201 The Invincible Magic Puppet (Part 1)


 Thud!

The last of the axe-wielding Warriors finally fell. He was dead before he even hit the ground. Morestern heaved a long sigh of relief and reached his hand out to pull down the hood of his tattered cloak. Just then, a bone cracked and the body that had been attacked by the axe of a Warrior earlier almost collapsed to the ground.

"Ah, it's time to find a new body," said Morestern.

This wouldn't be a big problem to him though, as he had killed almost all of Dorians' men. Once he got out of here, he'd just find a safe place to rest for a while then come back once he'd recovered slightly and kill Dorians. Then, the underground palace would be his.

This turned out to be quite out of my expectations, Morestern thought.

He looked around at the corpses strewn all across the ground and couldn't help but feel proud of himself. He hadn't been out for hundreds of years; who would've thought that he'd still be on top of his game?

After a short rest, Morestern then walked towards the exit and was prepared to get out of the underground palace. The Shadow Fortress was still active, but it wouldn't be any problem for him to cancel it now, as there wouldn't be anyone else in here to pose any threat to him.

The Mana in his body was close to depleted now, so Morestern took out a bottle of fluorescent potion and swallowed it in one gulp. It was a high-level Mana potion which was highly effective in replenishing a body that was almost out of Mana back to its full capacity. He then lifted his wand and directed the Mana towards the skeleton at the tip of his wand and caused a huge Mana fluctuation to appear in the passageway.

Morestern was about to use the remaining Mana in his body to cast the Level-7 attacking spell in his wand to deactivate the Shadow Fortress. But just as the spellcasting process reached halfway, a thought emerged in Morestern's mind which made him pause.

If those people who were lying in wait for me are outside, he thought, then wouldn't it be suicide for me to use the Level-7 spell now?

Once he thought about it, Morestern gritted his teeth and decided to sit down inside here instead of going out. He knew that there were three people waiting to attack him, and one of them was a powerful dark magic Magician who was actually inside this underground palace. Meanwhile, Dorians' underlings had all been eliminated, so there was only Dorians left to deal with.

His body was weak now, so it wouldn't be a good idea to fight Dorians. The best plan for him was to just wait here quietly and recover his strength and not arouse Dorians' suspicion so he wouldn't come out.

As he thought of this, Morestern closed his eyes and entered into a half-conscious meditative state to accelerate his body's healing rate.

But just then, he heard footsteps coming from the depths of the underground palace.

Tap... tap... tap...

The footsteps were light and regular, and they didn't sound that fast.

Morestern was naturally stunned. He opened his eyes immediately and saw a skinny figure walk out of the big entrance. The shadowy figure was about five feet and six inches tall. The figure's silhouette seemed quite slim and feminine; the only pity was that her chest was too flat. Morestern could now discern that she was wearing a long dress that was covered in shiny scales, while in her hand she was holding a four-foot-long sword. When he looked at her face again she noticed that her skin was as smooth and fair as porcelain, and her features almost flawless. The dark black eyes shone with beguiling charm... ah, this was indeed a true beauty!

"You are...?" Morestern asked in a daze.

He wasn't one to be so easily fooled by someone's outward appearances, of course. This young woman in front of him was indeed beautiful, but strangely enough, he couldn't sense any Life Aura from her at all. Neither did her body emit a Mana fluctuation. In other words, she was no different from a non-living lump of rock.

The young woman's face showed no trace of emotion as she walked towards Morestern in her neither-fast-nor-slow pace. Once she was about 160 feet away from him, she suddenly spoke up.

"Target: Voodoo Magician. Height: five feet, eight inches. Body weight: 150 pounds. Strengths: secret spells. Threat level: two stars."

"...?" Morestern didn't catch all of what she said and just sat there dumbstruck by it all. Still, he was prepared to unleash an attack the moment he was sure this young woman was going to be a threat to him.

He activated a three-phase barrier, then lifted his wand and pointed it towards the young woman and chanted, "Elemental Collapse!"

A water-like translucent sheet of Mana then shot towards the strange young woman.

Ding!

The body of the young woman suddenly became blurred, and she bent backwards until her body was almost horizontal as she escaped the attacks of the Elemental Collapse with unimaginable speed.

She can't be that fast! Morestern thought, although he didn't seem to panic at all. If this woman could dodge an attack from a focused-range spell, then how about trying to dodge his wide-range attack?

"Spiderweb!" Morestern decided to slowly toss the web this time just to gauge her speed.

The moment the white light of the spell appeared, Morestern suddenly discovered that the young woman disappeared!

"Where did she go?" remarked the flummoxed Morestern.

Then, he felt a cool sensation on his forehead as if something cold was piercing through his skull. At the last moment, he saw the beautiful face of the young woman right in front of him. The last image he saw in his mind was that of those clear, charming eyes of hers.

How is this possible? Why didn't my protective barrier work?

Those were the last thoughts in Morestern's head. He was dead immediately afterwards, and the Spiderweb that he cast collapsed with him.

"Mission completed. Threat eliminated," said the young woman. Her voice was as pure and innocent as a lark's. She then turned around and walked back into the underground palace.

Tap... tap... tap...

She kept a leisurely pace as she walked, as if she was just enjoying an afternoon stroll in the park.

Ba-dump!

Morestern's body slumped to the ground. He was dead, dead at the hands of a nameless opponent.

