Book 2: Chapter 16 – The Demonic Water Crystal
The gigantic octagonal inner castle covered an area of up to two miles. Such a big area could only mean that there were countless traps laid within.
“Lu Huai Ru is hiding inside. Thus, the only thing we can do is to kill while we make our way in,” Si Bai Rong said. However, as he looked forward into the dark and creepy hallway leading into the depths of the castle, he became hesitant. “I think that there should be an untold amount of Arrays within. We will need someone strong to lead us in.”
Xue Ying smiled at that.
‘This Si Bai Rong! On the one hand, he wants prestige … on the other hand, he is afraid. I have no idea how his power managed to reach the stage of Silver Moon ranker…’
Tang Xiong and Liang Yong, on the contrary, were both extremely calm and composed. They turned towards Jing Qiu, hoping that she could make a decision.
“If we rush in blindly, we are just courting death.” Jing Qiu’s ever-cold voice calmed the rest of the experts down. “Even though Lu Huai Ru is just a Meteor-ranked Mage, he is still good at refining. It is certain that he has placed countless trap arrays in order to counter us. Even if a Silver Moon ranked Knight dares to rush in blindly, his life will still be endangered. Fellow experts, please give me some time. I will use my magic to try to discover any possible arrays ahead of us.”
Jing Qiu began chanting the incantation for the spell, staff in hand.
Actually, the reason behind why mages chanted out spell incantations was to induce self-hypnosis. After all, some of the most powerful spells in the world demanded too much from a mage and were extremely difficult to cast. These were impossible to make without self-hypnosis through spell incantations.
As for the lower-leveled spells, a mage could just cast those without having to chant out the spell incantations. Just as with Jing Qiu’s Frost Domain, there was totally no pressure on the mage in casting it.
Hua hua hua ~~~ Right in front of their eyes, an unbelievable amount of ice started coagulating together, forming the shape of what looked like an over 20 meter long gigantic ice-snake. The body of the snake was crystal clear, and its head filled with killing intent, causing Si Bai Rong, Tang Xiong and the rest of the experts to feel some sense of wariness towards it.
“Level 5 spell: Frost Snake.” Xue Ying nodded his head imperceptibly. “The spell-born Frost Snake does not have any weaknesses. Never mind ordinary SIlver Moon Knights; in terms of strength, it would not lose too badly even against the formidable Legend Knights! However, Jing Qiu’s current technique of forming the snake was not quite up to standard. If it would’ve had ten heads… even Legend-rankers would be threatened by it. However, if we were to compare the Frost Snake with a Legend-ranker who had already reached the state of being ‘One with the World’ and who had the ability to fully utilise the laws of nature, the first wouldn’t have the slightest hope of displaying its strength in front of the latter.”
Currently, Jing Qiu was still chanting the incantation for the spell.
As time passed by, another identical gigantic Frost Snake appeared beside the first one.
“My magic power is limited. I will have to conserve the rest for any unforeseen circumstances we might face later,” Jing Qiu said. “With these two Frost Snakes leading the way, we should be safe.”
“Haha! Just as I’ve said before, it is really our fortune to have a Silver Moon Mage accompany us!” Tang Xiong bellowed happily. “This Frost Snake does not have any weaknesses, and will easily advance. If it had been us leading the path instead, I’m afraid we would have had to put our lives at risk.”
“Jing Qiu is truly formidable,” Si Bai Rong began flattering. “Alright. We are leaving now. Jing Qiu, please stay between the four of us. We will protect you. Old Liang and me take will the front while Xue Ying and Tang Xiong take the rear.”
Just a moment ago, he had been afraid of leading the way.
However, he had suddenly regained his confidence with two gigantic snakes leading the group.
The two gigantic Frost Snakes started slithering their way across the spacious hallway. Each time they finished crossing a section, the snakes would whip their tails across the surrounding walls. Rumble~~~ Vibrations could be heard reverberating throughout the hallway. The force was so strong that the walls of the hallway could be seen crumbling away. Along the path, the several arrays they discovered were immediately destroyed. As for the arrays which escaped their notice, they would only inflict damage on the body of the Frost Snakes. Even though some parts of the snakes’ ice bodies were knocked off by the inflicted damage, the cold energy supplied by the magic power within their bodies reformed those parts instantaneously. However, one could notice that after each cycle of reformation the snakes would gradually shrink in size.
Every time they attacked or got hurt, the Frost Snakes would lose their frost energy, up until the very moment when they would be fully annihilated because of their fading energy.
Ignoring that, these two Frost Snakes did not have any weaknesses. They could just charge forward blindly, without fearing that any dangers would befall their bodies.
‘This is frightening.’ While defending the rear, Xue Ying wondered, ‘If we were to give any mage enough time to cast their spells, the threat that they pose would be a thousand times bigger than the threat of a knight. Some of the higher-leveled spells cast by a mage could even create disasters.’
A mage could likened to a scholar, since they generally studied the laws of nature. If given enough time to devour through the laws of nature, then a mage could even be said to become peerless. Any knight coming their way would only be serving his life on a platter. The longer a mage lived, the more powerful his spells and arrays would become, and the bigger a threat he would be to any opposing parties.
As for knights? They were actually much fiercer than mages.
Knights had an extremely explosive power. The moment they decided to kill, they would charge forward at such speed, that before a person could even finish blinking once, they would be forever lost to the world. With power came speed. With speed came power. For example, Xue Ying could easily cover a distance of a hundred meters in the blink of an eye, and an ordinary warrior would not even be able to see the tiniest bit of his shadow. Such a frightening speed… if he were to decide he wanted to kill a mage, the mage wouldn’t have the slightest chance to react. Thus, it could be said that both mages and knights had their own strengths and weaknesses.
