Randidly looked out over the ruined suburbs surrounding Franksburg, the corners of his mouth quirking up. Unfortunately, the leaders of Franksburg had been rather loose with their class allowances. It looked like 700ish people had been given classes. That was about as much as Donnyton had. Of course, the difference in quality of the Classers was obvious, but still…
It made it a little hard to imagine Donnyton becoming the superpower that he wanted it to be, so he could use the superior political power for leveraging information. Their higher skill in crafting and potion making would hopefully be enough to maintain their trading partnerships, with Donnyton likely coming out ahead, with its higher end products. In terms of fightings strength though, in the long run...
But if Franksburg wanted to threaten Donnyton’s position of dominance in the region, they needed to survive this night.
Based on the information he had gotten from Alana, the town had 42,000 people. The monster horde was about 3x what Randidly had ever seen attack Donnyton, which would put it just below 20k monsters coming.
If 700 people had classes, that meant that the NCCs would count for a little less than half a monster to push them up to the 20k total. It seemed that NCCs only counted for about ⅓ a monster in terms of the horde. Randidly was relieved, in a way.
Not that he wanted the horde to be big enough to threaten the city, but he certainly wanted Franksburg to feel fear, and rely upon the goodwill of Donnyton. In addition, Randidly wanted to be out among the horde, leveling his skills. Especially Circle of Fire and Pollen of Rafflesia, the high area skills.
With this huge amount of monsters… although he could slow their advance, he wouldn’t do enough damage to the horde as a whole to make it too easy for Franksburg. Basically…
Randidly could run wild.
Humming delightedly to himself, Randidly sat down, brewing potions while he watched the monsters mass in the darkness.
Alana gripped her spear shaft so tightly that her knuckles cracked. The monsters came in a thundering wave. She had only had a brief chance to look at Franksburg’s defenses, but in some places it was barely more than a chain link fence reinforced with metal siding.
The perimeter would undoubtedly be breached. The question was where.
And yet Alana could not deny the bubbling excitement within her chest. The changes in her skills…
She wanted to see how far they would carry her, even as she remained classless. And once she returned to Donnyton and obtained a class…
Alana understood the arguments that certain NCCs put stock into. Sam and Regina both chose to focus on raising skill levels, rather than receiving a class. Alana had thus far taken the same path, and focused on polishing her Spear Mastery, and gaining various other skills for PP.
But now that she had a class waiting for her… and a powerful one at that… It was hard to resist the allure of the strength that it could give her. Above all else, the possible bonuses to Health, Mana, and Stamina changed the entire dynamic. Where NCCs have to rely on Endurance and Vitality for their Stamina pool, a Classer has a naturally high Stamina pool just due to leveling. This led to increased battle proficiency and increased length of training sessions, which in turn lead to higher PP hauls…
Then Alana shook her head, focusing back on the situation at hand. The squad from Donnyton was being used as the plug to fill up any holes in the defenses. So for now, that sat silently in the back, waiting. Alana knew they wouldn’t have to wait for long.
Randidly stepped calmly forward, appearing the middle of the flailing horde. This clump of enemies was mostly composed of skeletons, grimy rags hanging from their bones, but they would do for the initial test.
“Circle of Flame.” Randidly whispered. Abruptly, he felt a bright heat in his chest, that exploded outward away from him in a wave of flame, smashing the nearby skeletons backwards. Most of the ones within a few meters shattered to pieces instantly, the concussive force too much. The layer of skeletons beyond that howled as their bones charred and weakened, slowly falling to pieces. Beyond that, the skeletons were simply sent stumbling.
The flame circle dissipated into nothing, leaving Randidly frowning. Although it was hot and dangerous near him, that power swiftly dropped off after the spell was used. It currently was nowhere near the level he wanted it.
With a dissatisfied expression, Randidly focused on another monster, a good distance away, and stepped again, using Phantom Half-Step. As soon as he appeared, another Circle of Flame exploded outwards, ending around 20 skeletons.
Randidly stepped again, and then used circle of flame. Over and over, he continued, taking small breaks every 4 or 5 Circle of Flames to down a mana potion. He left a trail of craters in his wake, like the footsteps of a flaming giant, even as his own form was quite small.
After what must have been his 30th circle of flame, Randidly casually turned, looking back behind him. He had reached the back of the monster horde, after cutting his waying through it with flame, but all marks of his passage were already erased, as the flood of monsters trudged on towards Fransburg.
It looked like the front lines had reached the outer Franksburg perimeter, and that fighting would begin in earnest soon. Tonight they would learn of how unforgiving this world is. Even Randidly’s presence could only do so much. Given enough time, sure, he could make a noticeable difference.
