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1381 Extreme Racing

After passing Cage Mountain, the trio headed west towards the Impassable Mountain Range.

In less than half an hour, Maggie was the first to admit defeat.

At an altitude of 1500 meters, the Phoenix easily relied on its two engines to fly at 400 km/h. While Maggie's petrel form could also attain that speed, she could only sustain it for a short while. Against the brand new Type-14 Engine that did not tire out, shaking Maggie off was something bound to happen.

"How was it?" Tilly asked with her hand to her lips.

"… I-I can still fly… Coo!" Maggie gasped for breath.

"You've done your best. I'll take it from here."

Lightning took her unyielding companion into her embrace and took over the second stage of the competition.

The human and plane began a new pursuit in the dusky sky.

The scenery below got smaller; the mountain range that separated the human kingdoms gradually turned into a wriggling black line. Tilly noticed the Red Mist flowing at the ridge of the continent towards Everwinter and Kingdom of Wolfheart like a turbid screen. The land within the screen had been completely filled with the Red Mist, but as long as one was in the sky, one could see the true appearance of the world.

"Is this your limit?" Lightning's voice sounded. "I can fly even faster!"

With regards to flying speed, Lightning's abilities were truly unparalleled. Even the Sky Lord that had the ability of opening portals had lost to her.

But winning was not the most important thing for TIlly.

Being able to pilot the enormous yet nimble plane and pushing its performance to its limit was enough enjoyment for her.

She retracted her gaze and smiled. The nose of the plane tilted upwards as the plane flew even higher.

Lightning followed along, but maintained her lead of about 100 meters.

According to the introduction in the manual, Phoenix had been optimized using the technology from the Dream World and all the crucial points were personally made by Anna, and thus possessed a base and quality far surpassing that of the Fire of Heaven. The maximum speed attainable for horizontal flight was 550 km/h with the capability of flying over 1500 kilometers. The dual star-shaped engines on both wings were equipped with turbine systems, allowing the Phoenix to fly at an altitude of 3000 meters without having its performance drastically affected. All of these were features the mass-produced planes were incapable of achieving.

But they were not the Phoenix's biggest feature.

The airframe composition had been strengthened by Doris and Candle, and it could be said that in terms of durability and strength for the materials used, they were the highest-end compositions integrated by both technology and magic power.

Tilly was aware that the propeller held the most advantage at slow speeds and its efficiency to propel forward would drop if its speed was increased. Therefore, to think of catching up to Lightning just based on the power of the propellers was an impossibility.

She needed to rely on other forces.

After increasing her altitude far above the clouds, Tilly accelerated to its limits and pressed the control stick downwards.

The engines immediately unleashed a resounding boom!

After the abrupt turn, Phoenix swooped down.

To maintain her lead, Lightning adjusted her direction and dropped at a rapid speed, but to avoid affecting one another, she maintained a horizontal distance of a kilometer away from Tilly. The vertical 100 meters distance did not change—At that altitude and speed, the 'light membrane' formed by her magic power became extremely distinct as radiating ripples formed a layer of protection around her, preventing her from suffering from the cold winds or the change in pressure.

In that state, the rate of magic power consumption Lightning expended was undoubtedly far higher than her regular flights.

Even when testing her abilities, Roland had mentioned the reason why Lightning should never maintain her supersonic speeds for extended periods of time was not because of the high consumption of magic power the flight required, but that the consumption rose sharply under an extreme state for the synchronization of magic power and her body.

As a result, she rarely went at sonic speeds during her patrols.

Squandering magic power was an extremely dangerous matter for any Witch.

Of course, Tilly was nowhere better. The thin air at high altitudes made it difficult for her to breath. The gales formed by the engines working at full force caused the cockpit to rumble and tremble incessantly. Without the protection of magic power synchronization, she could only hold out with her body alone.

According to the distance covered, the Phoenix had approached a speed of 800 km/h.

This was a speed far beyond its limit.

Although Lightning was consistently staying ahead of the plane's nose, she no longer had the time to use the Sigil of Listening.

That's right, Tilly was relying on gravity.

She had discovered it while piloting the biplane. When she accumulated sufficient altitude and converted it to speed in an instant, she was able to easily break through the limit of the plane.

But the risks brought about by such speeds could not be overlooked. They ranged from not being able to pull the plane up again to disintegrating in midair.

If Tilly did not rely on her perceptive capabilities to sense the critical point, she would never have dared to employ such a move in its maiden flight.

But even so, the chance of catching up to Lightning was miniscule.

She recalled Roland's words, restricted by the propeller blades, it required an extremely enormous price for a piston engine to surpass the speed of sound. In other words, the gains did not make up for the losses, to the extent that propellers were replaced by jet engines as soon as the latter was produced. However, Lightning was able to break through the sound barrier at any moment, so the disparity between the two were not at the same level.

Therefore, she required external help.

Following the descent from a high altitude, they rushed towards the dense and dark clouds that sat at an altitude of 2500 meters as though they were colliding into it.

The Phoenix whistled through the dark clouds and formed a 'fog pillar'!

At that moment, the plane's speed surpassed 900 km/h and the tremblings from the airframe extended to the wings. Tilly could feel the sharp wings cut through the viscous airflow; the resistance from the high speed caused air to no longer act ethereal, but more of a thick and dense wall.

Lightning disappeared from her vision.

Tilly knew that her opportunity had come.

She focused her attention on controlling the plane. The propulsion force supplied by the propellers at that speed was almost equivalent to resistance. Any ordinary person would consider the matter about pulling the nose back up and not dive down any faster. Only Tilly was able to maintain precise control under the violent trembles and raise the plane speed up a notch.

Although the increase of speed was not huge, but it was enough for her to close the distance with Lightning.

When the Phoenix was closing in on its limit, she flew out of the clouds!

The vast and endless land appeared before her once again.

Lightning emerged at the same time. Compared to her previous 100 meters lead, Lightning was actually flying alongside the plane. After realizing it, the latter immediately broke the sound barrier, but soon reduced her speed once more. She turned and flew close to the cockpit.

"As expected of Your Highness." Lightning's expression showed no signs of dejection; instead, she had a look of admiration. "You actually thought of using the clouds."

"If it had been slightly thinner, I would never had been able to catch up to you." Tilly pulled the plane horizontally and laughed.

Right from the beginning, Tilly's plan was to have Lightning get used to a stable acceleration and finally use the cover of the dark clouds to overtake her. Although it was only for an instant, the Phoenix was indeed capable of closing the gap.

"Wait, where are we?" Maggie dug her head out of Lightning's bosom.

"Uh…" Tilly looked around, only to discover unfamiliar terrain below them with the Impassable Mountain Range left far behind them. They had been too immersed in the competition and never noticed how far they had flown northwest. "I'm guessing somewhere in the Fertile Plains?"

"Likely." Lightning took out a telescope. "But it is a part of the Fertile Plains which we have never stepped into. If we consider the route, our east should be the boundary between the Kingdom of Wolfheart and Everwinter, while the ridge of the continent should be—"

At this point, her voice trailed off.


Tilly followed her gaze and froze.

Hidden behind the clouds and mist was a faintly discernible mountain range, far taller and majestic than the Impassable Mountain Range. But having heard of its' existence from Agatha and the Exploration Group, Tilly was not overly surprised at the first sight.

What shocked her was the top of the mountain rage.

Dark and gloomy red clouds covered the summit, endless streaks of lightning flickered within, like a storm formed by fresh blood.

Without a doubt, it was not a natural phenomenon.

The red clouds gave Tilly an extremely uneasy feeling.