They couldn't see the mysterious, grey waves creeping at their feet. All of them fell to the ground and their souls were forced out of their body into the hands of a black-robed man.
Peter continued stalking Adam as he consumed the souls, but he was only slightly faster than an average apprentice. He began to reflect and decided that he didn't have time for games anymore. The next time he saw Adam, he would kill him with strong magic.
Grey mist spread around him, and everything near him disintegrated into nothingness, consumed by him.
He originally thought that he would toy with Adam before torturing him for eternity, but he didn't have time to do that anymore.
As an antimage, eyes were on him. For every second that he remains on the Mage Continent, the danger increases. He was paranoid that the mages had already discovered him.
Antimages can only survive because mages let them.
Before he came to the Mage Continent, Peter split his soul into two as a precautionary measure. His current body contains a large part of his soul and he was about as strong as a qualified mage. Even if he dies, he wouldn't be in danger, but he would be out of commission for a long time.
Thinking of this, he became angrier, "You're just a mere apprentice. You can't escape me."
Adam continued to run, letting his body run on autopilot. His systems were going into overdrive to replenish his mana. Peter's words were useful to him, so he was now sure that the trial grounds had boundaries, and it was likely that the boundary was made of runes as well; if he could cause damage to the barrier, it would definitely attract the mages' attention.
This is his only chance to survive.
He conjured a wind and water blade in front of him, cutting off everything in his path to ensure the fastest journey there.
As long as he keeps flying in one direction, he will hit the boundary sooner or later. He just hopes that he'll be faster than Peter.
Adam found that he was incredibly unlucky. The huge monsters were unable to keep up with him, but he attracted the attention of flying beasts.
His wind and water blades continuously cut the trees in front of him, but the devil yelled in his mind, "Master, up ahead!"
It was too late.
He slashed through a hornet's nest.
Compared to ordinary bees, these hornets were incredibly big and their stingers were as long as their bodies, dripping with dark green poison.
Beasts in the Mage Continent usually wouldn't bother any mages, but...
...wild beasts like these hornets were different. They act according to instincts, attacking anything that provokes them.
Adam dodged to the side and continued flying ahead. He didn't know how many hornets were chasing him. From his peripheral vision, he could see an overwhelming number of venomous blades of poison poking at his psychic barrier, attempting to pierce through it.
"Damn it!" Adam cursed. Adam needed to get rid of them.
One hornet is weak, since their bodies are fragile and slow. However, if they combined into a single being, they were incredibly strong and fast. Even Adam barely outpaced them.
During the chase, Adam encountered two teams of apprentices. The apprentices didn't even know what hit them and no traces of them were left.
Adam couldn't distract the hornets either, since the other beasts in the forest had long detected the hornets and hid themselves.
Adam could no longer maintain his original route, and he saw a green lake nearby.
Without thinking, Adam plunged into the lake and the hornets hovered over the lake, waiting for Adam to re-emerge.
The water was surprisingly calm, with ordinary fishes swimming about. Poison needles shot into the water like a machine gun, and the ones that hit Adam bounced off his psychic barrier.
"Damn it," Adam cursed again.
The devil shook in his mind, "Master, he's approaching."
Adam became desperate -- his body was weak, so he couldn't use teleportation magic anymore, and neither could he face the antimage head on. He was cornered.
The devil desperately poked at his brain, "Master, you must find a way! He's getting closer!"
Adam had to fight his way out and asked the devil telepathically, "Where is he coming from?"
Adam pointed himself at the south-east direction, and charged towards the antimage head on from underwater.
The devil screamed, "Master! Wrong direction!"
Adam ignored the devil pulling at his brain, using telekinesis to stir up huge waves at the bottom of the lake.
With a loud splash, Adam rushed out the surface of the lake with the huge waves of water.
Peter hurriedly flew through the rainforest, leaving behind a trail of rot and despair.
He darted towards the direction of the Death Mark, killing and devouring anything along his way, before realising the Death Mark had stopped. Peter immediately flung himself towards the Death Mark and smirked, guessing that Adam was hindered in some way.
"Unfortunate little mouse, but our game ends here. I'm getting impatient."
He soon arrived at a lake and saw Adam rushing towards him.
He chanted an obscure spell that darkened the sky and grey energy orbited around him, gathering into a focused energy beam, hitting Adam with a terrifying scream.
"Despair, and suffer! Perish under my magic!"
Peter grinned maniacally, condensing the power of thousands of tormented human souls to destroy Adam's soul.
Adam's eyes were grey, and his soul trembled. The devil braced itself, waiting for death.
At this time, the hornets shot out thousands of needles towards him, and Adam fell back into the needles without hesitation.
This was his last resort.
He lowered his psychic barrier and let the needles pierce through his body. The needles pierced through him and met Peter's focused beam, but the needles did nothing to hinder the beam, and Adam could feel his soul tearing apart.
But it buys Adam a few seconds.
Inside the house, the two mages could pinpoint Peter's exact location on the trial grounds. They instantly teleported and hovered over the lake, and their eyes widened.
"It's that apprentice!" one of them rushed towards Adam's falling body. Normally, he wouldn't care about the life and death of an apprentice, but Adam's status was special.
The second mage instantly understood the antimage's motives and muttered, "Paying such a great price to kill our greatest apprentice. You must be stupid."
The second mage spoke a brief spell, and complex runes were conjured in front of him. With a push, a huge pillar of fire showered over him. The lake evaporated in an instant, and the hornets were reduced into ash.
Peter's face fell, not expecting two mages to arrive. He immediately shredded a teleportation scroll to escape, but as soon as the spell was taking effect, great energy slashed through him, slicing him in half, leaving his lower-half body behind.