Everyone immediately readied themselves and noticed that the people who looked like raiders were raising their rifles as they hovered across the sand dunes at incredible speeds.
Rimmy hadn't finished distinguishing himself in this battle yet, so he flew forwards and raised his arms grandly. "Rimmy!"
|Jewelled Rampart [A-Rank (Middle Tier)]|
A skill unique to Jewelled Mountain Golem Cores.
This ability was developed by a particular masochistic Jewelled Mountain Golem who loved cutting parts of his body off and turning them into shields. Over time, it's become a usable skill, but hey, some people are just freaks, huh?
As a helpful tip from me to you, this skill is a pretty nifty bridge-builder.
|Allows the host to consume Jewelled Core Energy to create walls of jewels. Cost: Varies on the size of the created wall. Created walls will turn to dust after ten minutes.|
A massive surface of cyan crystal appeared out of the desert and covered the front of Fort Skip's forces. The Ethereal bullets chipped away at it, but Rimmy didn't care. He consumed his jewelled core energy to restore the barrier and he didn't let a single bullet pass as the raiders approached their group.
A few of the raiders took out some pulsing blue spheres and lobbed them at Rimmy's wall. It shattered like glass from several violent explosions.
Rimmy didn't falter and immediately used one-fifth of his remaining jewelled core energy to create several more crystal ramparts in an effort to block the remaining raiders.
Crusher had watched all of this happening. From Rimmy destroying half of the flying galleons to Ellie stopping the remaining five, and now, as the Titan was watching the Golem aptly block all of the attacks from the raiders, she found herself feeling unfulfilled.
"I'm not going to let Sapphire show me up, hahaha!" Crusher suddenly laughed before she jumped over the closest jewel wall and charged towards the approaching raiders.
Daz Shook his head and smiled somewhat wryly before he gave an order to everybody, "Men, prepare for battle! Crusher and Rimmy can't hold all of them, so I'll be relying on you to take care of the stragglers! Maddy, come with me. We can't let Crusher have all the fun, now can we?"
Madison nodded her head cutely in agreement before she unsheathed her sword and followed Daz past Rimmy’s barriers of crystal.
No one accompanied the three even if they wanted to because they knew that they would simply get in the way, and their current job was to stay put and deal with the remaining forces that Crusher, Daz and Madison couldn't distract by themselves.
Immediately, the sounds of fighting ensued and melded with the noises of the gunshots. Crusher raised her gravity hammer and added as many vibrations to it as she could. Crusher then slamming it into one of the raiders, sending him flying across the desert into another raider who was trying to sneak by Rimmy's defenses.
The initial one to get hit instantly died while the second was knocked off of his hoverboard.
Crusher commented, "These guys are pretty weak, eh? I guess they rely on their weapons and machinery more than raw power and fighting abilities."
Daz had his shovel sticking into one of the raiders' heads and he ripped it out before throwing it towards another raider. Using his Shovel Arts to control Hamson, he sent him flying through the bodies of five more raiders, instantly killing them with the help of Reika's aura. He glanced at the nearby Crusher and noted, "It would seem so."
Madison wasn't holding anything back from the get-go. While she was a bit short and looked harmless to the raiders, that opinion was quickly reversed once she unleashed her angel wings and flew towards a group of ten raiders. With her unsheathed sword, Madison muttered, "Laceration," before ten heads swiftly fell to the floor.
Daz noticed that Crusher had continued to kill the raiders almost effortlessly and that she wasn't being very careful, nor did she have to due to her immensely high stats. However, her actions had actually resulted in several of the hoverboards being completely destroyed which made Daz frown.
As he grabbed an explosive orb midair and launched it at an empty area of sand, Daz shouted towards Crusher, "Be careful! We might be able to use this technology after the fight, so if you can, only deal with the people, not the boards and weapons too!"
"No promises!" Crusher shouted back. "But I'll try."
As expected, while the three of them were combating the main force of the raiders, roughly fifty had managed to sneak past Rimmy's jewelled barricades.
Inside the M1 Abrams tank, a particular man with a splendid moustache looked down at his partner and said, "I say, Leston, colour me pink, but I certainly didn't expect things to go so exceptionally."
Pushing some keys on a system interface, Leston snapped his head towards Sten and replied, "Now is not the time for your nonsense. Fire the bloody cannon!"
"Yes, yes. Whelps these days are so impatient, are they not?" Sten mumbled under his breath, making his glorious moustache shake before he glanced at the screen in front of him.
He interacted with the system-powered control panel, and the rifle barrel of the tank moved until it was pointing towards a group of three raiders.
With the roaring sound of a blast, one of the 105mm rounds exploded out of the cannon, and while it missed the three raiders, it did destroy the sand beneath their hoverboards and sent all of them flying into the dunes due to the force of the impact.
