Sage Nevar always knew there was a huge gap between a duchy and a kingdom.

It wasn't like the differences between provinces and duchies. While rare, there had been provinces that grew to be duchies.

But there had been no history, either in Jai Empire or in the Alliance of a duchy becomeing a kingdom.

There seemed to be a huge barrier between the two. Even though a few duchies blessed with an extreme talent managed to raise a genius to rank 8, those rank 8s were quickly absorbed into the kingdom.

Rank 7s were still fine. But rank 8s were the red line that duchies shouldn't cross if they didn't want to face the wrath of their superior.

So how big was the difference between duchies that didn't even have rank 8s and kingdoms that must have rank 9s?

Even in his fight against a rank 7 prince from the kingdom, the differences came about.

Palarin race were blessed with a natal treasure. Rudolph's treasure was a full body armor.

Even though it's badly damaged from the explosion and was virtually useless for his fights at his peak strength, it was offsetting at least 30% of every attack right now.

At its lowest, it was still so effective against a mid rank 7!

'Aghh! Why am I not born in a kingdom?' Nevar could feel his jealousy rising as his attacks failed to have the desired effect.

Their battle seemed like hide and seek.

Nevar would use his space attacks, try to injure Rudolph and succeed almost every time.

Rudolph would take the injury, quickly reach the Zion before he could teleport and attack him.

Nevar would manage to teleport at the last moment, but not without taking some damage.

Then he'd hide using his space powers and sneak attack Rudolph.

And rinse and repeat.

The battle should've been far more dynamic. But if things really went as they should, it would've ended very soon.

Prince Rudolph, despite his current condition, was after all the favorite of orthodoxy.

Due to his arrogance, he didn't carry any defensive or offense treasures that could give the output equivalent to a rank 7.

But in all his hubris, he still had treasures to help him escape precarious situations.

Of course, they needed some time to activate. But given how long the battle had already went, he should've vanished already.

He didn't.

That's when it became painfully evident.

Other than the two women who were fighting Daphne too far away for him to intervene, other than the annoying Zion who was trying to kill him, there was one more.

One more man, hidden away from his senses, using just the right amount of some strong power on his treaures every time he tried to activate them.

Boom! Kacha!

The sound of space shattering and exploding rang at the same time. Both Nevar and Rudolph coughed out blood, their powers steadily decreasing while their injuries steadily climbing.

The talisman in Rudolph's palm, a silver-shaped crescent with runic inscription, twitched violently before turning dead.

It failed, like all those before it.

'Fuck!' Rudolph's senses tried to scan for the intruder but that sneaky bastard was too good at hiding.

"Come out, you cowardly son of a bitch!" The Prince cursed with a red face.

He was already regretting not escaping right at the start. When he saw that it was a Zion who attacked him, Rudolph decided to get revenge instead of seeking safety.

It wasn't until 5th minute of the battle that he took out the talisman to teleport away.

But in those five minutes, something was happening. He couldn't pinpoint it back then but something was changing around him.

Was it space or time or the aura? He couldn't tell for certain.

Because of that 'thing', the talisman he tried to activate started to fail.

The one responsible for this battle to continue remained hidden in the ghost ship.

With some help from Oob, Varian managed to keep his traces mostly hidden.

To be honest, he lucked out by Rudolph's injured state. If not, the prince could've found him in the first three minutes.

Then, Boo or not, he'd be done for.

And yet, despite him using sliver powers continuosly to sabotage the prince's escape plans, the battle still tilted against them.

Prince Rudolph couldn't recover instantly but his divine path < Paragon Body > was far more resilient than Nevar's < Space Body >.

As a rank 7, Nevar had a lot of immunity to attacks thanks to how his body would blend into space and reduce damage.

But even that wasn't enough against the Prince's offensive. Adding insult to their problems, the Prince had plenty of supplements that could keep him going for days.

"Ugh!" Nevar shrieked in pain.

His hand blended deep into space to esacpe an attack, but the dagger dug deep into space and severed his hand.

Blood sputtered around for a moment before the space around his injury sealed up and ended the bleeding.

For all their power, rank 7s were still not gods. They couldn't stay alive without a proper body.

"Give up! You're not going to win this one!" Rudolph shot spear after spear at the Zion, each shot compressing and exploding space in its path, pushing the veteran into a precarious situation.

Despite being suppressed, Nevar didn't lose hope.

"Today is the day you die!"

He'd have panicked. But Varian gave him enough pep talk. So he knew the strategy of the battle.

'The path to victory isn't you winning. It is…'


Four blackholes assaulted the injured Daphne at once.

She was confident in handling them but without warning, a gray spar activated around her.

She panicked but it turned out they were just forming a barrier around them, preventing anyone else from observing what's going on here for a few minutes.

Daphne used her life powers to project her 'self' onto a distant space.

As the blackholes devoured the place she was at, she appeared in the far distance.

The barrier was still there and a question rang in her mind. 'But why?'

Right then, a sword of light and a sword of darkness reached her without any warning.

Accustomed to fighting their gravity and time powers, Daphne was caught off guard.

Especially by Sarah's light sword as she was only doing defense until now. So, Daphne didn't have the same vigilance towards her.

As a result, she managed to block off the sword of darkness using a last-moment shield but the sword of light pierced her heart and her torso completely exploded.