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993 Advent of the Moon

 This battle was equally tough for Grazite and Rhode's groups as they struggled to break free from the vicious circle. Magic spells and spiritual spells clashed as blades confronted one another. The Glabrezus were becoming desperate under the attacks of Canary and Celestina, while Gracier and Madaras also played tricks behind their backs.

On the other hand, Rhode wasn't having an easy time either.

Even though Mini Bubble Gum was providing support from the back and he had Shira as his sword, he only managed to reach a draw with Grazite. Of course, Grazite hadn't unleashed all his strength and was still attempting to escape. Anyway, he had plenty of time to come up with new ways to destroy these bast*rds who provoked him. But now, he was extremely weak. If he were any other devil, he would have already caused a ruckus. But Grazite was special. Since he was known as the 'devil who most resembled demons', he had many more considerations and did not resort to risky actions. The supporting metal guards were destroyed during the battle between him and Rhode. Even though the metal guards were level 60 BOSSes of this floor, they didn't stand a chance against the mighty Devil Monarch.

Clang! Clang! Clang!

The holy sword clashed with the snake-shaped blade, forcing Rhode to retreat and dodge the splashing acid. Even though he was under the barrier of Mini Bubble Gum's [Elemental Protection], he had no intention of meeting force with force. He swiftly released three shadow clones while Shira took his place instantly, brandishing the large, scarlet blade at Grazite's waist along in the blustering gales. Grazite's eyes glinted, swinging down the shield in his hand. Clang! The rasp screeched in their ears and they took a few steps back. Grazite pointed a finger forward, emitting a maroon beam from the ring and hitting Shira directly. She stiffened as layers of rock grew over her body. But at the next moment, she felt a gentle breeze against her face. Then, the rocks fell off her body and she broke free from the petrification. Canary retracted her hand, welcoming Grazite's raging gaze. She raised her right hand and strings of fireballs and blustering whirlwind became the theme of the battle.

It isn't time yet.

Rhode retreated, staring attentively at Grazite. The two remaining Glabrezus were still alive, but it wasn't because Canary and Celestina couldn't defeat them. Even though they were only elite creatures, they became quite a handful after tensing up. But it wouldn't usually take this long to eliminate them. In fact, Rhode had already received Angelina's report through their contractual connection. At this moment, Erin and she were on their way to the Deepest Labyrinth. Just a while more and Rhode would have two more powerful reinforcements. He came up with an idea after hearing the report from Marlene before. He had never expected to face a Devil Monarch like Grazite in this adventure. Besides, he knew that there would be difficulties facing Grazite with his current party. Marlene was occupied with her work while Gillian was nowhere near them. God knew how long they needed to arrive here. This was why Rhode decided on his new assistants after learning that the Moon Princess was on her way to find him. Rhode was confident that Erin would provide assistance as she was a person of Order, after all. It wouldn't be justifiable for her to not attack the Devil Monarch of Chaos. With her support, Rhode was sure that the weakened Grazite couldn't escape, which was also why he got Canary and Celestina to delay time. Both sides needed more time. Grazite had to come up with ways to flee from this predicament, while Rhode had to wait for Erin's arrival to capture that Devil Monarch.

"Damn it!"

Just as Rhode predicted, Grazite became agitated and restless as time passed. Grazite realized that the plane signal restricting him wasn't destroyed yet. Even though he still had two Glabrezus on his side and the other devils were also attacking the enemies, that wasn't what he needed. Other than feeling worried that he would be defeated, another reason was that in the main plane, they, as creatures of Chaos, couldn't replenish their strength. Therefore the longer the battle dragged on, the worse the situation would end up for him. Who knew what would happen if this stalemate continued!

"Masr, kiau, loy!"

Grazite snarled. The magical energy around him surged, coalescing into a strong power under the evil curse. Rhode's heart sank instantly. He clutched the sword and looked over his shoulder at Celestina and Canary, who also realized the approaching danger. Canary gestured with her hands, instantly blasting an invisible sound wave in the shape of a fan forward, forcing the two Glabrezus who were caught unprepared to the corner. On the other hand, Celestina penetrated the chain sword into the skull of one of the Glabrezus. She flourished the sword and hauled its head out, spraying beads of blood up in midair. The Glabrezu collapsed, twitching constantly as its spine could be clearly seen. Before the other Glabrezu realized what happened to its companion, two blades appeared before it and punctured its eyes, squishing its brain into mush. Then, the two petite elven assassins flew back and dashed toward Grazite.

