Chapter 172 - Claimhb Solais (3)
First, Hyde's appearance disappeared along with his presence. It had been briefly disturbed by Frost Storm, but his Aura Ability was second to none. Moreover, the effect of his ability had nothing to do with his condition, so Hyde's presence didn't leave even a speck of dust.
Even so, Theodore laughed. 'Still, it isn't perfect.'
As expected, Hyde revealed a bit of presence due to the impact of Frost Storm. The slight hint of collarbone was proof of the crisis. Theodore could get a few clues and then move his body in response to the warning of his senses.
Right at that moment, the hairs on Theodore's neck stood up.
He took half a step backward just as the air in front of his neck was cut. It was Hyde's sword, or perhaps his aura blade. Theodore spread all 10 of his fingers before him.
There was a bombardment of Magic Bullets. The transcendent blue lights, far beyond Alfred's original version, shot out 10 times. It was impossible to see this barrage as random shots. In fact, a few of them headed toward Hyde's body and vanished. It wasn't possible to damage him properly, but it did reveal Hyde's body.
'Okay, it works!' Theodore smiled and formed a fist as his shooting worked.
In fact, Magic Bullet was excellent against melee experts such as sword masters. It was good at close range, but it was difficult to hit the target when the distance was too far. Although it wasn't that bad, it was ambiguous to use as his main force.
However, this situation was different. Magic Bullet was very efficient when it came to magic power and was capable of firing it continuously. A 7th Circle magician could pour it out like a shower.
Pipipipipi-! The blue light poured out. The light emitted from his fingertips was more fearsome than beautiful. There were approximately three or four bullets per second...? No, maybe even more than that. The light rays were being poured out at a rate of close to 50 times per second, making it appear like a meteor shower.
Gravel and dirt sprang up as the light touched the ground, leaving blue afterimages behind. This wasn't like the war hero's skill, but the power of Magic Bullet was truly awesome. However, Theodore's opponent was a sword master who surpassed even a past hero.
The concept of this technique had been devised by someone weak, so a sword master could easily trample on it.
Suddenly, blood poured from Theodore's body.
Theodore was half a beat too late. He had been struck off guard due to the enemy's boldness of attacking while receiving damage from Magic Bullet. Fortunately, his bones and nerves were safe. However, there was still blood pouring from the deep cut.
He quickly used healing magic while retreating a few steps, before he started shivering. It was proof that Hyde's position was near. The edge of the blade had gone through Frost Storm and tickled Theodore's ribs.
Simultaneously, Theodore bent his waist back unconsciously.
This was an avoidance method from the East which wouldn't be possible to use if he were wearing heavy armor. His folded upper body was now parallel to the ground and completely avoided the sword.
It was an unbelievable reaction which even surprised himself, but Theodore stood upright again and kicked with his right foot.
It was a perfect hit. Although it wasn't enough to break the Aura Ability, a few drops of blood fell onto the ground.
Thanks to Battle Song, Theodore's strength was already equivalent to that of an aura user. This meant the power of his kick wasn't much different from a hit by a mace. Even the body of a sword master would receive a shock which would cause a nosebleed.
However, Theodore instinctively understood that although it felt like he had the momentum, Hyde had actually used this to take one step closer to Theodore.
"-Thunderbolt, cry!" Without distributing any mental power to chanting, Theodore's short chant summoned seven bolts of thunder.
This wasn't the 'lightning spear' which concentrated power on one point. Instead, it poured out thunderbolts toward the spot where Hyde was!
Kwarururung-! The sound of thunder was deafening in this enclosed space.
Theodore stared at the spot where the thunderbolts struck as there was a part of the ground which wasn't melted down. He had to watch carefully in order to not miss the movements of the sword master in the center.
However, Hyde didn't move immediately. Instead, he bent over.
"...Kehup!" The damage seemed to be great this time as Hyde coughed up blood. The blood was a dark red. It was a color which proved the impact had reached his intestines even though he had defended with aura.
A lightning spear could be invalidated with the god sword, but there was no way to block all the thunderbolts. Theodore, who was trying to estimate the situation, got a sense of enlightenment.
'Hey, haven't I become stronger?'
The battles he previously experienced had been much more severe and dangerous than this current battle. Umbra hadn't been used yet, and he didn't have any serious wounds. Additionally, his response had been really fast a while back.
Funnily enough, Theodore's power was maturing during this battle. With Alfred's Magic Bullet, Lee Yoonsung's martial arts, his own magic, the Artificial Yin and Yang, and Dragon Words... This wasn't a hasty battle of survival but one he could actually win.
This was a sense of enjoyment which couldn't be felt in battles against stronger opponents. Confidence made Theodore's movements even more violent.
"Ugh-!" Hyde had yet to recover from the damage, but he was receiving a bombardment of Magic Bullets again. One hit wasn't fatal, but it was annoying and cumbersome. However, the consumption of aura was too extreme to block all of them.
