34. Church of Enlightenment (Special Birthday Chapter 4/4)
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That's 4/4 XD Thank you. Hopes you enjoy it.

 

Ryan jumped into the enemies. This time he wanted to take on them directly, so he used all defensive abilities in his arsenal. The boss’s minions attacked him first, while the boss monster only watched. Not long after, undead soldiers blitzed the enemies, making a way for Ryan to face the boss one on one.

Awakened rats showed their might here. Buddy floated in the air, and no enemies approached him because of his tiny body. He used this advantage to attack the enemy without their noticing.

His body emanated a dim violet light, and a certain enemy emanated the same light as its body floated and crashed onto another enemy. This strategy was effective in throwing enemies out of balance, helping the ally undead asuras to kill them.

An enemy noticed Buddy’s existence and thrust a sword at him. However, Buddy suddenly disappeared and reappeared not far in the air. His eyes glowed, and the enemy asura that had attacked him suddenly couldn’t control his body for a second.

The [Undead Psychic Rat] used his ultimate ability, [Force Control], allowing him to control an enemy for a second. It was enough to make the controlled enemy stab itself to death. However, Buddy couldn’t use this ability anymore for a while because it cost plenty of manas, and people with high [Spirituality] could resist this ability.

On another side, Ram became the target of several enemies because of her enormous body. However, it didn’t scare her. Her body was comparable to that of awakened rankers with ultimate grade physic. She only needed to ram her way, and those tiny monsters flew away.

Ryan watched them from the clone’s shared sense. He felt so damn proud of them. Those rats literally broke their limit as the weakest race in the Sky Cave. Evolving them was worth it.

Ryan focused on the boss again. He had been evading its attack, but it was the time to counterattack. He charged as the boss swung his mace and landed a front kick to the solar plexus. After that, he flipped his body in the air and kicked its chin from the side.

The boss was about to fall, but he supported his body with his mace. His body trembled, and Ryan’s spirit eyes showed orange light, so Ryan used [Spirited Away] against the boss. The [Blue Ogre Asura Rex] vanished and reappeared again in a few seconds. It had a confused look in his eyes.

Ryan wouldn’t let this chance aside. He landed a [Rocket Kick], and the boss flew back. He spread his wings and threw [Barrage of Dark Feathers] and [Wings of Destruction]. When the boss wanted to use his ability, Ryan sent it to the Spirit World with [Spirited Away].

Ryan couldn’t maintain this flow forever. The boss adapted to his pattern, eventually. It coated its mace with mana, and the ogre swung its blunt weapon against the [Black Rose Barrier]. The black sphere’s first layer broke, and an explosion occurred on the monster’s body.

Ryan’s [HP] decreased too because of the mana that coated the boss’s mace. However, he only took a little damage thanks to [Vector Compass: South Trigger] and [Yin and Yang Satellites].

Ryan had learned a new way to fight one on one with a boss monster alone a long time ago. He willed the yin spirit to save its stolen mana on its body, and when its storage was full, it could multiply.

There were two yin spirits, and one of them already gathered enough stolen mana. The black spirit passed by the yang spirit, transferring the mana to the white spirit. After that, the yang spirit multiplied.

Ryan could face a boss alone, no problem. Several minutes had passed. The undead soldiers finished with the minions. With the rats’ support, they didn’t suffer casualties as expected of smart monsters. They helped Ryan with the boss, and he could relax a bit more.

Time passed again. The boss finally released its second phase mode. It now wore full armor, and its [HP] healed to 80% again. Its movement was slower, but the attack it used didn’t dependent on speed anymore. It simply crashed its mace to the ground and produced shock waves.

They had trouble facing this mode, but Ryan quickly adapted to its new pattern. “Ram, please lead the army. Get away when it is about to attack and attack when the shock waves disappear.”

Ryan was alone again, and he kept launching barrages of kicks. The shock waves destroyed layers of [Black Rose Barrier], but it was his plan to let the boss take explosion damage from the barriers.

Ryan didn’t have unlimited stamina like Lewis, so his body grew tired eventually after throwing fast attacks. However, he could catch a breath when the shock waves ended. It was the army’s turn to attack.

There was a long pause before the boss launched the next shock waves, so the undead soldiers could attack freely. However, thanks to the boss’s armor, his defense was like a behemoth. If this continued, Ryan’s plan to defeat minimal two bosses wouldn’t succeed.

“Old man, are you done yet?”

Thanatos patted Ryan’s head as he passed by him. His body emanated a flickering green aura. “It is my turn now. You aren’t alone in this conquering business, partner. I was a hero, too. You can rest now. I want to test a certain ability of mine. This boss is a perfect target for it.”

Their initial plan was to let Ryan and the undead soldiers deal with minions and the boss first. Ryan’s clone channeled [Destructive Beam], and fed Thanatos’s [Twilight Horizon]. After that, another clone did the same thing, and it kept going on until the old man couldn’t absorb any more beam.

Thanatos then would face the boss alone with his sage mode while Ryan channeled [Destructive Beam] and ended the boss with one attack. However, it seemed the old man had another plan in mind. It didn’t mean Ryan could relax. He channeled a beam into his mouth, just in case.

As the boss thrust his mace against the ground and produced shock waves, undead soldiers backed away. Thanatos stepped into the shock waves' range. His [HP] decreased quickly, but he used a certain ability to regenerate his [HP] faster. He ran around the boss in a circle, and a magic circle appeared on the ground.

