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428 Backhand Strike

 This was a tough battle for Rhode and Anne as they had been under the constant torment of the gigantic White Bone Arm. However, Rhode managed to recharge his spiritual energy slightly during the past two minutes and measuring in terms of numbers, his current spiritual energy wasn't zero, but was between the levels of five to ten. Without a doubt, it was impossible for Rhode to summon any spirit cards or utilize any sword skills. But, at least Rhode was able to toughen himself and resist the dizziness for now.

Rhode rolled across to dodge the splinter. He sent a signal to Anne with a gaze and the young lady nodded in response by brandishing her shield to deflect the splinter and slow its movement. As Anne seized this opportunity to leap towards the White Bone Arm, it extended its middle finger and pushed against the young lady from above. Both of them got into a deadlock.

Rhode darted secretly, charging towards the back of the White Bone Arm through the gap below it. The White Bone Arm withdrew its middle finger quickly and extended two other sharp fingers towards Rhode. Using this chance, Anne once again forced herself in front of the White Bone Arm.

Rhode had difficulties pushing forward.

After regaining his conscious, Rhode realized that the Necromancer was severely injured. With the current state of Rhode's group, the Necromancer could have coordinated with the White Bone Arm and wiped them out within three to five minutes. If that happened, Rhode would have no choice but to unlock Gillian's seal. Clearing the dungeon may be important, but you had to be alive in order to clear it.

As Rhode had expected, the Necromancer still didn't attack. It seemed that Anne's ambush from before had caused a ton of damage, forcing him to use the White Bone Arm to attack on his behalf. If the Necromancer's injuries weren't this serious, he definitely wouldn't let this opportunity slip.

Rhode locked onto his target and decided on his battle tactics swiftly. Rhode's remaining energy was still a cause for concern, but he hoped to defeat this Necromancer without unlocking Gillian's seal. In other words, Rhode's initial plan was too unrealistic. If he didn't retaliate now, it would mean the end of his life. Now, Rhode had decided that as long as his life was threatened, he would unlock Gillian's seal to get rid of the trouble even at the loss of the 5 Star Mission.

After making this decision, Rhode's movement became much more nimble. He dodged and attracted the White Bone Arm's attention, at the same time observing the Necromancer's actions. The Necromancer laid on one of the multiple earth pits near the White Bone Arm. As the Necromancer stared at his enemy, his ruptured body was healing himself... Rhode had no idea how much time this Necromancer needed to repair his body.

Without a doubt, the longer, the better for Rhode.

Although Rhode recovered his spiritual energy, the recovery rate was extremely slow, increasing at around ten points every 30 seconds. In such a rate, Rhode could only cast Starfall Swordsmanship. However, he could forget about summoning any spirit cards or casting Storm Slaughter. If Rhode forced his way through, he would be dead by his own hands without the help of the Necromancer.

Rhode had no intentions of committing suicide as it wasn't his hobby or interest. This was why he observed the Necromancer while distracting the White Bone Arm.

Just as Rhode had expected, the Necromancer had been keeping an eye out for his movement and neglected Anne totally. There were a few occasions where Rhode purposely instructed Anne that the area in front of her was extremely dangerous. This was to attract the Necromancer's attention and create more space for himself to maneuver. However, the Necromancer commanded the White Bone Arm to seal off Rhode's attacking path before turning his attention to Anne. The Necromancer might have sensed that Rhode was much more threatening than the young lady and if he didn't stop Rhode, he would be in big trouble.

Even so, Rhode showed no signs of giving up.

Shing! The White Bone Arm appeared above Rhode, carrying along an ice-cold breeze. Rhode rolled away to avoid the White Bone Arm's attack and hid below its palm. However, the White Bone Arm suddenly pushed its palm against Rhode, attempting to turn him into minced meat.

Rhode was well prepared for this. He rolled below the White Bone Arm, leapt off the ground and out of its attacking range. The White Bone Arm missed and crushed to the ground heavily.

This gave Anne a chance to strike. The White Bone Arm was merely the Necromancer's arm that was enlarged with a spell. Its five fingers were its support and as the palm landed to the ground, its five fingers naturally extended and laid across.

This was an excellent chance for Anne.

Anne lifted her shield and leaped into the air. She aimed downwards and smashed her pitch-black shield into the knuckle of the middle finger, crushing it to bits in an instant. "!!!"

This was the first time the Necromancer focused his attention on the annoying little brat. The White Bone Arm and the Necromancer were spiritually linked and the hurtful sensation of losing a finger left Darke blowing his top and in excruciating pain. Under his desperate control, the White Bone Arm grabbed Anne with its fingers and started squashing her!

Clang! Anne reacted as soon as she noticed the change in her enemy's movement. The young lady erected the shield before her innately and defended against the squashing of its fingers. She gritted her teeth and grabbed onto her shield, preventing the solid fingers from closing in. The struggles on the thick, sturdy shield let out an ear-deafening sound of friction.

At this moment, Rhode launched towards the Necromancer rapidly. This was Rhode's final chance and if he didn't seize this opportunity, he would need to unlock Gillian's seal to finish things off...

Wishful thinking!

The Necromancer noticed Rhode's agile movement and that Rhode had broken through the White Bone Arm's defense, darting towards him before he could react. Rhode raised his sword and struck towards the Necromancer's forehead.

