༺ Annalise (2) ༻
Vera’s eyes widened as he gazed ahead of him from within the golden blessing.
The spears struck the surface of the blessing, causing an explosion that sent heat rising all around. In the midst of it all, yet another spear launched towards him.
The overflowing divinity allowed him to maintain his defense, but despite that, the impact was still transmitted to him. As Vera struggled to keep his balance, he quickly sharpened his thoughts and recalled the scene that he had just witnessed.
‘The Sanctuary shattered.’
It was a situation he had never even considered before. It was only natural, because the Sanctuary was the power of God.
How is that possible?
Vera racked his brain, trying to understand how she was able to do that, and soon came up with an answer.
The answer was hidden in Annalise’s words.
To be precise, the Sanctuary wasn’t a power in itself, but rather a phenomenon created by interweaving that power with a spell. If it was a phenomenon, then if the Sanctuary was a spell, that meant the spell itself could be destroyed. That was most likely the point Annalise was trying to convey.
Of course, it was easier said than done.
However, no matter what kind of circle was used to make that phenomenon a reality, the source of that power was still God. It was a power from a higher dimension, one that a mere wizard couldn’t possibly interfere with.
If that was the case, then the reason Annalise could interfere was most likely related to her face that was gradually resembling the corpses he had seen before.
The pink hair, her docile demeanor, and her weakening voice.
It was clear she had injected herself with the serum that was based on the power of the ancient species.
The spear of fire struck the surface once again.
Vera scowled as his thoughts were becoming more and more chaotic.
‘The spell has been completely unraveled.’
However, it couldn’t possibly be true that Annalise unraveled even that power when she couldn’t destroy his spell.
It was clear why the blessing remained unbroken.
On the opposite side, he could see pleasure on Annalise’s face as she fired spears while snickering like an idiot.
‘I will toy around with this thing.’
Arrogant and foolish. It was evident from the sword in his hand that his talent wasn’t in spells.
Vera clenched his teeth and endured the subsequent blows while increasing his divinity.
‘The power itself can still work.’
What Annalise had destroyed was the phenomenon manifesting from that power. She couldn’t interfere with the power itself.
It became a matter of amplifying the power of the stigma itself in a somewhat primitive way.
A brilliant golden light formed above his right forearm.
“From now until the end of this battle, I will not let go of this sword from my hand. In accordance with this law, I will receive less damage from all abilities derived from magic. However, if I let go of this sword, I will lose the ability to clench my fists.”
The oath solidified the blessing, and the storm of mana that had been raging within him began to calm.
“I vow again. From now until the end of this battle, I will not perform any acts of magic and magical spells. As a result, I will be compensated with stronger physical abilities. If I fail to uphold this law, I will lose all of my ability to use magic and magical spells.”
Divinity surged through his blood vessels, permeating his muscles, bones, and organs. The divinity that couldn’t be contained within him transformed into a glowing golden mist and enveloped Vera’s body.
Vera exhaled sharply, then rushed forward while taking a deep breath. As the blessing faded away, Vera burst forth.
An ominous grin spread across Annalise’s face. Soon after, a red magic circle formed beneath Vera’s feet.
Flame Commandment Spell [Firestorm].
The magic circle burst into flames as a raging pillar of fire erupted into the sky.
Vera quickly accelerated his body and narrowly passed through the pillar of fire, just a hair’s breadth away from being consumed by the flames.
The distance between them closed in an instant.
As Vera aimed his sword towards the left side of Annalise’s chest, an even more sinister smile appeared on her face.
It was an insult, as if to taunt him. Then, Annalise’s body scattered into flames.
Her voice echoed through the air.
“Are you so stupid that you think just swinging a sword will save you? Did you think a wizard would fight a knight without a single defense for close combat?”
At the ceiling of the garden, Annalise manifested from the flames that were kindling in the air. Vera caught the faint noise of the flames rising, and twisted his body to get away.
