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The Guardian - Chapter 198

Published at 14th of May 2022 05:29:46 AM


Chapter 198

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Chapter 198: The Final

Érica glanced at her companions as they headed for the magic circle.




That magic circle would send them to the scenario of the final combat.

Some wore serious expressions, and that was most noticeable on Edward, whose solemnity was very evident.

All looked nervous and agitated. Érica was the same.

Even though she diminished her nerves by telling herself that she did the Assault mission where she almost lost her life, she couldn’t deny that the nerves were unavoidable.

Taking a deep breath, telling herself that this was a tournament and not a life and death mission, made her feel better.

Climbing into the magic circle, Érica watched Aurora, Cithrel, and Venali, who now came to say goodbye.

Looking at that delicate young woman who was giving her an amused smile as she watched them nervously, Érica didn’t know what to say.

If Aurora had taken part, would everything have been easier?

Faced with that question, Érica didn’t have to think too hard about the answer.

Everything would be so easy.

Aurora alone held off the A-ranked group from Merlin Academy, and it was quite possible that she could defeat them extremely skillfully.

Such an answer was guided, in part, by the experience of being at Aurora’s side and the confidence she gave.

Alice gave confidence, but she seemed too unstable and it was impossible to lean on her as a pillar.

It felt like, if someone bribed her with chips, she would very possibly betray them... And that feeling was that way for the simple reason that Alice took this for what it was, a tournament.

Maybe Alice could lead them to victory alone, but Aurora gave the feeling that she would lead everyone to victory... Two very different points of view.

Taking a deep breath, Érica pushed her thoughts away.

“Good luck!”

With Aurora’s words, the platform glowed, and Érica’s vision changed.

A few seconds passed with a blurry vision and then she found herself in the middle of a forest.

Just by looking around, Érica already had some spells prepared, ready to face any enemy.

Seeing that no one was around, she didn’t breathe a sigh of relief, but activated the stealth capabilities of her combat suit and hid.

Then she opened her holographic watch and waited a moment until she saw she could get a signal.

Connecting immediately, she went through the security protocols and realized it was Andrés’ network.

After a quick check, Andrés, who had most likely already gone into hiding, gave a map of the individuals nearby.

Seeing that her position was close to other students, Érica could only breathe a sigh of relief.

At least on her part, she was off to a good start.

******

In the middle of the forest, space distorted, and three people appeared.

A young woman wearing a mage’s robe and carrying a staff, another young man dressed as a swordsman, and the last a mage with a wand in his hand.

“They finally arrived. I thought they would abandon me,” a voice muttered and from the shadow of a tree, a slightly pale young man stepped out as the spell of darkness magic stopped hiding him.

“I’m sorry. We went to get the comm,” said Dennis, the space mage.

Throwing a ring, the dark mage, Spencer, took it, and without asking activated it.

—Remember to keep moving. Everyone knows the plan and knows the objective. We are facing the Hero Academy and there are several monsters among them.

As soon as he put on the ring, Spencer heard a voice in his mind.

—Remember, don’t reveal that we use telepathy to communicate and let them believe that we are using the communication network.

Adjusting his ring with a serious expression, Spencer silenced that voice and adjusted it so that the telepathy was between his small team.

—There are four of us. Where’s Gabriel? Without him, we can’t start our attacks, —Spencer asked, looking at his team.

—It was his turn to support our craftsman, and now he is meeting with the others. —The young light mage, Sasha, replied.

—Let’s move. We need to get started before they gather. —Noah, the magical swordsman, urged.

Their conversation was fast and fluid, thanks to the telepathic link granted by the ring.

External objects were available, but all as long as they didn’t ‘unbalance’ the combat.

Like the Hero Academy students who brought drones to activate a communication network, they used these rings.

The only mishap was that only a few students wore these rings, forcing them to have to gather together, but in this case for their group, which had Dennis, who was a space mage, it was no problem.

This was a small hidden card to take on the Hero Academy who had overwhelming capabilities in computer science.

They had prepared to face that academy that had taken a dominant position since the beginning of the tournament, and this was the measure to counter their opponent’s advantage.




Seeing them ready, Dennis waved his wand, casting his space magic spell, selecting in his mind the ‘placeholder’ he had left for his partner.

His vision changed for a second and the next, they were already close to his partner.

Gabriel, along with the crafting student and another student, looked at them immediately.

“We’re taking our partner with us. Remember to move to the designated position. If you need help, I can be right back,” Dennis said, looking at the crafting student and his partner who was protecting him.

