Book 2, Chapter 15

Stalemate(2)

Menta’s thundering roar echoed throughout the base, the whizzing of his morningstar through the air so sharp it made one’s heart race. However, even with his advantage in level and energy, he had no way to win over Gangdor. The brute’s innate strength allowed him to match Menta blow for blow, and unlike his rough appearance he was extremely slick. He made great use of the narrow roads between the buildings; the restrictions to Menta’s morningstar were worse than that to his axe.

What enraged Menta even more was that the buildings in this base were sturdier than the typical houses. Be it the walls or the wooden doors, they were stronger than they seemed. Menta often knocked through a corner with a swing of his weapon, but it would get caught on walls and the chain would rebound, bringing shattered bricks back his way.

After a blind flurry of attacks without regard for his stamina and energy, Menta eventually caught Gangdor in a strike. His wild strength cracked his opponent’s axe, the spikes of the morningstar leaving deep wounds on Gangdor’s chest. However, Gangdor did not even groan because of the damage. His hand still held tight to his axe, as if nothing had happened to him.

Getting hurt was normal in the Archeron death camps. Anyone who could survive that hell was abnormal, able to completely ignore pain. Menta’s breathing grew heavier, but Gangdor seemed to be undead as he stood back up regardless of the toughness of his injuries. It was as though he could be injured but not killed, his energy still going strong as if he had no limits to his strength. Menta had determined at the start that Gangdor was only level 10, but even with a three level difference their fight was this close. He couldn’t help but rage.

Behind Gangdor was another knight, shield in one hand and axe in the other. He guarded the brute’s back, leaving the opponent knights charging them down with no way to attack. He kept Gangdor’s back and side protected.

These level 10 knights that Gaton had dispatched weren’t particularly talented, but they were all experienced at war. They were like rocks in the middle of battle, unmoving and undefeatable.

Menta had grown so enraged at this point that he was preparing to end Gangdor in one blow. However, a faint voice sounded out at that moment, faint light flashing across Gangdor’s body even as a song was sung. The exhausted giant regained lucidity immediately, his strength even seeming to grow as he once more blocked off Menta’s numerous full-power blows.

“Damn it! VERMIN!” Menta cursed in fury. Gangdor had regained his strength from the song of the elven bard. In this plane bards weren’t only about their arts— most of them sold their bodies. They were basically the same as female dancers.

However, it was this ‘cheap’ class that disrupted this battle greatly. Olar was extremely agile, moving back and forth between the buildings freely as though he was in the forest. He chose the occasional opportunity to jump up on a roof, quickly shooting down some unlucky warriors before he fled to somewhere safe before he was encircled. Every draw of his bow let loose an arrow at an opponent’s vitals, all without much time taken to aim. Those shot were either immobilised, or outright killed.

At his level, Olar could bless three people with the power of his battle song. Gangdor and two other knights radiated energy immediately, lengthening the battle once more.

Gangdor retreated without end, while Menta advanced. By the time the former backed out of the narrow alley to stand at a crossroad, a ray of sacred light shone down on him. The wound marks on his chest stopped bleeding immediately, as the flesh wriggled at a speed visible to the naked eye. The wounds slowly closed up.

“Greater heal!” Menta roared hysterically. This one skill destroyed practically all of his morale. Who was this priest? The spell was even more powerful than the older priest they had brought along, and he had been level 10!

The rarest type of intruder was a priest. Differing planar laws led to the dominion of differing deities, and a priest often lost their connection to their god— and thus their power— when they entered a new plane. Replenishing one’s mana wouldn’t be a problem, but they would not be able to advance.

Menta scanned the surroundings, spotting the window of a building at the street corner immediately. There was the silhouette of a woman who looked like a priest behind it.

He instantly pointed to that building, shouting, “MEN! SLAUGHTER THAT WHORE!”

