Chapter 67: Snake Hunting
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Upon encountering Axel in the middle of Chamber of Secrets, Martina was actually more surprised than she was at the prospect of encountering a ghost here, which was her earlier assumption.

Seriously, what is he doing here? And how did he get here? Has he always been here or did he somehow follow her? Did he come here because he's under the control of Diary? All sorts of questions flashed inside her head.

But, before she could get her answers, Axel shouted that there was a Basilisk behind her!

At first, Martina couldn't understand. Shouldn't the Basilisk be inside the statue? It won't come until she opens the statue.

It was only then did it click to her. She had assumed that the Basilisk would be trapped behind the statue. But, why did she automatically assume that?! If you actually think about it, can such a big snake stay alive locked up in a statue for years? Fat chance. It would have made more sense for it to actually reside in the water here. But, she had been so caught up in her thoughts that she didn't pay attention to this detail.

All this was too much for her to process at once. And by the time she realized, it was already too late. With a loud splash, something huge broke through the surface, coming straight towards them with a surprising quickness.

BOOM*

Within the blink of an eye, Martina and Axel both disappeared as the mouth of the giant creature, filled with sharp fangs, closed around them.

"!"

Everything happened so quickly that Martina couldn't even react. Her breathing stopped as she saw her life flash before her eyes. In the next moment, a strong force enveloped her and she found herself being moved at an astonishing speed.

When she came to, she realized that in the blink of an eye, Axel had moved the both of them a few metres away from where they were standing a moment ago. The stone pavement behind them still contained a streak of magic due to his footwork.

!*

Cold shivers ran down Martina's spine when she realized that she would have been swallowed just now.

$"HISSSSSSS! SSSSS"$

{PREY IS FLEEING! I WANT BLOOD!}

The snake's loud hissing reverberated in her ears, making her shake. She could feel it's sinister and bloodthirsty nature. She had thought that the serpent might have been like that only due to Voldemort's control and hunger. That's why she had brought a lot of food for it. But right now, after feeling the malice and sadism in its voice, she was certain that things could not be settled just by talking. It wasn't attacking them because it was hungry. It was attacking them because it wanted to Kill.

"Run." A voice spoke into her ear before she was unceremoniously dumped on the ground.

Axel couldn't be bothered to pay attention to this Mafia Princess right now. Even though he had successfully saved Martina, his work here had just started. And only after seeing the creature upclose did he realize that, it wasn't going to be easy!

The serpent was ginormous, its vivid green scales looking impenetrable. And despite its size, it was moving with surprising agility!

But of course, Axel was still faster.

[Arcane Eyes]

[Arcane Footwork]

[Knife Wielding]

[Light Magic Infusion]

Right after its ambush failed, Axel didn't give the serpent the time to turn around. With a streak of light, he appeared on top of the creature. The knife in his hand glowed with a golden magic and his Knife Wielding skills, which had even defeated Akiko, showed it's charm once again as dozens of cuts appeared on the giant serpent's back.

$"SsssssHISSSSS"$ The snake hissed in pain but unfortunately, Axel only had a knife in his hand, not a sword. It couldn't even reach deep enough to pierce through its thick scales.

"!"

Meanwhile, lying on the ground, as she witnessed this scene, Martina felt a strong feeling of Deja vu. But right now, she was so surprised with Axel's skills and so scared of the Basilisk that she couldn't remember where she'd witnessed something similar.

Her mind wasn't working properly right now and her hands and feet were shaking.

Scrambling to her feet, she quickly took out another pair of goggles similar to the ones she was wearing and sent them to Axel.

"Axel! Wear them quickly! They'll protect you from the Basilisk's eyes!" She called out in a fluster as she attacked the Basilisk with a few powerful spells.

Due to her shaking hands, some of her spells hit the Basilisk in the face while the others missed, but since she was so distracted, they didn't come out as powerful as she intended them to be. They ended up only annoying the magic resistant snake and drawing its attention.

