As Sigrid regained her composure, her heart rate quickly slowed down and her expression changed. Suddenly, the face of a young and lovely girl disappeared, replaced by a cold and expressionless face. This was the training she had received from her mother, to be cold and ruthless before your enemies. The Ice Maiden’s powers relied not only on their affinity toward ice magic, but an icy heart. She was taught to throw away all emotions during combat to bring out her full potential as an Ice Maiden. Throwing away all of her emotions was something she always had trouble with. While she never met anyone beside her mother for most of her life, she always dreamt about what it would be like to meet people. This made her unwilling to let that dream go. However, now that she had friends to protect, she willingly gave it away, knowing that as long as she won, they would still be there. But the most important factor would be what the cultivation Sage taught her.
For a cultivator, it is key to have full control over one’s body and soul. Many techniques and cultivation techniques only work when one has full control. Otherwise, the result is catastrophic. This is why Sage chose the Ice Flow Cultivation for Sigrid. Not only does it match her affinity, but the key teaching of this cultivation method was to perfectly control one’s emotions, to be able to freeze it all away in a flower of ice. Sigrid might not even realize it herself, but her mentality had changed a lot from learning cultivation from Sage. Now, the result displayed in full force.
The temperature suddenly dropped, causing George to furrow his brows. He noticed that something was off about the Ice Maiden, but he was still sure that her power was only at high tier rank D. He wondered about where his subordinates were and decided he would punish them once he finishes his job here. Suddenly, the air around him heated up as he released 90% of his power and dashed towards Sigrid.
After entering her special state, Sigrid’s vision and reactions improved greatly. Before, she couldn’t react to George’s speed, but now she could track him. She quickly created a wall of ice to block the demon’s path, but the demon melted through the ice wall. Sigrid didn’t panic. She jumped to the side and began shooting ice spears at the demon. The demon responded with fireballs and the explosions filled the room, making it rumble.
Sage during this entire time was carefully moving mana into Sigrid’s body and attacks. Every ice spear she shot out was a tiny bit stronger than the last as Sage had gotten better at the processes. The ice spears proved to be just enough of an hinderance to prevent George from catching up. After five minutes of this cat and mouse chase, his face darkened. He realized that something was off as the ice spears had been gradually getting stronger. It was hard to notice because the ice spears were constantly coming at him, but if he were to compare the ice spears now to the ones at the start of the fight, then the ice spear’s power had grown by 10%. If this were to continue, it might even start to get dangerous for him.
He decided that he was going to end this once and for all and released 100% of his power. However, little did he knew that this was exactly what Sigrid and Sage were waiting for. In truth, Sage could have boosted Sigrid’s attacks up to 15%, but he purposely never did that in order to give the demon a false sense of security. As the mana came forth from inside the demon’s body, Sigrid sent out a wave of Ice Spears. The demon let out a deafening roar that shattered the ice spears that approached him. However, as the ice spears broke, two tokens fell out of them. One instantly exploded, releasing a blinding light that once again robbed George of his vision. Following suit, the second token activated and locked George in place. Due to him releasing his power, he was caught off guard and would require a few moments to break free. However, he wasn’t worried as the Ice Maiden couldn’t launch a powerful enough attack in theses few seconds. But just as he was thinking that, he felt something slimy landing on his shoulder. Then more and more of it landed on top of him. When he could finally see again, he noticed that he was covered in slimes.
He couldn’t help but let out a laugh. “You thought the cheap trick that worked on my worthless subordinates would work on me? You are underestimating a rank B too much, dungeon core… what is this…” Just as he was laughing, he noticed that there was something off about the slimes. For some reason, there were two other types of liquids inside the slime and they were moving toward each other. The moment the liquids inside the slime touched, a massive BOOM could be heard inside the dungeon. Sage had been curious about how the goblin shamans managed to explode and kill themselves, so he did some research. After many tests, he found the mixture that caused the explosion. The only problem was that they had to be mixed on the spot for this to work and that would mean killing the monsters using it. Finally, he found that slimes were the best delivery method. It was like a bomb waiting to drop down from the ceiling.
