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392 Purple Lightning

 Rhode pushed off the broken tiles and lifted his head towards the large hall. He shrank back with an involuntary gasp.

He previously ordered Gillian not to go overboard and now that this Fortress had collapsed, it had little difference from a demolished building. Although Marlene's magical attack in addition to the Black Hound's self-destruction destroyed the passageway ritual, they had also punctured the entire Fortress. Now there's a 20 meters empty hole on the ceiling and even the stars could be seen flickering in the dark skies...

Looks like a remake of this building is needed.

Rhode shook his head while sighing. He stood up and scanned his surroundings. At this moment, the others had recovered from their senses after the explosion. Luckily, Lize's defensive spells were on time. Although the others might have sustained some injuries, they weren't too serious. Only Marlene who had cast her spells too hurriedly received backlash from her magical powers and injured her right arm. She laid on the ground weakly but she seemed to be fine.

However, this wasn't the end.

"Lize, heal up the rest."

Rhode patted off the dust on his body and picked up his sword. Right now, his body was filled with blood stains. However, luckily, those stains were only from abrasions and his body was still fine. Upon hearing Rhode's order, Lize hurriedly acknowledged and attended to Marlene. Although Marlene seemed very pale, Lize continued to treat her wounds attentively.

And at that moment, suddenly a large explosion sounded from the outside which shocked Rhode. As he lifted his head, he immediately saw a beam of black flames scuttling in from the ceiling hole, aiming for all of them.

Black flames, a demon from hell! That's the Demon General!

Rhode immediately transformed into a shadow and darted towards the black flames. Up until that moment, the others only just reacted. They shockingly lifted their heads and witnessed a beam of red light streaked across the darkness. It was as though the red light was colliding heavily with the meteor showers of black flames.

"Bam!"

Along with a deep clashing impact, the black flames struck the ground. In an instant, the black flames spread rapidly on the ground while Rhode flew backwards and landed severely. Rhode gritted his teeth and curled his right arm backwards, tossing his Crimson Blade to the side. However, even so, Rhode didn't give up. The instant he fell and rolled his body, he forced himself to stand up.

A figure revealed itself within the black flames.

Gelk no longer held the beauty of the human form but was displaying his demonic side instead. Pitch-black gills covered his entire body with four claws extended out. His fly-like skull continuously swayed and the sharp mouthpiece made buzzing sounds. Not only that. a huge, fluffy belly hung out from behind the Demon General which made it seemed like a gigantic housefly.

"Si...! Damn humans!!"

Although Gelk's shoulder was pierced through by Rhode's sword, the demon's recovery speed wasn't something the humans could match. Just as Rhode was rolling on the ground, Gelk was flapping his thin wings towards him.

"Sir, be careful!"

As Gelk's speed was too fast, this human-shaped gigantic housefly had arrived in front of Rhode just as everyone let out terrified screams.

And at this moment, Rhode did an outrageous movement.

Facing the wide opened mouth and the sharp claws of the demonic creature, Rhode didn't reveal any traces of fear. Instead, he lifted his left hand to his mouth - and blew a loud whistle.

Countless of magical radiance suddenly emerged beside the Demon General.

What are these?

As Gelk was distracted by the magical radiance encircling himself, a pitch-black tentacle emerged out of nowhere and wrapped Gelk's body tightly. Meanwhile, the scorching Black Hound widened its mouth and bit onto Gelk's throat while the sharp claws of the Spirit Bird gripped tightly onto his compound eye and mercilessly shred it into pieces. Finally, a pair of pure, white and pitch-black swords intertwined and punctured the Demon General's body.

Dong!

With this deep sound of the collision, the Demon General flung backwards and severely landed on the other side of the wall. The spirits that attacked it suddenly disappeared.

"...!"

Rhode once again blew a whistle involuntarily. The Legion Horns talent skill was indeed useful and was the best to finish off an enemy. In the game, a specialized Spirit Swordsman who had enough summon spirits could use this split-second killer skill on other classes. Not to mention, now that Rhode had two specializations. Not only did this strengthened his summonings, but also strengthened his spirits. How could a Demon General defend against such powerful harm?

"Dong!"

The Demon General landed heavily on the wall. It widened its eye and furiously stared at this scene in front of him. However, everything was in a blur... His strength was rapidly lost, but humans... Don't think you have won! The Demon General slowly turned around and extended a claw where a translucent black crystal ball appeared. He crushed the crystal ball and it shattered into nothingness.

And his life had reached the end.

But, the aftermath of this was too huge...

Rhode's body gave way and collapsed to the ground. Although the duration of the skill was only three seconds, instantly summoning all of his spirits drained almost all of his spiritual energies. If he didn't prepare for this early, perhaps he would be totally drained by now.

After strengthening his talents, Rhode's spiritual energy had almost reached the same levels as some ordinary Mages. However, even so, this terrifying skill still exhausted all of his energy. Furthermore, there wasn't a choice for this skill as it automatically summoned all the spirits in Rhode's collection in an 'irregular' way, also diminishing around 1.5 times more spiritual energy than usual - In other words, as Rhode's collection of summoning spirits increases, he would exhaust much more spiritual energy. The only lucky thing was that this skill although would drain the entire spiritual energy of a Spirit Swordsman, its damage would, in turn, be enormous. In fact, when battling a Spirit Swordsman who specialized in summoning spirits, many players tend to be much more careful, in fear of being on the receiving end of the 'Legion Horns'.

