Soulmancer – Chapter 37: Unconventional IV

As the tall acolyte lunged at Izel, his blade glinting in the dim light of the train hallway, Izel’s instincts kicked in. With a swift sidestep, he narrowly avoided the deadly strike, feeling the rush of air as the blade sliced through nothing but empty space.

Undeterred, the acolyte pressed on, his movements fluid yet menacing. Another swing followed, the crackling energy of his magical attack leaving a searing trail as it missed its mark, scorching the wall with an ominous afterglow.

Izel, his heart racing, relied on pure reflexes to evade each successive blow. His muscles tensed as he bent and twisted, narrowly escaping the razor-sharp edge of the acolyte’s weapon. Despite his agile movements, the confined space of the train threatened to become his downfall, the edge of the platform looming dangerously close with each evasive maneuver.

With each passing moment, the tension in the air thickened, the acolyte’s relentless assault fueled by a growing reservoir of mana. Izel knew that one wrong move could spell disaster, sending him hurtling off the speeding train to an uncertain fate.


“You’ve got nowhere to go,” the tall acolyte sneered, his voice dripping with disdain.

“Right,” Izel’s senses spun as the train rattled beneath his feet, the rhythmic clatter threatening to unbalance him. He teetered on the edge, each movement a precarious dance with the abyss below. The threat of joining Mr. Blake in the afterlife loomed heavy in his mind.

“I’m busy, so I’ll finish it as soon as possible!” The acolyte’s words were a sharp warning, barely escaping his lips before he lunged forward, intent on ending the confrontation.

With reflexes honed by survival instinct and consecutive training, Izel reacted with breakneck speed. his fist pulsing with enhanced [strength] stat, each sinew vibrating with power. And with his [Constitution] stat, he fortified his calves, steeling them against the impact to come. As the acolyte’s attack bore down on him, Izel dodged with fluid grace, a dancer evading a predator’s strike.


The air crackled with energy as Izel’s fist connected with the acolyte’s gut. A spray of crimson painted the air, the metallic tang of blood mingling with the acrid scent of sweat and fear. The acolyte’s eyes widened in disbelief as his body was propelled like a human cannonball by the force of the blow.

The other acolytes watched in stunned silence, their disbelief mirrored in their widened eyes, quickly retracted from the impending cannonball. They had underestimated Izel and dismissed him as a mere obstacle to be overcome. Now, they witnessed the consequences of their folly, etched in the blood and dust of the battlefield.


The tall acolyte crashed into the ruined set wall with a deafening thud, sending clouds of dust billowing into the air. The shocking reality left them awestruck.

“Ouch,” the chubby acolyte muttered, rubbing his side as he stumbled back. “Uh, what—”


Despite the other acolyte’s sudden shock, Izel didn’t display much distress, his demeanor suggesting a certain strength. Was it due to some protective gear beneath his clothing? Uncertain, Izel pondered briefly, recalling the encounter with the steaming conductor acolyte. The pronounced ripples emanating from their bodies were partially obscured by what seemed to be a protective suit.

Izel sighed, releasing the magical energy, and focused on channeling mana into his [Cloud boots] and Cardigan Collar Cloak…

[The Special Effects of Stats Boost Long Collar Cardigan Cloak (D) had been activated.]

[Boost all stats temporarily by 10.]

[Increases heightened senses by 30% for one minute.]

[Activation time has been created.]

[Activation time left: 00:00:56.]

[Cloud Boots had been detected.]

[A Special Condition had been met.]

[Agility had solely been added to Movement Speed]

[Movement speed has increased by 50%]

After the surge of messages, his stats all had a temporary boost of 10. A whitish-blue aura enveloped his boots and cloak, infusing him with a euphoric sensation akin to being on drugs. He felt rejuvenated, his body light and brimming with stamina.



In an instant, he vanished, leaving the two acolytes momentarily bewildered. Then, with the speed of lightning, the blind teen’s enhanced hands seized their throats, as if immense, invisible hands hoisted them into the air.

“Uh, huh—?”

“Let me go! Put me down—!”

“How dare you? You blind brat—.”

“As you wish…” Izel sighed. Without delay, he morphed his hands and calves, launching them out of the high-speed train.


“Aigo! Save me—! Please!”

“Fucking piece of shit—!!!!!”

Their screams pierced the atmosphere as their bodies soared through the air, slowly receding. Izel detested killing, but since they attacked him first, he showed them no mercy.

[Activation time left 00:00: 48.]

After handling the situation, Izel brushed off his palms, wincing at the cold wind. He also smoothed down his slightly messy hair. Though he didn’t usually pay much attention to his appearance, his long, noodle-like hair required special care; otherwise, it became quite cumbersome. “It’s looking better now,” he muttered to himself.


