"Angel's Breath," Madison said as she cured Edward of his wounds.
Before he could thank her, she flew towards the other side of the desert to heal Dorian since she'd seen him injure his arm the last time he blocked his and Daz's Sand Devil.
Madison continued to fly between the two groups as she healed them almost nonstop. She counted herself as lucky that her Stamina and Divine Power were both quite high. Any other healer in her shoes would have been exhausted ten minutes ago. Ben was teetering on the edge of unconsciousness already after being forced to heal the soldiers without rest since Madison was only giving aid to the survivors.
Madison had just finished healing General Retford when a sudden feeling washed over her entire being.
This sensation made Madison feel like she was going to die. There were no ifs ands or buts. She would die.
Spinning her head around to look at what was making her feel like this, Madison could see a gargantuan skull that was half blue and half green above Daz and Dorian.
This skull was so large, in fact, that Rimmy looked like an insect in comparison.
From where she was standing, Madison could barely notice that the jaw of this skull was shaking furiously.
Upon gazing at this evil thing, Madison was sure that it was the source of her premonitions of death.
Thankfully for her and for every other fighter that had stopped moving momentarily, the mysterious skull disappeared a single second after it had arrived.
As soon as the skull had left, the Sand Devil that Daz and Dorian were previously fighting shrivelled up before exploding violently.
Everyone was shocked by this. How did their lord get such an absurdly powerful skill? Thankfully for them, they were broken out of their temporary wonder by an angry shout.
"Motherfucker!" Crusher yelled as she slammed the other massive worm's head away. It had attacked them the moment that the laughing skull had disappeared, trying to catch them all off guard.
This was a serious matter, but Crusher was angry for a different reason. "Damn it! I lost our bet!"
Crusher was enraged. "Titan Form!"
Now that she was far larger in her Titan form, Crusher wrapped her arms around the beast and wrestled it to the ground. It wriggled furiously and bit into her arm with its enormous set of teeth.
Crusher's arm bled profusely but she grinned instead of wincing. "Rimmy! One last push! Seal this thing's tail! Ed and Will, help him pin it down!"
Rimmy bobbed his head up and down while Edward nodded and William groaned. The General wasn't happy that Crusher had adopted his lord's nickname for him, but he agreed to help regardless.
Rimmy encased the lower half of the Sand Devil with his crystal barriers while Edward and General Retford began using all of the techniques they had at their disposal to immobilise the creature's upper half so it wouldn't break free of Rimmy's control.
With the three of their efforts combined, Crusher could let go of the worm and jump into the air as hard as she could. The heat pelted down on top of her and the sand made the apex of her jump noticeably shorter than it should have been, but nonetheless, this was enough.
Crusher flipped herself in the air and began diving towards the Sand Devil with her gravity hammer pointed at it.
"Hey, Ugly! Look up!" At Crusher's provocation, the gargantuan worm gazed at her momentarily and open its maw. Apparently, it was intending to swallow her and shred her to pieces with its teeth.
"Let's see who dies first, you big bastard! Me or you!" Crusher laughed maniacally as she plunged into the monster's mouth.
Everyone held their breath as they saw the worm squirm and shuffle about on the sand. Clearly, it was trying its best to completely destroy Crusher.
Within a few moments, Rimmy's control over it had broken and everyone had to wait patiently for the results of the internal battle. Daz was on his way and he was the only one here that could damage these worms besides Crusher.
Madison could probably also harm these monsters, but she had yet to attack them, so the thought hadn't even crossed most people's minds.
A few seconds ticked by before the worm settled and pointed its mouth menacingly at the remaining survivors.
Edward had a complicated look on his face as he clenched his clockwork fist tightly. "Did she die?" he mumbled to himself.
As if to answer his question, a low rumbling could be heard by everyone, even the distant Madison, Daz and Dorian.
As if a nuclear bomb had detonated inside of the worm, it's body writhed about furiously in an attempt to cleanse itself of the person that had suddenly reappeared inside of it.
