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10 Retaliation

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Kyran silently hid above one of the trees.

He watched as three men wearing green uniforms appeared below.

"My arrow hit him. He can't be that far," the man holding a crossbow said.

"We did find the arrow, but there is no clue which direction he went." Another man said. He held a spear in his hand.

A man with a melee weapon frowned. "Captain said he's a combat specialist from the military school. He may know a body technique to endure poison."

"It's possible. The poison is not that strong, just enough to numb the senses. Even if he can endure and cover his tracks well, he's bound to make a mistake at some point. Let's go," the man with the spear spoke again.

The two nodded.

'Now's my chance,' Kyran thought as soon as they went past his hiding spot.

"But, for someone poisoned, he sure managed to hide his tracks well."

Kyran slid down the tree and stealthily went behind the man with the spear. With agile movements, he closed in on the man, grabbed the chin and back of his head, and snapped it.

"Hm– !" the man could only give a muffled cry before he passed out and let go of his spear.

'One.'

Kyran anticipated this. He deftly caught the man. Then he used the arched portion of his foot to prevent the spear, from hitting the ground. Immediately lifting his foot and catching the spear with his right hand.

After that, he laid the man on the ground and followed the other two.

"Doesn't matter. As long as the array is activated, he's as good as caught."

The two kept on talking and did not notice what happened.

"What do you mean about that?" Kyran asked.

"What? Did you forget?" The man with the crossbow slowly turned. "Captain Vera included an isolation array around – what the hell – !"

Kyran shifted his weight to the left side holding the spear. The moment the man faced him, he swept the spear and hit the side of the man's body. Without breaking his momentum, Kyran stomped his right feet on the ground and forcefully hurled the man toward a tree.

"Argh!" the man hit the tree.

"When did you!" the man with a melee weapon already turned after hearing the noise and immediately rushed to attack Kyran.

Kyran turned his attention to the other man. He lifted the spear and blocked the man's attack using the spear's shaft.

Due to the force of the man's attack, the shaft broke into two.

Kyran immediately tossed the part with the blade and retreated, while keeping the other end of the spear.

"Where's Den?" the man demanded and rushed to Kyran once again.

Kyran jumped to avoid the man's attack.

The man's fist hit the ground, and the area exploded.

'Such a heavy blow!' Kyran was shocked. He only witnessed such strength from some of his instructors at military school. And those guys were huge men compared to this army person.

The man looked up and glared at Kyran, "I don't care even if you are a student at the military school! I'll show you what a combat mage can do!"

He jumped, arching his back to add momentum to his fist and punch toward Kyran who was still airborne.

Kyran dragged the broken shaft and countered the man by hitting his fist.

Because of Kyran's counter, the man's punch was deflected a few millimeters.

"Rawrgh!" the man bellowed and prepared a follow-up attack using his other fist.

Kyran switched to backhand and countered the man's other fist as well.

"What!" the man was shocked at how adept Kyran responded to his attack.

lightsΝοvεl ƈοm

With Kyran managing to counter the attacks, the man revealed an opening.

Immediately, Kyran launched his right knee and hit the man's stomach.

"Uff!" the man was thrown backward.

All this happened too fast and in the air.

The moment Kyran hit the ground, the man had flown a few meters away and hit his back on a tree.

Kyran did not go after him, instead, he went back to the man with the crossbow.

This man had just regained his senses after hitting the tree. But before he could stand, Kyran appeared and bashed the broken shaft on his head.

"Ack!" the man fell down and lost consciousness.

'Two.'

He finally rushed to the man with the melee weapon.

The man had just started to get up on the ground when Kyran appeared.

Without waiting for the man to react, Kyran also bashed the man's head.

The man fell face-first on the ground. "Ugh!" the man also lost consciousness.

'And that's three,' Kyran thought and finally gave a sigh of relief.

He remembered what the man with the crossbow had said and looked up at the array above.

'So, this array had an isolation array? And because of this, I am as good as caught, was it? These arrays sure are complicated,' he sighed.

"You can try to hide! But within this array, you cannot escape!"

The voice from earlier shouted once again.

Kyran frowned and looked up. He could not pinpoint the location of the voice, but it seemed closer.

'I wonder if he's that captain Vera these guys mentioned,' he wondered.

Even though he was not knowledgeable about arrays, in theory, anything that was created will lose its effect if the creator was gone.