Rumble rumble rumble~~~
The Frost Snakes had strength comparable to that of Legend rankers, despite the fact that if they were to engage in close combat, they would not be as fearsome as a Knight. However, the task of breaking down the hall was a simple feat for the two Frost Snakes. Many walls had already crumbled apart with the accompaniment of rumbling sounds. The arrays had no time at all to display their fearsome power as they were already erased by the two snakes’ slithering advance before even getting the chance to activate.
Even though all the hallway walls were broken into pieces, the castle was still stable, showing how good its foundation really was. After all, the main supports of the castle were still holding up.
“Haha! With Jing Qiu, we can be so much more relaxed! Be they traps or arrays, there is no chance of any of them threatening our lives.” Si Bai Rong laughed cheerfully at that.
“Don’t be so complacent!” Jing Qiu replied. She was still on alert, looking out for possible danger coming from the path ahead. “Dealing with a formidable Master Refiner, we should expect to find numerous arrays. Even though my two Frost Snakes are currently destroying at least 90 percent of the traps ahead, it is safe to assume that there are several arrays left untouched. We must remain cautious as long as we haven’t obtained absolute safety.”
“As you said, more than 90 percent of the arrays are destroyed. What is left to threaten our lives? If we were to compare Lu Huai Ru and you, Jing Qiu? Well, I dare say that there is no chance of him overwhelming you. Jing Qiu, you have been studying in the Eternal Wind Academy, a place full of experts. Having to deal with all of them, how could Lu Huai Ru even come up with something that you have not seen before?” Si Bai Rong said proudly. Still, even though Si Bai Rong seemed confident on the outside, his actions showed otherwise. Following his protector, Liang Yong, who was still on a lookout for possible danger, he never completely let his guard down.
Hidden within the inner chambers was a large hall.
Lu Huai Ru was sitting high up on the throne, frowning at the current situation. Beside him, there were three other Meteor-ranked Knights prepared to heed his call.
“Damn. Who would have thought that there was actually a Silver Moon Mage?!” Lu Huai Ru grimaced. Before this, he had only seen the frost appearing outside the castle, and judging by the fact that nobody had died from it, he’d thought that the assassins coming for his life should not be a threat. Without even looking at them, he had rushed his way into the inner chambers, and now he was more than regretting it. He didn’t even know who the assassins were or how many had been sent to take his life.
“Cult leader, what should we do?” The three protectors looked towards him.
“What can we even do? With the destructive power of those two Frost Snakes, almost all my arrays have already been destroyed. As for those that are left? With such a pitiful amount, all they can achieve is just making the Frost Snakes lose some of their energy.” Lu Huai Ru shaked his head. “It seems that there is only one way out.”
The entirety of his inner chambers was filled with a plethora of arrays designed to kill. Undoubtedly, there were certain places which had quite the killing power focused in one area.
But those two Frost Snakes…
They had led him to make the ultimate choice in order to deal with the situation – to use the most powerful trap he had in his arsenal.
“There is an Absolute-killing array in the seventh hallway!” Lu Huai Ru called out. “That is actually one of my strongest array formations used for killing. However, with those two snakes leading the way, the array could at most kill off 2-3 Silver Moon Knights. Thus, I would need you three’s help. Right when the assassins enter the formation, I want you to charge forward and finish them off.”
“Yes, as you command.” The three custodian each took out a pendant, before opening it. Within it, there was a single blood-coloured crystal.
With some hesitance, the three knights took the crystals and ate them.
In an instant, their bodies suffered several changes – the skin of the three knights became redder by the seconds, and with a shudder, the Dou Qi within their body began transforming.
This was actually their life-saving treasure – The Demonic Water Crystal. If a Legend ranker were to use it, there would not be too much of an effect. However, if a Meteor Knight or a Silver Moon Knight were to use it, then the effects would be tremendous. Generally, after eating the crystal, a Meteor Knight would temporarily have the strength to rival a Silver Moon Knight. However, once the effects wore off, the user would be fatigued for 2-3 days, or even more.
Still, such a crystal, capable of raising a person’s strength by an entire rank, could be said to be extremely precious. Within the cult of the Demon God in the Azure River County, there was only enough for each person to have a single one of them.
“Don’t be heartbroken. After we get through this ordeal, we will definitely be moving away to another area. Furthermore, I will ask the higher-ups for another crystal for each of you,” Lu Huai Ru said. “Go! Go wait for them at the seventh hallway!”
The three red-skinned protectors exited the main hall immediately.
As the three of them left, a monster-looking man came walking out of the side doors. His footsteps created slight tremors in the entire hall. Lu Huai Ru stood up immediately. “What happened? Is there trouble brewing?” The monster-looking man asked.
“My Divine Lord, I’m afraid that this place has been exposed.”
“Exposed?” The monster-looking man walked towards the throne and sat down, asking with a frown, “Have they discovered me?”
“If they had discovered you, my Divine Lord, I doubt they would have just sent a few Silver Moon rankers… Instead, they would have dispatched Si Liang Hong, Xiang Pang Yun, and even a few Transcendents over here.”
Ordinary Legend rankers could acquire Bronze orders easily.
For those with power, entering the empire’s list of three thousand names was easy. However, there was a major difference between having their name on the list and not having it on.
As for Si Liang Hong? She had lived for hundreds of years, and was definitely a cold-blooded monster. Xiang Pang Yun though was even more savage than Si Liang Hong. Both of them were currently within the top 500 ranking Legend warriors within the Dragon Mountain Empire. Comparing them with an ordinary Legend ranker would be akin to comparing the heavens and the earth.
“A few Silver Moon rankers?” The monster-looking man scoffed. “Right in front of me, they are just ants. It’s such a pity that you have to leave this area after a few weeks of stay…”