Book 3, Mountain Range of Magical Beasts – Chapter 13, Danger (part 1)

“Whew. They finally left.” Linley finally let out a deep breath.

Linley knew very well that he only had the prowess of a warrior of the fourth rank. Engaging in close quarters combat with Windwolves of the fifth rank was tantamount to suicide. Only by using magic could he hope to survive. But if it weren’t for the fact that he had sufficient speed, how would he have the chance to cast any magic spells. Fortunately, he was quite fast, and so he managed to get this favorable result.

“Even if a magus of the sixth rank was present, he wouldn’t necessarily have done better than me. A magus of the sixth rank, in terms of speed, wouldn’t have been able to shake off the pursuit of those Windwolves. When surrounded and attacked by a pack of Windwolves, he might not even have the chance to cast any spells.” Linley felt all the more certain that his decision to not let up on his physical training was a very wise decision.

Linley glanced at the Coiling Dragon Ring on his left hand. Ever since he had grown up, he had begun wearing the ring on his fingers.

“And it’s a good thing that I have this Coiling Dragon Ring! Otherwise, how would I have been able to utilize so many spells of the fifth rank?”

For the average magus of the fifth rank, after utilizing two spells of the fifth rank, they would most likely be out of mageforce. But Linley was different. He had just used six spells of the fifth rank; three casts of ‘Shattered Rocks’, one cast of ‘Supergravity Field’, one cast of ‘Earthguard’, and one cast of ‘Earth Spear Array’.

The reason for this? The Coiling Dragon Ring.

In years past, Doehring Cowart had come across this ring by accident. One time, when Doehring Cowart cast a spell, he found out, to his astonishment, that a spell which was cast through the Coiling Dragon Ring would only require a sixth as much mageforce and spiritual energy to achieve the same effect.

Clearly, through the Coiling Dragon Ring, one could more clearly sense and manipulate elemental essence. Additionally, it placed a much lower demand on spiritual energy and mageforce.

A sixth. What did that represent?

A Saint-level magus could normally just utilize the terrifying ‘Annihilating Tempest’ spell a single time. But with the aid of the Coiling Dragon Ring, he could use the spell six times! Such a terrifyingly powerful treasure caused Doehring Cowart to be uncontrollably excited. He considered this discovery to be the blessing of the earth mother, which is why he named the ring the ‘Worldring’.

The divine treasure, ‘Worldring’.

This was the name which Doehring Cowart had bequeathed upon it. Based on what Doehring Cowart had said, although the Yulan continent had some exceedingly powerful treasures which could make it much easier for a magus to cast spells, there were virtually none which were had the same degree of effect as the ‘Worldring’.

But after obtaining this Coiling Dragon Ring, when training with it, Linley discovered something.

“Not just earth-style magic! Wind-style magic, and even my miniscule amount of fire-style magic, when channeled through the Coiling Dragon Ring, only requires a sixth as much spiritual essence and mageforce.” Looking at the ring, Linley felt happier and happier.

Doehring Cowart also chose this moment to appear besides Linley.

“Don’t look at it. In my era, after obtaining this Coiling Dragon Ring, I never dared to inform anyone about it. If anyone found out about it, most likely a large number of Saint-level combatants would come to try and take it from me. But I must say, even I did not imagine that it could also assist fire-style and wind-style magic users.” Doehring Cowart sighed.

Linley nodded. “In the future, I will never dare to reveal this secret either.” Linley knew very well how precious this ring was. If its secret was leaked out, most likely he would be dismembered by all the Saint-level combatants of the Yulan continent.

“Boss, you done?” The little Shadowmouse, Bebe, chose to speak at this moment. He was standing atop a grassy place not far away. Just then, Bebe had not joined the battle, just watched from afar.

Linley smiled.

“Oof, that hurts.” Seeing the wound on his chest and how his clothes had been torn and stained by blood, Linley began to carefully dress his wound while also using elemental essence to close the wound.

Bebe was staring at Linley’s wound as well, seemingly quite concerned.

“Boss, next time something like this happens, I’m gonna take action.” Bebe suddenly said to Linley mentally.

