Randidly waved his hand, burning all his Mana, and all of the Mana stored in his rings, sending a dozen Grasps of Lava shooting upwards, igniting his Wall of Roots. This wouldn’t buy them much time, but it would have to be enough.
Glancing upwards, Randidly grimaced. The sky was definitely darkening, now that they left the village. What pissed Randidly off most about the whole situation is that he didn’t get a chance to figure out what sort of ‘array’ Aratta was talking about, that surrounded the village. Now, as the monsters trampled forward, burning and wrecking the houses for their mad dash for…. Some goal, it might be obliterated.
He turned and looked at Aratta, who was riding on Chrysanthemum’s back. Perhaps asking her would yield some answers, but…
Almost on cue, Aratta turned around and caught Randidly’s eyes, and smiled at him, as if this was just a walk in the park.
Annoyed, Randidly turned away, downing a few Mana Potions. He could feel the Golden Roots of Yggdrasil working at full swing, huge cords of energy flowing up through the ground and into his feet, strengthening him, giving him increased Mana Regeneration. To buy them a little bit more time…
“Alana, you’ve got the back, I’ll catch up,” Randidly grunted, drawing his huge spear.
Alana gave him a look like she wanted to say something, but she kept her mouth shut. It wasn’t that she thought better of it, but that she knew better to try and stop him. Sometimes, when an enemy was frustrating, there wasn’t anything to do but physically work out that stress. “Alright. We will take the long way around and back towards the cathedral we started at, in case we get separated.”
Randidly just looked up at the darkening clouds, and then leaped forward. The raindrops hit his skin, a cooling addition to the moment. Plus, because his Child of Rain, it gave him… some sort of passive bonus. He could only slightly feel it, but it was a source of PP, so Randidly wasn’t going to complain.
It wasn’t that these monsters were weak, per se, but they were definitely weak to him.
After he had opened up a distance of about 200 meters with the rest of the group, he released that tightness in his chest, and let both the Indomitable Will of Yggdrasil and the Cruel Indignation of Yggdrasil spread outwards like a blanket, muffling everything else around him.
Because that is truly what happened, Randidly could feel himself becoming… almost brighter, more intense, a burning fire, so that everything else around him became dimmer. The monsters shrunk back in fear and pain, and the last thing they heard before they died was the tiny clinks of his Bone Cloak.
It was pride that filled Randidly when he allowed himself to be like this. And he could feel in it the beginnings of something. There was… a weaving of emotions of all the Yggdrasil Skills activated at the same time, as they softly resonated with each other. It was a minor thing, but Randidly delighted in the strange freedom it gave him. It seemed to him that his Aether was singing.
And while he savored the sensation, his spear moved back and forth, and the monsters fell like wheat.
Until a notification popped up.
Snarling, Randidly spun around, dismissing the Cruel Indignation of Yggdrasil and shooting forward, following after where the rest of the party had gone.
The Judgement was coming. He could see over the hill, falling out of the sky, a strange, twisting mass of green and deep purple. Gritting his teeth, Randidly pushed himself faster, activating his Yyrwood Body of Yggdrasil, pushing his physique as far as it would go. Every one of his steps cracked the ground beneath him with its force.
It was almost comical, how powerful he had gotten. How easy it was for him to destroy things, at this point.
There was a shout of alarm, and he could hear Alana’s words, but Randidly tried not to let himself be distracted. Deftly, he used Plant Dominance to incapacitate several monsters that they passed, that were likely wounded earlier by the party, but not finished off.
Then he was cresting the hill, looking down at the scene below. Standing in the middle of the slope was a giant ogre creature, wrapped in two snakes, one purple, one green. As Randidly watched, Alana dropped her shield as a green acid ate through it. Meanwhile, the purple snake lashed out, catching Ace by surprise, smashing him into a boulder.
Fury bloomed like a crimson spider lily. Activating his Invigorating Shout, Randidly called “Just fuck you!”
The ogre and the two snakes turned and looked up at him, somewhat taken aback, but the Skill spread out in a wave, increasing the Stats and Regeneration of those humans who heard it. Like two ghosts, Lucifer and Annie moved in behind the Judgement. Several arrows lodged itself in the upper body of the ogre, pinning the green snake’s head down.
