Chapter 248: The Ice Flame Warlord
No plan is perfect. No matter how flawless a plan seemed to be, there are always potential complications that can happen. It was inevitable. Still, those who are skilled enough can turn a crisis into an opportunity. One such capable person was sitting on a chair right now communicating with his allies.
“...I understand. It’s fortunate that no one is injured. Don’t engage in combat against Kimon. They are different from us. They are not the kind of opponent we can win against.”
Montra closed his system window after exchanging intel with Kawin. Apparently, Revin and Kawin had accidentally met Kimon. It was fortunate that Montra had warned the two before to flee at once if they spotted Kimon. Thanks to his warning, the two suddenly used Crystals of Connecting to teleport themselves to Red River, a certain player in Belacia City who had agreed to join forces with them.
“Nunthima...” Montra muttered to himself. He showed a slightly gloomy expression once this name left his mouth.
‘At that time... I just wanted someone to investigate Sila’s general background information, yet she volunteered herself to become a spy. Then, before the day of the match, she suddenly came back and said she couldn’t lie anymore. She also quit the dojo, saying she would stay with Sila. Unexpectedly... she belongs to Kimon.’
Montra had always believed that Nunthima had been staying with Sila. That made him surprised to see her as Kimon’s member. Although he knew that Sila moved to live with Varee for some period of time, he just thought that Nunthima was with Elder Mora, who had disappeared back then.
Using his system window, Montra sent a message to the outside world to have his people investigate Nunthima’s background and personal information. Despite this, deep in his mind he was sure that the investigation would end up pointless if she truly was a member of Kimon. Still, he hoped he would find some useful intel.
“Kimon and the Flaming Cloud Dojo had a relationship in the past. Could it be that this is Elder Mora’s doing? Or are both sides unrelated? Two of these answers will lead to totally different results... Too different for me to overlook them.”
Each answer was too important to ignore. They also required different solutions. Montra couldn’t afford to make a rash move. Thus, he decided to use the method that he tended to rely on in situations like this.
“In that case, I will have to force both sides to show their standpoints. I will extend the result of my main plan to include Kimon.”
Montra stood from the chair while issuing orders to call two certain players to the guild’s hall. He strode to his personal safe and pressed his hand on a hidden button.
The sound of an engine silently roared. Then, Montra walked in front of the mirror on the other side of the room before placing his hand onto its surface. He transmitted his power imprint into it. Ripples appeared on the mirror surface like water.
Montra headed inside, going through a small corridor leading to the hidden room of the Heavenly Dragon Guild. Inside, there was a giant golden gate with numerous magic formulae that could only be found in the legendary floating Magic Kingdom engraved on the door panels. The base of the gate was made using an esoteric technology from the Lost Android Kingdom while the gate itself was emitting the enigmatic aura of the mysterious and profound hidden Qi Kingdom.
In front of the gate was something similar to a control panel, yet the buttons were replaced by six gems.
This gate was the invention that Montra had created using the blueprint obtained from Orpheus.
Montra placed his palm on the panel, and a futuristic screen soon popped up. On the screen was more than a thousand different button combinations. Out of all of them, more than 99% would lead to failure. Only three of them were currently useable.
Montra pressed his hands on the gems in the sequence he desired. “Illusion Sapphire, Crown Ruby, Universe’s Eyes Amber.”
The door panels of the gate temporarily become a large screen displaying information. Montra continued, “Star Tear Topaz,” and a certain sentence appeared on the screen.
[Currently Owned. Location: Heavenly Dragon’s Central Hall.]
Montra didn’t show any noteworthy reaction despite the sentence meeting his expectations. He plucked out one of the gems and said, “Seal.”
The magnificent jewel lost its profound luster and became a worthless rock. Montra threw it in his system window before taking an invitation card out and teleporting himself to the door leading to the guild’s central hall.