[Activation time left 00:00: 32.]

As the Boost Long Collar Cardigan Cloak’s timer ticked down to a mere thirty seconds, Izel contemplated making a swift escape. However, his thoughts were interrupted by the sudden appearance of new figures clad in trench coats and adorned with acolytes’ crow masks.

With each approaching footstep, Izel’s frustration grew. It seemed that for every adversary he dealt with, another emerged to take their place. There was no respite in sight.

“What’s going on here—?” Izel muttered under his breath, his annoyance palpable.

“Is that a survivor—?” one of the newcomers speculated.

“Nah, looks more like a Blind Kid—?” another chimed in.

Surveying the half-destroyed ‘set’ No. 5 and the solitary figure of Izel, the newcomers’ expressions hardened.

“Take him out—!” the apparent leader barked, his voice dripping with bloodlust.

“But he’s just a Blind Kid—!” protested one of the others.

“I don’t care if he’s an old muse—!” the captain retorted fiercely.


As the others defied the commands of the man who appeared to be the captain, he roared out the order with a surge of bloodlust. Startled by his intensity, the men swiftly aimed their magical rifles at the blind teenager.

[Activation time left 00:00: 20.]

Sensing the tension in the air, Izel felt an urge to let out a sigh, but he suppressed it. Contemplating his next move within the dwindling activation time ticking in his mind, he knew he had to see this through to the end.

“Shoot!” The Captain’s eyes, hidden behind his crow mask, turned icy as he issued orders.


…but the magical rifles remained silent, only the empty click of the clips filling the air.


The magic dispersed abruptly, vanishing as soon as the triggers were pulled.


“What are you doing—?”

“Squad leader, the guns are broken—!”


Confusion rippled among the acolytes as they tried to comprehend the sudden malfunction of their magical weapons.

[Activation time left 00:00: 10.]

Without delay, Izel vanished; not through invisibility, but with a swift dash through the air, intent on dealing with these guys before time ran out.




Confusion befell the acolytes, greeted by nothing but dissipated dust where the blind teen once stood.

“Where did he go—?”

“Eek! He was just here—?”

Before his enhanced hand could strike an acolyte’s gut, Izel overlooked one crucial detail: a formidable Knight-type Hunter among them, strong enough to react.


Izel was knocked back, crashing into the run-down hallway, triggering clouds of dust and shrapnel that shattered.

The hunter-like acolyte, his kick suspended in the air amid the grey smoke, eyed the crash site warily.

“He’s a Hunter—.”


“Doesn’t matter. He must die too—”

The squad leader of the acolytes clicked his tongue, unfazed.

[00:00 left]

[All Heightened Senses had reciprocated back to normal.]

“Damn it,” Izel cursed under his breath, clicking his tongue in frustration. His luck always seemed to take a nosedive whenever this damned Cardigan Cloak effect caught him off guard. The blind teen felt a sudden emptiness wash over him as if all his heightened senses had deflated in an instant. The rush of hormones and invigorating enhancements that once strengthened him vanished, leaving behind nothing but a blank void.

As he tried to make sense of his empty mind, Izel let out a sigh. ‘What’s wrong with this? These guys were trying to kill me from the beginning,’ he thought, recalling the words of the apparent leader of the acolytes.

He was certain these guys were suicidal acolytes, and whatever he said here wouldn’t work. Manipulating mana into his Hunter Kit, time echoed in his mind. Less than 30 minutes had passed since the attack started. “Time is… still a little lacking,” he muttered, clicking his thoughts together as he got up from the crash.

Unable to sense the passing scenery outside due to the disorientation and blurriness caused by the high-speed train, Izel could feel its cold, airy winds brushing against his skin. Though he acknowledged how beautiful and lively it must look to anyone else, the scene turned terrifying when eerie lightning flashed onto the damaged hallway and ‘set’ walls.

There was still time before the train left the sleek mega sections covered in ambiance and beauty, so surely reinforcements would come. ‘I can’t help it,’ he reconsidered, weighing the location and time. Reinforcements would need at least 30 minutes to arrive. ‘I have no choice but to persevere,’ Izel decided.

* * *


“Get out of the fucking way, cyborg!”

“Don’t block my freaking way, kid!”

Pushing the panicked individuals, who got out of their compartments, humans, despite the lurking and mysterious dangers, remained curious entities. They were blocking the entrance to the fifth, sixth, and seventh sets. The Knight-type acolytes lined up, their weapons facing the blind teen who walked out amidst the knocked-out dust and dirt in set No. 5. Their faces held a slight nervousness.

