1

Slash!

The moment she reached her maximum height, to her utter shock, Sylvester was there, waiting for her on a light tile like an angel of death. He swung his spear at her face with all his strength. It smoothly burnished past her face, leaving a long streak of flesh wound on her cheek.

Blood oozed out of it, shocking her to the extreme as even harming her physically was impossible for most.

Thud!

Once they landed, she touched her cheek and saw her blood. "Ah… I had forgotten the colour of my blood. And you, Archpriest—You purposely hid you became an Archwizard? Now don't mind if I go a bit harder."

"Fuck!" It was all Sylvester could utter once he glanced at the sky.

He remembered that the codename of Lady Aurora was 'Thunderfall'. Why was she named that? He did not know, and it seemed he was about to learn it.

Boom!

The sky started to turn dark, with dense clouds overtaking and shrouding the sunlight. Then slowly, the thunder began to boom and flicker all around.

"Don't think you have achieved greatness by merely scratching me, Archpriest Sylvester. You have a long way ahead—But right now, feel the dread."

Sylvester quickly made space between himself and Lady Aurora. "Calm down, woman. Don't go overboard with your move. You might end up killing me."

But she merely smirked and showed no signs of taking back her attack. The thunderstorm slowly started to intensify, and nearby, Sylvester began to strike the ground. Where it fell, it left behind a fiery red spot as the ground heated to extreme temperatures.

'Alright, as long as it's just the thunder, I just need to redirect it.' Sylvester didn't feel too scared and instead covered himself inside a bog cocoon of the light shield. The shield was round and translucent, so he could see what went on outside.

Boom!

For the first time, the thunder fell directly on Sylvester's shield. Now, since his shield was made of light, definitely not a conductive material, the thunder just got absorbed into the ground after hitting him.

He smirked while looking at Lady Aurora. "It seems the Thunderfall has failed."

Boom!

Boom!

"Ah, I said it too early!" Instantly, stronger thunderbolts repeatedly struck the same spot of his shield this time and caused a crack to appear.

Boom!

Lady Aurora seemed not to go easy and kept the strike of thunderbolts concentrated on one spot. It was faster than the rate Sylvester could fix the shield with his light magic.

Bam!

"Fuck!" The thunderbolt finally entered his shield sphere. And then, the dance ensued since it was completely insulating. The thunder had nowhere to escape. So, it was just bouncing around while Sylvester jumped for his dear life.

He knew that the moment he opened the shield, he'd get struck by a dozen more thunderbolts as they were falling outside like literal rain. Now it all made sense why her code was 'Thunderfall'.

'This woman has gone crazy. Did I hurt her pride?' He wondered in silence and tried to find a way out.

He was in his chamber of misery as he tried to isolate the thunderbolt stuck inside his shield by making a separating wall. It was easy, but the thunderbolt was too fast.

'The only way out is down.' He made up his mind and quickly made the shield denser, not allowing Lady Aurora to see him inside.

Quickly, he created some clearance for himself to go underground. Then, he used the Earth runes to make a tunnel while maintaining the shield. It took nearly all his mental capacity to focus on two magical elements separately. But, slowly, it started to make progress.

In no time, he had enough space to crawl underground. But as he left the shield behind to act as a decoy, his focus flickered, and the wall separating the thunderbolt was freed, though thankfully, most of it got absorbed by the earth.

Bam!

"Aargh! Good lord... It hit my butt!" Sylvester now had the pleasure of knowing what it felt like to be hit in the back by thunder. It was not pleasing at all as he felt the burning, the sting and the vibrations.

But he was utterly focused on ending this battle now at all costs. If he couldn't defeat her directly, indirect means were always welcome. After all, in a real battle, all that matters is that you win—not how you win.

He dug the tunnel underground towards Lady Aurora. He had already calculated everything. He knew how far she was and how much he had to dig. Not to mention, he had left behind a rune to make it appear he was still making a shield when he entered the ground.

He moved towards her at great speed and slowly arrived just underneath her. 'Alright, the element of surprise is my only friend. She also underestimates me greatly. So, let's try this.'

Sylvester didn't have a large window of opportunity since he expected the light rune to vanish at any moment now. So, he focused all his magic towards the top and lightly dug up. Eventually, he felt he had come near the surface.

'Alright! One.. two… go!'

Woosh!

Boom!