Montra took his Dragon Head Mage Staff out and used its handle to write a magic formula on the door panel while muttering some chants. Three minutes later, the edge of the door emitted a faint white light as Montra stored his mage staff. He walked through the door, which instantly slammed close as soon as he entered the room.
The hall was wider than it appeared when looking from the outside. The inside was wide enough to hold a thousand people and the wall was durable against attacks, both from the inside and the outside. Usually this room was used for announcing important matters to guildmates. This time, however, there were only two people other than Montra, obediently waiting for his orders.
Montra walked past the two of them, who slightly bowed at him, and finally sat on a throne located at the back of the hall. His gaze, showing no emotion, fell on the two.
“Calling us two here, do you have any orders for us, Leader?” asked the Star-Finishing Warlord Cheris.
“I wouldn’t dare to order you around. Rather, the reason I called you here today is to ask for your help eliminating a certain rat.” Montra didn’t beat around the bush.
“A rat?” The two of them exclaimed simultaneously, though with different feelings. One of them felt surprised while the other felt startled.
Montra continued, “Yes... this rat has been staying in the Heavenly Dragon Guild for so long and has been biting us from the inside. It probably thinks that no one will ever know its secret. Little does it know that it had unknowingly made two grave mistakes.”
Cheris, or rather Yardpirun, immediately realized that Montra had come to know that she was a spy. Still, she wondered why Montra acted so calm. Why did he only call a mere new guild member here instead of surrounding her with more people? She was instantly on guard and looked for a chance to escape.
“What mistakes, Leader? Could you please explain?” asked Yardpirun. She secretly took a Crystal of Connecting out. It was the only transporting item that could be used during combat.
“Do you remember the paper notes I gave away during the invasion of Grea City?”
Holding the Crystal of Connecting in her hand, Yardpirun was no longer scared. “I did everything according to the note.”
“I deliberately wrote one trivial, nonsensical order on each note, and you were the only one to practically stick to it, down to every letter. When unexpected situations occurred, you always waited for Lost Ghost to move first, then followed. Your mistake was you didn’t make any mistakes. You were too worried that your secret might be revealed.”
The disguise was undone. Reverting to her usual self, Yardpirun stared at Montra.
Montra added, “I take it that you must have told Sila your real identity. That was your other mistake. Your acting might be flawless, but Sila held back slightly when he made a move against you. That’s what made me focus on you more than others.”
With how the conversation flowed, the third person in the room decided to unsheathe the weapons she carried on her back.
“Calm down, Ginny. I still have something to do,” Montra instructed, which prompted Ginny to lower her dual swords.
Apparently, the other person aside from Cheris who Montra had called over was Ginny—the new guild member Revin had invited. For the past few days, she had been practicing swordsmanship under Revin’s guidance and learning magic tricks from Trick Master. Together with S-class unique dual magic swords in her possession, she had made enough progress to be selected as one of the Vice-Warlords.
“I won’t stay here long enough for you to do something else, Mister Montra.” Yardpirun activated the Crystal of Connecting in her hand, yet nothing happened.
Montra laid against the back of his throne. “I cast the magic domain beforehand. If you want to use items, you will have to use them outside this hall.”
Yardpirun quickly estimated the distance between where she stood and the door. It was less than a hundred steps, which shouldn’t be a problem for her. She was confident that, even if Montra and Ginny ganged up on her, she would still be able to break through if she just relied on the Gem of Catastrophe’s ability.
Montra took a rounded rock out. He looked through it at Yardpirun, as if it was a camera lens. “Unseal,” he commanded.
The rock transformed and became a shining yellow gem similar to a cat’s eye. The black pupil part of the iris gave off a profound glow like it was presenting an entire universe. Montra only looked through it for a brief moment before returning it to his system window, having already obtained the information he wanted.
“A ring attached with the sixth Gem of Catastrophe, Star Tear Topaz. Its conceptual ability is ‘Presence.’ I take it that you have been using it to help your disguise,” Montra mentioned casually.
