LTBE: Chapter 79: Battle in the Monastery

 Chapter 79: Battle in the Monastery
 A person should know their limits.
 This was a saying that Roel felt was appropriate to be used anywhere regardless of the circumstances, and this was especially so in a world where transcendent powers were possible. Knowing what one was capable of allowed one to make correct choices in the face of trouble.
 “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” muttered Roel.
 He had always believed in making careful preparations before doing anything. Before taking action, he had already thought out the possible situations and made countermeasures for them accordingly. It might have been a hot-blooded gamble driven by emotions, but it was definitely not blind recklessness.
 Assuming that the ‘trouble’ that was coming for them was really Skin Grafter Peter Kater, it would mean that he had managed to overcome the platoon of soldiers from back then. In that platoon, three of them were at Origin Level 5 and the rest were Origin Level 6s. By this gauge, it should be safe to assume that Peter’s strength was at Origin Level 4.
 It was unlikely for his level to be any higher, since that would mean that had to be Origin Level 3. Remember that Origin Level 3 marked a high-level transcendent, a being who possessed immeasurable power. If he was really that powerful, there was no way he would have faced any difficulties trying to deal with those soldiers.
 Also, Nora likely had no confidence in defeating Peter, considering how she reacted back at the art studio. With her Angel’s Bloodline, she was far stronger than ordinary transcendents of the same level. She even had the possibility of challenging some Origin Level 4s.
 Through using such comparisons, Roel concluded that Peter Kater’s strength was at the stronger side amongst Origin Level 4s, probably like a C+ by the System’s standards. This meant that he was two whole levels stronger than Roel.
 It was typically impossible for an Origin Level 6 to defeat an Origin Level 4, but after careful consideration, Roel felt that he still stood a chance.
 Peter Kater was certainly powerful, but he had one weakness—he was a pure magician. This could be seen from his attitude when he showed-off his art studio, as well as the way he defended himself when dealing with the attacks from the platoon of soldiers earlier. He displayed ordinary physical prowess and even ended up getting stabbed in his thigh.
 If one were to just look at his constitution by itself, it was at most on par with an Origin Level 5 close-combat warrior. Perhaps, he might even be physically weaker than Roel too!
 Furthermore, after the bitter battle he had been through, it was likely that he was in a weakened state. After all, the transcendent abilities in this world all came at a price, especially for evil cultists. This could be seen from the battles between the Theocracy and the evil cults.
 Roel once heard from Carter that the Theocracy rarely had the upper ground when facing off with evil cultists right from the start. The evil cultists tended to have exceptionally powerful offensive transcendent abilities, which made it hard to face them straight on.
 However, as long as they dragged the battle out, the scales would swiftly tip in the Theocracy’s favor. In fact, there were times where the cultists would die on their own from being unable to foot the price of their own abilities!
 Living life to the extreme, this was the fundamental nature of evil cults.
 Taking all of these factors into consideration, a plan was slowly taking shape in Roel’s mind. The key to whether he could achieve victory basically hinged on two factors—whether he was able to get close enough to Peter, and whether he was able to wield sufficient attack prowess to break Peter’s defense.
 He looked at the silver short sword in his hand. It was going to be his trump card tonight.
 As a holy weapon, it was the bane of all evil cultists. The defense of a mere Origin Level 4 wasn’t even worthy of mention before it. Also, after having absorbed his and Nora’s bloodline for a month, Ascendwing had successfully incubated its first ability. He was going to entrust his hopes to it.
 【Ascendwing Short Sword 
     The remnants arising from the crystallization of the harmonization of the first generation Bloodline Awakener and the Compassion Origin Attribute. Its current user has infused an ability into it. 
     The Unruly: The user is able to teleport to a location within sight three times a day. The maximum distance is determined by the nature of the user’s magic power and attribute.】
 This ability had appeared yesterday night, but it would prove to be Roel’s greatest weapon by instantaneously closing the distance with that monster cloaked in human skin to destroy him.
 As powerful as this ability was, it had its limitations. For one, he could only teleport to places within sight, which meant that it was impossible to teleport across walls. Furthermore, visibility would be greatly reduced due to the constant fog and the darkness; that meant that the distance he could teleport was reduced to only 10 meters.
