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Chapter 295 – Reproduction of Myths (3)

    Chapter 295 - Reproduction of Myths (3)

    The wind stopped blowing for a long period of time, and there was a huge vacuum of calm bathed in light. The light that couldn't be recognized by the eyes of mortals, the light of the God-King Nuada, spread out all over the world.

    Before long, the brilliant light subsided.

    The sky, which had been bright enough to prevent people from opening their eyes, recovered its color. Claimhb Solais had already lost the shape of the sun and returned to Nuada's grasp.

    [...This.] Nuada looked down at the thing penetrating him. [Manannán mac Lir's god sword, Fragarach.]

    As the sun settled down, the sword had penetrated through the glare and lodged into Nuada's heart. It was a blue-black short sword, similar to a dagger. This was a sword which couldn't be blocked by any armor or shield, never missing. It was a sacred sword that the elf king in the past had been reluctant to part with, despite the many treasures he had.

    It could be used to attack, but its true value was revealed in counterattacks.

    [Sigh, was I too hasty?]

    Fragarach was a famous sword, but Nuada was also a god-king. He wasn't an opponent that could be defeated with one god-weapon.

    In this case, the mistake Nuada had made was the problem.

    Fragarach was a counter weapon which absorbed the power of the opponent's attack and returned it with more power. The 'revenge' that was added to Claimhb Solais's mighty power wasn't something the summoned Nuada could endure.

    The limit of the summoning time and the last trump card that Invidia had prepared caused this result.

    However, Invidia wasn't entirely lucky. At the point when Claimhb Solais had fallen, Invidia's body had turned into a charcoal-like mass of human form. It was because Fragarach's counter ability couldn't bear all of Nuada's power. If Nuada was in a more complete form, this outcome might've been reversed due to Invidia's current state.

    [In the end, everything is an excuse.]

    It was ugly to make excuses when the match was over. Nuada accepted his defeat. Anyway, his time limit was over the moment he got his heart pierced by Fragarach. He had been invited by an unexpected call, and it was now time for the guest to leave.

    Nuada's body started fading from his toes upward. He touched Fragarach which was stuck in his chest and muttered with a bitter smile, [You were used to defend a coward. It is a tough fate for you as well.]

    Kuuong...

    As if in response, Fragarach cried out once and was destroyed first. Then Nauda turned his eyes proudly toward the person he hated. [First of all, congratulations, Invader. It is your victory.]

    "...Dis-app-ear...!"

    [Well, don't be in a rush. I will leave a prophecy.]

    To the person whose vocal cords were badly damaged, Nuada left his last greeting and disappeared. It was a curse under the name of a prophecy.

    [This is the last victory that you can enjoy.]

    *     *     *

    At that moment...

    "Nuada. He was defeated?" Theodore was able to tell straight away when Nuada disappeared from the material world.  The light of the summoning circle under his feet scattered, and the recoil from the summoning momentarily paralyzed his circles. It would take 5 seconds for his magic power circulation to recover normally.

    The two masters heard Theodore's words and reorganized their postures, staring in the direction of the explosion. Even at that moment, they didn't know what would happen next. Their response was commendable.

    "―Lowlives."

    However, it had no meaning in front of their opponent.

    Jeeeong!

    Randolph reflexively responded to the approach, but he was thrown away along with his two swords. With one kick, his two arms were bent and his ribs broken. Even if the attack was blocked, it was a deadly hit.

    Setting aside as to whether it was good or bad, the unit of power was just too different. Randolph realized the cruel reality as his consciousness became blurred.

    '...R-Run aw...ay, Theo...' Randolph flew back several hundred meters and barely gasped out before fainting. However, his condition was good compared to Veronica's.

    "Keok, kuuock, ah, kuoooock..."

    Both of her shoulders and thighs were cut deeply. Her flesh and muscles were split apart, and it was serious enough to reach the nerves and bones. Additionally, Invidia was holding the helpless Veronica by her neck.

    A vein appeared on the back of his hand as he increased his strength. Veronica gathered her magic power to fight back. However, she wasn't in her draconic state, so she hit her limit by protecting her neck bones.

    It was an annihilation.

    Theodore barely recovered from his paralysis and roared wildly as he saw his companions being brutally trampled on by Invidia.

    "You've ruined my task up to here, Gluttony!"

