“Permanent materialization… Isn’t that just like always carrying an arcane skill and smashing people with it?” Ayrin said, a little dumbstruck.
“You could say it like that.”
Charlotte counted on her fair fingers and said, “In the era of the War of the Dragons, among the legendary materialization skills, there were ‘Ring of the Dracolich,’ ‘Burning Angel Sword,’ ‘Hammer of the Thunder God,’ and so on. In fact, Draconic scholars even thought that the dragon crystals and monster crystals found inside some dragons and monsters were more or less the same as permanent materialization. The difference was that arcane masters’ permanent materialization mostly took the shape of weaponry, while their dragon crystals and monster crystals took the form arcane energy sources. Some dragons could seal and store inside their own dragon crystals their most powerful arcane skill. For example, the flame dragon’s ‘Castle-Burning Breath,’ ‘Descent of Judgment Day,’ and arcane skills like that. If they used them in ordinary times, they would consume all their arcane particles.”
“In that case, it’s the same as having one extra fearsome skill that would require their entire reserve of arcane particles to launch.” Ayrin stuck out his tongue. “That’s a great advantage. When you meet them, it’s like meeting two people with the same battle strength. Charlotte, you really know a lot, you have to teach me often in the future.”
“As long as you train for a while, as long as you experience some battles and get to see some battles, you’ll naturally come to know more.” Charlotte’s face blushed faintly from the praise.
Just at this moment, the stands went into a sudden chaos.
Dazzling arcane particles started flowing out of Pires’ hands. There wasn’t any obvious attack, but even Kleis and the assistant referees in the surrounding area looked obviously unwell, as though they simply couldn’t breathe.
And Ferguson, after using the permanent materialization skill “Scarlet Butcher” just moments ago, now wore a completely different expression. The entire lower half of his body bathed entirely in an eruption of arcane particles.
“It’s World of Suffocation!”
“It’s World of Suffocation, the skill belonging to Rafley, the lord loyal to House Baratheon!”
“Rafley, the one called the Lord of Death! This Pires, could he be Ralfey’s son?”
There were after all too many knowledgeable spectators in the stands. In the space of an instant, countless such exclamations fell into Ayrin’s ears.
“World of Suffocation is a secret skill that drains away all the breathable oxygen in the air in a great area surrounding the target.” Aware that Ayrin might not necessarily know about it, Charlotte took the initiative to whisper quietly against his ear, “That’s why, the arena doesn’t look any different right now, but the people in the field are in a state of suffocation. Pires definitely has a method not to be affected, but Ferguson probably won’t be able to hold on much longer in a state of asphyxia. That’s why, if he wants to defeat Pires, he can only throw caution to the wind and use a reckless assault.
“As to Lord of Death Rafley, he’s an arcane master of outstanding fame just like your academy’s Liszt. On top of that, he obtained a dragon egg in the course of a mission, and he succeeded in hatching a black abyss dragon. Black abyss dragons are nicknamed Lords of Death to begin with, plus he himself was already the lord of a territory. That’s the reason why people started calling him the Lord of Death.”
“What you mean is, Rafley is one of House Baratheon’s dragon knights?” Ayrin was greatly astounded.
“Indeed. He’s a rather peculiar type.” Charlotte nodded. “Because the other dragon knights in House Baratheon are all storm dragons. He’s the only one who obtained a black abyss dragon in the course of a mission in the demon forests.”
“I heard that when some arcane masters train or carry out fights and missions in the most dangerous demon forests, they would sometimes discover some historical remains, or even a nest formerly used by a dragon. Then they’d obtain dragon eggs or maybe bloodline-transmitting holy treasures.” Ayrin looked at Charlotte. “I didn’t think someone would really become a dragon knight like this.”
“Ordinary arcane masters shouldn’t even think about it. On the entire continent, there are only a couple people with that kind of luck,” Charlotte said. “Plus, only the most powerful geniuses will go train or carry out missions in these demon forests marked as unknown danger areas on the map. These places were all formerly beastmen kingdoms or dragon territories.”
In the mere time it took for them to exchange a few sentences, Ferguson had already turned into a crimson storm of steel in the field.
With his arcane particles gushing crazily out of him, he started to spin with astounding speed. The giant ax he held became a tornado-like storm.
With storm-like speed, his heavy body swept away everything on his path toward Pires.
Maybe he used some kind of arcane skill, or perhaps it was because of the constant, rapid whirling, making the power grow increasingly stronger under the inertia. In any case, the scarlet storm of steel became bigger and bigger.
It seemed Pires had no way at all to avoid this fearsome storm of steel, but Pires still looked extremely graceful just as he’d previously been. Arcane particles flowed out of him, then a thick yellow haze enveloped the entire arena in the space of an instant. Even the whirling storm of metal couldn’t be seen anymore.
“What arcane skill is that!”
Already in great discomfort from the lack of air, Ferguson was already in great discomfort. His face became utterly unsightly with the appearance of this yellow haze.