Hyde's combat style which maintained the Aura Ability made this an issue. His aura was gradually drying up, and it wouldn't be long before it ran out.
"...Don't make me laugh!" Hyde roared.
However, a sword master was a sword master. Hyde used his left arm as a shield and broke through the Magic Bullets coming from the front. A few hit him, but his aura defense was still intact.
Hyde managed to draw near, but Theodore avoided Hyde's sword. It passed by his temple, and he countered with a punch to Hyde's body.
Chaaeng! Theodore's punch was blocked by Hyde's silver left arm.
However, this wasn't a constraint as Hyde swung his sword with his other arm which wasn't tied up. Clearly, Hyde's body was different from a human's. Sensing that this wouldn't work, Theodore widened the distance again. No, the moment he tried to...
Hyde screamed with a demon-like face, "The light that drives away evil...!"
At that moment, a bright light emerged from Hyde's left arm. It was a small light compared to when he had wiped out the warlocks or created the battlefield, but it was clearly the light of divine power.
This was the nemesis of magic. Before Theodore could take action, 'it' burst out. Argenteous Brillianc
This was the type of brilliance which had defeated Balor when used by Nuada Airgetlám. There was no attack power at all, but Theodore was a magician and the light seemed to be stripping away at him.
'...No, it isn't just a feeling!' There was knee-jerk amazement in Theodore's eyes. As soon as Argenteous Brilliance was activated, all magic on his body was lifted. Frost Storm, which had been created with Dragon Words, completely disappeared.
It forcibly canceled a 7th Circle magician's spell made with Dragon Words...?
Chill. At that time, Theodore had a foreboding of death. He'd lost Battle Song which enhanced his physical abilities, as well as Frost Storm which allowed him to read and block Hyde's attacks.
A minimum of two seconds was needed before he could return to his previous combat state. He needed to hold on for two seconds in front of a sword master!
Before freezing with terror, Theodore's body had moved freely.
There was a strange sound. It was the sound of Theodore's martial arts hitting Hyde's body. Anyone watching this battle would call it a last hurrah. A sword master's aura defense couldn't be crushed by the fist of a human.
"...Eh?" However, Theodore was forced to make a questioning sound. "Why?"
Theodore wondered why his fist was fine, as well as why there was no blood on his skin. Why had Hyde taken a few steps back from the punch of a magician? It was such an unimaginable situation that Theodore even forgot to prepare for battle.
This was a moment when the magician showed many gaps because he couldn't understand the phenomenon. However, Hyde couldn't even move his body, let alone stab at the gaps. Shortly after that, Hyde's face revealed the reason.
"Kuheok! Kuk, kuhuup...!"
Hyde's sword pointed downward as blood flowed down. It was nothing compared to the blood dripping from his lips. Additionally, the taut skin of a man in his 20s shriveled like he was an elderly man, and the size of his body decreased. It was like Hyde had aged dozens of years in an instant.
In a situation that nobody could believe, Theodore discovered the answer to the phenomenon which was happening to Theodore.
'...I see. Is that the price for using the god-sword?'
-It seems like it. Gluttony was also convinced about the reason. -I wondered how an unqualified being had this power, but now I know why.
-It isn't a big deal. It connects to the lost part of the body and has access to the source of life. By consuming the life force of the user, the god-sword is activated. No matter how much vitality a sword master has, he can only use it a few times.
Theodore nodded. Hyde looked terrible. It wasn't merely aging. His life force itself was being sucked out. Perhaps a normal human wouldn't be able to tolerate it. Theodore briefly made a sympathetic expression before continuing to ask Gluttony questions.
'Look at his status and make a decision. How much longer can he last?'
-Hmm. Gluttony observed Hyde through Theodore's eyes and said, -His life is deteriorating. Using anything more is impossible. It won't be long until he dies.
'Damn.' Theodore gritted his teeth because he wanted to end this fight here. From this point on, Theodore was in a better position, but Hyde wasn't prepared to lose yet. So, Theo couldn't be careless before it was over. His senses warned that something was approaching.
Unsurprisingly, Hyde stood up again. "...Up to... here."
As a sword master, he couldn't be unaware of his body's condition. Hyde realized that this place was his grave. The god-sword, Claimhb Solais, would kill him. Perhaps it was a great honor for him to die here. The life which had started in the slums would end with the god-sword.
Hyde smiled and threw the sword in his right hand to the floor.
"What are you doing?" It was an act of surrender, but Theodore asked anyway.
"Fighting with my sword... ends here. Too bad. My strength can't reach you."
Before Theodore could reply to Hyde's words, Hyde grabbed his silver left arm. Then he pulled it like he was pulling the sword off.
It was a sight which seemed like a lie. Theodore thought so as Hyde held the silver sword in his right hand. The blade, Claimhb Solais, shone bright silver with Hyde's vitality as fuel.
"Glory to the future of Andras..." Hyde said as he grabbed firmly onto the light which had wiped out the Orcus warlocks and set it up as a sword.
Then he roared, "Theodore Miller, I will take you with me!"
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