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 "...!!!"

Christie started breathing intensely.

Her chest tightened as she held on tightly to her cloak, but she still could not withstand the dark energy that emitted from the crack. It wasn't just the mere 'chill' air from the cellar; instead, it was a bone-chilling sensation. Even though the massive gold shield blocked her vision in front of her, but Christie seemed to notice the shadow of death stretching for her. The inaudible scream in her ear became louder and louder; obviously, it carried a grudge and evil intents towards the girl.

Her body started to shiver uncontrollably. She unconsciously took a few steps back until Anne held her down by her shoulder. Christie lifted her head with uncertainty in her eyes. On Anna's face, she could only notice her cheeky smile and beautiful eyes.

"Don't worry, with Leader around, everything will be okay. These things can't be compared to what Leader can achieve."

Anne grinned and rustled Christie's hair.

And at this moment, a 3-meter tall shadow arrived at the square.

"It's the Shadow Devil! Everyone spread out! Lize, Marlene, grab its attention! The rest, take care of the ghouls and undead! Don't forget your potions!"

When he noticed the Shadow Devil, Rhode's expression turned grim, but he still immediately gave out commands without delay. The mercenaries quickly scattered and used their potions. After a while, a light wind barrier appeared by their side. Lize recast the holy shield on the mercenaries, forming a gentle light.

As for Marlene, she quickly changed her position. She waved her staff, forming a ripple in the air. Afterwards, the ripple gradually solidified in the air and condensed into a magic shield. Marlene yelled loudly, causing the runes on the ground to once again erupt with fire.

But contrary to Marlene's expectations, the Shadow Devil didn't retreat like the undead when faced with her spells. Instead, it stood up straight and extended it's right hand, smashing downwards.

The Shadow Devil's pitch black long claws suddenly extended outwards, passing through the fire pillars, lashing towards Marlene.

If it were the 'newbie' Marlene who had entered the mercenary group recently, she would have obediently stared at death in her face. Thankfully, after the long hours of training, she was no longer the newbie that would be frightened when an attack came close. The maiden dodged the claws as it smashed the ground, leaving a deep crater.

"Don't use fire elemental spells; this thing is immune to fire!"

Rhode told Marlene as he dashed to her front and guarded. Although he still maintained his calm expression, the appearance of the Shadow Devil caused Rhode to be slightly startled.

The Shadow Devil isn't comparable to those lowly undead. They were born on the second floor of hell, and belonged to the emissary of the devil. These Shadow Devils were extremely strong on the earth's surface even though they weren't so in hell. Since they were borne through the flames of hell, naturally, their fire resistance would be abnormally high.

"Use water elemental spells. Create some distance between it. It has troublesome claws that can extend. Don't fight it head-on."

"Yes! Mr. Rhode!"

After hearing Rhode's warning, Marlene nodded her head and took two steps back. To a mage, keeping a distance with the enemy was something fundamental. Right now, she knew that her distance between the Shadow Devil and her wasn't sufficient.

"Celia!"

After informing Marlene, Rhode immediately raised his sword and pointed forward. The angel maiden quickly spread her wings and spun into a dazzling meteor, striking towards its target.

"Damn it! What the hell?!"

The man in the black robe was furious.

He had made enough mistakes tonight.

Since the start, all of his plans were foiled one by one. Rhode's mercenaries kept outperforming his expectations. And when he thought that he had enough power, the battle angel evaded his fatal attack using some abnormal movement skill. No matter what, he assumed that to dodge his attack, the angel must have used up a great deal of energy. While he didn't know how she could escape, at least the damage that he dealt wasn't in vain.

Dreams are beautiful, yet reality is cruel. The harsh reality was like a slap to his face. Celia's valorous figure spun into a whirlwind and smashed into him once... twice... trice...

The black robed man had an intense desire to look up into the sky and scream 'HEAVENS, THIS IS UNFAIR!'. He did not know whether to laugh or cry. O Holy Spirits, you must be freaking kidding me!!

From a certain perspective, he was actually right.

Previously, Celia was indeed fatally injured by the Shadow Devil's claw attack. But Rhode, who always maintained contact with Celia, merely unsummoned her and re-summoned...

Despite being life forms, summoned spirits were different from contract spirits. The latter lived on other planes of life. A mage's contract spell would only open a passageway and drag out the contract spirit to help them in battle. But summoned spirits were entirely different. Fundamentally, a summoned spirit was just a card. Let's take Celia as an example. Her defense is 7, so if a monster with an attacking power of 8 were to hit her, then according to the system, Celia's defense would reduce to -1. This will force her to return to her card form, and she would be injured. However, if the enemy were to attack with a power of 7 or below, as long as Celia's defense point doesn't dip into the negatives, Rhode could just simply withdraw her and re-summon her again, returning her to her original stats.

That Shadow Devil incident was the same. Celia wasn't instantly killed, so when she was re-summoned, she didn't need time to recover from her injuries. Thus, the angel maiden was full of vigor again as she attacked mercilessly.

The poor black-robed man didn't know this, unfortunately. He could only cry when he saw the graceful figure soar through the night skies wholly unharmed. He knew that he already lost; badly, in fact. From the start, he was like a gambler who stepped into an unknown ring. He had already lost his money, but he didn't want to give up. Still, it was a pity that he already lost his rights to regret. All he could do was to clench his teeth and go all-out.

"Damn it, damn it!!"

The black robed man growled loudly. He knew that its over. Even if he withdrew all his undead creatures, it would be impossible to recuperate his losses. The Shadow Devil was a reward that he received after serving his devil master for 20 years. He could only summon it once. If it was not for the temptation of capturing an angel, he would not have summoned it at all.

"No... it's not over..."

His whole body shook in fear just by imagining how his devil master was going to punish him after delivering this news. He was a cornered rat. Since that was the case...

Thinking of this, he lifted his head and looked at the girl who was protected by Anne in the square from far away.

"Christie... Come, to my side!"

The man yelled fiercely. Afterwards, he stretched out both of his hands and conjured two dark-colored flames in his palms. In a blink of an eye, the flames suddenly grew and engulfed him until not even his body could be seen.

Meanwhile, the situation didn't change much even after the Shadow Devil appeared.

As Celia claimed aerial superiority in the night sky, the perfect conditioned angel kept the Shadow Devil at bay. It howled at the figure flying in front of him angrily and attempted to swat her away by swinging his arms. This time, Celia was well prepared. She calmly flapped her wings and dodged the attack. The moment when the Shadow Devil missed its attack, the echo of wind followed by dozens of icy cold swords flew towards it. The Shadow Devil howled and extended its arms to the front. Instantly, a mist-like shadow erupted from his hands and the icy swords melted to nothingness.

Although Marlene's attack didn't damage the Shadow Devil, it succeeded in slowing its movements. And at this moment, Lize attacked.

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