200 The Start of All Mistakes

 Morestern's idea was simple.

He had noticed a few uninvited guests in Dorians' underground palace. His plan was to hide in a safe place while this group of intruders fought Dorians. The best situation would be for both of them to be gravely injured, weakening their battle capabilities. He would then appear and reap all the benefits.

This was a perfect plan!

After casting a high-level Invisibility spell on himself, Morestern slowly crept into an alleyway in the underground palace. This was already his third time passing through his route. He clearly remembered the position of the two skeleton Warriors at the side of the alleyway and skillfully avoided them. Following which, he quickly reached the security hall.

The hall was extremely quiet as Dorians had returned to the depths of the underground palace. In the hall, the security beasts patrolled the area tirelessly, not giving anyone the opportunity to sneak into the palace.

"If the security beasts are still here, it means that they have yet to arrive in this area. Are they a group of cowards that would be discouraged by a minor setback?" Morestern could not understand.

This was strange. A Magician who could cast such an exquisite and delicate concealing spell would definitely have a strong magic foundation. He must at least be a Level-5 Magician. Such people were usually resilient and ambitious; how could they have given up so easily?

"Perhaps I was too early...but that is not possible either. I left almost immediately. If the other party had not given up, they should already be in the palace...This is bad!" He gasped.

Morestern suddenly thought of another terrible possibility. While he had noticed the presence of his opponents, he had failed to consider that they could have noticed him as well. Similarly, while he had thought of reaping all the benefits without lifting a finger, his opponents also might have predicted his actions.

If this group of intruders was, in fact, waiting for me to enter this palace again...No, I have to get out immediately! Morestern started panicking.

Morestern was a strong and quick-witted Magician as well. In a moment of negligence, he had placed himself in danger. However, the moment he realized something was amiss, his instinctive reaction was to first ensure his safety.

Alas, it was a battle between powerful Magicians. One would lose the entire battle if even one small mistake was made. The possibility of a comeback was close to zero then.

At the moment when Morestern was prepared to leave, he saw a pale purple light ball charging straight towards him from the dark alleyway behind him.

A Level-4 dark magic spell, Shadow Decay! Morestern was shocked by this sudden attack and immediately cast a defensive spell in response. Three dark green light spheres then appeared and started spinning at high speed around his body. This then created transparent ripples which made use of the three light balls as nodal points to create a light dome.

Defensive Spell: Three-Sided Barrier

Level-4 spell

Cost: 410 Points.

Effect: Creates a strong barrier that can defend against physical, elemental and mystic attacks.

(Note: Morestern's pride and joy)

Vance and Morestern were both Level-7 Magicians. In the current Firuman Continent, this was almost as powerful as one could get. Furthermore, they were both monsters who had lived for countless years. The moment they cast spells, it usually would not be a spell lower than Level-4. They could also cast all of them instantaneously, making them extremely formidable foes.

However, Morestern was once again caught off guard.

The Shadow Decay spell that Vance had cast made a sharp turn at the last moment and exploded in the alleyway behind Morestern.

A huge explosion sound could be heard, as the dark purple miasma dispersed in all directions.

Morestern was completely dumbfounded.

Hmm? The security beasts all stopped in their tracks and turned towards the door in the hall.

In that direction stood Morestern. While the Three Sided Barrier on his body was not emitting a strong glow, it was eye-catching enough in the dark underground chamber.

The security beasts immediately let out a wolf-like howl and charged towards Morestern. It was a terrifying sight to see over 30 Level-5 Warriors charging straight towards you. Despite Morestern being a Level-7 Voodoo Magician, he was slightly flustered.

He knew that his opponents were not merely these beasts. There was a strong dark Magician that was still hiding in the shadows. Furthermore, the magic swordsman Dorians would also prove to be quite troublesome.

"This is bad!" Morestern gasped. He realized he was caught in a trap.

He did not have much time to think. The security beasts were charging at top speed. He only had around one second to think of the best alternative before he would taste the wrath of their sharp claws and ferocious jaws. Morestern then raised his staff and pointed it towards these beasts, "Enhanced Cobweb!"

Enhanced Cobweb

Level-4 Spell

Cost: 290 Points

Effect: Creates an extremely adhesive cobweb. It is a very strong restrictive spell.

The web was flung towards the beasts much like a fisherman casting his net. It did not take much effort for Morestern to trap all the beasts in his restrictive spell. The accuracy and spellcasting speed was a true testament to Morestern's strength as a Level-7 Magician.

This was indeed a powerful spell. Although it was only Level-4, its adhesive effects were incredible. Once someone was trapped in the web, the speed of their movements would be greatly reduced. It would be a miracle if anyone could move three feet forward within a second while under the effects of this spell.

Now that he was temporarily out of danger, Morestern heaved a sigh of relief. He did not continue his assault on the beasts as he was still wary of his opponents, who were still hiding in the shadows.

This was way too dangerous. He had to retreat.

As he retreated, Morestern remained extremely vigilant. As long as he felt a threat to his safety, he would immediately locate his opponent and cast his wide-ranged instantaneous Level-7 spell without hesitation. After around 30 feet, Morestern still could not locate his opponent. The Magician seemed to be like a phantom, disappearing right after they fired that Shadow Decay spell at him.