He wore a black cloak with a high collar over a neat inner outfit that clung to his androgynous, fairly brown-skinned body. His long, curly white-silver hair was tied in a ponytail with well-trimmed bangs. His dull eyes reflected the gloom of the sky outside. His expensive-looking uptowns added to the unusual aura around him, colder than the chilly wind blowing outside. His appearance and demeanor were striking.

In truth, in his grasp, their fellow acolytes who surged in from the rear of the magical train met their demise. “Who the hell is he?” The demon Hidden Hunter, evidently the one leading the train raid, scowled at the blind teen before him. He couldn’t comprehend how such a skilled hunter could find himself aboard an unconventional means of transportation, one that evaded the ‘Moderator’ radar, a route chosen by only a select few.

‘No, it doesn’t matter who he is,’ he briefly thought. He had recruited a large number of knight-type acolytes lying about in the First District. So, defeating the few hunters aboard this magical train was a breeze with overwhelming force and suicidal tactics. He didn’t expect there to be a skilled hunter, but even if there was, there was only one blind opponent. They had four knight-type acolytes, and their squad leader, Gideon, was a C-rank ex-hunter before he became an acolyte.

‘Unless the opponent is at least a C-rank Hunter, there will be no problem.’ The Hidden Hunter pondered briefly, there weren’t many B-rank Hunters around here who’d opt for such transportation. And if this blind teen had achieved a C-rank or higher at such a tender age, rumors would’ve surely spread like wildfire. At best, he could match Gideon’s C-rank. Perhaps this blind teen before him was privy to this knowledge, opting not to unleash his full potential. “Hmm… 5 knight-type acolytes—” He muttered as he sneakily observed the scene keeping his demonic energy strictly hidden.

“It’s too late for you now—,” another acolyte interjected menacingly.

“Don’t blame me if I end you, kid—,” yet another chimed in with a sinister tone.

In response to their provocations, the blind teen let out a weary sigh. “Is that so?” His words carried an air of hidden knowledge. “Then, I suppose I have no choice but to adapt my strategy a bit.”

With a swift motion, the blind teen raised his hand. His skin took on an oily sheen as sparks ignited, coalescing into a searing, purplish-dark sphere in his palm.

“Uh, huh? What’s he up to—?” one of the acolytes questioned, uncertainty lacing his voice.

“He’s attempting a flame-type attack. Prepare yourselves—,” another warned, a hint of apprehension evident.

“Let’s rush him before he unleashes it—,” the third urged, his voice brimming with determination.

As the knight-type acolytes observed the blind teen, preparing to counter his mysterious skill that emitted an eerie humming sound, they synchronized their movements, closing in on him with a united front. It was their only recourse; after all, unity could tilt the odds in their favor.

“It’s probably just a Mana Blast—,” one of them reassured himself as mana enveloped the purplish-dark sphere in front of him.

“But it feels ominous—,” another murmured, his confidence waning.

“Ain’t shit; just attack together!” the third commanded, his voice laced with urgency.

“Yes, let’s end this!” The last agreed.

At that moment, each acolyte surged forward with a bloodlust, coating their weapons with mana and unleashing a flurry of attacks, their skills activating simultaneously as they aimed to bring an end to the blind teen’s life in one decisive blow.


The blind teen sneered as the sizzling, fist-sized, somewhat unstable flame howled, surging forth from his grasp despite its flaws. The flame gleamed and blazed with intensity, casting a brilliant light through the damaged hallway as the acolytes drew closer, poised to deal a lethal blow to the blind hunter. However…


The acolytes, primed to end the pathetic life of the blind hunter, were blown away, and the already damaged hallway walls exploded into pieces. Blood and body parts littered the floor, some were knocked back with such force that they tumbled out of the train.


“Namson is dead—!”

“Even Bumada’s body is nowhere to be found—!”

Gideon, the squad leader of the acolytes, was puzzled by what had just happened. He twisted his face and looked at his missing arm, dripping with blood. Despair and terror slowly etched themselves onto his face, mind, and soul.

“I can’t fully control it yet,” Izel murmured to himself, sensing both his mana and the ‘Inferno’—purplish-black energy—leaking out of him like a deflating balloon as soon as he unleashed the power of the Hellflame. The consumption for this skill was exorbitant; it demanded all of his ‘Inferno’ and half of his mana to conjure a manageable Hellflame.

Letting out a rueful sigh, Izel briefly thought, “To think it was slightly better than before.” Though it was unexpected that the skill had improved slightly, he still needed extensive training to master it perfectly. At least its stabilization was better, but he still required more practice to make it truly usable. He thought that, but even as he tried his absolute best, the destructive power didn’t expand close to nearby people. It was a feat accomplished by just his confidence, gentle heart, and 2% proficiency in [Hellflame]. This made Izel nod proudly, but not for long, as an agonizing scream interrupted his thought.