"Shit." As he wore the useless goggles she had sent him, Axel cursed as he saw the Basilisk once again heading in Martina's direction. He hoped that this girl had some powerful weapon ready to attack the Basilisk or she was at least prepared to run.

Martina did have a powerful weapon for this occasion. And when the snake swerved around to come for her, she had no choice but to use it.

'I'm sorry, Basilisk. But it seems that there's no other choice,' she thought regretfully.

Taking out a box from her pouch, she threw it at the Basilisk. Instantly, a dozen of roosters came out, along with a sound amplifying magical device.

"COCK-A-DOODLE-DO!" The loud sound of the roosters' cry reverberated throughout the chamber, drowing all other noise for a moment.

$"Hisssss!"$

{Annoying!}

'What?!'

Martina had thought that this should do the trick, but surprisingly, the loud sound of the roosters' cry didn't seem to cause much damage to the Basilisk.

It only made the tense situation comical as the Basilisk ignored the roosters and fixed its enraged gaze on her.

Martina couldn't understand it. She had clearly read in the books that the Basilisks were weak to Rooster's cry. Even in canon, Tom Riddle's diary had gotten rid of all the roosters in the second year. That must mean something right? Or why would he do that?

'Wait a moment...' Martina only then realized. Tom Riddle in the diary was just a 16 year old. Chances are, he never actually tested the Rooster's cry on the Basilisk and only read it in the same books Martina had read. And this information mustn't be totally accurate.

But, it was too late to realize this now. The Basilisk was already coming for her with its scary eyes fixed on her.

At this moment, she happened to make eye contact with the serpent for the very first time. Its large yellow eyes filled with viciousness were fixed directly on her as it slithered towards her with great momentum.

!

Looking into its eyes, Martina felt fear gripping her heart. The glasses did protect her as she was still alive, and she could still move as well. But, she was too scared to take action. Her magic was only powerful when her mental state was stable. But right now, her mental state was all but stable. Nothing was going according to the plan. Plus, she was too damn scared! In her previous life, she had been an ordinary girl who would be scared by cockroaches, okay? Even though she was powerful right now and had occlumency, it seems that a 1000 year old Basilisk is still out of her mental capacity.

Looking at the cowardly girl about to be devoured, Axel clicked his tongue.

'Did she really think it would work?!' He thought in exasperation. He was thinking of taking it easy, but it looks like he'll now have to take things a bit more seriously.

His eyes glowed brighter and he searched for the best spots to attack on the serpent's body. Then, increasing the output of his skills, he rushed forward, running along the serpent's back.

Before the snake reached Sakura Martina, Axel had arrived in front of the useless girl with a gust of wind that blew her hair back, standing between her and the snake.

"Run! This is the last time." He said in warning. He figured his life debt should be over by this much. Now he won't go out of his way to save her. His life is also in danger right now. Throwing those words, he rushed towards the incoming snake with all his might.

In the chamber of secrets, amidst the towering pillars, a boy and a Basilisk charged at each other, each unafraid of another.

$"HISSSSSS!"$

"Let's see what you've got, you worm," muttered Axel as he overclocked his skills to the max. The bones of his body made crackling sounds as he prepared to push his body to the limits. For some reason, he felt especially empowered right now.

The glow of his knife intensified and the muscles of his hand that was holding the knife bulged. When they clashed, hundreds of cuts instantly appeared on the head of the creature.

$"SSSSSSSHISSSSSSS!"$

Dark green blood splashed as the creature hissed in agony. In a few moments, both of its eyes were gone, and it's skull head deep gashes, formed by repeated slashing of Axel's knife. It snapped at Axel causing him stop his attack to dodge easily, but in that moment, the snake unexpectedly raised its body and plunged its head into the water as it started to flee.

"Fuck! I had almost reached the skull!" Exclaimed Axel as he tried to stop it with no avail.

On the other hand, after witnessing Axel's attack, that was much more powerful and faster than the previous one directly upfront, Martina suddenly realized where she had seen it before.

"That….. Isn't that…?!"

