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A note from puddles4263

2/14

Alana, how much longer? Mrs. Hamilton asked through party chat.

...hard to say. Soon. But as you expected, she’s trouble.

Now that they were forced to reveal Decklan so early, they couldn’t afford to keep allowing Randidly to pick them off one by one. It was time to drag this monster down while they still had spare manpower. Don’t hold back. Even if one of you gets injured, we are going to need you to keep him still long enough for Beryl to use the Skill.

Got it. Came Alana’s bland reply.

Mrs. Hamilton clicked her tongue. The fact that the woman replied at all in the middle of the fight was a testament to how annoyed she was. Although Mrs. Hamilton fully understood that frustration, it didn’t matter right now. They needed to get rid of Helen before they could corner Randidly.

Decklan spun his dagger expertly. “I must say, I had to stay almost five miles away before Mrs. Hamilton was satisfied. She was worried you’d be able to sense me from any closer than that. So I haven’t seen these images of yours in person, I’ve only heard about them. But now that I’m here… are they really that powerful?”

Randidly didn’t reply. Although the gash on his arm was deep, she felt a sinking feeling in her chest. She had wanted that blow to be debilitating, not just cut away a chunk of Randidly’s Health.

His expression remained inscrutable as he studied Decklan. His emerald eyes seemed to glow, and Mrs. Hamilton suspected that he was directly viewing the recipient’s Skills somehow. It wasn’t infallible, based on Randidly’s continued intense stare at Donny, but it would still give him an idea what to expect with Decklan.

Besides, Decklan’s first strike would undoubtedly be the most damaging. Without the element of surprise, it would be much harder to bleed Randidly once more. The Shadow Teleportation that Decklan had used to move immediately to Mrs. Hamilton’s side had an extremely long cooldown, or else this part of the fight would have been much easier.

If she hadn’t believed it was necessary, Mrs. Hamilton would have preferred not to use Decklan. Both because the fact he wasn’t listed as one of the participants or standing on the arena at the beginning of the match was extremely misleading and because of the strange darkness Decklan had carried since Tera had died.

Meeting Randidly had done some good to even him out, but it was clear that Decklan was not in a healthy mental state. Yet they couldn’t afford to lose here. This was the strength of Donnyton. If Randidly wanted to call them weak, he needed to do that after enduring everything they could throw at him.

If he wanted to complain or call her a liar, he could do it after the match was decided.

“So, let’s-” Decklan began, but Mrs. Hamilton cut him off. With the most recent round of casualties, their numbers had fallen to barely twenty. They simply didn’t have time for any of this.

“Less talking, more attacking,” Mrs. Hamilton ordered. “You know his Regeneration- if you wait too long he will simply heal all that damage back. Move, everyone. Glendel? Stop being cute.”

“Got it,” Came Glendel’s short reply. Rather than continuing to charge, his two-headed bear pulled up short. As it stood to its full height of seven meters, it opened its mouth and gathered dozens of glowing motes of light. Very soon, those bits of light had condensed into an egg that blasted out a beam of concentrated energy.

Even seeing that attack, Mrs. Hamilton felt a hint of loss in her chest. That beam was the reason it had been so dangerous. To that beam, two of Donnyton’s finest had died.

Before the bear had even begun to gather energy for its blast, Randidly began to move. But Mrs. Hamilton had prepared for that. Her steel wires tightened around him like a garrote, aiming to cut into his flesh. Further, Annie used two more of her precious Slaughter arrows, pinning Randidly down.

In order to make double sure he stayed in place, Sam had retrieved his precious hammer and pointed it at Randidly. A blast of concentrated cold short forward, frosting the ground with its passage.

Yet Randidly cut wildly, severing most of Mrs. Hamilton’s wires. Those few he missed were caught by the damned roots. Mrs. Hamilton tightened the wires, but the roots were remarkably resilient. It bought Randidly more than enough time to turn toward the blast unleashed by Sam’s hammer.

In the face of the cold, that terrible monster above Randidly howled. His body rippled and the cold just… passed through him. Without blinking, Randidly turned to face the beam unleashed at him by the two-headed bears. Randidly’s living spear cut forward to smashed the beam.

For a second, her breath caught in Mrs. Hamilton’s chest. He’s going to face it directly?!? Then there was a flash of light and a shockwave smashed Mrs. Hamilton in the chest, Gritting her teeth, she forced herself to stay on her feet and continually monitored Randidly. They couldn’t afford for him to escape encirclement. Luckily, Decklan had used that moment to move closer and struck at Randidly’s back.

“Did you think I wouldn’t take this chance?” Decklan’s bitter comment cut through the smoke and dust.