'If I managed to knock him out, will this array be destroyed? Or do they use some kind of mechanism to create the array so whether the creator is gone or not, it will not be affected?'lightsnovel

Kyran sighed again. He really hated not knowing the answers to his questions.

Dismissing the idea of confronting the owner of the voice, Kyran made a mental note to study arrays after he escaped.

=========================

Vera stood near the edge of the Four-colored Ruin Array.

She was paying close attention to any movement that would appear near the array's edge. With the help of the isolation array, she could detect and prevent anyone and anything that would try to leave.

"Hm?" one of her men frowned. This man was looking at an orb. Currently, it was showed few small dots moving around.

"What?" Vera asked without looking. She clearly heard the concern in the man's voice.

"Captain, three of our men seemed to have stopped moving."

Vera frowned and looked at him, "For how long?"

"Going three minutes," he answered.

"Just three minutes? Why are you making such a fuss," Vera raised an eyebrow.

"But earlier, they seemed to be moving at a very fast pace."

"Moving at a fast pace, then stopping for three minutes? Did they change direction?"

"Indeed, they had changed direction quite a few times before stopping."

Vera looked at the orb and fell silent. After a few seconds, she nodded and said, "Give me the coordinates. I'm going in."

"Yes, Captain."

=========================

Dior fell to his knees. Blood gushed out from where the black spikes had pierced his body.

The cloaked man hiding in the shadow was amazed. He thought his attack would kill this man. He did not expect this man to end up only suffering from severe wounds.

"Phew! You have such good magic defense."

"I'll kill you!" Dior shouted. Three red magic arrays appeared and circled around his body. His eyes blazed red and flames started to envelop him.

"I've heard that a lot of times. Yet here I am."

"You talk too much! Show yourself and fight like a man!"

"Oh, so you're going that route." The cloaked man sneered. He was never insulted whenever someone says a provocation at this level. To him, it actually sounded childish. Cliché even.

"Rawrgh!" Dior roared. The flames around his body ignited. But because of this, his wounds were aggravated, and he vomited blood.

The cloaked man chuckled. "Easy there. Did you really think that my attack will be that simple?"

"Don't care!"

Dior blasted his flames indiscriminately around him.

'This guy has gone nuts,' the cloaked man thought. Shaking his head, he finally revealed himself. He could not let this guy burn all these poor trees.

Dior turned to his right and saw someone appear shrouded in a black mist.

"Now you show yourself! Die!"

Without further ado, Dior rushed toward the black mist. His fist was blazing.

"Tsk. Idiot," the cloaked man said.

As soon as Dior entered the mist, the black mist turned to small sharp needles.

Amidst these needles, the cloaked man stood.

"Black Rain!" he said, and the black needles attacked Dior.

"Flame Barrier!" the flames around Dior's body created a defensive shield around him. Even then, he was not able to block all the needles. His clothes tore from the onslaught, and he suffered a lot of cuts.

Ignoring the cuts, Dior urged the flames around and encircled the cloaked man.

"Burn!"

The cloaked man sneered, "Too predictable."

The cloak the man was wearing suddenly moved and circled him.

"Reinforce!"

Soon the cloak hardened and blocked the flames.

Dior's eyes widened. 'Is that a magic item?'

Their attack stopped at the same time.

Dior stood his ground. He was already covered in blood, but his eyes showed a determined look.

The mysterious man stood opposite him. His cloak still circling around him, but this time its texture has returned to normal.

Dior stared at the man's face and was surprised.

The mysterious man looked young, around his late twenties to early thirties, though he had light grey hair.

Contrary to Dior's initial impression, the man did not look gruff. He actually looked 'cleaner', with short hair, dark eyes, and just a few days old stubbles on his face.

But Dior was not surprised about the man's cleaner appearance. He was surprised because he recognized this man.

"To think I'll be able to meet a High Master Abjurer. No wonder your magic can be hidden."

"Oh?" the man sneered. "It seems you know who I am. But seriously, did you really think that's the reason why the array did not detect my magic?"

"Isn't it? Why don't you enlighten me, Black Steel Nolan?"

The man named Nolan smiled. But it wasn't a friendly smile. In fact, it held a sinister feeling.

"Well then. Seems like I can't let you go now," he said, his murderous intent suddenly exploded.