A loud crash.
A massive fireball blew up inside the living room, red light illuminated everywhere and everything in an instance. Hot air from the fireball gushed out in every direction.
Garen could only feel the red light as he tightly shut his eyelids, but his ears rung from the shockwave, so he couldn’t hear anything. He could only feel a numbness in his head as immense heat wrapped his body and burned him in every exposed spot of skin.
He couldn’t spare time to think, so he started rolling on the ground.
When he opened his eyes once more, half of his clothes were still slightly on fire, the smokes from embers on his shirt were rising from as they sought to burn it all.
He quickly ripped his shirt off and stepped on it to put out the embers.
Smoke filled the living room, nobody could see anything clearly. There were two spots on the ground that were still visibly on fire.
"Are you alright?" He turned around to check on Celine and Beo. Save for the dust filled face, Celine looked pretty alright, while Beo was shook awake by the shockwave and stood up with a loud moan.
"I’m alright! That madman! How could he use a grenade in a place like this! While he may not cherish his life, I cherish mine!" Celine said while spitting out dust and dirt from her mouth.
Garen scrunched up his face as he suddenly heard the sound of low rustles coming from the living room.
He looked about the room trying to determine the source and saw everyone as the smoke started to clear.
Duskdune Shura and Flamingo were still standing right where they were before, unscathed and untouched by the explosion.
The trio that just came in were in a worst state, all of them were bleeding from their ears, one of them lost a chunk of flesh on his right arm, whilst all three of them were all still on fire and desperately trying to put it out.
The bearded man, strangely, was also barely injured, he climbed up and looked at everyone coldly.
At this moment they realised the rustling sound was coming from the ground.
A large amount of sprites burnt to black were on the ground, not dead. In fact despite being charred, they got up almost immediately into the air and regrouped into the form of a man sized sprite.
"Everyone be careful! If we don’t deal with this fucker we’ll never get out!" Duskdune Shura belowed with a serious tone.
"No wonder you baited all these warriors here!" One of the trio, who was a blonde girl, yelled back angrily.
In this moment, the sprite seemed to be fearful of Duskdune Shura and Flamingo, it turned around and instead tried to kill everyone else. This asshole was not afraid of guns or swords, its body was hard beyond belief and even if one were to slice through, it’ll just dispersed and reassemble. This was true immortality!
The bearded man had just thrown out a grenade, and was obviously the number one target for the sprite. The sprite ran straight for him, without even much effort it sliced the bearded man’s dagger in half. It was only when he cowardly ducked and rolled on the floor was he able to evade their attack.
"If I survive this, I will remember this day where you saved my life."
Beo unsheathed his sword and ran towards the sprite to help the bearded man.
Garen evaluated the situation of his own body, while his skin suffered some light burns, he wasn’t hurt too bad that it would affect his ability to fight.
"What now? Even grenades can’t touch this fucker!" Celine asked him softly from behind him.
"No rush." Garen shook his head, "For now it is no threat to us, let’s just observe the situation."
The sprite was definitely powerful, while it didn’t pose a threat to Garen for now, he still had to be careful.
"Garen, are you not going to do anything?" Duskdune Shura noticed his inaction, "If we don’t kill it, none of us are getting out!"
Garen squinted his eyes in intimidation and took a sweep looking around the room, "If even you folks can’t handle him, how will I stand a chance?"
""As long as we can chop off the Sword of the Sprites from the hand of this sprite, its ability to regenerate will be impeded. We need you to help suppress it, I’m carrying the Blood of Secrets. If I get taken down and this asshole gets its hands on it then it’ll be impossible to defeat." Duskdune Shura responded with a stern face.
"Alright," Garen wasn’t sure if he was lying or not, but one thing was for sure: they were all stuck here without an exit, and if he’s right then this could be a way out. Plus, Garen had long wanted to test the abilities of this fellow.
He stepped up, staring at the human like sprite.
The sprite seemed to have sensed something, it stopped in its steps and turned around, it clenched and unclenched its mouthful of sharp teeth, staring in intimation at Garen behind it.
"Watch out!" Celine yelled from behind Garen.
There was a light shook of the ground as the humanlike sprite ran towards Garen, the air around it made a loud hum as it passed through the living room.
The loud tear shook the whole room.
Garen dashed right at it, he put his five fingers in his right arm together like a blade and pointed it straight at the head of the sprite. He was mustering such strength that the veins on the pack of his palm protruded like steel cables.
"THROW ! !"
Garen’s hand blade turned and became a palm facing the incoming Sword of the Sprites wielded by the charging humanlike sprite.
The two of them crashed into each other, the sprite was lifted into the air within a split second and thrown back like a kite on a draft, the great force plus the shockwave made it impossible to disintegrate into little sprites.
"Do it now!"
Duskdune Shura made low growl, and took a step back.
A red line flew from his back and it welcomed the backwards flying sprite coming in his direction.
The body of the sprite was instantly sliced into half, spinning towards the wall on the right.
The sprite made one last moan in pain, before disintegrating into millions of specks of dust.
With a loud clang, Flamingo sheathed his sword and pulled out the Green Sword of the Sprites from the wall.
Garen meanwhile was breathing deep breaths on the other side of the room.
"Alright, let’s go."
He led the way headed in the direction of Duskdune Shura and Flamingo, as the wall behind the duo opened to reveal the exit staircase.
Celine leaped and hung onto Garen’s shoulders.
Beo, the bearded man, and the other three were shocked beyond belief.
A monster they had no logical way of defeating, was completely annihilated within a few seconds. Everyone who was able to make it this far was the best of the best, or else they wouldn’t have been able to survive till now, however after seeing what happened just now, they were all shook.
