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850 Slaughter—Shira

 The pitch-black tentacles instantly wrapped around the enormous red blade in the man's hand. However, Rhode didn't let loose as he had already experienced the strength of this holy sword spirit from the previous attack. Although the Nether Tentacles always succeeded in binding their prey, Rhode was still mentally-prepared for failure against this mysterious holy sword spirit. The instant the Nether Tentacles bound the blade, the pitch-black blade in Rhode's hand extended and silently struck the man's right shoulder. If Rhode guessed right, it was the steel chain that punctured into the man's shoulder that was used to manipulate the man. Therefore, if Rhode were to hack off the right arm, the holy sword spirit would be useless no matter how powerful it was!

From a certain aspect, his guess was right.

Shing!

As Succubus was about to tear into the man's shoulder, Rhode saw three shadows flitting across him, followed by a powerful force against Succubus. Rhode released it and retreated quickly. Then, two steel chains struck the afterimages he had left behind before retracting.

This holy sword spirit is tough to deal with.

Rhode gestured and Succubus, who was entwined by the steel chains, transformed into a card before vanishing into thin air and returning into his hand. Frankly speaking, this was the first time that he faced such a difficult opponent. This holy sword spirit could be said to be strong in offense and defense and he couldn't find any good solution against it. This holy sword spirit held advantages in strength and length and its mysterious, self-moving steel chains made up for its flaws in close-combat. This was why Rhode didn't summon Celia, Gracier, or Madaras into this battle. Celia wouldn't be too useful while Gracier and Madaras were too short for this situation. Rhode had thought of using Gracier and Madaras for ambush, but it was too risky because one wrong move and he might be bound by the steel chains, losing his life completely. It was due to this that he had chosen Celestina, who could switch between a chain sword or ordinary sword, to probe the holy sword spirit's true strength.

However, it seemed like the situation was dire.

Ordinary sword skills didn't seem too useful against it. Perhaps Fantasy Daybreak could dismantle her frontal attacks, but it might not be able to dodge the steel chains from the back. But... Rhode scanned the red blade at this thought and clutched his sword.

I'll just give it a shot. There's nothing to lose anyway.

Suddenly, a shadow clone emerged from him and it darted forward with Succubus.

Fantasy Daybreak!

At the same time when the first shadow clone launched its attack, Rhode had arrived beside the man. The man brandished the sword and struck off the shadow clone, but at this moment, the second shadow clone emerged from Rhode.

Clang!

However, this apparently wasn't enough to leave the man frantic. The man slashed the huge sword at Rhode and this time, before the shadow clone was able to launch its attack, it became utterly smashed. On the other hand, Rhode seized the chance and shifted his position to behind the man. This was the most important step in Fantasy Daybreak-the initial attack would also be the last!

Meteoric radiances streaked across the darkness. Rhode had given up his disguises. He narrowed his eyes and darted ahead with Succubus in a lightning bolt, heading for his target!

The whizzing blade air tore through the air while dust and gravel fluttered from the ground. The spiritual powers in Rhode's blade blasted forward like a physical presence, smearing a dazzling radiance across.

Shing!

As expected, the steel chains on the man's right arm shifted swiftly after Rhode launched his attack. Then, the steel chains interwove to form a steel net that pounced on Rhode. But this time, the corners of Rhode's lips twitched and he revealed a strange smile. He let go of his right hand.

"Ah-! What are you doing! Ahh!"

Celestina emerged among the blade rays, but before she reacted, a strong air stream engulfed her entirely as she crashed head first into the steel net. At the same time, the steel net shrunk like a spider web and caught her tightly.

"No!! Big Sister, I'm wrong! Don't punish me! Ahhhh!"

Although Celestina's screams were indeed pitiful, Rhode didn't have the time to sympathize with her. He dodged the steel chains and raised his arms, and two daggers emerged in his hands. At this moment, countless blade rays resembling meteors enveloped the man like a storm.

Clang! Clang! Clang!

The endless blade rays struck the red sword like a hail. The meteoric radiance which Rhode's shadow clones broke out in wasn't strong enough to break the man's defense because he had plunged the sword into the ground and used it as a shield against this ambush. However, this also kept him occupied because with Celestina as bait and distractions from the shadow clones, Rhode arrived behind him quickly. Rhode slashed the twin daggers in a criss-cross stance at the man. But at this moment, the man thrust his right arm to break the powerful grip of the Nether Tentacles and threw a powerful punch in retaliation!

Boom!

If Rhode didn't hold back the daggers and laid them before his chest, perhaps he would have been killed instantly. Rhode felt the powerful force against his daggers and body. He was giddy and breathless as though his strength had been zapped away in an instant. But even so, he grit his teeth and rolled away abruptly from the man's slashing blade.

A silent shadow flitted across.

It struck for the man from the side, aiming for his chest. The man didn't seem bothered by this attack as he continued to swing the huge blade in his hand at the young man. But even so, he was too late.

Boom!

The red blade smashed the ground heavily and the violent force ruptured the ground in cracks. Then, Rhode hurriedly disappeared into the shadow for a split second before reemerging behind the man and brandishing the shimmering daggers again. But the man turned around, neglected the mighty spiritual powers from the daggers, and lifted his left hand to defend himself. In an instant, the daggers slashed through his hand and body. But even so, the man didn't flinch as he swung the red sword and swept an engulfing air stream to envelop Rhode entirely.

Argh! Damn!

