Chapter 368 – Blue-Haired Man
The four Mages stood in a large hall in front of the gathered leaders of the northern offensive.
“So, to summarize,” the blue-haired man, the Peak Mage, said, “the warrior managed to evade all your Spells, caught Esther due to an error in her judgment, and wanted to negotiate with us. But instead of accepting his offer, you followed the law and attacked him. Is that correct?”
There was currently a Truth Verification Spell active, and the Mages were forced to speak the truth.
The blue-haired man furrowed his brows and looked at the table with furrowed brows as he leaned back.
No one spoke anything for ten seconds.
“You followed the law. You may leave,” he said.
The four Mages performed a respectful salute and left the hall.
After they left, no one in the hall spoke for a while.
Most of them were looking at the chair Esther had recently occupied.
“I’ll take responsibility,” the blue-haired man said. “I misjudged the intruder’s power and sent a force with inadequate power to handle the situation.”
The others didn’t disagree.
Yes, every single one of them would have made the same mistake. Half of them would have probably sent an even weaker force after the intruder.
However, they were not the ones that had issued the command.
When something went wrong, it was always the fault of the one that gave the orders.
The blue-haired man looked calm and cold on the surface, but one of his fists was clenched so tightly under the table that blood started to flow out.
Was he an emotionless husk?
Of course not.
He was a human, and just like any other human, he had feelings of comradery and kinship.
He had known Esther for years, and they had worked together for a long time.
The blue-haired man was absolutely furious at Shang, and he hated him with his entire being.
“Strengthen the northern border,” the blue-haired man ordered with a calm tone. “If he shows up again, immediately contact me. I will deal with him personally. He can’t hide on that mountain forever. At some point, he has to come down from there.”
One of the other people nodded, took out a Communication Crystal, and gave the order.
The blue-haired man looked calm, but his rage, hatred, and frustration only grew.
He wanted to do nothing more than charge after the intruder and kill him personally.
He wanted to take revenge for one of his friends.
However, the benefits weren’t worth the cost.
First of all, he would need to spend a long time searching on a mountain filled with beasts. The mountain was gigantic, and there were innumerable caves and rocks to hide behind.
It might take days, if not weeks, to find the intruder.
Even though Esther had been low on Mana, Shang had managed to kidnap her while surrounded by Mages.
The blue-haired man was certain that he could tear Shang apart on flat ground, but fighting in the mountains was insanely disadvantageous for him.
Even more, Shang was very likely faster than the blue-haired man. If the fight went badly for him, he could just retreat.
What was he supposed to do then?
Was he supposed to gather five Circles of True Mages to surround him after days of searching without any assurance of success?
Even more, many of his Mages would definitely die if he did that. As soon as Shang managed to reach one Mage, he could kick them off the mountain. Yes, Mages were powerful, but they couldn’t survive a fall of hundreds of meters.
They couldn’t fly yet.
So, even though the blue-haired man wanted to kill Shang more than anything else, he couldn’t go through with it.
Such a displacement of forces would put the frontline in danger. If the Blackshadow Kingdom decided to attack, they might lose one or two Zones.
It was just one warrior but going after him with any chance of success meant putting the entire Kingdom at risk.
There was nothing he could do.
‘You will have to come down the mountain at some point,’ the blue-haired man thought. ‘And when that happens, I will be there to kill you!’
‘In my entire life, I have never known defeat while fighting anyone on my level!’
‘And you definitely won’t be the first person to do so!’
The other people at the table acted like they hadn’t noticed anything, but it was impossible not to notice the blue-haired man’s current state.
Even though he kept his composure, his mood was influencing the room.
The room had become freezingly cold.
Such a phenomenon to control the surroundings to such a degree was only something that True Path Stage beasts and High Mages had.
Yet, the blue-haired man had the same ability.
He had already grasped his own “Path”.
If he wanted, he could reach the High Mage Realm by tomorrow.
He could resist Initial High Mages with his current power.
And this incredible power was why he was responsible for the northern front as long as the Governor didn’t directly take control.
As all of this was happening, Shang ascended the mountain. He had already seen a couple of Soldier and General Stage beasts clinging to the walls and flying through the sky, but they avoided him.
By now, Shang had reached a height of at least five kilometers, and he had seen a couple of caves. However, he didn’t want to enter any of these caves for now.
He wanted to enter one that was higher up. The stronger the beasts in the surroundings were and the further away he was from the Mages, the lower the chance of being spotted.
As Shang ascended, the light became brighter and brighter until it was blinding.
Even though Shang’s eye had been strengthened by his training, if he looked up, he might still become blind.
Shang was sure that the light from above came from the Zone Beast.
Its power was so terrifying that just looking at its general direction could take away one’s sight from kilometers away.
Eventually, when Shang spotted the first Commander Stage beasts, he decided to enter a cave.
In comparison to the blinding outside, the cave was incredibly dark.
The cave also wasn’t small, and it seemed to stretch into infinity.
Shang guessed that there was a gigantic maze of caves inside this humongous mountain.
Surprisingly, the darkness inside the cave was thick and filled with Darkness Mana.
It was almost a certainty that some Earth and Darkness Affinity beasts lived here.
‘Isolated from the outside by the blinding light, forever hiding inside the mountain,’ Shang thought. ‘It almost seems cruel. Who would have thought that such a bright place hides such cruelty?’
Shang checked the outside of the cave for a while and then focused on the inside.
Right now, Shang was at the border of light and dark.
It was too dark for Light Affinity beasts, too bright for the Darkness Affinity beasts, and too close to the surface for the Earth Affinity beasts.
It was a safe haven between light and dark.
One could also call it twilight.
‘This is a good spot,’ Shang thought. ‘I don’t think many beasts come here.’
After five seconds of just standing in the middle of the cave, Shang took a deep breath.
Then, he walked over to one of the walls and sat down.
For several minutes, he did nothing.
He knew what was about to come, but he didn’t want to confront it.
Yet, he had to.
He knew that he couldn’t run from it.
But he didn’t want to.
But he had to…
After several minutes of not moving, Shang’s head slowly sank.
He grabbed his head as he looked down.
He could see Lash’s shocked eyes like they were right there.
Had he done the right thing?