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Chapter 290 – INVIDIA (2)

    Chapter 290 - INVIDIA (2)

    The body that was stronger than anyone else's was shaking dangerously.

    "Blue Tower Master!"

    "Old Man!"

    The robes of the 8th circle great magician, Blundell Adruncus, were dyed red. It was due to the damage of the sword which destroyed the body and spirit without leaving traces on the clothing.

    However, Theodore couldn't help wondering.

    A magician's accomplishment couldn't be said to be proportional to mental power, but a powerful magician possessed a strong mentality. Veronica and Blundell would only feel a mild dizziness after receiving this attack. So, why did Blundell suffer such serious injuries?

    The reason for it was revealed by Invidia. "You are doing stupid things, transferring the damage of others to your own body. What is the use of such ineffective behavior?"

    "Cough! It might be dangerous to those children, but it is just a slight scrape to this old man. Anyway, if I can use my life to save them, there is no reason to hesitate...!"

    Indeed, Blundell didn't fall down. The heart sword would've sliced William's heart, as well as Sylvia's carotid artery. Instead, the spirit and physical strength which had been trained for a hundred years received the blow that would've killed dozens of people alone.

    The expressions of the magicians, who were burdens to Blundell, stiffened. Meanwhile, Invidia scoffed, "Why should the strong protect the weak? You should've let them die and attacked me instead."

    "Hu, a monster like you won't understand humans. I wasn't expecting this!" Suddenly, Blundell pointed his staff. "Wait a bit longer!"

    "You..!"

    Once again, time stopped. As the space around the emperor stopped, Blundell shouted urgently toward the weary-looking Orta, "White Tower Master! Get anyone who isn't a master away from here! Hurry!"

    "...Yes!"

    There were elite magicians of the 6th circle. They would be a great help in a normal confrontation between masters, but if the emperor was the opponent, they wouldn't even be able to grab his ankles.

    It was just like how general soldiers couldn't help in a war between warriors and knights. When had they ever received such treatment? The magicians were in distress because they didn't understand the situation.

    Among them, there was a magician who refused the teleportation. "I don't want to, I don't want to! Grandfather, Theo! I can help too! I don't want to run away alone like this!"

    "...Sylvia."

    Sylvia struggled against the confused William's hands, shaking her long silver hair to the left and right as desperate tears overflowed from her blue eyes. She looked at Theodore as the magic circle started to shine beneath the magicians' feet. It was the precursor to a mass teleport.

    William was sweating while struggling with Sylvia. Then Blundell walked over and spoke softly, "Sylvia, sweetie."

    "I don't want to! I don't want to hear it, Grandpa! I couldn't show you anything! Please don't disappear like this! Theo, I wanted to be helpful to Grandpa, so I worked hard...!"

    "Then you have achieved that goal, my granddaughter."

    "...Huh?"

    Blundell gently wiped Sylvia's tears and gave her a warm smile. "I have been living all this time because of you."

    "Ah..." As she paused for a moment in a slight daze, the magic circle flashed once. The light disappeared and no one was standing there anymore.

    'Sylvia...' Theodore's chest felt tight as he recalled her crying face. Did she sense that she would be separated from Blundell in this fight? He didn't know why, but he felt anger at Sylvia's crying face.

    Then as if to light the fuse, he emerged.

    Chaaeng!

    It was the emperor of Andras, Invidia 'Envy.' The Time Stop could only hold him for a few minutes. As he walked forward, Invidia ridiculed them, "It is the end of the boring melodrama."

    He didn't care about the heavy atmosphere as he raised the sword in his hand.

    "Now, come on," he declared, looking at the seven masters.

    "I was already planning on it!" Understandably, Veronica was the first to respond to the provocation.

    Kurururung.

    She took one step, and the ground melted from the vast heat and pressure. The power of Veronica, who had inherited the blood of a dragon and the magic of eight circles, was more than twice that of Blundell's. There wasn't a single magician who surpassed her in pure destruction.

    Simultaneously, 10 Infernal Blades appeared beside her. The moment that the space in front of her was distorted by the terrible heat, the world's strongest magician jumped forward. In a flash...

    Veronica's fist burst forward.

    ―――――――――――!!!

    A hill was crumbled in one blow, and the debris destroyed in two. By the third blow, the air was burning to produce a vacuum. From then on, it couldn't be seen with the human eyes. When measuring with time, each blow took a fraction of a second. The bombardment which could destroy a mountain crashed into Invidia's body.