He had already marked the crafting student and that meant he could get to his position immediately.

The [Mark] spell was an excellent spell that marked a target and allowed the space mage to go directly to his position without knowing his surroundings, but for an A-Rank like Dennis, it had number limitations and was exhausting.

For such a reason that he did not mark all of his companions and only did so with his group and the crafting student.

A space mage had to visualize or at least know the destination place to make a quick trip, and in case he didn’t know it, the spell would have to be longer and more complex, adjusting coordinates to avoid danger.

Thanks to the fact that the knowledge came from a magical world like Terra nova, where for tens of thousands of years magic was polished, teleportation was flawless and there were only limitations.

That meant that unless a mage performed his spell very badly, there would be no typical consequences, such as getting stuck in the middle of a mountain and ending up dead.

With a quick farewell, the group moved.

Sasha cast her light magic spell to hide the group, blurring their surroundings as if they were invisible.

Thanks that it was daytime, light magic was better than dark magic for staying hidden, at least until it got dark in a few hours, or they entered a darker place.

Scanning the area for an enemy, the entire group stopped when they saw a light spread out in the distance.

*BOOM*

An explosion echoed in the distance and flying over a bit, the group could see Edward and their leader Laurence begin a battle.

—The octopus will have trouble with Edward’s lightning. It’s a good thing Laurence summoned the rock golem.—Dennis muttered, watching the battle.

The battle of the two happened in the sky and despite the size of the rock golem, it could create platforms to move on thanks to an object Laurence gave it.

As a summoner, Laurence was a professional and a veteran, but the one he was facing was a powerful individual.

What was worse was that while he could summon another creature, this one was at a disadvantage because the beast’s weakness was lightning.

—It’s a squid...—corrected Spencer and when they looked at it, he pointed to its head and stated.—A group from the Hero Academy is attacking a beast to take a weapon - Shall we go?

—Oh, steal the loot. Let’s go. We need to generate as much chaos as possible before starting our plan. —Gabriel replied with a wicked grin.

Those two comments were enough to get them moving, listening to the telepathic report given to him by a B-Rank student.

They had the advantage; it was true, but on this large battlefield, it was difficult to meet their opponents.

And now they seemed to be hiding quite well, which made it difficult to find anyone.

In addition, the telepathic communication system was unobtrusive, but it had a serious problem when it came to organization.

A traditional communication system with technology would allow whoever took command to reveal their location so that others could regroup quickly, very differently from the telepathic system, which had to move by manual guides.

Moving at high speed, following the location details given by the scout by mental communication, the group advanced for several minutes at a rapid speed through the trees.

They were moving away from the center and heading to a side where the large barrier was moving at a slightly faster speed than the other fights.

After several minutes, they arrived at a site of thick, tall trees that gave an ominous feeling because the sunlight could not filter into the interior of the forest.

—The group was deep in the forest. They were fighting against several groups of spiders and there are some spiders of Rank A. It seems that the weapon they are holding is very strong. —The scout quickly explained.

After reporting that he had detected it by chance and was not discovered, he went to the center of the stage.

—I hope they are still there.—Dennis muttered and seeing Spencer cast a spell of darkness magic to better conceal them, he signaled and ordered. —Come on, we need to see if it’s worth attacking.

Because the surroundings were darker, the darkness magic was more useful, hiding the group without being able to sense any of their presence.

“Quick, attack!”

Flying quickly, they heard a shout and as they advanced, hiding in the shade of trees; they stopped when they saw a small open space.

In that place were several students who were quickly identified.

—Marc, Rank B fighter. He is strong and tenacious enough to fight without fear. Dalia is a B-Rank weak link, but don’t get carried away. She has good defense and a high attack, her air magic can become a problem. Lucas, Rank-B archer, his best asset is his shooting speed and high reflexes, he is an expert harasser and rewards his low power with a rain of arrows.

Taqiyya, the crafting student, is an expert in her art, she has not been seen fighting, but just because she is not a fighter does not mean she is weak. She surely carries important items.—Dennis quickly reported as he identified his opponents, who were fighting with two giant A-Rank Spiders and looking at the last enemy protecting Taqiyya, he commented. —Erica, ice mage. Rank B, with a great source of magical energy, experience, and a great spell asset, she is the most dangerous of the group.

The analysis was quick thanks to being telepathic, and everyone nodded.

The Hero Academy drew attention since the whole international tournament started and they were targeted by many academies.

The information was analyzed several times until they managed to identify the advantages and disadvantages of the whole team.

