Rebirth of the 8th-Circle Mage

Chapter 317 - Apocalypse (1)



Chapter 317 - Apocalypse (1)

Arthus had his eyes fixed on the mirror, but he suddenly burst into laughter as though he found the situation absurd.

“Ha...?”

It wasn't just one apostle going down.

Most of the apostles, who had been trained by Dracan, were falling one by one against Henry’s people. At this catastrophic and unexpected turn of events, Arthus could no longer stay put and enjoy his show.

The atmosphere quickly grew cold and stifling. Kington remained suspended in the air, and Ronan, standing next to Arthus, glimpsed at the mirrors with a nervous expression.

At that moment, the image of Palo and the three followers of the Church of Peace took shape in the mirror. There were also countless blind believers swarming, the amount of pressure they exerted unbelievable.

It seemed that Palo's victory was inevitable. Ananda soon perished, his bloody skeleton further proving that the outcome was already set in stone.

Logger quickly fell as well, joining his comrade. Following that, Palo stood before the Saint, slapping her with the very hand he had used to murder Logger.

However, at that moment, Arthus’ and Ronan’s eyes grew wide in astonishment.

'The goddess?'

After Palo’s slap, the Saint was bathed in a golden radiance. This was the divine brilliance that signified the descent of a deity.

Even though this was the first time Ronan and Arthus witnessed the descent of Irene, they didn’t need any further explanation as to what was happening. Her arrival seemed entirely natural, as if it was a law of nature.

At this, Arthus’ smile vanished and his expression turned grim. It had seemed certain that Palo would return victorious, but he fell before he knew it. Moreover, after claiming Palo’s life, Irene turned and locked eyes with Arthus, as though she could see him from the other side of the mirror.

Before vanishing, Goddess Irene muttered something that Ronan couldn’t pick up.

Following that, Arthus crushed the armrest of his chair with just his grip, his anger threatening to explode.

Arthus rarely expressed his anger, but now he was huffing and puffing, his face flushed. Seeing him like this, Ronan naturally got worried. He knew that a starved lion was dangerous, but he also knew that an enraged one was ten times more terrifying.

“Ugh!”

Kington knew that as well.

Not being able to stand still, Arthus stood up and yelled, “No! No, no, no!”

Snap!

With a snap of his fingers, Arthus released Kington from his powers and caused him to fall back on the floor.

Snap!

With a second snap of his fingers, he returned Kington’s and Ronan’s respective swords.

“This is the first time I've had such a dull bet! Trusting others was a waste of time!”

Kington and Ronan carefully looked at their swords that had vanished a while ago. Arthus looked at their confused expressions and said, “Someone ruined the fun. I’m going to call off the bet.”

“What...?”

“We’ll play a new game instead. From this moment on, you two will fight each other to the death. Otherwise, I'll kill both of you.”

A most simple game—Arthus came up with this rule in the heat of the moment, spurred on by his anger.

Before Ronan could even say anything, a sharp blade came from his side.

It was Kington.

Swoosh-!

Kington managed to scratch Ronan on his left cheek. Ronan had barely avoided his attack and now rolled over to retrieve his sword as well. He quickly took a defensive stance and yelled, “What are you doing?!”

“Shut up!”

Kington had already activated his Aura, which was roaring fiercely, and his voice thundered powerfully as though it echoed in a valley. His face was flushed, and he was breathing heavily.

“I have no other choice...” sighed Kington, “and neither do you. Raise your sword, Ronan!”

“You...!”

Ronan tried to say something to Kington, something that would get him to come to his senses. However, after looking in his eyes and seeing his desperate desire to live, Ronan realized that any words would be wasted. After all, reason held no sway over a person whose life was in danger.

“As you wish...”

Whir!

As Ronan lifted his sword, Aura spouted out from its tip and enveloped him. The two swordsmen in front of Arthus were momentarily engulfed by blue flames until they faded away.

Arthus smiled as he saw this unfold.

“Much better.”

His excitement had died out after witnessing his apostles go down. Even though he still had Lunda and Zion, he wasn’t in the mood to continue with his bet, especially after what Irene had told him.

‘Fucking bitch... She actually thinks doing that’s going to change anything after she lost that many followers?’

The more Arthus thought about what the goddess had said, the more agitated he became. That was because, even though she had looked him in the eye, Irene had actually addressed Janus, the real god he worshiped, not him.

Thus, for the first time since he had embarked on this path, Arthus felt overlooked, disregarded. He would now attempt to change the game to make it less tedious, but, of course, to also make himself feel better.

Bang!

The moment Arthus came to a conclusion, Kington released his Aura and lunged at Ronan.

Looking at him, Arthus couldn’t help but think, ‘He sure hasn’t changed.’

Kington—once the lord of a powerful family of the empire, he had lost everything but his name and his sword following the collapse of the empire.

Despite being seen as opportunistic, Kington wasn’t a fool. He was clever enough to be opportunistic and not be looked down for it. A long time ago, when Silver Jackson had become the emperor, Kington was the first of the Imperial Ten Swords Arthus had recruited.

Kington unleashed his full might on Ronan. He had nothing to be afraid of. Even though most of the apostles had been killed and the expedition team had been claiming victory after victory, he was currently next to Arthus, not Henry.

And even if Henry were there, Kington didn’t think he could actually defeat Arthus. Thus, Kington was thinking that once everyone close to Arthus, including Dracan, was dead, he would side with Arthus.

This was his chance to make a good impression on Arthus!

“Die!”

