Chapter 25 – What lies beyond death
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5, Month Fall-Amberine, Year 2763 B.A.

08:35, Leogella Tribe - Town Square

 

 

The appearance of the girl elicited various responses from the people on the stage.

“You...!” Halamar looked at Isabella, speechless. He tried sending a questioning gaze to Yao but didn’t get any response. He had no choice but to look at the girl as the other spectator.

Unlike others, Yao just observed the commotion quietly. There was some slight hint of amazement in his eyes, though.

But the one that was the most emotional was probably the star of the stage right now—Aila. Her eyes were moist. She kept repeating, “You are alive…” by herself again and again. Until something flashed in her mind and she quickly regained her focus.

“No! Isabel, don’t come here. Just leave!” she shouted at the top of her lungs, hoping that the listener would run away as fast as she could.

But that didn’t happen.

Isabella smiled slightly after hearing her friend. She didn’t comply. The girl just started walking toward the stage amid curious gazes. She wasn’t bothered by them at all and just keep stepping like she was strolling in her own courtyard.

Only then did others also regained their cool-head. Three of the bearmen from the Umbra tribe walked forward. They were in the elite group in the army with the power at the nonagon level. The three stood in the girl's path coldly.

“Halt!” The one in the middle shouted. From the look of the woman, he already knew that she was Isabella that was rumored to be missing recently. He heard from his superior that she escaped into the Demon Mountain Range and appeared to be dead.

A nonagon level might still be one level lower than a perfect circle, it didn’t mean that the perfect circle mage could just decimate them.

Level, after all, was never the only factor that decided the outcome of the fight. It was a major factor, but not all. With tight cooperation, artifact, or hidden skill, it was possible that the one in a lower level could overcome the gap.

That was why they weren’t afraid. Each of them unsheathed their weapon. Sword, spear, and staff were drawn. The trio looked at the approaching figure menacingly.

“Everyone that stands in my way. Know that doing so will result in your death.” Isabella said coolly. She didn’t even retrieve her weapon. She just continued to walk as if these three persons weren’t in her sight at all. Isabella only looked at the two persons on the stage—Yao, and Aila.

“Atta—”

Sensing the obvious contempt, the bearman in the middle yelled. The two in his squad, and him, dashed out simultaneously. They were in sync as if they had practiced this move hundreds of times.

Isabella just harrumphed at the sight of the charging men. Her body became flicker. She disappeared and appeared again behind the three of them in a split second.

Those with good vision could see that there was a sword in her hand that disappeared almost instantly after she had appeared.

“—ck!”

The three bearmen stopped. Their posture froze at mid-charge with their weapon raised. And slowly they dropped to the ground.

Their face still frozen with a smile a smile. They didn’t even know that they had died!

“…!”

“To kill them instantly like that…!”

“How…?”

Everyone in town gasped in disbelief. This, after all, shouldn’t be possible. A perfect level mage shouldn’t be able to kill the nonagon level one left and right easily like this.

“Isabella…”

The only one that had a true grasp on the previous Isabella's power, Aila, also became stunned. But it was a different kind of stunned compared to others. She was overjoyed. The melancholy that she felt in the past days melted and smiled returned to her face again.

“…“

After the killing ended, Isabella didn’t continue her walk. She just stood still and looked straight.

“Hmm?”

Everyone became confused at that, but they didn’t dare to voice their question. They just looked at the catgirl curiously.

The silence continued for about one minute before a person broke it.

It was Yao. His face became stern. He looked into the sky and shouted.

“Above! She was coming from above!”

 


As one from the assassin archetype, Isabella never considered the frontal assault to be her real way of fighting. For her, the only thing that mattered was the result. When she killed those three bearmen, she used the commotion to cast a spell. The spell was Wind Phantom, which was a combination of Wind Blinding and Wind Mirage. Not only that, it made her became invisible, it would also leave an illusion of her body behind.

The body that everybody started at was her illusion the whole time.

Isabella, shrouded in the invisible wind, flew into the sky. Everyone was focusing on the spectacle she made and didn’t notice her at all. They just stared at her illusion body that was standing still.

No. They didn’t consider there was a person who could fly at all.

Isabella looked down from the sky coldly. But before she could begin her plan, Yao suddenly looked up. Their gaze intersected. Even though Isabella was invisible, she could clearly feel that he was looking straight at her.

“Above! She was coming from above!”

After he shouted, Isabella knew her plan failed. Her face turned bitter, and she dashed down from the sky. Three knives appeared in her right hand, which she then threw down at the bearmen below. She tried to aim at someone other than Yao as he was aware of her already.

But that shout was all his two followers needed. They quickly drew their own weapon and also turned to face the sky.

The one with the mage archetype was slightly slow to react. When he finished retrieving his weapon, the knife was already in front of him.

“…!”

But as he was standing relatively close to Yao, he was not in real danger. Of three knives, only one aimed at him, which was then struck down by a swing of ax from Yao that was standing nearby.