“No need, not unless you believe I’m in a situation where I am powerless to resist and am definitely going to die. Only then can you act. Otherwise…what’s the point of me doing training here?” Linley’s voice was firm and unyielding. Bebe immediately no longer dared to speak. Bebe had long ago wanted to engage in a slaughter, but Linley never agreed.

Right now, hiding in the grass thirty meters away from Linley, a black shadow lay in ambush.

“Just now, in that battle, from start to finish, he utilized six spells of the fifth rank. Although the spells only had the power of the fifth rank, given that he was able to cast six of them, he most likely is a magus of the sixth rank. His combat prowess should be that of a warrior of the fourth rank. Based on the fact that his movements were assisted by wind-style magic, he most likely also possesses affinity for wind magic. In summary: A dual-element magus of the sixth rank, and a warrior of the fourth rank.”

The distant dark shadow was calculating.

“90% chance of killing him successfully. I can make my move.” The dark shadow made his decision.

Linley had just finished with one large battle. Naturally, he would be a bit more relaxed. That dark shadow still remained unmoving. In the dark night, he was nothing more than just another shadow. Not even the little Shadowmouse, Bebe, had the slightest idea he was there, much less Linley.

The layer of glowing elemental essence on the ground had vanished.

The Supergravity Field had expired!

“Now!” The dark shadow, which had been lying in ambush this entire time, suddenly flew out silently, flying at astonishing speed towards Linley like an illusionary shadow.

Linley suddenly felt a sense of panic, and he immediately dodged at high speed while turning his head to look behind himself. He saw a dark shadow stabbing at him with a sharp knife, the knife emanating a cold light which made Linley’s heart turn to ice. Those cold, callous, murderous eyes in the dark shadow also made Linley’s heart tighten.

“How incredibly fast!” Linley hurriedly retreated, but clearly the shadow was even faster. The flashing black knife had almost reached his eyes.

“Clang!”

Linley wielded his straight chisel to block the opponent’s knife, and the black knife of the opponent viciously collided with the straight chisel. With a cracking sound, the straight chisel was totally shattered, with some of the shards of the straight chisel cutting into Linley’s face, leaving bloody lines over him.

“Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!”

Seven or eight blades of wind suddenly appeared next to Linley and chopped at the dark shadow. Based on Linley’s current level of ability, he was totally capable of subvocally casting the wind blades spell. Those seven or eight wind blades all chopped at the dark shadow, but once they came into contact with the black light emanating from the shadow, they all disappeared.

“Darkness-style battle-qi!” Linley immediately made the deduction.

Although these seven or eight blades of wind had not managed to block the dark shadow, they had managed to distract him momentarily. Linley immediately turned around and shot forward like an arrow from a bow. The dark shadow had fast reflexes, however, and chased after Linley, vaulting forward towards Linley at an even higher speed.

In midair, facing Linley, the dark shadow pierced at Linley with his knife once again, still aiming directly for Linley’s heart. At this moment, in the back of Linley’s mind flashed the image of those five corpses he had seen just before entering the Mountain Range of Magical Beasts. All five of them had been killed by stabs to the heart.

“Die.”

The dark shadow was totally confident. His knife, covered with a black glow, had already reached Linley’s chest. In midair, there was no place for Linley to go or to hide. The only option he had was to instacast the most protective defensive spell available to him; the shield of earth! A small shield of earth, only a third of the size of a normal one, suddenly appeared in front of Linley’s chest.

“Hrmph!”

The dark shadow sneered. The knife in his hand pierced through the shield at an even greater speed. To someone on the dark shadow’s level, a shield of earth posed no barrier at all.

After having been shrunk in size, the shield of earth actually had quite respectable defensive abilities, but when faced with the attack from this knife, all it could do was slow it down and not stop it. Linley felt some pain in his chest as in just a few moments, the knife pierced all the way through his shield of earth.

“Raaaaawr!”

A terrifying, high-pitched scream could be heard as the little Shadowmouse, Bebe, suddenly appeared next to the dark shadow’s wrist. The Shadowmouse’s mouth was large enough to chomp down on a human hand, while his sharp teeth, were totally capable of chewing through anything. Bebe bit down hard on the dark shadow’s wrist. With an anguished cry, the dark shadow lost his hand at the wrist.

All that was left was half of a hand, still grasping the dagger that had pierced through the shield of earth and penetrated Linley’s chest.

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