The smoke slowly cleared, revealing a slightly battered George. His clothes had been mostly burnt off and there were some minor injuries, but overall, he was still in good shape. He wanted to tear the dungeon into pieces right now because he had been fooled again by these petty tricks. Just as he was about to let out a roar, he noticed something coming toward him at an abnormal speed. He wanted to dodge, but his body was still stiff from the explosion. Adding on to the speed of the object, by the time he wanted to move, it was already before him.
The object that came at him was a pure white ball. If he had time to think, he would have realized that this was the same move Sigrid used against the vice guild master. However, last time, it was a blue ball with a hint of white at the center, while this time the entire ball was white. The ball arrived before George and exploded instantly to cover him in ice, creating a large and beautiful ice flower. Sigrid was breathing very hard at the amount of mana she had used, but she let out a tired smile. Alice was cheering and rushed out to give Sigrid a hug. Even Sage finally relaxed a bit as it seemed that everything did go exactly as planned. Alice quickly arrived next to Sigrid and gave her a hug. “You did well, Sigrid. You saved us…”
Just then, there was a crackling sound and everyone froze. Sage quickly turned his attention to the ice flower and saw cracks appearing on it as it shook. Realizing that the fight wasn’t over, he immediately controlled mana to fill Sigrid again. Feeling the mana surging in from Sage, she that knew she had failed and that the fight wasn’t over. Sigrid quickly threw Alice backwards and withstood the amount of mana surging into her body. She was already at her limit, but both she and Sage knew that they needed to go beyond it.
Soon, cracks filled the ice blossom and then BOOM! It exploded and ice shards scattered everywhere. George came out looking like a complete mess. He was weakened a lot, but Sigrid even more so. “NOT… BAD! I’ve really underestimated you guys, but no more! This ends now!” George’s eyes burned brightly as he dashed at Sigrid and arrived before her. He sent out a punch, which Sigrid did her best to block, but the force was still too much for her to hand as she was pushed back. Waves of punches landed on Sigrid and she could only do her best to block her vitals.
Sage worked furiously, injecting mana into Sigrid to keep her body going. If it wasn’t for the fact that she had already entered foundation rank and laid her first foundation, she would have already fallen. Finally, Sigrid wasn’t able to keep up her guard and a punch hit her hard in the stomach. She coughed out blood as her body flew back and slammed into the wall. Her face was even paler now than normal. George let out another laugh as he slowly walked toward Sigrid. He raised his hand and a ball of black flame began to form.
However, when he was halfway to her, a sudden scream caught his attention.
*10 minutes ago*
John and Blue had been running back down the dungeon for the last 20 minutes. Thanks to all of the secret passages Sage had created to move monsters around quickly, they were getting close. John was preparing himself for the fight of his life as he did some image training that he remembered from the guild master. He noticed that whatever he ate had split into small pieces that were stationed all over his body. These spots were where the mana was pouring into his body, far different from naturally absorbing it through his skin.
When they got close to the final boss room, they heard a loud BOOM, causing John to ask, “What is going on up there?”
Blue didn’t even turn his head and replied, “Battle, over.”
“What? How’s Sigrid?”
John let out a breath of relief. He had to stop moving as he almost tripped from all the tension leaving his body. He stabilized himself and continued to run toward where Sigrid was; however, after moving a for short while, they heard another loud explosion. John suddenly frowned, “What was that?”
Blue’s voice was not filled with panic as he said, “Enemy alive, Sigrid danger!”
John’s face suddenly turned very ugly as he realized the battle didn’t go as planned. The enemy was still alive after what was suppose to be the finishing move. He realized that the situation must‘ve been grim for the boy’s voice to be like this. They both ran even faster toward the final boss room, but when they were about to reach it, Blue suddenly stopped John.
“What…” Just as John was about to shout at Blue for stopping him, Blue covered his mouth and said, “Wait, eat this.” With that, Blue raised his hand. Slowly, part of his hand condensed into a round shape. It was much like the blue marble John ate earlier, but this time much darker in color. He realized that this was what he ate last time, but didn’t really care at this moment as he knew this would make him stronger. So without any hesitation, he grabbed the deep blue marble and swallowed it. Once again, he felt the marble break apart and spread across his body as mana surged into his body.