...

Outside the underground palace.

"Morestern is dead," Vance suddenly said. He had been following the situation inside the underground palace closely all along.

He'd left several detecting runes inside earlier, and these runes were telling him that the powerful Level-7 Voodoo Magician's Life Aura had been completely extinguished.

"Was he killed by the magic puppet?" asked Link.

Vance nodded his head. "I think so," he said. "If these runes aren't mistaken, there should only be two fighters left in the underground palace. One is Dorians, and the other is the magic puppet."

"Can we storm inside now?" asked Celine.

"Any time now," answered Vance. Vance glanced at the direction of the underground palace and saw that Morestern's Shadow Fortress was still there. "It takes Mana energy to sustain the Shadow Fortress. Now that Morestern's dead it should collapse soon. We should wait here for a while."

Link took the opportunity to ask Vance a question that had been bugging his mind.

"The magic puppet of yours seems quite powerful," he said. "Tell me more about it."

"Well, of course she's powerful!" exclaimed Vance with visible pride in his expressions. "She's called Nana. Her body was made with Gibb's Gold which can withstand extremely high and low temperatures. She's as close to indestructible as is physically possible. The magic seal on her body was made with thorium gold which is the best Mana conductor in the world. I'd also put 1028 units of Solon memory magic seal in her brain so she could learn from combat experience and evolve so she must've gotten stronger...."

"Wait, wait, wait a second," interjected Celine. "I didn't get most of what you just said there. Can't you use plainer words?"

"Alright, then," said Vance. "There are two things that are her strongest points. Firstly, her speed, her extreme speed. She usually likes to walk at a strolling pace, but when she needs to, she can accelerate her speed up to an explosive point and move at a quarter mile per second."

Celine gulped at the revelation. She was now a Level-6 Warrior and could be considered as one of the best Warriors on the continent. But even if she were to spread out her wings and dive down from the sky, her speed couldn't be any faster than a tenth of a mile per second. That meant that she was still four times slower than Nana!

Even Link was stunned and incredulous.

"But that's faster than the speed of sound!" he exclaimed. "Are you sure you didn't exaggerate this?"

"I did no such thing!" said Vance, looking even more proud of his creation now. "In fact, that was her speed 400 years ago! Don't forget that Nana can improve and evolve, so to be frank, even I'm not sure how far she's advanced now. Which is why I must remind you, Celine, that you must only be on the defensive with her, never attempt to attack her!"

Celine rolled her eyes at the Lich's remarks. She's not so foolish or insane to ever attempt to attack a monster with such a speed. Not unless she wanted to die, anyway!

"What's her second strength, then?" asked Link.

"Her second greatest strength was attacking the opponent's weakest point," said Vance. For fear that the two couldn't understand the technical terms, Vance used his bony finger to draw a very simple magic seal on the ground.

"Look at this," he said. "This is the Level-0 defensive spell, Basic Shield. When the spell is cast, a light shield will appear around the caster's body. Isn't that right?"

Both of them nodded their heads.

"Viewed on the surface," continued Vance, "this light shield seems smooth and uniform, but in truth, there will be some points on the shield where it is much weaker than the other points...Do you follow?"

Celine frowned as she couldn't understand much of it. Her knowledge in spell foundation was not her strongest suits. Link, on the other hand, nodded keenly, although his brows were still furrowed.

"The points of different strengths do indeed exist," he said, "but they are usually unstable and don't exist for long. Every weak point can only last for as long as ten microseconds. How can Nana ever utilize this point?"

Vance nodded his head at Link's question.

"The fact that her speed can reach a quarter of a mile per second," he began to explain, "proves that she has an extremely fast reaction speed. In truth, 400 years ago, her reaction speed had reached 0.002 seconds. In other words, two microseconds."

"That fast?" asked Link, completely astounded.

After coming to this world, Link's most powerful advantage had been his terrifying thinking speed. He'd once measured that his limit was around one microsecond, and he couldn't sustain that kind of thinking speed for longer than two seconds. Yet now, he'd met a human-made puppet whose reaction time was almost as fast as his own! He must concede at this point that Vance truly was a genius who should be very proud of his inventions.

"Link," said Celine, "I think I'm a little frightened by this." Although she didn't actually understand the specifics of this puppet's strengths, she still felt that the reaction speed of two microseconds and the moving speed of a quarter of a mile per hour were just too staggering to think of.

She would have no hope to fight against or even defend herself against someone with such speed. She might even get killed within a second and not even know what hit her!

"Don't worry," said Link after thinking about it for a moment. "I'll protect you from behind."

There were three of them, and one of them was a Level-7, thousand-year-old Lich who was also the magic puppet's creator. There was no reason why they couldn't defeat a single magic puppet, was there? Link's own reaction time was also dangerously quick too, so he should be able to protect Celine without a problem.

"Alright, then," said Celine. She knew that Link would never give her empty promises, so now that he'd given her his word, she was finally relieved.

Just then, the faint blue light in the underground palace flashed ever so slightly-the Shadow Fortress had collapsed.

"It's time," said Vance. "Let's go."

Once again, Vance cast Traceless on all three of them and led the other two into the underground palace. Celine gripped at her blue crystal sword tightly and followed behind the Lich closely. Link was the last one to enter behind Celine. All three were highly focused as they prepared to fight against the invincible magic puppet.