Chapter 169 – A Man’s Contract (2)
[That is a suitable look for you! I want you to freeze looking like that!]
Petra was sure that Artpe had become frightened by his magical energy and power over the cold. He extended his hand forward as he emitted more cold energy. His power was truly frightening. It was as if he was trying to freeze the entire plain and the sky above him.
In a flash, the cold current swept over Artpe’s party! If one breathed in this cold air, one’s lungs would be frozen. However, Regina raised her hand before her party members suffered any damage. A cold energy of different quality was emitted by Regina, and she confronted the Demon.
“You hold the power of a Demon. Pure Demonic energy was used to twist nature. It is mere trickery. Your power isn’t the true power of winter.”
Petra was taken aback, so he came to a halt. Artpe watched the exchange, and he wondered if Petra had been the one to tell Etna about the existence of the Winter Queen’s ruin.
[You dare to fight me with the power of frost? You really think you can win against me?]
“For some strange reason, I have taken an active role in many recent fights. Will I die at this rate?”
“Nope. You won’t die. It just means you are indispensable to this party.”
The initial reasoning for heading towards the Winter Queen’s ruin was to acquire enough power to deal with Etna and Petra! Artpe raised his staff, and he supported Regina with his Mana. He smirked. On the other hand, Petra caught a glimpse of Artpe’s massive magical energy. He also discerned the identity of Artpe’s staff.
[You actually have enough ability to blow away the Demon King’s castle······!]
Petra should speak the whole truth. There was no one within the Demon King’s army that could decimate the Demon King’s castle. Only someone like the Demon King would be able to accomplish what Artpe’s party had accomplished. Artpe knew that Petra was using one of the essential skills of the Four Heavenly King. He was using the Bluff skill. Artpe felt a sudden sense of nostalgia.
[All right. You guys can all attack me! I’ll just freeze all of you!]
“Regina, can you do anything about this cold air?”
“His power is twisted, but that is also the reason why he is strong. It is impossible for me to neutralize more of his power.”
It was simple as to the reason why Petra was powerful. His mere presence froze his surrounding, and a basic debuff was applied to his enemies by the environment created by him.
Artpe’s party had Regina, so she was able to stop most of the adverse effect of Petra’s cold energy. Despite her doing this, Artpe’s party could feel frost starting to form on their skin. It proved that Petra hadn’t acquired the Four Heavenly King title through mere chance.
“Maetel, will you be able to fight him?”
“Yes. It won’t be a problem. I can withstand the cold.”
“All right. You should use this.”
As always, Maetel was about to unsheathe her bastard sword. However, Artpe pulled out a longsword from his belongings. It was the sword gifted to Artpe by Etna. She had put the power of her fire into this sword, and she had asked him not to give this sword to Maetel. It was only for his use.
Artpe had used three consecutive Reinforcement on the sword. Then he had used the magic stones he had gathered over time to complete the 4th Reinforcement. He was able to upgrade his sword to hellfire status. The fire from the past was like a candle flame compared to the current flame.
‘In the end, you knew this would come to pass. Right, Etna?’
If he was wrong about this, it couldn’t be helped. He would have to suffer the consequences in some other way.
“I have to use the sword gifted to Artpe by that woman….”
In a flash, a very odd expression appeared on Maetel’s face. However, she knew she couldn’t make decisions based on her feelings. She grabbed the sword. The heat, which emanated from the sword, pushed back the cold energy.
Petra recognized the source of the fire being emitted by the sword. The color of Petra’s face changed couple times, but Maetel didn’t pay attention to it. She immediately used Acceleration to charge the Demon!
“I’m sorry, but I want to end this quickly!”
[I acknowledge that you have some spunk!]
A large ice spike shot out from the ground before Maetel could finish her ambush. She easily dodged the attack, but Petra had been aiming for this from the beginning. Cold air shot out from his hand as a whirlwind appeared in front of him. It pounced towards Maetel, who had jumped into the air!
The fact that she was in the air didn’t mean that Maetel couldn’t move freely. She used the power of the Hero Flash, and a golden wing appeared behind her back. She used to the power of the wing to shoot forward like an arrow, and she dodged the whirlwind, which contained swirling ice crystals. She swung her flame sword when she reached Petra.
Petra was surprised by her ridiculous reaction speed, but he was able to block her attack with an ice barrier. However, it couldn’t withstand her attack for too long. His ice barrier melted.
Petra knew his barrier hadn’t failed, because the fire sword was excellent. His control hadn’t dipped either. It was happening, because a similar yet different cold energy was competing with his own power. His domain was being taken away by the presence of another magician.
[What a shallow tactic······!]
“You told us to attack you at the same time. Elrick and Sienna. You too, Sherryl.”
“You should just focus on interfering with his progress. Understood?”
Petra created cold energy by decreasing the temperature of the Demonic energy to the extreme. He was born with a constitution that was resistant against the cold. This resistance held up against both the Demonic energy inside and outside his body. His bones, muscles and skin was being protected against the extreme cold.
If one wanted to damage him, one had to penetrate the armor of cold energy around his body. The only one capable of doing that was Maetel, who was using the flame sword.
This was why Sienna and Elrick didn’t immediately attack Petra. While he was engaged against Maetel, Petra couldn’t attack Sienna and Elrick in an aggressive manner. The two of them used this opportunity to destroy the ground beneath Petra!