“I was banking on it,” Randidly replied, his voice completely calm despite tanking the attack that had killed two people while the two-headed bear was alive.

Both blurred into motion, activating Skills that gave them multiple high-speed attacks. Yet as that monster twisted above Randidly, Mrs. Hamilton knew in her heart which one of them would end up on top.

Coughing, Decklan’s body was riddled with six holes as he fell backward. Meanwhile, Randidly only had two relatively shallow cuts on him, in addition to the large gash that Decklan originally inflicted. It wasn’t much, but it meant they were catching him.

In addition, Randidly’s expression twitching as Decklan left another corpse floating in the air near him. Simultaneously, Donny produced another corpse and threw it at Randidly’s back.

Right before she detonated the corpses with Corpse Explosion, before Randidly’s spear blurred upward or the roots shot out of the ground to seize the corpse Donny threw at his back, Randidly twisted his head and looked across the arena and looked at her. His eyes were very, very green.

Corpse Explosion.

Even as the force of the Skill rocked the surrounding area and filled the air with more debris, Mrs. Hamilton used hand signals to inform Donny and Glendel of the abrupt change in plans. If I’m not wrong, it seems he finally views me as the biggest threat. Good. That will make the next part of this much easier.

But contrary to her hopes, Randidly didn’t attack her immediately. Instead, another wave of those unpredictable grey blades formed. Except this time, it wasn’t just a handful. Almost two hundred gathered above the spot where the aftereffects of the Corpse explosion still lingered. Without any warning, they exploded outward to rain on the grim-faced troops of Donnyton.

Perhaps even more annoying was the fact that Randidly hadn’t even had the decency to simply rely on numbers to inflict damage. It seemed he actively controlled the blades to weave together in unpredictable patterns, striking in tight clusters at the survivors. While heard the pained cries of her men, Mrs. Hamilton moved her hands and brought her steel wires up to defend herself.

Unfortunately, these blades appeared to be more powerful than the previous waves. As it was, even she was unprepared for the full barrage. Cursing, Mrs. Hamilton raised a hand and used Healing Touch to rapidly close the gash on her arm. It was with a sort of bleak helplessness that she saw that Ptolemy’s leg had been ripped open in that wave as well.

It seemed that perhaps Randidly had concentrated his fire more than Mrs. Hamilton would have thought. Casualties were mounting.

Immediately, Randidly appeared before her with his spear aimed at her heart. Although he was clearly disheveled and bleeding, the intensity in his eyes made Mrs. Hamilton shiver.

At times like this, I wonder why I ever thought we could win, she thought bitterly.

Luckily, Donny and Glendel didn’t appear to have as much difficulty in enduring the blades as she had. Both of them arrived next to her only a small fraction of time after Randidly. While Glendel conjured a powerful Earth Golem spirit, Donny used Aura of a Leader to boost all of their Stats a small amount.

Heedless, Randidly swept forward like a force of nature.

The Earth Golem raised its arms, but it was simply too slow. After smashing one of its legs, Randidly flowed around it like a playful spring breeze. Donny had moved in Randidly’s path, but Randidly avoided a direct confrontation and seemed to used that horrific Skill of his to not even need to dash around Donny. Instead, he ghosted through him and thrust his spear toward Mrs. Hamilton.

Releasing a breath, Mrs. Hamilton held up both hands before her and focused her attention. I’ll only get one chance… Where Force Fails, the Invisible Hand Moves.

It was incredibly inefficient to use her Skill on herself like. To the point that her entire remaining Stamina pool was consumed to move only a small distance to the side. Yet she dared not use the Skill on Randidly; what if he could avoid its effect, too?

Plus, her timing was good enough that what should have killed her simply passed almost immediately next to her. The force of Randidly’s attack knocked Mrs. Hamilton backward in a tumbling sprawl. It was without any grace that she scrambled to her feet, struggling to breathe as she felt Randidly sucking in their strength again.

For a split second, Mrs. Hamilton feared that another blow was about to fall. But when she looked up, Decklan, Paolo, and Kayle were around Randidly, harrying him.

Decklan was too weakened by his wounds and was quickly smashed to the side, but Kayle and Paolo both moved with grim intent. Her earlier order removed the limiter she had placed on their Skills, enabling them to use their true bread and butter Skills.

From Randidly’s expression, he immediately realized that they had saved a few tricks for this challenge. Still, he dodged Kayle’s slash without missing a beat. Then, when Paolo used Domineering Finisher, Randidly simply endured it, releasing nothing but a grunt.

Paolo grinned like he was impressed.

Mrs. Hamilton sent a message to Alana. We don’t have any more time. Get over here, now.

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puddles4263

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