“Fermoss, destroy him!” Locke roared and lunged for the grey-robed caster. The scorpiondrake howled and followed after its master, shaking the ground with every step taken.
“Damn it!” The quasi-Magister shattered the murky crystal, emitting a cloud of black mist to mask his escape. Under such pressing circumstances, retreating was the only choice. He was a fellow of the most prestigious Bone Mark branch of the Scar of the Death Bell, and one of the great geniuses who might advance as a level-one Magister among the current generation. He refused to be slaughtered by a knight and a barbaric monster. The caster had it all planned out; he’d escape, recuperate and return for revenge.
Casters were pioneers of the art of assassinations and ambushes. The grey-robed caster believed that the scorpiondrake wouldn’t stick around constantly; he’d strike when the timing was right and end Locke’s life with a spell bombardment.
“Hey, no escaping!” Locke pulled out a scroll that faintly radiated with light elemental essence. The scroll was the Prison of Light, which was one of the more valuable scrolls given by Angellina. It pained him greatly to use it since he only had three copies on hand! It was a photomancy scroll with enough power to restrain a quasi-rank elite, skillfully created by Grandmeisterin Carla at Angelina’s request. Apart from the great alchemists, Magisters above level one were the only ones capable of creating a quasi-rank mana scroll effortlessly, after all.
The Prison of Light was both used for attack and defense. In addition to the tough links of the chains of light, the light particles that disturbed the air weakened and neutralised the grey-robed caster’s attacks. Light was the nemesis of shadowmancy and necromancy.
“You’re a member of Light Rays!” The quasi-Magister screeched from within the Prison of Light. “You bastard, you’re a paladin of Light Rays! How did you infiltrate the Marharden Kingdom?!”
Locke ignored his screams, swinging his longsword at the two skeleton soldiers who blocked his path. He approached the frantic caster as Fermoss kept the other skeleton soldiers at bay. The bony minions were only as strong as mid to high-rank Knechts, and all their attacks could barely do anything against the scorpiondrake’s scales.
The grey-robed quasi-Magister unfurled three high-rank spells, finally breaking the solid construct of his confines. However, the thick cloud of photoelement particles that lingered in the air had reduced a fraction of his competence, which irritated him greatly. While he was able to break free from the Prison of Light, it didn’t mean that he had the energy to respond to Locke’s attacks. The skeletal barrier he conjured in a moment of desperation buckled against Locke’s longsword. The sword penetrated the barrier and a frail arm was sent flying away.
Locke had spent lots of energy dealing with the caster and he wouldn’t be satisfied until he landed substantial damage. The quasi-Magister paled at the sight of his lost arm. His already sunken face suddenly seemed even more lifeless than before. His dull eyes were wide with rage, heart filled with the violent urge to skin Locke alive.
The most shocking thing, however, was that gloops of black liquid were pouring out of the quasi-Magister’s wound instead of the expected red. Locke frowned, This must be another one of those casters who’d transfigured themselves. Casters who tended to transfigure themselves were typically older casters or maniacs obsessed with the pursuit of a longer lifespan and power. He’d seen plenty of them in the Sanctum.
“Okay! I get it! Your skeleton armour is more than enough to prove that you’re a knight of the Bone Mark! How about we bury the hatchet and move on?” The grey-robed caster said as he hid behind another wall of bones.
“It took you this long to say that?! You damned monster!” Locke jeered.
The word ‘monster’ seemed to be a bitter reminder of some unsavoury memories for the grey-robed caster. Despite being forced into a corner, the caster let out a hysterical roar and retaliated, conjuring a ghastly ocean of bony shields and arrows against the formidable combination of a knight and his scorpiondrake mount.
The moment of their collision shook the ground far and wide. Cultivators on the other end of the Enchanted Forest Realm could see the turbulence in the distance. Many began to distance themselves from the epicentre while some began rushing towards the battle with ulterior motives. Two of the level-one Mermerri Magisters, who were stationed here to safeguard the proceedings, had noticed the commotion as well.
“Isn’t it too early for a battle of this scale?” The Magisters peered towards the southwest. They were perched on the fluffy clouds high above the rest.
“Can you see who is behind this?” asked the other Magister. They would intervene if they found a Mermerri member in trouble. While they couldn’t force an end to the battle, they would at least try to protect their talents. They wouldn’t permit killings of their own members during an event held on their turf. Despite the intervention, the fairness of this event was still upheld and guaranteed. Those that required intervention would be disqualified right away and their points would be transferred to the victor. They were also required to surrender three of the most precious magic equipment in their spatial rings. Even so, Mermerri’s Cottage only desired recruits that’d experienced gruelling reality while those that were heavily reliant would be left to die.
“Hmph, it’s just two bastards from the Scar. They’re indeed a bunch of fools whose head has been corroded by death. I’m pretty sure this counts as a private conflict,” the Magister snorted.
“If that’s the case, it’s not our problem. Their deaths won’t amount to anything and the only loss we’ll suffer is that small plantation patch.” The other Magister sighed, “Anyway, can you identify them?”
“One of them is the Bone Chilling Yeffermun and the other… Huh, I think he’s the quasi-Ritter with the intense presence who entered last.” Surprisingly, Locke seemed to have left an impression on the Magister.
“They can fight all they want. It’ll benefit us with one less talent from the Scar.” The other laughed.
The differences in research focus and fundamental concepts between the faction was jarring. Members of Mermerri’s Cottage were keen on studying the living while the Scar of the Death Bell members were obsessed with death. Their conflict was profound and incurable. The bastards fighting in the distance were no less an interesting entertainment for the two level-one Magisters in the clouds.