Seeing what Montra had done, Yardpirun said in return, “The eighth Gem of Catastrophe, Universe’s Eyes Amber. The conceptual ability is ‘Truth.’ I take it that you just used it to perform a high-level inspection.”
“You are very well-informed, Yardpirun, as expected of the leader of the Blue Pigeon Guild.”
Yardpirun didn’t seem too surprised to hear that Montra could accurately guess her true position. She guessed that he must have discovered all of her information using the Universe’s Eyes Amber. Still, she couldn’t deny that she was feeling worried because he explicitly mentioned her guild.
“You must want the Gem of Catastrophe in my possession, correct?” asked Yardpirun.
“I’ve already gotten what I want,” Montra replied, “Ginny, you have practised long enough. It’s time for you to have a real battle. Please take care of her in my place.”
“Me?” Ginny was surprised. Given her current strength, she didn’t think she could rival Yardpirun, who was technically still one of the Five Dragon Warlords.
“Yes. If you win, her position as the Dragon Warlord will be transferred by you.” Montra shifted his gaze to Yardpirun. “As for you, if you win against Ginny, I will let you go.”
Yardpirun didn’t understand. Even though Ginny possessed S-grade dual swords, which were a rare set, they were still far inferior items compared to the Gem of Catastrophe. Montra’s proposal was too good for her. Not to mention the gem. It was a fraudulent item that—even though he didn’t want it—he should still seek to obtain rather than let his enemy keep. She questioned his true motives.
“I won’t hold back, you know?” Yardpirun warned.
“Rather, I don’t think you should. Even though Ginny is weaker, I will be disappointed if you are the type to look down on your opponent.”
Yardpirun materialized two long swords in her hands. They were as transparent as glass, seemingly visible yet invisible. Ginny wasn’t afraid of them. Both the Solaria Sword and the Dorolia Sword in her hands emitted light as she started casting spells. She took three steps forward while brandishing her dual swords. The magical might that the swords unleashed overwhelmed Yardpirun, prompting her to raise her long swords and block the attack.
“Winter Flash! / Summer Flash!”
Two voices simultaneously rang out from Ginny’s mouth. She relied on the fairy race’s trait that allowed her to cast two spells at once.
As the timing was right, the spells could unleash their maximum destructive power. The hot and the cold sword waves didn’t clash against each other, but instead worked together with no loss of power.
Yardpirun felt terrifying hot and cold feelings at the same time. Ice and flame sensations transmitted through her long swords, which prompted her to unequip her weapons before the magic fully reached her.
Meanwhile, Montra calmly observed the fight. He could predict the result of the battle even before it had started. He had intentionally placed several traps to lower Yardpirun’s odds of winning. The first one was giving her false hope. In fact, if Yardpirun focused her mind on fleeing, she would have a relatively high chance of success. However, he declared that he would let her go if she won against Ginny. With Ginny’s strength being below her level, she became hesitant and decided to try fighting before fleeing. Her inability to make a resolute judgment would bring demise to herself.
The second trap was their previous conversation. He revealed he knew her true affiliations, and that put great pressure on her mind regarding what he planned to do against her guild. He also made her question why he didn’t attempt to snatch the Gem of Catastrophe in her possession even though he had a chance to do it. His questionable action cut some part of her concentration from the fight.
The next trap was him explicitly saying Ginny was weaker than her. His words taunted Ginny to do her best to show the result of her training, in order to become a step closer to Revin—the person she admired.
On the other hand, Yardpirun was missing some key information. The magic in Ginny’s possession wasn’t simple elemental magic, but Season Magic—the exclusive magic belonging to certain species in the fairy race. Her real strength was more formidable than how it seemed as she had been taught how to properly take advantage of her special magic by Montra.
The last trap was his presence. Even though he did nothing but observe the fight, Yardpirun couldn’t help but be wary of him and attempt to preserve strength in case he ambushed her.
