Chapter 482: A Lapse in Judgement
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Gladstone City, in the church
If Link was still trapped in space as he had been half a year ago, there was a chance he would not be able to make it out of this. However, things were different now.
He now had at his disposal unlimited Dragon Power and had even mastered the way of the sword. His knowledge of the secrets of magic far surpassed any ordinary Magician at this point. To top it all off, he had even acquired an array of Dragon Spells from the Dragon Valley.
Besides Spatial Magic, the new Link had a few other tricks up his sleeve!
When Katyusha entered the church through its great door, Link sensed the presences of her Naga cohorts behind her.
There were 13 other Nagas, three of whom were Naga Priests. The Naga Priests spread out around the church in a triangle, 200 feet from each other, and began chanting a divine spell to seal up the space within. Two Nagas stood beside each priest to ensure their safety.
As the other nine Nagas were occupied with sealing the area, four remained facing Link and Celine.
"Just you four?" asked Link. "I'm offended."
Katyusha swung the Spear of Victory in her hand. "With this on our side, we are more than a match for the likes of you."
Saying this, she beckoned at the others. "Sisters, let's show this foolish human just what we Agatha Nagas are capable of!"
Just as Katyusha finished speaking, three of the Nagas began taking furtive steps towards Link and Celine in the middle, each of them exuding Level-9 power.
On one side stood a Level-10 master holding a Legendary weapon and three other Level-9 experts.
Facing them on the other side was a Level-11 Spatial Magician with limited Spatial Power, accompanied by Celine, a Level-7 Pinnacle master with Level-9 attack power.
There was also a hidden disadvantage on Link's side: He needed to exercise extra caution while casting some of his more powerful spells. For example, though he may be able to decimate the Nagas surrounding them with a single Void Destructor spell, due to the spell's sheer power, half of the buildings in Gladstone City would be caught in its area of effect. The scorched air, as a result of the spell, would incinerate the rest of the population living in the other half of the city.
Unless he really had no choice, Link would not resort to such drastic measures.
Judging from their current circumstances, it seemed that the Nagas had the upper hand.
The atmosphere was stretched taut in the church. It was as if the air had condensed around them as both sides continued staring at each other, waiting for the other to make the first move.
Half a minute passed, and Katyusha suddenly shot a glance at the Naga behind Link.
The Naga stretched her mouth wide open till the sides of her mouth almost reached the bottom of her ears. She let out an ear-rending screech, and with an explosion of Destructive Power, she lunged forward, her spear held forth like the tip of a dark red screw. The electricity and wind in her wake split open cracks across the ground like cobwebs. The tip of her spear was aimed not at Link, but at Celine who was standing beside Link.
Celine's attack power was impressive, but she lacked in defensive power. If she were to be taken down first, there would be no one else standing between Link and Katyusha's Spear of Victory.
But Celine had Link.
At that moment, Link cast a spell of his own.
This was the first Legendary defensive spell he had learned from the game system, and he had once used it against Isendilan back in the Golden Plains. It cost 15,000 Mana Points, but now, he needed only 6800 Dragon Power points to cast it.
Its effect also seemed different. A crimson light erupted from Link's body, spraying forth in all directions around him. In an instant, a red, seemingly flimsy barrier had enveloped both Link and Celine.
When the Naga's spear was one foot away from piercing into Celine's back, an invisible force prevented it from going any further.
Sparks flew out from the point of collision between the spear tip and the invisible barrier. No matter how much she tried to drive the spear forward, the weapon refused to move any further.
Despite a mere one-level difference between the Level-9 spear attack and the Level-10 Legendary barrier, the gap in power level was just too great. The spear simply stood no chance in penetrating the shield.
The Miracle Aura also had an added advantage to it: it was capable of blocking all attacks from one side. In other words, she could strike back at her enemies while being impervious to attacks from them.
Celine was more than able to take down a Level-9 Naga by herself within two seconds. However, she knew that the one both of them had to look out for was the black-haired Naga holding the lightning spear in her hands.
Ignoring the attacks of the Naga behind her, she focused all her attention on Katyusha and her spear.
Katyusha noticed immediately that the tables had been turned on her when Link activated the Miracle Aura and nullified all her underling's attacks on Celine. She was now the only one left who could deal any damage to Link and Celine.
She would be left vulnerable to Celine's long-ranged attacks if she were to focus her attacks on Link. If she were to focus on the woman instead, Katyusha would instantly be incinerated by any one of Link's spells.
Katyusha was the one now with her back pushed up against a wall. She let out a sharp scream, but instead of retaliating, she took a few steps back. As she retreated, Katyusha whirled the Spear of Victory in her hands till it was a dense rotating blur, dissuading Link from advancing any further.
Link still had 7000 Dragon Power points. With a recovery rate of 37 points per second, he was still at full strength. He watched Katyusha edging backwards slowly. Instead of going after her, Link turned around at the Naga behind him.
Without casting any of his spells, he drew out the Dragon King's Fury sword and struck back at the Naga.
His swordsmanship had not faltered one bit, as he would take out his sword to practice during his downtime. Even the most basic swordplay could be lethal when performed by a Magician with a Legendary body type.
The Naga who had launched the first strike was still behind Celine, futilely trying to break through her defenses. Link took a step back and swung his sword at the Naga.
