LTBE - Chapter 396.2: Those Who Play With Fire Will Get Burned (2)
With a burst of light, the two challengers were transported into the Skerry Sea.
The scenery around Roel completely changed. He found himself standing in the middle of a sea filled with all sorts of sea stacks, but a fog hindered his vision. Nevertheless, he could vaguely spot the silhouette of a delicate figure standing at the other end of the fog.
He reflexively thought that something was amiss, and his suspicion was swiftly affirmed.
As the fog billowed along with the sea breeze, more and more silhouettes appeared on the sea stacks around him. All of them emanated a similar mana pulsation, making it impossible for Roel to discern which one was the real Teresa.
While Roel was still trying to grapple with this baffling situation, Teresa’s long-awaited voice echoed in the air.
Following the light and melodic voice, the sea stack Roel was standing on collapsed. He began falling toward the sea along with large pieces of rock. The demonic beasts in the sea swiftly noticed the disturbance above and gathered in the vicinity.
Teresa knew that physical brawlers like Grandar needed a good footing to properly unleash their prowess, so she chose to use her Hextongue to rob him of his footing right from the start. It was a good plan, if not for the fact that Roel had more than a single ancient god with him.
The moment the sea stack collapsed, Roel released an intense pale yellow light, and the avatar of a humongous serpent vaguely appeared behind him. The Primordial Earth Goddess had chosen to leave the Nine-headed Serpent Staff where she usually resided to manifest in reality.
A gigantic serpent body made out of rocks swiftly formed, and she caught Roel just in time before he fell into the water. The sheer intimidation emanated by Peytra forced the demonic beasts lurking beneath the water to quickly scatter.
At the same time, a series of explosions echoed from the sea stacks that the silhouettes were standing on. Teresa’s clones vanished one after another, and the real Teresa was forced to levitate in the air.
She swiftly retaliated with a series of powerful attacks.
The words of the Hextongue Princess swiftly realized as calamities under the infusion of mana. A searing inferno descended from the sky, but the temperature beneath swiftly plummeted that it seemed to freeze one’s blood. At the same time, an invisible surge of mana distorted everything in the surroundings.
The series of phenomena created by Hextongue induced exclamations from the crowd. The spectating practitioners of the Hextongue Faction had incredulous looks on their faces.
Teresa’s Manifestation Origin Attribute greatly enhanced the prowess of her Hextongue. That, together with her incredible talent in Hextongue, allowed her to summon prowess unimaginable to the average Hextongue practitioner.
The bombardment of multiple large-scale spells might have looked frightening to the onlookers, but Roel knew that this was likely to be nothing more than a feint. He noticed that Teresa was in the midst of adjusting her breathing in the air, and mana was glowing brightly around her.
Soon, the fog began to billow once more.
Teresa’s silhouette looked delicate and small in Roel’s eyes, yet the aura she gave off surpassed that of the giant Kurt. Under his watchful eyes, she began to manifest her weapon as one of Pendor’s knights.
With a series of murmurs, Teresa forged a black spear made completely out of Hextongue. The moment it was fully manifested, the sky seemed to darken in contrast to its presence. The distinguished guests seated in the colosseum smacked the table and shot to their feet out of sheer disbelief, unable to believe what they had just seen.
“A weapon made out of Hextongue? How is that possible?”
A feat that defied the common sense of the world was bound to invite shock.
However, Teresa wasn’t done yet.
“Penetrate, Focus Fire, Indestructible, Alacrity…”
Over a dozen spells were being enchanted into the black spear, inducing a qualitative change in it. Glowing specks formed within it like twinkling stars in the night sky.
Roel was amazed by her means, but that didn’t mean that he was intimidated.
There was no doubt that Teresa’s Hextongue was powerful, but Roel’s companions were the strongest Sovereigns in the ancient era. Even if he was unable to draw out their full prowess, he didn’t think that he would be weaker than any of his peers. If the black spear in Teresa’s hand represented the night sky, Roel’s Primordial Earth Goddess represented the unyielding earth.
“Offense or defense?” asked Peytra.
“Offense!” replied Roel.
Looking at the sky above, Roel began furiously channeling his mana. The massive serpent beneath him started to glow as Peytra began gathering the power of the earth.
With one representing the sky and the other representing the earth, two bursts of mana that were compressed to the extremes were finally unleashed. The woman in the sky pointed her finger downward, and the black spear began descending with frightening momentum.
The eyes of the Primordial Earth Goddess glowed brightly in response. She gathered the underground magma, reshaped it into a sharp crimson sword, and launched it upward.