Two soldiers responded, breaking into the building, but a dim sword crossed them the moment they stepped within. It sliced across them, before Waterflower left the floor with the Shepherd of Eternal Rest in hand. She went up to the second floor, jumping into one of the rooms before exiting through the windows to disappear into another building. Richard and Flowsand, originally at the second floor as well, were nowhere to be seen.

Another ray of sacred light landed in the blink of an eye, stopping the bleeding of a badly injured soldier immediately. A fireball exploded not far away, taking out the enemies who were chasing him. The knight used the opportunity to duck into one of the buildings nearby. Flowsand’s spell would treat most of his injuries in a few minutes, which was enough time for him to regain some energy as well.

The third, the fourth, and the fifth… Even more rays of sacred light flashed across the battlefield, each one only fuelling Menta’s flaming rage. His victory had been reversed, just like that, and none of the enemies had been killed yet. Every ray falling down tipped the scales of the battle a little, and this didn’t even count that mage! He’d already cast five fireballs and two icicle storms— was his power neverending just like that priest’s?

Menta felt like attacking that hateful priest himself, but Gangdor who was standing before him held on tightly, giving him no room to escape. The smell of blood in the base grew stronger and stronger, but most of it was from Menta’s troops.

“HUBERT! Where did that scoundrel go? HUBERT! KILL THAT WHORE!” Menta’s roar covered the base once again, but the reply he received this time was actually a strange mournful shriek!

His heart skipped a beat, an indescribable hurriedness suddenly filling his mind. He recognised the scream to be from a subordinate, but these warriors had all seen blood and death before, most even fighting those of other races. Even dying in battle they should not have been screaming like this! This was a scream of extreme fear.

Even the undead would not scare his warriors. These intruders seemed to be humans themselves, what was it?

The shriek had come from a small house at the corner of the base. A warrior was rolling around on the floor, trying to get a large, exotic insect off his body. It was a metre-long worm that shone black, dragging along a strangely large abdomen with six stout legs. It looked very clumsy.

The shell on the creature’s back was open, and it flapped its wings from time to time. A pair of short yet sharp pincers pierced the warrior's body, the creature burrowing into him. The panic-stricken warrior could only try and hit the bug with his hands— his weapons were long lost.

Another warrior rushed over to the scene, taking a breath of cold air at the frightening sight. He froze for a few seconds, before charging forward with a roar, his sword held in hand. That roar was not to threaten the enemy— it was meant to give him courage.

This was the broodmother that had hatched from the Eternal Dragon’s ‘seed.’ It had grown severalfold in a single day of foraging, from the size of a kitten to the metre-long beast that it was now. Seeing a new enemy, it pulled its head out of the previous warrior’s body, fixing its eyes upon the charging prey.

The warrior lying on the ground them started to feel an unbearable pain. He looked down, only to see the armour, skin, flesh, and even bone at his waist all gone. The resulting scream did not even sound human, and he collapsed with his eyes rolled up.

The broodmother’s shell opened up once again, and it swayed as it flew up and pounced at the opposing warrior. Its movement was comical, as if it was difficult for it to maintain balance.

Hearing his comrade’s scream, the man felt goosebumps rising on his body. He roared again, the longsword in his hand slashing down like a howling wind as he attacked the creature’s head and back thrice. Attacked in mid-air, the creature fell to the ground with a thud. The sword’s hits on its shell had done nothing, only leaving a clang of metals colliding behind. The level 5 elite's three powerful strikes had only left scars on the shell, not making their way through.

The broodmother’s mouth suddenly moved, and it let loose a mental attack on the warrior. The veteran of battle only felt like there were tens of sharp needles piercing into his brain, taking his vision away as he lost his balance and fell. The broodmother pounced on him immediately, clinging firmly to his head with its six legs as it pierced through his back with its pincers.

Richard’s silhouette appeared at the door of the house. Seeing the two warriors defeated, he quickly moved onto the next battlefield. Flowsand followed closely, peeking into the room as well. Her pupils shrunk at the sight of the broodmother, but she hurried behind Richard without saying a word.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: YT

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA