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487 Ancient Artifacts

 None of the artifacts that Marlene had retrieved from the Duke Fiend's ashes weren't god-like. Although Rhode didn't know when this Duke Fiend began to exist, he could confirm that it must have existed for centuries. As a presence of Chaos, the Duke Fiend must have possessed several spoils of war from the underworld and these amazing artifacts had proven Rhode's guesses right.

The pitch-black ring didn't seem as fine and gorgeous as most of the other magical artifacts. Although its pitch-black appearance seemed somewhat crude, Rhode knew that these simple, ancient artifacts contained the most powerful magical powers. These magical artifacts were one of the first few created by the Five Creator Dragons when they passed on the secrets of magic to the living beings on the surface. As there wasn't order that grasped rules back in those days, the process of making magical artifacts such as these were coarse and difficult. However, due to this, the might of magical artifacts created in that era were massively different from those created now.

And this ring on Rhode's palm was one of them.

[Sisko's Fantasy (Ancient. Legendary. Silver) - Family's honor from start to end. The Elemental Powers were of the eternal reflection of the multiverse. The crowned King will eventually return to its throne. Unrestricted by everything]

[King's Dignity - Elemental Resistance +30]

[King's Protection - Immune to spells within the five Circles]

[King's Sanction - Magical Devour (Level 7) Available once per day. Negate and seal the spells (beyond three Circles) targeting holder and control the skill used]

The functionality of this ring itself was enough for Rhode to be deeply moved that his escape wasn't for naught. The 'King's Protection' itself was more than enough for Rhode. It meant that as long as he was equipped with this ring, intermediate Mages wouldn't deal any damage to him at all. Furthermore, even though this [Magical Devour] ability might seem to be rather ordinary, anyone who was familiar with Mages would know what it meant. Once Rhode utilized the [Magical Devour], he could seal a spell that was targeting him and was up to the pinnacle of the Legendary level. Not only that, he could even steal and manipulate the spell as his own.

With such an artifact, Rhode could be said to be invincible to future battles with Mages. Not only could he be immune to most of the spells that Mages cast, he could also even manipulate their spells and use it against them. However, the downside of this skill was that it could only be used once per day and it could only deal with one skill at once.

But humans can't be that greedy.

These ancient artifacts were indeed incredible. Rhode exclaimed in admiration as he gazed at the attributes stats of the ring. A Duke Fiend who held onto such an artifact surely wouldn't be defeated by any ordinary humans. However, Rhode felt fortunate that Canary and Bubble came in time to defeat it.

Rhode displayed the attributes of this artifact to Canary and Bubble through spiritual communication and the two young ladies were baffled. As spellcasters, they knew the importance of this ring much more than Rhode.

"Woah... Something like this actually exists. It makes me wanna hunt it down once more."

"This... is gonna be a troublesome artifact for a Mage. I wouldn't wish to meet an opponent who has this artifact, even in-game."

Rhode was slightly delighted after hearing their responses. He actually enjoyed such discussions. In the game, they would always gather around the spoils of war after defeating the BOSS to discuss their attributes and debate on their usages and for which strategies. On the other hand, the lives of the mercenaries weren't as unconstrained as the players. Besides, they didn't even understand the attributes of the artifact. After all, mercenaries didn't experience adventures as much as players and even though they could recognize how powerful the artifact was as it fell out of the monster, most of them didn't understand the in-depth details of them. There were many times when Rhode would be amused by the artifacts with his lonely self while the mercenaries didn't understand the value of the artifacts. However, with Canary and Mini Bubble Gum around, Rhode couldn't help but reveal a rare smile. He placed the ring down and picked up the second artifact.

It was a silver-whitish necklace. As the sun shone brightly on it, the silverish radiance on its surface flowed non-stop as though swirling mercury liquid.

That was the Silver Stream.

Rhode sucked in a deep breath of cold air as he noticed the material of the necklace. The Silver Stream was a legendary and ancient magical mineral from the Ocean of Magic. This material could be considered a mineral and also a magical ingredient that could be used for weapon forging and the creation of magical artifacts. However, it was a pity that due to the Ocean of Magic drying up, the Silver Stream had vanished completely and most of the artifacts made from it had gone missing.

It seems that this damn Duke Fiend is an old one.

Based on the two artifacts, Rhode was sure that the Duke Fiend hailed from the ancient war period. But, fortunately, the powers of this terrifying creature were sealed off.

The red gem embedded on the necklace seemed like any other ordinary gem. However, Rhode realized that it was a Spirit Crystal after analyzing it farther, It was an object transformed from a human's spirit. Its appearance seemed oddly dazzling, but there was an indistinct human expression in tremendous pain frozen on the surface.

Rhode examined the attributes of this necklace.

[Spirit's Prisoner (Ancient. Legendary. Gold) - No traitors will be spared. Their sins cannot be washed clean even with time]

[Imprisoned Spirit - Human (All Attributes +5)]

[The kindness to slaves is an insult to oneself - Spirit receives (Permanent) (1/1) (Available once per day) Holder can appoint a life form and obtain its spirit. Willpower identification required]

[Glory of death for the owner - Spirit Sacrifice. If the imprisoned spirit exists, the holder can use it to sustain a deadly attack]

[Cannot be dispelled and liberated]

[Silver Stream (The billows in the Ocean of Magic resounding in your ears) - The holder's spiritual energy increases by 30%]

Oh my...

Not only Rhode was dumbfounded, but Canary and Mini Bubble Gum also fell into silence. The attributes on this necklace left Rhode complete speechless. It was apparent that this necklace might have belonged to certain Duke Demons in Hell and it was obvious from these sinister descriptions. However, amongst all these, the third description was the main highlight for Rhode.

[If the imprisoned spirit exists, the holder can use it to sustain a deadly attack]

This almost meant a second life for Rhode and he could survive a sure-death situation by choosing a spirit to die in his place. Not only that, after losing the spirit, Rhode could imprison a new spirit thereafter and during the spirit's imprisonment, Rhode could receive additional attributes values from it. Moreover, the Silver Stream could increase his spiritual energy by 30%, This necklace could simply be said as a legend within a legendary artifacts. If he utilized it properly, he wouldn't need to face a day like this. Even though it wasn't as exaggerated as a cat having nine lives, Rhode could possibly seize three lives at most.

As for its flaws, it would be the [Holder can appoint a life form and obtain its spirit. Willpower identification required] and the [Spirit's Prisoner]. The former wouldn't affect him too much because it would only require some mental strength from his mind. Instead, he was more mindful of the latter. He must be clear of his goals before he made his move to imprison a spirit because he couldn't release it even if he wanted to. Although he wouldn't know the feelings of the spirit after he imprisoned it, he could imagine that the spirit wouldn't feel good at all.

"Leader, this thing is too..." Bubble said in awe.

"Yes, Rhode. If we discovered this artifact back in the game, perhaps it would've split our guild apart..." Canary lamented as she gazed at the artifact.

"That's right," Rhode nodded. Even in the game, players always had something which they strived for. Some powerful artifacts would solidify a guild's strength, however, some overly powerful artifacts would only bring disaster. The necklace in Rhode's hand belonged to the latter. With such incredible attributes, one wouldn't mind getting one's hands on it even with the risk of getting kicked out of the guild...

Fortunately, there was no one around to snatch this necklace from him. Even though Canary and Bubble coveted to have it, they knew that it wouldn't be as beneficial to them as compared to equipping on Rhode. But even so, both of them made Rhode swear to bring back some awesome artifacts for them in future. With two legendary artifacts on hand, what dungeons were there that Rhode couldn't clear?

After two rounds of 'shock', Rhode and the others were somewhat numbed. Rhode retrieved the third artifact with a mentality of 'no matter how god-like the next artifact is, I won't be surprised'.

