The interwoven flame feelers burned through the treetops in a second and covered everyone under its net. But because Brendel had warned everyone beforehand, they were all prepared for it. The second the net of black flames appeared in the air, they ran either left or right to escape the spell’s area of influence. The black flames formed by dark magic descended and burned the branches until the patch of pines became burning sticks. It looked incredible -- but didn’t hurt anyone.
Even the weakest of the guards was able to escape the net of flames, though barely.
Everything happened in just a second. But for a warrior above the Silver Rank, a blink of an eye was like an eternity, long enough to have his speed become faster than a hundred yards per second.
Scarlet, Maynild, and Laurenna broke through the air at a terrifying speed, as if they formed a physical cone of air. The sharp arrows whistled through the forest grounds and the pale humanoid forms opened the black holes they had for a mouth into silent screams, as if this was how they communicated with each other. The demonic spirits turned around and their bony fingers pointed in unison at the three girls at the head of the pack.
As if they sensed each other’s thoughts, the three figures simultaneously changed directions. The trail they blazed through the forest changed and each of the black flames only hit the tree trunk behind them. All three figures worked themselves into a long arc of the same speed, but it was Laurenna who attacked first.
The moment the young female knight landed, her longsword The Pride of Arweila was already in attack mode. She pinched her lips and her blue eyes sharpened like an eagle’s. Her agile body tensed in midair like a taut string. The second she landed -- the arc of her movement through the forest straightened as if it was a string and then released like a bullet from the pistol. In a flash, a line of light shot towards the gathering of demonic spirits.
But this bright trajectory was destined to go nowhere. Its start and end point seemed to overlap into one and Laurenna simultaneously on both points. Then the Laurenna at the start faded away while the Laurenna at the end point held her sharpened blade which pierced right through the demonic spirit’s heart with its glinting silver blade.
In the forest, the glowing pale figure still had its black mouth open when a silver line flashed from the center of its chest to its back.
The attack was like a meteor passing through, but the blackened gap on the white humanoid figure proved that it had existed. Half of the demonic spirit’s body draped down unnaturally and the dark magic geysered out from the wound. The center of the wound appeared to be a small nebula that never stopped expanding and spewing out countless dark matter until it formed into a giant ring of light.
The ring of light swept through and something like an explosion blasted through the entire forest.
Everyone felt their chest tighten. “Dark magic,” the female knight said in a muffled voice, “Be careful. Looks like they release a burst of dark magic when they die. This magic will weaken us --”
Maynild and Scarlet halted at her words.
The other demonic spirits swept the black flames in their hands around and every pine tree that blocked their way burst into flames. Maynild could only back off and ask cautiously, “How large is the area? Can we find a way to dodge it?”
“I don’t know.”
“It’s about a thousand yards. There’s no way you can avoid it. Try to delay the time between killing them; magic erosion will last about 6 to 7 minutes.” Brendel’s voice came from afar.
“How do we delay the time it takes to kill them?”
Filas approached the demonic spirits right behind the three girls. He raised his head and looked up at the dense cloud of light rising through the treetop and inhaled sharply.
“Scarlet, you have to interrupt their spell first --” Brendel stared at the demonic spirits, as numerous as the stars in the summer night sky. He commanded calmly as he stood next to Ciel and the little prince, making no move to join the battle.
Because he knew he couldn’t always be on the frontline of every battle. This was a side quest. First, he needed a dependable team. And the first step to creating that team was to understand the level at which every member could perform during a battle.
So he forced himself to calm down and observe how everyone behaved during a battle.
Laurenna attacked too fast -- he didn’t even have a chance to warn her. Thankfully it was just a demonic spirit and the effect of dark magic rebound was just temporary weakness. If she had struck a self-exploding creature like the bone demons or the star gatherers, this lady knight from Kirrlutz would either be dead or, at a minimum, have her looks destroyed.
Going up against an unknown monster required caution upon caution. Some monsters have abilities that will not give you a chance to regret your actions.
The Flash Strike Sword Art was a double-edged sword. Its astonishing speed had certain unexpected results in certain situations, but if the wielder was too impulsive, it would be easy for them to mire themselves in danger.
Once Scarlet received the order, her agate-like eyes looked around as she contemplated how to accomplish it. But when she looked up at the demonic spirits weaving around in the sky, her instinct for battle gave her a flash of insight and she immediately figured out what to do. Countless black flames chased her from the skies to the torn-apart ground, but the highlander girl’s body shifted and her fiery ponytail swung in an arc. She planted her feet on the ground and with a repeated biu sound, layers of snow started attacking.
But her right hand moved behind her and the strips of clothes that wrapped around the Azure Lance peeled away.
With a tiny sound, like that of a bubble bursting, all of the demonic spirits’ black flame feelers struck the snow. The high temperature turned the ice crystals into steam. A cloud of white steam rose in the air, but behind the steam, the highlander girl was already in her attacking pose.
An arc of lightning sprung out from the lance in her hands.
The flames swept across the crown of the trees and their branches immediately burst into flames. The air above Scarlet’s head seemed to turn itself into a layer of flaming clouds. But Scarlet let out an angry yell and shoved her lance towards the sky. The blade shook violently and the space around it seemed to be pushed aside -- “Strike of a Thousand Armies!”
That was Medissa’s signature move and the skill the Silver Sky Knight knew the best. The lance compressed the air into a single point and then shot it forward like a cannon. With a booming sound, a hole appeared in the burning treetops, as if an air wave had exploded there. The burning flames immediately scattered into countless embers.
Scarlet had just learned this technique and its powers were far less than the Focused Strike that Medissa had once used. But her attack was accompanied by the Azure Lance’s special effect.
Lightning, too numerous to count, pierced the night sky like a blooming chrysanthemum. But every arc of electricity was one of its curved petals. They packed the sky so densely that it was impossible to count them all.
Scarlet’s gaze cut between them so fast that she almost couldn’t get them all. Every arc of electricity hit a demonic spirit head on. Though the force of a single arc of electricity was feeble, it was enough to beat back these incorporeal monsters.
The demonic spirits pressing up against her were swept away in a moment and the skies emptied.
The demonic spirits’ spells paused for just a second.
“Pahimila, Shield of Rock, as close to the demonic spirits as possible.” Brendel frowned slightly. Scarlet had been with him the longest and was pretty used to his battle style. But this was still a bit too wasteful. Though compared to the others her age, her fighting abilities were very high.
But it was not even anywhere close to his.