 This was extremely disadvantageous to Roel.
 Based on what he had seen during the fight with the patrol squad, Peter Kater’s painting had a striking distance of 20 meters, which meant that just a teleportation distance of 10 meters was insufficient. To make things worse, the mana cost for multiple teleportations was too great for Roel to bear even in his best condition.
 This was a problem that he had to solve right now, and fortunately, he seemed to have found a solution in the Affection Points Exchange Shop.
 【Black Crow Fog Lights
    Warm light pierces through all obstructions. It’s a tool used in Fog Capital Shantu to guide people home. When the fog starts to settle in, its light will turn green. During that time, please remain at home. 
    Price: 500 Affection Points/light】
 Roel had always thought that his System was not very unreliable, but who could have thought that he would actually be able to find the key to overcoming his quandary through it? The Black Crow Fog Lights was like the final missing piece to his plan.
 With the fog light in hand, he prepared himself to face a night of untold danger.
 …
 Peter Kater noticed that something was off about the situation.
 He held onto his wounded arm as he stared at the eerie looking monastery shrouded by the fog. Without historical knowledge comparable to Nora, he was unable to discern just what kind of era this building came from. All he felt was that this place was a little creepy.
 He turned to look at the withered noblewoman leading the way and the hellhound she was holding.
 “Eva, do you sense any other presences here other than those two brats?”
 The noblewoman shook her head in response to her master’s question. Peter looked at the yellow light hanging on the roof of the monastery and pondered silently. Even though this ‘Eva and Her Dog’ painting was not particularly powerful amongst Peter’s many paintings, its tracking ability was second to none.
 Anyone who had entered the building within the last three days wouldn’t have been able to escape the notice of the hellhound, unless that person was of Origin Level 3 or above.
 However, was it possible for an Origin Level 3 transcendent to appear at a place like this?
 Peter shook his head with a chuckle.
 That was impossible. Even though he wasn’t sure what in the world was happening here, if there was really such a powerful individual on this battlefield, he would have already been killed by now. One must know that Peter hadn’t been concealing his aura all this while. From this, he assumed that there wasn’t any major threat to him here.
 Peter felt that the likelihood of encountering danger was unlikely, but nevertheless, there was still a need to maintain the highest level of wariness just to be safe. So, he had Eva and her hellhound lead the way at the front while he followed them from a distance away. In a sense, it was this decision that had saved his life.
 Ruff! Ruff ruff ruff!
 The moment they passed through the doors of the monastery, the hellhound that Eva was holding onto suddenly began barking uneasily toward the empty dark shadow. The perplexed Peter was just about to ask about it when a silver gleam flashed across the air.
 A distortion suddenly formed amidst the darkness as a silhouette carrying a sword dashed out, directing his sword toward the hellhound and Eva.
 Ascendwing’s incredible might was revealed instantly. It pierced right through the hellhound and Eva, causing their bodies to distort before vaporizing into thin air.
 Seeing this scene through Eva’s eyes, Peter’s face warped in fury. He didn’t expect to lose a precious painting just like that, but before he could erupt in anger, the silhouette had already moved on to his next target—him.
 “Brat, you’re asking for it!” bellowed Peter.
 His painting, the Smiling Mother, immediately surfaced from behind him, causing the surroundings to suddenly become viscous. The stench of blood that suddenly suffused the air was nauseating.
 However, the short sword released its glow once more, liberating Roel from the heavy weight on him. He continued to dash forward as he eyed the man standing before him. He noticed that the latter’s palm was faced toward him, an action reminiscent of a magician preparing to cast a spell.
 Should I continue charging? Or should I back away?
 Roel was put in a dilemma at this moment. If he advanced a few more steps, he could use the ability of his short sword to leap to Peter’s side. However, these additional few steps posed a huge risk to him.
 Roel felt like there was a fire burning in his heart, but his mind was as calm as still water. He recalled Peter’s battle performance against those soldiers earlier on. The latter was indeed powerful as an evil cultist, and his prowess as an Origin Level 4 transcendent was not to be scoffed at.
 Was it possible to kill him with a direct charge?