The collision produced blinding light that instantaneously flooded the entire field, disorientating every living being in the vicinity. Everything seemed to have disappeared, leaving behind nothing but the clash between light and darkness.
The spectators in the colosseum quickly covered their eyes in response to the blinding light coming from the projection. The sheer level of destruction that was being produced by the clash of the two young transcendents shook everyone’s heart.
Peeking through the cracks between their fingers, the fans of both challengers prayed for the light to quickly fade so that they could resume watching the battle.
Meanwhile, in the field, Roel had already wrapped his hand around Ascendwing and unfurled a pair of golden wings. The sky was Teresa’s exclusive domain no more. He had been keeping his wings a secret all this while for an opportunity to put it to good use, and the shockwaves produced by the earlier collision provided him with the ideal cover to launch a surprise assault.
He soared into the sky with unstoppable momentum, piercing right through the fog.
Teresa widened her eyes in astonishment. She opened her mouth to verbalize a series of spells to stop him, but Roel wasn’t coming at her alone.
“Artasia,” he called out.
A white-haired witch appeared beside him. She pointed her finger forth and easily shattered all of the spells Teresa had invoked.
At the same time, the mana in the air seemed to be rushing toward Artasia’s side. Teresa was alarmed to find out that the effectiveness of her Hextongue decreased the closer Artasia came to her, such that she couldn’t even cast a spell to relocate herself anymore.
Eventually, Roel and Teresa came face to face with each other.
Teresa hesitated for a brief moment but she wasn’t able to bring herself to verbalize the word ‘Die’. By then, Roel had already managed to press his short sword up to her chest. The two of them looked at each other and smiled in unison.
Just like that, the match came to an end.
“Teresa Constantine has surrendered. The victor is Roel Ascart!”
“ROEL! ROEL! ROEL!”
The two of them were teleported back to the colosseum, where they were met with the thunderous cheers and applause from the crowd. As Roel had chosen not to hurt Teresa in the final moment, many of her supporters expressed a high degree of recognition for him.
It felt like the first time that the entire colosseum was chanting his name.
However, Roel felt that he didn’t really win fair and square.
Teresa went easy on him at the last moment. Had she chosen to verbalize words related to death, Artasia would have been forced to focus her powers on protecting Roel instead, thus releasing her control over the surrounding mana. That would have allowed Teresa to relocate herself, and the battle would end up dragging out.
Even so, Roel was confident that he would still have been the victor in the end. Teresa’s Hextongue was even more mana intensive than Roel’s ancient gods, so a prolonged battle would have been to his advantage.
Mister Roel, thank you for showing mercy to me.
“No, I should be the one saying that. Even at the critical moment, you still avoided placing a direct curse on me.”
I can’t possibly do that to Mister Roel. That would have been too disrespectful.
Roel was surprised to read those words, but he soon broke into a smile.
He had regarded Teresa as a friend from the very start, and the latter shared the same sentiment. Even in this fight, the two of them had prioritized their friendship over the competition. Such a harmonious fight was unprecedented in the semifinals of the Challenger Cup.
The battle was over, but Teresa continued to brood over something. A moment later, she wrote something down in her notebook and showed it to Roel.
Mister Roel, if William wins his fight too, could I invite you to the fruit juice store tonight? There are some things I would like to talk to you about.
“Hm? Yes, that would be fine with me,” replied Roel.
Teresa smiled in relief.
Under the unceasing applause from the crowd, the two of them left the colosseum and headed off to the medical room to have themselves checked for injuries.
Roel thought about Teresa’s request and figured that she might be trying to mediate between William and him, but honestly speaking, he thought that William’s chances of besting Lilian in the upcoming battle was slim at best.
There could be significant differences in strength even amongst transcendents of the same Origin Level.
Lilian had undergone the same Witness State as Roel. She wasn’t able to contract with an ancient god due to the incompatibility of her Origin Attribute, but as a possessor of the Ascart Bloodline, her transcendent abilities still advanced significantly with the clearance of the Witness State. Not to mention, her life-and-death battle against the Magician King had provided her precious combat experience and epiphanies that elevated her to a greater height.
On the other hand, William appeared to have only advanced to Origin Level 3 not too long ago, so there was likely to be a gap between him and Lilian.
Of course, Roel’s assumption was based on the two of them going all-out against each other. There could also be other variables that could come into play that would influence the results of the battle, such as the terrain.
While thinking over such questions, Roel headed into the medical room to have his body checked up.
Meanwhile, another pair of challengers walked into the colosseum.