Vile Evil Hides Under The Veil - Chapter 1553
A pair of wings emerged behind Eren, granting him stability in midair now that he had escaped from Garos' Ability.
"I know a thing or two about a thing or two," Eren spoke in a composed tone as he noticed all eyes on him.
"Why summon these creatures here? You know well they can't harm any genuine Sage, despite being fueled by S-Rank mana," Garos inquired, his voice low and menacing.
And as soon as he did, a sense of foreboding grew within him, leading him to covertly contact Sages from both factions to prepare for the worst.
Eren responded, his voice devoid of emotion, as he glanced down at the spectators.
"Oh, I know. But I'm quite sure I can target those who now watch me with fear in their eyes. Even if I lose some of my own underlings, it'll be entertaining to witness the deaths of numerous Rankers, meaningless though they may be."
Eren's words held cruelty and malice as he locked eyes with Garos and the Sages supporting him. No need to focus on those from Layos, as his summoned creatures had already done that.
Swoosh. Swoosh. Swoosh.
Without a moment's delay after issuing his threat, Eren executed it promptly, substantiating its credibility. Curses and condemnations escaped the Sages' lips as soon as that happened.
Their original plan was to vanquish him through collective efforts. But before they could formulate a strategy, he took all the other Rankers present on the battlefield hostage, compelling the Sages to prioritize their safety.
A medley of S-Ranked spells were unleashed simultaneously, cast by Sages on both sides. The initial focus was safeguarding the Rankers below with protective spells of considerable reach.
Following this, they aimed to eliminate Eren's summons entirely. The third and final goal was to deal with the summoner himself.
Yet, they were all aware that Eren's threat was largely attributed to the Borrowed Might potions, which would eventually wear off, rendering him far less menacing. So they didn't panic and got to work.
As the Sages diligently carried out their plans, or rather as they were about to, an unexpected peril approached them from behind, taking them off guard.
Even Garos, the King's Hand, couldn't conceal his face-paling astonishment when another figure materialized behind him, akin to a phantom, and executed a lethal assault.
To his shock, it was another of Eren's clones, having teleported right behind him through the use of Sansara Sage's space-element runes.
Swoosh. Zoom. Pierce.
Myriad Potioner's debilitating elixirs targeted the Sages. Augmented by Borrowed Potions and aided by the surprise factor of Sansara Sage's space-element runes, Eren had devised a lethal strategy to eliminate all the Sages on the battlefield at once.
The Sages had not paid to Eren's use of the debuff potions earlier. They were busy battling with each other after all and did not have time or will to keep tabs on everything their subordinates did. So they were caught by Eren's use of the Myriad Potions on them.
Eren's clones possessed various Ranking Classes, including Close Combat Expert, Assassin, Array Master, Berserker, Ranger, and Potion Expert. He utilized these trump cards in a coordinated assault, targeting each Sage according to their unique abilities.
As the Sages grappled with Eren's catastrophic intent-based magic and attempted to quell the unfolding chaos on the ground, he executed his attack with such precision and finesse that they were unable to defend themselves.
In the blink of an eye, Eren's maneuver claimed the lives of five out of six Sages. Even Garos couldn't evade a translucent-grade dagger that distinctly resembled part of Sage Loxley's legacy.
Hansen Lehan was the sole Sage survivor of Eren's onslaught. Descended from Sage Lin Lehan, the Sansara Sage, Hansen possessed special methods to automatically counter surprise attacks facilitated by the space-element runes.
The limited-use safeguards handed down through the generations by the Sansara Sage enabled Hansen to survive Eren's fatal attack, though he was involuntarily transported to a random location.
Sage Marcus and his Sage-ranked wife died unremarkable deaths. Incidentally, they died while looking at each other with worries and regrets. Even as participants of the war, their lives were never in danger. Or at least that's what they had thought by agreeing to do their part in Edinburgh's war campaign.
Unlike Garos, Eren managed to dispatch all the other Sages relatively easily after exhausting his arsenal of tactics. He outclassed them using his trump cards before ending their lives before they had the chance to use theirs, eliminating six Sages in one fell swoop.
Eren was destined to etch his name into Anfang's history as the sole Master-ranked Ranker who had single-handedly eliminated multiple Sages, all within a single day. Had he existed during the Calamity Era, he might have stood alongside the revered Titan Slayers.
Nevertheless, despite these monumental accomplishments, Eren's countenance remained devoid of triumphant satisfaction. He had made a deliberate choice to keep his heart and mind resolute, unwavering in moments of both victory and defeat. This stability was needed to achieve what he had achieved so far and what he wanted next.
The myriad summoned creatures Eren had used to hold the Rankers on the battlefield hostage ceased their advance just before reaching the Rankers, returning to the sky and locking their attention on the frightened Rankers.
They acted as a deterrent, preventing the Rankers from fleeing the battlefield.
Without the Sages' presence, the Rankers would be powerless against the summoned creatures. Even the Grandmaster Rankers would fall to these creatures if they attacked en masse.
"Aaaaargh! This motherfucking son of a bitch… he… he fucking played us!"
It dawned on Garos that Eren's real target had never been the Rankers. He merely used them as part of his diversion tactics to eliminate the remaining Sages.
Garos regretted not knowing about Eren sooner. He would have preferred burning the whole City of Osan down to kill Eren if he knew that the latter would one day come to claim his life.