 There was indeed such a possibility, but the chances of it succeeding was very slim. It was so low that Roel wouldn’t want to take his chances.
 “The Unruly!”
 All of a sudden, Roel felt a premonition of danger strike his heart. He quickly infused his mana into his short sword, and his body vanished from view.
 A bloody ray of light blasted out from the tip of Peter’s finger, crossing through the space Roel was standing just a moment ago. It struck the walls of the monastery with a heavy impact, causing the building to creak a little.
 This was a terrifying spell that could instantaneously induce the explosion of one’s blood. It was one of the usual spells that Peter used to decimate his enemy and prepare the paint he needed for his artwork. It should have decided the battle, but it fell empty instead.
 “What happened? Goddamnit! Where is he?”
 Peter could hardly believe his eyes. It was true that he didn’t expect Roel to be able to avoid his attack, but what really shocked him was the brat suddenly disappearing into thin air!
 What is happening here?
 Flustered now, Peter quickly scanned his surroundings and instructed Smiling Mother to coil around him and protect him. He began trying to make sense of the situation by thinking through all the possibilities.
 Not many spells allowed one to simply vanish into thin air, and the prices one had to pay to cast them were extremely heavy. The Country of Scholars, Brolne, did have a faction that was skilled in concealment, but that wasn’t an ability that Roel, who didn’t possess any Origin Attribute, could have learned. It was limited to only high-level transcendents.
 “It’s his weapon. That sword…” muttered Peter as he narrowed his eyes coldly.
 He recalled how the sword was able to destroy Eva in a single strike, and that made him feel deeply uneasy. However, he knew better than to reveal his fears in battle. He continued scanning the room with a cold look on his face.
 Meanwhile, on one of the beams near the ceiling of the monastery, hidden from Peter’s sight, Roel was currently eyeing Peter with cold eyes. With a silent sigh, he took off Shadow Lover as he began analyzing his situation again.
 The surprise attack wasn’t exactly a failure, but it was true that he had missed a valuable opportunity to get Peter while he was off guard.
 In his initial plan, he was aiming to use Shadow Lover’s concealment ability to camp at a spot to deal a swift and deadly blow to Peter. However, Peter was far more vigilant than he had thought. Not only did he choose to send his painting in first, but he was even wary enough to maintain some distance. That ensured him sufficient time to react to anything unexpected.
 The current situation wasn’t exactly in Roel’s favor. The Smiling Mother had some sort of AOE delay skill. Whenever he draws near, his movements would almost grind to a halt. He recalled how the soldiers earlier on froze up in her presence before having their throats slit open.
 Also, Peter’s reflexes could be considered noteworthy. They didn’t make him inhumanly fast, but it was excellent for a magician. He was able to swiftly recover and launch a decisive counterattack despite being caught off guard. The duration he took to cast his offensive spell was also quite fast too, taking just one second.
 It was due to all of this that Roel was left with no choice but to swiftly teleport away and bide his time, waiting for his next opportunity.
 The battle also granted Roel some understanding about his sword and its first ability too. Without a doubt, The Unruly was a powerful ability, but it had its own limitations too. The maximum distance that he could possibly teleport was 50 meters at the moment.
 Being able to teleport 50 meters might sound amazing, but considering the burst power of transcendents, it was still insufficient. There were plenty of spells that had a strike range further than 50 meters.
 However, one thing that gladdened Roel was that he was mistaken about its mana cost. The mana consumed was 10% of the spellcaster’s total mana, which was still a comfortable amount for Roel to bear. However, it was likely that its effectiveness would become poorer when he was faced with far stronger enemies in the future too, especially with its limited uses.
 Eyy, how cool would it be if I could teleport all around the battlefield without restraint?
 Nevertheless, aside from the unfortunate limitations of Ascendwing, even Roel had to admit that it was a broken weapon. He glanced downward to look at Peter, who was still warily scanning the room for him.
 Currently, he still has two more uses left of his sword’s ability. It would only suffice for one charge and one retreat. It was impossible for him to abandon Nora, who was still lying somewhere inside the monastery, so there was only one thing left for him to do.
 Kill Peter in the next strike.
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Translated by StarveCleric. Edited by Welmar.