Do you think it's gonna be this easy?

The Necromancer sneered at the sight of the sharp sword blade. He extended his arms hurriedly and along with a strong breeze of ice-cold aura and sorrowful wailings, translucent human faces launched from his palms. Faces with painful expressions darted towards Rhode, attempting to devour him.

This was a Necromancer's most sinister move. They could absorb others' souls and manipulate them into their own Spirit Beasts. These Spirit Beasts would be tortured for eternity, losing their intellect-only their hate and hunger for life would remain. Once one got bitten by these Spirit Beasts, they would not be able to get away.

The Necromancer lifted his head and let out a snarl as he gazed forward. However, the next moment froze his smile.

Facing these Spirit Beasts, Rhode tossed his Crimson Blade towards them without any hesitation before retreating swiftly to dodge their attacks. The hurriedly-thrown sword didn't manage to reach the Necromancer. Instead, it rotated in the air before striking the ground beside him.

The Necromancer was baffled for a moment before shifting his attention back to Rhode. Even though Rhode's reaction was quick, the Necromancer was confident of the capabilities in the Spirit Beasts that he had cultivated all these years. As Rhode escaped, the Spirit Beasts continued to give chase. To Darke, this escape was only slightly prolonging Rhode's life as he couldn't possibly escape from the Spirit Beasts.

At the next moment, the Necromancer suddenly felt a rush of heat behind him. He turned around and scorching flames emerged in his field of vision.

The Necromancer wasn't aware that this split second distraction allowed Gillian to come up with an extremely adventurous move. Facing the Necromancer far away from her, the fox-eared young lady swung her right arm to gather the walls of flames protecting the wagon and formed a column of flames. As Gillian pointed to the Necromancer, the column of flames launched towards him.

This was what Rhode wanted to see.

The distracted Necromancer held his breath as the pure fire elemental attack swept towards him. The injured Necromancer definitely couldn't resist such an attack. Furthermore, flames were the nemesis of undead creatures.

However, his reaction wasn't slow either. After witnessing the column of flames, the Necromancer extended his other arm hurriedly and pointed his finger to the front. In an instant, the Spirit Beasts chasing after Rhode turned around and arrived before the Necromancer with lightning speed. The Spirit Beasts howled loudly and their translucent spiritual body fused into one, blocking the column of flames like an erected puddle of mud. The fierce fire elemental powers struck the barrier of spiritual bodies heavily.

"-!" The spirits howled in grief as the intense, pure fire element ripped them apart and their bodies turned into speckles of spiritual dust, vanishing in the night sky... At the same time, the aggressive flames were finally extinguished.

"Phew..." the Necromancer let out a long sigh of relief as the danger before him was over. That clash was so intense that he doubted he could defend against such powerful fire elemental powers. It seemed that his Spirit Beasts were indeed tough and he couldn't bear to lose them... But before the Necromancer could finish his endless sigh, another situation came up.

As the flames perished, a black figure emerging in the ashes suddenly distorted. A woman in a steel mask and clad in full black armor darted out with two pitch-black daggers in her hands, charging towards the Necromancer.

This was Rhode's final trump card.

The Necromancer couldn't escape anymore. The sharp blades on the daggers sliced his skull and chest without any resistance. Paris, who was hidden in the wagon all these while, finally had the chance to reveal her true strength.

"Ahh!" The Necromancer yelled in excruciating pain. Similar to Darke, Paris was an assassin in the Master stage. Although spell-casting classes had the upper hand against close-combat battle classes, the Necromancer's powers had been depleted by Rhode, Anne, and Gillian's sneak attacks. Although Darke didn't have enough strength to guard against Paris' ambush, he didn't give up hope. However, it was a pity that his days were numbered.

Paris had no hesitation in the face of her prey. The dagger in her hand slashed across the Necromancer's skull while the other was quickly withdrawn from his chest. The female assassin sliced the ice-cold, emaciated claws that were attempting to grab her arm and she stomped on the Necromancer's half-recovered body, tearing it apart once again. Paris retrieved a bottle of potion from her waist and splashed it onto the Necromancer before leaping to the side. Then, the female assassin threw a red dagger into the Necromancer's chest.

"You..." That was the Necromancer's final word. He stared furiously and painfully at the female assassin as his body shrouded in the pent-up flames.

The scorching flames devoured the Necromancer entirely while the White Bone Arm that was squashing Anne lost its magical support. It shrunk in the blink of an eye before shattering into bits and falling to the surface. A wind from nowhere swept the powdered white bone into nothingness.

"Phew..." Rhode wiped the sweat off his forehead and sat on the ground to catch a breath. Paris was Rhode's final card and this was why he chose this battle tactic. As a matter of fact, Paris had kept herself hidden with her 'Shadow Warrior' technique ever since they left the Hobbit Village. After all, her forte was in dealing damage through ambushes and backstabs. All this while, Rhode had been searching for the best moment for Paris to unveil her skills. However, he didn't expect that his spiritual energy would be depleted at such an alarming rate, which led to this grave mistake. In the end, he was fortunate that this final trump card came into effect. It was also thanks to Paris and her powerful strength; if she wasn't in the Master stage, perhaps it wouldn't be this easy to hide from the Necromancer.

No matter what, this incident had finally come to an end.

Rhode let out a sigh of relief as he observed the Necromancer's corpse burning into ashes.