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Chapter 144: The Sage is Keenly Aware of the Herald’s Determination
The approaching tip of the spear was aimed at the custom-made golem’s chest.
Although I had immediately grabbed the incoming blade, the golem’s finger easily broke off from the impact.
The spear thrusted through without losing momentum.
The tip pierced through the chest of the custom-made golem then twisted.
The destructive power spread as the inner part splintered.
A series of explosions happened, triggered by internal malfunctions, and the incorporated parts were scattered.
The Valkyrie put a leg forward and pushed her magic power into her spear.
The custom-made golem’s magic inscription was completely destroyed.
Sparks flew out from various places and leaked black smoke as the golem ceased to function.
—I watched the turns of events from behind the Valkyrie.
I then raised my skeleton arm and constructed a spell at my fingertip.
The magic power compressed to its limit and then converted into ice, which I shot at a speed exceeding sound.
The ice exploded against the Valkyrie’s back.
The fragments also broke through her armor without resistance, smashing her shoulder in the aftermath.
The Valkyrie turned back in astonishment.
She pulled the spear out from the custom-made golem and rushed towards me.
She still made use of her ruined arm as she launched her attack.
I moved away using a transfer and activated a forbidden spell.
Ivy grew from the ground and tangled around the Valkyrie’s legs.
Even as the ivy set aflame, the Valkyrie cut it off.
Then I shot ice at her again.
The Valkyrie destroyed it using her spear.
There shouldn’t be time to detect it at this distance, was it just based on her intuition?
That was tremendous adaptability.
The Valkyrie glanced down at her torso.
There were holes in her abdomen and chest.
It was the wounds she received from a magic ray of light and shots of ice.
The bleeding was sluggish.
Perhaps there wasn’t much of it remaining to flow out of her body.
Her expression had paled like that of a corpse.
She muttered while facing the custom-made golem that was still lying on the ground.
“It isn’t complicated. I merely disconnected myself from the golem before I was stabbed.”
Then I transferred my original body to this location.
It was true that I was taken by surprise, but that didn’t mean it would defeat me.
This was the reason why I had used the custom-made golem to begin with.
Simply put, it was a substitute.
I felt bad for the director, who developed the custom-made golem, but I would use anything I could.
Because of that, it allowed me to launch a surprise attack on the Valkyrie.
However, it was true that I was convinced I might die from that attack.
Although I consciously tried not to let my guard down, she managed to do such a thing.
I have to be careful from now on.
Although the Valkyrie groaned in regret, she immediately made her move.
I used a magic-powered sword to deflect her powerful spear attack.
Then I stepped further and tore her wrist apart.
Even as the Valkyrie dropped her spear, she immediately grabbed it with her other hand.
Then I swung my sword downwards.
Although she managed to block it in time, the impact made the Valkyrie stagger.
It seemed that the injury on one leg didn’t allow her to sustain the force.
“Give it up. Your technique is no longer effective against me.”
I wielded my magic-powered sword as I eased forward.
The Valkyrie desperately tried to resist.
However, I had the upper hand in a high speed exchange.
The Valkyrie was gradually pushed back, and cuts steadily increased in number all over her body.
Sometimes, the blade managed to pierce her body.
Although it was a shallow wound, I managed to wound her forehead and heart region.
Even so, the Valkyrie didn’t stop.
Despite her weakened state, she never gave up and continued to aim for victory.
I began to feel suspicious about that, so I asked her.
“Why won’t you die? That’s supposed to be a fatal wound.”
The Valkyrie didn’t answer.
She simply kept moving her spear silently.
I parried it with the magic powered sword.
On the way, I struck at an opening in her stance and cut down the Valkyrie’s body.
The body, which was cut off at an angle, was only slightly smeared with blood.
The Valkyrie had a slightly bitter expression on her face.
However, she didn’t seem to be dying.
As expected, this is weird. She must be hiding something.
I observed the Valkyrie from a magical perspective.
I was conscious to not let any sense of incongruity slip away.
As a result, I managed to collect a lot of information.
I talked to the Valkyrie as I slashed at her.
“So you extracted your soul away. Where did you store it?”
