The Amber Sword - v3c243




The silhouette disappeared. Brendel hesitated before he raised Halran Gaia and chased after it. The endless passage was illuminated by the soft glow of the Stone in his hands. The walls were plastered with a type of cement that was commonly seen in most dungeons to waterproof them.

The youth's footsteps resonated louder, proving that there was a large cavity ahead. Brendel slowed down just to see the silhouette flashed in front of his face and fired two spikes of crystal at him.

"Fuck!" He slashed in the air and shattered the crystal projectiles. He gritted his teeth and brushed his arms. He cursed in Marsha’s name that the monster's strength was too ridiculous. Seeing that his attack had failed, the monster retreated. Albeit slow, it hid in the shadows and quickly disappeared.

Brendel swore furiously and chased the monster. But after a few steps, he halted and looked back that the corridor he came from with the Stone in his hands. Apparently, he had made it past the corridor and is not in the chamber he saw earlier.

The area was an open hall filled with tall pillars. The light from the Stone did not even cover one percent of the entire area. The floor alternated between black and white slabs of rocks. Besides the smears and cracks on the ground, it was evident that the place was once a majestic place.

“...”

He could not help but hold his breath. The place did not resemble that of a catacomb, unlike one befitting a king. “Eh?” The ground and the lower half of the pillars were filled with strange patterns. At first, he thought it was some kind of artistic murals, but upon a closer look, he discovered that they were grooves with mithril cast into them.

Brendel's hand trembled. He nearly used Halran Gaia to dig out the mithril for himself. But he held back. After all, he knew that there was only one thing that it could be used with for- a Magic Formation.

Stopping to study the room, he found the silent and vast darkness seemed to contain some sort of mystical energy, and he was at a loss of words for a moment: this entire corridor is actually a giant Magical Formation! He recalled his experience in the Everwinter Hall, a sanctuary blessed by the Goddess of the Northern Winds, Jubius. That divine territory was protected by four statues of that Goddess, with several kilometers of golden runes to cast a neverending cold wind. And surprisingly, those runes were similar to the ones he was seeing in the tomb.

With nothing could be heard, nor seen for miles, the place resembled a graveyard. And the runes that were carved on the ground felt that they had lost their purpose.

"Just what kind of place is this?" Brendel subvocalized. He traced the runes into the deeper parts of the hall, his footsteps echoing darkness, appearing to be a small light moving across a dark world.

Legends had it that the Everwinter Sanctuary was very far away, secluded from the rest of the world in the Evermist Mountains. And how would that make this place? Who could build such majestic structures?

"Orthlyss, you have any idea about it?"

“Never heard nor known about it.” Orthlyss's voice was riled with curiosity, "but the origins of this place seems to be pretty important. The runes look like they are even older than me. You lucky brat, to have found such a place randomly without even trying to.”

Brendel smiled dryly.

"Be on alert. That thing is approaching." Orthlyss's voice tautened.

"That 'thing'?" Brendel quickly understood her meaning. It was the Crystal Wight. He cursed and was about to look back, but was stopped by Orthylss, "Don't turn around and keep walking forward. Wait for my signal." 

Brendel's eyes lit up. The monster was really familiar with the place. It would be troublesome to deal with it if it wanted to play a game of hide and seek with them. However, if he followed Orthylss’s judgment, he might actually manage to finish the guy off.

He agreed to Orthlyss's suggestion, leaving his safety completely in her arms. The two of them had overcome many troubles before, there was no way she would harm him. He walked slowly, his footsteps were rhythmic, like a metronome. He placed his hand on his sword sheath. While he looked as if he was observing the surroundings, he placed his focus behind him, at the monster.

Not long after, Orthylss's voice rang in his ears, "Turn to your left. It's right behind the third pillar!"

Brendel's reaction speed was superb. Halran Gaia was sent throwing with all his strength. A spear of white light split the pillar with a loud explosion and an inhuman scream followed soon after. A figure moved out of the rubble, but it was evident to be injured as he was moving slower.

"No, you're not doing it again!" Brendel was about to curse at the thought of the monster fleeing.

He Dashed to cut off its escape, picking up his sword in the meantime. The monster was limping on three limbs when he came close. No wonder. It must have been caused by the attack just now. Brendel thought. However, he was not the sort of person to pity it and thus stabbed at the monster.

Although it had a ridiculous amount of strength, its defense and agility were unexpectedly low. Usually, Brendel would have more trouble dealing with BOSSes, but he should have easily bypassed the Wight’s defense. His sword began to glow, an indicator that the Stabbing skill was active.

There was no way for the Crystal Wight to avoid his attack. But a card suddenly appeared on its chest and a wave of energy burst out and clashed with Halran Gaia's sharp tip.

"A Card of Fate?!" Brendel startled and created an opening for the Wight to knock the word off his hands.

Brendel rolled backward, ignoring the numbness on his right hand. He used his left to activate his own Card of Fate, the Sun Blade, manifesting a physical flaming sword that shot through the air to pierce the Crystal Wight's chest.

The entire room fell silent.

Then cracks appeared from the center of the wound and spread outwards. It struggled towards Brendel as if he was out for revenge, but after a few steps, its entire constitution shattered into fragments.

Both Brendel and Orthlyss were stunned, disbelieving the fact that the battle was over so fast.

Brendel sighed with relief and checked out the Sun Blade card. It had dulled in color, but he was not concerned about it, or the fact that he could not reactivate the card until the crisis was over, but rather the fact that it held so much destructive power.

The Sun Blade was never a powerful card, but it's effective in dealing with the undead. And besides that, he was surprised to see the Wight using a Card, thinking that he was fighting against a powerful Planewalker. After all, there was Ciel's warning from before as well. But it seemed to be a false alarm.

Why is the contrast between reality and expectation so big?

Brendel took several more moments to compose himself before noticing a notification in the corner of his eyes.

- Elite Boss "Half-crystallized Leder" killed. Player Brendel receives 72310 XP. [T/L: Leder is a name. And yes, I thought I misread as well.]

"Half-crystallized Leder? It was actually a Boss NPC?" 

He rushed over to the remains and scavaged for something, stopping only when he found it.

A silver-colored Card was lying among the crystals, glittering as he picked it up.

Brendel was troubled. How did the monster know how to use a Card? As Tuman said, only a Planeswalker can perceive the relation of the Laws with the Cards. So a normal human or monster should not be able to use it.

 Brendel absentmindedly rubbed his numb arm. He picked up the silver-colored Card that signified its rarity - as well as its cost-efficiency. Silver Elf Medissa was such a case. With only 15 points, it was his strongest card.

The Card that Brendel picked up was called "Arnold's Divine Ring". It seemed like an artifact, only to discover that it was a magic spell. 

- Arnold's Divine Ring (Paradise of Adversity XX)

- Consumes10 Light EP

- Instantaneous

- Effect: Nullifies the next attack you receive

- "Shelter."

"Another one from that deck..." Brendel immediately understood why his attack failed. After looking at the card several times, he still could not discover anything unique on the card that would allow the Crystal Wight to use the card.

It could be a Planeswalker... But that's impossible? A Planeswalker with only one card? He should have more, right?

Footsteps echoed from behind, shocking both Brendel and Orthlyss: they did not perceive its presence. It was normal for Brendel to not notice it, but Orthylss? The thousand-year being? Although she did not have a physical body, her powers did not regress much.

The enemy was probably abnormally powerful.

"Be careful." She reminded the youth in a strict tone.