I’ll first acquire a crystal for myself to ensure that I’ll be able to move on to the next round. Depending on the situation, I’ll decide whether I should reach out to Selina or not.
After the failed negotiation with William, Roel decided to focus his effort on bringing the others from the Knight Kingdom over to his side first. It was just that not everyone was as amiable as Teresa, and not everyone had a weakness like Brittany.
Selina was a particularly problematic target in Roel’s view.
She was aggressive and irrational, reminiscent of a berserker. He wasn’t even certain whether he could really communicate with her. In the worst-case scenario, they might even come to blows with each other.
The uncertainty left Roel with no choice but to tread carefully.
He noticed that there were quite a few skeletons slowly rising in the vicinity, and it would be troublesome if he had to manually clear them. So, he chose to send a whiff of Grandar’s aura out to deter them from approaching him. He thought that it might work since Grandar was an undead ancient god.
The skeletons did fall still upon sensing Grandar’s aura, but the next moment, they kneeled down and began kowtowing to him. It made it look as if Roel was the leader of some demonic cult performing an evil ritual here, leaving him completely dumbstruck.
What the hell is happening here?
However, this was only the start.
Grandar’s divine aura was simply too powerful. To the undead demonic creatures, he was the supreme one whom they could seek refuge with. Even with their lacking intelligence, they instinctively knew that they had to offer something as a tribute to the supreme one in order to become his subordinate.
So, they pulled out their arms and dismantled their legs and offered them to Roel as a symbol of their loyalty.
“Scram, I don’t need your bones!”
Roel impatiently waved off those skeletons attempting to fawn on him.
It took a while before the skeletons finally understood that the supreme one wasn’t fond of their gift, so they could only dejectedly stick their arms and legs back in place. Under the order of the supreme one, the skeletons slowly returned back to their respective graves.
With an exasperated sigh, Roel finally began making his way forth. He was relieved to find that none of the ghosts along the way dared to approach him, possibly due to him wrapping himself in Grandar’s aura. He was able to advance smoothly without any disruptions from the demonic beasts.
After an hour’s walk, he finally traveled out of the sinister forest to arrive at the center of the dungeon, where a decrepit ancient city stood. It was then that he received a familiar notification from the System.
【Goddess of Fate’s Guidance
Wrap yourself in Peytra’s aura.】
Roel carefully read the guidance again and again, but he couldn’t understand the rationale behind such a course of action. He had already escaped from the sinister forest, so it didn’t make sense for him to bring Peytra out at this point.
On the contrary, it would likely backfire on him. As the Primordial Earth Goddess, Peytra’s aura was overflowing with life, putting it at odds with the deathly aura suffusing the forest. Wrapping himself in Peytra’s aura could potentially spark the hostility of the undead and even alert the other challengers of his presence.
It would be an incredibly risky move to make here, but considering the miraculous effects that the Goddess of Fate’s Guidance had previously produced, Roel still chose to put her advice into action.
The crimson aura around his body slowly dissipated, replaced with a heavy pale yellow aura. The resilience of his physical body was greatly enhanced, and bits of stone fragments began floating around him under the effects of Peytra’s mana.
After making the switch, Roel continued on his way.
Oblivious to him, the moment he removed Grandar’s aura, an orange-haired woman walking on a distant hill suddenly jerked to a halt. Her bloodthirsty eyes slowly narrowed.
Selina Bess was the daughter of the Bess Count House, which was known for its military accomplishments. She had a temperamental and bellicose personality that made others deem her as the one of the most dangerous figures in the younger generation, as well as the problem child of the Dawnbringer Order.
But that was not her true personality. It was the side effects from her bloodline and Origin Attribute.
The Bess were a famous warrior house in Knight Kingdom Pendor, known for being short-tempered. Those who didn’t know them well called them berserkers, and those who did feared them as slaughterers.
The Bess had inherited the Chaos Origin Attribute, which was quite a peculiar one.
Order was the cornerstone of human civilization, which could be the reason why its antithesis, chaos, was deemed as a negative trait. Most Origin Attributes with negative connotations tended to come with severe side effects, unlike the stabler ones such as Compassion, Courage, and Wisdom.
Power and price always came in pairs in the Sia Continent. In exchange for their emotional instability, the Bess obtained a unique power that none could hope to emulate.
