I Reincarnated As A Stick Book 4 Chapter 324
Volume 4: Inevitable Destiny Chapter 324 An Unsatisfying Victory
"Now how the heck did that happe?!" Just before Argentum could finish his question while he was still in awe as to what was happening, the now Volcanic Serpent Monarch hastily slithered to where he was, changing its mode of attack from throwing stuff made out of earthto shooting beams of energy from the pointy tip on its head.
Without any hint that it was going to attack whatsoever, a beam of red and brown light that intertwined around one another was shot towards Argentum, who was currently running farther away from the snake as of this moment. Thanks to his enhanced senses, he was able to notice that the large snake was attacking in the same style as before, though it was now more effective due to it evolving to the next grade. Since the buffs he had cast on his body were all of the buffs he had in his arsenal, he went ahead and hastily redirected part of his attention towards a certain portion of his upper torso, the gap where the Tome of the Four Elements lied.
Not long after, he conjured tendrils inside this gap and used it to skim through the pages of the tome to the part where it talked about the fusion of the Wind and Fire element. Fortunately, the tome tackled the part that he crucially needed to get more leeway, hastily commanding his tendrils to absorb all of the information inside that part as he tried to make sure that he wasn't letting panic consume him.
Although it only took around 10 seconds or so for the information to be absorbed and processed in his mind, these 10 seconds felt like minutes since the snake continued to shoot the beam at Argentum. It was unlike before where there was a moment of respite between each throw of a spike. Trusting in his abilities in manipulating energy, he went ahead and moved all of the buffs on his body that were of the Wind and Fire element towards his head. Not long after, he infused more energy towards these buffs to allow them to form bridges that connected each other, letting one buff boost the other, while the same happened in reverse.
At first, the bridge he created took a second, but it did not take long for him to become more proficient at it, forming hundreds bridges that connected the buffs together within the two seconds that spanned after that. Two more seconds pass by, and there were now thousands of bridges that connected the buffs together, allowing the exchanging of energy between the buffs to happen more frequently.
Coincidentally, it was at this moment that the beam following behind Argentum was now only a few decimeters away from hitting him. Of course, seeing this had made the snake happy since it was now getting to see the downfall of the being it once considered a weakling. Unexpectedly, before that could happen, it seemed that the being it oh so wanted to kill at this moment had gained wings, increasing the gap between the beam and itself to the point where the beam now had a hard time catching up.
"[Zephyr Ignis Ouroboros Magic: Symbiotic Resonance]!"
And just like that, the problem of Argentum being lacking in the area of stats had been alleviated to a certain extent, allowing more of his logical and rational side to gain control while his panic slowly died down. Nevertheless, he knew that only his strength and speed had boosted to around the same level as the Volcanic Serpent Monarch. If he allowed one of the snake's attacks to hit him, then he would surely be out of commission.
Then again, with him being able to dodge the large snake's attacks without a problem once more, he was now able to ask the disembodied voice yet again as he asked it, "How the heck did my opponent evolve to the next rank all of a sudden?"
"Although it seemed to be due to sheer luck, in fact, the Mountain Serpent King was already on the verge of evolving in the first place," the disembodied voice hastily replied as Argentum continued to run from the beam from time to time. Not only that, but the Volcanic Serpent Monarch decided to shoot more beams of energy towards Argentum, making it harder for Argentum to dodge. Of course, in reality, Argentum just thought of the additional beams as a slightly bigger nuisance.
"This Mountain Serpent King had been the ruler of a territory filled with snakes in the inheritance's makeshift wilderness, which meant that it had already reached the peak of power for quite a long time. Who knew that the catalyst it needed to evolve to the next rank was your attack?" the disembodied voice continued, prompting Argentum to ask, "Will the inheritance repay me for this blunder?"
"Of course, it will," the disembodied voice replied as Argentum went ahead and sent out an attack imbued with the Wind and Fire element to distract the snake for a bit. "Even if you lose against your opponent in its current form, the inheritance will still consider you to have passed the first trial."
"Lose?" Argentum could not help but repeat the word, instantly thinking why the disembodied voice would think that way. From its perspective, it seemed like he was at his wits' end, with the large boost in speed only being due to a sudden comprehension of some sort. In reality, he felt like he just needed a bit more time to find a way to defeat the Volcanic Serpent Monarch, knowing that the Tome of the Four Elements he had would definitely have a technique or two for something like this.
But just as he was about to skim through the tome once again, his thoughts shifted towards the name of the beast he was up against.
"Volcanic Serpent Monarch" Argentum muttered to himself, not taking long for him to find a way to defeat thesnake that was seemingly revived after being beaten close to death. With a deep breath, he stopped in his tracks, allowing the Volcanic Serpent Monarch to drop its defenses as it became joyous that it would now be able to kill him once and for all.
Naturally, that meant that the beams it fired towards Argentum were now converging towards where he was, the power in a single beam enough to vaporize him out of existence. In contrast, he let out a light sigh as a cyan haze appeared on both of his hands as he said, "Now that I think about it, this skill is definitely fraudulent. In any case, it's definitely better than losing."
