203 The Invincible Magic Puppet (Part 3)


 Nana's speed was ridiculously fast. Even with the combined protection of Crimson Edelweiss and the Black Crystal Shield, it would still be difficult for Celine to effectively defend herself.

She did not step backwards because Link was behind her, which would mean that it would inevitably put him in a very dangerous situation. Her only choice was to move slightly sideways in the hopes that she could avoid the brunt of the impact herself.

This confrontation happened within a fraction of a second. Even Vance's reaction time was too slow to do anything, as Mana was still stuck in his Gray Flame wand and the spell just wouldn't form quick enough.

It wasn't that Vance's spellcasting was too slow, it was just that Nana's speed was too terrifyingly fast!

The same was true of the Necromancer swordsman. When Nana and Celine clashed, he was a hundred feet away from them and hadn't even had time to pull out his sword yet.

The only one there who could make any meaningful response was Link.

Seeing that Celine was in danger, Link's heart suddenly beat much faster. The next moment, the world around him began to slow down-he was now entering the state of absolute calm that allowed him to cast spells at an ultra-high speed. In this state, anything that had nothing to do with the immediate surroundings of the battlefield was cast out of Link's mind. All he could see now and be focused on was Nana and the sword in her hand.

The sword advanced inch by inch towards Celine. It encountered the Black Crystal shield on its way, and at such a high speed, the shield acted like a real crystal; it broke on contact with the sword, and fragments of the shield scattered about a quarter of an inch before they evaporated and dissipated into dark elements.

Link could now see Nana's sword very clearly. He didn't know what material it was made of, but its blade was dark blue, and there was a thin blue electric arc hovering on the surface of the sword. Once the electricity made contact with any kind of shield, the shield would be rendered completely useless.

There are still 0.05 seconds left before the tip of the sword touches Celine's body, Link thought. I still have time!

At this point, Link had cast the Titan's Hand, and under his precise control, the giant fiery hand made up of pure fire elements quickly went around Celine's body and grasped the magic puppet Nana in its clutches. When the giant hand had wrapped around half of Nana's body, a thought suddenly occurred in Link's head-she's resistant to extreme temperatures!

Once he thought of this point, Link promptly changed his plans. He'd originally set the fiery hand to stretch out and grasp Nana, but now he directed the giant hand to clench into a fist and take the form of the Fist of Firomoz and increase the speed to its maximum limit to punch Nana from the side.

Link had calculated that this blow would send Nana flying right before the edge of her sword hit Celine's body! Unfortunately, in the next moment, the magic puppet Nana responded to Link's attacks; she suddenly pulled back the sword that was about to pierce Celine. Now, without the force field of Edelweiss and the Black Crystal Shield in the way, her sword moved at an impossibly fast speed. In a fraction of a second, it struck the Titan's Hand.

Nana's short sword then pierced through the Titan's Hand and immediately Link could feel that he'd lost control over the fire elements in the spell and the fiery hand began to explode.

She didn't attack the weakest point in my spell, Link realized. She directly attacked the critical point in the Mana structure and shattered the stability of the spell instantly. She's evolved much further than Vance expected!

Although this could be considered as attacking the weakest point, Nana's move just now was almost ten times more powerful than any magic spell. When this kind of attack was coupled with her high resistance towards extreme heat, Nana had turned out to be a Magician's arch nemesis!

Link watched helplessly as the fire elements in the Titan's Hand began to collapse and explode, while Nana had pulled back her sword and once again thrust it towards Celine.

But this time, Celine had gotten enough time to respond. She raised up her Blue Crystal sword and assumed the defensive stance.

Still, she could only block Nana's sword. Celine could only rely on her solidified Battle Aura to protect her from the exploding fire elements from the Titan's Hand as both the Crimson Edelweiss and the Black Crystal shield had both been destroyed.

The Titan's Hand was a Level-6 spell, and the force of the explosive fire elements from this spell was no weaker than a full force Level-4 Flaming Blast. If Celine were to be struck by the brunt of the impact from the explosion, her Battle Aura would surely be depleted. It might even send her flying, leaving an opportunity for Nana to pursue and attack her.