The Chaos Origin Attribute had the power to fundamentally induce disorder in mana, allowing them to dispel the spells of other transcendents
If that was all there was to it, the Bess would just be a house of bipolar individuals who experienced extreme mood swings. It would be troublesome, but they would still be able to lead normal lives.
Unfortunately, they happened to have a bloodline lineage that induced warlike tendencies and bloodthirst in them too.
“W-what’s going on? This woman… Ah!”
In the dark forest, Selina was chasing a team that was on their way to the decrepit ancient city with her sharp beastlike eyes. The surroundings were dark and the terrain was complicated and hard to navigate, yet Selina was able to maneuver around as if she was in her own turf.
So far, none of her targets had managed to survive a single attack from her yet. With each strike, the substitution magic tool would release a blinding glow that signified elimination.
Feeling extreme pressure from having a terrifying human-shaped beast on his back, the brawny leader of the team decided to fight back.
“Huddle together! We’ll set up our defenses first and slowly wear her down. We need to counterattack, or else none of us will be escaping from this forest!”
At the call of their team leader, the other members of the team quickly huddled together and cast defensive magic. From rock domes and flame walls to the most ordinary mana barrier, the team quickly constructed over ten layers of barriers.
But all of these looked as brittle as glass in Selina’s eyes.
Selina leaped down from the tree and slashed her meter long blade downward. It sliced through all of the barriers as if they were made out of butter. The rock domes collapsed, the flame walls extinguished, and the mana barriers shattered into bits. The flabbergasted challengers had their bodies sliced into two.
Amidst cries of agony, blinding light shone from their substitution magic tools before their bodies vanished into thin air.
Yet another group of challengers had been slaughtered, but Selina was just getting started. She had only dealt with them because it was convenient for her to do so, but her main dish was still waiting up ahead.
He was the reason why they had traveled all the way from the Knight Kingdom to Leinster. William had told her time and time again that she mustn’t attack him, but there was no way the bellicose Selina would have been able to hold herself back.
It was the calling in Selina’s blood to search for strong opponents and fight them to death. Roel Ascart was the opponent who had been able to stimulate her fighting will to the greatest extent thus far.
Even with Selina’s hazy mind, she knew that assaulting Roel outside of the dungeon would cause a huge trouble, but in the Challenger Cup, they could fight without any restraints since none of them would die. This was a rare opportunity for her, and the other party seemed to understand that too.
Gazing at the young man whose footsteps had halted the moment she landed her eyes on him, Selina smirked in excitement. She deftly leaped off the crown of the tree and began diving downward under the cover of the night.
Meanwhile, Roel also turned his sharp eyes in the direction of the forest.
So many mana pulsations and sounds have vanished within this short period of time. What’s going on? Isn’t this too fast? Furthermore, that earlier sensation… Am I being targeted here?
Numerous close shaves with death had sharpened Roel’s sense of danger. It was a feeling reminiscent of having a fish bone stuck in his throat, and he took it seriously. He was just a little surprised that he would encounter an opponent who could leave him feeling threatened in the preliminary round.
He began invoking the Nine-headed Serpent Staff, causing the snakes on it to come to life. The snakes swiftly enlarged in size and scoured the surroundings for enemies.
But before these snakes could find anyone, a flash of light suddenly flickered across the darkness. In just a few short seconds, Selina had traversed across a thousand meters to arrive in front of Roel, and her sword was already right above his head.
With the composure of a true veteran, Roel further channeled Peytra’s pale yellow mana, causing it to glow fervently. Countless stone walls and obstacles rose up to protect him.
At the same time, the enlarged snakes from the Nine-headed Serpent Staff quickly retreated to go on the defensive, blocking Selina’s advancement with their bodies.
It took a mere split instant for Roel to put up multiple layers of magic and physical defense barriers. However, to his surprise, the orange-haired woman didn’t swing her blade down to challenge his barriers. Instead, her body stiffened up, and she abruptly darted sideward to avoid him.
Hm? What’s going on? Is she not going to fight me?
Worried that it was a feint, Roel continued staring warily at Selina, ready to launch any counterattacks should she further her aggression. Yet, he heard something surprising coming from her.
“N-no, that’s not right. W-who in the world…”
In the face of the Primordial Earth Goddess’ mana, the fury in Selina’s eyes swiftly receded, and she began murmuring to herself in uncertainty.