Paragon of Destruction - Chapter 55

Published at 12th of August 2019 08:29:08 PM

Chapter 55

Arran awoke with an aching head and an unsteady body . It took him some moments to recall what had happened, but when he remembered, his eyes immediately went searching for Panurge .

"Good . You're awake . "

Arran turned his head toward the voice, and he couldn't suppress a scowl when he saw Panurge . The man was back to his human form, and there was an amused smirk on his face .

As Arran looked around, he saw that the floor he was sitting on was made from smooth gray rock, but other than that he saw nothing but darkness, without even walls to be seen .

"Where the hell did you take me?!" Frustrated as he was, he made no effort to be polite .

"Tsk, tsk . Your manners really are lacking . " Panurge gave Arran a gleeful look, seeming quite pleased with the situation . "I spare your life, and this is the treatment I have to endure?"

"Spare my life? I didn't do anything!"

Arran raged, but the grin on Panurge's face only grew wider .

"You refused my generosity," the man said . "That's a crime that certainly merits punishment . "

"Where are we?" Arran asked again, realizing that there was no point in arguing with Panurge . And as much as he would like to, punching him in the face didn't seem like a good idea, either .

Suddenly, the dim light brightened, and Arran could see that he was in the middle of a large, circular room . It was about forty paces across, and the walls were carved from the same smooth gray rock as the floor and the ceiling .

The room was completely empty, its only distinguishing features a heavy door on one side, and on the opposite side a small hole in the ceiling from which a small stream of water dropped into a hole in the ground .

At once, Arran understood that it was a cell, but it didn't look like any cell he had seen before . Although he could not be certain, he suspected that this place was built specifically to hold mages . He felt some despair at the last thought, because it meant that escaping would be no easy task .

"You will need this," Panurge said, tossing a void bag on the ground next to Arran . "Inside you will find a Force Realm Scroll, several spell scrolls, and enough food for the next two decades or so . You should be able to make it out by then, even with your meager talent . "

"A Force Realm Scroll?" Arran knitted his brows in thought, but he could not recall ever having heard of Force Realms .

Without a word, Panurge waved a finger, and Arran was alarmed to find himself being pulled up into the air . Another wave of Panurge's finger, and suddenly, an unseen force slammed into Arran like a battering ram, sending him crashing into the wall .

As he got to his feet, Arran roared in anger . "You bastard! Why the hell did you—"

"That," Panurge interrupted him, "is Force Essence . Master it, and you will be able to blow that door right out of the wall . Don't, and… well, I suppose you will starve, eventually . "

"Why are you giving me this?" Arran asked, his voice still shaking from the sudden attack .

"It's a gift," Panurge said . "By the time you're strong enough to break through the door, you should be able to protect yourself from most of the Academy's lackeys . You might be foolish enough to refuse my help, but I will not just let the Academy kill you . "

"But why—" Arran began .

Before he could finish the sentence, the cell was suddenly plunged in darkness . For a moment Arran was disoriented, but then, he used Fire Essence to create a fiery orb that illuminated the cell .

As he expected, Panurge had disappeared without a trace, leaving Arran behind, alone and locked in the cell .

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For some time he sat on the ground, trying to calm his nerves as he gathered his thoughts .

While the situation was bad, at least he was still alive . Moreover, it seemed Panurge intended for him to escape, which meant there had to be a way out of the cell .

He warily eyed the void bag the man had left, but decided against searching it . Accepting a gift from Panurge was something he expected would carry a price larger than anything he was willing to pay .

After some moments he walked over to the cell door and inspected it . As he expected, it was thick and solid, and he was unable to move it even a hair using only his Essence-enhanced physical strength .

Still, he furiously bashed into the door with his fists, stopping only when he was panting from exertion and his knuckles were covered in blood .

Undeterred, he took a dozen steps back, then gathered up as much Essence as he could muster . Without hesitation, he flung a brightly blazing fireball at the door, immediately following it with a blast of Wind . He continued this until the Essence in his body had run dry completely .

Again he approached the door to inspect it, but he was disheartened when he found that his attacks had not left even the slightest mark on either the door or the wall that held it .

He sighed when he realized that both the door and the walls must be strengthened through some sort of enchantment .

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In the hours that followed he tried every attack he could think of — hacking at the door with his starmetal sword, shooting it with the dragonbone bow, blasting it with Essence, and sometimes just violently hammering it with his fists .

Again and again he attacked, only pausing when both his body and mind could go no longer, then attacking with renewed fury as soon as he had rested .

Hours turned to days as he continued to assault the door, yet no matter what he tried, he was unable to do even the slightest bit of damage . It was as if he was trying to chop down a tree using only a feather .

After more than a week, he finally gave up . Nothing he tried had any effect whatsoever, and he suspected that even if he spent the next decade attacking the door with his current power, there would be no results .

At this, he understood that he would have to try something different if he ever wanted to see the sun again .

He gave Panurge's void bag another glance, but then rejected the idea . He would only resort to using that if he became desperate . Being in Panurge's debt would certainly carry a painful cost at some point in the future .

Instead, he took out Adept Kadir's manual for the Windblade spell, along with the notes Jiang Fei had given him . If raw Essence didn't work, perhaps a proper spell would do the trick .

He sat down on the stone floor, a determined look appearing on his face as he resolved to finally study the spell properly .