That sprite had fought them all, they were very aware of just how powerful it was, and yet Garen had only used one palm technique and he sent it flying across the room, in fact he was able to do it with such skill that it didn’t disintegrate. Not to mention the way Flamingo cleaned up the end with a slash of his sword, it was of a whole different level.
"You have become much more powerful," Duskdune Shura said to Garen who was walking beside him now.
"It’s just that I became quicker," Garen admitted timidly as he headed straight for the exit, "This time I’ll let you go, but next time I will defeat you head on!"
"I look forward to seeing you try," Duskdune Shura grimaced.
Flamingo looked at Garen with suspicion, thinking of something nobody knew. From the moment Garen mentioned Sylphalan, Flamingo has been acting weird, in fact he seemed to have been less cocky since then.
After this whole expedition, Garen felt pretty fulfilled. He had achieved half of his objectives, firstly was the acquisition of the Golden Sword Throne, second was that he was able to indirectly fight Duskdune Shura. Sadly Duskdune Shura was heavily injured this time, so it wasn’t a fair fight, and even if he wasn’t, he was still covered by Flamingo. With the two of them present, Garen had zero confidence in being able to hold up in a fair fight.
Outside the tomb
Packs upon packs of Werewolves started surrounding the entrance to the tomb. Everywhere around the forest was filled with large wolves and Werewolves. Their leader, a tall and buff werewolf with black mane that looked like a lion’s mane, stared at the tomb’s entrance with his brows tightly held together, thinking of something.
Not far away, in the village and between the houses, Su Lin had somehow started walking with Joseph and were trying to sneakily observe the spot surrounded by the Werewolves.
"How’s the situation like?" Su Lin asked Joseph softly.
"Can’t tell, it’s too far."
Joseph shook his head, "The wolf kind lost so many of their members, they definitely won’t let this go easily, this is a matter of vengeance for them so they seem to have brought a large number and surrounded the perimeter."
"What an annoyance. We don’t even know when Garen and the group are coming out," Sulin said as she frowned, "The Immortal Palace Alliance members are just here for the Blood of Secrets, but the Slash Brigade wants to kill Duskdune Shura plus some unknown objective of theirs. What does this have to do with Garen? Did he go in just so he could fight Duskdune Shura? Not to mention Celine..."
Su Lin really couldn’t figure out why Garen went in. As for the still mysterious Celine, he even had less of an idea.
Although it looked like Garen was here to settle a score with Duskdune Shura, but in reality it seemed like he had other intentions, and Su Lin knew of this.
Garen that rascal, he went from a mortal to gradually growing his strength level by level, and then gaining respect in the martial arts communities. After which within a short time he started defeating greater and greater opponents, becoming stronger and stronger until he fought Andrela and became affirmed as the champion of the 12 Gates of the South, then recognized by the Southern Sky Holy Fist Gate as their official Sky Warrior, he was certainly an incredible force.
He had seen Garen from his early days, and had been there for him every step of the way. In fact, he even managed to get Garen to owe him two favors. This time Garen had invited him to help pursue Duskdune Shura, but by the way things were looking right now, he was just baffled.
"Whatever it is, just don’t get in trouble!" Su Lin muttered to himself in worry.
"They’ve come out!" Joseph exclaimed softly.
Su Lin quickly turned to look at the tomb entrance, the sky was slowly lighting up, and he could almost make out the situation.
At the entrance of the tomb, Garen carried Celine and walked out slowly. He had some burn marks on his, but his expression still looked like he was pretty chill, obviously everything was alright.
As he noticed the surrounding Werewolves, he expression sank, and he just stood there silently.
Very soon, another two more people protruded from the tomb entrance, it was Duskdune Shura and Flamingo, one behind the other, walking out calmly. Their mere presence created a ruckus in the Werewolves.
The leader of the pack howled with his head in the air.
The sound was one of despair and anger, it looked at Duskdune Shura and Flamingo with a deadly glare, as if it was about to explode anytime now.
A large pack of Werewolves prepared to prance on the two of them, the deep growls and howls of the Werewolves filled the air, it sounded and looked like there were hundreds upon hundreds of them.
Garen squinted at the two of them standing beside him, and took a step away so he at least had some distance.
"Looks like their issue with the Werewolves are much larger than mine..." He lifted the side of his lip in a sly smile, looking right at Duskdune Shura.
If given the chance, Garen definitely wouldn’t give up the opportunity to kill Duskdune Shura. Although he didn’t have any sort of deadly vendetta against him, but Duskdune Shura did try to kill him once, and Su Lin also wanted Duskdune Shura dead for something else.
Not to mention, he was incredibly interested in the vial of Blood of Secrets being held by Duskdune Shura.
Long, despaired howls welcomed the sunrise, Duskdune Shura could feel Garen’s uneasy and unfriendly glare from behind him.
"Well this is tricky." He knew that if he gave Garen the right opportunity, Garen wouldn’t even think twice about ending his life.
"Flamingo, looks like I’m going to need your help to keep these Werewolves busy. I didn’t expect that amongst the Werewolves there would someone who would be unaffected by my tricks," Duskdune Shura said to Flamingo under his breath.
"You sure you can take on the one behind you? In the state that you’re in?" Flamingo frowned in response.
"Even if I can’t, I must!" Duskdune Shura smiled slightly, "I have not felt exhiliration like this for many many years."
"I’ll leave the Werewolves to you." His face resumed its usual demeanor.
"Leave them to me." Flamingo unsheathed his longsword, welcoming the arrival of the Werewolves.
Duskdune Shura turned around and faced Garen.
"By the looks of it you’re not going to give up this opportunity are you?"
"I’m glad you understand." Garen smiled.
Both of them took off in a flash, leaving a crater in their wake. Two shadows dashed towards the woods one behind the other.
"Today will be the day of your death!" Garen increased the velocity of his feet, and sped up with a loud bang.