Damn it! This was their plan right from the start! To get me trapped! This was the thing Morestern was most worried about.

At that time, a ferocious roar came from the depths of the palace, "Who is the one making a ruckus in my palace!"

It was Dorians' voice. This was followed by the sound of rapid and heavy footsteps. At the same time, the walls in the palace started glowing with a slight magical light, illuminating the area. There was now nowhere to hide.

Apart from that, the skeleton warriors who were lying dormant within the walls of the palace had also been awakened. Their eyes shone with a bloody sinister glow and, they walked out of the walls with swords in their hands, blocking Morestern's path of retreat.

Furthermore, Morestern also realized that a ghostly blue hue was covering the exit of the underground palace. He knew from a glance that this was a Level-7 area sealing spell, Shadow Fortress. The appearance of this area sealing spell had pushed Morestern to his limits.

At that moment, Dorians appeared in the security hall. He was accompanied by Warriors clad in a black body armor who held a giant black axe in their hand.

They were Dorians' prided Black Axe Fighters. The average strength of the Axe Fighters was Level-5. There was even a third of them who had reached Level-6!

If an army of such strength appeared in the Norton Kingdom, it would be enough to cause a huge ruckus. However, Dorians clearly did not want to be in the spotlight. His life goal was simple. He merely wanted to stay in the underground palace together with his vast wealth. Whoever dared to disrupt his peaceful life and riches would be his mortal enemy!

The moment he saw Morestern, he furiously bellowed, "Morestern, I did not think you would be the one! You despicable thief!"

"This is a misunderstanding; listen to me!" Morestern tried to explain.

"There is no misunderstanding! I only trust what I see. This time, you have angered me. Be prepared to taste my wrath!" A strong dark aura emanated from Dorians as he saw his security beasts being trapped in the cobweb.

He then raised the dark elemental sword in his hand and pointed it accusingly at Morestern, "Warriors, slice him to bits!"

Gmanded the remaining ten Axe Fighters, "Kill him!"

The Black Axe Fighters charged forward without a shred of fear in their hearts.

Dorians did not attack. He merely went back to the depths of the palace. He was not retreating but calling out his triumph card. The most terrifying force in this palace was not Dorians, nor was it the Black Axe Fighter. It was something that usually hid itself in the depths of the underground palace-an extremely powerful being that Dorians could never hope to match up to.

As he left, Dorians took a good look at the powerful Magician as he whispered, "Morestern, prepare to meet your death!"

Morestern gritted his teeth as he looked behind him. The area sealing spell, Shadow Fortress was still present. It had only been slightly weakened by the offensive power of the Corrosive Nova spell, causing the light to dim a little.

He also had no time to be concerned over the spell. The Black Axe Warriors were now only 90 feet away and were about to release their Battle Aura.

Morestern cursed, "Damn! That's too many things to deal with."

Under the effects of the Shadow Fortress, he was unable to use his transportation spells. It seemed like he was destined to stay behind.

However, Morestern still had the pride of a Level-7 Magician. Despite knowing that it was the end, he did not give up.

Twenty Black Axe Fighters would not be enough to defeat me.

As this thought flashed through his mind, the fastest three Black Axe Fighters had already started charging towards him. They also raised the giant axes in their hands which were now enveloped in a black aura. They seemed to be putting in all their power into this attack.

Morestern was prepared. He immediately pointed his staff at his attackers and hollered, "Get out!"

Level-4 spell, Single-Directional Blast!

A huge force exploded right in front of the three Black Axe Fighters. The timing of this spell was also perfect, exploding at the time when the fighters were at the peak of their charging speed, which incidentally, was also when their sense of balance was at their worst.

They were immediately flung in the opposite direction as the Battle Aura from their axes exploded towards the ceiling. That was not all. While they were flung backwards, they also crashed into many of their other comrades, hitting ten other fighters along the way.

As a Level-7 Voodoo Magician, Morestern was adept at cursing others from the shadows. However, this did not mean that his combat skills were to be trifled with. After all, he had lived for hundreds of years and had developed many Supreme Magic Skills. He would not be an easy foe even in direct combat.

"What a bunch of dumb savages!" Morestern said as he stared at the tumbling Black Axe Fighters. He then started putting all his focus into destroying these muscle-minded creatures.

Outside the underground palace, Vance could be seen retreating right after casting that Shadow Decay spell.

As the three of them felt the strong magical fluctuations coming from the underground palace, they looked at each other in awe.

"This Voodoo Magician is really powerful!" Link commented.

"A bit on the dumb side though," Celine laughed.

"He is actually a very intelligent person. He merely made one mistake. However, if he is still getting entangled with Dorians' Warriors, then he would have made a second mistake." Vance smiled as he rubbed his chin with his slender skeletal fingers.

"Why do you say so?" Link was curious.

Vance gloated, "Apart from the security beasts, there is also a magic puppet in my underground palace. In order to create this puppet, I spent nearly 20 years and an insane amount of materials. In essence, it is a perfect combat machine. Even I will not be able to defeat it."

Link and Celine stared at each other as they mourned for Morestern in silence.