“You’re just like a cockroach that’s struggling desperately to survive. No, you’re even worse than a cockroach. At least they know how pathetic they are and decide to hide.”
A gigantic magic circle appeared and covered the entirety of the garden ceiling.
As Annalise watched Vera approaching, she activated the circle.
‘It’s not a good spell to use indoors, but…’
The blazing circle erupted into hundreds of scorching fireballs, burning intensely enough to become white.
Wide Area Obliteration Spell [Meteor].
Annalise extended her index finger and weaved a small magic circle in front of it.
Target Seeking Spell [Stalker].
A scorching-white rain of fireballs descended upon Vera all at once. He sharpened his divinity into an aura-like form and then swung forward.
The golden wave of light and the white apocalyptic flames clashed against each other, creating shockwaves that multiplied into dozens and then hundreds before exploding.
The force of the shockwave sent Vera flying backwards.
Annalise weaved another magic circle as she watched him. With a face that hardly resembled her original appearance at all, the girl grinned and spoke.
“Ah, you’re quite the trickster. Try blocking it again.”
She combined [Meteor] and [Stalker] together, then layered more spells on top.
Gravitational Amplification Spell [Gravity]
Projectile Acceleration Spell [Silver Wing]
In an instant, the air above them came crashing down. White fireballs with silver wings began to form.
As though she weren’t affected by using multiple spells at once, Annalise commanded [Meteor] to be shot at a single spot with a wave of her hand.
Taking in the scene before him, Vera weaved his divinity once again. It wasn’t his own. He was drawing the divinity of the Heavenly Realm, which was floating high in the sky beyond the Aurillac.
The Holy Sword was enveloped by a more intense and radiant golden light.
Vera swung and launched the divinity, and another explosion occurred.
The Magic Tower shook from the impact.
Even with the smoke blocking her field of view, Annalise could sense Vera’s presence.
A cackle followed. She hadn’t even considered defeat. She was fighting against him after administering the serum to herself, which meant she was at risk of damaging her own great intellect.
But despite that, defeat never crossed her mind.
Suddenly, Annalise was filled with rage.
‘Because of that fucking brat!’
Anger surged through her, as if a scorching heat was emanating from within. No… she was actually burning inside. She could clearly feel all of her internal organs burning, melting, and endlessly regenerating.
As her rage intensified, the pink hue in Annalise’s pupils deepened, and her blood vessels bulged all over her body.
Despite her emotions taking over all sense of reasoning, Annalise’s mind worked quickly to assemble another spell.
Mana burst from her fingertips, filling the empty space ahead with a magic circle.
It wasn’t just a simple circle, but rather a circular plane. Six circular planes were present, each encircled by a polygon around its edges. These polygons combined to form a cube, with each circular plane transforming into one of the six faces of the cube.
It was the manifestation of a high-ranking spell.
The space was confined by the spell. In the next moment, the vertices of the cube pushed in, transforming it into an octahedron. Each side of the octahedron was engraved with a different spell, bending the laws of space and warping everything within.
The world within the spell began anew as lava erupted and flowed through the chaotic flower garden. A rain of fire descended from the sky, and the scorching heat burned with such intensity that it was unbearable for any unprotected body.
“Kid, is this what you were trying to do?”
Spatial Manipulation Spell [Realm of Fire].
“Trying to use a spatial spell, despite being so inferior in knowledge and status, is truly pathetic. It’s like one of those hopeless retards desperately struggling to succeed.”
Vera enveloped himself in divinity, gasping for air at the overwhelming heat. He couldn’t stop the heat, but he had to prevent himself from burning.
As Annalise watched Vera struggling desperately to somehow survive, she sneered.
“You’re like an insect.”
Annalise stretched out both arms.
She weaved another four spells, adding them on top of the eight spells that already composed the space.
A total of twelve different spells intertwined as the space began to warp.
Unique Spell [Inferno].