    Theodore saw Invidia's face and stopped breathing. '...It is a horrible appearance.'

    His face was half melted, and his armor had lost its shape. He still hadn't recovered from fighting with Nuada. Based on his presence, he only had 3% of his power left. Nevertheless, Invidia's power was absolute. Whenever he growled with fury, the space around him twisted, cutting off the connection between the circles and mana.

    This monster was still transcendent! Theodore was unable to move as he looked at the captured Veronica with bitter and sad eyes.

    "Hu, I see." At that moment, Invidia's low and venomous voice rang out. "It seems like this hybrid is important to your host."

    "...Wait!"

    "This is the punishment for hindering this body. Enjoy the taste of despair."

    It happened before Theodore could reply.

    Puk!

    A blade pierced through Veronica's heart.

    "Aaaaack!"

    "Veronica!"

    After thrusting his sword several times, Invidia threw her body away like it was garbage. Blood flowed from her mouth and chest as she flew in a parabola. Theodore immediately grabbed her body, but Veronica's eyes were blurring rapidly. Her golden eyes were clouded as she gazed up at him gently.

    "...Ah... Kid..."

    "Don't say anything! Your injury is severe!"

    Theodore forgot about the presence of Invidia before him and quickly moved his hands. There wasn't a specific injury site. Veronica's heart and surrounding blood vessels were torn like rags. A lethal amount of blood was flowing out in seconds. It wasn't possible to regenerate even if a cardinal was present.

    'I don't have healing magic! If this continues...'

    Invidia was just watching. They couldn't escape from him even if Theodore revived Veronica. Then Theodore came up with the idea of using an elixir.

    After a moment, Theodore reached out his hand. "Veronica, open your mouth."

    "Hup...um...!"

    He carefully brought the edge of the bottle to her mouth. It was a mortal wound, so he had to be very careful when pouring in a drop so that she could swallow. This was an elixir, a legendary remedy that could buy a castle with just one drop.

    Theodore didn't hesitate to pour the whole bottle into Veronica's mouth. He understood the pros and cons, but he couldn't leave her to die. What did Gluttony think about this decision? Did it think Theodore was stupid?

    However, Theodore couldn't care less.

    "...Uhh..."

    "Ah."

    Veronica's flesh was growing back in real time. The blood pouring out from the hole in her chest stopped, and her torn heart recovered its original shape.

    Indeed, the elixir was a miracle medicine which could restore any injury as long as there was one breath left in the body. Just when he was feeling deeply relieved at the sight of color returning to Veronica's cheeks, Theodore heard a voice.

    "Hoh, an elixir. You have a rare thing."

    "What are you going to do?"

    "What?" Invidia laughed like he heard something funny. "Didn't I kindly teach you? I told you to enjoy the taste of despair."

    "...What?"

    While Theodore was confused by the words...

    Puhak!

    Blood surfaced from Veronica's wound again. Her body started twitching from the shock, and Theodore looked at Veronica's injury to figure out what had happened.

    The heart repaired by the elixir was once again torn apart.

    "The soul of the hybrid was specifically cut with the 'Destruction' Aura Ability," Invidia mocked Theodore's devastating face, telling him the whole story. "The elixir is a great remedy, but its healing power is ultimately limited to physical damage. Once the soul is broken, the body can't be fixed anymore. Do you realize your plight now?"

    "You-You son of a bitch...!"

    "How do you feel now that you can neither save a dying woman nor retaliate against me? Are you resentful? Are you miserable? Do you know how stupid it is to face this body? Either way, it is good. This is punishment for not knowing your place."

    Theodore felt nauseous as he confronted the nature of 'Envy' and gave up.

    It was better to commit suicide than to beg for mercy from this damn monster. This was the same for Veronica. The elixir still remained, so the wound was healing repeatedly. However, it had a time limit of 10 minutes.

    He hadn't realized it at first because of the urgent situation, but the wound was the same as Zest's injury. An injury caused by the power to destroy the soul... it required a 9th circle magician to heal it.

    '...Gluttony, please.'

    -Are you serious? Gluttony, who had been silent until now, finally spoke up.

    'You know that this is the only way.'

    Gluttony didn't respond to Theodore's words. Instead, it began to prepare for the task planned out in advance. Theodore Miller was going to bet it all on the gamble of a lifetime.

    '...Well, Sister will surely be angry if she knows.'