Her mind quickly dug out the memory and her eyes widened in absolute shock. Last year on the third floor, during the confrontation against Voldemort, when the Lethifold had attacked Daphne and Martina was helpless to stop it, she had seen these same golden slashes appear all over the Lethifold! There was no way she could forget it because she had never known that it was possible to actually kill a Lethifold. It was such a groundbreaking discovery that she had researched about it for days but wasn't able to find anything. That's why, when she saw those golden lines cut into the Basilisk's skin from close proximity, she quickly connected the dots.

"So, it was actually him all along?" As she looked at Axel who was currently fighting a Basilisk single-handedly while moving at a speed difficult to follow, the boy her appeared to be covered in a veil of mysteries.

Just like how she was fascinated with magic, similarly, the boy in front of her full of mysteries fascinated her. She has seen this boy fight a troll, Dementors, a Lethifold, and now Basilisk. And each time, the level of his magic keeps increasing. From the boy limping in pain through the corridor alone at night, to the powerful wizard fearlessly fighting a Basilisk, she wanted to uncover the story behind this transformation.

'How...?'

The look in Martina's eyes slowly changed. She now looked at him with the same desire that she showed for rare tomes of magic.

It made the fear inside her dissipate, letting her achieve the stable mental state that is needed for her magic to work. In face of her passion, her fear would never win.

'It's my turn now,' she thought, as her magic flared, making her robes flutter.

Martina raised her staff, and thick purple chains of magic burst forth, wrapping themselves around the serpent. Her hair bellowed as the purple magic oozed out of her. And surprisingly, the chains were actually able to stop the Basilisk from moving its body into the water!

The intensity of her magic increased. And, the chains actually started to retract slowly, pulling the giant creature along with them!

Clack*

That was the sound of Axel's jaw falling to the floor.

He was ready to jump into the water and fight the creature underwater. Somehow, he felt that his chances underwater were not bad, especially since he felt additional power burning inside him at this moment. But, it would seem that there was no need to do that anymore. Looking at Martina bursting with magic, he only had one question.

'Woman, would it have killed you to use those powers earlier?'

(Your daddy here had to fight at his max just now and even risk getting poisoned just now.)

Against its will, the thrashing serpent was brought out of the water as the chains tightly held it down on the ground.

Not wanting to miss out on the chance, Axel used his Arcane Footwork to jump a few meters high. From that height, his knife hand stretched back completely while he infused as much light magic in the knife as he could.

[Knife Throwing]

Then, he used his knife throwing skill. The real deal, not the small percentage he had used in the class.

BOOM*

The knife he threw from his hand broke the sound barrier as it passed through the gap he'd created with his earlier slashes.

$"SSSSS!"$

It's pierced through the Basilisk's skull, sealing it's fate. The serpent gave out a few dying thrashes before it moved no more.

Like this, the life of the thousand year old Basilisk came to an end.

[Congratulations! You have completed the Special Quest: Snake Hunting.

Rewards:

-Basilisk Body Parts

-Special Skill: Poison Arts

-Special Skill: Poison Immunity]

Landing on the ground, Axel panted lightly as he sat on the ground. Even though the fight wasn't difficult, it wasn't easy either. Fortunately, the rewards were worth it.

The New skills looked great. Poison… it was something he had been vulnerable against up until now. If anyone attacked him, whether it's upfront or a sneak attack, he had made counter measures. But, if someone attacked him using poison, Axel would have been helpless against it.

It's actually good that he has been eating his own diet ingredients till now, or he'd have been poisoned by Damien Malcolm long ago. If the organization had decided to subdue him using a poison that spreads through the air, he would have been helpless as well.

But now, he can learn about making poisons and even slowly develop his own poison immunity as well. So, over-all, even though the mission had been risky, he'd say it was totally worth it.

'Sigh…' Sitting on the ground, Axel sighed. He thought that it was time to relax but then he remembered something. Glancing back, he saw Martina, who was currently looking at him in a daze.

'Fuck I forgot...' It would seem that the problem was still not over.

"Come sit," he said, beckoning her to sit on the ground beside him. He had a headache just thinking about what he was going to do now. Martina had seen too much.

...

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