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Chapter 66 – Those who Follow the Prophecy (5)
Zeta walked out of the cloud of dust unharmed. Azell didn’t answer him as he tried to regulate his breathing.
This was a highly difficult training method used by a Spirit Order Practitioner, when one is in the process of training one’s mind.
The mind and the body was completely separated from each other. The body moved in such a state. Moreover, one had to imitate and conceptualize the various organs of the body. This was how one could still keep the sensation of being alive, while one was separated from one’s body.
This process was so hard that not many Spirit Order practitioners succeeded in achieving this state.
Zeta was an Undead, yet he was able to use his Spirit Order. Zeta was also using an variation of this technique to achieve this result.
This was also true for Azell’s cloning technique ‘Dance of the Shadow’, which gave his clones substance.
It was possible to imitate the sensation of being alive through the astral body. However, what Azell was doing was on a whole different level. The clones that had been completely separated from the body was able to physically influence the material world.
Zeta had been a high level Spirit Order Practioner in his previous life, and he had maintained his level of skill. However, the technique shown by Azell was inexplicable to him.
Azell didn’t give Zeta the chance to finish his words. When he determined his breathing was under control, Azell used the Instantaneous Movement to rush forward.
Four of Azell’s clone appeared near Zeta.
Accompanying the sound of an explosion, Zeta was sent flying. Each of them possessed detailed and clear presence that one couldn’t tell which one was the real body. This was why Zeta chose to pierce three of them at the same time. He pierced one with his sword, and the other two with his Darkness magic.
However, the last remaining one had hit Zeta’s body. Then the one that Zeta had thought he had defeated pierced through his Darkness Magic. The one he considered to be a clone struck out at Zeta.
‘I have to decide the victory right now!’
At that moment, Azell’s heart started beating crazily as it poured out the magical energy.
Even when he was mindlessly panting, he hadn’t let even a second go to waste. The fact that his heart was racing meant he was vibrating his Rings of Life. When one’s body craved oxygen, the painful moment could be used to extract a vast amount of magical energy. Currently, he was swirling with magical energy that was much higher in quantity than his body could contain.
He created a white hot flame to eradicate the Undead. The flame followed the trajectory of his sword, and it exploded when it reached its target.
The storm of white flame lashed out. Azell had accelerated his sword past his limit. He pierced through Zeta’s defense, and his sword energy showered down at Zeta.
No matter how sturdy this bizarre armor was, there had to be a breaking point. If he could use his entire strength to break it….
…Zeta had been taking a beat, yet a genuine sound of regret was heard in his voice.
A blood-colored darkness exploded forth with Zeta at its center.
Azell’s white fire was swept away in an instant. It was like a candle being snuffed out by a storm.
For a moment, Azell’s movement stalled, and Zeta didn’t miss taking advantage of this moment.
Zeta’s sword flew towards Azell. The Curse of Darkness had dug into his mind. He had stiffened as he tried to resist against the Curse of Darkness that had dug into his mind. It caused Azell to be a step slow.
This small pause proved to be fatal.
Azell hadn’t taken a direct hit from Zeta’s sword energy until now. There was too much of a difference in physical strength, and Zeta’s sword was a Demonic Sword with powerful magic dwelling within it. Azell had received the attacks obliquely as he let the attacks slide off of his sword. This had protected his sword. However, he wasn’t able to do so this time.
Azell’s sword broke into pieces. Before Azell could do anything, Zeta hit Azell’s body.
Accompanying the sound of explosion, Azell was sent flying.
Azell’s body hit the ground, and his body took a high bounce. His body lodged into a tree.
If he was a normal person, he would have died immediately from the impact. However, Azell had used Spirit Order in an instant to reduce the shock. It saved his life.
Azell forcefully grabbed onto his fading consciousness.
The situation he had been worried about had come true. If Azell and Kairen fought at full strength with the intent to kill each other, the result would be something similar to now.
However, he was fighting against Zeta, not Kairen. Still, his prediction had been on point.
If one was an expert, one could deflect strong attacks through techniques. However, techniques wouldn’t be able to hold back a flood.
He was short on power.
If a three year old child developed the greatest technique in the world, the child wouldn’t be able to beat a trained adult, who was fully armed. This was how vast the gulf was between Azell and Zeta.
“What do you think?”
Azell was trying his damnedest to stand up when he heard the voice of a youth. It was Leone, who had been observing the situation.
“…so what the hell was the point of all of this? We just bought unwanted enmity with this.”
“Hmmm. Is that so? Maybe, someone else should test him right now.”
“Well, he does need time to recover from his wounds…….”
“Do you have any evidence to supports this opinion?”
“Well, you are the one, who tested him. Since that is your opinion, we will do as you say.”
“Wait, you dirty bag of bones…….”
Azell glared at Zeta as he panted. Zeta returned his gaze.
The darkness emitted by Zeta swallowed Azell.
‘Ah. Annoying… Bastard…..’
As this thought ran across Azell’s mind, he lost consciousness.
Azell’s consciousness travelled to a time long before. He returned to a time when he had still been young and inexperienced.
‘It’s a dream.’