The loud fretted scream came from his front, seemingly from the squad leader of the acolytes, at least that was what Izel heard the others call him.


Just moments before the eruption of the [Hellflame] blast, the acolyte squad leader sensed something awry and swiftly retracted. Despite the Blast’s relatively contained area, its firepower was formidable, catching one of his arms in the onslaught. The once-damaged hallway now appeared even more grotesque, with crumbling walls, shrapnel, glass shards, and the scorched remnants of his men strewn about amidst the veil of dirt and dust.


Amidst the chaotic aftermath, the man before him momentarily lost his vigilance.

The squad leader gritted his teeth, channeling mana into his severed arm to stem the bleeding. As the haze of dust settled, Izel couldn’t help but feel a grim satisfaction that his volatile skills had inflicted such damage upon the four knight-type Acolytes.

“Wicked bastard! You’ve slaughtered my men and taken my arm!” Gideon, the acolyte’s squad leader, despaired, his eyes darting between his maimed limb and the shattered bodies of his comrades.

‘Did he just explode the rest with a single orb of flame-like mana blast? Could he be a Mage?’ In other words, his potent attack was astounding, but what made the squad leader even more nervous was his opponent’s behavior. Usually, only a few Knight-type Hunters could utilize [Mana Blast], yet not as potent as Mage-type Hunters due to the size of their mana pool. Yet this blind brat, amidst the clearing clouds of dust and dirt, now just utilized something similar yet more sinister.

Moreover, Gideon also senses an awkward vibe from this kid; his fighting style is strange. Feeling the situation’s weight, this strange blind kid’s speed briefly increased—so fast that it felt akin to stealth, yet not quite. If not for a brief interference from one of his now-deceased comrades, who knocked him away, he would have died before he knew it.

In the end, ‘There is no way this is the way of a normal Hunter.’ He concluded. Rather than a Hunter, the way the kid acted was closer to an experienced veteran, enough to be a High Hunter. ‘Just who the hell is this bastard from…?’ He aimlessly wondered, ‘Which district? Or perhaps which guild?’ He couldn’t help but think that as he tore part of his cloak and tied his severed arm.

At first, he thought that a Hunter had murdered his comrades. After all, most of the people on this magical train were those who just wanted to relax and never cared about security or the flaws of this means of transportation—wealthy merchants seeking luxurious pleasure, and a few Hunters.

So, he never expected someone of this caliber to be on this train. Gideon, worried, opened his mouth with a heavier expression on his face, controlling his breath, and thankful he still had reserved mana to stop the bleeding, or he would have been at his end from the loss of blood.

The acolyte squad leader, Gideon, blinked his somewhat blurry eyes just for a second—thinking and evaluating the distance between him and the blind kid. However, he felt a sense of alienation that could not be described in words and quickly realized the reason.


From the faded dust and dirt, nothing was heard from the other side. No, the blind kid wasn’t there.

“Ah! He vanished and ran away!”

It was too late to stop him. In the first place, his opponent didn’t have to engage in combat. Simply fleeing and prolonging the confrontation would have sufficed, especially after delivering a potent attack to raise awareness.

“Any Acolyte alive! Don’t let him escape!” Despite his urgent command, no one remained to scout the area, leaving him no choice but to do it himself. Hurriedly, he extended his mana in all directions using the principle of [Mana Inspection], darting through the distorted magical train until he reached the foremost ‘set’, No. 13.

As he swung open the door, a scene of gloomy skies, vibrant mega sections, and violent downpours greeted him, along with flashes of eerie lightning. The sensation of disorientation from the train’s high speed only added to the chaos. Blinking to adjust his focus, he realized this was where the Blind Hunter had last been sensed with his [Mana Inspection]. Yet, upon arrival, the elusive figure was nowhere to be found.

Gideon clenched his teeth, cursing his oversight. “He kept reminding me he didn’t have to engage in combat.” It was a critical miscalculation. Who would have anticipated such determination to flee? With his comrades fallen, the squad leader stared beyond the train, feeling a surge of powerful magic behind him.


“What’s this?” he muttered, turning hastily to see the young blind man, who should have vanished from the magical train. “Why are you here?” he couldn’t help but wonder aloud. Yet, the boy’s presence was secondary. The looming threat lay in the shortsword he wielded, emitting an eerie, sinister aura.

‘Darn it, I must evade,’ Gideon thought inwardly. Evading was no longer an option; he had to block the impending attack. With that hurried decision, he channeled his magic power to erect a barrier of formidable strength.


The air vibrated as a massive, sinister heterochromatic aura cleaved through the entirety of ‘set’ No. 13, shattering parts of the train with explosive force.


The explosion showcased the intensity of a single wave-like pure colorful aura.

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