Blue’s body also began to glow once again. After both had reached their peak conditions, they charged out. Their first targets were the two wounded demons that were still alive. They were out of the fight, but it was best to kill them as soon as possible. This was easily achieved as they caught the two completely off guard. John sliced the demon’s head off while Blue purposely took the slower approach and used several punches to smash the demon’s head in. This allowed the demon to scream, which caught George’s attention.
George turned toward them with a vicious glare in his eyes. He was finally about to win, but at the very last minute, he lost two of his best men. Angry wasn’t a good enough word to describe how he was feeling right now. He decided that he was going to knock them out and slowly enjoy their deaths after he takes over the dungeon core. As he dashed toward Blue and John, he threw another fireball at Sigrid to knock her out. Luckily, the slight pause he made due to his men dying gave Sigrid enough time to set up a proper defense, so she remained conscious. Sage took this chance to pour mana into Sigrid. He carefully wove the mana into every part of her body to help her recover as fast as possible.
George quickly arrived before John and planned for a one hit knock out; however, just as he got close, John’s sword came slicing at his neck. He sneered as he raised his arm to block it, but when the sword hit his arm, he immediately regretted his decision. He originally thought that this adventurer was harmless, but the sword quickly cut through his mana shield and into his arm. Sadly, the power difference was too great for John as George reinforced his arm and the blade was unable to cut more than a few millimeters deep. But this did stop George in his tracks, which allowed Blue to jump in and land a punch on George’s side, knocking him away from John.
This quick exchange caught George by surprise as he was expecting to only take a moment to deal with these two pests. Now that he experienced the sharpness of the blade and the weight of that punch, he began to take his fight much more seriously. His eyes narrowed as he locked onto the two and decided to use ranged attacks. This put John and Blue at a huge disadvantage as neither of them could attack from long range. They could only do their best to dodge and try to get close, but George seemed keen on not letting them do this.
Soon, this changed from a fight to target practice as the demon unleashed waves of fireballs upon John and Blue. They were struggling to dodge and would sometimes be caught in edge of the blasts’ radius, but they were surviving. As time went on, George became increasingly irritated that these worms were still alive. Finally, he lost his patience and went in for the kill. This was the chance John was waiting for, but he severely overestimated himself. He still lacked experience and his attack was easily dodge by the demon as a heavy punch landed on his stomach. John flew backwards and smashed into the wall. The only reason he wasn’t fatally injured was because of all the mana Sage was pumping into him.
Blue quickly got in between John and George. The demon let out a smile as flames covered his fist when he punched toward Blue. He recognized this as a slime, so he knew that normal physical attacks wouldn’t be as effective, that’s why he added flames. Blue didn’t dare to take it head on, so he dodged out of the way and attempted to attack from the flank. But George was too fast for Blue and prevented Blue from getting to his side. George increased his pace. He quickly arrived before Blue and threw another punch, but this time, when the punch was halfway to its target, the fire left his hand and exploded before Blue. This sent Blue flying, knocking him into the wall next to John.
Sage had been moving massive amounts of mana into John, Blue, and Sigrid. He knew he couldn’t keep this up any longer and told Blue to use the final plan to stall for the time he needed to bring Sigrid back up. Blue quickly turned to John and said, “After me, not close,” before once again dashing toward George. John was a bit confused, but he still listened and followed after blue, but kept his distance. George sneered as he watched the two charge at him. He gathered mana into his hand. It was time for him to end this. He attacked Blue as Blue came into his range, but then something outside of his expectations happened. Blue transformed back into a blob of slime and encased his right arm.
He was startled by this, but before he could do anything, Blue began to glow so bright that he had to close his eyes and then BOOM! This explosion was much more powerful than the last one as this was induced by a mana overload. George realized what was happening at the last moment and poured mana into his right arm. This was the only reason why it was still there. However, it was now severely damaged and just as he was regaining his senses, a figure moved through the smoke and appeared next to him.
When John saw the explosion, he knew what Blue meant and quickly followed suit. He wasn’t about to let the boy’s sacrifice be in vain. He moved through the smoke and arrived next to the still dazed George as he poured mana into his sword. With one clean swing, he cut George’s right arm off, but before he could even celebrate, a powerful kick landed on the side of his stomach. He was sent flying and imprinted deep into a wall, completely knocked out. George let out a roar filled with so much anger and rage that it felt like the entire dungeon was going to fall apart. He then created a giant fireball and threw it at John before turning around toward the Ice maiden again.