Caught off guard, the Naga tried to parry the attack, but her movements were sluggish before Link's eyes. With one swift, silent stroke of his sword, Link sliced through the Naga's throat.
Without even looking at the Naga behind him, he pulled his sword back and charged at the Naga to his left. Though he never mastered Charged, basic swordsmanship had entailed learning basic footwork. Coupled with the explosiveness of his body, Link shot forward in a red blur towards the second Naga. Before she could even react, Link's sword had already struck her.
Seeing Katyusha retreating away from them, Celine aimed her pistol at the third Naga to her right.
She was able to pinpoint her target's position through her acute hearing. Without looking at her target, she fired her pistol.
A soft bang resounded, and a bullet flew out from the magic pistol's barrel. The Naga panicked and tried to dodge the attack. However, the bullet planted itself squarely through her chest, as if she had dodged into it herself.
During the day, Celine had managed to counter the Spear of Victory with her pistols. After recovering from her exertion, she now felt that her precognitive abilities had grown stronger than before. Before taking her shot just then, without even directly looking at her target, she was able to tell where the Naga would be half a second later. As a result, the Naga crumpled to the ground when she fired her pistol.
In no more than two seconds, all three Level-9 Nagas lay dead on the ground.
The barrier on the two remained unbroken. Both Link and Celine looked at each other, and the message was clear between them: Wipe the Nagas out, teach them a lesson they would never forget!
While not as physically strong as Link, Celine had put herself through rigorous training, and together with her awakened powers, she was capable of fending for herself. She rushed forward, covering at least 30 feet of ground per second. Link did not cast any supplementary magic on her, in case any of his spells somehow interfered with her precognition. He followed closely beside her.
A second later, they were now on the white stone threshold of the church's great door. On one corner of the church square in front of them stood a Naga Priest and her two bodyguards.
Katyusha had retreated to where the Naga Priest stood.
"Quick, destroy his Legendary barrier!" she ordered the Naga Priest. The priest possessed destructive divine power which was the only other thing capable of breaking through Link's Legendary barrier besides Katyusha's Spear of Victory.
What about setting up a seal to prevent Link from escaping?
Be damned with the seal, she thought. Right now, the only thought on her mind was survival.
But she had failed to account for the fact that the Naga Priest was not specialized in combat. Her divine spells were indeed effective against Link's Legendary barrier, but her combat sense and reaction time were far inferior to Link's.
When she began casting a divine spell, the spatial seal was immediately undone. Link saw the opening and thrust his sword out. A Despair Ball appeared in front of the sword's tip, letting it pass through. When it reappeared, it had penetrated through the Naga Priest's forehead.
The Naga Priest's divine spell was forcibly interrupted by a sword thrust from Link.
Shocked, Katyusha pulled the Spear of Victory back, intending to use it on Link. Just then, she turned around and noticed that Celine stood beside Link, staring at her coldly without even moving to attack.
Katyusha remembered the woman all too well. Celine was the one, after all, who had managed to deflect the Spear of Victory with her bullets. She was the shield standing between Link and the Legendary spear that was said to hold sway over destiny itself.
In a moment of misjudgment, Katyusha had failed to account for Link's other Legendary powers besides his spatial magic. One Legendary Warrior was most certainly not enough to defeat Link; she needed at least two or three more by her side to finish the job.
Due to her miscalculations, her Naga minions had all fallen before Link. If she stayed on any longer, she would be killed off as well.
Without a moment's hesitation, Katyusha activated Charge with a burst of Destructive Power and streaked out of the church square, abandoning her underlings behind her.
In her desperation, she had bolted away from the battle at such an incredible speed that she had turned into a blur.
Celine fired her pistol at the fleeing Naga's back. Judging from its trajectory, her bullet would surely hit its target, but the Naga showed no intention of blocking or dodging as she fled for her life.
Celine was stunned by such a bold move. Even if her opponent was a Legendary Warrior, not even a leather armor would be able to stop a Level-9 shot.
All of a sudden, she realized that her bullet's speed was not able to match her opponent's, and would not be able to catch up to her.
"She sure can run fast she wants to!" she said.
Watching how desperately the opponent had fled from him, Link could only smile wryly at the rapidly vanishing silhouette in the distance. He would be able to catch up to Katyusha by himself. What stopped him from doing so was her Spear of Victory. With the Dragon King's Fury sword still far from reaching Boundless Sharpness, his only other way of countering the spear was his Scapegoat Doll.
While there was a chance he could defeat Katyusha and her spear by himself, it was too risky, and certainly did not allow any room for error. Also, if he were to go off chasing after Katyusha, Celine would be left behind to fend off the remaining Nagas by herself. The eight Nagas remaining were Level-8 and Level-9 adversaries; Celine would surely be overwhelmed by such a number.
After pausing to ponder on this for a while, Link decided not to chase after Katyusha, and turned around to face the Nagas behind him.
Within ten seconds, all eight Nagas, unable to pierce through Link's shield, were slaughtered without any chance of victory.
By that time, Katyusha's figure had already disappeared without a trace in the distance.
Link returned to Celine's side once more and pulled her waist into his arm. He then activated Void Walk and sprang into the sky. Another outbreak was about to happen in Gladstone City, and he was running out of time.
He suddenly remembered that there was a church in another town called Hapsburg 80 miles from Gladstone City where he could probably find all the priests and priestesses he needed to curb the epidemic.
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