"Take this!" Sylvester dug his arms out of the surface, grabbed the legs of Lady Aurora and pulled her down into the ground. He didn't waste a moment and used Earth elemental manipulation to fill the gaps and trap her completely.

At the same time, he claimed out of the ground and looked down at the protruding head of Lady Aurora smugly. "How does the dirt taste like, lady Aurora?"

"Pfft Haha… look again." She scoffed.

Sylvester looked down and found his feet were also in the grasp of Lady Aurora. He didn't feel them as it seemed she had caught him right when he was getting out. He realised he was never that far ahead of her as she could quickly negate everything with her enormous strength.

"Archpriest Sylvester, you have genuinely baffled me with your improved battle tactics and presence of mind. But you can never win against raw strength unless you inflict a killing blow. Me being dug into the ground is as much of a hindrance as standing in water.

Sylvester sighed. "So, what now?"

"Accept defeat, or else I won't pull you into the ground, but rather break your ankles. Isabella can easily heal them, but you will feel pain." Lady Aurora threatened.

"I'd tell you to reconsider, Lady Aurora. I still have one last move! It may not kill you, but it can certainly do something worse!"

He quickly placed his right palm near his chest while looking down. It was facing the head of Lady Aurora. Then, he started singing a hymn, and a halo appeared behind his head.

♫O' holy ethereal light of the lord.

Shine bright for the sake of your bard.

Rests my enemy under my feet–our fight stalled.

May your light burn—so she may be left bald!♫

"What!" Lady Aurora was alerted by the word 'bald'. She loved her hair like any other self-respecting woman. They were the love of her life as they made her appear feminine—her silky, shiny, beautiful brown hair.

♫Bald! Bald! Bald! She smiles so smugly!

O' lord, may my light turn her fugly!♫

Lady Aurora's eyes showed worry for the first time as she smelled of tangerines, signifying anxiety. But it felt sweet to Sylvester as he kept singing.

She felt stuck, as she knew the shining light on Sylvester's palm would hit her if she tried to get out or break his ankle.

♫The perfect lady, or so she was called.

Nothing will be left, only the ugly bald.♫

"Truce!" She shouted. "If I break your ankle, it will hurt. If you hurt me, I will go bald. Let's call it a draw, okay?"

But Sylvester didn't stop, for he realised that she loved her hair more than he loved his feet. The deal was in his favour as he knew Isabella could fix his feet in minutes, but hair, once gone, would take months to return.

So, he continued to sing—louder!

♫Look, the vile confidence in her eyes.

O' lord, her hair, show them its demise.♫

She cursed openly. "You runt! This is preposterous! This is dishonourable! This is blackmail!"

♫Now my sermon comes to an end.

For she has decided to–♫

"I surrender! Look, I've released your feet." She begrudgingly released him, but her eyes appeared truly angered as she had never expected to lose like this.

Sylvester didn't even wait to help her out. Instead, he simply ran away because he knew she was mad. "See you in town, Lady Aurora! And I won! haha…!"

Of course, his laughs were the salt on her wounds as she slowly pulled herself off the ground with her teeth gritting. However, she didn't chase Sylvester, as even she knew what he did was absolutely amazing.

'That rascal! He acts so honourable and enlightening but is so scummy at times.' She complained to herself.

However, then she noticed a certain tall, black-haired boy. So she went to him, caught his ear, and pulled him away. "So you wanted him to beat my ass, ha?"

Felix tried to fight. "W-What? I never challenged you, my lad–"

"But I did take you three as my students. Get ready now."

Bam!

Back in town, Sylvester went right away to find Isabella to get his minor injuries healed. However, she lived in Lady Aurora's carriage, so he knew he was still in dangerous territory and wished to get it done quickly.

"W-What happened to you, Sylvester?" Isabella worriedly helped him over and started healing him. Her eyes showed genuine worry, and that was something Sylvester appreciated.

"Nothing, a friendly spar with Lady Aurora."

"Who won?" She inquired while applying ointment to his face and then using healing magic to seal the wounds.

"I did." He proclaimed.

Bam!

Just then, the carriage door opened, and Gabriel appeared, holding Felix by the shoulder.

"I-Ishabera… herp…"

"I guess you didn't win?" Sylvester held his laughter, seeing Felix's swollen face, bumps on his head, and bloodied face.

Felix showed the middle finger. "F-Fuck ewh!"

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APE TOGETHER STRONG!