255 I Am Truly a Fool

 Nightfall, the beach.

The Assassin leader chuckled when he saw Romilson channeling his spell. He then said, "My brothers, retreat further behind; this guy is panicking."

His underlings then erupted into bursts of laughter. They were around 300 feet away from their opponent. Judging from the magic fluctuation around Romilson, it should be a Level-7 spell. Emerald light glittered around him, and he was encased in an elemental brilliance at least six feet in diameter.

However, a spell would be for naught if it could not hit its enemy.

Just to be safe, the Assassins retreated a little further and were prepared to watch the show from the beach.

"To tell the truth, a Magician looks pretty darn scary while they are casting a spell."

"I did not believe people when they said that High Elves are good-looking. But geez, even I am feeling something for this Magician."

"If we manage to kill them, I'll have a shot at taking that good-looking elf for myself. Heh."

As they conversed, Romilson's spell had taken form. With a whooshing sound, a large number of thorn vines appeared from the ground with him as the center. The thorns on these vines were as sharp as daggers, with their tips shaped like hooks. Under the illumination of Romilson's magic aura, the vines looked like snakes slithering in all directions.

In an instant, the area within a 30-foot radius around Romilson was covered in such vines, completely sealing off the only way forward for the Assassins.

At the same time, violent magic fluctuations could be felt.

The Assassin leader frowned slightly as he said, "This spell is slightly troublesome...Not good, it's a sneak attack!"

As he spoke, he could feel imminent danger approaching. He immediately released his Battle Aura, causing a crimson glow to envelop his body. He then immediately moved away from his location, retreating almost 150 feet in an instant.

However, although he could escape this attack, his underlings were not so lucky.

As he spoke, red flaming runes more than 15 feet in diameter appeared on the spot his underlings were standing at.

These runes overlapped one another, forming a complex formation of countless runes. It was also situated at a perfect location, trapping five Assassins at once.

These Assassins who were distracted by the Level-7 spell of the High Elf naturally reacted slowly to this sudden attack. By the time they wanted to dodge, it was too late.

Almost an instant after the runes appeared, an explosion sound rumbled through the beach as a 15-foot thick incandescent pillar of flame rose from the ground. It reached an altitude of 150 feet, consuming the Assassins in the process.

Arrghh! The five Assassins were burned to ashes after only a few screams of despair.

This was the power of a Level-7 spell!

Fortunately, there were eight other Assassins who instinctively retreated in time.

Although they just had a close shave with death, they immediately let down their guard and thought, Lucky I am still alive. However, little did they know that the attack had not yet ended.

Almost immediately, another rune formation appeared at the most precise location once again, accurately predicting the eventual position of the Assassins following their retreat. It engulfed four Assassins this time around. To be exact, it seemed as though the four Assassins stepped into the rune formation of their own accord.

Boom! After another huge flaming pillar eruption, four Assassins uttered the final scream of their lives.

Four Assassins remained.

The four of them exchanged glances and were already terrified. They were prepared to flee and give up on this battle when the rune formation appeared once again.

Boom! With the sound of another explosion, two more Assassins were consumed by the attack. Within a tenth of a second, another spell erupted, taking the lives of the last two Assassins.

Apart from the Assassin leader, the rest of his underlings were completely annihilated.

Although the process might seem long, the entire duration of this spell was less than a second.

Within a second, four separate rune formations appeared in the area around the Assassins. Four consecutive flaming pillars then erupted from the ground and consumed all the Assassins in the process.

These four incandescent flaming pillars formed a complete Level-7 spell.

"Level-7 spell! Instantaneous spellcasting speed as well!" The Assassin leader was horrified. He knew that his opponents must have gotten some backup and immediately thought of retreating. He then released his Battle Aura as he turned in the opposite direction.

"Won't you stay?" A voice rang from the shadows of the forest followed by a beam of emerald light.

It was the Level-6 spell, Metal Decay.

Spells that were light based in nature traveled extremely fast. In the darkness, one could see a beam of light flashing through the air, charging straight towards the heart of the Assassin leader.

However, the Assassin leader was experienced as well. He released a huge amount of Battle Aura in the last moment and managed to escape to one side.

This was not to say that the Assassin leader was faster than the spell. He merely predicted his opponent's attack beforehand. When a Magician cast a spell, he would first have to determine the position where he wanted his attack to land. The spell would then take time to travel to that location. All these processes took time.

In the eyes of other professions, this time was called the "Golden Period."

Different types of spells had different Golden Periods as well. The length could be as long as half a second. For example, Link's whistle needed to travel through the air before reaching its target. In that time, an experienced Warrior could easily erect his defenses. Of course, the practicality of the defense then depended on the Warrior's judgment and skills.

Short Golden Periods could be only around ten microseconds long. Within these spells, the light-based spells were known for having extremely short Golden Periods. Most of these spells had a foundational Golden Period of not more than 100 microseconds long. If the Magician was an experienced one, he could even shorten it to under ten microseconds.

With a buzzing sound, the Metal Decay beam shot across the Assassin's arm and left a charred mark on his hand. It then hit the ground, causing a pile of rotten mud more than nine feet in diameter to appear immediately.

The Assassin leader had succeeded in avoiding the attack.

However, the Metal Decay attack was not completed. This spell was similar to the fire pillars previously and was made to fire in bursts.

After the first beam, three consecutive beams emerged from the shadows. Each of this beams had been carefully adjusted to aim at the Assassin leader's fatal spots.