Everything happened in an instant.

It took less than five seconds after Grazite finished unleashing his powers-Celestina, Canary, Gracier, and Madaras eradicated the Glabrezus. But suddenly, Grazite vanished. It wasn't a teleportation spell because no one could destroy the space imprisonment of the signal crystal. However, it was still possible for extreme speed to achieve this effect. Rhode saw the dark figure flit across before him and disappeared to nowhere. He remained calm, turning around immediately and slashing the sword in his hand in midair. At the next moment, dazzling, meteor-like blade rays erupted and struck toward the back. At the same time, Grazite arrived before Christie, growling and brandishing his sword at her. It was apparent that he knew who the culprit responsible for weakening his strength was. Besides, similar wisdom still existed even if this world wasn't aware of the story of 'besiege Wei and rescue Zhao'[1].

Everyone else reacted quickly. The instant Grazite vanished, Canary pointed two fingers forward while pulling back her right hand like an arrow. Then, she released her right hand and a scorching flame arrow whistled across the air, aiming for Grazite's back. On the other hand, Celestina snorted, lashing out the chain sword that was burning in pitch-black flames.

But Grazite disregarded their attacks. At this point in time, the fastest person would have the upper hand. He flourished the snake-shaped sword, unleashing the spell that he readied moments ago. All sorts of halos instantly encircled the blade as it swung.

"Wishful thinking!"

Mini Bubble Gum snarled. A translucent, crystal barrier appeared in midair, clashing with the snake-shaped sword heavily. Mini Bubble Gum's defense shield only lasted for less than two seconds, before shattering to this deadly blade. But these two precious seconds were enough.

Clang---!

Anne gnashed her teeth, lifting the shield quickly, and resisted Grazite's powerful slash. Cracks started forming on the surface of her shield under the overwhelming force. Countless fragments scattered as the screeching rasp filled their ears. Anne's feet sunk into the broken slate on the ground like a nail being hammered into the floor. Even though the holy barrier had eliminated the negative effects of the snake-shaped sword, Anne still couldn't bear the immense force of the brandishing blade.

"Don't look down on Anne!"

The young lady thrust the shield against the formidable pressure, her arms trembling from the overexertion of strength. But even so, she had to give her all to protect Christie behind her. Anne let out an outburst of anger, stomping firmly on her feet and overthrew the menacing snake-shaped sword.

Shing!

At this moment, two dazzling blade rays flashed in midair. Bell had silently jumped off the wall and arrived at Grazite's right. She gnashed her teeth, flourishing the daggers at Grazite's arm when suddenly, she was struck away by an unknown force, crashing into the wall behind her. But this was the end to Grazite's aggression. He had no choice but to give up on his attack and raise his iron shield.

At the next moment, exploding flames, roaring holy light, dazzling, starry blade rays, and pitch-black flames enfolded Grazite's tall, mighty stature.

"You can't defeat me!"

A violent whirlwind erupted once again. Even though Grazite was injured all over, it could be seen that he still possessed a relatively large amount of strength. Moreover, he had successfully drawn himself away from Rhode's group after the wave of attacks. But...

"---!"

A dark energy boomed, enveloping him completely. The shrill of a dragon presence engulfed the hall and a beautiful, slender young lady appeared before Rhode.

"Seems like you're having a lot of fun, Your Majesty Rhode."

The Moon Princess gracefully strolled into the hall, sizing up the place curiously. Then, she presented a mesmerizing smile at Rhode.

[1] In the Warring States period of Chinese history, the Battle of Guìlíng was fought between the states of Qí and Wei. In 354 BC, an army from Wèi was laying siege to Handan, the capital of the State of Zhao. Zhao turned to Qi for assistance the following year and Qi's co-commanders, Tian Ji and Sun Bin, led an army to rescue Zhao.