While waiting for the cyan haze around his hands to thicken, he kept his eyes on the beams that were heading towards his way, as well as the position and possible emotion of the snake he was up against. By the time the beams were only about a meter away from him, he utilized the entirety of his buffs to speed up his descent to the ground as he slammed both of his hands on the ground as he shouted, "[Niflheim Horizon]!"
As if it was a deadly virus, a layer of cyan-colored ice had appeared around Argentum before spreading towards the Volcanic Serpent Monarch at breakneck speeds, catching the large snake off guard. Before the large snake could put up its defenses, the cyan-colored ice had already covered its surroundings, reducing the snake's defenses to an incredibly low level as a faint layer of ice covered its body. In fact, if one looked at the snake closely, the viscous red fluid flowing between the seams of its scales had now solidified into a maroon-colored rock.
At this moment, the Volcanic Serpent Monarch could not move its body anymore, though it could still move its eyes to look at what its prey was about to do to it. Surprisingly, as it watched the opponent it was up against gradually getting closer to it, it felt like its opponent did not want to do something like this, but had to since it was up against someone as strong like the Volcanic Serpent Monarch.
After evolving to the next rank, the Volcanic Serpent Monarch could now sense more than ever before, finally getting an idea of what was about to happen to it. Although it could escape, it felt like its end would still be inevitable, so instead of becoming angry at the one it thought as a weakling, it had accepted its fate as it now considered the weakling as someone superior than it
Though in reality, it still continued to squirm around in its encasing, wanting to achieve greater power in the future. Of course, Argentum wouldn't let that happen as he looked at the large snake and sighed. He then raised his hand as multiple motes of cyan light appeared near the ceiling of the hall. If one counted the number of motes, then it would come to a total of 81.
"Well, I guess you can consider it your luck that you're going to die under this move," Argentum said before letting out a disappointed sigh. "But to be honest, I really don't want to do this. This victory feels so unsatisfying. Anyways"
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"[Eighty-One Meteors of Frozen Grandeur]!"
Bang! Bang! Bang!
In less than an instant, the 81 motes of cyan light had expanded into large meteors of ice, crashing against the snake's body encased in ice as loud explosion sounds reverberated throughout the hall one after the other. Eventually, the explosions stopped, revealing the aftermath of the skill Argentum had cast.
It went without saying that the snake's existence was nowhere to be seen at this point. Well, if one looked closely, then tiny ice shards that contained the bits and pieces making up the Volcanic Serpent Monarch could be seen scattered throughout the hall amidst larger ice shards. Other than that, the current sight was akin to an icy wasteland, the exact opposite of what the hall looked like before.
With a long sigh, Argentum deactivated [Niflheim Horizon], removing the layer of cyan-colored ice on the ground as he could not help but say, "If I were up against a Rank 5 Animate, then I might have thought that using something like that would have been satisfying. Nevertheless, the true power of [Sage's Water Magic] is incredibly terrifying."
"No, wait. It's better to say that achieving the True Element level of affinity on an element is the terrifying one," Argentum continued, his previously rekindled flame to achieve the True Element level of affinity for the other elements now rekindled once more. Although he wanted to do just that, he knew that he was not in the right place at the moment, placing the thought at the back of his head as he waited for the disembodied voice to announce the end of the first trial.
Fortunately, it did not take long for the disembodied voice to do so. In fact, a hint of disbelief could be heard from its voice as its voice reverberated throughout the hall, "T-the inheritor has defeated the Rank 4 Volcanic Serpent Monarchsignaling the successful end of the first trial"
"Due to unforeseen circ.u.mstances, the inheritance has decided to bestow the inheritor a chance to obtain skills or items within the inheritance on or under the Prodigy grade," it continued, only to say soon after, "No, wait. Scratch that. The inheritance has decided to increase the inheritor's grade to Chaos Prodigy grade, the grade after Prodigy. With that, the inheritance has decided to bestow the inheritor a chance to obtain skills or items within the inheritance on or under the Chaos Prodigy grade."
"Chaos Prodigy grade, huh," Argentum muttered to himself, excited to see what he could obtain with a heightened grade. Then again, he was also nervous of what would happen in the subsequent trials now that his grade had been upgraded to another level. Nevertheless, he knew that there was no point thinking about the future right now, prompting him to head towards the doorway that had just opened, allowing him to head back to the seemingly lavish room he was in before.
On the other hand, the disembodied voice was left on its own in the hall, resounded throughout the hall for a bit as it muttered, "A being that's well-versed in the four elements, has a superb level of comprehension skills, and is a Pseudo-Animate on top of that? Only one being fits that criteria."
Soon after, it let out a light yet mischievous giggle as it continued, "Heheheto think that he would enter my inheritance."
"It seems we're truly fated to meet."
"I wonder what kind of expression you'd have when you see me again?"