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881 Strike and Transformation

 The halo of Order was blasted from the top of the tower like a storm showering with beams, lightning, and flames that turned into a solid, unbreakable steel wall and pushed away the intruders.

At that moment, the vast grasslands surrounding the tower were completely filled with Chaos Creatures. The rate of their appearance slowly overtook the destruction of the tower. The halo of Order was released once every 30 minutes and eliminated all the threats into nothingness. But as soon as the blinding radiance dissipated, Chaos would re-emerge onto the surface and launch their attacks. The vines crawling over the tower flitted and struck the ground, sending ripples into the pond and eradicating tens of thousands of Chaos Creatures at once. But the gaps were quickly replenished by darkness.

The little bugs weren't the only creatures that filled the sky anymore. Right now, there were also human-tall winged creatures screeching and pouncing onto the tower albeit being crushed upon every attempt. But with their persistence, cracks began to form on the surface of the tattered tower.

When Christie arrived at the platform, all she saw was endless Chaos. Dark lightning flashed before her eyes and struck the enormous flitting vines into halves. At the next moment, the broken vines regenerated while the Chaos Creatures pushed forth once again.

Although it was for only a little while, it affected the situation more than enough.

The situation was intense.

Chaos Creatures were unlike humans. They didn't need rest and death didn't exist in their world. The Chaos within Chaos vortexes were unlimited. On the other hand, humans would feel exhausted, frightened, and no matter how determined one was, it was meaningless if one's physical strength couldn't keep up. At this moment, the Chaos Creatures hurled their ferocious attacks. The defenders who were taking turns to rest had given up their breaks. After all, they lacked manpower and their defenses were taking a huge hit. If they continued to take turns and rest, perhaps Chaos would overwhelm them anytime soon.

But this couldn't go on.

Bone-chilling winds blew in the dark sky, striking their skin like blades sharpened against stones. The deep sound of winds seemed never ending as though mourns of despair resounding in the place. The continuous battles had numbed the Bow Knights, mercenaries, and other defenders as they aimed ahead instinctively and unleashed their weapons. Their self-consciousnesses were slowly becoming indistinct. As long as a moving being showed up before them, they would simply kill it.

Although the radiance of the tinder enveloped the surroundings, countless numbers and layers of Chaos Creatures were as though a strong armor as they crashed forward like waves. Even though the radiance of Order could eliminate them, the Chaos Creatures at the rear quickly replenished the openings. Everything would be done for as soon as they reached the foot of the tower.

"Chaos... Is eventually only Chaos. This is why they seem so pathetic."

'Christie' let out a sigh. Then, she raised her right hand.

At the same time, some other battles were continuing below the tower.

"Ahhhh! Why isn't this over yet!"

The petite little girl snarled at the omnipresent Chaos. She extended her left arm and three yellow cards flickered in her hand. Shortly after, the ground rumbled with countless earth puppets crawling out and darting forward. On the other hand, the heavy, three-meters-tall statue stood up abruptly and brandished its fists at the enemies. The little girl folded her hands together and a series of explosions erupted, engulfing everything with dazzling sparks. In the blink of an eye, the dark Chaos was shredded into bits and melted away under the brilliance of the tinder.

"Good!"

Heart clapped her hands at this sight. Then, she quickly lifted her sword and the ground began to tremble-enormous, deep cracks emerged and the Chaos Creatures dashing toward them fell straight into the abyss. At this moment, a wall of flame burst out of the ground and stopped them from coming closer.

"That man's suggestion is quite useful, but..."

Heart sat on the ground at the sight of safety and wiped the sweat on her forehead. From the start, they were only responsible for cleaning up the Chaos Creatures who slipped past the net. But as time passed, they slowly felt powerless. It was fine for Heart who held the 'earth' cards that could manipulate the lands. This little girl learned a lot from Rhode during their special training and was capable of continuously summoning her cards. On the contrary, Haze who controlled the undead and Rain who used the 'ice' deck weren't as fortunate.

I don't think I can hang on for too long if this continues.

Although Heart was concerned about Rain and Haze, she knew that she must also be worried about herself soon. She didn't have an Illusion Crystal like Rhode to replenish her spiritual powers. No matter if she used the earth deck for attack or defense or activated her talent rule to trigger explosions, they all consumed her spiritual powers. No matter how powerful her attacks were, she was still a little girl. A break of less than 10 minutes wasn't enough to replenish her spiritual powers. Besides, as the Chaos Creatures became stronger, she would expend even more strength.

"Really! What's the Sir Overlord doing? Why hasn't he awakened the tinder... Hmm?"

Heart subconsciously lifted her head and looked at the sky above. But at the next moment, her grumbles were stuck at her throat as she witnessed a dazzling river of golden runes flowing in the night sky. Within the golden runes was a little girl in black long hair.

"She is..."

Heart puckered her brows. As the humanoid, she knew that little girl was brought in by that annoying overlord. Judging from her appearance, she must be his younger sister. But Heart saw that the little girl was frail and weak and shouldn't be able to battle at all. But why was she here?

'Christie' raised her right hand.

