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Chapter 356 - Pandemonium (3)

    Chapter 356 - Pandemonium (3)

    ―――――――――――――!!

    At the sound of the thunder, the people gathered in the darkness blocked their ears, while the shower of light blew away the darkness.

    The lightning that poured from the sky was literally a divine punishment. One blow, ten blows, one hundred blows... A number of thunderbolts, that couldn't be counted with the human eye, struck. The monsters, that had only been injured by the warriors' swords, now let out pained screams as the lightning pierced through the fog and burned the surface of the earth.

    Kwaaaaah!

    Kieeeeek!

    Even the monsters outside of the normal biological framework couldn't overcome the pain eroding their nervous system. The monsters let out deathly screams and collapsed to the ground. There was no way for their recovery ability to help, and they quickly turned to charcoal. The monsters killed by thunder fell to the ground and burned fiercely.

    Chiiiik!

    The solid soil melted like clay thanks to the boiling bodies. Of those left, a few had major seizures before falling silent. It took only 10 seconds for the 20,000 monsters to be destroyed. That was the amount of time it took for the thunderstorm to pour out from the magic circle which Theodore had created in the sky.

    "..."

    "..."

    "..."

    In front of the mountain of monsters that had become charcoal, the whole world was soaked in silence. Those who had been desperately fighting the creatures a few minutes ago looked up at Theodore and Aquilo with pale faces. The horrible monsters that filled the horizon had been killed in a few blinks of the eye. It was a situation that didn't seem realistic.

    Theodore didn't know their dismay and let out a sound on the hill, "Kuk!"

    It was because he felt strong sensations from consuming such a huge amount of magic power. If he wasn't tensed up, he might've sat down directly on the spot. The consumed magic power was quickly restored. However, it wasn't possible for him to link several ultimate spells or talk quickly yet.

    'It is a good thing I experienced it before meeting the right enemy.'

    He might be the best magician at the moment, but Theodore's experience as a transcendent was still immature. If he didn't know what he was lacking and met a transcendent enemy, he might not be able to use ultimate magic to defeat the enemy. Theodore would've died in a few seconds with a feeling of powerlessness.

    「 Blow, wind. 」

    After a short reflection, Theodore blew away the remnants of the monsters in front of him. There was no smell of blood due to the thunder, but there was the burning smell coming from the dead bodies.

    "Aquilo, fly up."

    "What? Ah, yes!" Aquilo responded one beat late as the remaining monsters came into sight. There were as many as 20,000. It was a number capable of forming two armies. There were still more monsters in the nearby mountains, but now there was none attacking the ward. It was why Theodore had defeated the leaders first.

    'By the way, it is quite good. I didn't know it when I saw it from a distance, but the ward is more efficient than magic. Shamanism can't be ignored.'

    Theodore examined the ward and raised his evaluation of modern shamans by a few stages. They might not be the same as Seimei but the current generation of shamans wasn't inferior to magicians of the same level. It might be worth exploring in earnest.

    Tak.

    The moment both of them landed on the ground...

    "S-Stop right there!" The voice was filled with obvious fear.

    Theodore turned around to see a middle-aged man in a military uniform looking at him. It didn't take long for Theodore to find the uniform in Seimei's memories.

    'Dao...ist? It is a different type of shaman from an onmyōji.'

    It wasn't common in the East Continent, but it was said there were many of them in the middle empire. Unlike other shamans, daoists were those who pursued becoming a god. There were many hypocrites, but the tendency itself was toward religion. Theodore relaxed his wariness and spoke to the daoist who was being guarded by two people, "Who are you?"

    "I-I should be the one saying that! How can you use that type of lightning treasured object? I can't open the ward until you confirm your identity!"

    "Treasured object?"

    It seemed that this daoist thought that the ultimate magic wasn't from Theodore's ability but an artifact. This was a normal reaction. In this age where no one was a transcendent, people wouldn't be looking for transcendents.

    'Well, it doesn't matter.' Theodore was convinced by the rational misjudgment and didn't feel the necessity to unravel it.

    He didn't know why this daoist was in the Baekun Mountains, but the Baekun Mountains were under the jurisdiction of the Fairy Dance Lee family. As long as Lee Seol didn't interfere directly, no one had the authority to stop Theodore. However, it would be annoying if he broke this ward.

    'Let's see.' Theodore reached out his right hand and touched the ward.

    "W-What? Stop touching it before you get hurt?" The daoist was surprised by Theodore's boldness.

    However, Theodore was busy analyzing the ward with a transcendent's insight.

    It was similar to the 'building path' of the Art of Yin and Yang Written Treatise, but it was slightly different. The blockade was based on the user's perception. It wasn't strong enough to stop master level intruders, but it had the ability to stop people from entering with force.

    However, the ward had a common weakness.

    'If it doesn't recognize the object as a target of rejection, then the exclusion function won't be activated.'

