A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 288

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel


Chapter 288. Rhapsody (3)



Brigant, the Artemis Church’s flagship, was cruising through the dark sky, despite the torrential rain and cutting winds. On top of its bow stood Priscilla Haicilkite, wearing a nun’s ceremonial funeral robes, adorned with crimson red trim and a deep black stole.




She glanced down with an emotionless face. The lights adorning the Empire’s roads were buzzing from afar. The entire city before her had a massive defensive spell array encapsulating it, and numerous knights were standing in formation, ready to block the advancing Holy Paladins.




“Finally… ”




The time to act had finally arrived. Their plan had been in the works for several decades. Priscilla had been making connections in secret, growing the power of the Artemis Church across the continent. Powerful knights had left their kingdoms, trading companies gave them good deals, and she had even gained the power of the Outsiders. All their previous efforts had culminated together, and they were currently marching towards the finale.



“We’re ready, Saint.”




Three figures stood behind Priscilla.




One of them was a tall handsome man. If an angel came down to Earth, it would have looked like him. He wore dazzling silver armor.




He was the leader of the Paladins, someone who had led the Artemis Church’s forces for a very long time.




There was another person standing beside her, a man that wore a pierrot mask. He was leaning precariously far over the railing, unphased by the prospect of death while staring at her.




Finally, there was a single woman dressed in a traditional nun’s habit, who had been walking on eggshells for the past hour. Every one of her actions was timid in nature, and she clutched her holy book tightly. Her chest bore a badge with the inscription of an upturned cross, the signal of the Inquisitors of the Artemis Church, their most fanatical and devoted followers.


“They are such pitiful people.”




Priscilla spoke without looking back.




That was extremely generous for a label for an enemy. It was so generous that it was nearly touching.




“A flock of sheep that shiver with endless fear for a tiny turmoil and struggle eternally. They’re the living proof of the absence of the Goddess.”




If any priest of the Artemis Church heard that, they would have been horrified.




Nobody questioned her remark, even though what she said was enough to brand her as a member of some cult. Conversely, she was a Saint.




“It’s time for the true redemption of mankind that humanity attempted at one time.”




“But, Your Eminence… ”





It was the nun who spoke up.




She continued, lowering her head as Priscilla turned her eyes towards her.




“One thing I’m concerned about is that I am unsure if it’s the right thing to do… to use such cruel methods.”




Her eyes were darting around anxiously. Traces of her fear towards the Saint could be seen in her eyes.




“Sister Rhea, you don’t need to be afraid. I understand your concerns. I would have gladly chosen another way if there was one.”




Priscilla grinned. She asked Rhea who was about to smile back awkwardly.




“But Sister. Look at this world. Are you aware of how much pain there is in this world?”


Rhea could not help but hesitate at the sudden question.




Priscilla’s smile started clearing up slowly. The look on her eyes froze icily.




“Burning, stabbing, cut wounds, lacerations, abrasions, and contusions. The pains from split and torn skin, burst intestines, decapitated heads, and crushed limbs.”




For a brief moment, the leader of the Holy Paladins and Priscilla made eye contact, before quickly averting their eyes.




“There’s more pain other than what comes from a human's senses. An epidemic, starvation, natural disasters, and catastrophe. Not to mention man-made calamity for the sake of profits and ideology: war. This world is indeed full of immense anguish.”




*Drip*




The rain was coming to an end. The moonlight broke through and the clouds soon cleared.



“Do you think this world is right, Sister?”




“I do not.”




Rhea shook her head. The fear on her face faded away slowly. Rather, it started filling with ecstasy slowly. Priscilla smiled before continuing.




“This world is wrong. The fundamentals of it are wrong, to begin with. We need sincere redemption. This war started in order to do that. That’s right. This is a jihad, a mighty holy war, which will redeem all of mankind.”




Priscilla’s tone was passionate. Her whole heart was in it. She gave up everything solely for this. Status as a religious body, honor, friendship, emotions. All of them.




Because she believed it was right.




“Trust in me, Rhea. The world will be redeemed by me, and it will be born again as an absolutely flawless world where there is no pain.”




“Ah, Your Eminence.”




Rhea began to grin with an emotional groan. Her lips stretched up to her cheeks. Her wide veiny eyes were imbued with lunacy.




“The results of this war will dictate whether we can carry out this world’s redemption. Regardless of means or sacrifice, that redemption will be a reward everyone can bask in. So Rhea, as the Saint, I command you to treat anyone that blocks your path as a heretic.”




“I will gladly obey your command, Your Eminence.”




Rhea answered swiftly, grinning from ear to ear and flicking her tongue.




Priscilla now turned her eyes from her to look around.




While making eye contact with each one slowly, she began to speak again.



“Today, it’s finally time to end this fabricated world.”