—Let’s attack. Give me a little distraction and I’ll cast my best spell to finish off Érica... She may be strong, but I don’t think she can resist a non-physical curse. —Said Gabriel with a serious tone, starting a spell with extreme stealth.

The others agreed and after arranging the battle plan in a few seconds; the group prepared themselves by watching the combat.

An experienced mage could cast a spell in stealth, but it was as if it could be completely hidden.


The magical energy would stir in a moment and an experienced mage could feel it and even an experienced fighter or swordsman could sense it if he had keen instincts.

Marc hit a spider, dodging the hairy legs, while Luke shot swiftly at the spider’s eyes, managing to wound or stop them.

Both spiders were badly wounded, and it was noticeable that they were slowly falling under the group’s constant attacks.

“[Ice Spear]”

“[Water Spear]”

Érica’s spell echoed next to Taqiyya’s spell, who used a wand to cast the spell despite not being a mage.

The ice spear pierced the stomach of one spider and the water spear struck the head of the other.

The first spider died cruelly and, as for the second spider, it was hit hard enough to seriously injure it.

Without letting it react, Dalia launched several air slashes and Lucas shot a couple of arrows.

As a final blow, Marc jumped up and punched through the weak defense, getting his fist through part of the spider’s eye and into the creature.

The place became peaceful as the fight ended.

“I hope the weapon is worth it...” Marc muttered, taking the scepter that held a purple orb.

“Yes, it is worth it. It seems to be a psionic weapon. From its details, it seems to contain a powerful ability... From the strength of its sphere’s glow, I’d venture to say it’s an S-Rank ability.” Taqiyya analyzed as she approached, looking at it with glowing eyes.

“That’s right... Watch out, enemies!” shouted Érica as she suddenly opened her eyes.

Because the battle had ended, the magical energy returned to calm and now the small changes made by the spells of the watching group were discovered.

Without even a command, they moved.

Spencer waved his wand, creating three ‘wolves of darkness’ who snarled and leaped at the enemy group.

When the distraction was set, Sasha swung the wand at the center of the Hero Academy group.

“[Blinding Sun]”

*BOOM*

A huge light, along with an explosion, echoed through the middle of the group, managing to blind all the students and stunning it at the same time.

This spell was stronger than ‘blinding light’ and the light could burn corneas blinding people for hours if taken directly and the explosion managed to stun for a few seconds.

Their group was behind a tree, but the group of heroes was affected by the spell completely, and Marc and Lucas could be seen falling to the ground.

“Calm down!” ordered Érica closing her eyes and waving her wand in the air, several spears were sent in the direction of them and the wolves.

Through magical energy, Érica the surroundings and found the wolves and their group emitting magical energy, identifying their enemies.

Unfortunately, such a feat could not change the outcome of the battle.

“[Wind barrier... Ughh...”

Dalia, who was about to raise a barrier to protect herself, was cut off by a spatial slash from Dennis and before she got hurt, she disappeared when the tournament barrier activated.

It was a prepared ambush and that meant that each of them cast their best spells with the aim of finishing off their enemies without underestimating them.

“[Spears of Death]” chanted Spencer, casting the main spell.

In the center of the group of heroes, a sphere appeared and in just a second, dozens of spears were sent to the surroundings.

Those spears hit Taqiyya, breaking one of her barriers, but she was able to survive thanks to the number of artifacts protecting her.

Not so lucky were Lucas and Marc, who were nearby.

Marc instinctively dodged and was still seriously wounded, while Lucas disappeared when he was hit directly to the point where the tournament barrier was activated.

The black spears pierced the position where he had been, making it obvious that under normal circumstances, he would have died.

“Shit... [Ice barrier]” Érica chanted again at a high speed.

Although her spell casting speed coupled with her calmness in reacting surprised the attacking group, it was a surprise that passed quickly.

“[Eternal Dream]” Gabriel chanted, releasing his customized spell.

A black, non-physical cloud came through Érica’s ice barrier and hit her directly.

“This...”

She could only let out a mumble as she felt like she hadn’t slept for a whole month.

Fatigue, exhausting and extreme exhaustion caused the magical energy to become stable and her mind went into extreme lethargy.

The ice barrier broke and even though Érica bit her lips trying to escape the situation, she had no time to resist the curse.

Noah charged in a second and slashed with his flaming sword, managing to break Érica’s personal barrier, and with his second slash, caused the tournament barrier to activate, disqualifying her.

“[Fireball]”


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Taking aim with his hand, Noah launched a fireball that devoured Marc until the tournament barrier activated, as the damage was about to become too much to bear.