Given ALOT of time, sure. And a lot of potions.
After drinking a mana potion and a stamina potion, Randidly removed his spear from his satchel and admired the oppressive height and size. Looking at the thick shaft, he could still imagine that fearfully powerful Sphinx. If it hadn’t toyed with him for so long…
Well it had, and now it was simply a tall pole weapon. There was a lesson in that, Randidly supposed. But it was not one worth dwelling on now.
Now he wanted to try his spear skills. He had practiced a little, and found a few enemies, but the last 4 weeks had been an exercise in patience. Although the spear worked fine against small groups of enemies, the fearsome size meant it was made for something… different.
Something like this.
The huge construct of bone swept outward as Randidly began walking back through the horde, cleaving 6 monsters in half in one blow, Randidly’s strength making their bodies seem like paper. The skeletons spun around, clattering their jaws angrily, but the next stroke of Randidly’s spear silenced them forever.
Randidly pressed forward, faster and faster, cutting through the army, heading towards the section that was composed mostly of goblins. Skeletons were fine, but…
Randidly wanted to grind other things.
He burst into the small bodies of the goblins in an explosion of mangled flesh, his spear sweeping back and forth. Finding a rather thick clump, he leapt over and unleashed a Spear Phantom’s Onslaught, reducing most of the goblins in the area to paste.
His spear was almost TOO big to use in delicate spearwork. The blade of the spear ripped the torso of a goblin totally in half. Still, Randidly threw his attacks forward with wild abandon, barely trying for delicacy as the goblins leaped at his back. The corner of his mouth quirked upward.
Twisting, his spear swept across, smashing them out of the air and into the ground. Humming a soft tune to himself, Randidly activated Pollen of the Rafflesia and began ripping quickly through the goblins as those nearby the already dead began to notice his presence, and started to scream at him.
He continued, moving rapidly, striking and moving on towards the deeper area of the horde. The ones in front of him were cut to pieces, the ones behind him became drowsy, or ill, or confused.
A walking catastrophe, Randidly strolled forward, focusing on his form.
Still, there was no need to rush. It would be quite the long night.
Alana was annoyed.
She had lost herself in the vicious cycle of pushing back enemies, and then being called away to another side of the perimeter to reinforce another struggling area. The first 1 hour was slow, as the monsters stalled out on the fences, but as they caved, their work swiftly became cut out for them.
It was only 10 minutes ago, after they beat back the ice spewing bats, heavily relying on Clarissa’s superior magic, they received a new order.
They were to retreat to the headquarters.
“Why?” Alana demanded, furious that Anthony was being so tight lipped about the information. Then, after biting his lip, he leaned forward and whispered something that caused Alana’s eyes to narrow.
The headquarters had gone radio silent 10 minutes ago. At first they had assumed that the short wave radio that they used had just malfunctioned. But as the time stretched onwards…
And as signs of a fire from Franksburg proper became apparent...
While the rest of the team remained to maintain the walls, Alana rushed backed, hoping to find… well, that it was an annoying, but harmless mistake.
Unfortunately, as she moved farther away from the perimeter and back towards the city, the sounds of chaos greeted her. The positives were that it didn’t appear to be monsters, but only looting in this section of the city. She also took profound pleasure in breaking the nose of a man who looked her up and down and leered at her.
But the outlook became more grim the farther in she went. Although there weren’t any definitive signs of monsters, people were fleeing away from the center of the city, panicked. They kept smashing into Alana and rebounding, surprised to find that her thin frame was so sturdy. Other people stared at her, apparently noticing the soft glow that filled the air around her. It was still light, as her skill level was low, but it was definitely visible.
Then, almost on accident, Alana realized what had happened. A grinding noise caught her attention, and she turned to find the manhole cover to the sewer was slowly rising up. With a ringing noise, it popped off all the way, and several goblins scrambled out of the sewer, chittering in their strange language.
The people around froze, and then began to scream and claw their way in any direction but that one. This wasn’t helpful for the traffic flow, but it did give Alana space; she tore those shocked goblins to pieces so fast that their faces hadn’t even registered her presence.
Frowning, Alana considered what to do. It didn’t appear that there were all that many enemies that had come in here, but they were sending people into a panic, and-
But her train of thought was interrupted by a strange clicking noise, and then a voice, a soft voice sounded out throughout the town, done through loudspeakers.
“People of Franksburg! Don’t panic! We can fight our way through this!” The voice said, and Alana saw the people around her stop, and look up at the speakers in wonder. “If you have the will to fight… come to the stadium! If we stand as one, we will push through this challenge!”
Even Alana felt the draw of that charismatic voice, and knew there could only be one source; Raina, the Siren of Franksburg.