* * *




The sky cleared over the eastern ramparts of Dresden. It was silent, save for the icy cold winds ripping through blond hair. The middle-aged man carried an overwhelming presence, matched only by his gigantic build and piercing blue eyes. He had already saved the Hebrion Empire from a civil uprising in the past, and he wasn’t going to let this final gateway fall today.




Guiltian Zedgar F Rogfelas.




His gaze swept past their frontlines and into the slowly fading darkness. Until just now, heavy clouds had swallowed the moonlight and shielded their enemy. The wind continued to blow, fluttering his white-blond hair as though it was a mane on a lion, lying in wait for its prey.




“Are they coming?”




*Rumble*





Beneath their feet, the steel rampart began to tremble with the vibrations of the planet’s crust. Though it was faint, the intensity gradually increased. A silver light began to pierce the weakened darkness, the signature shine of the Artemis Church’s Holy Paladins.




As they came into view, the silence that had overcome the rampart was replaced with agitation. It was a natural reaction; anyone who was aware of their opponent’s strength would do the same. The army before them was twenty thousand strong, and each individual was a well-trained knight capable of using aura.




No single army was as powerful as them. Not only were their combat skills frightening, but many of them had received a Blessing of Light, which granted them abilities verging on the realm of superpowers, far outclassing the versatile uses of aura. Each Blessing manifested in a unique variety, but all of them carried unpredictable power that defied any classification system used by the world at large. Their strength lay in a different plane altogether.




‘It’s practically like fighting a knight and a magician at the same time, while also dealing with unpredictable variables.’




Mundane strategies would prove useless against them, as they failed to operate under normal rules. That alone made them stronger than any other foreign adversary that had attacked Dresden in the past. They had instantaneously captured several cities, but that was where their insults would end.




“Swan.”




As Guiltian spoke, Swan walked forward from the darkness and kneeled down in front of him.




“Get ready for it.”




“Your wish is my command.”




Swan faded away somewhere.




Then immediately.




*Buuuzz*



An alarm blared throughout the rampart, a starting signal for the individuals positioned in the five nearby watchtowers. Each tower hosted four magicians, all Sixth-Circle. Together, they accounted for well over half of the magical military force the Hebrion Empire could summon.




With the signal given, they all began to invoke a spell, this one consisted of an eerily different magical array. Though they should have been finished being arranged, they all continued to spread out like sentient vines, becoming entangled with one another before becoming entangled with the other watchtowers.




The spell arrays of the royal magicians encompassed the sky over Dresden.




“This… ”




Other magicians understood the significance and admired it.




Enormously complicated spell arrays made by several magicians were connected organically like an orchestra, uniting and completing a single spell.




“Commence interception.”




Guiltian had given the order. A flash of light sputtered from each lookout tower.




[Baptism of Ruin]




The beam swept the ground and stretched out towards the Artemis Church’s army, each soldier no bigger than ants at this distance.




*BAM*




The tremendous blast resounded. The soldiers of the Empire strained themselves to not break formation.




Soon the shockwave it left behind as it passed overhead abated, and what they witnessed after they narrowly regained their formation was an immense explosion.


*BOOOM*




The shocking blast echoed through the mountain range around Dresden. The heat was so powerful that the icy winds were shoved aside as a wave of heat passed over the rampart.




“Whoa… ”




The magicians quietly marveled at it. What they had just witnessed was twenty Sixth-Circle mages coming together to fire a Seventh-Circle spell, the strongest attack humankind was capable of.




Although the spell was completed successfully, Guiltian had a dull face. This was not the end of it. He opened his mouth with a calm attitude.




“Commence.”




[Nuclear Stream Burst]




The sight of not one, but two Seventh-Circle spells being fired


in succession was unreal. The view left behind was nothing short of a disaster.




Someone let out a smirk.




“Well, we might have to draw a new map after this.”




Before Desir Arman appeared, the only magician in the highest echelon of power was Zod Exarion, who was decidedly independent of any one nation’s command. Genius was a gift bestowed by the heavens, so all they could do was wait for a transcendent individual to appear. Therefore, Guiltian’s stopgap was simple.




Quantity.




If they did not have a genius with one in a million talent, then they would have to make do with twenty gifted magicians who had one in fifty-thousand. With their combined power, they could invoke spells with power that only Zod Exarion and Desir Arman could use.




*BAAAM*





As the bombing continued, the frustration on the soldiers’ faces diminished. The morale of the army, who had previously cursed their fate, soared endlessly.




Meanwhile, Guiltian opened his mouth.




“They betrayed our loyalty.”




The army gazed at Guiltian.




His voice solemnly resonated from where he commanded atop the rampart.




“At the same time, they invaded this land where our families established, harmed our citizens, and also aimed to take control of this great empire. What do they look like in your eyes? Do they deserve mercy?”




He lifted his sword.


Guiltian declared in the tense atmosphere.




“Today those fanatics will pay for coveting our empire.”




Hebrion soldiers let out a ferocious war cry.




The Sun of Hebrion made his first move.






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