“What a rare army spell.”
Under the large dazzling tree, Priestley watched as the white sun slowly dissipated above him as he offered a rare compliment.
“It’s an amazing level of completion for a spell with a convoluted chant. I reckon only a behemoth like the Ancient Austine Empire would have the resources to build such a disciplined army of mages. What a pity it is that spells are ineffective against me.”
The Magician King murmured to himself leisurely, almost as if it was all a walk in the park for him. Unexpectedly, he received a reply to his remark.
“If spells won’t work, what about this?”
A pair of golden eyes glowed brightly amidst the dust and darkness.
A congregation of frost aura so dense that it felt corporeal gushed through the wall of dust and struck squarely on Priestley’s lanky body.
The latter clearly didn’t expect that an attack would actually be able to breach this sacred sanctuary. Before he could make any move, he had already been reduced to an ice sculpture.
The large dazzling tree towering at the center of the sanctuary swiftly sensed the unnatural condition of its master and began emanating its light once more.
However, under Lilian’s army spell and Roel’s all-out onslaught with Glacier’s Touch, even this mystical tree that seemed to transcend human understanding started to fail. After several seconds of stand-off, it was finally frozen together with its master.
The spirits scattered, and the grassfield morphed into a glacier. It was only when everything had been frozen that Roel finally placed his hands down, panting rapidly.
Everything fell to silence.
Lilian quickly rushed to his side, and the two of them stared at the ice sculptures before them silently.
Despite the tense battle, everything had gone according to the countermeasures they had developed beforehand. There was no way they wouldn’t have made plans beforehand when they had already anticipated a possible encounter with Priestley.
Their strategy was to have Lilian feign an attack while Roel used the powers of the Crown’s Stone to push for a quick victory.
The frost aura from Glacier Creator could be easily dispersed with mana, but its effects were absolute as long as he could land a direct hit on the target. This was the only sure way they knew that could bring down an Origin Level 1 transcendent.
In the first place, it was unthinkable for them to triumph over a man known as the Magician King in a battle of magic spells, and reality had proven them right.
Even after their plan had come to fruition, Roel still didn’t let his guard down. He began to channel his mana once more to smash the ice sculpture so as to end Priestley once and for all, but a premonition suddenly struck his heart.
He lowered his head to take a look, only to widen his eyes in shock the next moment.
At some point in time, Priestley’s shadow had split into five.
Roel instinctively realized that Priestley had a countermeasure and things were going to turn awry… and he was right.
Four of the shadows decisively abandoned the frozen old man and started converging elsewhere.
Without any hesitation, Roel gathered every last bit of frost aura to blast the four shadows, but it was in vain. It was impossible for ice to trap shadows, even for Glacier Creator.
Lilian immediately ordered her mage order to attack the four shadows, but it was futile as well. Even amongst the intense bombardment of spells, Priestley still managed to rebuild his body to stand before the world once more.
The moment his body was reformed, he released the same glow as before to ward off the frost aura and spells.
“What a surprise. I never thought that I would be killed once here. Young man, that ability of yours originates from the Crown’s Stone, right?”
Priestley’s expression no longer looked as relaxed as before. He stared hard at Roel’s face for a long time before uttering words with overflowing killing intent.
“Indeed, you’re far too dangerous… It’s truly a relief that you’re still too young,” remarked Priestley.
The next moment, the old man took a step forward for the first time in the battle…
… and the world changed.
An indescribably powerful explosion of mana rushed out from his body, feeling almost like a nuclear explosion. Priestley’s murky eyes lit up brilliantly. His lanky body suddenly looked incomparably tall, almost like a towering giant.
Countless smithereens lying around within a thousand-meter radius were blasted into the sky, and even the clouds above parted into two like subjects paying respects to their king.
This was the first time Roel felt such an emotion after awakening to his bloodline.
No matter what kind of enemy he had faced in the past, even before the manifestation of calamity, Sire Darkness, he had never felt such deep innate fear.
Unimaginable pressure crushed down on him from all directions, stripping him of his ability to move. His surroundings turned into a blank white void.
Priestley stood powerfully before him, like a god with everything in his grasp. Even just looking at him was enough to instill deep pain in Roel’s head.
“It’s your conceit that led to your downfall, young man. You must have triumphed over the odds and achieved the impossible with your bloodline ability on several occasions. Perhaps, you might have even defeated enemies far stronger than yourself.
“Ironically, that eroded your sense of fear. You know not of your limits. Origin Level 4. You should have never appeared before me until you have at least reached Origin Level 3.”
Priestley’s words were deep and powerful. His simple words boomed like rumbling lightning in Roel’s head, making him cognizant of the fatal error he had made.
At some point in time, after successfully bringing down even an Origin Level 2 transcendent with the help of the ancient gods and the power of the Crown’s Stone, Roel had started to underestimate his enemies.
He thought that since he could bring down an Origin Level 2 transcendent while he was at Origin Level 5, surely there was hope in defeating an Origin Level 1 transcendent at Origin Level 4.
But was that really the case?
The answer was clear as day now.
A transcendent’s strength didn’t scale linearly with each breakthrough; it scaled exponentially. The gap between an Origin Level 2 and Origin Level 5 couldn’t even begin to compare with the gap between an Origin Level 1 and Origin Level 4.
Origin Level 1 was the highest fighting power of humankind, the dignity of humans. It was the reason why humans could fight with the other races for survival. It was the peak reached only by the most talented ones amongst billions of humans. They were gods encapsulated in human form!
Regardless of whether they were good or evil, they were indubitably the uncrowned kings of the world. What they represented wasn’t a country or a race; they represented the whole of humankind.
They were the Sovereigns of Humankind.
Even real gods would have to step aside when a Sovereign of Humankind roared. Roel would have to pay the price for underestimating such an existence.
“Be buried with your arrogance,” murmured Priestley.
With a raise of his staff, an invisible force began rippling outward from him. It looked gentle like a pebble dropped into a lake, but what Roel experienced was completely different from what it looked like.
Lilian shouted his name, but Roel was unable to move or talk at all. He could only desperately release his frost aura and protect himself, but even that was meaningless.
The ripples pierced right through his barrier of frost aura, and sharp pain ripped through his body. His internal organs ruptured as blood and flesh splattered everywhere. Having never suffered such severe injuries before, Roel spurted a huge mouthful of blood.
Behind him, Lilian also moaned in pain.
Meanwhile, Priestley continued gazing upon the duo with cold impassive eyes.
The tables were turned in just a few short seconds.