Rhode cursed inwardly. He had to admit that this holy sword spirit was indeed tough to deal with. He had never seen such powerful strength and terrifying techniques from the other holy sword spirits. It seemed like it wasn't easy for him to defeat her with his current sword skills. However... Spirit Swordsmen weren't really Swordsmen. Since I can't win you with sword skills, why don't I try something else?

Rhode placed his left fingers by his lips while lifting his right arm and pointing at the target.

[Activate: Legion Horn]

"---!"

He whistled.

The flashing pitch-black blade and white blade emanating a silver radiance punctured the man in an instant. On the other side, the Hell Hound leaped out from a puff of black smoke, widening its jaw and biting down on the man's left arm. Then, the Centaur Knight emerged, brandished the pike and punctured the man's chest. The man finally reached his limit.

Boom!

Chunks of flesh and blood splattered. In the blink of an eye, there was nothing left. The large red sword remained stuck in the ground and its incredibly glaring scarlet radiance dimmed gradually.

"..."

Rhode heaved a sigh of relief and sat on the ground. In fact, if it weren't necessary, he wouldn't have used the [Legion Horn]. Although this insane skill could guarantee a kill on the enemy he chose, his spiritual powers would be completely wiped out. But now... since he couldn't win the holy sword spirit with sword skills, he could only use a small cheat. Fortunately, the man was only a manipulated puppet. If it were the physical form of the holy sword spirit, perhaps Rhode wouldn't have won even with the [Legion Horn].

"Leader, are you okay?"

Anne asked. Rhode looked up and saw her widened emerald green eyes gazing worriedly at him. He showed a bitter smile and shook his head.

"I'm fine, Anne. I've just consumed too much of my spiritual powers... It seems like I don't need to ask about the situation on your side."

Rhode gazed around him and found that the entire Bloody Field had turned into ruins, with fissures across the flat ground. Some of the walls had also collapsed. Other than that, the devils were also nowhere to be found and the Bow Knights had lined up neatly in their defense formation, vigilantly examining the surroundings. The battlefield between Rhode and the holy sword spirit had as though been bombarded, where a huge sunken hole remained beneath his feet. The red sword remained stuck in the middle of the sunken hole, waiting for its master's arrival.

"How unfortunate..."

Rhode murmured under his breath and attempted to shake the giddiness away from his head while walking toward the red sword. When he arrived at the red sword, he discovered that it was much more hostile than he imagined: the hilt was designed and embedded with sinister-looking sharp teeth. The steel chains also laid silently on the ground and the razor-sharp triangular edge on their ends made his hair stand.

"Hmm..."

Rhode couldn't help but think of how the steel chains were embedded into the man's arm. The pain must have been unbearable and not anyone could tolerate it. Although Rhode wasn't willing to use himself as the guinea pig, he knew that this perhaps might be the final test that he had to pass. Besides, although all the devils were temporarily wiped out, he had no idea when they would appear again. Therefore, he couldn't waste anymore time.

"Sigh..."

Rhode grit his teeth. Then, he took in a deep breath and held the sword hilt.

"!!!"

As expected, the instant he held the sword hilt, the steel chains quickly wrapped his arm. But before he reacted, three of the steel chains shot up like vipers and struck into his flesh with their triangular edges.

"---"

Piercing pain engulfed him. The triangular edges didn't only puncture his skin and flesh. Instead, they dove all the way into his bones. Rhode widened his mouth in extreme pain, but he couldn't scream at all. Air flowed into his lungs, but they turned into intense flames burning inside him. He turned red and felt a strong murderous intent flowing through the steel chains and in his body, forcefully taking over his rationality with madness and cruel desires.

Slaughter everything. Kill everything. Destroy everything.

Tear into the enemies' bodies, rip their flesh, and hear their mournful screams. Squash all who defy me and leave not a single one alive. End everything right here and eliminate the enemies...

"Shut up!"

Rhode grit his teeth and howled like an injured wild animal. The violent pain fired up his instinctive murderous intent. The murderous intent from the holy sword spirit merged with his and attempted to manipulate him like a puppet. But shortly after, Rhode suppressed it successfully.

"What a troublesome fella."

Rhode grumbled to shift his attention away from the pain. Shortly after, he sensed the murderous intent slowly changing its flow and returning quietly into the steel chains. In fact, up until now, he wasn't sure if he could control his right hand. He attempted to grip the sword hilt, but it seemed like he failed.

"..."

At this moment, Rhode sensed two streams of cooling, comforting spiritual powers entering his body, smoothing his injuries and anxiousness. Then, the spiritual powers gathered on his right arm and the pain slowly dissipated. Shortly after, a sense of comfort replaced the pain entirely.

"Thank you."

Rhode instantly knew where the two sources of spiritual power came from. As expected, crisp, gentle laughter rang in his ears before vanishing entirely. He raised the red sword and surprisingly, the sword that should have been incredibly heavy was so light in his hand as though he were lifting Succubus. If he were to shut his eyes, he couldn't imagine himself holding onto a two-meters-long sword.

At this moment, a system prompt emerged before his eyes.

[Received the holy sword: Slaughter-Shira. Slaughter all living things in this world. It only brings destruction to the enemies. Blood Absorption LV3 (Automatically absorb the holder's blood to replenish its strength). Destructive Nature LV3 (Have a certain chance to completely destroy the enemy's weapon when in contact. Probability depends on the level of anti-magic) Increase strength by 120% (It will consume twice the amount of spiritual powers when activated)]

I finally got it...

Rhode let out a sigh of relief.