Sigrid had been watching this whole fight and fought the urge of jumping in. Sage had ordered her to stay put and let them deal with it while she recovered for the last attack. When John managed to cut off the demon’s arm, she felt like they were going to win, but then, before she could even react, John was sent crashing into a wall. When the fireball appeared, she almost jumped out to stop it, but Sage’s voice locked her in place, “Stop! If you go now, then his sacrifice will have been in vain!”
However, now the demon turned toward Sigrid and he was not happy. After looking at Sigrid, he noticed that she had recovered a lot during this time and that it would be dangerous if this continued any further. “Nice try, but it seems your little friends gave up their lives for nothing!” George quickly dashed at Sigrid and attacked. Sigrid did her best to hold out and not waste the mana Sage had been pouring into her. However, she hasn’t recovered enough and she was soon knocked into the ground again.
George let out an evil grin as he slowly walked toward Sigrid while forming the black flame in his hand. Once it was completely formed, he stopped just ten feet from Sigrid and threw the flame. Sage could only watch as the flame flew closer to Sigrid. There were many things he wanted to do and would be able to do if he had a body. But he didn’t and that was the cold and hard truth. He could only stare as the black flame moved closer and closer to Sigrid. Just as the flame arrived before Sigrid, a red light dashed across the room and ran into the flame. Sigrid realized what it was and shouted, “Alice, no!”
As she passed Sigrid’s head, she whispered,“Win this.” With that, Alice crashed into the flame and threw out two mini tokens Sage had made just for her. The black flame hit her, knocking her into the wall. Sigrid felt something break as she let out a scream and mana surged into her. The two mini tokens activated. One caused a bright flash, once again blinding George, and the other locked him in place. Sigrid was filled with rage, but her eyes had never been colder, “Die!”
The entire room instantly became a world of ice and ice spikes shot out from the ground and stabbed through George. Right before the ice spikes impaled him, he shouted, “No! This is not how it was supposed to be!” So many ice spikes pierced through him that his body was turned into small chunks. At the very last moment, Sigrid comprehended the second technique of the Ice Flower Cultivation Method, The Ice World, due to the rage she felt from the loss of her two only friends. Although she had won and even became stronger, she felt hollow inside. She wanted to just curl up into a ball and cry. But she knew that Sage still needed her and all of this need to be explained to the Adventurers’ Guild, so she couldn’t break down, not yet.
She forced herself to turn to look at where Alice’s body flew and suddenly her heart skipped a beat. The black flame was gone and Alice’s body still lied there, covered in a blue light. Sigrid quickly rushed up to Alice and reached out her hand when Sage suddenly said, “Don’t touch her! I’m still stabilizing her.” Sigrid held her breath and watched. After about 10 minutes, the blue light faded and Sage said, with a very tired voice, “She should be fine now. Bring her inside the chamber. It is too dangerous out there.”
Sigrid was happy that Alice was going to be alright. She suddenly paused as she remembered something and asked, “Master, what about John and Blue?”
Sage replied with a grave tone, “They are gone, Sigrid.”
Sigrid froze for a moment before gently picking up Alice and slowly walking into Sage’s chamber. When she arrived, she was completely startled. Sage’s body was usually always bright and shiny, but right now it was very dull and mucky. Sigrid couldn’t help but ask, with a worried voice, “Master, are you okay?”
Sage tiredly replied, “I’m fine, just used too much mana. Just give me a day of rest and I’ll be okay.”
As he finished speaking, Sigrid felt something move in her hands and immediately looked down. Alice slowly opened her eyes. She looked around and weakly said, “Looks like we won.” Sigrid’s eyes watered up as she replied, half crying,” Yes, yes we did.” Finally, she couldn’t hold it in anymore and tears flowed down her cheeks..
Alice smiled weakly and said, “There, there. We are safe now. Although we lost a lot, we managed to survive this.”
Sigrid nodded, but continued to silently cry.
Edited by: The secret masked editor... from space!
Edited by: General Luke