Array of Illusions (4)
Drop after drop of blood fell to ground from my sword.
Looking at the remaining four assassins, I let out a soft chuckle.
“One less, four remaining.”
“Bastard!” The other eight-layer assassin cried in rage and charged towards me. But before he could touch me, the tenth-layer assassin shouted.
“Number Four, follow the plan! Number Two, Number Three, help him! I’ll avenge our brother!”
The assassin called Number Four instantly stopped and shot me a hatred-filled gaze. He then turned around and once more charged towards the girls, this time accompanied by another two assassins.
With their high cultivations, the assassins needed less than one second to reach the girls.
I raised an eyebrow in surprise. It looks like I’m not the only target of this attack.
However, they were dreaming if they thought they could kill someone under my watch.
Without looking at the three assassins, I released three sword thrusts. For an instant, distance seemed to lose its meaning, and the twenty meters between us were compressed into nothing.
The assassins were unable to react to my attack. Under their astonished gazes, my sword attacks broke through their defenses and penetrated their skins.
But at that moment–
A blade appeared.
Using a similar method, the tenth-layer assassin sent his blade through space and blocked my attacks.
At the same time, another blade suddenly appeared behind my back. The mana-infused blade cut through the air at frightening speed, arriving before me almost instantly.
“Space laws?” I was slightly surprised, but it was not enough to stump me. With a relaxed step, my body seemed to melt into space as I evaded the sudden ambush.
Then, the three sword strikes from before fused into one. The tenth-layer assassin, that had stopped my last attack, felt a powerful strength impacting his blade. Then, the new sword strike cut through the blade and appeared before the assassins once more.
The process was almost instantaneous. Before the three assassins could rejoice for having survived the last attack, a new and more powerful sword strike was before them.
And this time, nobody could save them.
The sword strike cut through the three assassins’ necks simultaneously. The next second, blood rained inside the cave, painting the dark walls with a blood-red color.
Fortunately, Louise had erected a barrier beforehand, so none of the blood fell on the girls.
“Brothers!” A cry full of pain resounded in the cave. The last assassin looked at the scene of his dead companions and cried tears of blood.
His friends, his brothers, the people that he considered his family. All of them were dead.
All killed by me.
“Ahhhhhhhh!!!!” His grieving voice silenced all the other sounds. He looked at me with so much fury that his eyes turned red, and then, he attacked.
“Die!!!!!!” Without warning, tens of blades appeared in the air and flew towards me. The pitch-black blades seemed to fuse with the darkness of the cave, becoming almost completely undetectable.
But it was useless. With a twist of my wrist, my sword fused into space and appeared in tens of places at the same time, blocking each blade perfectly.
It did not stop there, however. The sword also appeared in front of the last assassin, piercing towards his heart.
But this assassin was much stronger than the others.
When my sword was about to kill him, he disappeared. Instantly, he reappeared behind me with a blade in each hand.
His eyes had turned cold, and his expression of rage had turned into one of calm with just a tint of hatred. It was obvious that his reaction to the other assassins’ deaths was just an act to lower my guard.
But such tricks were useless against me.
Without bothering to turn around, I moved my sword towards my back and stopped the attacks casually.
Then, I looked into the assassin’s eyes and smiled.
Without warning, my hand appeared in front of him. The assassin was unable to do anything but see how his face was caught in a powerful grip.
The blood drained from his face. Feeling his impending death, he desperately activated his space laws, teleporting away an instant before his head was crushed into a paste.
He then reappeared away and looked at me with a look of fear.
I looked at the tenth-layer assassins and curved my lips up. “A user of space laws. How rare.”
The assassin did his best to put on a calm look, but his pale face betrayed him. He gulped down a mouthful of saliva and exhaled. “… Same here. It’s the first time I see another non-mage that can manipulate space. Who would have expected that Prince Claus was keeping such an ability hidden? And your cultivation is obviously above the fourth layer…”
“Surprised? It’s not easy to kill me huh…” I chuckled. At the same time, I made sure that the girls could not hear our conversation.