“We’ve been attacked. We need reinforcements... Ugh...” Taqiyya asked through her holographic watch and let out a groan as her barrier broke.

But just as one would expect from a blacksmith, she had several barriers activated, and even though her expression carried a bit of fear, the quintet attacked with full force until it was gone.

—Did you see his pitiful expression at the end? Poor girl, I felt a little sorry for her.—Said Sasha in a slightly tragic voice.

To the disbelieving gaze of the group, they all felt an attracting force behind them and, in slow motion, they were drawn into the portal that Dennis created.

That portal swallowed the whole group and when they all saw that a thick black spear also went through it with them, Dennis, who was safe, closed the portal.

“...”

The black arm that had taken the shape of a spear was cut in half and fell to the ground as if it had lost the strength that allowed it to move.

“What the hell was that?!” the crafting student shouted.

Dennis connected the portal to the crafting student who was quite far away.

At that shout that let the disbelief of the entire group show, no one could answer with certainty.

The battle from the time they found the Glutton until they escaped seemed like long minutes, but it was done in a few seconds.

“I think I just saw death up close,” Gabriel muttered in a serious tone, hiding his hand that was trembling.

“Death? Please, death would give us an ending, not that,” Spencer said, pointing to where the portal had been and now that black arm was.

“I think we should leave. I don’t feel safe.” Sasha muttered with a serious expression.

“Guys, we’ve managed to get away from the glutton. And we even took off one of her arms,” Noah stated, trying to calm the group down and jabbing his sword into the black arm, he muttered.”Will she feel pain?"

As he stabbed it a second time, a chunk of that black mass jumped into Noah’s face, covering his face completely.

Before everyone’s stunned gaze, Noah fell to the ground, trying to pull it out with his hands and before they could react, he managed to pull it out and threw it to the ground.

“[Fireball]!” Shouting pallidly, a fireball exploded the black arm, but it didn’t burn it, but rather tore it apart, spreading pieces everywhere.

“What just happened?” Sasha asked, looking at Noah, who was completely pale and terrified.

He felt like he was in some kind of horror movie where he was parasitized with some strange creature.

That black mass had tried to suffocate him!

Looking at the pieces of black mass that had turned to liquid, everyone turned pale as the black liquid began to shake and increase in quantity.

“I don’t know what’s going on, but this is not good...” Dennis muttered and, tossing the weapon they had recovered to the craftsman, he ordered. “Fix it. I don’t think we’ll be able to run away.”

When the group heard those words, they were surprised, but when they looked at him and noticed the extreme pallor, they realized the reason.

The only reason they escaped was because of the emergency portal he had created and, unlike simply teleporting away, this portal swallowed them up trying to save them.

That quality made it more costly to cast than a calmly prepared teleportation spell.

“[Pillar of Light]!” Sasha chanted, getting a pillar of light to descend from the sky.

“[Flare]” Shouted Noah, throwing fire from his hands, trying to burn everything.

Due to the explosion, the black liquid had spread everywhere and now it was difficult to remove all the pieces.

As if that wasn’t enough, those small spheres moved and gather until a black sphere originated that, strangely, was growing at an enormous speed.

The liquid took solid form, sturdy enough to avoid being burned by light or fire, and before everyone’s eyes, black arms emerged.

“It’s trying to get here!”

At the realization of that fact, everyone opened their eyes and, using the spells on their wand, threw it at everyone.

However, that sphere did not stand still and began to dodge as the black arms rapidly approached.

The craftsman, along with the student accompanying him, moved away, as did Gabriel, who was beginning to chant another spell of curse magic.

Before they could react, Noah began exchanging blows with a solid spear that had been extended, and Sasha’s barrier was struck by another black arm.

—Back off! Don’t waste energy unnecessarily!—Dennis ordered over the telepathic link.

His companions immediately obeyed, and the black sphere also retreated down to the ground, spreading across the floor.

—We can’t run, it will catch us. We need to prepare to make all our best attacks or we will lose here. If we go down, the whole academy is lost.— said Dennis with a solemn tone. and looking at his companions, he declared. —However, if we manage to defeat her. We’ll have one foot in victory... No, damn it, as scary as she is, we’ll have half a body in the victory line.

Everyone agreed with what he was saying.

Creating a portal or teleporting was off limits to Dennis because of the extreme expense of carrying so many people.

Running away walking was crazy because of the speed she was moving and the best chance to survive was to attack her with everything they had to defeat her.

They all prepared their best attack spells and looked at that sphere that had taken liquid form again and spread across the ground and nearby trees covering several meters.

