Chapter 192:

An Unwinnable Battle

Atk 0 Crit All ~My attack stat is negligible, so I can't help but rely on critical hits to succeed!~

I felt a cold shiver run down my spine as I saw the portals hovering around me. Each one had a gun poking out and aimed straight at me, as if daring me to make a move. Even in a panic, I could tell exactly what they were holding. The distinct design of the magic gun that Katalina invented was unmistakable.Bookmark here

‘For them to have made both weapons so quickly…’Bookmark here

Barely a week had passed since the blueprints had been discovered to be missing. Somehow, their designs had been recreated and completed in that short time period. There was undoubtedly someone of great intellect on the Purnesian side.Bookmark here

I tried to back away slowly, but a chorus of gunfire immediately sounded. Fire, ice, and electricity struck me all at once, the mixture of different attacks indistinguishable as all I could feel was pain rack my body. Before I knew it, my back hit the ground.Bookmark here

Fortunately, I was strong enough to weather some magic blasts, given my mana training and equipment. However, their weaponry was nearly as strong as Katalina’s, stunning me more than anything. These were no cheap imitations; whoever did this knew exact how they were made. As a result, there was no way that I could handle more than a few rounds of collective shots.Bookmark here

Therefore, it was best to be knocked on my butt and wait for some other opening.Bookmark here

While I slowly got up, feigning defeat, a man suddenly fell down vertically from a portal. The dark robe he wore and how he presented himself made me think of an assassin. He pulled back his hood, revealing a misaligned toothy grin and a mug that only a mother would love. The scars across his face looked like someone had once rearranged it without proper healing. But despite that, he seemed thrilled to be before me.Bookmark here

“Well, ain’t that a surprise? I recognize that little symbol there.” He pointed at my chest, where the emblem of the Chancellor was displayed. “Guess we got ourselves a person of importance.”Bookmark here

“Fu-…” I breathed out a curse as I forgot how important of a chess piece I was.Bookmark here

“I’ve heard a bit about you… Word is that you can cut down anything and anyone. Ain’t that right?”Bookmark here

I didn’t move, neither confirming nor denying what he said.Bookmark here

“I’d like to see it.” With that, the man snapped his fingers.Bookmark here

In an instant, the area was filled with bolts of magic sailing towards me. I swung my hand, coated in mana and tried to cleave them away. Unfortunately, my ability only allowed me to target one magic at a time, so I opted for cancelling the piercing ice magic.Bookmark here

The spears of ice shattered harmlessly into ice crystals, which were promptly evaporated by the plumes of fire nearby. Given that my outfit protected against heat, standing in front of a flamethrower was the same as a gust of desert wind, stinging and hot but not unbearable.Bookmark here

What hurt the most was the electricity, which I had no protection against. Sharp crackles and pops stung my body as I held no control of how I moved. Until the current stopped, I felt both stiff like a board yet uncontrollably jittery.Bookmark here

I absentmindedly willed my status screen up, seeing that my HP had fallen by roughly a quarter. With these portals circling around me, there was no way that I would be able to avoid their attacks. And the multitude of different elements made it impossible to deflect them all.Bookmark here

“Heh, what a joke. Such a weak and pathetic Chancellor this one is. Quite the difference from the previous one.”Bookmark here

The man bent down and mocked me, telling me exactly what I had known all along. It had required many people to take down the demon-possessed Chancellor who was known by the name, David Willingham. Of course, I would be nowhere near as much of a threat.Bookmark here

“Still, you’re an Electi, right? An outsider of this kingdom. We don’t have beef with you, personally. Just those that are native to the cursed Sistina that banished our people.”Bookmark here

At that point, the man stuck out his hand. “Name’s Raganoff. Take it. Take my hand and turn your loyalty over to us. To the Mad Empress.”Bookmark here

“You kidding me? Do you really think that I’d just say ‘yes’ or something?” Even at such a disadvantage, I knew where my heart lied. Not to mention, I doubted that I could bluff my way out of this one.Bookmark here

“Of course not. But I had to ask, for the sake of formality. After all, we aren’t barbarians. You’re lying defeated because of our wits.” As Raganoff stood up, he lifted his arm up.Bookmark here

“Kill him,” he commanded.Bookmark here

But before he could bring his arm down, Favian jumped between us.Bookmark here

“Wait, c-could you not… spare him?”Bookmark here

Raganoff looked at the merchant with toxicity. “Spare him? He’s an enemy. Enemies are dealt with swiftly. That is the wise thing.”Bookmark here

“But I- uh, h-he could be a great source of knowledge and prosperity!” Favian’s voice jittered as he tried to think of a way to stall for time.Bookmark here

“Oh? How so?”Bookmark here

“He was the one that got me in a good position to steal the plans in the first place, by giving me a reason to get close to the castle. I’m sure you could use his otherworld knowledge for something. It would be a waste!”Bookmark here

Raganoff walked over and gave Favian a slightly upturned smile. With a pat on the shoulder, the assassin pondered what to do.Bookmark here

“I see… He’s probably the reason that you’ve put on some weight since I’ve last seen you… I fully understand what you mean.”Bookmark here

Favian’s face started to light up in hope, before he felt a sharp pain in his stomach. Blood trickled from his lips as he looked down, a dagger firmly lodging in his belly.Bookmark here

“It seems that your stay here has made you soft and forgetful of their crimes. Hope you’ve ate your fill, unlike your starving family. You’ll be seeing them soon.”Bookmark here

Favian’s eyes widened in disbelief before he fell to the ground dead, Raganoff suddenly dodged backward as a knife slashed the air in front of him.Bookmark here

