"Your Young Eminence!" The elderly, green mustached third level Martial Moral priest, overseeing the safety of the Solar Basil Leaf and the Diluted Element, blurted.
At the instance of the nearby disturbance in the dark attribute worldly energy, he raised his guard, awaiting a culprit to appear in an attempt to steal the two treasures. When he saw a silhouette approaching fast, he prepared himself to attack; only, before he followed through with his countermeasures he discovered that the owner of the silhouette is Stelero Masr. Furthermore, he was not alone, accompanying him were six third level Martial Mortals, Sister Beatriz among them!
"Sister Iaura's treasures, where are they?!" Stelero Mars demanded.
"Still in the casing, Your Young Eminence, no one came to stealing them, yet". The green mustached priest said.
"Take them and hand them to me!" Stelero Mars barked. His fury skyrocketed. For the belonging of Sister Iaura to get stolen unacceptable and he was not willing to trust them being in anyone's hands but his own, Archbishop Silternja's, Cardinal Northstar's or the original owner, Sister Iaura.
"Your young-" The green mustached priest tried to persuade him otherwise. Right now the formation on the casing was a safety measure not even he could break.
"Now!" Stelero Mars roared, his white aura whipped, ensuing a threat for disobedience. Unlike Sister Iaura, his patience had only been extended to a select few of this remote mud ball's experts.
"Y-yes!" The green mustached priest answered and rushed to remove the formation on the casing.
Behind Stelero Mars, Sister Beatriz and the other five third level Martial Mortals had complicated looks on their faces, which they hurried to conceal. Stelero Mars has disparaged them, and one of the best formations the church had in Ercas Mir, a little too much.
The casing's formation was one of the most difficult to erect and break, hence dismantling it was a rigorous task on its own. The green mustached priest had to prevent the slightest err, else the formation will reassemble itself and His Young Eminence's patience will grow thinner, which he rather avoid at all cost.
"Well?" Stelero Mars stepped forward, inquiring. The casing's formation had a dark golden color when it was complete. As it is being dismantled or getting broken its hue becomes paler.
"Three seconds, Your Young Eminence, then I will be able to break it without worrying". The green mustached priest's only shortcut into pacifying Stelero Mars was to collapse the formation by force once its hue became light gold.
The ceiling of the third floor quaked and then crumbled. A pitch black figure descended from above.
Zax scanned the third floor, seeing whether there are enemies. 'Right, here is where the prizes are exhibited. Eh? Aren't they that Sister and Ascended Elite, Stelero Mars?' He did not expect to encounter them.
Actually, Zax did not even plan to steal the Solar Basil Leaf and the Diluted Element, in fear that he will not be able to break the formation on their casing and waste his life for nothing increasing the risk to them. Additionally, after descending to the fourth floor from the fifth he tried to break the walls to the outside of the Grand Abode, but the formation embedded to them required the span of time to break a blink will pass in, in other words, enough time for the church dangerous experts to catch up with him.
'What are they doing?' Zax wondered as he kept falling, awaiting contact with the third floor's tiles, to crush and proceed to the second floor and down.
"Him?!" Stelero Mars's reaction surprisingly was a bit faster than Sister Beatriz. He did not know Zax but he saw the faces of all the contenders and could recognize Zax's fake one even though it was the second stage of the Dark Titan Storm form.
Sister Beatriz was in the midst of uttering something when her eyes met Zax. Something in them, the darkness, seemed familiar, but before she could figure what it is, his pupils moved to His Young Eminence.
'Third level Martial Mortal?! An intermediate one, at that?!' Zax was confused. 'How did his cultivation improve so fast?! A little over a year ago he was just at the Peak of the Core Master realm! Did he use a third realm Pure Core to break through?'
His guess was correct. After nearly incidentally dying in Demirva Ridge and recovering due to the innocent mercy of Sister Iaura, Stelero Mars had an epiphany. His proud self who perceived and comprehended five bottlenecks of insight in less than a century, had realized that his pursuit for the sixth and last bottleneck is in vain and will remain unsuccessful even if we will leave the full fifteen hundred years life span of a Core Master. As such, he decided to finally break through to the third realm. Using three types of third realm Pure Cores, each separately sufficient for either the first, second and third Martial Mortal levels, to accelerate the process, he managed in about a year and couple of months to reach his current cultivation. His goal, as the goal of any in his shoes, was to reach as early as possibly to the Peak of the Martial Mortal realm and seek for Nature's graciousness for Evolutionary Ascension.
Stelero Mars's line of sight and Zax's intersected. Stelero Mars might have been in a lower phase than Sister Beatriz, but his understanding of the light attribute was far superior to her own in the windy attribute. As a matter of a fact, even a Beginner fourth level Martial Mortal could not kill him in a simple strike.
His eyes followed Zax's trajectory. Aware that he cannot beat him but the fluctuation of dark attribute energy, he still mustered as much light attribute energy as he could, intending to obstruct the obvious intruder to this Luminous Church of the Holy Palace.
Zax's noticed Stelero Mars's actions and his eyes radiated killing intent. 'Did he forgot the fear of death?!' His mind roared as he was ready to remind him by giving him a taste of past's events.