After successfully passing through the worms teeth-riddled mouth and throat, Crusher had reached her goal of the beast's belly.
She had been reduced to nothing more than a pile of rags and blood once she got there, but that wasn't an issue for the battle-hardened woman. With her cheat-like racial skill, her plan had been completed.
Now in the defenseless and weakest location of the worm - its insides, Crusher ran amok smashing and destroying the monster's organs and internal systems.
Thankfully, her Regeneration was very high, otherwise, the corrosive acids inside the Sand Devil would have killed her for the second time.
A few minutes passed as the massive worm tried its best to resist, but no matter what it did, Crusher was inside of it past its teeth, so it could do nothing but slowly die.
Eventually, Crusher crawled out of the worm's mouth. She was covered in blood and foul-smelling juices, but she didn't care.
She roared heartily as Daz approached her. "Even if you were first, I was more flashy, so we're even!"
Daz smiled wryly. "I guess we are. Why don't you put some clothes on though? Seriously, almost every time you get into a fight, somehow you lose your clothes..."
"Now that you mention it, you're right, huh?" Crusher agreed as she held her chin and didn't even bother to hide her exposed body.
Dorian had to turn his head to the side out of embarrassment. While Crusher was, indeed, very muscular, after her evolution to a Titan, her body had become quite lean and a lot slimmer, so Dorian had a hard time not being at least somewhat attracted to her.
'Crusher sure is fearless, huh?' Daz thought. 'To think that she'd just jump into the worm's mouth with reckless abandon and rely on her rebirth skill... What a scary woman.'
A few seconds later, several notification screens flashed across Daz's eyes to signal the completion of the attack.
|Congratulations on completing day 2 of cycle 2|
|Day 2's Stats|
|Enemy types:||Air Raiders, Sand Devils.|
|Number of Enemies Total:||502|
|Number of Enemies Slain By The Host:||243|
|Number of Attacked Survivors:||422|
|Number of Eliminated Survivors:||0|
|Your Performed Merits:|
|Merit||Description||Merit point Value|
|Love Maker||Have intercourse with a romantic partner.||100|
|Skill Creator||Successfully created a skill without the assistance of the system.||25,000|
|City Uniter||Successfully united all of the major powers within the host's home city.||25,000|
|City Lord||Successfully became the ruler of a city.||50,000|
|The Encouragement of a God||The lesser god, The God of Shovels is passionately rooting for you.||25,000|
|The Encouragement of a God||The lesser god, The God of Information is rooting for you.||25,000|
|The Encouragement of a God||The lesser god, The God of Justice is passionately rooting for you.||25,000|
|The Encouragement of a God||The lesser god, The God of Luck is rooting for you.||25,000|
|The Encouragement of a God||The lesser god, The God of Muscles is rooting for you.||25,000|
|The Attention of a God||The lesser god, The God of Teamwork is interested in your continued approach to fighting as a team.||50,000|
|The Slight Attention of a God||The lesser god, The God of Planning isn't interested in your crude plan, but he is intrigued by how such a simple battle formation managed to clear your attack with no casualties.||25,000|
|Monster Killer||Successfully killed 1 monster.||10|
|Monster Slayer||Successfully killed 10 monsters.||100|
|Monster Hunter||Successfully killed 100 monsters.||1,000|
|Boss Killer||Successfully killed 1 boss-rank monster.||15,000|
|Minor Ring Of Merit: 7,500|
|Minor Ring Of Merit: 7,500|
|Total Points Gained|
|Many gods are displeased by your actions, thoughts and existence. Their attempts to deduct points from you have been blocked by the system.|
|Your merit point and killing rankings have been updated. Please refer to the system for more details regarding your new ranks and any possible rewards.|
|Congratulations! You have successfully completed the side quest: Near-Impossible Hope.|
|250,000 Merit Points|
|An increase of city loyalty from [Above Average] to [High]|
|The total merit balance of the host is now: 591,210.|
"What? Blocked by the system, not a higher god or something?" Daz mumbled to himself.
