SYS (Novel) Chapter 306

C306 - Temar's Second Tomb (4)

He became one with the shadow. His body turned black, dark but dim. It was as if a shadow occupied his place, like a specter. It seemed like one could pass through it with their hand.

The guardian shivered.

She stopped abruptly.

It was due to the powers of the Inverted Sky.

If it had been any ordinary technique, Jin would never have been able to induce a backlash, even if the guardian had only five stars of mana instead of her eight stars of magical prowess.

However, the Inverted Sky was a grand spell that challenged everything Magicians understood about backlash, even in the current era.

Therefore, it was no wonder that the spell appeared even more mysterious to the guardian, whose days dated back a thousand years.

"Is it a secret move of the Zipples? An impressive spell for your age."

Her fiery eyebrows furrowed. The guardian seemed quite disturbed by the Inverted Sky. She stood still and couldn't take her eyes off the spell.

A part of the mana composing the retribution fire broke off and formed into a ribbon. It was then gradually absorbed by the Inverted Sky orb.

Now, with another spell pressing down on her divine time powers, the guardian could no longer move freely.

She had been continuing the battle of forces against Murakan all this time, with Shadow Energy and flames. These two forces were constantly pushing each other on all sides of the battlefield in an attempt to gain more territory.

But despite the various attacks thrown at her, the guardian still had the upper hand in the battle against Jin and his companions. Even though she was just standing there, none dared to approach.

It made no sense. The fact that she could unleash such powers with only eight stars of mana and nine of aura was a complete mystery, even if the powers of the ancient Runcandels were taken into account.

Jin and his companions should have had much greater power than the guardian. But she was a pure-blooded Runcandel from the days before the pact. Her very existence was an anomaly in itself.

Moreover, she had been one of the most powerful figures among those anomalies.

"Please, I hope Lady Sarah regains her sanity before the battle ends, even if only for a brief moment."

Jin tightened his grip on the sword.

Dark shadows emerged from Jin and painted the ground black.

It was a massive shadow. It split into several shadows and swiftly slid towards the guardian.

In an instant, they completely surrounded the guardian. The guardian immediately sent waves of flaming swords towards the shadows.

But how could physical blows be dealt to shadows? They only flickered momentarily and continued to occupy the ground around them in all their darkness.

The seventh maneuver of the Shadow Blade was the Shadow Assault.

The maneuver was a move designed to strike the enemy in a way unique to Shadow Blade wielders. No one could attempt to replicate this move without wielding shadows, no matter how powerful the swordsman.

Jin's frail body shot forward.

The sight of Jin's dark and semi-transparent body charging forward would have been enough to possess anyone who had not reached a certain mastery.

He shot forward so quickly that it almost seemed like a wave of dark blades had been fired, not a moving body.

Despite the speed, it didn't take the guardian long to prepare to strike Jin. In fact, she knew exactly what path his sword would take as Jin started to move.

Jin came within range. Each of his swords traced a trajectory.

The guardian's sword was faster. Setting aside the total amount of aura and her injuries, the guardian's swordsmanship was already at a transcendent level.

The flaming swords and Shadow Energy clashed.

Or at least, it appeared they clashed. The guardian's sword only cut through the air, and Jin disappeared completely from her sight.

In his place, the guardian found Sigmund, who was now behind her. The dark Sigmund pointed at her back.

But it was Jin's companions who were surprised by this move.

"Had Lord Jin teleported?"

His companions couldn't explain it any other way since Jin had clearly been charging towards the guardian when he suddenly vanished and reappeared wielding his sword from her back.

They weren't entirely wrong to think it was teleportation.

Jin had been able to dissipate into the air through the five shadows surrounding the guardian.

The shadows served as a kind of gate. They allowed Jin to enter and exit the shadows once he executed the seventh maneuver of the Shadow Blade, the Shadow Assault.

Jin concealed himself in the shadow that was in front of the guardian at the moment of collision and reappeared through the shadow behind her to wield his sword.

An assault. It was unpredictable and devastating.

Such was the move one could perform when they could become the very shadow.

Jin's sword grazed the guardian's back. It scraped the surface of the fire covering her body like a piece of leather.

She was one of the ten great knights.

The fact that her flames were bound by the divine power of time didn't matter. Nor did the fact that she was battling for territory against Murakan, or that her mana fluctuated involuntarily due to the inverted sky.

Anyway, Jin never expected to strike her with the first blow.

"Yes, the Shadow Blade had those moves. How unsettling to see you using the patriarch's techniques."

Jin no longer bothered to tell her that he wasn't a Zipple.

The circumstance of the misunderstanding was inconsequential. Jin decided that there was only one way to converse with that old heroine whose mind was no longer stable. It had to be through the sword.

"Unlike the time with Sir Silderay, there's a problem here. But Lady Sarah still plays a part in Solderet's plans. As long as she fulfills the conditions of the inheritance, the same thing that happened in the first tomb will occur."

The various trials that Solderet had left for his sake all shared the same solution.

Willpower. The most sacred virtue upheld by martial artists, or perhaps all humans. The way forward always revealed itself once Jin could demonstrate his willpower.