With this many restrictions, Yardpirun couldn’t show even half of her full strength. She struggled against Ginny and ultimately had to rely on the Gem of Catastrophe.
Her presence vanished, along with her body fading away. Montra looked her way without blinking, his expression unchanged as if he was absent-minded.
He had been waiting for a long time to test his new art. The Gem of Catastrophe—Star Tear Topaz—was worthy of being the test subject of Grand Deity’s Breathing’s profound might.
Grand Deity’s Breathing — Second Stage, Hold Breathing and Borrow the Heavenly Eyes.
Montra’s eyes became vacant like a mirror. What was reflected in his eyes was the sight of Ginny trying to use a spell to pinpoint Yardpirun’s location. Meanwhile, Yardpirun was walking around Ginny. She kept attacking Ginny using her invisible swords.
“Three steps, on your left,” Montra nonchalantly said.
Ginny, who was troubled by Yardpirun’s attacks, didn’t think twice. She brandished her sword in the direction Montra gave her. Then, her sword clashed against the incoming blow of the ex-Star-Finishing Warlord, whose attacks were rumored as ones which couldn’t be blocked.
“This is...?” exclaimed Yardpirun.
“Five steps behind you, and one step to your right,” Montra instructed, which Ginny responded to by obediently following his guidance. Her swords then damaged two appearing Yardpiruns.
Ginny was confused as to why there was more than one Yardpirun, though Montra revealed the answer in no time. “You must be using the Star Tear Topaz to replicate your presence and make more of it. Is this the current extent of your understanding of the Star Tear Topaz’s ability?”
“So you are helping her by revealing my position? Doesn’t this count as two against one?”
“I spoke in a way that both of you could hear. If you don’t like it, just don’t move into the location that I mention,” Montra replied indifferently.
Yardpirun felt shivers down her spine. She didn’t know how Montra had done it, but his eyes seemed to see through time. He didn’t speak of her present location, but where she would be by the time Ginny finished following his instructions. With this alone, she was aware that she would die in no time if Montra decided to act. She judged that fleeing was her best course of action.
“Ice Flame Dual Slashes.”
However, Yardpirun was too late. As Ginny knew that she was indeed weaker, she activated the item skill she obtained by equipping the two swords together. One of her eyes became orange while the other became light blue as she swung both swords.
As her swords cut through the air, waves of heat and piles of ice started to appear. With the item skill, Ginny could simultaneously activate a high-tier fire-element magic spell, Borderless Sea of Flame, and a high-tier ice-element magic spell, Seismic Avalanche, with no casting times. It could be said that she was yet another rare talent who could utilize high-tier spells during close combat, though it was due to the item’s ability.
The flame waves burned and the avalanche raged through space, leaving no way for Yardpirun to evade. Even though she finally managed to reach the room’s exit, she discovered that Montra had also cast a light-element sealing spell on the door. In order to break it, a few seconds would be required for her.
Sadly, she had no time left.
The fight was no longer a battle but an execution. Trapped in a closed space with no exit, Yardpirun had no hopes of surviving against two high-tier magic spells. Her body disappeared in a flash of flames and ice. The system informed her of her rank being demoted due to dying to the special dual swords set.
“I haven’t fired Yardpirun from the guild yet. She will respawn here in two hours. It’s your duty to take care of her until you are satisfied. However, in the next round, you will have to rely only on yourself.”
Montra said this to Ginny before he left the hall. He had calculated that the weakened Yardpirun wouldn’t be Ginny’s match. She would have no hopes of exiting the hall. Thus, there was no reason for him to stay.
With her rank being demoted, Yardpirun would have fewer health points and that would be detrimental for surviving against the might of the dual swords.
That evening, the title Star-Finishing Warlord was forever removed from the Five Dragon Warlords. It was replaced by a new warlord going by the name “Ginny, the Ice Flame Warlord.”