Tiana had made her decision and retreated without any hesitation.
As Han Shuo and co were having their epic battle right in the capital city of the Kasi Empire, the crowds around the auction site had all been evacuated. However, just slightly further away, the streets remained occupied by all sorts of stalls. When Kelly transformed into a gigantic ape, his behemoth body could clearly be seen by the peddlers and merchants in the area. When Tiana's five water dragons appeared, their overwhelming display of strength terrified the people to their cores, rousing such a rabble in the city centre that they caused an even greater panic.
The armies of the Kasi Empire stationed nearest to the scene instantly mobilized to the city centre with great haste. As Tiana retreated, she saw a regiment of fully armoured knights hastily approaching, and she quickly flew towards them.
The Shrine of Ice held a very unique place in Kasi Empire as it was known throughout the land how highly regarded they were by His Majesty the King. Seeing Tiana's swift retreat to join the knight regiment, Han Shuo immediately stopped still halfway in his pursuit.
After Snow Celestial Tiana's soul fused with the Origin Crystal of Water, her strength had risen dramatically. Now with Tiana placing herself within a large knight regiment, it was becoming far less likely that he would be able to kill her.
Her strength was not much different from Han Shuo’s to begin with. As long as Han Shuo couldn’t suddenly get close to her, he surely could not inflict any real damage on her.
Just then, because the Shrine of Ice retreated in a flurry, Snow Celestial Tiana and Ice Celestial Corey's groups fled in two opposite directions, causing the two to be separated by large distances. Not far away was Ice Celestial Corey with a group of Shrine of Ice disciples, retreating towards the magical transportation in Ciro City center.
Kelly, still in ape form, was in hot pursuit of Ice Celestial Corey. Corey however was a wily one. He weaved in and out of the frantically escaping merchants and peddlers continuously. As Kelly was a stout believer in the Druidic Order's teachings, he could not bear to drag innocents into this conflict, and did not strike even though he had plenty of openings to do so.
At that rate, neither Han Shuo nor Kelly would be able to succeed. Han Shuo stopped for a brief moment in mid-air, made a snap decision, and did an about-face. Ignoring Tiana who was hiding in the middle of a knight regiment, he went after the craftily escaping Ice Celestial Corey.
As long as Tiana did not make it there on time, with Han Shuo and Kelly combining their efforts against Corey, who could not hold out for long with his injuries, Han Shuo was certain that he could kill him in a short amount of time.
Kelly, who could not bear to harm the innocent, was letting the prime opportunity slip away right before his eyes. But Han Shuo was naturally not going to be so soft-hearted. Once he got closer to Ice Celestial Corey, he would give no heed for who else stood nearby, and strike with deadly force!
Tiana panted as she caught her breath, holding her magical staff as she levitated in midair, she fixed her eye on Han Shuo and prepared to deal with any attack he would send at her.
In the midst of the regiment of knights, Tiana was feeling much safer. As long as she could keep her distance from Han Shuo, she was sure that her magic would be able to deal with him. After her soul's fusion with the Origin Crystal of Water, she had discovered that all the deployment of water element magic came to her as easy as breathing.
With the exception of some very deadly and very taxing water element magic, Tiana did not even need incantations for most middle-high tier spells. All she needed was a thought and voila, the magic was cast.
That was how she had cast the layers of ice walls without incantations earlier when she had been running. It had slowed Han Shuo slightly from his great speed. With the leap in her strength, she was feeling more amply confident as well.
However, just as she had all her attention fixed on Han Shuo, and prepared herself for everything, she suddenly realised that Han Shuo was retreating at lightning speed. For a moment she was frozen, thinking Han Shuo was playing some kind of crafty trick. It wasn't until Han Shuo drew closer and closer to Ice Celestial Corey that the realisation hit her. Tiana realized that Han Shuo had decided to concentrate forces and get rid of Ice Celestial Corey first.
"This is bad!" Tiana exclaimed, then quickly instructed, "Charge forward, all-out! Kill that devil from our enemy country at any cost!"
"Yes!" came the thunderous response, and at her command, the regiment of knights immediately rushed towards the gigantic ape.
Tiana went on ahead of the others, her figure resembled a streak of white ribbon as she chased after Han Shuo's flight trail regardless of everything.
"Let's join forces, and kill Corey first!" Han Shuo's voice rang out next to Kelly, who had been tailing Ice Celestial Corey closely all the while without making a strike.
"No, there are too many innocent people around him, we cannot strike him here!" Kelly quickly stopped Han Shuo upon recovering from his momentary shock when he saw Han Shuo approach.
Han Shuo cursed inwardly, thinking to himself that this Kelly really was pedantic. No wonder he had lost so spectacularly the last time in the Kasi Empire - with how he was going about it, it would be beyond difficult to eliminate the enemy!
Han Shuo, mentally throwing curses at the pedantic Kelly, wouldn’t be so concerned about whether or not his actions would harm the innocent civilians. Besides, those "innocents" weren't people of his Brettel City, which was less of a reason to care so much. Before he even drew near to Ice Celestial Corey, Han Shuo had already flung out a Bloody Radiance of Ten Thousand Cuts.
