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Chapter: 408

Preparation 1

Point-of-View: Sylvar Miirphys

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About a week had passed since the temporary three-way alliance between Abyss, the Rustlands and Liberty had been formed, and we'd been making some relatively steady progress since then, I'd say. 

We'd decided to only gather those that were likely to be targeted by Samsara, since those that are weaker will probably only get in the way. Of course, it was very much possible that we'd end up including some that were not his targets, or conversely, exclude some that were his targets. 

But that's a risk we'll just have to take, and with no way of knowing exactly who his targets are, there's nothing we can do about it. For Liberty, that would just be us Elemental Sages, we weren't involving anyone else. 

Esta had wanted to be included too, but after assessing her powers, Kuro determined that she's unlikely to be a target. Of course, the final decision was left to us, and we decided that, yeah, we'll exclude her.

And her power level aside, another significant reason is that we'd need someone strong to stay behind and lead in case we die in the upcoming battle. Because, you know, that's a very real possibility. 

Abyss will be including a whole lot of people though, since Samsara is also targeting monsters, they'll be contributing the most numbers to this battle. I think the Rustlands are contributing about four or five people. 

To safeguard against Samsara's Divine Magic, Kuro was using the Divine Magic he'd gained from Sant to cast divine anti-infliction-spell enchantments on rings that he planned to distribute amongst all of us once he was done enchanting them. 

He was also keeping an eye on Idyll, what used to be the Laus Domain...he couldn't see inside of Samsara's barrier, so he was watching it from outside using his monsters. That way, if and when Samsara takes it down in order to come after us, he'll know right away. 

Meanwhile, in preparation for the upcoming battle, I was busy training, along with Bell and Vokkeg. There probably isn't much time left, so we need to sharpen up as much as possible. We were using the safety barrier spell that the humans had come up with, and I have to say, it was really convenient. 

It makes training so much easier, since we don't have to worry about injuring each other, we can go all out without holding back. And as it turned out, I was a much more efficient fighter than either of the other two, so I usually took the lead. 

Those months I spent running away from the pursuers than Sant sent after me had really made a difference, no doubt about that. I always had power, and a reasonable level of skill too, but my execution was really poor before. 

I'd make a lot of mistakes in real fights, stuff like letting down my guard before it's over and what not. But now, after having constantly been on high alert and running away from death for that half year or so, I can handle myself a lot better in a real fight. In fact, fighting feels a lot more natural now. 

Anyway, I was currently inside one of those safety barriers, taking Bell and Vokkeg on in a two on one bout... 

"Too slow!" I exclaimed, as I evaded Vokkeg's earth spikes with blasts of wind from my feet, before slipping behind him and tapping the back of his neck with the handle of my spear, "Stop leaving yourself open, anticipate my moves if you lose sight of me instead of freezing up!" 

He lost his arm in the battle against Abyss, but Kuro used the Restoration Magic he gained from Sant to restore the missing arm. Kuro also made it so that he can use his Earth Sage powers without needing the Earth Spirit's consent. 

"Yes, I am aware, but that is more easily said than done!" He responded, as a wave of spikes burst out from behind him...but I was already up in the air, having taken off the moment I felt the ground shift a bit, the brief instant where he froze being more than enough of an opening. 

I then easily evaded as Bell fired bolts of lightning up at me, before countering with a blast of wind, forcing her to dodge to try and avoid it...the moment she did, I swooped down towards her at top speed, increasing my momentum with concentrated jets of wind blasting out of my feet, closing in on her before she could even react. 

I tapped the middle of her neck with a finger, before shifting my momentum to zip upwards again, flying past her and back up in the air, hovering in midair as I let out a slow exhale. 

"Bell, you seem to put all your focus solely on evasion when you dodge, but you need to be ready to defend and counterattack while dodging too!" I instructed her. 

"Tch, as Vokkeg said, that is more easily said than done!" She responded with a look of frustration. 

We lived for decades in peace before all this happened, and now I see how that's affected us. Bell is one of the most highly skilled members of the other races, but her actual battle sense could be a lot sharper. 

After all, until the floating island was brought down, we never faced any situations that had even the slightest bit of real danger or urgency, so our senses weren't as sharpened as they otherwise could've been. 

I then fired sharp, narrow piercing blasts of wind down at the two of them simultaneously, Vokkeg began to raise a wall of earth in response, he was too slow to react, my attack reaching him and teleporting him out before he could fully raise his shield. 

As for Bell, she attempted to dodge it, and just about narrowly evaded it, but again, left herself open as she dodged. I fired another piercing wind blast down at her, and right as it reached her, she vanished...but I didn't see her reappear outside the barrier. 

I don't see her anywhere, which means-...I swiftly reacted and swung my spear up and across without missing a beat, I felt the blade hit something, before the crackle of lightning echoed out as my blade sliced through what felt like metal. And in the next instant, Bell suddenly appeared outside the barrier, as I completed the arc of my swing. 

Oh, I see, she timed that...right before my wind attack could hit her, she used a teleport spell to jump to right above me and then silently dropped down. What I felt at the end was probably her blocking my slash with a dagger...but of course, it wasn't enough to stop my spear. 

That said though, I only reacted to it by sheer instinct, it's not something I can confidently counter everytime. Basically, since she was nowhere in sight anywhere around me, I instinctively slashed at my blind spot above me. 

I ignored the blind spot to my back because teleporting behind me would have been pointless, since she can't fly, she'd have just fallen without reaching me. Well, unless she'd teleported directly behind me at point blank range, I probably wouldn't have been able to react to an attack from that close. 

But teleporting with that level of precision and accuracy is really difficult, especially in the middle of a fight, since you're constantly on the move. So, yeah, I was able to react, and thus, I win.

"That was impressive, how did you react to that?" Asked Vokkeg in awe, as I dropped down towards the ground. 

"Honestly? A mix of luck and intuition," I admitted as I landed, before turning to Bell, "That was a great move at the end there, you'd have almost definitely gotten me if you'd teleported a little bit more behind me instead of straight above."

"Being complimented for a failed attack is not very encouraging," She grumbled in response.

"Well, I mean...yeah, it failed, but it was still a really good move, there's no denying that. Anyway, how about we wrap it up for today?" I suggested in reply, "No sense in overdoing it, am I right?" 

"Yes, I am scheduled to assist with construction in a short while, so I was about to suggest the same," Responded Vokkeg in agreement. 

Since his Earth Magic is, by a distance, more advanced than anyone else's, he's been constructing our buildings and stuff in this area. 

"I can still continue for a while yet, but I suppose that is fine," Sighed Bell, standing up as Vokkeg left, fanning herself with her hand. 

I gulped as she stretched the front of her top to cool herself down, while inadvertently giving me a good view of her cleavage. A few beads of sweat were running down her neck, along her collarbone and trickled down her chest... 

"So, uh, hey...," I began kinda awkwardly. 

"Hm? What is it?" She responded inquiringly. 

"I was just wondering, uh...wanna have sex?" I blurted out before I could stop myself.

She's been a bit awkward around me since we reunited, but her being awkward is super cute, so I've been feeling just a little pent-up... 

"H-huh? Y-you idiot, d-do not say something like that so abruptly!" She exclaimed as her face turned red. 

"O-oh, uh...sorry. So, is that a no?" I responded sheepishly. 

"Hmph...of course not. C-come on, let us find a vacant hut or something," She muttered in response, turning away as the tips of her ears turned red. 

Despite the current situation and the upcoming battle, I gotta say...life is good right now... 

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