Link must not let the Titan's Hand explode!

The moment that thought popped up in his head, Link activated the Soul's Glyph and his Level-5 Vulcan's Hand began to take form. Within a microsecond, Link used one of his Supreme Magical Skills, Machine Gun to transform the Vulcan's Hand's spell structure using Mana resonance. Combined with the collapsing fire elements in the air, it formed into a new Titan's Hand.

And so, the fire elements started to reorganize, re-stabilize and instantly formed into the clenched fist shape of the Fist of Firomoz and struck hard at Nana.

This type of attack was obviously something Nana couldn't have predicted. Then, a crisp yet somehow urgent voice emerged from her mechanical throat.

"Target's behavior deviated from initial estimation," she said. "Recalculating new strategy!"

Link couldn't care less what she was doing. All he knew was that her reaction had now slowed down for a fraction of a second.

Bam!

The Fist of Firomoz struck squarely on Nana's body. The impact was so powerful that it sent the magic puppet flying a few feet away.

While her body was still in mid-air, she was in her most vulnerable state; another idea popped up in Link's mind. The movements of the Titan's Hand followed his control precisely and changed from the fist into a stretched out hand which then clutched Nana and gripped her tightly in its palm.

Then, with a smooth and instantaneous motion, the hand then started to implode on itself.

She's heat-resistant, huh? Then let's see if she could hold up to the scorching temperature above 5000 degrees Fahrenheit in the center of the fiery hand!

"Extreme heat detected," said the magic puppet. "Heat dissipation process started."

Right after those words were heard, there was a pronounced sizzle within the Titan's Hand. Then suddenly, a hole appeared in the fiery hand, and a dark blue sword emerged from it. Then, the magic puppet whose whole body had now completely turned a burnishing red jumped out of the Titan's Hand, seemingly without any serious damage.

"Impressive!" exclaimed Link.

The Level-6 Titan's Hand could reach a temperature that would melt steel when it imploded. Yet, the magic puppet escaped from its clutches virtually unscathed. It seems that the material Vance had used called Gibb's Gold really was the toughest metal!

At that moment, Celine had already reactivated the Crimson Edelweiss and the Black Crystal Shield. Meanwhile, Vance who was standing near a huge pillar had already completed the casting of a spell.

"Metal Decay!" he shouted as he pointed his wand towards Nana. A grayish ray of light shot through the air and struck her.

Metal Decay

Level-6 Master Spell

Effects: Produces an extremely corrosive ray of light. This is the arch nemesis of all metals.

(Note: This is one of Vance's proudest spells.)

This spell was similar to the spell Elemental Collapse that Vance had cast on the cliff earlier, only with one crucial difference - this spell exerted a spiritual control on the target which prevented them from dodging the ray of light, meaning that there was no way for a target to evade this attack!

Still, what happened next was utterly shocking.

Nana seemed to realize that she couldn't possibly evade this spell, so she made no attempt to step back or sideways. Then, there was whoosh sound, and her body mysteriously disappeared out of thin air. When she appeared again, her sword was already thrust towards Vance's head and was about to pierce through his skull!

Everything had happened too fast that Vance had no time to respond at all. In fact, he was still controlling Metal Decay and aiming at Nana when he realized that she was now right in front of him.

But while Vance couldn't respond, Link definitely could. In truth, Nana only seemed to disappear in Vance, Celine and Dorians' eyes. Link's eyes could still follow Nana's every step in that moment. Just as Nana was rushing towards Vance, Link thought up another way to go against her.

As he focused his mind, he began to do two things simultaneously. With one hand, he controlled the Titan's Hand and transformed it into the Fist of Firomoz and struck it at the Necromancer swordsman Dorians. Meanwhile, his other hand was casting the Magician's Hand.

The Magician's Hand's target was not Nana, but was instead aimed at Vance. To be precise, it was aimed at the eye sockets that held his Soul's Flame.

