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Chapter 308 - Lairon, the Last Day (3)

    Chapter 308 - Lairon, the Last Day (3)

    Kwarururung! A thunderous rumble rang out in the middle of the city.

    The bell tower was hit by blue lightning and collapsed. There was also a statue made by many sculptors, as well as a hall where people sat and listened to the word of God. Debris scattered every time the lightning struck. In order to resist this ruthless destruction, a power equivalent to it was needed.

    However, the city didn't have the strength to resist the invaders. The invaders appeared in the sky without any warning, and poured fire and lightning from it, burying the inhabitants under the ruins of the buildings. This power which treated humans as ants contained explosive power comparable to that of natural disasters.

    Nevertheless, there were no casualties caused by this disaster. He couldn't describe people who had already died a while ago as being killed once again.

    'Damn. Even if that is the case, it doesn't feel good.'

    From amidst the clouds in the sky, Theodore looked down at the ground with bitter eyes. The zombies and ghouls had been humans not long ago. Theodore buried them under the dirt and destroyed the ground where they had lived. In his mind, he knew that this was something necessary, but he couldn't stop the negative emotions rising inside him.

    Kwaaaaang!

    There was a similar explosion in the distance. Buildings collapsed, and flames rose into the clouds. The person who caused this heat quickly flew in Theodore's direction. With red robe and red hair, the magician-Veronica-stopped near Theodore. "Phew, is this the 13th one? Are you almost done?"

    "...I cut all the big branches. The undead won't spread any more and clearing the rest will be left to the others," Theodore spoke in a dry voice. "The great magic circle that covers all of Lairon... Based on the churches in each estate, the consciousness of the living dead spreads like a spider web. Certainly, the idea and structure of it is genius. However, it is hard to defend if it is too big."

    It had been four days since Theodore and Veronica entered Lairon after leaving the Albert territory. If they had been flying in a straight line, it would've taken less than a day. However, they had chosen to go around to some territories instead of going straight to the divine king's palace.

    That was due to the large amount of magic power consumed by flying at high speed, as well as something they realized while crossing the kingdom. It was the ritual magic, Pluto's Palace. This magic existed in the knowledge that Jerem left behind in Theodore. A necromancer had set a range for the spell, and all creatures inside it couldn't resist the magic, turning into undead. According to records, it was a massive black magic spell that ranged from an area of tens of square meters to hundreds of square kilometers depending on the caster's abilities.

    'I've somewhat grasped it now. The false god, Lairon's identity... Additionally, the magic circle of living dead that reversed their faith.'

    Theodore still couldn't be certain, but he considered his speculation as fact.

    After all, he was the magician who knew more about the Age of Mythology than anyone else currently alive and who also had a contract with an ancient elemental. In the process, Theodore had trained his intuitive powers, including his super sensitivity.

    'The remains of the light are probably a god that has died, an expression signifying a divinity that has lost its master.'

    A divinity without a master was innocuous by itself, but it changed when it became the possession of another being. Using an analogy, the churches in each Lairon estate were wells, and the divinity was the source of water flowing into the wells. If Jerem became the master of that divinity, Lairon would become a demon and the water would be poisoned. Those who wanted their god's blessing would fall prey to the black magic at once.

    Then Veronica spoke to the worried Theodore, "Well, isn't that why we went after the weaknesses? Even if we can't pull out the roots, we can hit the branches. By destroying all the points of the magic circle that are nodes, the situation won't worsen."

    "But it isn't a solution. We need to go to the divine king's palace in order to resolve this completely."

    Cutting off the thick branches could prevent the growth of twigs, but if the roots remained, the branches would just grow again. In the end, they needed to destroy the magic circle that was maintaining the roots-Pluto's Palace. It was obvious that the magic circle was probably at the center of the kingdom, the divine king's palace that was the symbol of the church.

    The place where the 'remains of the light' that Heathcliff had predicted was also likely to be at the divine king's palace.

    "...Veronica, what is the condition of your body?"

    "Yes?" Veronica cocked her head at the abrupt question of concern.

    "From now on, I'm going to increase the speed. If possible, I would like to arrive at the divine king's castle by sunset today. Is that okay?"

    Theodore didn't need to hurry so much, but there was a small possibility that the great magic circle would go out of control. No, it was highly possible if Jerem had predicted this situation.

    "Ha! Do you know who you are asking?" Veronica's robe moved in the wind as she puffed up his chest.

    The sunlight behind her illuminated the shade of her robe, making the curves of her sensual body more defined. It was unknown if Veronica saw Theodore's red face or not as she smiled confidently.

    "I'm Veronica. It was when I was younger, but I am the magician who crossed the continent using flying magic. The distance to the divine king's castle is 200 kilometers? I can arrive there in an hour and still have enough magic power to fight."

    "T-That is reassuring." Theodore's eyes were drawn elsewhere before he nodded and turned around.

    He was a magician of the 8th circle, making it possible for him to fly as fast as Veronica. So, he didn't need to fly in her arms like he used to. However, Theodore was soon grabbed by a pair of arms. "Veronica...?"

    Veronica deliberately pressed herself against his back and whispered in his ear,  "By the way, Theo, do you want me to teach you one thing?"

    "What?"