The boss stop sending out shock waves, and undead soldiers got closer, but Thanatos shouted to them to stop. The old man snapped his fingers, and suddenly the magic circle emanated a pillar of green light. Inside it, the blue ogre screamed in pain and finally moved its body, but it couldn’t. The pillar produced high pressure that forced the monster to stay still.

The boss monster’s [HP] kept decreasing quickly. That meant the damage from that ability was massive. Ryan was still channeling the beam just in case, but Thanatos approached him, patted his neck, and said to believe in him. So, he canceled the channeling of the beam out of respect. The ogre’s [HP] dropped to zero, eventually.

The boss monster dropped many resources, and among them were three evolution essences. It disappointed him to not get many, and even the minions didn’t drop any single evolution essence. He couldn’t do anything about it and just consumed those three golden jellies happily.

Ryan’s level increased to 6/10, and he had eaten 31 evolution essences in total. He got a chance to increase one of his attributes.

When the boss monster attacked, he could barely sense because of his [Hunter Domain]. Increasing his [Spirituality] to sharpen his sense was a good idea, but he increased his [Agility]. He wanted to increase his speed and flexibility so he could evade boss monster attacks easily.

Your [Agility] has increased.

[Agility] (Ultimate): [Awakened 1]

Unlike before, Ryan didn’t notice any change in his body because his body had been lighter. However, he felt he could break past his previous limit.

“Old man. Care to have a race with me? We can just circle this hill. I want to test my agility.”

“Why not?” Thanatos stood at his side and took a stance to run. “Ready? 3, 2, 1, go!”

With that, they started running. Thanatos stated before that he was as fast as a boss monster. The current Ryan could match him evenly in a speed race. They stopped after circling the hill one round.

“Ultimate grade awakened ranker is really a monster. No, you are a monster, and because of that, you are faster than humans.”

“Aren’t you an ultimate grade too, old man?”

“I am only a perfect grade in all attributes, but even if I am an ultimate grade. There is no way I can match an ultimate-grade awakened monster.

“Monsters are built different. If monsters gain 1 point, humans only gain half. The ultimate grade awakened ranker humans are only slightly stronger than good grade awakened ranker monsters. That’s only in terms of raw attributes, though. Of course, humans have the advantage that monsters don’t have.”

“I see, but why don’ you become an ultimate grade?”

“You see. Becoming an ultimate grade has disadvantages too. Once an ultimate grade, you have to rank up in the ultimate way. Your rank up to the Bloodline is several times more difficult, and the difficulty will increase several times in the next rank. It is almost impossible to reach top ranks with ultimate grade.”

Ryan puffed out his chest. He didn’t cower. He could only challenge past the limit and be satisfied with whatever his result. As long as he did his best. “Even so, I will do it.”

Thanatos smiled. “I have a feeling you can. You are an otherworlder. By the way, let’s go to the next hill. We can’t laze around, can we?”

Ryan laughed. “It is rare to see you pumped out, old man.”

“Shut up. You are lucky I want to help you.”

Ryan, Thanatos, and undead soldiers ran to the next hill and challenged another boss.

……

Ryan’s human body entered the Tongue Tavern. Barbara was serving a mug of juice to Verona. The middle-aged woman noticed him coming and waved. “Ara, who is this beautiful lady beside you?”

Verona turned back, and Liliana tightened her clutch to Ryan, showing he was hers. Ryan smiled and scratched his nape because he could sense his wife’s jealously. “Let me introduce you. This is my wife, Liliana.”

Verona blinked her eyes. “You have found your wife? How?”

Ryan told them how he found his wife. Ryan’s luck surprised them, but they were happy for him. Those girls chatted with each other, mainly about him, and they became closer in no time.

Ryan cut their conversation because he was a busy man. He discussed the thing about entering Sagese Academy with Verona. The girl agreed to help him as she promised, but before that, she invited him to witness her rank-up ritual, and it was an official invitation by the Church too.

Thinking he could make a connection with higher-ups of the Church, Ryan agreed to come. He, Verona, and Liliana stood in a magic circle, and they vanished from the Tongue Tavern.

……

Church of Enlightenment is one of four major powerhouses alongside the kingdom’s power, Sagese Academy, and the Guild of Adventurers. People recognized the Church as a worshiper of Lord of Light, a certain ascendant that existed in this world. Their power and influence lied in a class that could use heal and a class specialized in hunting demons.

At the end of the Inner Circle, The Church of Enlightenment stood in front of the wall of Core Circle. The church was four large buildings formed a square, and in the middle of it was the Garden of Eden. Inside a certain room, a magic circle glowed. Ryan and company appeared on it.

“Welcome to the Church. We have waited for your arrival, Sir Edison,” said an old voice.

An old man wearing a white robe and a comically long hat stood in front of the circle. He put a warm smile on his face.

Verona stepped forward and bowed at him. After that, she looked at Ryan and introduced the old man. “This is Pope Peter. He has the highest authority here.”

Ryan was about to scan the man with the system out of habit, but he didn’t do it after seeing [Morning Star Medal] hanging on his neck. He extended his hand confidently and the old man accepted it.

“Ryan Edison, and this is my wife Liliana Hauw.”

“I am glad you receive our invitation, Sir Edison. Verona is our precious member, and we only invite selected people to see her rank-up. Important members of society will attend this ceremony. I hope you enjoy it.”

Ryan smiled. “I think I will enjoy it.” In his mind, he thought of something that could profit him greatly. This ceremony would be fun for him and his future.

 

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