It was a bracer forged from brass and Rhode almost spit out fresh blood after examining its attributes. He gazed strangely at the brass bracer and didn't know what to say.

[Historical Wing (Ancient. Fantasy. Bronze) - Created in Chaos. Forged in death as its smelting furnace. Comply with Order to exist within the crack]

[Guardian of Space - Any attacks targeted at holder will have a 35% chance of missing]

[Will of Order - Order Scepter (Level 5) (Available once per day) Holder can cast an Order territory with the size of (5S x 5S). Immune to the effects of the Chaos Forcefield]

[Devastating Chaos - Chaos Shadow (Level 1) (Available once per day) Holder can cast a Chaos Shadow with the size of (3S x 3S) and those apart from the holder will go through a round of resistance identification (30 Willpower) Those who do not pass will be affected and the effects will be similar to the Chaos Realm]

[Eternal Presence - Artifact will not be destroyed]

[Meteor Force - Holder's strength level +3]

The addition in attribute by this artifact shouldn't be disregarded. 35% was a high percentage in deflecting the enemies' attack while the +3 strength level was enough to force Rhode's strength to an equal level as those legendary giants. Furthermore, the Order Scepter and Chaos Shadow had powerful effects. The former could form a 500m x 500m Order territory within Chaos and protect everyone from the effects of the Chaos Forcefield which would be utterly beneficial in Rhode's later plans. As for the latter, even though its 300m x 300m seemed somewhat insignificant, its effects that equaled the Chaos Realm made up for its deficiency. Rhode had just experienced the effects of the Chaos Realm first hand and he naturally knew that those who didn't pass the resistance identification would be stripped of their strength. Furthermore, one's magical prowess and powers of Order would be greatly weakened. However, the Chaos Shadow was only on Level 1 and its willpower resistance was 30. Compared to the genuine Chaos Realm, this bootleg version was still lacking. Rhode could use it to deal with beings of the Master Stage, however, it would be pointless against those in the Legendary Stage.

However, Rhode wasn't concerned about these as he set his sight on the Historical Wing's attribute description - Fantasy.

In the Dragon Soul Continent, artifacts with the 'Fantasy' attribute were extremely rare because their essence laid between 'exist' or 'nonexistent'. Even though other two artifacts had high levels, they were 'presences that existed'. Instead, this 'fantasy' artifact was different. It could exist and it could be non-existent. It could be said as "If one thinks that it exists, then it exists. If one thinks that it doesn't exist, then it doesn't exist."

Due to this reason, the chances of obtaining a 'fantasy' artifact were as rare as owning phoenix feathers and Rhode never in the least expected that Marlene could obtain it just like that. He lifted his head and gazed at her with a strange expression... No matter if it was her class or luck, this young lady was really fortunate.

Compared to the first three artifacts, the last one seemed rather strange. It seemed like just an ordinary spatial pocket, but Rhode and Canary could sense its powerful, magical seal. It was obvious that there was something important hidden within. But Rhode's group couldn't think of a way to open this small little spatial pocket.

"It's really weird, Leader," Canary knitted her brows as she shifted her hand away from the gray pocket. "I can sense the powerful magical powers within, but... the seal on it is really troublesome. Although I can dispel the seal with my powers, I may destroy the item inside too. Unless I manage to find a proper command and dispelling method, I think we won't be able to open it."

"That leaves us with no choice then," Rhode slid his hand across the surface of the spatial pocket and examined it carefully. At this moment, he spotted a strange, rose-shaped rune symbol at its lower left corner. There were six vipers spiraling around the black rose stalk. For unknown reasons, Rhode felt as though he had seen this symbol somewhere before.

Come to think of it. It does look like...

An idea came to his mind and Rhode connected spiritually with his card spirits. "Is anyone familiar with this thing?"

"Ah-!" Suddenly, Celestina's utterly discomfited voice rang in Rhode's ear. "That belongs to me. Give it back to me now, Master!"