I had watched in awe as Raganoff murdered the person who had helped him steal the Queen’s technology. My rage flared up as I found myself with no other choice but to use my trump card.Bookmark here

With a tap to my Divine Gate, I felt myself reinvigorated and flooding with mana. In an instant, I had leapt forward and struck, my eyes flaring purple.Bookmark here

“Why did you kill him!? Wasn’t he your own?!”Bookmark here

Raganoff, who had dodged my strike, reached up and felt a tear in his clothing. Apparently, the tip of my knife had nicked his cloak ever so slightly.Bookmark here

Shots immediately fired at me, but with my enhanced mana output, the magic simply crashed into my back and bounced off. I could barely feel a thing at the moment, but it wouldn’t last long. I leapt toward Raganoff again.Bookmark here

However, he was a swift man, continuing to maneuver out of my range, and even having the time to answer my question before.Bookmark here

“A man who has lost sight of our purpose is set to betray us. Better to cut off loose ends.”Bookmark here

“You!” My knife grew larger and longer, slicing the area around Raganoff with a deadly aura. The purple glow in my eyes expanded and formed a flaming veil around them.Bookmark here

I knew that my ‘Eyes of Ruination’ had taken over at some point as I could see lines of weakness upon his face. However, this was not the time to worry about that.Bookmark here

More magic continued to bombard my back as I chased after Raganoff, who continued to back himself toward the walls of Fort Valga. I had a feeling that he knew that my time would be up soon, since he placed all effort into simply dodging.Bookmark here

By the time his back was close to the border wall, he gave me a smile.Bookmark here

“You have nowhere to run. But for myself…”Bookmark here

He created a portal on the ground behind him and fell straight through it. By the time I reached where he was standing, the portal had closed. I looked around, noting the mess of fire, ice, and electricity that surrounded me. There was nowhere that I could go that the portals couldn’t follow…Bookmark here

‘Nowhere but inside!’Bookmark here

With a single slice, a large portion of the wall exploded in front of me, leaving a big hole. Quickly, I leapt inside, dashing through a hallway before finding a random empty door to detour into. The cramped areas and darkness would be the only escape from portals that could hover anywhere within visible range.Bookmark here

I took a moment to calm my breathing and tap the Divine Gate again, cancelling my enhanced state. A quick look at my MP showed that I only had about one-third left. My eye skill had been stopped too, and I could feel the sensation of darkness being sucked into the charm I wore.Bookmark here

‘Don’t let them rile you up…,’ my mind roared, diverting the anger I felt that would only make me slip up.Bookmark here

Opening my Item Box, I reached in and grabbed some cinnamon rolls that I had made several days ago. Though they had gotten a little hard over time, that didn’t affect the restorative properties they held. After scarfing it down, the flow of mana started seeping faster from the surroundings into my body.Bookmark here

During this time, I waited in silence, not knowing when my attackers would appear. Despite being in the middle of enemy territory, an enclosed space that limited visibility was the only way to deal with those portals. Furthermore, I had no idea how many had invaded the fort, or whether they were all armed with the same dreadful weapons.Bookmark here

Suddenly, a portal whizzed by the doorway. Another passed by before, finally, one hovered right before the entrance. I pressed myself against the wall, inching closer toward the doorway. A head popped out of the portal, and by chance, he looked in the opposite direction first.Bookmark here

In a flash, I stepped up and tapped him on the neck. His face went slack, and his head plopped back into the portal.Bookmark here

On the other side, I could hear someone shout, “He’s in the storage! Four rooms down!”Bookmark here

Cursing myself that I should’ve stayed hidden, I sliced the wall next to me and dove through the fresh hole into the next room. In order to confuse them, I made holes in two walls before opting to run through the far one. This continued for several more rooms until I finally found myself in a room that was pitch black, save for the dim light that flowed in from behind.Bookmark here

“Gah, can’t see a freaking thing…”Bookmark here

After a moment, I realized that I could make a candle flame with magic to illuminate the area. With a little effort, a dull orange glow ignited at my fingertip. Its light reflected around the room, bouncing off many metallic objects along the walls.Bookmark here

“An armory?” I whispered, seeing the shapes of shields and weaponry adorning the area.Bookmark here

However, a flash of metal caught my eye, prompting me to bring my knife up to block. The end of a spear caught the blade, a strong force behind it pushing me back several steps.Bookmark here

‘Someone is here! And he’s strong!’Bookmark here

I leapt backward to escape the deadlock before aiming my knife ahead. However, the sight of Sistina’s armor caused me to relax. The spear he wielded was familiar even before I could see the face of a veteran soldier behind it.Bookmark here

“Sir Gadwin!” I cried out in surprise. Apparently, someone stationed here had managed to escape from the takeover.Bookmark here

Recalling my voice, he lowered his spear. I brought the candle flame toward my emblem, which made his eyes light up in relief. “Chancellor Evers! How the hell did you get here?! Did you-“Bookmark here

“Looks like we’re both trapped, huh?” I shot down the glimmer of hope that he had for reinforcements.Bookmark here

He turned to the side, a sober atmosphere returning. Still, I couldn’t have been gladder to see someone that I recognized.Bookmark here

“Say, what are you doing in here anyway?”Bookmark here

With a resigned chuckle, Gadwin replied. “Prepping for the worst.”Bookmark here

I wanted to ask him what he meant, but he then lit a torch, brightening the room much more than my dinky finger had done.Bookmark here

All around him, many round objects rested on the ground. And against the wall, barrels filled with black powder stood. It didn’t take me long to realize what they held and what Gadwin had been stuck here making.Bookmark here

“Bombs. Planning to shove these things into the faces of those bastards. The only thing that I can do to take revenge for everyone who was killed.”Bookmark here

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