Chapter 126

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Frost Nova was a fourth-class ranged spell of the ice element.

“A high wizard!”

“Frost Nova can only be used by a 4th-class master, right?”

“Why is there a high wizard in a 2-Star quest?”

The mercenaries’ amazement was natural—high-ranking wizards were even more scarce than knights who could use Aura, particularly in Avalon. The Tower officially registered less than a thousand fourth-class or higher wizards. In contrast, the number of 2nd-class and lower, the “low-level wizards,” outnumbered them by a factor of ten.

Freezing air swirled around the monsters like a vortex, freezing the skeletons solid with an audible crackle. The Dullahans were slowed—the more they pushed their bodies, the more the ice crackled.

Then someone struck them. With just a punch, the frozen undead were blasted into smithereens. Like a barbarian warrior, the man’s pot-lid sized hands plowed through the skeletons.

“Just what you’d expect from Branch Manager Aiden!”

“I guess it’s true that he studied with Akshuler when he was a kid!”

“I’ve never seen someone smash a monster with their bare hands before. Imagine what Akshuler could do.”

While the mercenaries lavished praises on the man, Joshua carefully observed. He was particularly interested in his fists.

Abudaham’s Knuckle… I’m certain this man is Akshuler.

The continent had a long history, and a variety of storied weaponry. They were known as the Three Skies, Seven Names, and Ten Exotics—three weapons to shake the skies, seven weapons that would leave their mark in history, and ten exotic weapons. Akshuler’s favorite was Abudaham’s Knuckle.

It was an ancient weapon made by an ancient dwarven king from a single piece of mithril. The stories say he had a friend’s help.

Mithril was the ideal material for imbuing items with magic power. It was as hard as steel and very light, but only a skilled artisan could turn it into a true treasure. However, mithril was disproportionately costly—no amount of money could buy mithril. Crafting with it was practically impossible.

“I’d heard the rumors, but…” Seeing it in real life brought a sparkle to Joshua’s eye.

Abudaham’s Knuckle was invisible to everyone except Joshua and its wielder because of its inherent invisibility magic. Joshua was able to see through it because of his strength.

Aiden—Akshuler—swept through the frozen skeletons and slammed his fist into a Dullahan’s torso, stopping it dead in its tracks. Rather than the expected shattering noise, it boomed like a gong.

“Um… is the Dullahan too much for the manager?”

“That might be a bit much. Only Aura can hurt it—bare hands would be difficult.

No. Joshua shook his head.

Before their astonished eyes, the Dullahan’s body crumbled into dust.

“Waaaaaaaa!”

“That’s Aiden for you!”

“Hey, don’t act so familiar with the branch manager! This is why everyone looks down on us.”

“Then why are you so spiteful, huh?”

Beo shrugged at Dirk and then pumped his fists into the air.

“I don’t know! But long live Aiden!”

“Long live Aiden!”

Joshua laughed and stepped back. If this was his normal power, Joshua wouldn’t be able to match him at his best.

“Hey, newbie! Come on over here!”

“It’s like Dirk all over again.”

“Am I like that?”

The tension faded and the mercenaries gradually descended into a hubbub of chatter.

“Undead! Behind us!”

“B-Behind?”

“That doesn’t make any sense! Why are they acting like this?”

“It’s like someone’s commanding them…”

There had to be well over a thousand undead. Including lesser undead, about 2,000.

There were less than 200 humans here, even including support staff. They were massively outnumbered. The only consolation was that there were only three Dullahans in the rear group, rather than the ten in the front.

“I—Prepare for battle! Quickly!”

Joshua’s eyes were pointed at the front as the mercenaries moved. He was fully aware of the situation in the rear, but he paid it no more mind than he would put into paying for his dinner.

Or at the very least, my presence is not as strong here.

Given how quickly the undead moved, I had to wonder if there was one here. He didn’t feel its unique aura, though, which could only mean one thing. At this point, it’s possible to impart basic commands on advanced undead like a Dullahan. He pondered the battles of his last life. Hah… I need to do something. Sitting around is not my style. Joshua began to slowly push his way to the back.

“Hey!” Beo was shocked to hear Joshua’s relaxed footsteps. “There’s that crazy new bastard again!”

“Leave him be! Do you have the freedom to be worrying about some newbie? Be careful, everyone!”

“If he wants to die like that, let him die. Beo, don’t even think about taking money from a dead person.”

“What?! What are these things, anyways?”

The undead seemed to be wandering aimlessly at first, but now they were approaching with definite purpose. A Dullahan lifted his sword and stabbed it forwards, sending the skeletons and ghouls charging forward.

“T-This is crazy.”

“Lugia.”

[Oh, you wretched bastard! Sticking me in that closet for a whole day—Eh? What’s with those ugly bastards?]

Joshua ignored Lugia’s yapping and hefted the twin-pronged spear.

Magic Spear Arts, fourth stage.

The spear points glittered under the sun.

Fourth rite. Basic strike, starting from suction.

Joshua tightened his grip on Lugia. Channeling the mana gently around his body.

Yes… It’s not all about striking.

He harvested mana from the air at the end of the spear using his mana technique and breathing. The collected mana was precisely focused into a penny-sized stone between Lugia’s tines. Joshua smiled at the twin points hummed with an unearthly resonance.

The undead were fast approaching, and threatened to surround them at every angle.

Fourth stage, Oui. Joshua extended his spear.

“Annihilation.”

It sounded like a bubble popped.

The zombies were swept away by an exquisite beam of light.

“My God—”

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