The dark attribute energy in his right arm transformed it to a black Dark Lance.
"This is…" Seeing the peculiar shape of the Dark Lance provoked ominous feelings in Stelero Mars's heart. He was sure that he had seen something like this before, but could not connect it to any battle or dark attribute energy technique in his recollection. Only when the intruder thrust did an image of a bitter memory resurfaced in his mind. "No", the tip of the Dark Lance was a two meters away. "It", it got closer, fast, already touching the golden ornaments of his white cleric robe. "Can't", it pierced the layer of protective light attribute energy. "Be!"
Forget "Beginner", even an Intermediate fourth level Martial Mortal will think twice before not putting everything into blocking the second stage of Zax's Dark Titan Strom form. The Dark Lance impaled Stelero Mars and continued to go forward, following the course of the yet to be complete motion.
The poor, elderly green mustached priest stood right behind Stelero Mars. Due to his cultivation he could perceive the tip of the Dark Lance piercing through His Young Eminence, advancing toward him. Simultaneously, due to his cultivation, he could not escape the tip of the Dark Lance when it reached his garments and stabbed; only utter a word of regret… "No!"
Lastly, the unstoppable Dark Lance skewered the almost dismantled casing's formation. The light golden hue of the formation flickered and disappeared is if it was turned off while the casing shattered to pieces.
As all of this happened , from the moment Zax's arm turned to a Dark Lance, to the destruction of the two prizes' casing, Sister Beatriz and the five third level Martial Mortals beside her had only accomplished one step toward Stelero Mars with the intention of assisting him, or rather prevent him getting killed.
As the following scene registered in the mind, they got even slower by the shock of Stelero Mars being dispatched and the two treasures free for the taking.
'The protective formation broke?!' Zax was just as much shocked. 'I must obtain them!' Greed instantly consumed him.
After struggling inside the Grand Abode, he started doubting his ability to break the defensive formation within the huge structure and for all he knew, when he got to the third floor, Stelero Mars could have ordered the reinforcement of the casing, not the opposite. The two prizes were treasures with the potential to change his Martial path, perhaps lighten the burden of its current predicaments… Even the Solar Basil Leaf, if not gifting it, he could trade it for something not necessarily of the same worth, but more useful for his present needs.
Snatching the two treasures, with but a thought he sent them to his spatial ring.
Zax's heart pounded in his chest from elation. All the hairs on his body perked up. He was hyped more than ever before in his life!
He stamped, breaking the floor, not yet did he find a wall which protective formation he could casually break. Descending to the second floor, his lips stretched and their edges curved up.
Still conscious and channeling all his light attribute energy to the hole in his stomach, to preserve just enough seconds for Archbishop Silternja or Cardinal Northstar to show up an save him, Stelero Mars saw the smile forming on Zax's face and for a single breath that smile did not look as hideous as it formerly was, but attractive, as if it belonged to a different person.
Sister Beatriz also caught glimpse of that smile, and it actually sent shivers down her back even more than the ugly one. Her soul and Stelero Mars's reeled as the both of them cried in their sea of consciousness. 'Impossible!'
With all the clues, at last they identified who the intruder is. Sadly, his growth was too astonishing, so much that by the time they shout for help, he will already be gone.
'Dammit! After going all out again, again I can't sustain this form for long, not for a chase!' Zax constantly weighed the possibility of the fourth and fifth level Martial Mortal experts of the church locating and pursuing him, and he knew that if it will happen, there would be a handful of places he could escape to, only if his transformation will not fail from exhaustion.
In the end, he could only hope to leave the Grand Abode through the main entrance.
A series of breaking resounded.
'They are coming!' Since he did not meet them, yet, Zax assumed that the fifth level experts of the church, Archbishop Silternja and Cardinal Northstar were really keeping guard and searching for the intruder, him, in the upper storeys of the Grand Abode, the most crucial areas in the monumental structure.
The two indeed dashed there, and with good reason, the seventh and the eighth floors had the Core of the vessel that carried the church, all those years ago, in space! It was a unique source of energy that, should it be tempered with, could wipe a quarter of the planet! Even Immortals will find it dangerous being in its blast radius.
'The exit!' Sweat trickled from his black forehead.
"Stop!" Two voices commanded and a pair of violet and crimson auras flared, blocking his escape route. They were two of the church six fourth level Martial Mortals Bishops, the men of the bunch.
Sparks of electric attribute energy popped around one man; flames of fiery attribute energy covered the other. They were in a tricky situation. The intruder gave the impression of a weak fourth level Martial Mortal, which together they could stop with not a lot of difficulty. However, they were inside the Grand Abode and therefore had no way of acting unbridled without damaging it. The only solution was to scare Zax into hesitation so Archbishop Silternja and Cardinal Northstar could arrive before he exit the abode and then who let's see what means of quick escape could he pull out from under his sleeve.
It was a solid plan, truly the best one could come up with in the same situation, and it would have worked if Zax was less aware of Archbishop Silternja's and Cardinal Northstar's imminent arrival, otherwise, how could a pair of fourth level Martial Mortals be a more frightening alternative?
They do not going all out, does not mean that he will show the same courtesy… "Fuck off!"
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