It was then that Leston stood up and popped his head out of the top of the M1 Abrams and took control of the 12.7mm mounted-turret.
"I wonder how much easier rebelling against the King would have been if we had this back in Humptonshire?" Leston muttered to himself.
Unfortunately for the young soldier, his far older and far more experienced partner was able to pick up his private whispers. "Come now, Sten, it's unbecoming of us as the General's loyal soldiers and the Lord's personal guards to be so covetous of his possessions and dwell on the past, no?"
Leston could physically feel his face cramping up as a natural reaction to Sten's words.
"The first one to volunteer to operate this vehicle as soon as the opportunity presented itself was you since you wanted to be its 'owner', weren't you? You hypocrite." There was some clear embarrassment in Leston's voice.
Unquestionably, this conversation didn't fit into a battlefield where death was a very real possible outcome, even if they could be resurrected by the lord's merit points later.
The two other soldiers who were in the tank helping operate it had already grown accustomed to ignoring the two's antics over the years that they'd spent serving the crazed sorcerer before Daz recruited them, and even then, the two still did nothing but banter. It was truly a wonder amongst the other soldiers.
"Naturally I would be the one to offer my services to pilot a dangerous and mysterious vehicle such as an 'M1 Abrams' for the Lord. It most certainly was not due to the fact that I wished to have fun. No, no, of course not. Don't be foolish, Leston," Sten shamelessly stated.
"The next time we meet with the Lord, I want you to say that to his face. You do know that he can detect lies now, right?" Something about the way Leston had said this sent chills up Sten's spine.
"Two Wakillian scones and a box of high-quality Neprutia tea." Without saying any other words, this was Sten's only response.
As he shot several more of the raiders with the 50calibre turret, Leston smiled. "Deal," he said while he secretly thought, 'This might be the first time I've gotten the better of the old codger. I still can't believe that he made me think that Crusher's Titan form was a hallucination...'
It wasn't long before the first wave of the attack came to a close with zero casualties on Fort Skip's side.
Daz was genuinely surprised at how easy this had been. he recalled the small part of the attack notification that stated that some of the gods had made it less difficult. The young Reaper couldn't help but think that perhaps that was the reason why these raiders were just ordinary people with slightly higher quality equipment.
Of course, the warships were a threat, but they were something that Daz's forces could handle without much difficulty. Surely the system would have accounted for both Ellie and Rimmy's new powers when it came to evaluating the attack's strength, right?
"What's on your mind, Lord?" Crusher asked as she looked at Daz who seemed to be locked in thought.
"I have a feeling that the next wave isn't going to be quite so simple." Daz had a pensive look on his face.
It had been a few minutes now after the last raiders' death, however, nothing had happened. No notification from the system, no new monsters appearing, nothing. Daz was greatly confused.
Edward who had just finished collecting some of the hoverboards walked next to Daz and Crusher.
"I agree. This is certainly strange, though mind you, none of the attacks in Middletown had multiple waves," Edward noted a little bit sarcastically.
General Retford scowled as he looked at the man who was equally as muscular and tall as himself before he said, "That's a funny attitude coming from a traitor."
"I've heard your story too, General. You’re just as much of a traitor as I am, so shut up." There was a certain bitterness in Edward's voice.
He had self-justified reasons for his actions. Naturally, he had heard William's story and knew that his original lord, the King of Humptonshire, was a despicable man, but still, it never felt good to be called out for your previous immoral actions.
It was at that moment that Dorian, who had stayed quiet during the entire first wave, suddenly had a scared look on his face. "Can any of you hear that?"
"Hear what, Ahab?" Crusher asked as she looked at the one-armed man.
"Doesn't it sound like an earthquake?" Dorian's voice contained uncertainty, but more than that, he was both physically and mentally shaken by the disturbing noises he was picking up.
Straining his ears, Daz could certainly hear something strange as well. "Yes, you're right. I wonder what that is? Is some of the sand collapsing?"
Once the Reaper had said that, two massive pillars of sand erupted several hundreds of meters away from the group.
Everyone turned their attention to these columns of sand and were driven to intense fear by what they saw.
A pair of enormous worms with claws for teeth that were poking out of their mouths had erupted from beneath the desert. They moved incredibly quickly and screamed ferociously.
The sound was so piercing and it felt like everyone's entire being was under threat just by the shouts of these beasts.
Half a second later, the worms were gone. They had dived further into the sand.
Daz frowned. "Well, fuck. It looks like this is the real part of today's attack, huh?"
Madison, who was stood next to him, nodded her head slowly and drew her sword once more. It would seem like this wouldn't be an easy fight.
Madison could clearly tell that Daz had ample time to use his Higher Identification on the worms, and if he was frowning, then surely the beasts were at least slightly worrying to him.
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