The ring on her finger instantly let out a blinding radiance. Ancient, mysterious golden runes flickered and the dazzling brilliance stole the spotlight from the tinder. Not only did it capture the attention of the defenders, but the Chaos vortexes also came to a halt instantly. At the next moment, the enemies shifted their targets.

"Gaaa----!"

The ear-piercing screeches filled the air instantly and countless Chaos Creatures flapped their wings and barged out of the thick clouds to pounce on the little girl. They widened their mouths and revealed razor-sharp claws that could shred the fragile-looking girl into bits. However, 'Christie' didn't panic at all. On the contrary, she gazed quietly at them while her purple pupils glinted in a cruel, excited, and murderous intent.

"Is that all you can do? Worthless Chaos."

'Christie' said softly. Then, she swung her right arm to the side.

"---!"

The golden runes river was in fact a white, empty scroll that unrolled in midair. 'Christie' lifted her right hand and glimmering silver radiances coalesced into a feather pen. Then, she slowly drew on it.

The Chaos Creatures howled desperately out of fear and instead of slaughtering the little human, they crashed into an invisible barrier. At this moment, the tinder released the halo of Order and eliminated them all into dust.

"Order exists forever over Chaos."

'Christie' lowered her gaze while her hand movement was slow and steady. The drawing of the Tinder Origin emerged on the empty scroll. But unlike the old, tattered tower, there weren't any signs of wear or cracks on this tall, majestic, tower. The white brilliance of Order enveloped the entire sky. Countless magical runes merged to form a barrier that connected to the land. The Chaos Creatures were dismantled completely without leaving any remains.

"This is the start and the end."

She gave a final stroke of the feather pen in her hand at the end of the scroll.

The color of white instantly engulfed the sky.

The blinding radiance purified the dark, evil sky into a milky color. The dense layer of clouds dispersed and the Chaos Creatures evaporated immediately. Not only that, but the damaged tower also slowly restored itself with the fallen walls returning to their positions. The large broken vines also crawled around the tower and after a few moments, the tower became brand new as though it was just built.

"This is..."

Everyone gazed blankly. No one expected this gentle little girl to be so powerful. Not only did she chase the Chaos Creatures away, but she also forcefully sealed the tunnel that the Chaos infiltrated?

"Phew..."

'Christie' let out a sigh. Then, she turned around and landed gently on the platform. At this moment, Lesa and the Bow Knights rushed over.

"Your Highness!"

"I'm fine."

Lesa asked anxiously while 'Christie' waved her tiny hand. Then, 'Christie' gazed at the young lady in white robes and said softly.

"I'm only able to seal them off for one day. Get them to rest during this period. This is all that I can do. I'll..." 'Christie' lowered her head and the purple radiance from her eyes became indistinct. "... leave the rest to Master. I believe that he'll do just fine..."

Boom! Boom! Boom!

The luxurious metallic hall was in a complete mess as the metal pipes that were lined on the walls twisted and fell to the ground while white steam spurted from their opening. However, the most glaring thing was the six-meters-tall metal spider in the center of the hall that had turned into a lifeless pile of broken metal-it was the final BOSS of the second floor. But unlike the Centipede Warden, this BOSS didn't transform into any strange enormous creature. Even though it was still powerful, it wasn't as insanely strong as the Centipede Warden. Since that was the case, Rhode didn't need to waste too much time with it and instantly sent Shira to slaughter it to its death.

But even so, Rhode stood before the pile of remains in a horrible mood as though he was dying to kill someone.

The reason was simple. He failed to find something valuable.

Again.

No new equipment, techniques, runes, and even the Soul Core was shattered. Rage overtook him completely and he had never felt this disgusted.

"... Damn it..."

Rhode cursed, shaking his head to suppress his wrath. Even though he didn't know which bastard designed the ridiculous difficulty of this dungeon, he knew that the most important matter on hand was to awaken the tinder. As long as he awakened the tinder, the entire territory would be his. Yes... Nothing was better than this reward. Compared to the territory, what was some equipment going to bring for him?

Yes. That's right. Nothing. Nothing!

Bam!

Rhode threw a punch on the wall heavily to vent his frustrations. Then, he took in a deep breath and turned to the trio.

"Let's take a break."

"No problem, Leader."

"Yes, Mr. Rhode."

Anne and Lize nodded in agreement, but Marlene uncharacteristically remained in silence. Ever since she reported to him that she failed to find anything from the corpse again, she had been in silence.

"Marlene?"

Rhode puckered his brows. After all, he was aware that she didn't like touching corpses and it seemed like something was wrong with her. He gazed at her and discovered that she was blushing and her eyes were blurred and confused.

"... Rhode...?"

Marlene seemed to return to her senses slightly. She lifted her head and forcefully looked at the young man approaching her. In fact, ever since they defeated the Centipede Warden, Marlene had been feeling rather unwell. The burning sensation inside her surged and as Rhode defeated every enemy here, the sensation became stronger. At this moment, it felt as though magma was flowing inside her. The scorching, extreme temperature overwhelmed her senses completely.

"I... feel... so hot..."

Marlene uttered and at the next moment, her consciousness fell into the darkest abyss.