The jade-green spear and the invisible sword clashed in an exchange that sends shockwaves and spark flying; even their users were also sent flying back by the sheer force of the attacks. At first it seemed like the two were equally pushed back but if one looks closely they would see that Rennel have the slight advantage.
But despite losing ground slightly, Carl wasn’t too affected as he sent several sword lights flying towards the silver-haired girl with his invisible sword. He could tell that at close range, he was at a disadvantage, and decided to focus more on long-range attacks. Being disadvantaged in close range was actually strange as a sword should be more suited for close range combat compared to that of a spear. And yet he was actually losing in close range?
“Unbelievable… our physical strength was indeed almost equal!” Carl stared at the girl who easily destroyed the sword lights in disbelief. “But where is that strength coming from?”
Carl observes the girl’s skinny arms and slim physique and compared himself. Although he doesn’t look like it due to his choice of clothing, he was actually well-built with a body filled with powerful and well-trained muscles. But the girl was really as slim as she looks. It’s difficult to believe that such power came from such a small body.
“Just what did she eat while growing up to become so powerful?” Carl complained to himself. “No, I can’t allow this to continue.”
While Carl was racking his brain if he’ll use his strongest trump card, Rennel was also having her own troubles. During the duration of the entire fight, she’d changed her strategy and fighting style several times, and yet the envoy was able to deal with them all. Certainly, she manages to gain some minor advantages because of them but she could tell that it wasn’t enough to secure victory.
“At this rate this is going he’ll eventually get use to all the changes in my fighting style. After all, it’s not like I have endless arrays of fighting styles to change into whenever she liked...”
Rennel observed the situation carefully and thought that the only way the situation could change in her favor was to destroy the opponent’s weapon. Speaking of which, Rennel was still unsure what the invisible sword even looks like. The only thing he knew about it was that it’s a sword, and that it was invisible.
“The ability to make one’s weapon invisible… Could it be the one of the abilities he received from the so called god of the void?”
There were countless questions on the girl’s mind but since she was in the middle of the fight, she could only leave these questions unanswered – at least for now.
Rennel didn’t dawdle on her thoughts any longer. The longer the fight carries on the higher the chance of something unexpected happening. Right now she must do everything to destroy the invisible sword!
The girl kicked the ground and quickly stabbed at Carl’s head. And almost instinctively, Carl used his sword to block the spear.
The metals ring and sparks flew once the weapons met head on. Being in a disadvantage position since earlier, Carl was pushed back by the sudden attack to his head. But it wasn’t over yet. Again and again, Rennel stabbed her spear in every direction imaginable. It was obvious that Rennel had stopped holding back and was determined to take the envoy’s life!
Being pressed by the girl’s fatal attacks, the envoy could only defend desperately using his sword while moving backward. And since he couldn’t see the condition of his weapon, he was unaware that its durability was slowly being chipped away with every attack.
“What the hell just happened? Did she go crazy or something?” Carl found the girl’s aggressiveness very strange. Although attacking like a berserker made the girl’s attack a lot powerful to the point that he was being constantly pushed back, it actually made her attacks more predictable and therefore easier to defend against.
Certainly she had changed her attack pattern and fighting styles several times in their previous exchanges but if there’s one thing that the girl never changes even when shuffling from one fighting style to another, it was her precision and unpredictability.
All her attacks till not too long ago has always been very precise and unpredictable but now her attacks could easily be read. It was for this reason why Carl was asking himself if the girl had finally gone insane. Of course a big part of him was still thinking that the girl was planning something.
“No matter… I don’t care if you’ve gone insane or not, or even if you have other plans. But since you’re giving me this chance then I would be a fool to not take advantage of it!”
Clang! Clang! Clang! Clang!
Carl and Rennel’s weapons keeps on clashing against each other as the girl attacks fiercely while the envoy focuses on defending. As the battle went on Carl’s eyes became more severe as he waits for the right opportunity to counter attack. It won’t be long, he could feel it. Once the girl loses concentration even for a micro second, Carl would not miss it. And once that happen, lady victory would end up favoring him.
Not long after…
“Now!” Carl’s eyes opened wide while letting out a shout. It’s finally there – a blind spot!