However, this skill wasn't invincible. Including the Holy Knights, many players held counteractive actions against it. The instant they grabbed the chance to counteract this skill - The Spirit Swordsman's threat would basically be zero. Although the duration of these invincible skills wasn't considered too long, the duration of the Legion Horns was even shorter... Where no one's in an advantageous or disadvantageous state.

"Mr Rhode!"

Rhode collapsed to the ground and Lize frightenedly ran forward to examine his condition carefully.

"Are you okay, Mr Rhode? I'll give you a..."

"It's alright, Lize. You should take a break."

Rhode interrupted Lize's concerns. At this moment, Lize was pale and even a little ashen. This was a sign of her overexerting her spiritual energy. Come to think of it, without Marlene's magical assistance, Lize led a few mercenaries to set up a defense line against those Black Robes and her defensive spells were cast almost instantly. On the other hand, after Rhode left the frontlines and battled against the Gloom Shadow, the entire defensive line was supported by Lize herself. Even if it's a player Cleric, perhaps they couldn't have tolerated this exhaustion.

Listening to Rhode's advice, Lize no longer insisted. It seemed that the maiden indeed ran out of steam as she proceeded to rest by the side. Rhode nodded towards her before pulling himself up using the wall beside him. He then waved towards a mercenary who was treating others' wounds and the mercenary immediately reported.

"Go check out the conditions of others."

Although that battle with the Demon General didn't take too long, it was also due to this that Rhode didn't expect many changes to occur. The fast attack by both sides struck when opportunities presented themselves and there wasn't any time for them to react. Only after Rhode managed to defeat it, he was just reminded of the villagers waiting to be saved by him... However, judging from the state of the Fortress, no one knew if they survived...

I hope they survived. If they didn't, then there's nothing I could to save them...

"Master!"

Just as the mercenary left after receiving Rhode's instructions., Gillian finally flew back into the Fortress through the ceiling hole. She observed the bombarded hall with a faint change of expression.

"Master, leave now, hurry!"

"What's wrong? Gillian? Didn't I finish him off?"

Rhode was surprised by Gillian's attitude. As he replied to her, he subconsciously glanced towards the corpse of the Demon General.

Although the corpse of the Demon General had collapsed to the ground, the black flames were still burning. Not only that, they were spiraling in the gravel, as if following a trajectory!

Sh*t!

Rhode's expression changed dramatically at this sight. Of course, he knew what this meant!

"Everyone, leave now!"

Rhode instantly lifted his head and screamed.

However, it was too late.

The pile of gravel sudden exploded. The initially translucent, smoky air abruptly flashed in multi-colored luster. Only in a blink of an eye, this mirror-like reflection began to shatter. Bits and pieces of the 'mirror images' fell off and pitch-blackness was revealed inside.

That bastard actually used his strength to activate the passageway!

Rhode's heart sank at this scene as he didn't think this Demon General would be so sly and cruel. Although Rhode indeed destroyed his ritual circle, this bastard clearly was ready for it. Although he couldn't entirely open the passageway with the powers of a Demon General, according to the Parasite's explanations, this area had weak barriers which were perfect for the passageway to start with... Damn it! Why didn't I ensure he was dead!

But right now, there's no point in regretting. The broken ritual barrier revealed a corner of the passageway and a powerful suction immediately began to take in everything. Once one entered the passageway, one would forever get stuck inside it and could never get out!

Everyone hurriedly grabbed onto any boulders or any corners of depressions beside them. While resisting this powerful suction, Rhode suddenly shrieked.

"Ah!"

Marlene was totally defenseless against the attractive force as her right arm was injured by the previous attack. Although the maiden tried her best to maintain her stance, her right arm gave way and she was lifted off the ground rapidly.

"Marlene!"

Lize screeched at the sight of her good friend flying into the vortex. Suddenly, a black figure flashed towards the helpless maiden.

"Pa!"

Rhode grabbed onto Marlene's desperate right arm and immediately struck his Crimson Blade dead into the ground and straight into the hilt. Both of them finally stabilized.

However, this was only a temporary expedient.

"Gillian, think of something!"

Rhode grabbed onto the sword hilt and lifted his head before shouting to the fox-ear maiden. Gillian was equally anxious.

"I have no idea, Master! Unless you could unlock the seal and engage in a special summon for me!"

Special summon?

Rhode looked down at his left hand that was gripping onto the sword hilt and his right hand that was grabbing onto Marlene. How can I even do a special summon?

Damn it... Can't a Spirit Swordsman summon something without using hands?

While grabbing onto Rhode's hand, Marlene lifted her head and stared at the man before her eyes.

"Mr Rhode, don't worry about me. It's better to let me go and summon Miss Gillian. This way, at least everyone will..."

"Are you kidding? Do you think there will be nice picnic and afternoon tea for you in there?"

Although Rhode's words were unforgiving, his expression remained the same.

"No matter what, young lady. You are considered my woman and I don't have the habit of sending my woman to die."

"Eh?"

Marlene's heart abruptly skipped a beat.

Suddenly, a drawing fell out from Marlene's tattered robe and was sucked into the gap of the passageway before shattering into bits.

And at that moment, a stout purple lightning descended from the heavens, right onto the broken passageway.