Hissing, it spat acid upwards in a fountain, which fell harmlessly to the ground.
The purple snake seemed to learn from its brother’s misfortune and twisted out of the way of the arrows, its tail lashing out, only to be slashed by Lucifer, cutting a good 4 meters of its body off.
But this left the ogre annoyed, but free. It spoke in a strange language, its hands moving through dozens of gestures, and the ground rumbled. Only due to his connection to nearby plant roots could Randidly sense the hundreds and thousands of… snakes, slithering up through the ground emerging from the ground.
With a manic gleam in his eye, Randidly threw back a Mana Potion. “Want to compete in numbers? Try me?”
His consciousness pressed to its limits, Randidly started using Spearing Roots as many times as he could at once. The roots shot upwards, spearing the snakes from below, burrowing through their softer bellies before driving up through their brains. Some struggled, feeling their compatriots dying, but Randidly’s eyes were glowing emerald, and in them was only the promise of murder.
As many as the Judgement tried to summon, that’s how many he would kill.
Clarissa smashed the Judgement with some sort of ice spell, causing the snakes to whimper, the green snake especially becoming very feeble in its struggles. As he noticed this, the Judgement raised his arms, his gestures becoming emphatic. Lucifer and Thea moved in rapidly, covering the distance to the Judgement.
The snakes’ bodies pulsed. Then they began to grow, Annie’s arrows snapping off, their wounds healing. Randidly’s eyes narrowed. Perhaps… the smaller snakes wouldn’t end up being the issue here. Because these two snakes were becoming big.
“The Spear Advances, Ash Trails,” Randidly whispered. Ignition. Flame. Desolation.
As he activated the Skill, he could feel some part of himself, some part of his Skill, recognizing this, encouraging him, strengthening him. The top of the hill was annihilated as Randidly shot down as if he was launched out of a cannon, arriving and driving his spear through the head of the green snake.
It had a mouthful of acid, so some of it splashed out onto his arm as he killed it, which burned, but Randidly simply hissed in annoyance. Pulling his weapon out, he turned and faced the purple snake, which seemed infuriated that its brother had been killed. It lashed out, biting towards him, moving so fast that even Randidly’s senses only had the faintest idea of when the attack would arrive.
“Ash to Ash…” Randidly said, closing his eyes.
He didn’t close his eyes so he wouldn’t see the world going grey, although that was perhaps part of it. No, he closed his eyes because at that moment he felt supremely connected to everything. There was a… base of energy between all things, the commonality of existence. Weirdly, that feeling stood out to Randidly then, as the snake bit into him…. and his body disintegrated into ash, and reformed a few meters above, bringing his spear down like a guillotine on the purple snake.
The purple head fell to the group, dead, just as Thea and Lucifer arrived, reaping into the ogre’s legs. It leapt to the side, but couldn’t dodge Lucifer’s long weapons, and it lost its right leg at the knee. When it landed, it stumbled, and Alana was there, burning as she activated her Solar Flare Skill, her spear taking the Ogre in the neck. It struggled, opening its mouth, but nothing came out.
Then, its expression unwilling, it expired, turning into energy and disintegrating.
Randidly looked around. Ptolemy had healed Ace, who was standing, and now hurried towards Alana to check her left arm, which hung useless at her side. Just the two injuries, then. That wasn’t bad, for pushing back the Judgement. It seemed like they struck at the right time. Had the snakes been allowed to grow… or the army of snakes from below to attack the group before Randidly had got there…
It was cutting it close, but it seemed like overwhelming the Judgments quickly was a viable strategy...
Rose’s voice drew his attention back the current situation. “How much distance do we have?”
Sighing, Randidly shook his head. “About half a kilometer. And I’m almost out of everything right now.”
“Us too,” Alana said stoically, while Ptolemy healed her arm.
Randidly grinned. He could keep fighting with his spear… but even he was beginning to feel a bit tired, and there was no point in forcing things. “Then let’s look for someplace to hole up for the last two days. Well, one day, now…”