After deflecting the girl’s last attack, Carl finally saw his chance and attacked the girl’s blind spot which was her right flank. As long as he could successfully wound the girl, even if he couldn’t bring her down for good, his chance of winning would increase exponentially!
But the moment the attack was about to land… his sword shattered!
Carl stared in disbelief at the pieces of his shattered sword flying in every direction. When his sword was about to pierce the girl’s flank, it was intercepted by the girl’s fist that shattered it into pieces!
Yes, the girl’s fist shattered the sword into thousands of pieces which was a truly absurd sight no matter how one looks at it. Was the girl’s fist tougher than a sword made of metal? Of course not!
No matter how tough the girl was or how thick her skin, it will never be as tough as an artifact – especially if that artifact was a high-level one. Even if she covered her skin with mana, it still wouldn’t be enough to protect her flesh from being stabbed by the magical sword.
And yet, she did the impossible. And Carl could only think of one reason why it was so. His artifact, his magical sword was compromised and was already in the verge of being destroyed!
Carl really wanted to ask the girl how she did it but before he could open his mouth, the girl stabbed her spear towards his chest!
Like a meteor, Carl was sent crashing into the ground!
Every person watching the fight was caught off-guard and looked on with a dumbfounded expression when the envoy of the void, Carl, was sent crashing into the ground, sending dust and broken soil flying in all direction. They all then turned their eyes towards Rennel who stood not too far away from the crater with an unreadable expression on her face.
Was the fight over? No, not yet…
Inside the crater, and among the flying dust that was yet to settle, everyone could hear several coughs. The coughs were unpleasant to the ears. Maybe it was the dust, or it could be the injury he had sustained but no matter the reasons, the envoy’s cough sounded really terrible.
Soon the dust settled and the envoy was finally revealed to all thanks to the fact that the nearby fog was cleared out during the two combatant’s previous exchanges.
Both humans and gnomes collectively gasp after seeing the envoy’s current state. Although he was still alive and was able to stand on his own, he was in a really bad shape. The clothes on his upper body was completely destroyed, his chest bleeding. But the worst injury he had received was no doubt in his arms. It was bloodied all over and was mangled.
Although he hasn’t lost a limb, it was close to that considering the severity of the damage. Unless he could find a skilled healer to fix his broken arms, there’s a high chance he’ll lose both of them to gangrene.
“Envoy!” The woman who was with the envoy, the same woman who clashed with the prince’s aide screamed in shock after seeing Carl’s injuries. She wanted to run towards Carl hoping to help him but stopped when the envoy shouted at her not to interfere.
“You got me good, young lady.”
Despite being seriously injured and being beaten to his current condition, the envoy still praises the girl with a good-natured smile on his face. And although he looks wretched thanks to his grievous injuries, his expression didn’t show a single sign of pain. It was as if the injuries weren’t his.
“You’re won’t ask for help from your companion?” Rennel asked with a frown on her face.
“They won’t be able to help, and might just get on my way,” Carl answered calmly despite his injuries.
Rennel’s frown deepened after hearing the envoy’s words. The man’s calm demeanor despite his injuries was totally out of her expectations. She couldn’t understand how the man could stay so calm even after all of that.
He couldn’t be immune to pain, could he?
“Yes, that should be the only explanation…,” the girl thought.
“No, you’re mistaken, young lady…,” said Carl as if reading the girl’s thoughts. “Actually, I could feel pain. And it was horrible. So horrible in fact that I wanted to cry and scream. It’s just that my pride won’t allow me to show such a pathetic sight especially to someone who has earned my respect.”
The girl stared at the heavily injured envoy and opened her mouth to speak. “Surrender, I won’t kill you if you surrender now,” the girl urges.
Hearing her words, the envoy smiled softly, and then shook his head several times. “I’m afraid that I cannot. On the contrary, I urge you all to run as far away from me as possible. And if possible, please take my companions with you,” he answered.
Rennel’s expression greatly changed after hearing the envoy’s reply. “But why?!” She asked, feeling a sense of foreboding. She couldn’t understand where the foreboding feeling was coming from. In all account, she shouldn’t be feeling this way. She was obviously the victor but for some reason, she felt danger. Extreme danger.