As the ground shook, Petra lost balance. He clicked his tongue as he used his magical energy to elevate his body into the air. When he flicked his hand, ice spikes shot out from the frozen ground. Sienna and Elrick deflected the ice spikes that were coming at them from all sides.
Since Sienna and Elrick couldn’t resist against the cold, they quickly retreated. It was enough of a diversion for Maetel. Maetel was able to read Petra’s magical energy and movement in real time. She quickly ran simulations in her mind to come up with a plan to dispatch Petra. She immediately put the plan into action!
“It seems you faltered under the attack from the little pests. It seems you aren’t that great!”
[What a pathetic attempt at a taunt!]
The cold energy around Petra’s entire body turned into the shape of a Demon’s claw. It swiped at Maetel, but the flame sword’s power was being infused with Maetel’s Mana. She easily melted the claw.
[Let’s see how much ice that fake flame can melt! Let’s experiment!]
Petra finally realized that he couldn’t block her attacks using simple cold energy. He quickly spoke a spell as he called forth six enormous ice swords. This move was also a miscalculation.
“I don’t like experiments!”
The cantrip for his spell was short, but the time was like an eternity to Maetel. In a flash, she activated Acceleration. She stabbed the longsword into his stomach. Petra couldn’t dodge or block this attack.
The sword wasn’t able to penetrate fully, but it did wound him. Blue blood flowed out from his wound.
He didn’t remember the last time he had bled like this. It wasn’t to say that he had never been wounded before. However, his blood was very cold. After the blood trickled out from his wound, it usually froze around the wound. This was why he had never seen his blood flow like this before.
That wasn’t the case right now. First, it was Regina’s fault. She had significantly reduced the power of his cold energy. Secondly, Maetel was holding a flame sword. When the sword impacted on his body, it pushed a powerful heat energy into his body, and it had melted his blood.
When the attack landed, Petra immediately used an escape Artifact. He left behind his six enormous swords behind as he distanced himself from Maetel. He shouted abuse towards Maetel.
[This really is the power of Etna! You bastards probably coerced her! I won’t forgive you, you bitch!]
Maetel had lost her target, and she had been flung into the air. All the ice swords shot towards her. However, the ice swords couldn’t complete their mission. Enormous waterspouts appeared in the air, and it deflected all the ice swords!
“My master doesn’t threaten those that are innocent!”
Sherryl’s sonorous voice rang out when she arrived near them. As soon as she received her orders from Artpe, she had changed herself into bubbles. She travelled through the air as she hid herself.
[What the hell······ A mermaid!?]
She couldn’t damage the Demon with her power, but she had enough power to act as support for Maetel! The deflected swords arced towards Maetel like boomerangs. As response, Sherryl changed the direction of the waterspouts to deflect the ice swords once again.
“Let’s see you freeze this water!”
[Do you really think I can’t do it!]
In a flash, he bit hard on Sherryl’s taunt. He took control of her waterspouts by freezing them. The counterattack didn’t take long. However, it looked as if he was begging Maetel to stick him with her sword again.
So she did as he wanted. She shot into the air. She used her momentum to stab the flame sword through the underside of his chin.
The flame sword entered from beneath the chin. It pierced into his mouth then it lodge itself in the back of his head. Blue blood shot out. His blood froze in the air. The frozen blood looked like dots forming a small galaxy.
Sienna had retreated to the back earlier, but she jumped into the air as if she had been waiting for this moment.
The sledgehammer looked too heavy for her, yet she kept twirling it in one hand. She kept spinning it to increase the centrifugal force, and she swung it towards the Demon, who was falling to the ground. It was a clean hit! She hit the hilt of the sword, which was embedded in the Demon!
Momentum was transferred into the sword. The sword embedded itself deeper into his mouth, and it started to burn. Surprisingly, the Mana of an Evil Reflector was added to the sword when Sienna hit the sword. For a brief moment, she was successful in creating a holy flame!
“I did it! It is a combination skill called ‘Fire Baptism’!”
“It feels as if everyone in our party is getting used to using each other’s Mana······.”
It was good news, but it sounded like something from the old tales where the protagonists shouted, ‘One for all!’, as they combined their powers. He didn’t like it. Still, he had started this, so he couldn’t object to it. Artpe let out a sigh of resignation as he raised one hand.
While Maetel was fighting the Demon, he had extended hundreds of thousands of Mana Strings into the surrounding. At once, the Mana Strings wrapped tightly around Petra. Petra was like a bug caught by a spider. He couldn’t even let out a scream as he thrashed his body.
“Good job everyone.”
“Are you going to change this guy into human too?”
She had used a massive amount of Mana. She was taking deep breaths as she tilted her head in puzzlement. This Demon didn’t look like a kind person. Artpe let out a bitter laughter when he saw the expression on her face.
“I just have to confirm something with him.”
[Oohp oohp oohp!!!]
Petra was the so-called 1st ranked Four Heavenly King(according to Artpe’s memories), yet he had been caught so easily. He resisted against his bonds. He tried to convey to his captors that they wouldn’t able to break his mind. He really looked like a worm at that moment.
The following questions by Artpe made Petra throw away his lofty pride.
“Where’s your shackles? How were you able to free your soul from the Demon King? Did you also join the previous Demon King’s forces?”
It was a super rare unique skill that could be used by the possessor of the Read All Creation ability, who was going through his second turn in life. It was called, ‘H…how the hell do you know about that!?’ skill