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937 The Original Four

 Did the chicken or the egg come first? That was the question.

Was it due to the damage from Rhode's 'unlucky looting aura' or was it already damaged when it met him? This was also the question. This went to show that the 'unlucky looting aura' was a mysterious and magical philosophical issue. But now, all philosophical issues were meaningless because the consequence was more serious than the cause and this wasn't what he hoped for.

"Open it, Marlene."

Rhode sighed. No matter if it was the cause of his 'unlucky looting aura', this metal egg was already spoiled. The truth wouldn't change even if he figured out the cause...

"Yes, Rhode."

Marlene gaped at the listless Rhode who had as though been enveloped by depressing black smoke. But after she looked at Canary's expression, which warned her not to ask about it, she closed her mouth and placed her hand on the metal egg.

"Tare Mis Con."

"---!"

The outer shell of the metal egg emanated dozens of magical radiances. Then, it slowly opened like a blossoming flower and spurted white steam from within. Rhode and Canary watched curiously as it unveiled its secret.

After the four heavy segments of the shell fell off, the group witnessed a crystal coffin...

"It's completely done for."

Although the appearance of the metal egg and the crystal coffin seemed to be in perfect condition, the human inside had already turned to dust, and there was nothing else apart from some clothes and broken sword. It was apparent that the rescue cabin had lost its source of energy and capability. All that was left now was the perfect structure of a coffin.

Kacha.

Rhode and Canary gazed with complicated emotions at the remains. After a few moments, Canary nodded proudly. "Rhode, your 'unlucky looting aura' has indeed broken through the horizon. There's really nothing worthy left from the inside-out."

"Alright, stop criticizing. You're nowhere better than me."

Rhode shot a glare at her. In fact, even though he was mentally prepared for this result, he felt resentful that this thing was destroyed to this extent, especially after losing a nail-sized Illusion Crystal. But... He extended his hand and touched the sword hilt.

If that plane merchant didn't trick me, this thing must be linked to my fate in order for it to be here.

Although there were no signs of life, Rhode had some ideas at the sight of the sword hilt...

"Does anyone recognize this?"

Rhode spiritually communicated with his card spirits and projected the image of the short, mysterious sword hilt to them. The card spirits pondered for a few moments when suddenly, Celestina yelled.

"Woah! It's Fourth Big Sister! Master, hurry up and summon her! Hurry!"

Why do I feel like I'm a savior to some impoverished people who have been oppressed by a demon lord?

"Do you know her? Is she one of you?"

The card spirits pondered and Celia was the first to answer.

"Yes, Master. Fourth Big Sister is the smartest saint among us. In fact, our weapons were designed and created by her. But... If I recall correctly, Fourth Big Sister took refuge in a rescue cabin, so why..."

Forget it if this was related to someone's 'unlucky looting aura'.

Gracier and Madaras remained silent as usual, but Rhode sensed through their spiritual connection that they were thrilled. It was apparent that they were also excited to meet the so-called Fourth Big Sister. On the other hand, Shira had no reaction. She always behaved like a dead person unless she was summoned into battle, though she wasn't a living being, to begin with.

It seems like this isn't too bad, after all.

Although Rhode had gotten a 'damaged' rescue cabin and the fella inside was already dead, he didn't expect her to be one of the holy sword spirits. However, what surprised him was that the death of this holy sword spirit was somewhat strange. He wasn't too sure about the individual history of holy sword spirits, but he was sure that they had basically died in the battlefield. But this particular spirit took refuge in a rescue cabin and died in the failed system? How should he put it... It somehow felt as though she was an army deserter.

"Is she like all of you? But why did she hide in the rescue cabin?"

Although he could also ask personally after summoning her, such a question wasn't easy to raise either. Celia thought for a few moments and said.

"Erm... Master, Fourth Big Sister is actually... a human. Although she was experienced in battles, her constitution and longevity can't be compared to ours. Besides..."

"Cough... Cough Cough!!"

At this moment, Celestina interrupted and Celia was as though a chick with its throat strangled. Then, Celestina continued on her behalf.

"All in all, you've found a gold mine, Master. Fourth Big Sister is the smartest among us. Heh heh. It'll be your wisest choice if you can summon her! The reason we can remain in spiritual form inside weapons is all thanks to..."

"Big Sister!"

"Ah... Sh*t... Master, please forget what you just heard! Anyway, all you have to do is summon Fourth Big Sister, understand?!"

This time it was Celia's turn to interrupt Celestina, and the latter jumped in surprise. Although Rhode couldn't see Celestina's expression, he heard from her tone that she was rather regretful as though she had said something that she shouldn't. But he disregarded her words and pondered in silence.

... They are related in this way, huh... According to Celestina, it seems it was all planned out that they would fuse with their weapons after death and be re-summoned. Besides, this 'Fourth Big Sister' also seems to have played a leading role among them?

Apart from that, what made him most mindful was Celia's introduction of this 'Fourth Big Sister' as a human. Rhode had never expected that there was a human among these insanely powerful holy sword spirits. Besides, since she was ranked fourth, she would be stronger than Shira.