The liquid shook and then they all watched as three cocoons in human form rose from the ground.


Dark mages could cast a spell called ‘shadow jump’ and this, although more eerie, was similar, only more complex.

However, at the sight of three cocoons, the expression of the group changed.

Each was far enough away from the other to be unaffected if another was attacked.

It was hard to tell if their enemy was inside or had not yet moved, but that didn’t matter.

With a few small telepathic commands, they all cast their spells.

“[Solar Punishment]”

Sasha started by casting her best damage spell and from the sky, a bright light fell down covering a cocoon, melting it from the power.

As if someone was using a magnifying glass to burn ants... The cocoon started to melt but revealed nothing.

“HA!” Letting out a battle cry, Noah employed his sword aura and covered it with fire, managing to send a fiery slash at another cocoon.

The slash was extremely strong for an A-Rank attack and managed to split the cocoon along with parts of the ground, leaving burning flames that scorched the rest.

But that it did not disappear revealed that there was no one in that cocoon.

The last attack was Dennis, who waving his wand and turning extremely pale, shouted. “[Spatial Distortion]”

The surroundings of the last cocoon were distorted, achieving a grotesque vision of black mass being cut into pieces at the distortion of space.

However, nothing was revealed and to the pallor of all present, the black mass began to gather at a point that kept rising to form a cocoon.

From within, it revealed a beautiful woman with a small smile that, in normal times, would be very attractive, but to the group, it was worse than seeing a demon smile.

Black arms emerged from the darkness beneath her feet and behind her back, filling the group’s vision.

—It’s ready!

A shout came to her mind and Spencer grabbed the craftsman’s weapon, pointing it at the young woman.

The black arms that tried to close in froze as a huge sphere covered her completely.

“A barrier?” Dennis asked, stunned, as he saw the black arms freeze.

Before the group’s gaze, the sphere lifted as Spencer raised the staff.

The earth would not enter the barrier and left only the darkness of the young woman and her frozen in the air.

“It’s a psionic stasis field... In theory, it should have stopped her, but...”

“It’s not working,” Spencer muttered as he watched the black arms move slowly, hitting the barrier.

The young woman’s eyes shifted looking at each one and in that curious look, she had there was a dangerous gleam, seeing them give everything they had to stop her.

A stasis field should have immobilized a person and was generally used to capture criminals or capture powerful magical beasts.

It was an excellent way to imprison individuals and the major flaw as a virtue was that it proved to be extremely difficult to break both from the inside and outside.

However, now, seeing the arms move and watching as the sphere began to fill with darkness pouring out of the young woman’s back, the group didn’t know how to feel.

“[Eternal Sleep]” Gabriel chanted before negative thoughts consumed the group.

The young woman’s eyes immediately became exhausted as she was affected by the spell and her movements to escape became slower until she finally closed her eyes.

At the same time, the black arms turned into a liquid mass and covered her, completely forming a cocoon of self-defense.

A movement that seemed unconscious.

“Did we defeat her?” Sasha asked, blinking in disbelief.

The entire group looked at the sphere containing that ‘glutton’ and, at the same time, let out relieved sighs.

“Yes, and no...” The craftsman muttered and when all eyes went to him, he explained. “I quickly repaired the weapon, but while the stasis field was activated, if we move away, it will stop working.”

Spencer moved the weapon and the sphere slowly moved with it, but instead of being happy, his expression changed.

“How about we throw it outside the barrier?” joked Gabriel with a half-smile.

No one responded.

The barrier was a strange thing that covered them and was closing in, but they had checked the barrier trying to get out.

When the limit was reached, the barrier solidified and prevented them from leaving... This barrier was not only the one that allowed them to survive fatal attacks, but it also closed any electronic or magical connection.

It was like a ‘seal’ that they couldn’t break through, so they couldn’t ‘throw’ her out.

“Let’s take her. If we leave her here, a Hero Academy student can find her and save her. At least if we take her and keep her locked up, we get rid of an S-Rank without having to fight,” Dennis said after thinking about it and giving a smile, he announced. “With our plan. Keeping her close will be easy.”

In their plan, they and Laurence were the only ones who had to fight, while the others had to regroup.

The general idea was to wreak havoc, but now that they sapped their strength by defeating several B-Ranks, the crafting student, and captured the S-Rank, it was better than they had imagined.

“Drop the silly grin. Until we win, there’s no celebrating,” Dennis said in a serious tone.

No matter how much they felt victory was near, they needed to get back to reality.

Only when they won would they be able to celebrate.

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