“Carl, what are you trying to say?” Russell questioned. Just like the girl, he too, was feeling that something very wrong will happen to them unless they follow Carl’s advice and flee the island.
“There’s not enough time, Russell. Please hurry up and flee. My strongest ability… activated on its own,” he answered, “and I could barely hold it back. Escape while there’s time!”
Although confuse, Sorceress Cassandra, and her students, Rennel, the gnomes and even the acolytes did as they were told and ran away towards the airship that they used to get to the island.
“Hey, do you have any idea what’s happening to him?” Lucata turned her head towards the female acolyte, Dahlia (the same woman who argued with the aide earlier), and asked what’s happening to Carl while running as fast as her short leg could run. “Also, what’s that black smoke-like thing coming out of his body?”
“I’m not entirely sure but I think that’s the envoy’s strongest ability: Possession.” Dahlia answered with a grim expression on her face.
Rennel, and the others quickly look at the female acolyte and gasped after hearing the word ‘Possession’. They knew the meaning of the world, and have an idea what the word entails. If one combines the fact that Carl was an envoy of the void, and that the Sect of the Void wanted to summon the so called god of the void, then one would know how the possession was going to proceed.
“That’s crazy!” One of the gnomes screamed upon realizing what would happen if the possession succeeded. “We should stop him before it’s too late,” he added.
“That’s impossible. I heard that once ‘Possession’ started it could no longer be stop. That black smoke that’s coming out of his body was a whip of the god of the void’s aura, and would attack anyone that tried to do anything to the envoy,” Dahlia quickly explained.
“I see. So I’m actually at fault for not delivering the deathblow while I still have the chance.” Rennel who was running with them suddenly stopped on her track which surprises the others. “Continue running. I’ll try to buy you all a bit more time,” she said with grim expression on her face.
“No!” Pina run towards Rennel and tried to grab her but was easily pushed back by the silver-haired girl. Fortunately, Miranda was close to her and safely catches the red-haired girl, preventing her from getting hurt.
Rennel, who didn’t even look at her friend, spoke, “Take care of Pina. Also, don’t wait for me.” Saying so, the girl disappeared from where she stood, leaving only dust behind.
The girl ignored her friend’s scream and dashes towards the envoy that was currently on his knees as he tries to prevent the possession from succeeding. But judging by the thick smoke-like black aura, she could tell that he was losing the battle against the entity that was trying to enter his body. And that was to be expected. After all, Carl was just a mortal while the entity that was trying to possess him was considered a god by his own faction.
Sensing her presence, Carl slowly looked up. The composure that was on his face earlier was now gone. Replacing it was an intensely pained look most likely caused by his injuries and the possession that he was trying to prevent.
“Why did you come back?” The envoy asked.
“I want to give my companion more time,” Rennel answered as she brandished her spear.
Carl shook his head after hearing the girl’s words. “It’s too late. You should have killed me when you have the chance. You should have never showed me mercy,” he murmured in a voice full of regrets.
Indeed. The only reason that Carl was able to survive the last strike from Rennel was due to the fact that the girl had showed mercy at the last second. After falling to the girl’s trap and having his weapon destroyed, Carl’s only recourse was to protect his vitals and life with his own limbs that he coated with magic.
But as Rennel’s spear was a high-level magic artifact forge by Chaos himself, Carl’s attempt proved useless. But as Rennel herself purposely missed his vitals, the envoy survived a strike that could have easily killed him.
“I, I have never killed a person before…,” Rennel admitted in a rare display of weakness. “That’s why I couldn’t do it…”
“You…,” Carl sighed upon realizing what's running on the girl's mind the entirety of the fight.
“Listen to me, young lady… You’re too soft for your own good. This world is not as kind as it seemed. In order to survive, to protect what’s important to you, you must throw away your hesitation. You must learn do everything in your power to protect yourself and those important to you even if it means dirtying your hands,” the envoy advised the girl after which he gritted his teeth. From the looks of it, Carl could only last for so long.
“Please run. I don’t think I could hold it in any longer.” Carl stared at Rennel and asks her to run why he could still hold on.
“I can’t.” Rennel shook her head. “I need to give my companions more time.”
Hearing her response, Carl could only breathe out a heavy sigh.
To be continued
Previous Chapters: https://read.cash/@beastion