Explosion roar that never stopped.
One might have been distracted by the ripping and crashing sound of the explosion, but Lumen’s grip on his sword never wavered. Lumen’s sword energy didn’t sweep out in a wide, half-flashing arc. Instead, he was always still, calm, and collected.
One side, one line, and one point.
What he dreamt of was the ultimate sword strike that all the myriad things in the world pointed to. It was a single and clear point.
‘Moonlight Swift Sword.’
He lifted his closed eyelids to reveal unwavering blue eyes. Engraved within them was a single, lingering flash of light that bisected the ice wall.
A sharp rupture followed the afterimage of light a beat later. With the huge rupture, the cracks that cut the ice began to spread.
‘I guess it’s still impossible for a clean cut.’
It was a shame, but it served its initial purpose. With a sigh, Lumen picked up Van he’d left on the ground and called out to Cadel.
“Aargh! Why doesn’t he die!”
“Let’s call it a day.”
As Lumen turned to pull the nervously shouting Cadel aside, he realized the source of detonation that had resonated wildly throughout the preparation of the technique
Fire butterflies filled the air. Dozens of fire butterflies swarmed around Lydon, relentlessly pursuing him. Any butterfly that managed to touch him exploded instantly, followed by another that was caught in the blast. It was a relentless and sickening chain of explosions.
The butterfly that caused the explosion even regenerated from the fallen embers and resumed flapping its wings. Lumen wondered when Cadel had learned this magic.
It was admirable, but so was Lydon’s ability to constantly deflect the blasts. He flew freely through the air, deploying a shield of ice to block attacks with little difficulty. He even managed to kill a butterfly with a ranged attack.
It was an attack that would have killed him and left him in a blast, but Lydon was blocking it so brilliantly. Cadel had every right to stomp his foot and be frustrated. But right now, they didn’t have time to deal with Lydon until the attack worked. Lumen tugged at the hem of Cadel’s robe, urging him on.
“Give it up, Leader. Let’s hurry up and go.”
“Aish, I’m pissed.”
Cadel knew that right now, it was far better to bide his time by tying Lydon’s hands than to try to kill him. But part of him wanted to rip Lydon to shreds right now, so he raised his middle finger at Lydon, who was busy dodging the fire butterflies. Cadel felt like it would make him feel better if he cursed at him.
“Fuu, that’s it. I’ll buy some time with that spell. We should be able to get some breathing room while I hold the spell.”
“What about mana? Are you okay?”
“I told you, if I’m not okay, I’ll die.”
[Fire Butterfly Dream] was a chain explosion magic that continued to regenerate as long as the mana was not cut off. As long as he didn’t get out of range, mana could continue to be supplied, so he had to buy the maximum escape time through the maintenance of [Fire Butterfly Dream].
They began to flee, leaving Lydon tied to the attack behind. Shards of the ice wall, completely destroyed by Lumen’s attack, crackled and crunched underfoot.
‘By the way, even though I believed he would make it, but to really cut through that thick wall. As expected of the character that I cherished. Although the personality…… No, compared to Lydon, he’s an angel.’
When dealing with the less empathetic fairies, even Lumen’s bad attitude was seen as a cute complaint. Or should he say, a positive feature that worked as intended?
Cadel pushed him on the shoulder, praising the commendable Lumen inwardly.
“Run at your original speed, you don’t have to keep up with me.”
“This is my original speed. It’s all thanks to this useless, weighty guy.”
Lumen jerked his head to Van, but Cadel didn’t believe him. Lumen’s speed and endurance would have to be far greater than his, whether he was carrying Van or a sack of rice.
‘It’s a chance I earned. I can’t be a burden here.’
It took a lot of mana to maintain [Fire Butterfly Dream]. So, in order to maximize the range and keep Lydon’s feet tied for a long time, he shouldn’t waste mana with other magic. Even more so if he considered the possible collisions that would happen several times in the future. He had to conserve his mana as much as possible.
Although Cadel knew that fact better than anyone else.
“From now on, I’m going to put wind magic on me. It will speed up, so if you don’t want to be left alone, follow me properly.”
“You’re just going to walk away? That’s not fair, Leader.”
“What’s the point of having long legs? This’s when you use it.”
It was all a tragedy caused by his own greed, and he didn’t want to share the blame with Lumen. Even though he knew it was impossible, Cadel cast [Wind’s Path] on himself. It was a speed-up buff of sorts.
As he tried to maintain the two spells, he felt a tingling pain in his lower stomach, like being pricked by a needle. It was proof that his mana was running out.
‘Hang in there! If you can’t stand this much pain, just kill yourself, you crazy.’
Having whipped himself, he accelerated his run at a much faster pace, and Lumen, who using Van’s weight as an excuse was as clear as day, quickly picked up his pace as well.
‘The range of Fire Butterfly Dream can still be increased. It would be nice if I could get out like this…….’
There was also the assumption that Aiden would call for his people first. Of course, the end result of that assumption was an annihilation ending, but Cadel was obligated to save his subordinates, even in the face of such a dreamless and hopeless ending.
‘With one wing clipped, he’s not going to get there fast. ……But he might run into his own kind along the way, and that’s the worst.’
The best-case scenario was that they made it out of the forest before Aiden could summon his people, while Lydon was suffering from the [Fire Butterfly Dream].
But even as he forced himself to speed up, the exit was far away.
The abdominal pain was getting worse as he poured his mana into [Fire Butterfly Dream] to maintain it. Cadel bit his lip tightly, barely holding back a moan. If he showed any signs of struggle, Lumen would slow down again.
He pushed down the pain and channeled the residual mana to [Fire Butterfly Dream] through his increasingly blurred vision. But the twisting pain in his stomach was not worth the effort.
He felt a strong force pulling at his body, accompanied by a thin rippling sound.
“What a monster. He broke through it?”
Lumen, who quickly grabbed Cadel, stared back with a tired expression. Two ice spears were embedded in the ground where Cadel had been standing until just now.
Cadel’s expression slowly hardened as he stared at the ice spears where the chill rose.
The magic of [Fire Butterfly Dream] was still maintained. There would be no way to break through it and pursue them.
As he nervously turned around, a huge form that shouldn’t be there yet filled his vision.
It was Lydon. Soot and crimson streaks across his unruly hair and white cheeks, smoke billowing from his entire body, including his wings. A cheeky face with a smile as bright and cheerful as the sun made all the eerier by his disheveled appearance.
Their gazes met for what seemed like an eternity. Lydon smiled softly, not letting go of the contact, and then abruptly stopped flying.
Standing tall, he clasped his hands together, and a faint chill began to creep through Lydon’s body. The chill instantly dampened the feverish energy that had risen in the aftermath of the [Fire Butterfly Dream]. Even though there was still quite a bit of distance between them, the coldness emanating from his body could clearly be felt by Cadel’s group.
A look of weary wariness settled on Cadel’s face, wondering what kind of technique Lydon was going to pull out.
Lydon admired Cadel’s sensitive face and murmured quietly.
“Great Frozen Land.”