Ice Celestial Corey immediately knew things were bad when he heard Han Shuo's voice. He knew that Han Shuo was an entirely different kind from Kelly. Therefore, the moment Han Shuo’s voice entered his ears, he no longer dared to hide among the crowds, and flew out with a great leap.
Under Han Shuo's manipulation, the Bloody Radiance of Ten Thousand Cuts followed Ice Celestial Corey in close pursuit. If it hadn’t been for Corey's emergence instantly, he and the merchants around him would've all died in that attack.
"I knew it, this deicide!" Ice Celestial Corey was faced with a great headache. Han Shuo, a man of few scruples, was clearly much harder to deal with compared to Kelly. Ice Celestial Corey was injured to begin with. Having received further injuries from Han Shuo's assault just before, and without Tiana around to assist him, Corey was sure to lose when put against either Han Shuo or Kelly alone. Now with both of them teaming up against him, he stood even less of a chance.
"Clang!" As he escaped, Ice Celestial Corey had no choice but to make a defensive sword strike. A swarm of icicles rained down from the sky, and Han Shuo's Bloody Radiance of Ten Thousand Cuts was broken with one strike from Ice Celestial Corey.
Han Shuo made a slight gasp of surprise as he continued in close pursuit, feeling rather puzzled.
As it turned out, when Ice Celestial Corey intercepted Han Shuo's Bloody Radiance of Ten Thousand Cuts, he had deliberately expended a little more energy to obliterate Han Shuo’s intense attacking power to avoid injuring the merchants and peddlers below.
Connecting that action to Corey's sudden flight from within the crowds, Han Shuo suddenly realised that Ice Celestial Corey was not without redeeming qualities. Although he was cold and ruthless in how he handled his enemies and the race of dark dragon, he was still very protecting of his own countrymen. He was not, as Han Shuo had thought, without a care for the people of Kasi Empire.
When Kelly had been chasing him earlier, his concealment amongst the civilians was done because he had a good grasp of Kelly’s mindset, and knew that Kelly would never harm the commoners. Hence, he overtly made use of Kelly's weakness to help himself escape unruffled.
So you do have a bit of humanity after all, Han Shuo thought derisively, but he did not slow down. By this time, Ice Celestial Corey was already quite close. He recited an incantation, and rows of bone spears came whooshing towards Ice Celestial Corey.
Having been delayed by the Bloody Radiance of Ten Thousand Cuts, Ice Celestial Corey was already well within Han Shuo's range of attack. During that window of opportunity, Kelly in his gigantic ape-form finally caught up with Han Shuo after very carefully avoiding trampling any of the civilians underfoot.
"Don't allow him any time to do anything!" Han Shuo bellowed immediately after sending out the bone spears.
Most people of demigod strength were sure to have some ways to save their own necks, a space-tearing scroll at the very least. That was something Han Shuo learned from his valuable experience after many years of battle.
Thus, the moment he saw that his side held an overwhelming superiority, Han Shuo was certain that Ice Celestial Corey was about to take some desperate measures. At this stage, there would be no letting Corey escape, or all his efforts would have been for naught.
Hence, Han Shuo immediately shouted a reminder to Kelly, otherwise Kelly would never have thought of it. The Druidic Order was, after all, not one that preached ruthless extermination. As the leader of the Druidic Order, Kelly did not have that ruthlessness and mercilessness that Han Shuo did.
But with Han Shuo's yelling, Kelly instantly came to his senses. Suddenly, memories replayed in his mind. He recalled scenes of followers of the Druidic Order being brutally murdered by the Shrine of Ice in Kasi Empire many years back. Calling to mind how heartless and cruel Corey had treated his enemies, Kelly knew that his Druidic Order would certainly pay an enormous price if Corey did not die that day.
Kelly took a huge stride. "ROAR…" He had blocked off Corey's only path of escape. Han Shuo did not know what Kelly had actually done, for along with his sky-shaking howl, layer upon layer of ripples visibly undulated in the sky. All the elements between heaven and earth turned into a state of disorder, the sky seemed like it had collapsed.
Ice Celestial Corey felt the changes in the sky after Kelly's howl, and instantly understood that his space scroll would be useless. Seeing Kelly block off the path behind him, and Han Shuo recklessly charging at him from the front, his face turned ashen. Corey knew that he at last had reached the end of his life.
Suddenly, Kelly turned pale with fright and shouted in alarm, "Oh no!"
Han Shuo, who had already rushed in front of Corey, heard the yell and saw the huge Kelly swiftly retreating back. He instinctively understood something and slammed on the brakes, coming to a sudden stop.
A brilliant light, mixed with terrible energy, erupted from Ice Celestial Corey, bringing about the fluctuation of an annihilative energy wave of a ten-meter radius. A fracture in spacetime left a pattern like the grooves on a tortoise shell. As Ice Celestial Corey met his destruction, everything within that space was sucked vacuum in an instant.
Under the deadly, relentless hounding of Han Shuo and Kelly, Ice Celestial Corey was forced to end his own life!