Apocalyptic flames devoured everything in its path. They burned away all oxygen, space, and even concepts, leaving nothing but ashes in their wake. It was magic that affected existence itself, a spell that touched only a shadow of Providence.
“How long will you hold on for? It seems like you believe in the divinity of the Heavenly Realm, but how long do you think it will last?”
Vera clenched his teeth and ignited his divinity. He couldn’t argue because she was telling the truth.
The gateway that Renee had torn open to the Heavenly Realm wouldn’t last forever. It would close soon, perhaps even before he could escape from this space.
He had to find a way.
He had managed to endure this far with his oath and the divinity of the Heavenly Realm. However, if this continued, the battle would ultimately end in his defeat.
He thought, but with the oxygen disappearing, breathing became difficult.
He inhaled as much oxygen as possible and held it in. His ashen eyes reflected a vermillion light, illuminating a world being consumed by the apocalyptic flames.
‘Is it possible to interfere with the spell?’
It was impossible. Although he was annoyed, he had to admit that he was less competent in magic compared to that damned old hag.
‘Is it possible to wait for her mana to run out?’
That was also impossible. It was a chicken race, which was as close as he could get to gambling. He wasn’t certain as to which would be faster. Would it be the closure of the gateway to the Heavenly Realm, or the depletion of the Tower Master’s mana?
Vera watched Annalise floating silently in the air, looking down at him. Suddenly, his eyes narrowed and he had a different thought.
‘…She isn’t moving.’
After Annalise cast her magic, she would stand still in one place, moving only her mouth.
In this state, she could probably grab a sword and stab him. She could even cut through his divinity with a simple spell. Yet, there was no movement at all.
It meant one thing.
‘…She can’t move.’
In her state, Annalise most likely couldn’t move either. It wasn’t only movements, but she was unable to perform any actions other than speaking.
As his thoughts continued, Annalise spoke again.
“Kid, how long do you think you can hold out for? Rather, you should just swing your sword.”
She cackled while talking, but all that did was make Vera’s heart cold.
‘It’s a taunt.’
Annalise wanted Vera to move. She was trying to wear down Vera’s stamina. No, perhaps she was trying to induce a faster loss of oxygen through his movements.
Vera realized that and made a smile of satisfaction.
“Looks like the saying that ‘old people talk a lot’ is true.”
“I’m saying, it’s ridiculous to see an old hag that should have died a long time ago blabbering away.”
The smile faded from Annalise’s face.
Vera saw her reaction and mocked her sarcastically again.
“I should have noticed that you like brats. What, don’t like those that act your own age? Or do you know your own age too well? It makes sense though, you probably want to suck the life force out of those brats before you get old and die. But, you know what? That won’t make you any younger.”
It was a counter-taunt intended to destroy her composure. He judged that she would be affected by it, given her emotional state.
The heat soared, giving the illusion as if the whole world were on fire, and breathing became increasingly harder with each passing moment.
However, he shouldn’t show weakness.
He already knew that Annalise was feeling the burden of maintaining this spell, so he just had to keep pushing her like this.
“The passage of time is truly fleeting. Has oblivion made you lose all sense of shame? If I were you, I would have hung myself out of shame before becoming like that. Ah, maybe…”
A flame violently arose.
In an instant, Annalise’s docile demeanor twisted and contorted to resemble the faces of the ‘corpses’, changing her face into one of a witch from a story.
“You! What do you know?! Do you even know how much I have sacrificed for this world…”
“What sacrifice? You’re just a horny old hag that’s good at making excuses.”
Vera’s taunts continued.
Annalise’s face quivered uncontrollably, and tears of blood started streaming down from her eyes, which had widened to the point of tearing at the corners.
The spell that formed the space began to crack.
Vera snorted while readjusting his sword.
A retard who can’t even control their own emotions was appointed as the Tower Master? Hasn’t the Empire gone too far?
Feeling refreshed from being able to curse again after a long time, Vera charged towards Annalise.
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