The other bearman was in a more precarious situation. Two knives flew straight at him. One aimed at his head, the other at his torso.

He didn’t panic, though. He calmly positioned his broadsword to block at least one, the one that aimed at his head.

The other knife slipped through. At first, the bearman want to enhance his body with magic and block it, but he stopped. A profound dread filled his mind. He felt as if he took the knife head on, he would die for sure. That was why he changed in the last second and tried to dodge it by twisting his body.

The knife grazed him and struck hard to the ground. It sank deeply that only the handle still appeared above the ground.

“This…!”

But just a graze was enough. This was, after all, not only an ordinary knife. It was filled with the power of the world, the Law of Death.

“Ugh!”

His face became pale as he felt the Law attacked his body from the inside. Only after he spouted two mouthfuls of blood did he become slightly more stable. He was no longer in a condition to fight anymore, though.

Yao looked at the power of the knife and knew that something wasn’t right. After all, how could such a simple knife hold that kind of power?

But he had little time to think as the attack still came without stopping. Followed the throw, Isabella circled around in the air with a sword in hand. She wanted to kill the mage behind Yao’s back first.

“Hmph!”

Yao snorted. He dashed forward and jumped up to intercept the upcoming girl. Within a split second, the ax swung for at least three times, each with the power to split even a mountain. He forgoing all the defenses and focusing on the attack.

This was only possible for him who had an undying body. Others would have died a million times in life, if not more, if they fought in this style.

Isabella saw the ax and knew that she couldn’t continue with her plan anymore. She used the black sword in her hand to clash with the ax. She only utilized the most minimal force possible just to deflect those strikes. While Yao swung from the outside to inside, she stayed mostly inside—deflected when needed.

Clang!

But that wasn’t the end of it. Isabella also seized the chance when Yao exposed himself after the attack. She stabbed with her blade straight at his heart. As Yao was currently unstable from the blocked attack, he exposed his chest area completely.

Yao did indeed try to dodge it, but it was just impossible. It was as if the blade had eye; it followed his body in every direction he went.

And with a ‘swoop’ sound, the sword went through his body. After she pushed the sword all the way in, Isabella quickly pulled it out. It was a quick and clean stab. So clean that the blade didn’t even have a single drop of blood on it.

It was only when both of them reached the ground that an enormous amount of blood spurted out from Yao’s chest. He staggered back a few times, his face pale.

And then his pale face became paler. He felt the terrifying force inside his body. It ate away the portion that his undying physique tried to regenerate. It could almost neutralize his resurrection power entirely.

“This is… the law of the world! So, you are at the sage level!” Yao said in disbelief. But there was no denying about this at all. Her flight capability and the law of the world in her attack. Everything pointed in that direction!

If Isabella was a little more proficient in the law, or she had something that could support it more, that attack alone could kill him instantly!

“Very good—” he grunted. But before he could continue, there was another development on the stage.

A scream rang.

“Ah!”

 


When Yao and Isabella were exchanging blows, the subordinate of Yao. Brandon, the mage archetype bearman, was also preparing a spell of his own.

At first, he wanted to cast it toward Isabella, but when he saw how strong she was, he changed his mind. Brandon looked to the left of him coldly—at the unsuspecting princess that was currently focusing on the battle.

When he saw the catgirl, Brandon already knew that the princess probably meant a lot to her.

Or else why would she risk herself and came back to help her?

“Ah!” when Aila noticed the gaze, it was already a little too late. She could only scream out subconsciously.

Isabella noticed it then. She looked at the increasing mana that had gathered and her face became pale.

This spell. It was at the level of perfect circle mage…

The spell’s name was Reality Rift. It was a spell that only a perfect circle mage could learn. The spell was actually just a simple slash of the wind blade, yet every mage hailed it as the pinnacle of attack spell in wind element. That was because of one thing.

This spell was fast. It was so fast that it defied reality in the process.

It was so fast that it could cause damage even before the wind blade could touch the target of the spell!

Some even died at the sight of the spell alone. That was how reality-defying this spell was.

Isabella gritted her teeth and dashed toward Aila. She hugged her with her left hand while facing the upcoming wind slash. While it was indeed quick, it was never quicker than a half-sage’s speed. Isabella slashed at it with her sword in hand. This slash of her contained the Law of Killing that she had comprehended.

She wanted to kill this spell.

The spell could indeed be killed, but the wind slash wasn’t. After the spell formed the wind slash, it had already become a part of nature—a part of the world.

Isabella still wasn’t on the level that she could kill the boundless nature yet.

She knew she should take Aila and dodged out of the spell. But that was very risky. If the dodged failed, Aila—who was only at the heptagon level—couldn’t possibly endure the spell with her body. And while she was hesitating, the spell had drawn close. She had no choice anymore.

“Careful!”

Isabella hugged her friend tight and used her body to block it. She had to.

Swoosh!

The Reality Rift was very powerful indeed. It almost severed Isabella’s body in half. She didn’t die, of course, but this injury would cost her a huge disadvantage in the future for sure.

 

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