Azell knew this to be true. He hadn’t meant for this to happen, but his sense of desire before he fell unconscious had guided him to this point.
“What is needed for the humans to win against the Dragon Demon race?”
A middle-aged man, who possessed a large body, asked the question. Azell was a tall man, but the other man was a head taller than Azell. Moreover, the man possessed brown skin color, and a black beard. From Azell’s perspective, the man had an exotic appearance.
He was Azell’s 3rd teacher, Liglan.
He was a dual-swordsman, who used two curved sword. He was a frightening high rank Spirit Order practitioner, who was greater than anyone Azell had known at the time. He was royalty from a desert kingdom. After his kingdom was exterminated by the Dragon Demon army, he became well known in the Nadick Empire for his bravery.
At the time, Azell had been an unaffiliated knight, and he had decided to fight alongside Liglan. Azell had been awed by his courage and righteousness. Liglan carried himself like royalty as he possessed boldness and dignity. He was a brave general, who struck fear into the Dragon Demon army.
Moreover, Liglan considered Azell to be the one to bring hope to this era of Darkness. This was why he had taken in the unaffiliated knight, who had wandering from place to place. Liglan taught Azell techniques that hadn’t been taught to him by his previous masters.
“I guess one needs the Dragon Demon Qi.”
The Dragon Magic Qi was the ultimate weapon. It was made using one’s soul as ingredient and it required the use of refined power of a Dragon.
This was a miraculous tool that was available to the Spirit Order Practitioners, who were standing at the zenith of their ability. It was rare to find someone, who possessed this miraculous tool. Moreover, each of these men held enough power to be able to contend against the strong players of the Dragon Demon Army.
Liglan was one of them. Up until now, he had fought eight Dragons to the death, and the result of his victories was the Dragon Maken in the form of two swords that made up a pair.
Liglan shook his head from side to side.
“Then what is it?”
“The answer is more simple than that. It’s power.”
The Dragon Demon Race was born with a powerful body at birth in comparison to humans. Even a frail looking woman possessed enormous strength to be able to rip a wild beast in half with her bare hands.
Moreover, those from the Dragon Demon race was lightning fast even if they hadn’t cultivated. If they decided to kill a normal person, one wouldn’t even be able to see their movements.
The Dragon Demon race had extreme perception that allowed them to control their abilities. They also possessed special magic called the Dragon Demon Magic, which exceeded the magic of a high rank human magician.
Even if a being from the Dragon Demon race never learned any battle techniques, one of them had the power to take on a hundred humans.
“Yet those beings cultivate their own martial arts called the Dragon Ridge Arts, and they research about magic. Humans are like practice targets they could kill at their whim.”
Techniques were insufficient in being able to contend against them. One needed power.
Who cares if one could hit them if they were unharmed afterwards?
What was the point in being able to block their attacks if one’s entire defense would be blown into pieces?
“If you want to go toe to toe with them, you have to move past the so-called limits of a normal human. That’s the minimum requirement. You have to become as strong as a monster, and fast as a lightning. Then you will be able to stand at the starting line.”
“Is there an alternative answer to the Dragon Slayer’s Ritual?”
If one was victorious in the Dragon Slayer’s Ritual, one could strengthen one’s body through the Dragon’s power. It was the magical key that freed one from the limit one reached through cultivation.
Liglan had performed the Dragon Slayer’s Ritual eight times, and he had moved past the limitations of a human. However, that wasn’t the entire story. Didn’t it mean one had to already have enough power to be able to fight and kill a Dragon in the Dragon Slayer’s Ritual? If one already had the power to kill a Dragon, one already had the power to contend against the Dragon Demon Race.
“Azell. Your teachers were very outstanding. I can tell just by looking at you. I wish Balf was still alive. I would have liked to meet him. He taught you about the Extreme Senses. However, he probably wasn’t able to pass on everything he wanted before he died. It is now my responsibility to fill in that gap.”
Balf’s mad teachings allowed Azell to possess superhuman senses that was superior to most Spirit Order Practitioners. However, a young man like him wasn’t able to overcome a high level Spirit Order Practioner with just his potential in hand. The techniques were too strong and profound.
“You’ve done well in learning ways to strengthen your mind. I have nothing to teach you regarding that topic. I can only give you some knacks to help you. However, I can teach you a lot about strengthening your body. The problem is this can’t be achieved in an instant. If you want a powerful body, you have invest enough time into it.”
“You are basically saying I have to stay alive for me to achieve this.”
A horn rang out far in the distance.
It was a signal that alerted everyone that the enemies were coming. The soldiers within the fortress moved busily as they got ready to face the Dragon Demon army.
Liglan climbed the stairs to the castle walls as he spoke.
“We don’t have the luxury of isolating ourselves to grow our power like the cultivators of old. However, I don’t want you to kill hundred to thousands of people to grow your power.”
“I never wanted to do such a thing.”
“Please stay alive until you are able to learn everything I have to teach you. As your teacher, this is the only promise I want from you. Can you give me that promise?”
“Well, of course, I’ll do that.”
However, the promise hadn’t been kept. It was Liglan, not Azell, who had broken the promise.