This haze firmly embraced the arena inside. He simply couldn’t see where Pires was hiding inside the thick fog, he couldn’t even feel the fluctuations of Pires’ arcane particles.
Pires was simply playing hide-and-seek with him!
“Fire Rain Impact!”
With his last glimmer of hope, Ferguson suddenly halted the storm of steel and ferociously smashed the giant ax on the ground, sending shocks throughout the entire arena.
Dazzling arcane particles gushed out of his hands and out of the ax handle. Countless fireballs suddenly appeared in the sky, dropping like dense rain.
Countless balls of fire smashing down on yellow clouds enveloping the entire arena, such a grand picture was astonishing.
However, some people in the stands couldn’t resist shaking their heads. “That’s useless. That’s the Lord of Death’ Abyss Mist. Apart from special eye skills and perception skills, it’s almost impossible to find out where the opponent is hiding inside by attacking with a spell like this,” they said.
“World of Suffocation and Abyss Mist, there’s no weakling in Golden Stag Academy… Even a substitute is already this strong!”
“With such a combination of arcane skills, Ferguson might still be able to make his escape in a chance fight between arcane masters, but there nothing he ca do in such a tournament match.”
“It’s hard to imagine a substitute in team Golden Stag defeating the second strongest in Snow Wolf with so much ease.”
Almost at the same time these voices descended from the stands, the spectators could already hear the main referee Kleis’ voice: “The match is over, Golden Stag Academy’s Pires wins.”
The yellow fog dissipated.
Ferguson panted in violent gulps, looking as though his soul had fled his body.
Losing like that truly felt too depressing for him, but there still wasn’t anything he could do.
Pires stood gracefully in a corner of the field. He couldn’t hold back a proud smile amidst the exclamations descending from the stands.
“This is truly a great feeling,” he thought, reveling in the feeling.
But just then, his face suddenly turned snow white.
Because he saw Rinsyi stretch out his hand at the edge of the field and beckon at him.
In team Golden Stag, this was the gesture that meant he should forfeit the next bout and let the following fighter take his place.
“What? What’s Golden Stag’s meaning?”
“Pires won, but he still has to step down, so the score directly becomes one apiece?”
After staring blankly for a few seconds, Pires gestured at Kleis he was forfeiting, making the stands erupt once again.
“Why did you tell me to step down?” Pires asked when he came not far away in front of Rinsyi. He also had trouble controlling himself, raining questions down on Rinsyi, losing his previous graceful bearing.
Rinsyi looked at him with an icy stare as though he were looking as a moron. He said, his tone filled with derision, “Do you still need me remind you? You clearly could have used Abyss Mist first thing, then handled him with an arcane skill like Shadow of Death. Why did you have to use World of Suffocation? If you’d used your brain a tiny bit, you could have beaten him while still sparing a third of your arcane particles. Right now, even though you beat him, you already consumed more than half your arcane particles after using two particle-intensive arcane skills. In your condition, I don’t think victory’s absolute assured against the next Snow Wolf fighter.”
“I…” Pires’ face turned red and blue in turn. He still wanted to say something, but a cold chuckle came from Rinsyi’s lips. The chilliness in his eyes made him instantly coated in cold sweat.
“Of course, you could say that you’re very confident against anyone other than their captain Danzon. But what if their next fighter just happens to be Danzon?” Rinsyi’s smile was cold. “I can tolerate you genuinely lacking in strength and lose to the opponent, but I can’t tolerate your stupid behavior. When our team Golden Stag faces a team of this level, other than me letting you step down, how else could we lose at the hands of such a team? Let me warn you one last time. Fights between arcane masters are battles of life and death. Only thinking of standing out just for the sake of making people think you’re very powerful, this fundamentally doesn’t fit our team Golden Stag.”
Pires hung his head lower and lower. He could no longer hold back his trembling.
“What’s that Rinsyi guy doing?”
Ayrin couldn’t hear Rinsyi’s voice, but he could see Pires looking as though he was about to cry.
“Golden Stag Academy against Snow Wolf, Gezny against Windsor.”
At this time, the next two team members representing both sides had already taken their places in the field.
“It’s really another substitute. It looks like Rinsyi indeed wants to use an all-substitute lineup,” Charlotte couldn’t help but whisper when she saw the Golden Stag member take to the field, skinny like a bamboo pole. “Truly a formidable confidence. That said, even their substitutes are so strong, even they are at the level of celebrity fighters…”
“What now,” Ayrin said, very displeased. “Isn’t he just showing off on purpose? Also, if you put it nicely you can say even their substitutes can defeat their opponents, but in reality, aren’t they simply trying not to divulge their main members’ secrets? From the tournament last year until now, their main fighters must surely have accumulated many secrets.”
“I can’t refute that actually.” Charlotte thought a moment, then shook her head again, a little vexed. She thought, “But the more it is so, the more frightening a team like that is.”