"Alright then, let's begin."

After confirming that she was a holy sword spirit, Rhode was anxious to summon her. He held onto the sword hilt and reached for the Illusion Crystal with his other hand in his pocket. Shortly after, the system prompt emerged.

[Detected a resonance reaction. Confirm to awaken?]

Awaken.

[Awaken soul core, detected holy sword---Heart Piercer. Awakening begins]

"%\u0026*... #*... #......!"

All of a sudden the crystal coffin glowed and some electronic noises sounded. The sword hilt instantly emanated an unprecedented brilliance while several golden runes appeared in midair to form circles of various sizes. Canary and Marlene took a step back as rune circles floated from top to bottom and vice-versa. Then, a slender figure appeared before their eyes.

It was a young lady who was about the same height as Marlene and Canary. She had clean, neat, white-golden short hair leveled with her shoulders. Unlike Celia's battle suit or Celestina's and Shira's inappropriate western-style dresses, she wore a set of white cloak and miniskirt. Although she wasn't as stunning as Celestina, she had the unique presence of an intellectual. She wore frameless oval glasses over her gorgeous azure eyes. No matter from which angle, Rhode didn't spot any tail, fluffy ears, or wings and she looked just like a human.

A somewhat ordinary-looking human.

Rhode gazed at the card that appeared in his hand. Unlike the other cards, this card had a silver-whitish base and was embedded with golden edges. In its picture was a young lady sitting on a throne constructed by countless swords. Above the picture was the symbol 'IV' while there were the values of 5 and 8 at the bottom of the card.

[Received Eternal Holy Sword 4th Position. Heart Piercer. Silver Sage---Karin: The power of wisdom is the attribution of everything. Superposition LV3 (Can be superimposed and cast simultaneously). Skill Analysis LV3 (When equipped with weapons, there is a certain probability to analyze the skill activation rate). Rune Enhancement LV3 (Drop cooldown time by half when using runes in battles). The brain is the strongest weapon.]

This is truly...

Rhode was speechless. He thought that since she was in the 4th position, she would be more or less a formidable being. But her offense and defense stats were only 5 and 8. Although these stats were decent for most people, it was terrible considering all his other holy sword cards were double digits in stats. Moreover, he didn't know why he felt out of sorts looking at her as a human. Not only that, but the worst Spirit Bird card also held higher stats than her.

But when he flipped the card around and saw her skills, he instantly realized why she was worthy of her 4th position.

Superposition [Continuous summons will receive superposition. The stats are based on the increase in superposition. Can be superimposed up to five times (Every superposition increases cooldown time by 3)]

Triple Realm [After continuously summoning three spirit cards, holder can activate three shadow clones with same stats]

Calculation [Instantly analyze and calculate strength in battle]

[Superposition] left him speechless. If it was as he thought, whenever he summoned Karin, returned her into the card and summoned her again, her basic stats would be stacked from her previous summons. In other words, for instance, her stats would grow from 4 and 6 to 8 and 12, and to 12 and 18. If he were to summon her five times, her stats would go over 20! This was even more insane than Gillian.

On the other hand, [Triple Realm] could create three shadow clones of this insanely powerful young lady!

No wonder she's in the 4th position.

Come to think of it, if she had truly reached this level as a human, Rhode would prostrate himself in admiration because it was impossible for players to have her stats without relying on top-rated talents and equipment. But she actually possessed such strength as a pure human. This went to show how powerful she was.

What comforted him was [Calculation]-oh my goodness. I finally have a subject who will use her brain in battle rather than pouncing on the enemy immediately. He felt tremendous stress commanding everyone by himself.

If he were to mention any flaws, it would be the cooldown time +3 hours, which would start after the end of his battle. If he wanted Karin's stats to be superimposed for five times and reach insane stats, the cool-down time would be 15 hours. In other words, if he were to superimpose her stats in one go for five times, he would need to wait for 15 hours before he could summon her again. Compared to the other card spirits who required spiritual energy to be summoned, this was indeed a problem. But a trump card would always be for the finale.

"..."

After he finished scanning the card details, Karin returned to her senses. She pushed up her glasses and gazed at him expressionlessly.

"Are you my master?"

Her voice was so calm and elegant. Rhode snapped his fingers softly and the card vanished before his eyes. He faced the young lady and nodded.

"That's right. I'm your master. Is there anything that you would like to ask?"

Karin shook her head to his surprise.

"Not now."

She looked at the surroundings and shifted her gaze to the empty crystal coffin. After taking a closer look, she nodded in satisfaction.

"Everything is as per normal."

She said softly and turned to give Rhode a solemn bow.

"Please pardon my leave."

In an instant, circular golden runes appeared around her. Then, she gradually vanished into thin air.

"..."

"..."

"..."

Everyone didn't know how to respond to that. After a few moments, Canary shrugged and let out a subtle sigh.

"Rhode, why do all your card spirits behave so strangely..."