    "Women are very sensitive to the eyes of men. Just before, it was like my skin was being licked... If you look at someone like that, most reactions are divided into two types."

    If they didn't like the person, it would be severe discomfort. Or―

    "―Are you trying to test my patience?"

    The atmosphere would heat up if they liked the person. Veronica's golden eyes were like molten iron. Having a red dragon's blood meant she was easily swept up by emotions, and passion boiled in her body.

    "I will accept it anytime if you ask me. But Theo isn't ready yet. So, you should be careful, yes?"

    "...I understand."

    "This is the punishment."

    Immediately after that, flaming wings appeared behind Veronica.

    "Be in this state until we reach the divine king's palace, okay?"

    Theodore had no choice but to nod. His answer wouldn't make a difference.

    *     *     *

    It took exactly one hour for them to reach the divine king's palace. Even a well-trained horseman would take four hours to travel 200 kilometers, and a hippogriff, famous for its speed, would take two hours. With Veronica's magic, Blaze Wing, they traveled at a speed that was made possible by releasing the innate natural power of fire to obtain a tremendous momentum.

    "Ah, we've arrived." Veronica slowed down and looked at the grounds of the divine king's palace.

    Theodore was then released from her arms. He looked around him with a bit of regret.

    'This is the capital of Lairon, the divine king's palace?'

    It was the first time he had seen it. In the books, it had been described as a city made of pure white marble that shone with a divine golden light. There were many people who didn't like the Lairon Church and the kingdom, but there was no one who didn't admire it.

    "In my eyes, it looks like the palace from a storybook."

    Theodore was half joking and half serious. His spiritual vision saw a mysterious energy rising from the palace into the sky. The smooth white walls and shining gates were intact, but the ones guarding them were undead. There was a red light that shone wickedly in the dark fog, making it a land of death.

    It was a castle of the dead that denied access to the living. The concentration of black magic here was incomparable to how it had been in all the other territories Theodore and Veronica traveled to previously. The vegetation that stretched out for several kilometers around the castle was dry and dead, while uninjured beasts were rotting.

    "Theo, how many enemies do you detect?"

    "...I don't see any signs of Jerem or the four horsemen. There are at least 100,000 undead. There are at least 1,000 intermediate undead. This scale is equivalent to 100 units."

    Theodore used Mitra and Hugin to accurately determine how many undead were in the castle. What about at the center of the magic circle? There were 13 senior undead and 1,000 intermediate undead that could function as command objects.  The number of undead gathered here would be enough to wipe out one or two small countries.

    "What should we do?"

    "Um." Theodore was troubled for a moment. "Well, it shouldn't be a problem."

    "Right?"

    They were unexplained words. The two magicians exchanged words and stepped forward carelessly. It was a cool stride as they stood shoulder to shoulder. They were master class magicians that dominated the mana around them. Once the two 8th circle magicians approached, the black magic was pushed back like a wave.

    Huuuuuuong!

    That change immediately attracted the attention of the undead occupying the castle. The skeleton archers on the walls loaded their poison arrows, while the lich created dozens of fireballs. They intended to launch the attacks as soon as the enemies came into range.

    Then the two magicians stopped walking.

    "Me first? Or you?"

    "At the same time. The walls look quite thick."

    "But I think it is overkill. Well, okay."

    Theodore looked in the same direction and started rotating his eight circles. In any case, there were no survivors inside. Furthermore, there was no way for the Lairon Kingdom to revive now that it had been completely destroyed. He should destroy the enemies as efficiently as possible.

    Memorize.

    Three Slots Open.

    That was enough. Theodore calculated the walls of the divine king's palace and the destructive power needed. Veronica also called upon her own unique magic, the Explosion Sword.

    "Lightning Spear Keraunos."

    Theodore cried out.

    The 7th circle lightning magic, named after the weapon of the ancient god, appeared next to Theodore.

    Paijijik! Pajik! Pajijijik!.

    One spear had dozens of lightning bolts compressed in it.

    Due to the nature of lightning, the range was somewhat lacking compared to Veronica's Explosion Sword. However, the intensity of the power concentrated on one point was more overwhelming than Explosion Sword. Even if it was blocked by a titanium shield, the spear would still penetrate the shield.

    It was attack magic which walls that lacked divine power wouldn't be able to withstand.

    "This is why I said it was overkill," Veronica grumbled while lining up three swords near Theodore.

    There was a total of six weapons. The swords made of fire and the lightning aimed at the castle. In the aftermath, the ground melted and the atmosphere became heated, creating a haze around the two magicians. They breathed out and cried almost simultaneously.

    "Go!""Fire!"

    At the same time, the six spells shot forward.

    Kuooooh!

    The lightning turned into a ray of light and traveled over the ground, creating a strong wind. It burned those it passed by, while the wind swirled like a storm, causing a lot of dust to rise. This terrible phenomenon was trivial compared to the real attack.

    Six strands of light flashed in succession! This was the only precursor to the swords and lightning striking the divine king's castle. Then they landed.

    ――――――――――――――!!!

    There was a loud roar, and the walls guarding the heart of the kingdom were shattered horribly. The broken stone fragments evaporated on the spot, and the undead courageously blocking the two magicians crumbled. It was a blow that signaled the end of the Lairon Kingdom, of those who borrowed the god's power without knowing the true story.
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