Kington let his rage run wild. He no longer had to bow down to Henry or help Ronan get stronger. He also wanted to release all the pent up frustration and anger from being overlooked and humiliated by everyone in the expedition team.

Ronan calmly defended himself against Kington’s attacks. He knew better than to get agitated and lose his wits in such a situation.

He had honed his swordsmanship and overall strength to rival Kington’s throughout all those grueling, never-ending training sessions. However, there was still one specific reason Ronan couldn’t underestimate Kington.

Unlike him, Kington possessed the ultimate weapon a knight could have—the ultimate skill.

'I must buy time somehow!’

Ronan figured that the Sages had yet to teleport because he was all the way in Lizark Hill. He also knew that the expedition team, lead by Henry, would take care of all the apostles on their way here.

Fortunately, he had witnessed along with Arthus most of the apostles falling to the expedition team, so his plan was to stall and drag the fight on for as much as he could, hoping that the Sages would arrive in time.

That was the only thing Ronan could do at the moment.

Clank! Clank!

However, Kington couldn’t care less about Ronan at the moment. He was charging at him like a frenzied beast, and Ronan had to fight back while also worrying about Arthus and how he might change his mind at any second.

‘Shit!’

Each second felt like an eternity to Ronan, but he had to make it through. He was desperately swinging his sword as though he were about to be pushed off the edge of a cliff.

“Stop,” said Arthus after watching the two clash for a couple of minutes. He then furrowed his brows and continued, “Clumsy.”

“...!”

“If you’re going to try to trick me, you should at least make it look convincing. You have five minutes. Settle this or I'll finish you both.”

‘Damn it! He saw through it?’

Ronan shivered at the fact that Arthus had caught onto his strategy. He really was on the edge of the cliff now.

“Get ready!”

Arthus’ ultimatum only fueled Kington even more. He fixed his grip on his sword and flared his Aura, changing its shape into a different sword.

“Foram the El Savar...!”

“I knew you’d know. Foram El Savar is the ultimate skill that’s been passed down our family for generations. Consider it an honor to die by this skill, my adopted son.”

Now, Kington had his normal sword in his right hand and the Foram El Savar in his left. Ronan had never seen Kington wield two swords at once.

“Ready?”

“Damn it!”

Ronan had yet to learn his ultimate skill, so he desperately prepared his decisive one. However, even though Ronan reacted fast, the difference in power between a decisive and an ultimate skill was as big as the distance between earth and the heavens.

Swoosh!

A moment later, scarlet blood spurted in the air, forming a rainbow-like arc.

***

A bright flash of light appeared out of nowhere, Henry and his allies emerging from it. They were finally at Lizark Hill, but their numbers had gone down noticeably.

They had teleported to the location Arthus had told them to reach by foot, using the coordinates from Ronan’s Log Stone. However, after they arrived, they realized that there wasn’t anything around them.

‘What?’

They were surrounded by nothing but empty, green hills, the scenery being in stark contrast to their desperate situation.

But at that moment...

Thud!

‘Hmm?’

Something had fallen in front of them with a loud thud as though someone had slammed it. Everyone turned to see what had fallen out of nowhere. At first, they couldn’t tell what it was because of the tall grass and weeds, but as they got closer...

They were shocked to their core.

They were staring at Ronan’s head.

“Ro-Ronan!” Von cried out in horror, clutching poor Ronan’s severed head.

Before anyone else could say anything, a chilling voice cut through the silence.

“Ah, you’ve arrived just in time.”

It was Arthus.

There wasn’t anything around Henry and his allies when they first arrived, but now, the person they despised and sought to kill stood right beside them.

“Welcome, everyone.”

Arthus greeted them with a brazen and relaxed expression, acting as though nothing had happened. In response to this, every swordsman activated his Aura, including Henry.

“You...!”

Everyone gritted their teeth as though they would pounce on Arthus at any second, but no one made a move as they had promised ahead of time not to do so.

Seeing them like this, Arthus chuckled and said, “You all look like well-trained dogs, but don’t glare at me like one. After all, you’ve only lost one swordsman while I’ve lost all my men."

Everyone in the expedition team trembled violently at how Arthus disregarded human life. Yet, Arthus was serious about what he had said.

After he finished his greetings, Arthus continued, “You've come a long way to get here, I’ll give you that. Give yourselves a pat on the back. But didn’t I warn you? I told you not to use Teleportation to get to Lizark Hill, didn’t I?”

With that, Arthus waved his hand, and then...

- Neigh!

- Whinny!

With the motion of his hand, Arthus decapitated the horses of the expedition team in an instant, blood gushing from their necks before falling to the ground.

“Everyone’s trying to play it the easy way. How do you like what I’ve done? You don’t need horses anymore since you’re here anyway. And apart from this, you have to pay the price for not following my rules.”

Snap!

Arthus snapped his fingers and summoned countless floating mirrors behind him. RE𝒂ad updated st𝒐ries at n/𝒐/vel/bin(.)com

“...!”

The mirrors showed the last humans on the continent who had yet to be taken down by his blind believers, including the ones in Monsieur.

With the mirrors behind him, Arthus said in a deep voice, “I remember warning you that I’d get rid of all of them if you didn’t follow my instructions. Unfortunately for you, I am a man of my word.”

- GAAA!!!

Instantly after he said that, bone-chilling screams rang from the mirrors, followed by the image of blind believers rushing en masse to a certain point.

“It’s showtime, Henry.”

The countdown to humanity’s destruction had begun.


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