Chapter 24 – Delayed

It is being delayed so that both here and RoyalRoad finish book 1 at the same time.

But for those reading it here, I’ll post a quick snippet (1st thousand words) of the chapter.

Chapter 24 – End Book 1; and Chapter 25- Start Book 2, will upload at the same time on July 15th.

“We need to wait for Tyler and Nick, Paige. With a full party, we can concentrate on one enemy at a time.” Zenith argued, shouting at Paige. “If they were close to breaking the interlocking formations, I can analyze the surrounding mana and attempt to recreate what they were doing.”

“That’s not good enough. They’re going to use the formation to teleport them away from the mausoleum. They cannot take Isabella and the weapon with them. We need to get in there fast!” Paige argued back angrily.

“Then use your Imperial Wardstone to bypass the wards. Prim told me what that necklace was, Paige,” Zenith yelled back, her temper flaring. “But we still need to wait for Tyler and Nick.”

Throwing her sword at the raised symbols, Zenith watched as the enchanted mithril blade pierced the symbol, but could not penetrate past the condensed wall of mana. The Demon Lord’s party were heading into the mausoleum already, keeping a close watch on her and Paige. Isabella stared back tearfully at them but was forced to move by one of the Nightwalkers and quickly disappeared into the mausoleum proper.

As her post-battle nerves calmed down, Zenith realized just how tired she was. Using [Vital Guard] and [Defensive Cloth] at the same time had used the majority of her mana, causing her to only be able to use simple [[Wind Blades]] to force the enemy back. Luckily, the mountain had an abundance of wind mana, so it wasn’t hard to replenish her mana. The mock battle against Paige had allowed her to test the limits of what her clothing could handle. Thus, Zenith was unafraid of getting into close combat with the two opponents and used her [[Wind Blades]] as both an offensive and defensive spell.

‘Prim had been right when she said that I’ve never seen her fight for real,’ Zenith thought to herself. She had seen glimpses of Paige and the Demon Lord’s battle, their swords and shields moving faster than anything she had ever seen. But that ruined her mood even more. “Paige, how confident are you that we can get Isabella back, unharmed? It seemed that you were on par with that Demon Lord.”

“He’s good, better than most Imperial Scions actually. I stopped him from using his skills, but I didn’t think he’d be such a technical fighter.” Glancing at her outfit, Zenith had noted that Paige’s mithril bodysuit was torn in places. “He must have been trained by a True Swordmaster, or maybe a True Warrior for him to be able to recognize a few of my moves. On the bright side though, it looks like that party is mainly boosting the Demon Lord’s attributes. Did those two Nightwalkers you were fighting use any Warrior skills?”

“No, they didn’t use any as far as I could tell. Paige, can your wardstone bypass the formation?” Zenith pushed for Paige to use her wardstone, knowing that it would be the easiest way to enter the formation if it worked.

Paige pulled out her sapphire necklace, the same one Zenith had shown Prim. She saw how Paige hesitated, alternating her gaze between her necklace and the formation, silently calculating if it was possible. Zenith looked around at the destruction “Are Tyler and Nick close by? Nick told me you had been able to find him relatively fast.”

“Yeah, they’re close by. Probably another half hour or so. There’s no way they could have missed those attacks. They’re flashy, but nothing to scoff at.” Paige said absentmindedly. She sighed. “I can use my stone, but we’ll have to wait for them. It’ll be a one-way trip though, the stone wasn’t really meant to bypass a mana wall this condensed. Paige smiled wryly, as though it was not her fault the magic circle was currently overloaded with mana.

“Then why are you hesitating? What happens when it breaks?”

“Bad things happen Zenith. It allows me to enter and leave most wards and active circles, but the cost…well, just know it also protects me from the Imperial Family. They can’t harm me so long as I have this stone, and it is harder for them to trace my whereabouts. But a formation this large…It would probably break upon entry…”

“Prim said you whereabouts are an open secret though? Even she was able to trace your fake names for the past few centuries, let alone anyone in the Imperial family who was given the same task.”

“Knowing who I was and where I am now are two entirely different matters. They can trace my past, but everything up until I use the stone is a mystery to them; so long as I try to keep my cover, that is. Even an Imperial Wardstone can’t hide gross negligence on my part. But the moment I use actually use the stone, every Imperial Scion will know where I am.”

“And that is bad because…”

End of Snippet

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