them into the air, Shin kept the needles levitating through the water droplets surrounding him, and created a water spear in the process. He wasn’t playing around, Shin was ready to finish the Vaishya once and for all. “It’ll be over in a moment.”
“ARGHHH!!!” The Black Mask summoned out a flaming whip from the ruby core of his spectre. Flying up until he broke through the canopy, the Vaishya made his last-ditch attempt to burn down the forest, even though the flames were already being extinguished by the rain that Shin had created.
“Let’s go!” Shin executed a modified version of the Dance of the Valkyrie, chasing the Black Mask down. Kanari did the same with her gale control. Though they weren’t Spirit Spectres yet, there was no way that they would lose to a mere Vaishya when it came to flying.
“DIE!!! DIE!!! DIE!!!” Lost in his wrath, the Vaishya indiscriminately swung his flaming whip around, in hopes of bringing as much carnage as he possibly could. However, mother nature’s powers were too tremendous. A dazzling fire would start on one tree, and it might burn it down, but it would never torch the entire forest as long as the rain continues to fall.
“Pitiful soul…” How many times has Kanari and Shin seen this scene? Failing their mission, with no way of escape, the Black Masks would become suicidal. They would turn into rapid beasts that only served to spread darkness and destruction disregarding all forms of human life. “Let’s end his suffering.”
“Yeah…” Replied Shin. He knew that there was only one ending for a Black Mask that had lost his mind.
“I’ll open him up, and you cast Lunar Beam to obliterate him.” The Prince of Water snapped his fingers, and twenty pillars of water enveloped the trio, creating a field where the Vaishya couldn’t escape from. At the same time, a water sphere formed above his head as a Celestial Light began to transfer from Shin’s body into the ball of water. Each drop that flowed out from the ball was quickly infused with cerulean spiritual energy, making them seem like shooting stars in the night sky.
‘Flow-Style Technique… Meteor Shower!’ Shin snapped his fingers and sent the numerous droplets of water flying straight at the maniacal Vaishya.
BOOOMMM!!! BOOOMMMM!!! BOOOOMMM!!!
Hundreds of collisions connected with the Black Mask, ending his onslaught on the pitiful forest and bringing his full attention to the two foes that were flying near him. The Vaishya swung his flaming scepter down, created a crescent moon fire fang that sped rapidly towards Shin, evaporating any of the ‘meteors’ that were in the vicinity.
‘Shape-Style Technique… Cage of Sorrows.’ After dodging the fire strike, Shin turned his wrists and created a hundred water tendrils from the pillars surrounding them. The tendrils relentlessly chased after the Vaishya in the hopes of binding him for eternity.
“ARRRGGHHHH!!!” Like a mad beast, the Black Mask roared out as the gem within his scepter shone out in a radiant light. Once more, he created fire orb around him and detonated it, immediately evaporating all tendrils that were upon his body. However, that wasn’t the last of his troubles.
With a gap opened, Shin merged with the Sovereign Koi to trigger his Spiritual Body Enhancement state and closed in the distance at a pace similar to that of Isadore’s. Raising a high knee to the face, the young man managed to temporarily stun his opponent, giving a vital opportunity for his floating Yellow-Eyed Dragon Needles to strike.
Swiissshh!!! Swiiiissshh!!! Swiiishhhh!!!
The needles whistled through the wind and landed on all of the Spirit Spectre’s meridians, sealing the mana flow and instantly turning the Enkindled Scepter into a pile of nothing. Sealed with nowhere to go, the Vaishya was open to the most deadly attack that Kanari had to offer.
“HAARRGHHH!!” Kanari’s face turned red as her veins began to show. An illusion of a moon appeared under the overcast sky, and the air around her became distorted. The temperature rose rapidly and the raindrops that fell instantly evaporated back up to the clouds, in fear of what’s to come. Kanari’s ruby-coloured eyes became more and more brilliant with every passing second, as her entire focus was now locked onto the Vaishya that was free falling onto the forest floor. It was time to end it all.
WELCOME TO BOOK 8!!! Hehe, I have released three chapters today and I have some good news for all of you~.
I have updated my Patreon page so that all Tier Four members would get to read TWENTY-ONE CHAPTERS AHEAD!!! That’s six more than before!!! Some of the tier rewards are revised as well so that for every dollar you pledge, you get access to one additional chapter. So the structure would look something like this. Tier One gets two additional chapters, Tier Two will get five, Tier Three will get ten and Tier Four gets twenty-one. I made the last one twenty-one since it would be three weeks exact.
So yeah, do consider pledging. You would also get access to special polls, early access to new artwork or short stories and all those other benefits that are on the side.
Alright, then. I’m off for now! Happy Monday! Hope you have a fantastic week ahead!