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 The two figures split up and dashed left and right.

Rhode clutched his sword while panting on the spot. Although he wasn't injured, that didn't mean this battle was easy. If Rhode was hurt by the enemy, he would have one foot into his coffin because as a Swordsman, he relied on high speed actions.

How troublesome.

Rhode gritted his teeth while facing this Runes Guard. Being unable to summon spirits made it hard for him in battle. After all, an advanced Swordsman and advanced Spirit Swordsman were two totally different concepts. If Rhode was a specialized Swordsman, he could rely on his strength to defeat the enemies. But, it was a pity that, as a Spirit Swordsman, his battle abilities were lower than specialized Swordsman by one-third. In addition, he currently didn't possess any sword techniques with high mastery levels, which was a cause of trouble for him.

On the other hand, the Runes Guard didn't seem to change. However Rhode knew clearly that its attributes were entirely different from the giant of light. The Runes Guard seemed to be a full magical being and not a spiritual being. Judging from the non-effective Dead Soul Blade, perhaps the Runes Guard was a magical puppet under manipulation.

But... what was next?

Rhode wasn't a robot. After all, and he couldn't keep this wrangle on forever. Furthermore, his battle style required him to go into battle headstrong and defeat the enemy with an abundance of energy and high speed attacks in order to finish the fight in the shortest time possible. But once the battle was prolonged and he used up too much of his energy, it would spell trouble for him.

Rhode once again narrowed his eyes and carefully sized up the Runes Guard. From their previous clash, he had discovered that other than the magical energy ball in the middle of the Runes Guard's chest, the other physical presence was the bandage-like runes lines. In other words, to defeat the Runes Guard, Rhode would need to destroy its core. But that wouldn't be an easy task, as Rhode had attempted once before, but failed. No matter what, the enemy only had one vital part to protect while Rhode had to stay alert of his surroundings the entire time.

It seemed that to seize every opportunity was impossible and the only choice left was to take the direct approach.

Rhode lowered his head and gazed at the Crimson Blade in his hand. He had made a decision since there were no other choices. He could only give one last shot while his energy was still sufficient.

Rhode raised his sword and pointed at the Runes Guard.

Shadow Embrace, activated.

In an instant, Rhode flitted by and emerged beside the Runes Guard. He pierced his sword into its chest.

The Runes Guard turned around instantly, raised its hands to defend its chest, and erupted into a blaze. Rhode, who was by his side, disappeared in a flash and was replaced by another image of him leaping upward. However, from his swift movements, it seemed like his attack had ended.

This was the special effect of Shadow Embrace: Ghosting.

Even though Rhode wasn't able to unleash this move within a second like Mages could cast their spells, it was somewhat similar with the high flexibility of the Dark Elves with the Dark Dance Swordsmanship. It was just like Rhode now. Whenever he gave his all, almost nobody could see his movements.

However, 'Ghosting' was scheming. On the surface, it appeared similar to the afterimage of an Internet lag, but it wasn't actually there when the players looked at it. The ghosting that appeared was slower than the actual velocity by two to three seconds. In other words, when one saw the enemy raising his sword in one's face, one might have already been sliced from the back...

Shadow Embrace could be said to be vicious. As long as one saw it, regardless of if one wished for it or not, one's brain would react with what one's eyes had witnessed, which made it easy to be tricked. Even for those who were well prepared, the rationale in their heads and from what they actually saw would contradict and cause hesitations.

And in aggressive battles, this hesitations would cost people's lives.

However, the Runes Guard didn't take the bait. After all, he was a magical being and didn't rely on watching with his eyes, so the effects of Shadow Embrace were useless on him. But, even so, Rhode had no intentions of giving this technique up. Even though Ghosting wasn't able to trick the Runes Guard, its extreme speed was real. Although the Runes Guard didn't use its eyes, there were still flaws in his movements. With enough observations, there would still be a chance if Rhode's velocity was quick enough.

Just as the 'Ghosting' showed an illusion of Rhode leaping forward, the actual Rhode had already gone around to the back of the Runes Guard.

The Runes Guard had already seen through Rhode's movements after similar encounters, which forced Rhode to fail. But this time, could he succeed?

Shing!

Just as Rhode had expected; as he moved forward, the Runes Guard suddenly turned around.

But this time, Rhode didn't attack because he was looking for an opening.

Rhode held the sword with his right hand and swiped the blade on his left palm. Along with the splash of fresh blood, the Crimson Blade flickered.

Clang!

The Crimson Blade struck the Runes Guard. But this time, it didn't slide off its surface like before. Instead, the sharp blade brought along a dazzling blade ray and sliced into the Runes Guard's arm. Dozen of runes lines were reduced to shreds and half of the Runes Guard's arm was damaged badly.

As a being who lived on their source of magic, the Runes Guard was naturally sensitive to the movements of magical powers. Although the sword in Rhode's hand was a magical weapon, it was no different from a normal weapon before it got into contact with fresh blood. This was why Rhode's previous attacks were useless. But now, the activated Crimson Blade immediately stood off with the Rune Guard's magical powers, which was why Rhode's attack wasn't negated this time.

But, even so, the Crimson Blade wasn't strong enough to defeat the Runes Guard.

However, Rhode was long prepared for this.

This surprise attack put the Runes Guard at a loss. After all, it was only a being similar to a magical puppet and it was impossible for it to possess the advanced battle intelligence as humans. Due to this reason, the Runes Guard, who had always been fast in reactions, was caught off guard.

Rhode seized this opportunity and once again swiped the blade along his left palm.

The immense pain forced him to grit his teeth as he struck forth.

This time, the Runes Guard finally failed to defend against his attack. The more blood the Crimson Blade absorbed, the sharper it would become. After absorbing Rhode's sacrificial blood twice, the blade became razor-sharp and penetrated the Runes Guard mercilessly.

"-!"

The magical undulation of the Crimson Blade disrupted the magical flow within the Runes Guard, and shortly after, it trembled violently. Its four limbs shook and its body cracked wide open. The Crimson Blade's magical powers had struck deep into its body.

Now's the chance!

Rhode's eyes glinted with hope. He gritted his teeth and held the blade with his left hand. At the same time, he swung his sword downward and ripped a huge tear through the Runes Guard's body instantly. A blue magical radiance shone and speckles of light dust fluttered past Rhode's blade and into the air with some sense of beauty.

However, Rhode wasn't in the mood to admire this mesmerizing scene. As the Runes Guard lost its balance, he finally caught onto an opening.

Fury Trail!

On the tip of the sword blade, a bright, spiritual light gathered. Then, he struck the Crimson Blade down, and this time, the Runes Guard wasn't able to guard on time. It raised its hands helplessly, but the radiance of the Crimson Blade dazzled as it pierced into its body like a knife slicing through butter.

At this moment, the stored energy in the blade finally erupted.

Bam!

The Runes Guard exploded as though crashing to a giant fist landing from above. In the blink of an eye, the Runes Guard was utterly destroyed. Broken bandages flew in the air along some light dust, quickly disappearing into nothingness.

Rhode came to a halt and took in a deep breath as he looked at the remains of the Runes Guard.

It finally ended.

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