    "Hrmm."

    Before that destructive power, Invidia's sword flashed.

    Zest's Style Space Cut.

    Broken Space―Thin Air Cut.

    This was the technique that had blocked Theodore's heatwave in the past. A section of space was cut, blocking any physical forces. Then Invidia's sword moved again.

    Delkur's Defense Method.

    Immutability―Impregnable Wall.

    Temporarily cutting space wouldn't be able to completely prevent the destructive power, so he would strengthen his defenses with other Aura Abilities. Simultaneously, a dark aura appeared in front of Invidia's body and blocked all of Veronica's blows. The space trembled, and the clouds above their heads were torn apart!

    Nevertheless, the wall of darkness didn't collapse easily. However, Veronica wasn't Invidia's only enemy.

    "―Your back is exposed." Randolph's double swords flashed behind the emperor.

    Kakiing.

    There was no chance to use a hidden technique. However, there was no need for anything other than strength to kill. With his speed, Randolph could stab at Invidia's vital spots. Then Randolph's two arms moved.

    His right hand aimed for Invidia's neck, shoulders, ribs, and side, while his left hand aimed for Invidia's temple, clavicle, wrist and abdomen. The speed didn't leave any afterglows and couldn't be reacted to.

    "It is fast, but that is all," Invidia spoke a few words and struck back.

    Ainz Round Sword Style.

    Mirror―Imitation.

    Just like a mirror, he deflected all of Randolph's attacks, launching eight strikes to block all of them. It was the ability of Ludo Ainz, known to be the backbone of the Seven Swords from 200 years ago. However, Randolph didn't know this and was hit in his abdomen by Invidia's kick.

    "Kuheeok!"

    There were still two people. Edwin and Ellaim hid their nervousness and started their distinctive breathing. It was to call the high ranking water and wind elementals. The two guardians who used the spear and bow were veterans who defended the outskirts of Elvenheim. The problem was just that the other person was more of a monster.

    "What, my legs?"

    "You aren't the only one who knows lost skills."

    Invidia used Delkur's shadow ability to completely stop Ellaim from moving. As their mobility was stopped, Invidia slowly and vertically raised his sword in his hand.

    'This...!' Theodore was the only one who responded.

    He had recent experience fighting 'him', so his instincts made him revolve his circles faster than anyone else.

    Pan Helliones' Super Heavy Sword.

    1st type, Earth Break.

    Shortly afterward, aura fell down like a meteor.

    *     *     *

    Kwarururung!

    There was a landslide. No, it was too moderate to call it that. The lava on the ground soared into the clouds, and the earth was turned upside down, forming a huge basin in the middle of the mountain. It was like a giant, that was several kilometers in height, had stomped their feet as hard as possible.

    Pan Helliones possessed a strong destructive power, but it wasn't enough to destroy a mountain range like this.

    "...How can we win against that monster?"

    Theodore barely pulled out the two elves with Fluidization and looked at the devastation. If he had been half a beat late, Edwin or Ellaim would've literally been smashed.

    'Perhaps if it wasn't for Blundell's assistance, I would be too late.'

    Theodore didn't miss the moment Invidia's body turned black and white as time was stopped for a moment just as the sword was about to fall.

    Time Stop, the original ultimate magic used for victory could only stop the enemy for a moment? As Gluttony said, the ultimate magic to not have much effect on grimoires that were already at the 6th stage.

    Blundell's Time Stop was a big help because unlike Veronica's destructive power, he could assist in the direction of the fight.

    'No, even so...'

    Too strong. His super-sensitivity was still a mess, but Theodore had passed the threshold of life and death many times and realized there was no chance.

    'Not power or speed. He has used six or seven Aura Abilities. If I assume that there are dozens more... we don't stand a chance.'

    It might be possible if only one Aura Ability was used at a time, but he was a monster who could combine several abilities. Were the legendary grandmasters like this?

    -No, not a grandmaster.

    Gluttony firmly denied Theodore's words.

    -Well, if we only consider the output, he has long surpassed a grandmaster. However, you are overlooking the most important part.

    'The output is more than a grandmaster? What is the difference?'

    -It is the difference in 'standing.' I would like to explain more but... please be prepared. He is coming again.