    Theodore stroked her face, that was struggling with the pain, and decided.

    In order to save Veronica and Randolph... In order to destroy the bastard in front of him... For Blundell, who sacrificed his life to earn a few seconds, and for the magicians who died terrible deaths...

    Theodore would bet his life this time.

    "Why are you so quiet? Did you give up?"

    The biggest mistake Envy made was giving Theodore time because he wanted to inflict more pain on Theodore. It was coincidence, but it was inevitable. As Nuada Airgetlám had warned, Invidia's nature led to his deadly predicament.

    Theodore continued with his silence, while a mouth appeared on the palm of his left hand.

    -Stupid.

    "You are finally speaking, Brother? But it is too late. Even if you beg me to save your host..."

    -Think in advance, my foolish brother.

    What was Invidia's response? Then the moment he was about to speak...

    ['Death's Worship' has been consumed.]

    [Jerem's spirit has awakened. The mental suppression has failed, and the flesh is taken over by the object name, 'Jerem'.]

    [Understanding of magic and mana control has greatly increased.]

    A black fog emerged from Theodore's body after he consumed Death's Worship, which had always been in a corner of his inventory. Theodore gained the power of death to kill all living things, the magic of the end.

    The confused Invidia reached out with his sword, but the dark fog swallowed up and polluted the area. The darkness, like an abyss, sat heavily on the earth. It was a 'land of death' Invidia shouldn't be in contact with since he was a parasitic grimoire that relied on the host's body.

    This was the 8th circle domination magic, Erebos. And at the center of the fog, Theodore opened his eyes.

    "...Huhat." It was unpleasant laughter.  He was like a malicious spirit as he spat out phlegm and laughed.

    Then Theodore's lake-blue eyes became bloody.

    The two powers, Aquila's blood and the Ring of Muspelheim, still circulated in his heart. However, unlike before, there were now eight circles. After accepting the soul of the 9th circle magician Jerem, this wall was forcibly broken.

    Theodore's body shook a few times before Jerem expressed his ecstatic joy, "Hahahahaha! You finally called me! This is me! The king of the end! Good. This Jerem will grant your wish!"

    This was the best. Jerem was completely revived after a few hundred years, but this flesh was a dish truly worthy of turning into an undead. Divinity, dragon's blood, Umbra, and two grimoires...!

    If Jerem used this body, he could restore his full capabilities in a month. Unlike Theodore, who didn't fully utilize his powers, Jerem was a transcendent magician of the 9th circle.

    "Come, gather! My faithful servants!" Once Jerem raised his voice, four figures emerged from the shadows around him.

    They were the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

    The four riders-a beauty in white robes, a young man in red armor, an old man leaning on a staff, and a monster with his body wrapped in bandages-ignored Invidia and prostrated themselves before Jerem.

    "White Knight Hipatia greets the king."

    "Red Knight Elohim greets the king."

    "Black Knight Delos greets the king."

    "...Pale Rider greets the king."

    Jerem's eyes flashed with madness as he accepted the greetings of the four horsemen.

    Then he glanced at his enemy, Invidia, without shaking.

    A few years ago, it had been the same in the Miller Barony. In order to completely dominate the host's body, the fastest and most efficient way was to eliminate all grudges left behind by the host. Theodore wanted to save his two companions and destroy Invidia, so...

    "Make that insolent fellow kneel before me!"

    The moment that Jerem spoke, the four horsemen raised their heads.

    "I permit the manifestation in the name of Jerem!"

    Simultaneously, the four riders regained their original strength which had been sealed for centuries.

    Kiaaaaaah―――!

    Kihihihi!

    Ku...hu...hu...hu!

    The body of the White Knight, the beautiful Hipatia, became half-transparent, and she let out a terrible scream.

    This was the apex of the undead, the terror-wight!

    It was the scream that could destroy the minds of thousands of people and even turn the bodies of sword masters into puppets. Even Invidia got goosebumps from the scream.

    Hipatia wasn't the only one who changed. Red Knight Elohim turned into a vampire lord, and Black Knight Delos became an arch lich. They were senior undead that could threaten even 8th circle magicians. The Pale Rider's appearance didn't change, but the evil energy flowing from him increased even more.

    "Kill him."

    In front of the four monsters, the worst warlock of this material world sentenced Invidia to death.
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