The only person who wasn't distracted by their merit sheet and heard him was Madison. She tugged his sleeve and cocked her head to one side as she gazed at him curiously.
"It's nothing... Or more like, I know nothing about it, so don't mind it, Maddy," Daz said to her.
"Okay." Madison wasn't pushy enough to keep pestering Daz.
Sighing lightly, Daz raised his voice. "Good job everyone. Not a single person died, not even Will's soldiers. I'm pretty proud, to be honest, and I'm fairly sure this'll be a huge morale boost for Fort Skip, so make sure you all pat yourselves on the back. Good work, Ben. You surprised me."
The teen could barely stand, he was so exhausted. He just smiled weakly as Trisha supported him.
"How inspirational," Xing spat out from the back of the crowd where he stood with the other teens.
Ronny frowned. "Don't be so sarcastic, Xing."
"Whatever," the young Asian boy replied before he turned around and walked back towards Fort Skip.
Samantha sulked. "What's his problem? He's such a spoilsport. It was his fault that we stayed near the wall and never fought since he was worried, so why's he being so disrespectful to the Lord?"
Trisha giggled softly. "Even you've started to call him 'Lord' now, huh?" she teased.
"I'm just copying your boyfriend," Samantha said with a cheeky smile on her face.
Both Trisha and Ben's faces lit up like Christmas lights. Samantha held her stomach and broke out into a fit of laughter.
Ronny, while he was smiling lightly, had a very serious look in his eyes. 'Xing is a real issue. We can't keep ignoring him forever... What will Daz do if he steps over the line for real?'
Ronny was worried if he could stand up for his friend at that time or if he'd abandon him like his brain was telling him to. Shaking his head, Ronny cleared his mind. 'I need to stop thinking like it's a foregone conclusion. We can still bring back Xing, can't we? He's not a bad person...'
Daz had noticed this interaction between the former cosplayers and he found the corners of his lips rising. 'Is the time for those five to become entirely loyal to me approaching? It's happening sooner than I'd first thought... The seeds I planted a few days ago sure are fast to sprout, huh?'
As much as he tried to deny it, Daz was much more like his father than he would like to willingly admit.
Everyone returned to the safety of Fort Skip's walls, and gradually, the scenery outside of the base returned to its original state. The sand and unbearable heat disappeared, and Daz ordered General Retford to salvage the two airships with massive holes inside of them.
Several hours had passed at this point and Daz was happily tinkering in his personal workshop that had been developed by himself in his spare time where the storage containers and his crappy rain shelter used to be.
The door to this hand-built shack opened, alerting the young Reaper. He stopped what he was doing, namely, making more ID medals, and looked at his visitor.
"Sandy, it's nice to see you," Daz said as he took a seat and grabbed his dutchman's pipe that was laying on a table.
Sandy nodded before he took his own pipe out from his pocket. Lighting it and having a puff, the old man smirked. "So I hear ya got yer hands on two big ol' flying ships, eh?"
"Yes, I did. Broken to bits and unusable, but they're lying out in a field in the outer fort. Why, got an interest in them, do you?" Daz asked as he smoked a bit, savouring the rich otherworldly tobacco.
"Yup. You know me well, Kiddo." Sandy stretched his back and grinned. "Give 'em to me and let me fix 'em, yeah?"
"Sure. They need a few hundred thousand merit points for the system to do it, so go break a leg. They aren't worth that much to me." Daz happily gave permission.
"Thanks, Kiddo." Sandy sat and enjoyed his pipe with Daz for a while before he finally left and returned to his job as the head of construction.
Sandy still had his dream of being a great blacksmith, so while he was currently devoid of much spare time thanks to the ever-increasing need for homes, his heart burned with a desire for some side projects to help with his dream.
Now that General Miller and his soldiers were here and could help with that effort, Sandy finally had enough time to work on his smithing skills.
He'd always been a brash man that liked to challenge himself, so as soon as he heard about the flying ships that needed repairing, Sandy was more than willing to throw himself into the deep end and get his elbows dirty by attempting to repair them.
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