The Valkyrie went wide-eyed and gritted her teeth painfully.
It seemed I hit the mark perfectly.
A soul was something that every human should have since they were born.
Yet the Valkyrie had no such a thing.
What she had in her body was a large mass of magic that was disguised as a soul.
Perhaps she used some sort of forbidden spell to pull her soul out and secure it in another place.
That would prevent the destruction of her soul and grant her pseudo-immortality.
She would still be able to move, even if she received damage that would otherwise instantly kill her normally.
“Well, that’s fine. Since you don’t have a regeneration ability, I’ll just have to destroy your body thoroughly.”
I attacked the Valkyrie with an onslaught of slashes.
Through the battle so far, I was able to grasp the abilities of the Valkyrie.
There was no need to be overly vigilant anymore.
She was clearly going all out earlier.
All I needed to do was to develop countermeasures tailored for each of her abilities.
I avoided her spear thrust and cut the Valkyrie’s knee in retaliation.
She lost her balance and almost fell to the ground.
She forcefully swung her spear in that state.
As I jumped lightly and avoided it, I flung my magic powered sword out.
The trajectory of my sword would have decapitated her, but it was deflected by the spear she pulled back.
“I… will! Set all the souls bound to that valley free…!”
The Valkyrie shouted with tears spilling from her eyes.
She stood up with her fully battered body, and her spear accelerated faster.
She struck with a series of deadly attacks as she advanced step by step.
However, reality was cruel.
None of her attacks managed to reach me.
And even though she managed to destroy my magic-powered sword several times, I managed to block all of them.
I also managed to counterattack the Valkyrie in between.
I first cut off her right arm, followed by her left leg.
Then I stabbed into each joint of her left arm and pierced her remaining right leg to pin her to the ground.
The Valkyrie couldn’t pull out the magic-powered sword and could only kneel in an odd position.
She glared at me with a face that was streaked with blood and tears.
It was a mix of anger, sadness, but no regret for her actions.
I told her.
“Do you have anything you want to say? I will hear your last words.”
“I don’t… want to be turned into an immortal…”
The Valkyrie said so with a thin voice.
When I heard her answer, I stiffened for a moment.
However, I immediately returned to my senses as I nodded.
“Very well. I shall accept your wish.”
A blue flame was emitted from my hand.
The flame wrapped around the Valkyrie and burned her down to her bones.
She perished, with nothing of her remaining, not even ashes.
Due to the complete loss of the flesh, the soul that was stored somewhere else would soon collapse.
In the Valkyrie’s case, her consciousness was within her body.
Thus, the leftover soul would be even more fragile and ephemeral.
There was no need to search for its whereabouts.
I looked at my one hand.
The tip of my elbow had melted and began to crumble.
The spell I used to burn the Valkyrie was called the flame of purification.
I was once known as the Sage and fought various demonkin.
There was a strong immortal among them.
To fight against the demonkin, I obviously learned to use holy magic.
However, if I casted it using the immortal’s body, it would damage myself like this.
Therefore, I basically couldn’t use it.
The reason I burned the Valkyrie using the flame of purification was to show my respect.
I thought it would be a worthy end for her.
Soul extraction was an act that caused unimaginable suffering to the user.
There was also a risk of failure, in which it would cause them to immediately die.
It was also avoided due to ethical issues.
The general perception of it was that casting it would make the person be considered as an immortal.
In other words, it was considered an evil spell.
Nevertheless, the Valkyrie had extracted her own soul.
She dedicated herself to the sole mission of destroying me.
She must have been conflicted before resolving to do so.
Her resolution was a genuine one.
It wasn’t something I ought to shame.
As I cut off my purified arm, I gazed at the scorched ground.
No trace of her remained.
The Herald known as the Valkyrie was completely erased from this world.
On the other hand, the bone arm that was rolling on the ground was making noises as it melted.
Its appearance was very ugly.
—I didn’t want to become an immortal either.
Instantly, I was repulsed by that thought.
Although I was incapable of the action, I felt like vomiting.
I shouldn’t think about it more than this.
It was a useless thought.
It was better to forget about it quickly.
After I recovered the custom-made golem, I immediately returned to the capital.
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