Crack!

Vance's skull dodged Nana's sword at the last possible instant as it was detached from the rest of his skeleton. Under Link's control, the skull, along with the Lich's wand, Gray Flame, was sent flying towards himself.

It was only then that Vance finally had time to respond, and he realized that Link had saved his life as it was hanging by a thread.

His skull and his wand were placed in Link's hood on his back. The view was somewhat limited from here, but that was fine since he could easily use the Magician's Hand to raise his skull and leave it floating beside Link. After that, he then used the same spell to get his wand back to his side.

There was no time to thank Link for his heroic rescue, so Vance immediately cast another Metal Decay and aimed it at the magic puppet. She was purely made up of metal, which meant that it would mean certain doom for Nana. But just before Vance could cast the spell, Nana once again utilized her ultra-speed and escaped.

At the same time, there was a loud boom which came from the Titan's Hand that struck the swordsman Dorians at an incredible speed. Dorians was flung far away like a cannonball due to the impact, and his whole body slammed into the wall half a second later which then left a huge human-shaped indentation there.

He was limp and motionless when he fell to the ground. The blue light glow from his eyes became very faint. It was obvious that he'd been seriously injured.

Link then prepared to unleash another strike at Dorians to send him straight down to hell.

However, the magic puppet Nana once again launched an attack, although this time her aim was not Link or anybody else's body, but Link's Titan's Hand instead. There was another sizzle, and in no time at all, Nana successfully destroyed Link's Titan's Hand for the third time and thus saved Dorians' life.

As soon as the Titan's Hand collapsed, there was another bang coming from her position, and it turned out that once again she was rushing towards Celine in breakneck speed and had now broken through the newly reformed Crimson Edelweiss and Black Crystal Shield.

This magic puppet was simply a machine of destruction hell-bent on eliminating her every target. She was now on a direct collision course with Celine, and her speed exceeded even that of a supercar. If Link, Vance, and Celine did not join all their forces together, there would've been no chance for any of them to defeat her.

Luckily, Celine was already prepared for Nana this time. Her Blue Crystal sword was positioned precisely where Nana's attack will hit her, and shortly after, her sword and Nana's own sword clashed, producing a loud clang.

Then, cracks appeared on the blade of Celine's crystal sword. The cracks started to spread out like a spider web, and her body was flung backwards by the terrifying forces of the impact.

Link almost jumped out of his skin when he saw what had transpired. Although Celine's sword wasn't of epic quality, it was still an extremely high-quality weapon made with a type of magic crystal that was as tough as the metal Khorium. The fact that it was cracked just showed how frightening the force of the attack was!

She must've aimed the attack at the weakest point of the sword! Link realized.

Meanwhile, Nana was not done with Celine. She rushed forward towards her and was about to give her the last blow.

Link had by then re-formed a new Titan's Hand and was about to block Celine from Nana's attacks, but to his surprise, there was another loud boom. The next thing he knew, Nana had changed her direction and target and was now rushing towards him!

"Target locked," said Nana with her eerily calm voice. "Threat level, five stars. Must eliminate as soon as opportunity arises!"

Link had successfully thwarted her attacks by then, so she had learned to treat him as the primary target whose elimination was her highest priority.

At that point, Celine's body had been struck by a violent force and was flung far backwards. She was then completely powerless and couldn't even maintain her own body's balance, let alone unleash an attack at Nana.

On the other hand, Vance was still casting his Level-6 spell Metal Decay and would need at least another second to complete it. Even if he was to forcefully stop the spellcasting process, there was still nothing he could do to cast a powerful enough defensive shield between Nana and Link.

This meant that Link was all alone now.

His only defense against Nana was the Crimson Edelweiss. Yet, Link had seen many times how this spell was simply useless against the force of Nana's speed and power.

In truth, even if Link could block himself with another Titan's Hand at this moment, Nana could still break through it so easily that it would make no difference at all.

Which meant that at this point Link's death was almost certain!