Boom! Boom! Boom! Three beams of light flashed across the atmosphere. The Assassin leader also changed his stance three consecutive times in an instant, escaping these deadly beams one by one.

His speed was outrageous. From other's perspective, his body seemed to have split into multiple images in that instant. Every beam seemed to pass through the image but was just so close to hitting his real self.

The attack ended after a second with all four beams landing onto the ground. All the images of the Assassin leader then converged into a tangible body. He then immediately headed in the opposite direction. He was running for his life!

"You stay!" Romilson was the one shouting this time around.

The unexpected support was a huge confidence booster for him. He had already canceled his Thorn Vine spell. When the Assassin leader was busy dealing with the spells coming from the shadows, Romilson skillfully manipulated his unicorn and charged straight at the Assassin.

As the Assassin leader was about to flee, he raised his wand and pointed it towards the Assassin leader before shouting, "Poison Thorn Vines!"

Whoosh! A series of noises sounded from the ground as countless magic vines sprung up towards the Assassin. Boom! Boom! the vines appeared one after another, charging towards the Assassin leader in all directions.

However, this Assassin leader had just escaped a light-based spell. These vines would be a piece of cake compared to the close shave with death he just encountered. He skillfully dodged left and right, escaping Romilson's attacks while showcasing a beautiful dance. Romilson could not seem to land a hit.

"Damn it! How can he be so fast!?" Romilson was terrified. He felt as though he was punching the air when the enemy was right in front of him.

However, his attack was not useless. It had successfully trapped the Assassin leader in his location and gave the figure in the shadows enough time to cast a spell.

"Flame Blast!" The figure in the darkness used a standard fire-elemental spell.

An incandescent fireball charged towards the Assassin leader. Although it was a Level-4 spell, the destructive force of this spell was terrifying. If the Assassin leader was engulfed by these flames, he would be heavily injured and most probably done in by the next few follow-up spells.

The attacking range of this spell was huge as well. After the explosion, the area within a 90-foot radius of the point of the explosion would be engulfed in flames; there would be no place for the Assassin leader to hide.

In an instant, Romilson felt a sense of relief as he thought that this battle was settled.

However, at the moment, Link's voice sounded, "Fool! Get back!"

"Back? Why?" Romilson had not reacted to the situation.

The next moment, he felt his heart palpitating at an insane rate, as though he had been targeted by an ancient ferocious beast. It was an intense feeling. More importantly, although he felt this dangerous premonition, he had no idea where the danger would strike.

In his state of panic, he could only follow Link's instructions and give up on his Poison Thorn Vine spell and ran back with his unicorn mount.

But he was too late.

The next instant, he heard a huge explosion behind him. It was the Flame Blast spell. Following which, Romilson realized that the Assassin leader had disappeared.

"Where is he? Where did he go?" Romilson instinctively cast a defensive spell on himself.

Before the defensive spell was completed, he suddenly heard the sound of howling winds. Following which, he saw a dark figure beside him. It was the Assassin leader who was just getting cornered a moment ago!

How can he be so fast? Romilson was horrified.

The Assassin leader smiled cruelly as he raised his dagger and plunged it straight towards his heart. The speed of this attack was outrageous.

It's over! I won't be in time!

Romilson knew that he would not have the time to complete his defensive spell. In fact, the emotional fluctuation that he was going through had already undone whatever progress he had made in casting the spell.

As the dagger was about to pierce through his skin, Romilson felt his body tremble at the very last moment. He then noticed that a faint crimson glow was enveloping his body. He then took a look at the Assassin leader and realized that the speed at which the dagger was reaching his heart had slowed down significantly. Furthermore, within this red glow, the black leather armor on the Assassin leader 's body began to burn.

Link cast a defensive spell on me! Romilson finally reacted to the situation. He felt as though he was just pulled back from the brink of death.

The Assassin leader decisively gave up on his assault after this delay and retreated a total of 30 feet in a single leap. After 30 feet, a dark crimson miasma could be seen enveloping his body.

Whoosh! An emerald light beam pierced this crimson miasma and almost dissipated it.

However, after the miasma dissipated, the Assassin leader was nowhere to be seen. He seemed to have disappeared into thin air.

"Where is he?" Romilson could not wrap his head around this situation.

"That was a Battle Aura illusion. His real self was concealed under some sort of stealth spell," Link explained. It was a shame that he had to concentrate on curing Milda. If not, the Assassin Leader would have been a corpse by now.

"I am here. You fool!" A voice emerged from afar.

Romilson stared in the direction of the voice and saw that several hundred feet away, the Assassin leader was waving to him. This guy was laughing hysterically and suddenly turned his body around. He then accelerated and disappeared into the darkness.

He was gone. Two Level-7 Magicians were unable to stop him. If not for Link's intervention at the end, Romilson would already be dead.

Romilson was devastated at this result. He then thought back on his immature ravings and felt his face turn hot. He almost wanted to find a hole in the ground and bury his head in it.

He remembered that his mentor had told him before he left the Isle of Dawn, "You are now an official Magician. However, you are still not fit for combat. You must be extra careful when you go to the Norton Kingdom."

He thought nothing about it then. This was because the strongest Magician in the entire Norton Kingdom was Dean Anthony, who was merely a Level-7 Magician like him. How dangerous could such an undeveloped place be?

But now he totally understood the teachings of his mentor. His path of magic had just begun. As Link and this Assassin leader had said, in a real battle, he was nothing but a fool!

This was truly a painful realization.