    'Dammit!'

    Invidia was coming again. "Is it up to here? Then it is my turn."

    Theodore felt something. Invidia's blade greatly bent and took an unknown shape. It was a 3D shape that couldn't be recognized by the senses of a creature. Then Theodore shivered with a sense of discomfort as Invidia used a special technique without hesitation.

    Triple Compound Hidden Technique.

    It was the combination of three Aura Abilities that Invidia had obtained from three slaughtered sword masters.

    Broken Space―Cut to Pieces.

    Refraction―The End of the World.

    Maze―Decisive Stage of Labyrinthos.

    It was the extreme space cut that could damage a high ranking demon, as well as a refraction sword that crushed the bent space itself. In addition to those, it combined the 'Labyrinth' ability which allowed Invidia to rebuild space freely.

    Kill, kill, and kill.

    How many people could survive in this space where three types of deaths coexisted? It was a technique that Blundell couldn't afford to take on alone!

    'Shit, I can't escape with all my limbs intact...!'

    Theodore could escape if he sacrificed his left arm.  Then it happened when Theodore faced the approaching hell.

    Clang! There was a loud sound that came from an unknown place.

    "...Eh?" Theodore's eyes widened. All of the hellish attacks had disappeared without a trace.

    Invidia stared at someone with an interested look. "How did a 7th circle magician penetrate this...? It is those eyes. The Empty Eyes are the nemesis of the labyrinth. I will leave you alive and pull out your eyeballs."

    "...Kuk."

    The one who suffered damage and the one unaffected were the opposite of what had been expected. The blood that flowed down from Orta's mask proved that he had paid a considerable price. It was difficult to break down Invidia's technique even with the transcendent power of his eyes. Furthermore, he wouldn't be able to block the next technique with his Empty Eyes.

    In this increasingly unfavorable situation, someone whispered in Theodore's ear, [Kid, do you have any countermeasures?]

    [T-Tower Master?] Theodore didn't look back despite his surprise, as he lowered his voice and replied to her, [...Why are you saying this to me?]

    It might be different in a normal situation, but right now, there were many suspicious things about Theodore. He was being called brother by Invidia, and no hostility was shown toward him. Invidia had even said that they would talk later.

    If it wasn't for this urgent situation, it wouldn't be strange if he was arrested and interrogated. Then why did Veronica ask him if he had any countermeasures?

    Veronica made a sound like she heard something ridiculous and sent her voice to him again, [Hah! There are many things I want to ask, but there is no one here who thinks you are an enemy. How long do you think we've watched you, fool?]

    [...Thank you.]

    [Ah, stop talking about this embarrassing story! So? Have you thought of something? If this continues, we will definitely lose. Suggest anything.]

    Theodore was troubled for a moment. Then he thought of a last resort. However, in order to carry out this method, somebody's sacrifice was needed.

    "...I need time."

    "How much?"

    "5 minutes―no, 3 minutes."

    "3 minutes..." Veronica narrowed her eyes.  Frankly speaking, this confrontation was being maintained by the opponent's whim. They wouldn't be able to hold on for 3 minutes if he really wanted to kill them.

    In such a situation, 3 minutes was impossible. However, this made Veronica even more convinced by Theodore.

    "It is hard, but isn't this good?"

    "...Tower Master?"

    "This time, I will show you a wonderful appearance! Don't be late with your preparations."

    Theodore's hairs rose as she stepped out without hesitation. Strategically, it was ridiculous for her to face the opponent alone. Due to that, Invidia didn't attack immediately.  He opened his mouth with a strange look, "Red hybrid dragon. What are your intentions?"

    "What are my intentions?"

    "Surely you can see the difference in strength. What are you going to do by yourself?"

    "Hmm, how about this form?" Veronica threw off her red robe, revealing her solid and well-trained body. It was a feat that required a lot of courage to do in front of a monster like Invidia. Then at that moment...

    Duguen! It was the sound of a heart beating, and it came from Veronica's body. The air seemed to shake. It was like a giant drum-like sound. Dugeun, dugeun. A strange shockwave emerged with Veronica in the center.

    "3 minutes... That is the limit of my time," Veronica murmured in a grim voice as she tucked her hair behind her ear.

    Then Invidia was able to see it. "...Hoh?"

    In Veronica's eyes, there were golden dragon pupils, not human ones.
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