“Be careful, Locke!” Angelina was the first to see the spirit rushing towards Locke. Before the spirit could go near him, a wall made out of grey smoke was formed behind him. Since leaving Bering Mountains, Angelina did some research on attack and defence spells. Although she was just a beginner-rank Lehrling, she’d already learned a lot of practical spells such as Smoke Wall.
Billie also immediately lashed out with several vine spikes using the green ring on her finger, piercing the spirit’s body. Although spirits were resistant to physical damage, these spikes seemed to have an effect on them. There was a flash of emerald green light before a dark green hue was visible all over the spirit’s body. The spirit on the right had also slowed down. Both of the spirits were now exposed.
“Icicle!” Daenie yelled as a droplet-shaped icicle appeared in mid-air. Icicle was one of the few beginner-ranked water spells that were lethal. Although it didn’t have much destructive power, it was a simplified version of a high-ranked water spell that when used by high-rank Lehrlings, basically amounted to a barrage of hundreds of icicles.
“Agility!” Mina cast a rather practical spell on Locke. This spell, like Featherweight, could boost the abilities of a mid-rank Knecht like Locke by a lot.
Bob and Chris held the myst pearls in their hands and rushed towards the spirits. Since they had the pearls, they’d also reacted quite quickly to the situation. But they’d only made a move after everyone else because they were afraid of the spirits.
Locke didn't lose any momentum, still pointing the tip of his sword towards the first spirit that he was aiming at. The air around him circulated quickly as puffs of white clouds formed around him. It was a spell that Angelina had cast for him.
The bright yellow longsword was already inching closer to the grey spirit with a hint of green impetus visible from its tip, something which the spirit could tell was threatening to its existence. It howled loudly, the sound waves penetrating through all the spells. Even his armour couldn’t withstand the sudden blast, causing quite a lot of damage to Locke, who was closest to the spirit.
Smoke Wall had already dissipated. It was a spell that a beginner-rank Lehrling could even learn, so its defence ability was very limited, though it did mitigate about a third of the howl's damage.
Locke quickly transferred the impetus back into his body and a gleam of green light appeared over his skin to protect him. However, banshee howls were sonic spells, so impetus protection wasn’t that effective. He felt a sharp pain in his head and his temples bulged, but he managed to endure the dizziness and swung his sword towards the spirit, striking it and causing it to lose about one-sixth of its body.
Light grey smoke drifted in the air and a grey crystal that was the size of a thumb fell to the ground. The spirit screamed and flew away from Locke hastily.
He didn’t chase after it as he was still affected by the after-effects of the howl. Luckily, he’d taken a will-condensing potion when he was advancing to a mid-rank Knecht and had more mental power as a result. Otherwise, dizziness would be the least of his problems.
At this moment, Angelina and the others were dealing with the other spirit. Compared to Locke’s attack with impetus, their endless barrage of spells threw it off balance. That spirit initially wanted to help its companion out, only to end up putting itself in danger.
The poor spirit was beaten up by the consecutive waves of spell attacks. Pieces of grey crystals fell onto the ground, reducing the spirit’s body to less than one-third of its initial size. The grey spirit was now almost translucent as it curled up into the corner of the ceiling in the room, hiding away from the spells in dismay.
Bob and Chris held the myst pearls and protected the five casters, blocking the spirits' attack before it could even reach them. However, there were already many cracks on the surface of the pearls. It was just a low-ranked magic item, so it was already good enough that it could resist several attacks from the spirits.
When the other spirit saw this, it screamed and rushed towards Angelina and the others. It seemed like it wanted to rescue its companion. Of course, Locke wouldn’t let it do as it wished. He waved his longsword and rushed towards it, intercepting it before it could help the other. The casters threw a few more spells at it. Soon, the spirit was about to dissipate.
An orange fireball swirled around the tip of Joaquin's wand as she chanted with a confident expression. This mission wasn’t challenging at all. The five casters and three knights had surrounded and captured both of the low-ranked spirits easily.
Just as Joaquin was about to cast her last spell to exterminate the spirit for good, something unexpected happened.
“No!” Surprisingly, the spirit that was stopped by Locke spoke. It sounded like a female voice. Locke was stunned for a short while. He wasn’t expecting to hear a woman's voice coming from the grey spirit.
After distracting him, the grey spirit immediately spun around and escaped from Locke’s attack range and rushed towards the other spirit that was surrounded by the casters.
“Bone Wall!” it cried as it wedged in front of the other one before it dissipated and formed a wall with bones in mid-air, blocking the Joaquin and the others' spells.
After a loud explosion, the wall of bone shattered and the other spells dissipated as well, causing a strong fluctuation spell residue in the air. The two spirits quickly fled from the room.
“Go after them!” Joaquin cried.
The casters’ mental power and their mana reserves were almost used up, but they knew that the spirits were worn out as well. One of them was half gone and the other should be exhausted after casting a magic shield that blocked most of the spells.
Speaking of Bone Wall, it’d caught Joaquin off guard. The attacks from low-ranked spirits were typically very weak as they could only cast simple sonic spells, and spirits were usually ranked by how strong their manifestations could get. She’d never heard of low-ranked spirits casting spells before.
Joaquin was certain that Bone Wall was a kind of black magic, a taboo for casters. If dark magic was still studied by casters, then black magic was a kind of spell that was boycotted by casters who cared about humane methods. Cultivating black magic was extremely harsh and demanding as often required human sacrifice or suffering in the form of fear and their dying breath.
Besides that, the spirit’s ability to speak had also aroused her interest. Normally, only beasts who were level-one lifeforms could speak the human tongue. Some gifted creatures or creatures with a precious bloodline could have the intelligence of a human before they became level-one lifeforms, but they must be at least a high-ranked major monster. Both of these spirits didn't seem to fit the bill, though.