    It was the same as a password that was commonly used in the army. If a person could trick the identification method of the ward, they could come and go freely. This was the method Theodore was trying now.

    Pajijik!

    The level of the ward was quite high, but it couldn't dispel the power of Theodore who had reached the apex of a mortal. His magic reached into the core of the ward in an instant and confirmed the 'identification' function.

    'Those who are known and those who are unknown. It is a standard procedure.'

    In other words, the ward blocked any unknown presences. If so, adding an exception to this rule was enough.

    [ Except for Theodore Miller and his companions. ]

    Theodore added this sentence and grinned. Now the ward would recognize him.

    "Aquilo, hand."

    "...Do you think I am a dog?"

    "It's not like that. And you are more like a cat than a dog."

    "Is that a compliment or an insult?" Aquilo murmured but held Theodore's hand.

    Then he stepped through the translucent circle.

    Wuuong.

    Theodore unquestionably passed through the ward!

    "T-This is ridiculous!" Apparently, it was so shocking that the middle-aged man's mouth dropped open, and he sat on the ground. He shouted as he saw Theodore and Aquilo get closer, "S-Superhuman! A great master..."

    "Hoh."

    It seemed 'superhuman' was the word used to refer to transcendents. Perhaps Theodore's ability was correctly measured when he passed through the ward. It might've been better to break or bypass the ward then. Even if magic evolved in different directions, there was no difference in where they reached. The daoist master lost his soul, but the crowd suddenly parted.

    "-Theo!" A beautifully dressed lady with braided hair ran toward him.

    It was Lee Seol who had grown after five years. She hadn't neglected her training, and her steps were moderately excellent.

    "Seol."

    "You finally came! I knew you would!" Seol used the running momentum and hugged him. She was someone who had to grow up prematurely at a young age. Theodore smiled bitterly and spoke as she hugged him, "You're safe. I'm glad."

    "Hehe."

    "You have gone through a lot as head of the family. You are truly capable."

    "I am undeserving of your words."

    Theodore saw Lee Joonyoung appear behind Lee Seol and said, "Congratulations on becoming a master."

    Lee Joonyoung had crossed over the wall of a master during the time in which Theodore hadn't seen him. The once violent momentum had calmed down. Lee Joonyoung was now like the sky that could change at any time. This was the path that the martial artists of the Fairy Dance Lee family pursued.

    Maybe it was due to Lee Yoonsung's teachings but Lee Joonyoung had solidified his position as the backbone of the family.

    "There is a lot to talk about. Let's go inside."

    "Yes!"

    "I will follow your words."

    Lee Seol laughed cheerfully and walked toward the mansion with Lee Joonyoung and Theodore. Then Theodore realized something and turned back.

    Wuuuong!

    The daoist master was looking at him with astonishment. Other people might not know it, but the daoist master could sense it.

    "I supplemented some lacking parts. I increased the shielding ability against remote projectiles and encouraged the vigor of those inside the ward. The burden on you is less because it is connected to a nearby dragon vein," Theodore explained.

    "...Thank you, great one," the daoist master said.

    "The title is a bit burdensome. I also have something to talk to you about, so follow me."

    "Yes..."

    The daoist followed Theodore, while the villagers belatedly cheered that the village was safe. As if responding to their mood, the wall of the ward emitted a gentle light.

    *     *     *

    Theodore sat in the parlor of the Fairy Dance Lee mansion and drank tea while exchanging greetings. There were a few things he wanted to ask, but he refrained from speaking. In any case, the person who should explain had already been decided.

    The daoist realized this relationship and didn't hesitate. "I am called Tae Rang, in charge of enforcing the laws of the Kunlun. In order to overcome the difficulties faced by the central empire, I visited to seek assistance from old members of the Fairy Dance Lee family."

    "Kunlun?"

    "Yes. It is a fabled place that the daoists devoted their lives to gaining entrance to. It is rare for anyone to come down from the mountain, but the recent situation is too serious."

    Theodore nodded. 'The group of daoists was more powerful than I thought. Since he's a lawkeeper, this daoist must have excellent skills.'

    It meant that the power of at least three masters was secured. The daoist, Tae Rang, hesitated for a moment at Theodore's nod before suddenly getting up and saying, "Before I explain the rest of the matter, can I say something to the great one?"

    He fell on both knees and bowed, then he pleaded, "Please calm this tribulation! I heard it is an inevitable disaster but a superhuman beyond the laws of causality can overcome it! Please show mercy to the people of the center!"

    "Tae Rang."

    "Those who came before were very supportive, but destruction is upon us!" Tae Rang lifted his head as he talked.

    Theodore was surprised by the helplessness, self-doubt, and despair on the middle-aged man's face. The strife in the middle empire was enough to make a shaman with master level ability feel despair.

    "Tae Rang," Theodore called him once more before sighing. "Let me hear your explanation."

    Theodore placed the cold cup of tea to his lips and sensed it would be a long story. Despite becoming a transcendent, he still had a mountain of work to do.
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