Although I’m pretty much sure that they already realized that my strength is not so simple as the fourth layer. I’ll have to do something about that later.
The assassin nodded wtih a grave expression. “It looks like today’s mission is a failure. Prince, you win this time, but your strength is no longer a secret. Next time, I’ll make sure of taking your head.”
After saying that, a portal appeared behind the assassin.
The assassin looked one last time to the corpses of his brothers and put on an unwilling expression, but remembering my strength, he entered the portal.
He knew that even if he wanted revenge, his current strength was not enough.
But in the next second, his expression changed.
“You… What did you do!?” An expression of pure terror filled his face. He looked at me as though looking a terrifying monster ready to devour him.
I simply smiled. “Apparently, my understanding of space is above yours.”
The assassin paled. He tried to activate the portal again, but it remained unresponsive. No matter how much the assassin tried to use it to escape, the portal did not respond.
“It’s useless.” I shook my head with an easygoing expression. “Did you think you could escape after trying to kill me?”
“Impossible! Impossible impossible impossible… It’s impossible!!!” The assassin yelled in fright. His eyes turned bloodshot and his gaze towards me had a hint of pleading.
But I did not care. He was an enemy, killing him without any form of torture was already merciful.
Seeing my look of indifference, the assassin kneeled on the floor in despair. He lowered his head and heaved a sight.
Then, he opened his mouth.
“Hahaha… Hahahahahaha! Hahahahahahahaha…!”
I frowned. “What are you laughing about?”
“… Do you think you won?” The assassin asked.
I remained silent.
“Hahahaha… Today, I’m destined to die, but before that… I’ll destroy your life!!!”
In an instant, all the mana inside the assassin’s body surged out. The powerful mana and killing intent filled the entire cave, even impacting the three girls inside Louise’s barrier!
His space laws were activated. Miraculously, the assassin’s space laws broke through the next level, making him even stronger. However, he did not use it to escape. No, he knew that escaping was useless. Instead, he put all his strength into one last strike.
This strike was incredibly powerful. The combined power of all his mana together with the upgraded space laws and the assassin’s determination to die brought the assassin’s strength beyond the twelfth layer.
It was for just an instant, but it was more than enough for him.
The space laws surrounded the assassin, allowing him to teleport to his goal. Then, he stabbed his blade.
… Right into Claire’s heart.
Time seemed to freeze at that moment. Claire looked as the blade penetrated her defenses, cutting her clothes and injuring her skin.
The overwhelming killing intent froze her thoughts. She could see the surprised look on Lena’s face and the despair appearing on her sister.
For some reason, although she did not know that the assassins were real, Claire understood the truth.
“I’m going to die.” She said inwardly.
But then, she saw something incredible.
The assassin opened his eyes in fear. He tried to force the dagger into the girl’s heart, but it could not move forward. Then, the frozen time came back to normal, and someone’s back appeared in front of Claire.
It was me.
“Useless.” I said indifferently. “You need to do more than this to kill someone I’m protecting.”
“N-No… Impossible… Impossible impossible!!! Why why!!!” The assassin yelled. He then attacked Claire’s again, but with his strength gone, I just needed to use my fingers to stop his attack.
“… Stop struggling, it’s useless. Now speak, why do you want to kill the girls?” That was the only doubt I had. Eldest brother only had enmity with me, it was unnecessary to kill the others.
However, the assassin smirked.
“Hah… Even if I die, I will not tell you anything.”
“Is it so…?” I looked at the assassin and touched his forehead with my index finger while lifting the corner of my lips. “You know, although I’m pretty good at using space, in fact, [Space] is not my strongest suit.”
The assassin opened his eyes wide. He felt something invading his mind, taking from him something more precious than life itself.
“… My true specialty is [Soul].”
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