It happened when he first faced the principles of the Shadow Blade. It was no different in the Great Mitra Desert and the first tomb of Temar. There was no reason for this occasion to be any different.

Jin's sword clashed against the guardian's from five different directions. Jin didn't have to twist his body because he could freely move through the five shadows. On the other hand, the guardian had to frantically block Sigmund.

But despite her frenzied movements, the guardian's eyes remained as firm as a rock.

The exchange of moves grew faster.

Their techniques simplified with each clash. Instead of extravagant maneuvers, they fought each other with the depth of their most basic moves.

Which sword technique was deeper?

Obviously, the guardian's. Mastery, experience, skill, and integration. Aside from the divine element of talent and potential, Jin's sword skill was inferior to the guardian's in every aspect.

"It's a shame, young one. If you had been born a Runcandel, you could have been a hero who saved the world."

The shadows surrounding the guardian slowly moved away from her.

It was an indication that Jin was being pushed back. Jin's companions clearly saw what was happening, but they could only lament that they couldn't do anything to intervene.

Quikantel's divine power of time was rapidly approaching its limit. Now, he would barely be able to contain the fire of vengeance for a minute, and it was already starting to give way.

Things weren't going any better on Murakan's side. With each decrease in time constraints, the fire of retribution grew stronger. Therefore, the balance of power was breaking.

However, Jin wielded his sword undaunted.

Unlike his desperate companions, Jin waited for the opportune moment as he carefully observed the changes in mana when the fire of retribution roared to life again.

Now that the time restraint had weakened, the flame was showing its full power again. But the mana forming the fire of retribution was no longer as dense as before.

There was a shift in the flow of the guardian's mana.

Obviously, it was due to the Inverted Sky.

If she had started in perfect condition, she would have been able to maintain the fire of retribution while controlling the mana reflux caused by the inverted sky.

But now she couldn't.

No one except Jin realized that the fire of retribution had become less dense. Everyone was too busy preparing for the impact of Runcandel's magical sword secret technique when it roared to life again.

But Jin could see it as a Magician.

'The fire of retribution broke when I unleashed the Inverted Sky. It clings to it forcibly, but its backlash will begin soon.'

The guardian didn't seem to be affected at all in her fight, so the rest had no idea that she would fall into a backlash.

Of course, the onset of a backlash wouldn't nullify all of Sarah's skill. She was confident that she would rein in her unruly mana before it worsened and resume the battle as if nothing had happened.

There was only a moment.

A fraction of a second when she would expose an opening due to the mana backlash.

'Once Lady Sarah slows down to correct the backlash in her, that's when I must strike. If I fail, I'm unlikely to have that opportunity again.'

The shadows born from the seventh maneuver of the Shadow Blade now formed a circle twice as large as it had originally been. That was the distance Jin had been pushed back by the guardian.

The guardian had to face multiple enemies at once.

Similarly, Jin had to monitor the various effects caused by the guardian simultaneously. He had to stop his attacks, check the flow and density of mana, observe the path of her flames, and calculate the remaining time until her backlash began.

There were only about twenty seconds left until the time constraints would break.

And at that very moment, Jin finished his calculations.

Five seconds left.

Until the guardian's backlash would start.

One.

Two.

Three...

Kuff!

The guardian abruptly vomited a lump of black Shadow Energy from her mouth. Jin's calculations were precise.

Jin finally took his first step forward since they had closed in.

He closed in on her with the trick he intended to bring her down with. He had concealed it under the pretext of the Shadow Assault all this time.

Shiik!

The dark blade struck towards the guardian's heart.

It was the first real crisis she had faced in the hundreds of sword moves they had exchanged.

But even as she struggled to tame her backlash, she showed the monstrous feat of successfully reacting to Jin's sword. Her flaming sword struck upward and stopped Sigmund.

Jin's trick seemed to have failed in the end.

And it certainly would have been a failure if Jin had only struck the guardian with a single sword.

"Oh."

The guardian jumped back to create distance from Jin.

A dark and menacing blade was buried in her chest, and Shadow Energy sprouted from the wound.

Sarah knew that Jin would achieve his decisive move once she fell into a backlash. If he hadn't, even a master like her wouldn't have been able to stop the final sword strike.

"Ha ha. Looks like you've got me."

The second maneuver of the Shadow Blade.

This was the trick Jin had intended from the beginning. It was the one thing Sarah couldn't predict. The moment he struck with Sigmund, the scissor blade pierced her heart.

The guardian felt her vision darkening.

She could tell that her desolate and agonizing mission as a guardian was finally coming to an end.

She also realized the mistake she had been making.

But the battle against the boy standing before her, the same lineage that she and her comrades had managed to protect from the Zipples, was not yet over.

"Do not hesitate now. Go and finish it, Jin Runcandel," the guardian spoke.

Jin approached her with swift steps and thrust his sword forward.

'It has been an honor, Lady Sarah Runcandel.'

Sigmund pierced her chest this time. She fell to one knee with a smile on her face.

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